Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pace Public Hearings

Pace Alerts

Pace announces public hearings to discuss DuPage County service modernization plan

March 15, 2016 2:00:00 PM
Media Release Office: (847) 228-4225
Contact: Patrick Wilmot (847) 228-4225

Highlights include all-new Ogden Avenue bus route and over $1 million of new service

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL- Continuing its practice of modifying existing bus service to improve efficiency and reinvesting the savings to improve current service or add new bus routes, Pace will restructure several routes in western and central DuPage County this summer. The service agency's service modernization plan increases the number of trains served on Metra's BNSF Line and invests over $1 million toward new bus service in the area. Public hearings to discuss the proposed changes occur March 29, 30 and 31 in Naperville, Lisle and Downers Grove respectively. Impacted communities include Naperville, Lisle, Downers Grove, Woodridge and Lombard.
The all-new Route 722 Ogden Avenue will operate approximately every 30 minutes Monday through Saturday between the Naperville Metra Station and Yorktown Center in Lombard. A portion of the new route overlaps the existing routing of Route 714 College of Dupage - Naperville - Wheaton Connector on Ogden Avenue, so Route 714 will be rerouted to provide new service to Diehl Road and Washington Street in Naperville. Route 722 will also overlap much of the existing Route 829 Lisle - Naperville Office Corridor in the Warrenville Road area, so Route 829 would be combined with the new route. However, Route 722 will be scheduled to meet all trains currently served by Route 829 and the expanded service on Route 722 would meet two additional evening trains not served by Route 829.
"We're working every day to improve both service and efficiency, and this proposed plan is another example of this type of effort that we have implemented successfully in numerous other parts of the region," said PaceChairman of the Board Richard Kwasneski. "We encourage the people who live and work in the area to join us at our public hearings to learn more about the service proposal, ask questions and provide feedback that we can use to shape the final plan."
Pace routes connecting local neighborhoods in Downers Grove with the village's two Metra stations will be adjusted to improve efficiency by combining Route 464 West Downers Grove with Route 821 IL53/83rd St. - Belmont Metra Station and realigning Route 462 Southwest Downers Grove to have a simplified, shorter routing. The new, combined route would meet six Metra BNSF Line trains not currently served by the existing service.
In Naperville, Route 684 Naperville-Maplebrook and Route 686 Naperville-Old Farm would be combined into a single route with simplified routing, as the two current routes operate geographically close to one another. Pace analyzed ridership patterns for both routes, and the combined route will serve the areas with the highest demand for ridership to mitigate impacts on current customers. Additionally, some customers can use Route 678 Naperville-Carriage Hill, which operates on Washington Street, as an alternative. The same strategy would be employed to combine existing Route 688 Naperville-Huntington and Route 689 Naperville-Hobson Village. Again, some customers impacted by the change can consider using Route 678 as an alternative. As in Downers Grove, the new, combined routes would serve six additional Metra BNSF Line trains not met by the existing service.
The public hearings are an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the proposed changes and to ask questions and provide feedback to staff. Based on the input received, the plans may be adjusted before the Pace Board of Directors votes on whether to approve the plan at their April 13 meeting. Implementation of the service changes is tentatively scheduled for June.


Thank you for your support in the 2016 primary election! 
I am asking for your continued support in the 2016 general election in November!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Important Information If You're Voting Today

When voting today please make sure your ballot is initialed by the election judge. If your ballot is not initialed your vote does not count.  Please make sure you get a receipt.  If you notice political signs or electioneering within 100 ft from the door of your polling place make sure you report it.

If you experience any problems at the polls please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE

Monday, March 14, 2016

Vote Liz Chaplin March 15th

With the March Primary Election around the corner I would like to say how much I have enjoyed meeting and working with the people in District 2. 

I believe that most of you know what I stand for and know that I will work hard on your behalf. 

Please take a look back through my blog, there's a lot of information.  If you have any questions you can contact me at 630-518-6740  or send an email to

Please Vote Elizabeth (Liz) Chaplin
on Tuesday March 15th

Monday, February 29, 2016

County Board Member Pensions in Question

In  June 2010  the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund performed an audit of the DuPage County Board.  As part of the audit the board had the opportunity to end this costly benefit.   The benefit would have been eliminated had the majority of the board decline to sign a form stating they work 1000 hours per year .  Instead, what happened was 12 members signed the form allowing the benefit to continue. DuPage County Board Members are not required to keep a log of hours.  

There are some weeks when I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I put in as a member of the board. It's hard work. I would love to tell you that I work 1000 hours per year has a member of the board however in my case that is simply not true.  That is why I have never participated in the IMRF and have forgone the pension benefit.

In 2012 eight new members were elected to the DuPage County Board. Its been six years since the IMRF did an audit of the DuPage County Board, maybe its time for another audit.

I read with interest the article in the Daily Herald  written by Lauren Rohr and Jake Griffin

Whether McHenry Co. Board works enough hours for 
pensions questioned

Municipal Retirement Fund Executive Director Louis Kosiba said Monday an audit conducted in October raised concerns about whether 18 of 24 board members who signed an affidavit of the time they put in are actually meeting those requirements. State law requires elected officials to work at least 1,000 hours per year to be eligible for the state pension.

"IMRF is not going to ignore something when it has been brought to our attention," Kosiba told the Daily Herald editorial board. "It's our job to ensure the system is being administered properly."

Kosiba said it's "highly unusual" for officials in governing bodies such as the McHenry County Board to work enough hours to be eligible for IMRF participation, as per IMRF guidelines.

Added Kosiba: "I think that undercuts their argument that they put in the hours that are required." He noted that attending community events, election-related duties and campaigning are not eligible work hours.
Providing false information in order to receive a benefit is a felony, Kosiba said, which is why the IMRF encourages people to document their hours and understand IMRF rules.

You can read the full story here .

You can read more about the DuPage Pensions here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Everything you need to know is in the details

DuPage County requires all vendors to complete a Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement exceed the amount of $25,000. The Disclosure reads:  Every contractor, union, or vendor that is seeking or has previously obtained a contract, change orders to one (1) or more contracts, or two (2) or more individual contracts with the county resulting in an aggregate amount at or in excess $25,000, shall provide to Procurement Services Division a written disclosure of all political campaign contributions made by such contractor, union, or vendor within the current and previous calendar year to any incumbent county board member, county board chairman, or countywide elected official whose office the contract to be awarded will benefit. The contractor, union or vendor shall update such disclosure annually during the term of a multi-year contract and prior to any change order or renewal requiring approval by the county board. For purposes of this disclosure requirement, "contractor or vendor" includes owners, officers, managers, lobbyists, agents, consultants, bond counsel and underwriters counsel, subcontractors and corporate entities under the control of the contracting person, and political action committees to which the contracting person has made contributions.

 At the February 23rd Finance Committee of the DuPage County Board I mentioned concerns I had with Mackie Consultants, LLC and their failure to properly complete the Required Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement. I stated that the Vendor Ethics Disclosure is no good if sections are left blank. I also informed the board that this was the second time I have found a Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement missing important information. 

Earlier in that day I called the county to speak with the procurement department about the failure of Mackie Consultants, LLC to properly complete the Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement.  Mackie Consultants had skipped over the two sections. The Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement clearly states: A contractor or vendor that knowingly violates these disclosure requirements is subject to penalties which may include, but are not limited to  the immediate cancellation of the contract and possible disbandment from future county contracts. 

The first section reads as follows:

I have made the following campaign contributions within the current and previous calendar year: If no contributions have been made enter "NONE" below:

The second section reads as follows:

All contracts and vendors who have obtained or are seeking contracts with the county all disclose the names and contact information of their lobbyists, agents and representatives and all individuals who are or will be having contact with county officers or employees in relation to the contract or bid and shall update such disclosure with any changes.

Procurement was able to contact Mackie Consultants, LLC and have them complete a revised Ethics Disclosure with all the necessary information prior to the meeting. 

Original Disclosure With Missing Data

Revised Disclosure with all information

Monday, February 22, 2016

Flint Water Crisis Parallels Unincorporated Downers Grove Water Contamination of 2001

I had the privilege of participating in the discussion about the Flint water crisis.  What's happening in Flint Michigan is a travesty and was completely avoidable. Running the state like a business lead to the poisoning of an estimated 9000 children.  In 1989 The EPA, DuPage County and The Village of Downers Grove knew the community well water was contaminated.  The Village of Downers Grove switched to Lake Michigan.  I discovered the contamination in  our water in 2001 after a private tests confirmed 3 times the legal limit of  trichloroethylene (TCE). It took two and a half years to secure a safe water supply. The people of Flint will spend the rest of their lives worrying about the health and well being of their families. I know this from my own experience of living with a contaminated water supply. 

Flint Water Crisis Indicative Of Larger Problem Facing Low-Income Communities

Michael Joyce

Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI,5) was in Chicago this weekend, where he held an open discussion about the Flint water crisis, leading to a very spirited debate on the accountability of government and the risks facing under-served communities in America.
The town of Flint, Michigan, made national headlines when high levels of lead were found in its water supply. It is estimated that up to 9,000 children could have been exposed to the contaminated water. Exposure to lead at a young age is known to result in developmental problems for children. The town is also dealing with an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease, which could possibly be linked to the lead-laden water pipes.
Rep. Kildee attributed the crisis in Flint to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's (R) businesslike approach to government, drawing parallels with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Kildee said blame also lays with officials at the Midwest region of the Environmental Protection Agency, many of whom knew about the crisis for six months prior to the information going public. EPA officials say they did not publicize the information because the state insisted that the law didn't require the agency to do so.
Kildee says the EPA should have exceeded its authority on this matter, and notified the public.
Illinois has wrangled with water contamination issues in the past. DuPage County Board member Elizabeth Chaplin attended Saturday's discussion and explained how suburban Lisle's water systems were found to be contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE, back in 2001.
"We were 800 homes, so it's not a lot compared to Flint," said Chaplin. "But there are a lot of parallels."
One such parallel was with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which knew about the issue for some time but, as seen in the Flint incident, failed to notify the public due to the lack of a federal requirement.

You can read the full story by using the provided link:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Missing from DuPage County's State Legislative Agenda is a Call for a Budget from Springfield

The mission of  DuPage County is to assure that DuPage County's communities will always be desirable places to live, work and raise families by providing innovative, costs-effective services, promoting a high quality of life for all residents and acting as a leader with its local and regional partners in anticipating issues and developing solutions.

Every year DuPage County Adopts a State Legislative Agenda. The State Legislative Agenda sets DuPage County's priorities.  This  year's State Legislative Agenda priorities are listed below:

Reduce the Size, Scope and Costs of Local Government

Preserve Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF)

Support Non-Profit Community:  That provides a safety net for county residents through the delivery of critical services to those residents in need of our assistance.

Maintain DuPage Convalescent Center Enhanced Medicaid Rate

Ensure Safe Housing for our Communities

Protect the Public Health of County Residents

Provide Noise Relief for Communities Surrounding O'Hare

Expand Opportunities for Electronic Recycling

Equal Share of State Tourism Grants

Address the Rising Costs of Court Operations

Support Adequate Reimbursement of probation Costs

Capital Funding

That's a hefty agenda. Without a State Budget it will be hard to satisfy many of the priorities.

Today, at the Legislative Committee Meeting I asked that we include in the document Passage of a Budget by the General Assembly and the governor.  The committee failed to act on my request. The response I received was  ''we don't tell our legislators how to do their job."  But in essence, that is exactly what our Legislative Agenda does.

So many in our community are hurting due to the financial crisis in Springfield.  This is why I feel it is so important for DuPage County take a stand on behalf of our citizens and call for the governor and the General Assembly to work together and end the budget impasse.  

You can find the complete State Legislative Agenda here.