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John Prigge: City Council Candidate [2009]

10 January 2009 RS 22 Comments

Excerpts from the John Prigge for City Council website follow:


John Prigge
I have lived in Elgin most of my life. Even while living in Streamwood as a child, I always had an interest in Elgin, where my father made his living as a service manager for Wrona Bros, Inc., working downtown for years and years. With the exception of groceries, gas and an occasional pizza, all of our buying was done in Elgin. My affection for Elgin, which began because of my parents and grandparents, continues today. Growing up, we lived in Blackhawk Manor, then Lords Park Manor. After Larsen Junior High, I graduated from Elgin High School in 1976. I am a proud EHS alumnus and am a part of our reunion committee.

In 1990, I graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa and began my current career as an auctioneer. In 1995, I became a certified appraiser with the Certified Appraisers Guild of America. In 2002, I became Elgin’s only Certified Estate Specialist with the National Auctioneers Association. In 1993, I graduated from the Second City Training Center and the Improv Olympics in Chicago, studying improvisational comedy. Later, I began doing voiceovers and on-screen acting in Chicagoland television commercials.

From 1996 to 2004, my affection for radio turned into doing sports color commentary and hosting a sports show with Jeff Myers on television and radio. I currently co-host Elgin’s Fourth of July parade with Jeff and have done so since 1998. In 2000, Jeff and I launched “Remembering Elgin” on local radio every Saturday morning. The show won an Elgin Image Award in 2002.

Beginning in 1996, my love for Elgin’s history blossomed into publishing the Remembering Elgin calendars, which feature the photos of my friend and longtime Elgin window washer, the late Robert E. Will. In 2006, I wrote the Remembering Elgin Trivia Book (currently sold out).

I am currently in my seventh year as the public address announcer for the Elgin Community College Spartans men’s and women’s basketball team, and just completed my second year as their volleyball announcer.


On communication and transparency:

I will be the first city council member with his own Web site dedicated to my city council duties. No more wondering about positions and votes of your elected officials.

No incumbent currently running for election has any Internet presence other than through the city’s e-mail system.

In today’s electronic world, no Elgin citizen should ever have to research old newspaper articles at the library to find out about the voting record of their representatives. My Web site will remain up and available. It will be there through my entire tenure. You will be able to see my voting record, my thoughts, ideas and proposals. You will also be able to e-mail me directly.

Through my Web site and in-person, you will immediately discover one thing about me - I will give it to you straight.

It’s all about communication with those who have entrusted you to serve.

On illegal immigration:

My plan? Treat this Elgin problem. Do not try to solve it. Treat it with what can be done. It is the council’s responsibility to act on problems that affect its citizens. I will be very interested to hear what the incumbents’ plan is or will be. Not enough is being done now…

One course of action is to first inform all Elgin businesses on how to avoid hiring someone who is not permitted to work in this country. I am in favor of and will develop a plan that deals with businesses that hire illegals or those who choose not to do the minimum required to make sure their employees are legally allowed to work in Elgin.

This includes, but is not limited to being subjected to fines and temporary/permanent loss of their Elgin business license.
And, yes, this does include employment agencies who send employees to work in Elgin.

I believe there is significant reason to believe there are employers who knowingly hire illegals via temp agencies to insulate themselves against problems.

That must stop. Another way is to follow the footsteps other communities have taken and organize a union to seek more help from ICE.

These are just two ways to treat, not solve, the problem of Elgin being an attractive city for illegal aliens to work and live in.

On supporting non-profits:

Supporting agencies that serve our citizens is a big responsibility in tough economic times. I am under the impression that many city-funded groups do little or no fund raising on their own, relying solely or heavily on tax dollars. I would be in favor of reducing the initial funding of agencies and offer a fund-matching program based on their own fund raising efforts.

Providing an accounting of all city dollars given to these agencies and being guaranteed via contracts they are not conducting, facilitating or enabling any illegal activity would be mandatory on a quarterly basis.

On the recreation center (Centre of Elgin):

Elgin needs a main recreation center even if it does not pay for itself. It just should not be losing this amount of money every day. I believe the honeymoon period is over and therefore would favor exploring other and/or additional uses for the Centre that will decrease its losses, i.e. developing a corporate center with amenities.

On gangs:

Therefore, I would be in favor of bringing civil lawsuits against gang members whereby court orders can be established against them from congregating and organizing. Civil judgments can be awarded against them. Collecting on these judgments can be done via wage attachments and would severely limit financial independence until paid. This form of enforcement is currently used in DuPage County where it has been tested via appeals and remains successful.

Additionally, judgements collected can be combined with a city-funded Crimestoppers-type reward program specifically designed for fighting gang crimes. I would favor offering substantial rewards for tips leading to arrests - not just convictions - for gang crimes. A $2000-$5000 reward for a tip leading to an arrest may convince a fellow gang member or a neighbor to contact police after a major crime has been committed. Knowing that this type of program exists in Elgin might also be a gang deterrent. Funding this plan could be explored with sales from the confiscated and unclaimed goods auction held every year. Perhaps local merchants could participate to some extent by donating goods and services to these auctions with their proceeds going directly to this fund.

On overcrowded housing:

Therefore, I would endorse a plan where landlords could lose their license to rent property in Elgin if their properties are found to be illegally over-crowded. Landlords establishing a yearly mode of compliance would receive free or reduced license fees.

On the Far West Side:

I feel we need to slow down our growth and expansion plans and raise the bar on what we consider in the future. We also need to fix what is broken - the east side - before buying into anything new in residential development.

On “green” initiatives:

I am in favor of implementing a “green” policy for Elgin, but only if it is financially responsible. Due to the newness of many “going green” devices and technology, their costs can be prohibitive to implement. I would look at these on a case-by-case basis.

On East Side development:

I believe the east side has been forgotten and pushed to the low end of the priority sheet. Due to the populous of towns east of us, I believe most visitors coming to Elgin have to come through the city via the east. That alone should make improving the east side a priority. There is no excuse for a street like Willard Ave., a major cut-through street linking E. Chicago St. and Villa Ave., to exist in our city. It has resembled a farmer’s abandoned runway for decades. Remarkably, some west side streets have had more attention in the past few years than some east side streets have seen in dozens of years. (Wing Park Blvd., for one)

On a new concert hall/performing arts venue:

As a former stage performer and author I know communities that support the arts are communities that can thrive. This ties into branding our city. Festivals and artistic outreaches are important to us and others watching Elgin when they are held in the proper places. However, building a new performing arts center is not prudent given the competition from nearby venues. This will not change until our core reputation changes first.

I did not include all of Mr. Prigge’s positions in this post, but the full position statement is available on his website.

Surely, it is the most complete and extensive statement of any candidate, and for that I have to congratulate him.

John Prigge is running for a 4-year Elgin City Council term against incumbents John Walters, Bob Gilliam and Juan Figueroa. You can contact Mr. Prigge through his website.

See also:

Comment policy
Candidates forum Thursday
Brenda Rodgers: City Council Candidate
Al Fernandez: City Council Candidate
Mike Warren: City Council Candidate
Questions for candidates
The SEIU candidates
Upcoming candidate forums
Candidate responses to AFLA questionnaire
City Council Candidates Forum (AFLA)
Linda Quezada: City Council Candidate
Emi Morales: City Council Candidate
John Prigge: City Council Candidate
Lenora Scruggs: City Council Candidate
Mike Robins: City Council Candidate
Charlene Sligting: City Council Candidate
Elgin candidates websites
Elgin City Council elections
Elgin City Council Candidates

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22 Responses to “John Prigge: City Council Candidate [2009]”

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  1. Boxcar says:

    WOW! THIS is a POSITION’S PAGE! WOW!!! Go to his site and read the other entries because this is fantastic. This is a well-written site worth printing. He says he will give it to you straight and he pretty much does.

    I am in agreement with his plan on illegal immigrants. He’s right on treating vs. solving. The Centre idea is good, too. Up to now, this is the best challenger I have seen and the best candidate site I have ever seen. I get a sense of passion here that is missing from the other sites.

  2. Jessica T. says:

    Very cool that he would maintain the website WHILE holding office, and update all of his votes. That would be great.

    Just wish he was more excited about environmental issues…

  3. Paula says:

    I really like this guys thoroughness in addressing the problems here in Elgin. He haa actual solutions not just “inspiring talk”. I also think his environmental stand is a sound one. He is for a Green policy, he just doesn’t believe in throwing money at things and hoping it works. Money can be better managed to assure success for our enviornment, leaving money to address other issues. There is more to our “evironment” than the green part of it and Mr. Prigge has addressed them all.

  4. Jessica T. says:

    I don’t know how his environmental stance could be called “sound,” because I don’t know what his environmental stance is other than don’t spend much money on environmental stuff.

    He doesn’t mention a single thing that he wants to do in relation to the environment. No talk about transportation, future development, water, waste removal/recycling, energy, just to name a few common topics that usually come up.

    This is a bad sign considering the City of Elgin has a major sustainability plan in the works that will supersede and guide the comprehensive plan. I wouldn’t want a council member whose main “green” initiative is to not spend money.

  5. FORCRYEYE says:

    I read his position on going green and found it to be very responsible. Case by case basis is better than saying yes to everything. Honestly, going green now is not in the same category as gangs, budget shortfalls and our illegal immigration disaster. It sounds like he does not want to spend money on green projects unless it’s going to be beneficial financially as well. I also agree that his site is the best one so far. It’s very interesting.

  6. A Woman of Valor says:

    Let us not forget though, his is a published author. If he didn’t write “WOW” position page there would be a serious problem.

  7. Paul says:

    The ONLY green I’m concerned with when it comes to politicians is what’s left of the green in my wallet. That Prigge seems to have an inkling of understanding as to my concern qualifies him for my vote.
    “major sustainability plan” !!!!!! WTF! And I thought the USSR ceased to exist in the late 80’s. My bad.
    The ONLY sustainability plan I want to hear from politicians is how I’ll be able to SUSTAIN paying for my ever rising property taxes at the same time my income and assets are in decline!
    When the sustainability plan for us lowlife taxpayers is to move out of the area, something is seriously wrong. Address that.

  8. Boxcar says:

    Re: the author thing, I took that as at least he knows how to communicate and get his point across which is not a bad thing to have for a representative. Face it, communication within city hall and the council is a problem. I also want to say that the shear amount of people challenging Gilliam, Walters and Figueroa tells me people are not happy with them. Maybe that is a point lost in this election.

  9. Todd Martin says:

    Yep, good to have positions; too bad his positions look so extreme:
    1) Seeking court orders banning people from congregating is a clear violation of constitutional law. Just because Dupage county has gotten away with it so far, doesn’t make it right or desirable.
    2) Reducing funding to non-profits and requiring quarterly reporting to guarantee their clients are “lawful” is mean-spirited. Non-profits can’t feed a homeless child citizen then turn away a homeless child without citizenship papers. Nor should they.
    3) Adding a “profit only” requirement on all green initiatives would miss out on the whole point unless you factor in the non-dollar benefits as well. For instance, improving local air quality reduces incidents of asthma.

    He needs to articulate some compassion for the less fortunate instead of just budget cuts and increased regulation. He needs to address the concerns of the latino community if he is to have any hope for success. The anti-immigration crowd is loud, but increasingly outnumbered.

  10. Boxcar says:

    There are laws that prevent some people from associating with known felons-maybe that’s the principle DuPage uses?? Maybe if gang members pay the judgments from civil courts they CAN hang around anyone they want to.

    I have no problem whatsoever being guaranteed MY tax dollars are not used by nonprofits for unlawful purposes. That’s a no-brainer if I ever heard of one. Who in their right mind WOULD want their tax dollars going to an agency that breaks the law or helps people TO break the law? Should we give money to groups to teach people how to break into cars? Imagine a new class at ECC: Car Theft 101. :-)

    Re: addressing the needs of the Latino community, anyone who addresses the needs of all Elgin citizens should cover that community, right? Latinos, Asians, Europeans, all citizens regardless of where their ancestors came from are covered when you say “citizens”.

    I have to say, with the exception of his platform on a concert hall (which we need), I’m on board with his positions, so far. I need to see the other peoples’ websites also.

  11. willie b says:

    I have read all of the other websites and they are nothing like his. If I am going to take the time to vote, I want to know what each person stands for. Prigge’s website lays it out for all to see. If he speaks like he writes the forum will be packed with energy! He is right, the eastside has been ditched.

  12. Tom says:

    There is are precedents for preventing gang members from congregating. This website lists a lot of the stuff that communities have done to deal with it:


    Different examples from that site:

    “Gang members covered by the injunction are barred from a wide range of gang behavior, everything from associating with other members and wearing gang clothing to flashing gang hand signs or carrying cans of spray paint, a common tool for making graffiti.”

    “Thirty alleged Norteño gang members can’t associate with each other in public, loiter outside after 10 p.m. or wear the group’s trademark red within a wide swath of San Francisco’s Mission District under a preliminary civil injunction granted by a judge. In an order released Monday, Superior Court Judge Patrick Mahoney said the gang’s movements can be restricted because the Norteños are a public nuisance, dealing drugs and grabbing territory through “violence, weapons possession, fighting and destruction of public and private property.”

    “Tulare County law enforcement agencies are getting ready to bring a new legal weapon to the war on street gangs. Called a gang injunction, its supporters say its purpose is to break up public gatherings of two or more gang members and their associates on street corners, in parking lots or at any outdoor location, public or private, including cars. Violators could face arrest. First used in Los Angeles 20 years ago, gang injunctions have spread to 30 states. The plan is to ask civil court judges to issue injunctions that would make it illegal for gang members and their associates not only to gather in the open but to wear gang colors or flash gang signs within specified areas.”

    “DUPAGE -
    DuPage County has filed a civil suit against a street gang active in WestChicago and Addison, the third such suit filed against gangs by the county.
    DuPage County State’s Atty. Joseph Birkett contends that the Surenos gang,also known as the Thirteens, has “permeated neighborhoods and schools to thepoint where no child is immune to their presence.”
    Birkett was the first in Illinois to use a state law that allows such civillawsuits when he sued the Satan Disciples operating in West Chicago in 1999.He sued the Latin Kings in Addison in 2006. Birkett claims that the legalaction disrupts their criminal activity.
    The latest lawsuit seeks a court order prohibiting 14 specific categoriesof activities closely associated with gangs and demands unspecified monetarydamages from 26 named defendants.”

    DuPage is lucky it has a competent state’s attorney. Kane County is stuck with John Barsanti…

    I don’t think John Prigge was talking about emergency care. Nobody is going to deny emergency care to people in need. But what about this:


    Why are they spending our tax dollars to help illegal immigrants evade the law?

    Centro de Informacion provides non-emergency services, so their funding should be dependent on whether they are complying with the law. If they are coaching illegal aliens on how to evade capture, then you can bet your tax money that they are also encouraging illegal aliens to settle in Elgin.

  13. Boxcar says:

    I have heard more than a few unflattering rumors about Centro and how they may be assisting illegal aliens to break the law, i.e. getting faked ID’s, how to get more people into homes, etc. I hope that is not true and I hope that if it is MY tax dollars do not and will not go there. That’s sick to imagine, even. I work too hard to see my money going to anyone who helps people become or remain criminals!

    Maybe this is what or who Prigge means, I don’t know, but the general rule of not having public funds going to an agency that promotes lawlessness makes sense. I would have thought that rule was already in place, for God’s sake.

  14. dino says:

    Boxcar, your missing the point of candidate robins, he is exactly the answer for the large number of folks unhappy and why so many are running. The point is not missed by him at all, it may be by you! He was the first up and running to sound off on all of this, then others followed with their own words. I grew up in elmwood park, his stance on accepting no dineros is great, wish they all would follow. Do you hang on this web site all day? Your all over the place, LOL.

  15. dino says:

    Boxcar, your missing the point of candidate robins, he is exactly the answer for the large number of folks unhappy and why so many are running. The point is not missed by him at all, it may be by you! He was the first up and running to sound off on all of this, then others followed with their own words. I grew up in elmwood park, his stance on accepting no dineros is great, wish they all would follow. Do you hang on this web site all day? Your all over the place, LOL.

  16. Boxcar says:

    I have a big thirst for knowledge in this campaign because it’s very, very important and there are many candidtes. Here is where I can learn.

    I’m not missing his point on dogs because it’s his first point and my last point on Elgin’s future.

  17. Mike Robins says:

    Hello all, please check my website and blog section for recent updates, Thankyou.

  18. nancy says:

    To all concerned, I posted information on sligtings blog, regarding Mr. Robins great approach, check it out. Also, does sligting have one or two DUIs on her maiden name?

  19. Chance says:

    Nancy, everyone has done something in the past they are not proud of. Charlene explain her DUI which happened 4 years ago at the forum and the whole audience applauded her explanation. Get a Life you must be a supporter of one of her opponents. She is very qualified and will work hard for Elgin.

  20. Paul says:

    It kind of goes to character issue of a candidate spamming on another candidates thread on this website. Doesn’t it???
    It does to me.

  21. sarah says:

    Mr. Prigge, your website is very impressive with many points of interest. It is getting known that you and Mr. Robins share the same interests and direction. I hope you both stir things up when you get in, we need it. The present ones have been there way to long. Please work as a team for us.

  22. Kurt says:

    I am a Christian that has raised my daughters with Christian values. My concerns are; I am against gang activities, but when my oldest daughter use to meet on a corner before school with her Christian friends for fellowship, because of the separation of church and state, would that become illegal with what Prigge wants to pass? She also, while in high school use to car pool with 2 or 3 other friends to save money on gas and again have fellowship with her friends while on their way to a movie or other events, will that also be considered illegal with what Prigge wants to pass? Will a group of teenagers gathering at a house for Bible studies be considered illegal? When passing a law, there are Pros and Cons! A major problem with laws is; when you make 1 law, someone finds a loop-hole which makes another law needing to be passed! This then causes an opening for another loop-hole which forces another law to be passed! Do you see the domino effect? The constitution gives all citizens personal rights! Weeding illegal aliens out of the community can take rights away from legal citizens! A few words to an issue can’t devise a good plan!

    To deport a couple that are illegal even though they have had children born here in the States that have legal citizenship, is cruel to the welfare of the children who had no choice in the matter! Wasn’t there something in this countries past about bring tired, weary and poor here? Other than Native Indians, didn’t everyone else have ancestors come here from another country? The things that upset me the most are;

    First, some of us have ancestors that took this land from the Native Indians; they were either killed or placed on reservations to be controlled.

    Second, yes we won that war and started establishing a “melting pot” of other nations on this land, and they created a union that worked and grew to be the world’s #1 nation. As we grew because of immigrants, our government decided we need to account for each person in our nation’s population. This helped support our country as a whole! To do this, our country had to unofficially established English as the main language. To become a citizen of the United States then, (not an American, which includes Mexico, Canada, and Central and South America) people had to take classes to learn English and the United States history!
    Why are we spending money on bilingual signs? (This doesn’t include other languages but English and Spanish) Why do we have schools and classes for Spanish speaking kids? Why do we GIVE benefits to Spanish kids and their families (even though the parents make money) and have our citizens fall through the cracks for any benefits unless you sit on the couch and not work at all?

    The third complaint should be thrown on us, the citizens of the United States, that won’t work for less money, and the major problem is the companies that move out of this country to get cheaper labor! If we worked for less money and increased the import tariff so we bought our own products to stimulate our economy, would generate more jobs and allow more legally becoming immigrants to have employment along side of the already U.S. citizens. Buy allowing bilingual literature and Mexican benefits, promotes a diversity of our country! Don’t deport them, conform them to this countries guidelines!

    The forth thing that irritates me is that I am proud of this country and what it stands for! I honor my country and if I didn’t, I would leave it and honor the country I moved to for what it would give me! I wouldn’t leave this country and move to Germany, Ireland, England or any other country and raise a United States flag from which a country I left! I left it for a reason and moved to a country for a reason! I wouldn’t forget my heritage, my culture, my recent ancestors which influenced my outlook to make me what I am today, but if I had left this country it would be because I despise it’s government, not it’s people, how could I raise the flag of a country that I would despise?

    This replies to taking issues on a case by case decision! You can’t arrest every teenager that gathers in 1 spot, the same as you can’t agree on a “Green” initiative without looking at it piece by piece for financial discrepancies! That is 1 of our country’s biggest problem! To pass a bill in congress, they have to weigh the Pros and Cons of other bills that are embedded within the bill! Why can’t each issue be separately voted on? Ouch!! That’s called politics! You scratch my back and I’ll slip this in to scratch yours! (gasoline, insurance, pharmaceutical, corporations, etc…)

    I pray that John reads this, and as others say, waffles his decision to rethink his enforcement against gangs and illegal aliens! There is a way to take care of this problem! Some of you might not be Christians, but if he lets God guide him, he will have the right answers! Regardless of these things I don’t agree with him on, I still think he needs to take 1 of those seats for the good of our community because of, as a whole, his other issues that concern our city!

    Keep driving on John!