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LWV’s City Council candidate forum & 4-year candidate picks

31 March 2009 jessica 64 Comments

Last night was the League of Women Voters’ Elgin City Council candidate forum at Gail Borden Public Library.  I (Jessica, not RS) attended, with the intention to choose who I will vote for.  RS encouraged me to make endorsements on the blog while he is out of town, so here you go!  The four-year candidates I plan on voting for are Rich Dunne, Juan Figueroa, and John Walters.

Below are my comments on each of the four-year candidates.  I hotlinked each name to their site, if I could find one.  Because I choose who I’m voting for based on a process of elimination, I typed “HAS MY VOTE” next to each candidate, with a strike through each one I’m not voting for.  (If you have trouble choosing from the dizzying array of candidates, I encourage you to try the process of elimination.  It’s often easier to pick who you like the least instead of who you like the best.)

Rich Dunne HAS MY VOTE

He had me at “land trust.”  When the issue of affordable housing was brought up, his suggestion was to develop a land trust in Elgin (possibly using Neighborhood Stabilization grant funds).  I have done a fair amount of reading on Community Land Trusts (please click!) and love the idea. They are fairly new, and popping up in a few major cities around the US.  Essentially, a family is able to own the home, but the “trust” owns the land beneath it.  That means it must stay affordable when it is resold.  If elected, I really hope he tries to make this a reality.

Dunne came across as articulate and more at-ease than most of the other non-incumbent challengers.  He believes the Council should’ve waited until after the election to vote on replacing the City Manager.  He has attended one City Council meeting in person.  He would’ve attended more, but it wouldn’t have been appropriate because of his position in the Fire Department.  He is upset that Elgin spent so much money on Wing Park Boulevard while the Police Department is shrinking.  He believes illegal immigration is a federal issue with local ramifications.  He’d rather cut back on incentives we provide to businesses than raise residents’ property taxes.  He approves of red light cameras if they improve safety.

Juan Figueroa HAS MY VOTE

Figueroa won me over with his strong belief in neighborhoods and his acknowledgement of the need for affordable housing.  He wants strong neighborhood groups, and believes they will be key in people’s perceptions of safety.  He also believes we have a need for affordable housing in Elgin, especially for seniors.  He says the issue he faces is that most residents do not want the affordable housing built near them.

Figueroa believes they did the right thing by appointing a new City Manager because Elgin does not have the funds to do a national search right now, and Stegall is clearly the best choice anyway.  He said the dwindling Grand Victoria funds should be spent on economic development, which will result in more dollars for Elgin.  When illegal immigration came up, he mentioned AFLA and referred to text he printed from their website that stated Elgin had taken their advice and was doing a good job.  Any further developments in that area will be via ICE.  In regards to red light cameras he said, “Commit the crime, pay the fine.”

Robert Gilliam HAS MY VOTE

Gilliam already had a strike against him in my mind for two reasons: 1) He lacks a website, which I think shows that either he doesn’t “get it” or that he is so confident of his re-election he isn’t even trying, and 2) I saw him fall asleep during a presentation by Doug Farr earlier this year at a City Council meeting.  Perhaps he had a valid reason, but I considered that one of the most important presentations this City has had.

Still, Gilliam came across as articulate and confident in this forum.  I was seriously considering voting for him until the issue of affordable housing was raised.  His response was that Elgin has 45% affordable housing, when only 10% is necessary.  I take that to mean that he will continue voting for the development of far-west McMansions and overpriced downtown condos that Elginites clearly cannot afford.

Gilliam cited fiscal responsibility as one of his strong points and pointed out that the property tax rate has not gone up in his 17 years as Councilman.  He also mentioned that Elgin is the 2nd safest city of its size in Illinois (Naperville is #1), and that the reduction in the Police Department did not change the number of police on foot patrol.  He believes the Council made the correct decision in appointing a replacement manager before the election.  Regarding illegal immigration, he said we’ve done all that we legally can, and now must wait for the federal government to respond.  He supports red light cameras if they reduce fatalities.

Brenda Harris Khan HAS MY VOTE

Khan already had a strike against her in my mind because of her lack of a website.  (Get with it people!)  The main reason she gave for running for Council is that there are no women on the Council, and she is a woman.  Later she made a comment that neighborhoods should make themselves “unpleasant” to illegal immigrants, “in their gangs.”  It sounded as if she was saying all illegal immigrants are in gangs.  I know that “illegals” are illegal by their very status, but that doesn’t mean they are all engaging in street crimes, and it’s pretty foolish to think so.

Khan wants to bring more businesses and more affordable housing to Elgin.  She thinks the Council should’ve waited until after the election to appoint a new manager.  She has attended 3 Council meetings in the past year.  Khan believes neighborhood patrols and watch groups will help people’s perceptions of safety.  As the riverboat funds dwindle she believes we must improve the perception of Elgin so more businesses settle here.  She said that red light cameras are a “revenue reducer” because of the cost of a study, installing and maintaining cameras, reviewing tapes, etc.  (It later came out that private companies do all of this, and red light cameras usually produce revenue.)

Shane Nowak HAS MY VOTE

Nowak started off his statement saying that he is 28-years-old and ran for this office two years ago but lost.  Couple that with the fact that he looks young and is currently a student, this probably wasn’t a good idea strategically.  Though Emi Morales is the same age (or very close), she started off talking about how she is a practicing lawyer that owns her own home.  One introduction gives the impression of youth and inexperience, while the other shows professionalism and competence.

I got the impression that Nowak has potential, but is a bit naive.  I could see him winning a Council position in future years, but not now.  His public speaking skills were not up to par with most of the other candidates.  Admitting that he has never actually attended a City Council meeting made him look inexperienced.  He is in the middle of obtaining his Master’s while working, which left me wondering if he’s thought about how he’d have time for this anyway.

Nowak wants to reduce the number of ordinances and needed permits in order to bring more business to Elgin.  He did not mention specific ordinances or permits, but commented that his parents had to pay $55 to do construction on their home, and seemed to disagree with that.  He had no problem with the Council appointing a new manager because “We can always fire him.”  He wants Elgin to hire more police since we are understaffed by 11, and mentioned that 1% of Elgin’s population is in a gang.  Reducing the number of permits as well as improving Elgin’s image are his ideas for bringing builders here who want to put up affordable housing.  Regarding illegal immigration, he feels Elgin should’ve taken advantage of the free ICE training that was offered in the past.  He believes the key to replacing the riverboat funds is increasing the population in Elgin, not taxes.  He believes red light cameras are good for safety.

John Prigge HAS MY VOTE

Prigge started off by saying he is a “solution” man, and has a solution for Elgin’s gang problem that has caused four murders in the past 20 months.  The way he said this rubbed me the wrong way and gave me an impression of arrogance.  How is Prigge the one person who knows how to prevent murders, and why isn’t he sharing it?  My impression was confirmed when he said he wouldn’t wait 15 months for the federal government to respond to ICE requests.  What would he do then?  How does he have special access to the feds that no one else has?  If he knows how to move things along faster, why isn’t he sharing it?  I took his claims to be removed from reality, and cannot imagine what he would do once in office when the occasional murder occurred and the feds still didn’t respond quickly despite his attempts to force them.

Prigge said the Council should’ve named an “interim” City Manager, then named a permanent one after the election.  He has attended 2 Council meetings in-person over the past year.  He said we should deal with safety issues “the DuPage way,” with ordinances, but ran out of time before saying what those ordinances are.  He is not aware of anyone “legitimately” saying that Elgin needs more affordable housing.  He named illegal immigration as Elgin’s “number one problem” and proposed that we form a coalition with other nearby towns.  He is against raising taxes, but would consider raise “usage” fees.  He noted that the Centre loses $1,600 per day.  He didn’t give specifics, but seemed to be in favor of closing it or selling it.  He is against red light cameras and says a study shows they actually increase rear end collisions.

Linda Quezada HAS MY VOTE

Quezada stated that her reason for running is that she “literally got a message from God.”  Hm…I don’t think the message from God was “literal,” unless she still has it lying around.  I don’t mean to be mean, but this just seemed like bad strategy and caught me off guard.  I’m not going to vote for someone because she tells me God told her to run.  Throughout Quezada’s responses, her words got jumbled at times.  I don’t want to pick on people for public speaking mistakes, but as a Council member public speaking is a very important skill.  It isn’t used during the election only.

Quezada believes the Council should’ve waited to appoint the new manager.  She has attended one meeting in the past year.  She believes that safety issues should be dealt with through gang prevention programs and community policing.  She said Elgin does not have affordable housing, and that affordable housing should be mixed with other housing.  Her answer to declining riverboat revenue is to “prioritize and cut waste.”   She recommends that those concerned about illegal immigration write letters to Congress.  She is for red light cameras on Big Timber Road, but says overall they are revenue generators.

Lenora Scruggs HAS MY VOTE

Lenora Scruggs was articulate and displayed a professional demeanor.  Her main issue mentioned was government transparency.  I was turned off when she displayed a very negative attitude about businesses in Elgin.  In regards to Burlington Coat Factory she said, “So how long will that be here?”  Her point was criticism of the current Council, but it still came off as pessimistic.

Scruggs believes the Council should’ve waited until after the election to appoint a manager.  She has attend around 5 Council meetings in person this past year.  She believes safety issues should be dealt with through gang prevention programs.  She said that a few years ago over 3,000 people lined up in Elgin to get Section 8 vouchers, which shows the need for affordable housing.  Scruggs recommends the residents concerned about illegal immigration write letters and conduct marches, since it’s largely a federal issue.  She believes we should revitalize the downtown to have merchants like it did in the 1980s.  She believes red light cameras could provide revenue and catch people breaking the law.

Bruce Trego HAS MY VOTE

Trego was a no-show for the forum, so I am making my decision not to vote for him based on other sources of information.  He has several “strikes,” in my mind: no website, compared employers asking for workers’ citizenship status to Nazi Germany, appears to have a spotty work history as city manager, was fired and then charged with trespassing by Naperville.

John Walters HAS MY VOTE

Walters was articulate, confident, and came across as very friendly and easy-going.  He seemed likeable, and I think that is important.  I am generally not in favor of candidates who come across as negative and antagonistic.  Walters put forth sustainability as one of his top issues.  (It is also one of my top issues.)  While noting that the federal government changes the definition of “affordable housing” regularly, he admitted that Elgin needs more rental units (another point I agree with, especially with the economy today).  He said the difficulty is in getting builders to build rentals.

Walters defended the Council’s decision to appoint a new Manager, saying “Sean is a walking, talking budget” and it would be “devastating” to lose him.  He stressed that Elgin is doing every legal thing it can to deal with illegal immigration, and that anything else would bring on a racial profiling lawsuit that we cannot afford.  He said that working with ICE when they respond is our next step.  Walters admitted to voting against the riverboat initially because of his disagreement with gambling, but says he came around to supporting it because of funding.  For every $1 of Grand Victoria money the City receives, $15 in private funds are created.  He seemed to be in favor of red light cameras, stating disapproval of the fact that stop signs and lights seem to be viewed “as a suggestion” in Elgin.

Stay tuned…later I will go through this same process with the 2-year candidates.

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64 Responses to “LWV’s City Council candidate forum & 4-year candidate picks”

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  1. Dave Reinert says:

    My choice for City concil walters, Gilliam and Dunne best for the City of Elgin for 4 years.

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks for sharing! I’d love to hear more readers’ choices for Council, as well as their reasoning.

      • Dave Reinert says:

        These candidates know the problems of the city and have the experience to solve them for the good of the entire city.

  2. Boxcar says:

    Looks like someone attended a different forum than the one I did last night. Case(s) in point:

    “Prigge started off by saying he is a “solution” man, and has a solution for Elgin’s gang problem that has caused four murders in the past 20 months. The way he said this rubbed me the wrong way and gave me an impression of arrogance. How is Prigge the one person who knows how to prevent murders, and why isn’t he sharing it?”

    Obviously, you’re not used to having critical issues addressed. Can’t blame you, though, noone in Elgin is used to it from our councilmen. His solutions have been “shared” on his Web site for months and his response, I believe, was based on Mr. Gilliam’s statement that none of the challengers have any solutions.

    “My impression was confirmed when he said he wouldn’t wait 15 months for the federal government to respond to ICE requests. What would he do then? How does he have special access to the feds that no one else has? If he knows how to move things along faster, why isn’t he sharing it?”

    He did. You posted it later with, “…proposed that we form a coalition with other nearby towns.” He also said ICE will listen to a coalition of many towns faster than just one city. THAT has been proven in Lake County’s jail where an ICE agent has an office.

    Remember??? He also said this: “He said we should deal with safety issues “the DuPage way,” with ordinances, but ran out of time before saying what those ordinances are.”

    Again, that’s been on his Web site for months to use DuPage County’s plan on suing gang members in civil court and getting injunctions against them.

    “I took his claims to be removed from reality, and cannot imagine what he would do once in office when the occasional murder occurred and the feds still didn’t respond quickly despite his attempts to force them.”

    What is the reality then? What we have now being an acceptable reality? In that case, move over incumbents, Jessica wants to ride on your Fantasy Island boat. What are Figueroa’s and Walters’s thoughts on this? Non-existant. For nine and 21 years.

    “He noted that the Centre loses $1,600 per day. He didn’t give specifics, but seemed to be in favor of closing it or selling it.”

    His Web site has said for months he is in favor closing it one day a week for months.

    For someone who is a proponent of using the Internet everyday and maintains her own site, Jessica did not use it when making this non-endorsement. Beginning journalists in high school also understand that when you ask long form questions and only give the respondant one minute to answer, you may have to get out of your seat and ask for clarification later.

    Also, no candidate can answer long questions effectively in sixty seconds. I respect that. I judge candidates at these rigid forums by their answers, their spirit and their thoughtfulness. Prigge has been my candidate of choice for months along with Dunne. His Web site won me over in the beginning with his solutions. The same solutions Jessica missed despite her Internet-dominated lifestyle.

    Prigge has outclassed and out-spoke all three incumbents at the three forums I have attended. That is shameful for them, especially considering the incumbents are a lawyer, substitute teacher and former school teacher/administrator. All of those job deal with speaking to the public, mind you.

    Prigge has two pulses - his own and my idea of what Elgin should be.

    • Jessica says:

      I have been to Prigge’s website in the past. I went into the forum knowing that I wasn’t voting for him based largely on his site, his answers to questionnaires, and comments on this site.

      This post was meant to cover his responses at the one particular forum. You’re correct, it comes across as if I made my decision based on his 1 minute answers only. Maybe I should’ve written two separate posts–one covering the forum, and one listing who I am voting for. Next time…

  3. Boxcar says:

    More evidence, especially the last example, that will show someone was at a different forum than the one I attended last night:

    “Walters admitted to voting against the riverboat initially because of his disagreement with gambling, but says he came around to supporting it because of funding.”

    Once it was passed, the boat came here. There was no option for him BUT to support it. Duh. One factor that some challenger should bring up is that Walters, an elected official charged with representing the citizens of Elgin, voted against the boat because of his own PERSONAL feelings on gambling.

    “Walters put forth sustainability as one of his top issues. (It is also one of my top issues.)”

    It’s NOT one of the top issues in this campaign from anyone else. I would venture it’s not even in the top 20. Perhaps a special interest admiration then.

    “…he admitted that Elgin needs more rental units (another point I agree with, especially with the economy today).

    See above.

    “He said the difficulty is in getting builders to build rentals.”

    That tells you he is for something that noone wants to do! Pretty smart, huh? How’s that working for you? An elected official wanting something from a business that the business doesn’t want to do! LOL. See above re: the “economy today” for more LOL’s.

    “He seemed likeable, and I think that is important.”

    Hey, Jess? It’s election season. He is likeable. It’s a ploy to get votes. We’ve got 21 years of his style of “likeable”, remember? Someone may have been looking for a friend last night.

    Now for the example that Jessica was CLEARLY at a different forum than I was:

    “When illegal immigration came up, he (FIGUEROA) mentioned AFLA and referred to text he printed from their website that stated Elgin had taken their advice and was doing a good job.”

    Juan Figueroa absolutely did not say that at all.

    Not one word of it came from Figueroa’s mouth.

    Where DID it come from??


    Looks like someone is in well over her head in listening and reporting on forums, let alone endorsing candidates from that forum.

    Credibility: ZERO.

    • Jessica says:

      -Yes, Walters voted on the boat years ago based on his own personal feelings. All Council members vote based on their feelings. We elect the ones who we think will make the best choices.

      -You’re right, no one besides Walters named sustainability as part of their platform. Warren briefly mentioned it, and he might’ve been the only one. I don’t see what there is to argue about, however. I never said my views are the most popular. You of all people should understand what that feels like.

      -The Figueroa/Gilliam AFLA detail. You know what, you are probably right. I wrote much of this that same night when I was very tired. Maybe I misread my notes. I will take a look over them today when I get the time. If I wrote it down incorrectly, I will change the post. Thanks for bringing the correction to my attention. Some reason I honestly cannot remember who said it.

  4. JHalf says:

    Lol! You touched a nerve, Jessica!

  5. Tina says:

    Remember everyone, this is the blog site-Elginite.org, that endorsed Charlene Sligting for the two year primary. There were obvious signs, facts and elements of the entire campaign, that showed she would not win the primary, and definetly not the general. Jessica and RS ignored not missed all of this for some kind of personal agenda or life experience motivation. There was one of the two year candidates who came out of left field with a grass roots approach and has sounded very strong at the forums since the primary. I continue to hear this from residents of all age groups! There was the policeman also. Then the candidate who lately sounds terrible at the forums and continues to say the same milk toast comments over and over and is the hand pick of our mayor! Then the attorney who is associated with Lulac, with Soap, with the Democrats and the unions. And last, but not least, our past council person who continues to strive for more than was not accomplished in our past.
    I would suggest to all of us, to endorse and vote who we feel as individuals will enhance and change the council with new positive agendas, and not rely on our newspapers as proven, or our city blogs!

    • Jessica says:

      As far as I understand it, there are not cut-and-dry “Elginite.org” endorsements. My views probably differ from the creator and main author of the site.

      What you see above are my, Jessica’s, endorsements. When RS comes back in town, he may very well make different endorsements. This site is no longer written by only one person, and is a place for multiple viewpoints. If that is to change, it will be RS’s decision, as he is he creator and owner of this site.

      I encourage readers to get involved and share their own points of view.

  6. Tina says:

    Jessica, I have also learned this evening more reasons for our bloggers not to take your data to seriously, everyone, go to the website http://www.lifeinelgin.blogspot.com to view jessica the bicycle planner and http://www.youtube.com, then type in jessica gail bordon ballot. And all this time I thought two professionals were running this site, not some kids!

    • jessica says:

      Tina, this is no secret. My personal blog about Elgin is now located at http://lifeinelgin.com. If you click on my name in the post above you will be directed to that site. If you click on my name in any comments, you will be directed to that site.

  7. Tina says:

    Jessica and our viewers, I have learned more tonight of our elginite.org. check out http://www.lifeinelgin.blogspot.com and see our jessica our bicycle planner. Then check out http://www.youtube.com and type in jessica gail bordon ballot to see our jessica! And all this time I thought two professionals were secretly running this site!

  8. WaWaWaWaitAMinute says:

    After reading these endorsements, I am reminded of a passage in the Bible,
    Isaiah 11:6, that says, “and a child shall lead them”.

    Accuracy is your forte, Boxcar. There is a strong hint of immaturity here. Nice post.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m not purporting to “lead” anyone. I’m a resident writing on a blog–a blog whose owner is currently accepting more writers. If you want to write for Elginite, send RS an email with writing samples. If you want to start your own blog, go right ahead. Both blogger and wordpress offer free blogging platforms.

      I vote for candidates based on reasons I’ve shared. Many voters vote based on names they vaguely remember seeing posted in a neighbor’s yard. Many more voters (nearly 90% of those registered in Elgin, I’ve heard) do not vote at all. What is immature? How about saving your hate for those who don’t vote at all, or vote without educating themselves?

  9. Boxcar says:

    Note from moderator: A strikethru has been put through the text that is considered a personal attack. Please keep your comments civil and refrain from making personal attacks.

    “Couple that with the fact that he (Shane Nowak) looks young and is currently a student, this (running for office) probably wasn’t a good idea strategically.”

    Oh, really?? And just who are you to criticize someone’s physical appearance? YOU! Of ALL people! NOT a “good idea” to run for office? Why? Because he looks young and is a student? There is something WRONG studying to get a Master’s degree before you are 30?

    What a horrible, insulting, childish and playground-like criticism of another human being.

    The comments made by a young girl have diminished this site to an electronic board game. Also, how dare you compare a career path chosen by a candidate to another and diminish it! AGAIN, a little reading on the Internet (this site, for starters) would have informed you that Mr. Nowak is an Emergency Medical Technician at Alexian Brothers Hospital. Is it on the same level as a bicycle planner? Oh, God, no. We certainly can’t compare the importance of those two occupations to each other, now can we?

    Your brash, self-importance via your YouTube posting is shameful and justifiably exposes you to, again, having NO right criticizing another person’s physical appearance. Maybe Mr. Nowak would be exempt from your hurtfulness if HE had facial acne, an obnoxious voice and a 70s haircut. But HE does not.

    I suggest writing for your school newspaper first before criticizing the physical appearance of an ADULT candidate in a forum.

    I thought this was a viable site of adult views. Not an irresponsible playpen of attention jealousy disorder. I’m sorry the Gail Borden library trustee position isn’t as glamorous and popular as a city council position is.

    Of course, especially NOW, the word “glamorous” can never be associated with a Gail Borden Library trustee candidate.

    • Jessica says:

      Boxcar, you personally attacked me in this comment more than once. I am leaving it up as an example and warning to other commenters. PERSONAL ATTACKS WILL BE REMOVED PROMPTLY. I will go in a change the color of the words that are considered personal attacks, so people can clearly see what is not allowed.

      -I did not criticize Shane Nowak’s appearance. I think he is perfectly fine looking. I did not criticize his age–in fact, I am the same age, so to criticize his age would be criticizing myself, in a sense. I did not criticize his choice to get a Master’s degree prior to age 30–I have one myself, so that too would be silly to criticize. I definitely did not criticize his job. I believe EMTs are important and if I needed the assistance of one, I’d want a good one. I do not believe bicycle planner is more important than EMT, nor do I believe lawyer is more important than either position. I believe many jobs are important, regardless of the pay or social status they are associated with. I wasn’t trying to imply that one of these jobs is higher or lower on the ladder by any means. There was a major misunderstanding there.

      My criticism was of how he presented himself in the lead off of the initial statement. I think it would be to his advantage to leave out the age, leave out the fact that he ran and lost in the past, and start off with the EMT job. It’s simply a matter of putting your best foot forward. Would, “I’m younger than all of the other applicants and have applied for this type of job before, but been rejected,” be a good way to start off a job interview? No way. That is my only point–best foot forward.

      You took the words “good idea” out of context. I meant that his lead off in the initial statement was not a good idea strategically. I was in no way commenting on his decision to run. I believe “the more the merrier,” and would not tell any candidate that they shouldn’t have run.

  10. JHalf says:

    Wow, boxcar is fuming!

  11. Alienrants says:

    IMHO the incumbents are toast. Walters has been phoning in his performance for years now. He waxes nostalgic and touts his Elgin roots but he thinks his decisions have always been good ones.
    On immigration he tells one forum that the city is checking work papers of contractors and he tells another that it can’t be done. Which is it? I know what he means, but the bottom line is that we aren’t really checking anything because we don’t follow up.
    Juan Figueroa is a token Latino that Mayor Schock can control. They send Juan to work on the gang committee, etc. That’s not leadership.
    Just my own opinion but it counts on April 7th.
    As for Quezada and Scruggs, I’m guessing they want us to all write letters asking Congress to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform as spelled out by the White House. The LOCAL impact of amnesty + more guest workers + more chain migration will make things worse than they are now.
    Washington doesn’t care about the local impact. That’s why we need strong voices to speak up for us. The incumbents have already proven that they won’t. Prigge and Dunne understand the issue. Prigge will be a voice. Dunne believes he can have an impact by enforcing the law and getting EPD some 287g training. Nowak understands as well but he’s not likely to make much noise. The rest of the four year are also rans.
    But this spills over into other issues like parking, overcrowding, low-income housing needs, health care, unemployment, tax revenue, schools, image and crime.
    And no, these problems are NOT caused exclusively by illegals. Then again, they are a significant part of each problem.

  12. jessica says:

    In one of the questionnaires Figueroa did suggest that a committee to study these issues surrounding immigration be formed. I believe it would have residents on it. I could see that being a good way for frustrated people to get their voices heard while being able to come to the table with others who might not see eye-to-eye.

    I don’t think anyone thinks Elgin is perfect, but it seems like there are so many ideological arguments happening that real action is being delayed.

    Even though we will have a severe shortage of funds that will tie the City’s hands when it comes to doing almost anything, I am hopeful. Perhaps that will be the major push that leads to more resident involvement.

  13. Boxcar says:

    There has been ENOUGH committees on this issue all of which is designed to do what the city is good at - dragging its feet. Figueroa KNOWS another committee would turn into a bitch session going nowhere, therefore taking heat off of him.

    It’s in HIS best interest and those he serves on this topic (the thousands of illegals living in Elgin and their enablers) to cause a diversion. The time for action is now, not some nights of whining only to bring a suggestion back to the council and have it sat on.

    Elgin citizens need not be dragged thru a smoke screen on this issue anymore.

    The key words here are “resident involvment”, all craftily used by Figueroa and Emi Morales and all the other enablers of lawlessness instead of the words “citizen involvment”. You see, I am convinced those who harbor these law-breakers KNOW they are using “residents” instead of “citizens” because somehow they feel “residents” includes illegals and “citizens” does not.

    I have no use for anyone who wants to include law-breakers in on decisions involving this city’s well-being, or anything related to this city.

    Pay attention to the candidates(s) who use “residents” in their speeches and Web sites. Then ask if they support the continued infestation of illegals into Elgin.

    Then don’t be surprised at what you see.

    • Chris says:


      I have read nearly all of your comments over the course of this election cycle. Your nonsensical rants have amused me a number of times. Over the last few days, however, your lunacy has escalated.

      You, Boxcar, are a bigot.

      It’s that simple. You can agree or disagree on the efficacy of the current council. You are entitled to believe that illegal immigration is Elgin’s number one problem, though I suspect that most people would disagree. I will even overlook your continued use of “illegals” to refer to illegal aliens, even though I suspect that you’re really using it as a thinly veiled swipe at all Hispanic immigrants, legal or not.

      But Boxcar, you cannot refer to these people as an infestation. They are people, you bigoted coward. You hide behind a childish pseudonym and spout off about people as if they’re subhuman or worse. You exploit the perceived anonymity of the internet and write things you would never say if you knew your name would be attached to it. You are the very definition of a cowardly bigot.

      Please, do not listen to this coward. He is inciting hate.

  14. Boxcar says:

    I simply love how, whenever a citizen accurately speaks out about law-breakers who have broken into our country, the word “Hispanic” comes out.

    And where does it come out FROM?

    Not from the citizen who is speaking out against illegals. Nah, not from there.

    It comes from the one who defends the illegals and is speaking out against the country they assumedly live in and its laws! How pompous to assume that I MUST be being bigoted towards one group! You can search this site all over and never, EVER find me mentioning any specific group of people when speaking of the disease of illegals in Elgin. You see, I purposely do that to catch the pro-illegals doing it against themselves. And it worked AGAIN, right here.

    It’s an easy catch. Works like a charm. Every time. Consider yourself caught, by the way. LOL.

    (American Dictionary) Infestation: “To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious.”

    It’s the PERFECT and appropriate definition that uses the right words hen speaking of illegal aliens in Elgin.

    (American Dictionary) Bigot: “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”

    I AM strongly partial to my “own group”. My “own group” is American citizens. And I AM “intolerant of those who differ”, aka illegal aliens who have infested Elgin and their “own group” of enablers, sympathizers and providers. I am also “intolerant” of burglars, robbers, murderers, parking ticket scofflaws, speeders, etc. You know, the ones who break the laws while “just trying to find a better life” while disrupting MY pursuit of a “better life” as an American citizen.

    ever heard THAT line before?

    I accurately (as defined above) can and will continue to refer to illegal aliens in Elgin as an infestation.

    The use of a pseudonym not only is common in blogs it offers the same benefits as a generic, unisex first name that ALSO “exploit(s) the perceived anonymity of the internet”. It allows you to “write things you would never say if you knew your name would be attached to it.”

    Boxcar. Male or female? Can’t tell. Could assume a male.

    Chris. Male or female? Can’t tell. Period.

    Now who is hiding?

    But now, for the BEST part…

    Your quotes:

    “You, Boxcar, are a bigot.”
    “…you bigoted coward.”
    “You are the very definition of a cowardly bigot.”
    “Please, do not listen to this coward. He is inciting hate.”

    Looks like someone has some “hate” issues of their own using words like those.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. All the name calling…

    What an easy catch of Swiss cheese. Full of holes.


  15. Bill O'Neill says:

    With elections coming up next Tuesday, everyone must realize that we have a lot at stake here in Elgin this time around. If you’ve ever been to a city council meeting, you’ll know that it’s “bobble-head” mania. It’s time for a change. We’ve had enough of the narcissistic attorneys who refuse to listen to the residents and get mad when they make suggestions.

    This city has given millions of dollars to developers for an “Luxury” auto-mall at Randall and I-90, only to have signed a Honda dealer to date. What luxury dealer wants to be next door to a Honda dealership?? A year from now that space with the all the nice blank signs that for some reason are lit every night when passing by, will remain blank until the gang-bangers rent or steal a lift to customize it their way.

    We have a faltering, poorly planned and deteriorating downtown and a pet association of someone’s funded with our tax dollars who seem only to be able to hold carnivals 5-7 times a year that is a net loss for our police department because of the officers they need to put there on overtime to make sure people are safe.

    We have a gang problem that is still growing. They come here from Chicago because it’s the path of least resistance and it’s new territory. They know that the threat of law suits for profiling those very gang-members carries more weight than public safety and those very attorneys who threaten those suits for “profiling” claim to be doing so for the good of all. (See SOAP) Hindering the police doing their job benefits no one and while I consider myself the average Elginite, I want more done and local ordinances and more enforcement is where we need to start. We can’t have a prospering Elgin if you can’t walk down the street at night without worrying about some gang-bangers shooting at you (or someone who happens to be in your path!) and now we are hearing about cut-backs in police and fire services? Political correctness shouldn’t trump personal safety. Look at what it’s brought us so far.

    If you truly want a better Elgin, the only candidate names you should be taking to the polls with you are Richard Dunne (4-yr.), Richard Prigge (4-Yr) and Michael Robins (2-yr.). No offense to Brenda Rodgers, but she was voted out in the last election! Did anyone tell her that?

    Richard Dunne especially has the experience of not only working with the inner-governmental operations of the City of Elgin as its Fire Marshal (before that position was eliminated!), but he’s been on the street as a firefighter in this city and has seen the tragedies first hand of some of the problems that are plaguing this city.

    Whoever you vote for, please make it an informed decision. Don’t be a bobble-head and just because you saw someone’s name on your neighbor’s lawn, touch their name on the ballot.

    Dunne, Prigge and Robins. Let’s put this city back on the right track.

    Leaving any incumbent in office negates anyone new going in.

    Think before you vote.

    • jessica says:

      Thank you for sharing your position without attacking other commentors.

      Also, I really like your Elginet.smugmug.com website. I had never seen your photos before. Very nice.

    • rm says:

      Here, here… good post. It very well outlines the failing “glitz n’ ghetto” agenda of the current administration emphasizing taxpayer subsidies for various business “revitalization” schemes while letting the neighborhoods sink into gang-racked Third World dormitories for the aliens holding Schock’s peon “jobs.”

  16. alan says:


    Please remove the comment by Chris above. It is full of personal attacks aimed at Boxcar, and as you said earlier, “PERSONAL ATTACKS WILL BE REMOVED PROMPTLY”.


    • jessica says:

      Who is “Boxcar?” A faceless, nameless person, or possibly multiple people. If he/she attaches a name or “real life” identity to the pseudonym and asks me to remove those comments, I will.

      “Boxcar” was attacking me–Jessica Thompson, a real life flesh and blood person that anyone can identify personally or professionally based on information I’ve shared–regarding the way I look and speak. He might say it was inspired by what I’ve written here, but the attacks extended far beyond that.

      I believe an anonymous pseudonym attacking another anonymous pseudonym in comments on a blog, based on ideas put forth on the same blog, is immature, but fair game.

  17. alan says:

    That seems like a double standard to me. The comment policy, as stated in this post, says “No ad hominem attacks against anybody“. It does not say “No ad hominem attacks against people who only use real names”.
    From the Wikipedia page on ad hominem:

    “consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the source making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.”

    The reply by Chris clearly falls into this category.

  18. Boxcar says:

    “If he/she attaches a name or “real life” identity to the pseudonym and asks me to remove those comments, I will.”

    I will never ask for the post from Chris to be removed as it spawned one of my best writings in response. Without his post, my work would look incomplete and irrelevant.

    Curious how it defends Jessica almost to the point of an example of chivalry…Could it be that Chris and Jes…???

    Nah. Couldn’t be.

    • jessica says:

      There you go Alan, problem solved. Boxcar wants the comment to remain.

      • alan says:

        In all honesty, I never wanted to see the post removed. I just wanted to see if there would be a double standard applied when someone personally attacks Boxcar vs. when someone personally attacks you. You stated personal attacks would be removed. I applaud you for not doing so, but why not give Chris the same treatment you gave to Boxcar and strike out the personal attacks in his comment. Probably because you would have to strike out the entire thing.
        I do agree that the comments Boxcars made about you were uncalled for but I also think bringing up that Mr. Nowak looks young is also uncalled for and should have nothing to do with his relevance as a candidate.

        • jessica says:

          What would you guess is the average age of our current Council? Maybe 50? Age is definitely relevant.

          People have questioned the credibility of my posts on here because I am, as they say, “young,” or “just a kid.” I’m the same age as Nowak. If (older) people view my photo and think “What does her opinion matter?” you can bet they will view someone who looks even younger than I do and wonder how he will be able to do well on Council.

          I’m not saying it’s fair. Politicians across the board are generally not young. When a politician in his/her 20s is successful it is usually considered news. (Aaron Schock of Peoria.) It’s a disadvantage that younger aspiring politicians have to overcome. I did not mention it as a personal attack, and hope Shane Nowak himself did not take it that way.

  19. Boxcar says:

    It is somewhat contradictory that the only way a policy will be enforced is if someone identifies themselves personally in a forum that does not require one to do so.

    Gosh, I remember 6th grade, too.


    • jessica says:

      When RS returns he can clarify the commenting policy if he chooses. He is the owner and creator of this site. The truth is, I have not yet enforced any policy by means of removing comments. I am hesitant to do so because I do not want this to become a regularly censored site.

      In regards to grade 6th, I am being reminded of something my mom taught me about bullies, pests, etc.. Sometimes the best way to get someone to chill out is just stop reacting, stop feeding into their negativity. I don’t mean offense, but unless your tone changes, this will probably be my final response to your comments.

      I comment here for discussion. Little to none of what has gone on here over the past few days has been mature, thoughtful discussion, so I don’t see a point in remaining involved. I want to help make this site a place where multiple viewpoints are welcomed. I will no longer feed into the toxic pattern of comments that is driving readers (and potential writers) away from what has the potential to be an amazing, grassroots community forum.

      • rm says:

        Maybe, every one needs to take a deep breathe here.

        But really, Jessica, where’s our “mature, thoughtful” explanation why Elginites shouldn’t be passionately angered with a local political, media and business leadership that grows fat from and protects illegal foreign activity devastating our community? You evidently like the library and internet - read through Mike Alft’s history of Elgin (it’s at the library or online) and tell me if you can find any other example of this sort of corrupt arrogance in Elgin’s history. We’ve gone over 170 years and never been in the position we’re in now. No wonder people are angry. Even when the Klan was here in the 20s it never killed anybody - unlike the alien narco-gunmen who litter our streets with dead kids. And when Mexican criminals aren’t killing each other, they’re killing our neighborhoods, schools and retail environments - all so some white crooks can get cheap labor and cheap narcotics and the Chicago Machine can extend its reach and the Cult of Blagojevich into Kane County. Let’s hear the “mature, thoughtful” defense for this environment and why we should be re-electing people like Figueroa and Walters under whose watch it has grown.

        Thanks, at least for not being the house censor. And if you don’t like Boxcar’s “tone,” I assume your sensitivity extends also to those commentators whose sole contribution here is to call others on this blog “bigots” and “racists.”

  20. rm says:

    C’mon Alan, suck it up. I thought RS decided the comment policy here was “no censorship.” If someone wants to argue ad hominum, well that choice should go to assessing the value of their argument but not to being a basis for censorship. And if Chris and the Illegal movement couldn’t hiss “bigot” and “racist” at citizens rights advocates, what else would be left for them to say? Seriously, what rational argument can anyone make in defense of the massive criminal movement of Mexican poverty into American communities? Sure, several powerful American interests protect and benefit from Mexican illegals - people who want cheap, sub-American labor; people who want cheap narcotics; people whose political careers prosper in middle-class-free environments of crime and ethnically-divided poverty. Of course, ordinary Americans are being devastated by illegals, but they don’t count. And they’re just “bigots” and “racists” if they try to stand up and defend their communities and institutions.

    Keep Chris’s attack comment - it shows the deep intellectual poverty and moral corruption behind the largest criminal event in American history.

  21. rm says:

    “Figueroa won me over with his strong belief in neighborhoods and his acknowledgement of the need for affordable housing. He wants strong neighborhood groups, and believes they will be key in people’s perceptions of safety. He also believes we have a need for affordable housing in Elgin, especially for seniors. He says the issue he faces is that most residents do not want the affordable housing built near them.” - Jessica

    Jessica, I don’t understand your enthusiasm for Figueroa. How does his track record in any way convey a “strong belief in neighborhoods” - at least to the extent one understands neighborhoods as representing safe environments of sound housing for independent families? Back in the “old days,” one had a sense that this was a shared community value promoted and enforced by one’s city government. Today in our environment of “unique diversity” (Mike Warren’s term), your neighbors may be dealing smack or living ten to a house, and I guess Figueroa is telling us to form a “neighborhood group” to defend ourselves. Great,… what’s next? Vigilantes? If east Elgin represents his body of work, then “no thanks.” Time for a change.

    And as for “affordable housing,” what does that mean? Given Elgin’s low home prices - ground down even further by recession, foreclosures, unemployment, poor retail, and bad schools - why is more cheap housing a priority? Unless one’s vision for Elgin is a welfare dormitory with a few bits to entertain the white “sustainablity” crowd, Elgin really can’t afford more “affordable housing.”

    Bottom line,… Juan’s had his chance. It failed. Time for a new direction.

  22. rm says:

    1. “Walters was articulate, confident, and came across as very friendly and easy-going. He seemed likeable, and I think that is important.”

    Good ol’ John Waffles - everybody’s friend and nobody’s leader. At least when he goes to his Larkin High class reunion this summer, his likeability should help him explain to his returning classmates why the town he’s been leading - and the school they graduated from - is a ghettoized dump.

    2. “Walters put forth sustainability as one of his top issues. (It is also one of my top issues.)”

    I think it’s everybody’s top issue. The only question is what are we “sustaining.”? I’m concerned about sustaining (or, more appropriately “reviving”) a safe, prosperous and diverse American community with honest government, safe streets, and good schools, health and cultural resources. Jessica, what do you want to “sustain”? Just what is your vision for Elgin aside from more bike lanes and a broader selection of vegetables at the grocers? I’ve seen John Waffles body of work and it’s not sustaining the community I care about or want. Bye, John.

    3. “he admitted that Elgin needs more rental units (another point I agree with, especially with the economy today).”

    Oh, for heaven’s sake… In a community of already depressed housing prices do we really need more places to house subprime transients with no investment in the community? Every day I pass homes for sale with signs indicating they are also “for rent.” Obviously, Walters is signed on to completing the transformation of Elgin’s neighborhoods into a dependent welfare and peon labor dormitory for all those minimum wage Schock “jobs” we’ve been creating. “Revitalize” the downtown with 400,000 dollar condos and let the neighborhoods rot. That’s John’s body of work. Time to go, John.

    4. “He seemed to be in favor of red light cameras, stating disapproval of the fact that stop signs and lights seem to be viewed “as a suggestion” in Elgin.”

    “Seemed” in favor - isn’t that vintage John Waffles? Well, I AM in favor of them. So is Waffles with me or not? Who knows? I don’t care anymore. Jessica is rather new to this community, so maybe she falls for this waffling. I don’t. Time to let John return to the full time practice of law.

    • jessica says:

      I suppose I should clarify regarding affordable housing. We have some neighborhoods with a very high percentage of it, and other neighborhoods with none at all. When I say “more rental,” I don’t mean that I want to see more rental units created in the neighborhoods with an already high percentage of rental. I want to see rental built as routine in the new neighborhoods (inclusionary zoning would be one way), or added in to those new subdivisions where it was left out–a habit of mixed-income across the board.

      Having “affordable housing-free” neighborhoods means the low-income folks have only a few neighborhoods to choose from, and those are probably the same neighborhoods that you refer to as ghettoized. Those are probably the same neighborhoods that have overcrowding.

      I see plenty of houses on the cheaper end of the spectrum in Elgin. I was using “affordable” and “rental” interchangeably, when really my position is that Elgin needs more rental, but only in the neighborhoods that current do not have any.

      • jessica says:

        Of course I want good schools, safe streets, healthy residents, and the other things you mention.

        The commonly used definition of “sustainability” has three legs–environmental, social, and economic. If my understanding is correct, the environmental idea came first–people wanting to “sustain” the natural resources we have, to live in a way that leaves something good left for future generations. Basically making sure we don’t use up or pollute everything.

        I believe this ties in with having a safe and healthy community. Sure, you can mention gangs, but is your city “safe” if people are exposing themselves to toxins by breathing the air or drinking the water? Asthma, autism, cancer rates have all gone up–probably largely due to toxins in the environment and in homes coupled with lifestyle changes (more sedentary, higher fat/carb/sugar diet, etc.).

        The economic leg means moving toward a more sustainable way of doing things without putting undue burden on taxpayers. I’ve read complaints about the $100,000 spent toward sustainability planning and I do not get it. Why do some people seem to be categorically against anything with the words “sustainable” in it? As some candidates mentioned, over $1 million was spent on Wing Park Boulevard! The Council approved $500,000 to be used on downtown signage. I’d say Council has stuck with the “economic” leg in sustainability moreso than in other areas.

        The social leg means moving toward this sustainability without disproportionately affecting one group. A lot of times the wealthy end up with the high end organic grocery stores down the street while the poor and largely minority groups are living near landfills. Obviously an extreme example but you get the point.

        I don’t just want Elgin to be bikeable because I like bikes. I truly believe a walkable, bikeable city will be necessary in the future (oil prices will go up again, oil will start running out, even if we find new technologies we have growing population–who wants to sit in traffic all day?), so why not get a head start? I also think it’s a public health issue regarding the issues I’ve mentioned before. For one of the first times ever we are seeing “Adult Onset Diabetes” in children. They literally had to change the name of Diabetes! Maybe if our city was planned and laid out in such a way that kids could walk to school and parents could walk to the store, diabetes would go down. Maybe Elgin would no longer be the fattest city in the state. Yes, Elgin was named Illinois’ “fattest” city. That is why Activate Elgin was formed.

        I also believe these changes can lead to more safety. Even though I know the crime stats were not in my favor, I felt safer walking around at night in Logan Square, Pilsen, and Woodlawn than I do in Elgin! Why? Because there were people around! Look up the term “Eyes on the Street.” It’s an idea that areas are safer and feel safer when there are more people around. In Elgin, almost everyone drives at night. I occasionally walk my dogs around the block, but I do get nervous doing more than that. I probably wouldn’t walk home from the bars that are under a mile away. What if something happened to me? No one would see it!

        Yes, it’d require a cultural change in addition to planning and policy changes, but I think there is a whole lot more to the ideas that fall under this “sustainability” umbrella than many people know about. It’s not just some pet project of mine because I like bikes or because I want local produce for myself. I genuinely see it as being as one of the most important issues, and that if Elgin is ahead of the curve and manages to make these changes BEFORE everyone else, it will give us an advantage. It will make our City more attractive.

        • rm says:

          Jessica, thanks for your response. Some comments…

          1. “The commonly used definition of “sustainability” has three legs–environmental, social, and economic.”

          Sounds good, but why do we only hear from the Elgin Community Network and Sandy Kaptain about the “environmental” part? How do you have a “sustainable” community when a “large segment” (Daily Herald) of the residents are poor, unskilled,illegally-resident foreigners and the city consistently has some of the highest unemployment in the state? (see today’s Courier) And then how do you square your purported desire for true sustainablity with supporting incumbent candidates whose past performance has contributed to these conditions?

          2. “As some candidates mentioned, over $1 million was spent on Wing Park Boulevard! The Council approved $500,000 to be used on downtown signage.”

          It sounds like you don’t find these expenses to be wise uses of our City’s money, and I don’t either. But then why are you endorsing two of the incumbents behind these payments?

          3. “The economic leg means moving toward a more sustainable way of doing things without putting undue burden on taxpayers.”

          Well, that’s part of it. But I’d suggest that real economic “sustainablity” involves creating an environment of wide retail choice, a sound tax base for public institutions, a well-trained and well-educated employee pool, and secure jobs paying wages and benefits sufficient to sustain independent, middle-class families who don’t need large welfare subsidies from corrupt, inefficient government “programs.” This has been the traditional economic model of progressive, mainstream American communities. It has not been the recent model for Elgin or Illinois for that matter, and the “unsustainable” results - bad schools, gangs, dangerous neighborhoods, deteriorating real estate prices, ethnic division, political sleaziness - are with us everyday. I’m troubled that as an intelligent person you continue to endorse people who have pursued and want to continue pursuing the failed approach. I’m troubled that the Elgin Community Network has nothing to contribute on this critical leg of sustainablity.

          Finally, I, too, would love to see a bikeable, walkable community, and I cannot dispute the health and social benefits you claim. I’m troubled that even you - who I regard as sometimes mistaken :) but always intelligent and plucky - are worried about walking around your own Elgin neighborhood. You’re not alone. But I want a city leadership that’s prepared to go after the root causes of this fear. Elgin didn’t used to be this way - why does it have to now? It doesn’t, but it has been suffering under a leadership whose priorities are with the business and political interests that prosper from cheap unskilled labor, ethnically-divided and welfare-dependent poverty, and tax-payer funded “revitalization” subsidies. The media supports this racket because - as anyone familiar with Chicago knows - a lot of money and political power can be generated from such an environment. And, of course, as anyone with much experience in Chicago’s neighborhoods knows, it’s an environment that “sustains” a few areas of great wealth, vast areas of poverty, and virtually no middle class. It’s probably too late, but I’m supporting people like Prigge who are true to Elgin’s traditional, progressive middle-class tradition rather than serving the unsustainable and failing Chicago model.

  23. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    I AM PROUD TO SUPPORT RICH DUNNE FOR THE FOUR YEAR ELGIN CITY COUNCIL POSITION because of his positions regarding Proper Development, (the current council has made big money losing mistakes with development), Fiscal Responsibility, the current council is using our tax payer dollars wastefully, and Unification of the City, currently not all areas of the city are treated the same.

    There are a number of service groups that I deeply appreciate for what those groups have done for all of us in the past. That is our veterans, firefighters and paramedics, and policeman. Rich is a veteran of the Air Force, and a Lieutenant in the Elgin fire department so he belongs to two of the groups that have given much for all. I thank Rich and all in those groups for keeping us safe.

    As a resident, raising his family in Elgin the last 21 years he has a vested interest in making our neighborhoods safe, opening up citizen communication, and taking pride in Elgin.

    PLEASE JOIN WITH MY FAMILY AND VOTE FOR RICH DUNNE FOR THE FOUR YEAR ELGIN CITY COUNCIL POSITION. Rich will help build a stronger, safer community through reliable change.

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward - The Taxpayer’s Watchdog

  24. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    We can only elect one person for the two year Elgin City Council position. I am going to vote for a life long resident of Elgin, who has a veteran’s track record of positive service to the people, is a graduate of my own St. Edward High School, has a Political Science degree from Depaul University, a J.D. Law degree from Northern Illinois University, and along with all these accomplishments she is in the prime of her life at age 27 - EMI MORALES.

    It is extemely important to have a variety of backgrounds on the city council and it is sadly lacking a more youthful perspective and all the positive energy and perspective that a late 20’s life long Elgin resident can bring to our city council.

    In education and service she is already both a seasoned and experienced positive presence fpr our city equal to any of the incumbents or challengers and when you couple that with her younger age relative to the present council you have a triple winner to help move Elgin onward and upward to being the best city in Illinois.

    In the primary she finished second in the voting and in my next posts I will explain why the top vote getter in the primary will not get my vote.


  25. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    It is looking more like Warren if elected to the two year race might be another vote for the mayor’s agenda in my opinion. With that being said and the fact that Warren is also an Elgin Symphony trustee I HAVE TO SAY I WILL NOT SUPPORT WARREN FOR THE TWO YEAR CITY COUNCIL POSITION.

    The mayor campaigned saying the Centre would support their operating budget with memberships and we have been funding that deficit ever since. I am afraid the mayor before he leaves office will want to build a new symphony center.

    The symphony is really nice but they are dependent on the donations of many because they are not a stand alone money making machine so to speak. I don’t want the mayor to have the votes to build unless he has the funds that will not take away from our ever growing list of basic services that the city is required to provide to the taxpayers.

    Besides, if you really have a desire to listen to the musical West Side Story you don’t have to attend the symphony. All you have to do is hang out on a street corner a few blocks from the police department and some days you can hear the gunshots for free.

    I just can’t take the chance that the mayor will have all the votes he needs.

  26. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    As we go to the polls in April for Elgin City Council it is easy for me to state who I am already positive I will not support. I WILL NOT SUPPORT ROGERS, FIGUEROA, or WALTERS They were all on the wrong side of the Elgin council issue to one degree or another regarding whether the city should hire the law firm that is now currently hired by the parents group to sue our own U46 school district.

    Rogers, Figueroa, and Walters should have exerted proper tax payer steward leadership and not even brought up the thought of hiring a law firm to sue the district. Although because Walters changed his mind which was going to result in a tie vote so the proposal was tabled, he as well as Rogers, Figuroa, and our own Elgin mayor were initially considering suing the district.

    So the parents group goes on to hire that law firm, the district has spent about 6.7 million dollars defending the suit with no end to costs or resolution in sight, and any informed property buyer knows that this suit is costing the taxpayers big time.

    If they would have done their taxpayer steward homework they would have realized that the same law firm resulted in a Rockford district having a lawsuit bill of over 250 million dollars. What leader in their right mind knowing that would want to even say the word lawsuit if they are elected to be excellent stewards of our tax payer dollars?

    This is real money we are talking about and they need to be held accountable for such reckless talk by being voted out of office. That will send a message to the other council members to think twice before talking about suing another taxing body.


  27. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    TO ALL THE CHALLENGERS FOR THE ELGIN COUNCIL POSITION AND THEIR SUPPORTERS I suggest that if your supporters don’t have any particular interest in voting for anyone other than their challenger friend then coach them that they don’t have to vote for three - four year council positions. They can super size their vote so to speak by just voting for their favorite challenger or a combination of challengers only.

    One of the reasons the incumbents have a total of 65 years on the council is because they have the name recognition advantage and the more challengers there are the more this advantage plays into their hand.

    A new challenger will bring out people who really are only going to vote for their friend and so they vote for that friend and since they don’t have a strong reason to vote for anyone else then because of the name recognition of the incumbents to fill out their voting they pick two incumbents and consequently you multiply that voting by all the other challengers voters and the incumbents end up getting the most votes.

    It is my understanding it is ok to only vote for one four year council position and by not voting for any incumbents it will super size voting power.

  28. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    The library board race is an easy one for me. Our Elgin library is a precious jewel in a downtown treasure chest that is increasingly bare so to speak. It is one of the most popular destinations for citizens. Business is booming there because they have the product that practically all in Elgin want and seek. It is second to none in America in my opinion.

    That being said when choosing your three to vote for, first and foremost HERB GROSS WHO IS AN INCUMBENT NEEDS TO BE REELECTED. Herb is one of the most approachable Trustees you will ever meet and twice a week he greets at the library so say hello.

    Secondly RANDY HOPP WILL GET MY VOTE in part based on the fact that since 2004 he has attended every regular and most of the special library trustee meetings. Clearly he has a passion for our library.

    Thirdly JESSICA THOMPSON, with an MBA in I believe Urban Planning with experience working on issues with the Chicago library as well as having youth on her side IS MY SENSIBLE THIRD VOTE. Our world is changing at lightning speed and having a younger person with both education and experience with other libraries are qualities we can’t afford to pass up.


  29. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    One of the best values for your education dollar is Elgin Community College. Illinois State University is about 22,000 with room and board. I believe you can do two years at ECC for somewhere around 4,000 or less.

    At a cost of about 7 cents per day for the bond referendum on a 200,000 home I think it will be money well spent to continue to improve the best value in our college education dollar.

    Their library is sadly lacking, increasing programs for the health and fire safety programs, as well as working on infrastructure, this will be money that will benefit Elgin because of the programs it will give needed improvements to as well as the local jobs and dollars that will be returned to the local community.


    Common Sense Clarence Hayward - The Taxpayer’s Watchdog

    • Boxcar says:

      This comment should be deleted as it does not pertain to the topic.

      Take it to the Daily Herald.

  30. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    We can vote for three U46 school board members. The fact that school board incumbent Spencer voted against Connie Neal’s contract will get my vote.

    I am quite sure thanks in part to Fountain and Smith voting for her contract Neale is enjoying her lifetime family medical benefits in retirement and laughing all the way to the bank. I THINK THE VOTERS WOULD BE BRAIN DEAD TO VOTE FOR FOUNTAIN OR SMITH BECAUSE OF THE LAVISH CONTRACT THEY GAVE NEALE. IT WAS A CONTRACT THAT MOTIVATED HER TO RETIRE - NOT CONTINUE WORKING FOR U46.


    With the current board being up there in years you would think that they would have the wisdom that should come with age. All you have to do is look at Connie Neale’s contract details if that were fully allowed and you can see that of the incumbents running SPENCER IS THE ONLY ONE WHO GETS MY VOTE BECAUSE HE DID NOT VOTE FOR NEALE’S CONTRACT.

    CONSIDER SPENCER, ECHEVARRIA, and PERCY to better serve our taxpayer’s and students of U46.

    • Boxcar says:

      This is an inappropriate post for this topic. None of the candidates mentioned were at the LWV forum.

      Take it to the Daily Herald.

  31. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    “To any anonymous posters out there who are critical of my cut and paste I have this to say. Our freedom of speech is one of the most precious liberties we have in America.

    Don’t tell me what I should or should not post if you are unable because of possible employer retailiation or unwilling to reveal your real name. ”

    The fact that my posts are all election related makes them on point in any article about the election coming up.

    Besides, it is so easy to scroll past my words if you don’t want to read them. There are others perhaps who have not read the other articles so an informed voter is a better voter.

    May God bless America and a special blessing for Elgin.

    I am not afraid to leave my name at my posts. It would be nice to know who the true name is of anyone critical of my views and reveal it in your posts otherwise why bother to be critical of me anonymously?

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward - The Taxpayer’s Watchdog

    I love our country and I love Elgin. Everyone please get out and vote.

    • Kurt says:

      Clarence, God bless you!
      Some of these candidates don’t pertain to LWV’s forum, but after the lengthy reading of lashings at each other in here, it was nice to hear something of the election in a more positive way. The same with rm! This doesn’t mean I agree with all of the candidates you have chose, it is just that we’re getting back on track!

  32. Boxcar says:

    Emi Morales is anti-American. It’s that plain. The proof is in her questionnaire responses.

    By being a sworn board member of LULAC, advocating over-crowding in Elgin homes IF there is a good reason for it and stating that just being an illegal alien in Elgin is not a problem are three big anti-American strikes.

    This city needs less of what she is about. Lack of respect for our laws.

    She also has something in common with Mike “Ed Schock Jr.” Warren.
    She is a token pick to continue someone elses agenda. In her case, the enabling and tolerance of illegal aliens scarring our city. With an estimated 8000 illegal aliens infesting our city, she clearly has THEIR agenda in mind and NOT citizens. You’ll notice when she speaks she always uses the word “residents” and not “citizens” or even, “taxpayers”.

    there is a reason for that. “Residents” - legal or not - are HER constituents. Wrong. Simply, wrong.

  33. Boxcar says:

    Clarences comment regarding topics not related to the subject should be deleted.

    Take it to the Daily Herald.

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      Boxcar you are as bad as Herguth. Your words don’t mean anything to many readers because you hide behind the name Boxcar and Herguth hides behind the name Herguth. Anyone who has something he feels strongly about should do it with their entire name. I don’t believe in evolution but there are many animals out there that use the cover of darkness the same way you use an anonymous post name. Please evolve into someone with some gumption and use your legal name.

  34. I give up says:

    Anyone who would support Walters and figueroa My God these are the guys who got us in this mess. No matter what they say it’s what they did that counts. These two are terrible. Jessie get a life

  35. Diva says:

    If people don’t vote this time, they deserve to suffer. The rerunning candidates definately put us in this financial mess. There have been many ways of learning about these people. Many forums have taken place, newspapers, word of mouth, and other spread the word tactics. No one better complain to me about their street or the empty condos, or any other services lacking due to people loosing their jobs, or too darn many cars on the streets. Get out there and vote!

  36. Shibingence says:

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

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  38. One Term says:

    What’s status of Prigge’s license to auctioneer?

    March 21, 2010

    I found this online at the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Could you ask Councilman (John) Prigge about this?

    “John Prigge May 2, 2005

    The auction license was placed on indefinite probation during which regular written reports are to be tendered to BRE and a $4,000 fine was assessed for failing to account for personality, failing to timely remit funds to several clients, for having engaged in unprofessional conduct & unlicensed practice of auctioneering of his corporate entity and failing to register in accordance with the Assumed Business Name Act.” (Source: http://www.idfpr.com/DPR/RE/AuDisp.asp)

    Answer: “Business complications arose seven years ago, which led to the eventual dissolving of my corporation. All claims were settled and I agreed with the decision and fine and also remain in good standing with the State as a licensed auctioneer,” Prigge said.