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Mayor neglected basic infrastructure

25 March 2011 RS 40 Comments

Mayor Ed Schock last night admitted to neglecting basic infrastructure Mayor Ed Schock last night admitted to neglecting basic infrastructure (Photo by The Elginite).

At an LWV forum last night, Elgin Mayor Ed Schock admitted to neglecting the city’s basic infrastructure when asked what the city council’s greatest failure has been in past years. He said, however, that the city has started addressing the problem with a third of city streets finally being repaved in the past three years.

His opponent in the race for mayor, Councilman Dave Kaptain also said that the city has failed to serve the basic needs of residents by not paying attention to infrastructure like water mains and sewer lines, which are long overdue for separation. One candidate in the city council race, SWAN vice president Mike Curtin, is running in part because the city was so slow to address the problem of backup sewage in his neighborhood.

If he fails to win reelection, as many expect, the controversial mayor will still have left a significant legacy of large-scale projects like a $41 million recreation center, two luxury golf courses and the far west side expansion that has pushed the city’s boundaries at least as far as Corron Road to the west and almost reaching McDonald Road to the south. Though if the Stony Creek subdivision ever comes back to the table, the city’s southern border will extend at least as far as the southern borders of South Elgin. Mr. Schock’s plans for western expansion go as far as Route 47 and beyond, all the way to the borders of Huntley.

Critics contend that the expansion does not pay for itself, and that Elgin taxpayers have so far lost significant sums on the expansion, which required a $10,000,000 bond for water line extension, the construction of a mult-million dollar fire station along with the hiring of a requisite sixteen firefighters, and the provision of police and other services. In some cases, the city has had to finish road construction in uncompleted subdivisions when developers went out of business. The city is also obligated to provide plowing and other services to those few residents in uncompleted subdivisions when developers go out of business.

The Edgewater subdivision built for seniors also means that many of the homeowners there qualify for the $200 senior rebate which Mr. Schock proposed in the fall of 1996, on the eve of the 1997 election, when he was a councilman up for reelection. One city council candidate in the current election, Mike Curtin, has stated that he would like the city to consider ending the $200 checks for seniors, which are criticized by some as vote buying. Seniors vote in disproportionately large numbers. Others feel it is unfair that struggling families with children would not qualify for a rebate while even well-off seniors receive the $200 checks yearly.

Critics of the mayor contend that the city council’s hasty vote Wednesday to pay the rent for expanded facilities for Senior Services Associates is a replay of the 1996 “vote buying” episode when the $200 senior rebate was pushed by three councilmen who were then up for reelection: Ed Schock, Bob Gilliam, and John Walters.

Whatever may be the case, on April 5th it will be seen if Elgin residents want more of the same or whether they feel it is time for a change. Even some voters who supported Ed Schock when he first ran for mayor say that he’s accomplished enough and that to go further with more projects may be folly. They are satisfied with the amount of amenities infrastructure that has already been built.

Mr. Schock first ran for mayor with a recreation center as part of his plank. Though the budget for the center ballooned well beyond what anybody expected at that time, his victory over Kevin Kelly, was perceived by the mayor at least as his mandate, as an endorsement of his vision for Elgin.

He continued to pursue his vision by pushing for an $18M luxury golf course in 2001–the Highlands and the nearly $8M purchase of Bowes Creek Country Club several years later on the far western borders of the city. In other years, he sought a $125M concert hall for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and a 4,400 seat stadium for the Bandits softball team. Figures for softball stadiums are not available, but comparable minor league stadiums seating 4,400 cost about $20-$30M to build.

The city ended up spending $711,000 for the Bandits to play in Elgin for three years. Unfortunately the team did not attract much of a following or achieve the success that the city hoped for. The Bandits were soon embroiled in controversy when an unusual relationship with a councilman came to light. The councilman later committed suicide and the team left town last year.

In addition to recreation facilities, Mr. Schock has aggressively pushed for riverfront redevelopment in the downtown, going as far as lobbying the governor for state funds last year at a time when the state was essentially bankrupt. The state did agree to provide the money as part of a planned $31 billion bond offering, but the courts struck it down in January as unconstitutional. Separately, the Democratic legislature passed and the governor signed into law a 67% income tax increase.

In recent years, Mr. Schock has consistently endorsed Democratic politicians including John G. Dalton, Bill Foster, Keith Farnham and Michael Noland, who was a senate sponsor of the 67% tax hike. In a situation that is unusual for a 12-year incumbent, we were not able to get an endorsement for the mayor out of any of the politicians the mayor has himself endorsed in recent years.

While many residents are able to enjoy amenities such as the Centre or the Highlands golf course, Elgin taxpayers have always been concerned about the large operating losses at these facilities. When Mr. Schock and other councilmen who supported the recreation center made their pitch for it, they said it would pay for itself. In fact, operating losses at the Centre have been as high as $855,000, possibly more, and in recent years have seemed to average about $500,000. These figures understate the true loss to taxpayers, because the city only reports operating losses, not accounting losses which would include the cost of depreciation and amortization. Nobody believes that the actual $41M cost of building the recreation center will ever be recovered.

In a 2007 interview with the Daily Herald, Mr. Schock said:

“This whole notion that, ‘Oh, you know, the potholes,’ ” he said. “People don’t decide to live in a community because they go down the streets and say, ‘Boy, they don’t have any potholes.’ I don’t know anybody that’s bought a house because they said that – not a person.”

Voters will go to polls on April 5th to pick Elgin’s new mayor and city council lineup, as well as board members for U-46, Elgin Community College and Gail Borden Public Library. Early voting continues through March 31st.

Dave Kaptain: Candidate for Mayor
City Council Candidate Profiles
Mayor Ed Schock sees no conflicts of interest
Mayor neglected basic infrastructure
Businesses fund mayor’s election campaign
Ed Schock increased mayor’s pay 8-fold
Ed Schock blamed for U-46 lawsuit
Schock denies responsibility for U-46 lawsuit
Daily Herald Schock endorsement draws heat
Another year without a 4th of July
Lawsuit puts liquor commission in spotlight

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40 Responses to “Mayor neglected basic infrastructure”

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  1. RS says:


    More problems on the Far West Side reported today in the Courier.

    Built about three years ago, a water tower in the Highland Woods subdivision — off Highland Avenue, west of Coombs Road and north of Route 20 — is only being filled to 25 percent of capacity…

    The name of the subdivision gives clue to the fact that the water tower is on higher ground than surrounding areas. As such, it should be in its own pressure zone and connected in a loop by a series of underground mains to other towers in that zone.

    But the lack of demand for homes has meant developers have yet to put in infrastructure to do so, and there are only limited water lines to the tower in question, Jacobsen said.

  2. mike_c says:

    The problem with the sewers in SWAN goes beyond mere neglect. The city is responsible for submitting CSO reports to the IEPA and for reporting all residential backups to the IEPA. The city began filing these CSO reports in 1999. The first three reports included the best functioning sewer system in the city, but never included the worst functioning system. I should also mention that the best sewer system never even overflowed at the time the reports were sent. It took the city over 7 years to eventually report the problems associated with SWAN’s sewers. The IEPA ultimately determines the order to which the city’s basins are separated, but the IEPA relies on the city to provide them with the necessary information to make an informed decisions.

    To fully separate SWAN’s sewers will probably cost ~$40M, making it the most expensive infrastructure project. The City began submitting these CSO reports at the same time it was planning to build a golf course (The Highlands) and the Rec Centre. Did the city falsify documents to the IEPA so that it could delay the separation of SWAN’s sewers and use city funds to build a Rec Centre and a golf course?

    RS, I have documents from the mid-1990s showing that SWAN’s basin is the worst functioning and that Douglas Ave.’s basin is the best. I also have the CSO reports that were submitted by the city showing the SWAN’s basin was not reported until the summer of 2007. If you would like to see this I will be happy to provide them to you. Erin and I are going to see Cosby tonight, but I will be available Saturday night.

    I hope that it is becoming clear that the city needs a more “hands off” approach.

    Michael Curtin

    • One Vote says:

      Does the same situation exist in other neighborhoods?
      I mean, the SWAN thing is hard to ignore when raw sewage comes into your basement from the city lines…but are there other shared sewer lines in town besides downtown and SWAN?

      • rm says:

        One Vote, I can tell you from unfortunate personal experience that this is a problem far outside the boundaries of SWAN. This is not just a “SWAN thing.”

        Many of the victims, however, live in Elgin areas without neighborhood organization and haven’t mobilized to raise awareness that this is a city-wide public health issue and that the city needs to make modern sewage disposal a priority for all its residents.

        “Elgin has about 6,000 homes that still have combined storm and wastewater sewer lines. The Clean Water Act of 1972 requires the city to separate combined lines. Finishing the work in remaining affected areas will cost about $150 million and take about 20 to 30 years, officials have said.” Courier, August 4, 2010.

        • One Vote says:

          I’m just looking at the census data here. Elgin has 37,000 housing units.
          So one out of six houses in town has this combined sewer problem!
          Can that be right?

      • mike_c says:

        The city’s NPDES permits require them to report ANY residential sewer backups. The city never reported any residential backup until I demanded it. Even then, the city only provided an “unofficial” report of backups. As far as the CSO reports to the IEPA, it seems as if SWAN (the Lord Street Basin) was misrepresented the most.

        Hopefully RS will be interested in looking at these documents and reporting his impressions.

        • rm says:

          Mike, you really should press this as a campaign issue regardless of what RS does.

          At a minimum, call for the city immediately to set up a backup “hotline” where residents suffering these events can report them.

          Ed may think this is an insignificant “pothole” issue, but it’s not. Spring - and thunderstorm season - are approaching, and I have to make sure any books or other valuables are removed from my basement in preparation for Backup Season.

          • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

            Instead of Mayor Schock having a big bronze plaque in the Centre with his name on it he missed a golden opportunity to have hundreds or thousands of basement sewer drains engraved with “This sewer drain only flows one way courtesy of Mayor Schock.”

            Those citizens would have been so happy with him. They would have had time to play a round of golf on his multi million dollar golf course after a heavy rain instead of cleaning up crap water in their basement.

    • David Koldos says:

      Mike, I believe it goes beyond just the likelihood of Elgin cooking the CSO reports to the IEPA for those years. Not surprising in Illinois when considering how politics work in this state.
      In the effort of hopefully determining where the ball was dropped I FOID’d the same documents you have from Elgin Engineering. They were none too happy when I was able to find the exact documents I was looking for amidst the huge conference table of banker’s boxes of assorted files and folders they set out for camouflage .
      Then a FOIA to the IPEA requesting information regarding the IEPA permits issued for the out of turn separation of sewers in the Spring/Douglas corridor and the communication between the IEPA and the City in that process.
      Indeed the areas determined by a private engineering firm contracted by the City to be the areas of highest priority (Lords Basin and Bluff City across the river) were missing from the IEPA process. Clerical error? Highly unlikely.
      Additionally the DMR’s (discharge monitoring reports) the IPEA were demanding that the City did supply were incomplete at best, done at bizarre times of the year (one was in February) and also lacked required data the City had concerning CSO events to resident’s basements and City streets.
      Magically, despite lacking that IEPA required data after they themselves were demanding it in writing in many letters, the IEPA let the permit to separate the Spring/Douglas corridor anyway. That appeared to happen after a visit by an IEPA official to Elgin. Maybe a little wine and dine or discretionary funds placed in the IEPA’s pocket to look away and sign off?? Only conjecture, will likely never know but something stinks here more than our basement…. which has been flooded with raw sewage under the city’s control eight times in the four years we’ve lived at 408 Orange Street.
      When I presented that curious path to the IEPA in one of their attorneys, his reply was “Elgin did not use any State or Federal money for the Spring/Douglas project but used their own cash for it, Elgin had not filed their long range separation plan yet where the IPEA considers all the overflow districts in permit priority… we had no choice but to let the permit”.
      Jaw hits coffee table.
      The icing on the cake was when the infrastructure question was posed right here on the Elginite to John Steffen. He popped right off and said the city is directed by the IEPA in combined sewer separation priority.
      Transparency and oversight? Honesty and integrity? Non existent as far as I can see.
      I can however see the possibility of another CSO event in our basement in the coming months.
      Personally I don’t know how any of those involved in this travesty sleep at night.

      • mike_c says:

        You are absolutely correct. The city defends themselves on this issue (AND MANY OTHER ISSUES AS WELL) by spinning the facts. I got much of the same info that you did, but some of what I have is from discussion with the IEPA. It sounds as if you have documents. Would you be willing to email me some of those documents? I plan to start using some of this evidence in my campaign.

        • David Koldos says:

          No problem Mike, happy to share. It is quite a stack and I believe more is out there at the local IEPA office level. I could cherry pick some of the pertinent ones or feel free to stop by to discuss them and make copies of the ones that compliment what you have.
          Maddie is on spring break here this week so the four of us are just hanging around.

  3. Truth in Elgin says:

    No one disputes Schocks bravado and skill as an orator, but real substance is not there. It’s all smoke and mirrors. The record shows a fact we can’t ignore: he’s cost us millions of wasted dollars in his haste in creating his own legacy. Now is the time to stop the bloodletting! He’s not holding any of the developers to what they were to provide in terms of infrastructure for the incentives they were given with our money. No wonder they keep contributing. Who will pay the cost? That’s you and I.

  4. Chuck Keysor says:

    While this is an interesting article, I do want to caution against the drift created, that Mayor Schock is going to loose. I am not supporting either candidate, as they both have strong and weak points.

    But I am reminded of last fall’s election for State Senator. I talked to SO many people who felt Mike Noland was a total clod, an incompitant bungler, a bully and an idiot. This came from elected City officials, from two social service agencies AND from his own former campaign manager! My own experiences with him were also that he was all talk, and Zero action.

    And since I was really impressed with Steve Rauschenberger, it just seemed as though all the stars were aligned, and that Noland was destined to loose! Well, I was wrong. I am often wrong, but not usually in the face of so many signs.

    So, this is my comment, it isn’t over for anybody yet. That is what makes this so fascinating to follow. Thanks for the great coverage, that feeds my addiction!


    • rm says:

      Good points, Chuck.

      I suspect - and am probably thankful for it - that most of us don’t hang around much with the sorts of people who voted for Michael Noland. Noland voters are generally not the kind of people who read much, write much, or participate much in the more enlightened aspects of community life. They are always a challenge for pollsters. But as the Chicago Machine has proven for generations, with the right organization these people can always be driven to election polls every so often where they can be taught to pull the right levers.

      It used to be that you had to pay attention to Chicago politics to hear about something like Noland. The fact that Noland has been able to fashion a political career in Elgin says as much about the city’s current conditions as the backed-up sewage in our basements.

    • Craig says:

      Good points indeed, Chuck.

      Schock (like Noland) knows how to work the system and get votes. From what I can tell, Kaptain does not have the same prowess when it comes to running a campaign and getting people to the polls.

      If he loses it’ll be a similar story to Rauschenberger’s…

      • RS says:

        Kaptain has a significant grassroots operation and is very responsive to people who want to reach him. Rauschenberger’s campaign rejected everybody who tried to help and ignored thousands of emails. That was the reason he lost.

        This is the first Facebook election in Elgin. Kaptain has been much more active there, with 247 fans to Schock’s 144.

        Schock’s advantage in mailings is balanced out by Kaptain’s door-to-door effort. If our poll is a proxy for Republican voters, Kaptain leads 2 to 1 among Republicans. He’s maintained this lead since the start of polling. Among Democrats he presumably splits the vote with Schock. It will be a close race, but Kaptain appears to have a slight edge. Possibly the edge is as high as 58%.

        Of course like any operation they will need to stay organized, man the phones and get the vote out.

        • Craig says:

          True. Myself included, I knew several people that sent emails volunteering to help and received no response from Rauschenberger.

          • Crysta says:

            Including me. I was eager to help Rauschenberger - while not a perfect candidate, he would have been much better than Noland - but my emails went unanswered.

    • One Vote says:

      This election is very much like the Noland-Rauschenberger race. Thoughtful voters saw Steve as the lesser of two evils, but were not strong proponents of Rauschenberger. I feel the same way about Dave Kaptain.

  5. rm says:

    “If he loses it’ll be a similar story to Rauschenberger’s…”

    No it won’t.

    Rauschenberger represented an enlightened and real alternative to the Chicago Machine’s boy Noland.

    Kaptain and Schock are just arguing over the best way to exploit Elgin’s high-poverty environment. Both of them have been supporters of Mike Noland and are loyal subjects of John G. Dalton and Dalton’s plantation agenda of mass non-white poverty managed and manipulated by white elites. Both Schock and Kaptain seek to benefit from the political, economic and social conditions that remove middle-class residents and result in low civic involvement, low voter turnout and poor candidate pools.

    In short, the mayoral election is just a family feud within the John G. Dalton camp over the best way to exploit the conditions Dalton promoted. Schock wants to use these conditions to benefit certain dubious Daily Herald-backed business interests while Kaptain sees them as an opportunity to gets his hands on public money to fund his wife’s personal “climate change” crusade.

    Neither of them has the spine or character to stand up to community predators like Dalton or Noland. Neither of them stands for the interests of independent middle class families or for the safe neighborhoods, good housing, good schools, honest government and thriving commercial and retail centers that middle class people want and that are the foundation of the American Dream.

    Yesterday the BBC News was reporting that by 2030 China would overtake the US economically and be the world’s dominant power. When you see what’s happening in Elgin and the sort of people who pass for our “leaders” one wonders why it will take that long.

    • RS says:

      rm, there are no perfect candidates in any election. Your choice is always between the better of two candidates. It is surprising to read such a strong statement of support for Steve Rauschenberger coming from you who have expressed a number of times your exasperation with illegal immigration. Perhaps you forgot that Mr. Rauschenberger supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and also the acceptance of Mexican matricula consular cards as valid ID. As far as illegal immigration goes, I hardly see Mr. Rauschenberger as being tougher on the issue than Mr. Kaptain.

      As for the environmental issues, I think Mr. Kaptain realizes already that it will have to be a volunteer-driven thing and not something that uses taxpayer resources. His recommendation to terminate an expensive consulting contract for a “sustainability action plan” saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you think that Mr. Kaptain is an environmental zealot, perhaps you have overlooked the fact that Mr. Schock has completedly co-opted the environmental agenda. In fact, next month he’s the keynote speaker at the GreenTown conference.


      • rm says:

        Always appreciate your comments, RS…

        I, too, understand that no candidate is perfect. Certainly Rauschenberger wasn’t perfect for me.

        But then I wasn’t claiming that he represented perfection, only that he was an “enlightened and real alternative” to Noland (as almost any candidate would be). And whatever the failures in Steve’s election strategy, his campaign was never based on promoting poverty, dependency, ethnic division or keeping affluent people out of Elgin - the values of John G. Dalton to which both Schock and Kaptain subscribe.

        Since both Schock and Kaptain have endorsed the John G. Dalton agenda, their only political differences are over how to exploit it. Schock is a realist; Kaptain is Mr. Moonbeam.

        You’ve noted, RS, the reluctance of John G. Dalton and Noland to endorse Schock even if they must regard Kaptain as a wimpy flake. I suspect this is because they know Schock may not share their visceral hatred of middle class Americans and their passion for profitting from and serving the interests that are destroying middle class families and communities.

        I don’t think Schock especially wants Dalton’s city of pitbull poverty, dependency, and ethnic division, but as a realist he knows he has to serve the bigger interests and provide what the local business, political and media powers want. And here they want cheap labor, ethnic division and access to public money.

        Schock learned this the hard way.

        Over ten years ago he and the City tried to require the poor Mexicans flowing into Elgin to maintain American standards in their housing. The City was soon attacked by HUD, the Justice Department and a “fair housing” outfit out of Wheaton claiming that efforts to force Mexicans to respect American housing standards were discriminatory. Meanwhile the Elgin Area Realtors Association was protesting City efforts to inspect homes for overcrowding. The upshot? The City had to pay some money and back off, and Schock learned his lesson: don’t screw with the big boys’ plans to flush away the middle class and use Elgin’s neighborhoods as a dormitory for cheap Mexican labor. And the result? By 2007 one-tenth of Elgin’s households were overcrowded, a rate higher than Chicago’s. Last year many Elgin homes were described as “filled with fleas, rodents, vermin” and “just horrible places.” (DH, 8/27/2010) (By the way, John Steffen said he was “amazed by the bad condition of the homes”; John has replaced John Walters as the Council’s most out-of-touch dude.)

        So Schock got the message. Ignore Elgin’s neighborhoods - they’re just for housing payday loan peons and drug dealers - and concentrate on passing along city money to private interests for “revitalization” and “development” schemes. That’s the sort of agenda that will keep the Daily Herald on your side. But now the money’s running out, and where does Ciudad Elgin go from here?

        Enter David Moonbeam, the apostle of transparency and sustainabilility…

        Frankly, I haven’t made up my mind on my choice for this election. It’s sort of like having to decide between a week off for cleaning your sister’s basement or an all-expense paid summer trip for two weeks in Camden, NJ. Therefore, I’m eager to read the posts of people like yourself or Todd Martin who are committed to Kaptain as a superior choice.

        But it’s really hard for me to vote for someone who thinks one of Elgin’s top problems is the City’s effort to attract affluent residents. Our schools suck, our retail sucks, our commercial real estate sucks, our housing stock sucks, we’ve got gangs and drugs and foreclosures and flooding basements and high unemployment… and our problem is that we’re trying too hard to get affluent residents? If Steffen is an out-of-touch dude, what universe is Kaptain in? His message may resonate with the Kumbaya crowd who flock around their idol and his “community network.” After all, many of them were attracted to Elgin by its cheap housing, their alienation from middle class “Ozzie and Harriet” communities, and a desire to spin their old Grateful Dead LP’s amidst the sounds and smells of genuine Third World poverty.

        But if you’re dreaming that Kaptain is the bald and prune-faced Thoreau who will make Elgin another Walden, look at the area around Kaptain’s own Eagle Heights fiefdom. It’s got plenty of Anna Moeller signs - always a good tipoff of a sketchy neighborhood. And commercially, it’s a tacky wasteland of payday loan shops and liquor stores. Kaptain was even a key figure in moving a pawn shop into one open storefront to serve his many “unbankable” neighbors. Nearby the Donna’s Hallmark is closing up after 18 years, another victim of “social change.” The old Blockbuster in the former Gromer’s sits empty as is much of that shopping center. Mark Avenue is infested with criminals and foreclosures while the backs of business buildings are marked with gang graffiti. So what, Dave’s people ask? Let’s talk about the Kimball dam as a power source! No surprise there. Has Dave’s political machine, the Elgin Community Network, ever done one thing to support middle class families and neighborhoods and protest the mass poverty that is eliminating them from Elgin?

        But then RS points out that even Schock has hopped on the Green bandwagon.

        But of course. That’s just Ed being Ed, the practical guy. He’s simply borrowed a page from Richard J. Daley’s playbook for “Winning the Chicago Way.” Richie’s father took all sorts of grief from leftists and the city’s media and cultural elites. Richie, by his flamboyant support for “Boys Town” and for “being green,” essentially bought off the Left without in any way impairing the fundamental Democratic racket running Chicago. Chicago politics remains the same: some Irish and Jewish guys arguing over the best way to exploit the Blacks.

        Schock is just applying the same Chicago Plan: ignore the neighborhoods, tap into city money for flashy downtown projects enriching private interests, toss some “green” bones to the few mouthy “progressives” elites to keep them quiet, and keep on keeping on.

        So there you are. We got two guys seeking alternate paths to making Elgin an East St. Louis with a sombrero. At least with Schock I have a pretty good idea how bad that path will be.

        It’s a real shame that Elgin has such pathetic alternatives. I really believe there still are honest, good-hearted, hard-working residents in Elgin who hold to the American Dream and its realization here. They want good homes and safe neighborhoods for themselves and good American-standard schools for their kids. Sure, they’ve been pushed to the wall by the Daily Herald, NENA, and the bank lawyer Dalton. But don’t they deserve a champion? Don’t they deserve someone committed to the interests of honest Americans and willing to speak truth to power? Someone who is willing to say that the real problem in Elgin isn’t too many affluent people or too much carbon dioxide but rather too much poverty and too many people who are benefiting from it.

        Someone like that would be an enlightened and real alternative.

        • One Vote says:

          I love the analysis! And I can’t dispute it. But you left out the fact that the gorilla in the room has an appetite.
          I sat behind them at the AFLA forum. You had Dalton and Jacobs, along with Shirley the Iranian immigration lawyer with a Hispanic husband, and a couple of Hispanic activists. (AWOL were Gil and Lil, who always make a “contribution.” Also missing was Ms. Armenta and Mrs. Noland from LULAC.)
          When the discussion turned to immigration enforcement and the new majority in Elgin, the group got in-your-face with both Schock and Kaptain.
          And both dutifully backed off. Kaptain told his quaint story about how he didn’t care where the sewage came from when he worked for FRWRD.
          Both Ed and Dave would rather joust with angry white citizens than dare say anything bad about the Latino activists.
          Now why is that?

        • RS says:

          rm, your comment may be a little too lengthy for me to respond to all your points, but let me just address the last one about poverty. After going to at least a couple of these forums, it appears to me that Dave Kaptain is the candidate who views poverty as being a problem. Dave Kaptain is the one that tells the truth about unemployment in Elgin. He says, correctly, that we have one of the worst unemployment rates in Illinois.

          And then you hear Ed Schock speak and Ed Schock wants us to think that we have very low unemployment. Why? Because he wants to count someone that works at a factory, for example, in Elgin but lives in St. Charles, for example, as an Elgin resident. Does that make sense?

          Somebody who lives in St. Charles pays taxes to St. Charles, their kids go to schools in St. Charles, etc., but Ed Schock believes that because they work in Elgin our unemployment figures are actually very low.

          Everybody else is talking about whether residents are employed or not and Ed Schock is talking about capacity utilization.

          The census has been brought up in each forum. Dave Kaptain says he’s concerned because it shows rising poverty. The growth in our poverty rate is second only to Waukegan, another city that has been attractive to illegal immigrants.

          When Ed Schock sees the census he thinks it’s wonderful because Elgin’s population is growing. He says it grew in every category. Even the white population, he claims, grew. Actually the white population fell by 9%, according to the 2010 census. In absolute terms, the city lost 5,000 white people during Schock’s tenure as mayor.

          As it turns out, everybody else is talking about non-Hispanic whites and Ed Schock is talking about Hispanic whites.

          In itself the drop in the white population can’t be said to be good or bad, but if it’s associated with a steep increase in poverty then that poverty poses challenges that must be dealt with. It seems that Kaptain is the only candidate that’s willing to admit that there is poverty in Elgin and has a plan to deal with it.

  6. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    If Schock had vision and the concern to improve the sewer backups we could have gone a long way towards fixing that disgraceful problem of sewage water backing up in senior citizens homes as well as younger homeowners.

    Now we have to get out the vote for Kaptain to try and clean up Schock’s mess.

    Have you been Schocked enough lately?

  7. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    I am wondering if Dave Reinert has been banned from the sight? I would have expected his thoughts by now as well as his insults.

    • Craig says:

      Dave hasn’t been banned…His absence is a mystery.

      I knew it seemed too civil around here…

      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

        It really is nice having bloggersation without all of his extra insult stuff that is not needed to make a point.

  8. Chuck Keysor says:

    I really enjoyed this thread. Very enlightening commentary, and no nasty bashing by anyone (including the ever-acerbic fellon who shall not be named!). All light and no heat….

    • Dave Reinert says:

      Sorry, all of these post are repeats, repeats,reppeats, and boring, boring, boring. I need some intelligent content to stimulate my mind. I feel like I’m a one of those boring city council meetings. An agenda filled with items the council can rubber stamp. No new ideas for the citizens of Elgin to get excited about. The status quo. Just like all of your post. Have agread day.

  9. Combos says:

    OneVote—– I attended three forums in 2009. AFLA’s, NENA’s and Eagle Heights’. I will forever remember those because of how Prigge handled himself in front of the same people you mentioned. I wish Kaptain had some of Prigge’s guts. It took ba**s to tell the limp-wristed NENA people that Illegals are dragging Elgin DOWN.

  10. One Vote says:

    This whole thread sort of speaks to the ward system concept, doesn’t it?
    DNA and NENA get the sewers separated and the non-elites have to fight for chopped liver.

  11. Dave Reinert says:

    I love chopped liver with lots of onions. LOL

  12. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward’s Choice for Mayor of Elgin

    The last election in 2009 I made it a goal of mine to help defeat three of the four informal majority who along with the Mayor at one time were seriously considering hiring the Futterman Law Firm for $44,000 regarding the U46 new boundaries. The cost of this class action lawsuit that started with litigation talk back in 2004 is currently 8.6 million dollars and growing. Incumbents Walters, Figueroa, and one time Councilwoman Rodgers all lost despite having a total of about 33 years of council experience among them.

    Now we can send a message of accountability to all local politicians that you should not be loose with your words and that we want leaders who will do their best to stop foolish litigation talk by voting Mayor Schock out of office for his role in this mess. Please see July 2004 Daily Herald Article Elgin Won’t Sue U46 for a refresher on what went down and was said by whom at –


    This fiasco of poor leadership alone is enough to vote the Mayor out of office in my opinion. We have been Schocked enough. It is time for change.

    I will vote for Councilman Dave Kaptain to be our next Mayor of Elgin.

  13. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward’s Choices for Elgin City Councilman

    My first choice for Elgin City Councilman is Mike Curtin whose profile at elginite is –


    I am impressed with his tenacity and persistence in going up against the city regarding the old sewers in some sections of town that allow raw sewage to back up in citizens basement drains when it rains to hard. He has a scientific education. Check out his comments regarding the sewers at –


    This above web address is also another outstanding example of why to vote Mayor Schock out of office for worrying more about luxuries and passing buy a basic service for many of a working sewer that only flows one way when it rains.

    My second choice for Elgin City Councilman is Mike Robins. His elginite profile is at –


    Mike says - I am an outsider, free from the constraints of connections developed through the years with the powers that be. I am an independent thinker. I have more than two decades of experience in public service. I know how to work with a diverse group of people in almost any situation. I know from first hand experience if you contact him he follows up with you. He wants to serve Elgin and will do his first term without taking salary or benefits.

    My third choice for Elgin City Councilman is Toby Shaw – elginte profile at –


    Toby says in his profile - Hard work, determination, loyalty, and faith were the building blocks of life that I learned while growing up on our farm. They have served me well through life thus far and I believe they set me apart from the other candidates running for city council. Elgin needs leaders that will not waver in hard times or unwilling to challenge the status quo, I am that leader.

    I urge everyone to get out and vote. Your vote can make a positive difference.

    Thank You!

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward

  14. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    I would not vote for Councilman John Steffen because of his relationship to his wife, lawyer Kerry Kelly. Back in 2004 she was quoted in the Daily Herald article Elgin Won’t Sue U46 as saying –

    “It’s great if the city is on board, but we’re still here if they’re not on board,” said Elgin resident and U-46 parent Kerry Kelly, who is not a potential litigant but supports the parents’ efforts.

    Read the whole article at –


    The now class action lawsuit has cost U46 taxpayers 8.6 million dollars and a number of U46 jobs.

    I would not vote for Anna Moeller because I think she is too close to the Steffen’s. Please read Anna Moeller’s bio at below address to see me trying to be Detective Columbo with her.


    I would not vote for Councilman Mike Warren because I think he is a puppet of the Mayor. For more information on what I consider his misdeeds along with the Mayor go to the Daily Herald article Tempers Flair at Council Meeting.


  15. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    I would not vote for Tish Powell – elginite profile at –


    I don’t like her answer to question number 2 that I asked her in the profile –


    Unfortunately, I really can’t give you a yes or no answer to the second question. While I agree that the cost to the school district and ultimately the tax payers is substantial, these families, just like anyone else, have the right to seek legal recourse if they feel aggrieved. Do I wish the situation could have been resolved outside of going to court to avoid racking up these legal bills? Absolutely! However, that was not my call. Ultimately it is the courts, not us, who will decide who is right.
    I would not vote for Tom McCarthy because I can’t even find a phone number on his web sight. Before one of the forum’s started I told him this and I also got the impression he is not into computers.
    I would not vote for Shane Nowak because I asked him a couple questions to respond to and he never did. When I asked him why he said he was busy.
    I have no particular reason why I would not vote for Manfred Czymmek.
    I like all the candidates including the Mayor on a personal level. Having been a resident of Elgin since 1971 I have to try and do my best to elect whom I think will best move the city forward or catch it up in the areas that it might be backward due to previous councils.
    Thanks for reading!
    Common Sense Clarence Hayward

  16. terrygavin says:

    So many great comments to address & so little time left to election day. First of all I worked overtime on Steve Rauschenberger’s campaign & let me tell you we had tons of volunteers walking every weekend door to door trying to defeat a total incompentent like Noland. The truth is after the district was redrawn eastward by the Chicago Machine making it a 11% greater total of registered Dems vs. Reps., Steve lost by less then 1% a mighty big accomplishment but still a loss is a loss. Also don’t forget the same Chgo. Machine poured nearly 3/4 of a million $ into Noland’s campaign the most for any Dem candidate state wide!

    Now the Elgin Mayor’s race, I read all the comments & most are accurate but miss the target of why I believe Kaptain needs to win April 5. Though I see Kaptain’s flaws Schocks are much worse for the citizens of Elgin. First Schock has a history of bending or even breaking laws if it suits his agenda, prime example is when he along w/ 3 other council people stripped Mayor Kelly of the IL. Constitutional given power to appoint citizens to boards & commissions by a 4-3 margin. The case was taken to the IL. Attorney Gen. who wrote back w/ a opinion letter stating in their view that was an illegal act by the majority on the council. I know this because I saw the letter & it was clearly the Atty. Gen.’s opinion it was an illegal act! There is at least one other clear violation I can point to & that’s when he 1st became Mayor he moved to appoint Juan Figueroa to his empty council seat, Figueroa who had never voted in a city election was registered to vote at a residence he had moved from which by law made him a illegal appointment plain & simple. Ed called it simply a technicality & appointed him anyway. My point here is simple he’s the “leader” of this council & beating him is necessary to stop the Schock agenda no matter if his council candidates win or not.

    Kaptain is far from perfect in my political world view but he’s honest, open & accessable to the citizens of the city. I know 1st hand he responds to contacts just like Prigge & Dunne. He also listens & will change his position if public outcry is present, Schock is stubborn & DOESN’T listen to the people! There are many other reasons to vote Kaptain in this race but the fact is this is the last best chance to dethrone Mayor Schock before he does any more damage to our city!