Monday, April 14, 2014

This Week's Meetings


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Metra Board to Meet in DuPage County

From the Metra website

Hoping to promote greater openness and participation in the region’s public transportation planning and governance process, the Metra Board of Directors will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting in DuPage County.
“The Metra Board is committed to transparency and inclusiveness and we want to make ourselves and our deliberations more accessible to people in the six-county region that we represent,” said Board Chairman Martin J. Oberman. “Our intention is to periodically hold our Board meetings at locations other than our downtown Chicago headquarters so that residents from across the region have a better opportunity to directly address Metra’s Board and management.”
The April 11, 2014 meeting of the Metra Board of Directors will be held in the DuPage County Board Room on the 3rd Floor of the Jack T. Knuepfer Administration Building. The facility is located at 421 N. County Farm Road in Wheaton. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

Will County Discussing Raises for Elected Officials

Just like Will County, DuPage County will possibly be discussing salaries and raises for elected officials.  This must be done 6 months prior to the election in November 2014 leaving the month of May for discussion.  As the article points out DuPage County elected officials are the highest paid officials of the four collar counties. Now would be a good time to contact DuPage County elected officials to let them know if they deserve a raise or not.
The SOUTHTOWN STAR, a Chicago  publication reports

Will County officials are predicting a “lively discussion” about proposed salary increases for elected officials when the county board executive committee meets at 10 a.m. Thursday.
If salaries are to be raised, it must be done a minimum of six months prior to the November election, which leaves the county board with just one more meeting before that deadline, unless it calls a special meeting in early May.
Some elected officials have not had a raise in eight years, said finance committee chairman Steve Wilhelmi, D-Joliet.
The recommended increases would put Will County officials more in line with those in surrounding collar counties, according to a spreadsheet created by Bruce Friefeld, the board’s chief of staff.
Friefeld recommended upping compensation for board members from $23,000 to $28,700, with increases of $700, $750 and $750 in each of the following three years
The comparison with the four other collar counties of Kane, Lake, DuPage and McHenry showed that DuPage County leaders earn the most, but it also is the most populated county, with more than 916,000 people. Board members there earn $50,079, and other officials earn between $139,835 and $176,573.
You can read the full story here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

This Week's Meetings


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Job Fair

Information provided by the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

An Afternoon at the Winfield Metra Station

I spent the afternoon at the Winfield Metra Station with Tom Zapler from the DuPage Railroad Safety Committee and Dan Thomas from DuPage County Division of Transportation, to take a look at the recent safety improvements.

Safety improvements include new pedestrian paths that guide commuters away from the tracks to a  gated crossing.  Pedestrian fencing has been installed which improves separation between the commuter and the tracks.  A pedestrian tunnel allows the commuter safe passage across the tracks. "Another Train Warning System" device alerts the commuter visually and verbally that there is another or "ghost train", approaching on the adjacent track, a train they may not be able to see. These devices are installed at each of the four quadrants of the crossing.

It is very nice to see Metra and Union Pacific working together to ensure the safety of their riders.

Another TrainWarning device

Diversion Gates

Pedestrian Tunnel

Entrance to Pedestrian Tunnel

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Public Transit Chairwoman Chaplin Responds to Illinois Public Transit Task Force Final Report

For Immediate Release: 

On August 15, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn issued an Executive Order creating the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force to address serious concerns regarding the current structure of the Chicagoland public transit system.

With much anticipation the Public Transit Task Force released its final report to the governor on March 31st 2014.  

The findings of the report stress the importance of eliminating the RTA and forming a new agency that will allow for a regional approach to planning, funding and evaluation of projects.

The report acknowledges the transit system’s flawed funding structure which is currently unable to meet present and future needs, along with a section devoted to ethics and the need to earn back the public trust. 

“We must ensure the highest ethical standards for taxpayers. We can achieve this by working together as regional partners ensuring that the system operates in a transparent manner.” stated DuPage County Public Transit Chairwoman Liz Chaplin.  

The report also recognizes the importance of safety and a safety-conscious workforce. Chairwoman Chaplin, who has worked closely with the DuPage Railroad Safety Committee, agrees with the report’s safety recommendations. 

“Our public transit system can succeed if we act upon the recommendations in the report.  Hopefully, enough leaders will have the political courage to make the tough decisions and put forth the necessary legislation to bring these changes to fruition.”