Monday, December 15, 2014

This Week's Meetings


Monday, December 8, 2014

This Week's Meetings


Thursday, December 4, 2014

First Mission Accomplished

In February of 2013 it was brought to my attention that a DuPage County employee was spending approximately 12 hours a month working on DuPage Forest Preserve matters and using DuPage County resources to do this work.  Keep in mind the DuPage Forest Preserve is its own taxing body.   The DuPage County Clerk moonlighted as the secretary for the forest preserve for many years and collected a salary that was pension eligible for those duties. The DuPage County Clerk  had an employee in the clerks office prepare the minutes for him rather than doing this himself or having a forest preserve employee prepare the minutes. The DuPage County employee was not receiving any compensation from the forest preserve for these duties.  There was no intergovernmental agreement.

Although this may seem minor 12 hours per month equals 144 hours per year.  That is almost one month of county employee time and resources spent on matters not related to the county.

DuPage County was storing DuPage Forest Preserve documents.  Again, no intergovernmental agreement and no rent for storage of these documents.

Some board members and the chairman tried to make light of the situation and claimed this was "shared services" and nothing more.

To claim that the situation between the DuPage Forest Preserve and DuPage County is a "shared service" is a stretch.  What is a shared service?  A shared service should be a win/win situation. It should be equitable for all rather than one entity gaining at the expense of others.  When a shared service is established it is important to distinguish responsibilities and share all associated costs. Shared services should be an agreement and as such requires an intergovernmental agreement.  Examples of shared services would be  purchasing in bulkcombined fuel purchases or when fire and police protection between neighboring villages is a shared service.  

The fact that there were no intergovernmental agreements and no sharing of costs the situation was clearly not shared

I asked for the duties and documents to be returned to the DuPage Forest Preserve where they belong by April of 2013.  

After making comment at the board meeting I continued to press the matter with the States Attorney's Office asking for an intergovernmental agreement or to return the documents and duties to the forest preserve.

Although it took longer than I would have liked I am happy to report the Forest Preserve District is in possession of the Minutes and Agendas from December 2002 until 2013. They will receive the 2014 files once they are completed.

A new secretary has been appointed to the DuPage County Forest preserve. An administrative assistant that is employed by the forest preserve will be taking over the duties of the secretary.   No longer is the DuPage County Clerk or any employee from DuPage performing these duties, ending years of questionable practices.  

It took many emails, phone calls and gentle reminders to get this mission accomplished.

You can read more about this story here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

John Noel Public Transit Conference with RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard

Headline DuPage Public Transit Conference
Wheaton… DuPage County will host the John Noel Public Transit Conference with RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard as the featured speaker at 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 24, at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton.
The theme this year will be “Marketing Suburban Transit.” The conference annually brings together leaders of the regional public transit providers to share past successes, describe the evolution of public transit services and learn about pertinent topics pertaining to public transit services in DuPage County. In addition, an interactive panel discussion on current transit marketing efforts will be moderated by the RTA’s Acting Executive Director Leanne Redden.
WHO: DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard, Metra Executive Director & CEO Don Orseno, County Board Member Liz Chaplin, CTA Vice President of Planning & Federal Affairs Michael McLaughlin, PACE Executive Director TJ Ross and RTA Acting Executive Director Leanne P. Redden
WHAT: John Noel Public Transit Conference
WHEN: 8 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24
WHERE: Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. There will be no charge for parking.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rhetoric versus Reality in the House 81 Race

Despite his personal willingness to raise property taxes in the face of falling home values, Sandack is attempting to smear his opponent Elizabeth "Liz" Chaplin as a profligate spendthrift, despite her record of frugality while serving on the DuPage Water Commission. In 2009 and 2010, while Mayor Sandack was busy raising Downers Grove real estate taxes, Chaplin was being recognized for her successful fight to impose fiscal restraint at the DuPage Water Commission.

Chicago Tribune - Community Contributor Liz Chaplin for Illinois

Rep. Ron Sandack, the incumbent in the 81st District House race, is vigorously touting a plan to freeze property taxes when property values decline, a move he says would force our towns, villages and school districts to "manage their money better."
But his attempt to reinvent himself as an anti-tax crusader falls flat when his record as mayor of Downers Grove is considered. At the end of 2009, Downers Grove adopted its FY10 budget. This budget included a 12% increase in property taxes even though total assessed valuation was predicted (and did) remain flat.
In Fall 2010, the Village adopted its last budget under Mayor Sandack, for FY11. The FY11 budget documents foresaw a 5% decline in total assessed valuation but nevertheless included a 7% increase in the property tax levy. The FY12 budget, adopted at the end of 2011, did include a reduction in the property tax levy, but that budget was adopted after Martin Tully took office as mayor.

You can read more here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Keeping our seat at the Senate Bill 16 negotiating table

Ron Sandack's "vouchers or bust" response to Senate Bill 16 would leave our schools without effective representation during the tumultuous legislative debate that will surely ensue next spring.

Senate Bill 16 is unacceptable, however the status quo also is unacceptable. Illinois needs to increase its total appropriation for education.

Community Contributor Liz Chaplin for 
Chicago Tribune - Trib Local

The Illinois General Assembly will almost certainly address school funding issues, including Senate Bill 16, when it convenes next year. Whether our local schools here in the 81st District will have an effective advocate in Springfield will depend on who will be our representative after the November election.
In its current form, SB16 would reduce state aid to Community High School District 99 and its associated elementary school districts by nearly $11 million. The bill also would lop $9.4 million dollars in state aid from Naperville Community School District 203. The current proposal is to divert money to downstate school districts that face more severe fiscal pressure than most suburban schools.
You can read the full story here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

This Week's Meetings

Columbus Day - County Offices Closed
Monday, October 13, 2014
  • Finance Committee, 8 a.m.
    Tuesday, October 14, 2014
    421 N. County Farm Rd., County Board Room
  • Technology Committee, 9 a.m.
    Tuesday, October 14, 2014
    421 N. County Farm Rd., 3500-B
  • Strategic Planning Committee, 9:30 a.m.
    Tuesday, October 14, 2014
    421 N. County Farm Rd., 3500-A
  • County Board Meeting, 10 a.m.
    Tuesday, October 14, 2014
    421 N. County Farm Rd., County Board Room
  • Property Taxes: Payment deadline to avoid publication of delinquent taxes in newspaper
    Wednesday, October 15, 2014
  • Sheriff's Merit Commission, 8:30 a.m.
    Thursday, October 16, 2014
    421 N. County Farm Rd., 3500-A
  • Public Transit Committee, 7:30 a.m.
    Tuesday, October 21, 2014
    421 N. County Farm Rd., 3500-A
  • More...

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    School vouchers divide Chaplin and her opponent

    Liz Chaplin opposes diverting taxpayer money to private and for-profit schools. Ron Sandack supports taking money from our local school budgets to pay tuition at private and for-profit schools.

    We have great public schools in the 81st District; schools that deserve to be protected from external threats such as school voucher schemes.

    School vouchers divide Chaplin and Sandackwww.chicagotribune.comSome differences between Illinois House District 81 candidates Liz Chaplin and Ron Sandack are becoming more clear.

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    This Week's Meetings


    Thursday, October 2, 2014

    Chicago, suburbs tell U.S. to tighten crude - oil train rules

    With the help of DuPage County Board member Jim Healy, Jim and I were able to bring a resolution to the board regarding tank car standards. The resolution was passed unanimously. The resolution was submitted by the county to the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration last week.

    The Chicago Tribune reports

    Warning that a crude-oil train derailment in the densely populated Chicago area could result in "unthinkable" devastation, city and suburban officials are calling for stricter rules on hazardous material shipments than the federal government has proposed.
    "An incident in a heavily populated area of the city could potentially impact thousands of people in the immediate vicinity of a hazardous materials release or explosion," the city said in documents filed with federal regulators.
    You can read more here.

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    This Week's Meetings


    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Share Your Military Story

    The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans is proud to be part of the Reflections Framed community project! The citizens of Wheaton have a long history of supporting our men and women in uniform. We’re sure there are many local stories waiting to be told, stories which deserve to be recognized and celebrated. Please consider submitting a Reflection for someone you know, whether a great grandfather who served in a long-ago war, or someone in/on active duty today. We will frame the first 100 Reflections submitted and present them to the submitters on Veterans Day at Clare Woods Academy at 125 E. Seminary, Wheaton, IL, 60187

    More detail provided here.