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December [2011] events open thread

1 December 2011 RS 35 Comments

Trees, South Elgin, IL Trees, South Elgin, IL (Photo by The Elginite).

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35 Responses to “December [2011] events open thread”

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  1. Dec 21: 3rd Annual Holiday Hafla at the Martini Room.

    Eastern Groove Studio and the Martini Room invite one and all to this great holiday fundraiser. Belly dancers from all over the Chicago area will perform and San Diego’s DJ JimBoz will be spinning his unique brand of world dance electronica.

    Wednesday, December 21
    Show begins at 8:00pm
    Martini Room
    161 E. Chicago St in Elgin
    $10 cover

    • One Vote says:

      Fundraiser for whom? What is the cause?

      • The fundraiser is for the studio. We are currently housed in a shared space that we will soon outgrow and are looking to create a world dance studio in downtown Elgin. This includes several thousand dollars in start-up costs.

        In lieu of appealing to the city for grants, breaks, and other financial incentives that will be on the backs of many non-dancing taxpayers, the studio and our friends are getting creative and banding together to raise the start-up capital ourselves.

        If, for any reason, we are unable to move our studio to a new location in 2012, all monies raised at this fundraiser will be donated to worthy local charities that help Elginites.

    • Bill O'Neill says:

      I hope that post was meant as sarcasm. ;-)

      I personally can’t believe that that story about LFG even came out. With no job description whatsoever, $92K might be an underpayment. Can you begin to imagine dealing with some of those people as your boss??? This City’s website needs help. Always has. It’s been 10 years behind since it was first developed in 11 years ago. http://bit.ly/sJ0aUv

      Hasn’t this always been the problem with Elgin though. If only we had more BRICKS!

      • cruexxxx says:

        Bill-

        It’s no surprise the Courier reporter who wrote the infatuation piece has a special place in his heart for the entire elgin 2030 family. An underpayment? Hardly, at $75-$90 an hour in today’s economy. Dealing with the worst boss ever can be overcome at that hourly rate. It still smells but may have a justified ending.

      • paul says:

        I was hoping your post was sarcasm, Bill. Apparently not.
        You don’t see the problem or smell the stench emanating from Stegall paying LFG after she works on Kaptain’s mayoral election campaign, for work she has supposedly previously done for the city without contract or employment agreement, while at the very same time the city has contracted and is paying someone else to do the same work!!!!
        Clearly, you (”can’t believe”), Todd (”ridiculous”), and most certainly LFG, Kaptain, and Stegall want this story to go away, die quickly, and get buried. But the stench is overbearing, hard to ignore, and we have to step over it.

        • Bill O'Neill says:

          There’s much worse stories in this city that should be told. Fact is, in a community where there is little talent in a particular field, I don’t think someone should be penalized for working for anyone previously. I can’t tell you how many times I hired a contractor because they previously did work for someone I know, OR for me and I liked their work and they actually DID the job! There comes a point where people just LOOK for ties….and I don’t think that’s right….all the time. Our problem is that we live in a Post Daley era, where patronage crap WAS VERY MUCH WRONG, but doesn’t make it wrong ALL THE TIME. I don’t know if that came out right or not…..hopefully so.

          Also, as far my comment about being a possible “UNDERPAYMENT”, let me relate it to something that happened to me years back.

          Someone asked me if I’d be interested in helping with something that was what I thought, a good cause. I said sure. It was designing a webpage. A single webpage. Piece of cake, right? Well….one thing lead to another and before I knew it….they were DEMANDING I finish what was now a 12 page job, with all kinds of custom scripting in it, by X date.
          I finally said “F***-it”, shut down everything I’d done, and walked away from the job.

          What started out as a good idea….went south. My comment was in looking at all the things “web-wise” that she could end up doing, setting up online billing systems for parking, water etc……it could be a huge, huge task so yes….$92,000 COULD VERY WELL BE an underpayment to get a World-class website. But if she made a site that looked like mine…….then my friend, we’ll at the Council meetings bitching with everyone else.

          NOBODY, should be “Precluded” or “excluded” from doing work for the city, just because they previously did work for Kaptain.

          The way the whole thing came out though…..is fishy as hell. Sign her and let’s ALL see what the job description is going to be, or set the specs and put it out to bid.

  2. LFG-A says:

    Please share this link - then VOTE and share your photo, idea, story on why ELGIN should be the town to win $50,000 to do good!

    You can vote as many times a day as you like and put up many projects and ideas for the Funding. Reader’s Digest will then award funding based on the votes for the town and the support of those ideas posted.

    http://wehearyouamerica.readersdigest.com/town.jsp?town=ELGIN&state=IL&referrer=search

    • Todd Martin says:

      The city of Elgin is moving up in the Reader’s Digest contest:

      http://wehearyouamerica.readersdigest.com/index.jsp

      Our Mayor is now interviewed on the front of their website. Check it out and submit some Elginite votes!

    • paul says:

      Tell us the story about how LFG-A worked for the Kaptain for Mayor campaign and NOW the city of ELGIN is going to reward her for PREVIOUS work she has supposedly done, at a rate of nearly $90 per hour, though she was under no employment agreement or contract!

      • Terry Gavin says:

        Right on Paul! The truth will set us free… Looks very much like what Schock did after he won the mayor’s seat back in 1999.

        • One Vote says:

          FYI, Murphy makes $92K a year to find these back-slapping opportunities.
          And below her is another level at $65K called Special Events and Community Engagement Coordinator.
          For reference, Median Family Income in Elgin is $60K.
          It is very good to work for the king.

      • Todd Martin says:

        This allegation is ridiculous.

        Point #1: The City Manager (Sean Stegall) hired LFG. Look at our form of city government. The only person the Mayor & city council hire is the City Manager.

        Point #2: The city website sucks and needs someone to fix it.

        Point #3: LFG’s husband really poked City staff & council with Elgin2030. If anything, Sean would have black-listed her if he was being biased.

        Point #4: The “You don’t get paid until it’s done” arrangement and no written guarantee the city will even honor the contract is hardly generous to LFG. How would you like to work for months between paychecks? IMHO, Sean should have been more committed to the website fix with a written contract that pays the designer timely.

        Point #5: LFG is smart, talented, and dedicated to helping the community. Let her do her work instead of casting silly accusations.

        • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

          I have heard that the city spends around $39,000 advertising on bocajump.com. I want to see that stop. The city’s web site should be used for anything they are paying bocajump to do. I have Faith that LFG-A could design a great format for that additional info at cityofelgin.org. If the city will still be paying bocajump after the redesign then we are wasting tax dollars.

          I am proud to say that after I voraciously blogged about Mayor Schock’s past performance before the election, the day after he lost in a tight race I was banned from posting on bocajump. Mike Bailey emailed me with the ban. That shows how effective I was in my blogging.

          • Terry Gavin says:

            Clarence it wasn’t a close race at all. Schock lost by far more points then when he first won the Mayor’s office in 1999. You also were far from the only person blogging or writing about failures as a mayor during the campaign.

            Btw I had 4 years of actual debate & political battles with then Councilman Schock, so don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back for “defeating” Schock
            “single handidly”.

          • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

            Terry,

            Never the less you can’t deny that the day after Schock lost his race I was the one kicked off bocajump. I know I did not do it all to help him lose but when I was refreshing everyone’s memory of his talk of proposing to hire Futterman Law Firm for $39,000 back in 2004 to explore suing our own school district that ended up costing the taxpayers 8 or 9 million dollars and counting when the parents took up where Schock left off with a law suit took votes away from Schock. It took votes away the same way in the previous election when I reminded the voters every chance I could get that Walters, Figueroa, and Rodgers were the other three in Schock’s informal majority. They lost too.

            Terry, are you going to run for councilman this next election? If so please don’t try to take my credit away from me for my part in taking votes away from Schock.

            I doubt if I plan on running so I will need good candidates to support if I don’t run. So far from what I have read in most of your writings you might be someone I could vote for. I am not sure at this point. In local elections because my family does not have time to follow local issues I control my vote and two family members vote the way I advise.

            Merry Christmas to all who read the elginite.

        • paul says:

          “This allegation is ridiculous.”

          What allegation????

          Hilariously, Todd, you unwittingly verified everything I said.
          Thank you.

          Now as to what everyone reads into the FACTS is completely up to the individual. But knowing politicians in general and Illinois politicians in particular, it doesn’t look good.

          “Point #3: LFG’s husband really poked City staff & council with Elgin2030.”

          Disparaging the previous Mayor and previous council literally at the very same time LFG was working for the Kaptain mayor campaign!!! You forgot to mention that part, Todd.

          And please tell me the story, Todd, of why the city already has a contract with web vendor Civic Plus for website redesign and upgrade, and yet still wants to pay LFG for supposed past freelance website redesign work done with out contract?

          • Terry Gavin says:

            Once again Paul great point! But don’t you know you’re arguing with a intellectual who knows everything about everything?

            Facts mean nothing… It only matters what the intellectual thinks.

        • paul says:

          “This allegation is ridiculous.”

          What allegation????

          Hilariously, Todd, you unwittingly verified everything I said.
          Thank you.

          Now as to what everyone reads into the FACTS is completely up to the individual. But knowing politicians in general and Illinois politicians in particular, it doesn’t look good.

          “Point #3: LFG’s husband really poked City staff & council with Elgin2030.”

          Disparaging the previous Mayor and previous council literally at the very same time LFG was working for the Kaptain mayor campaign!!! You forgot to mention that part, Todd.

          And please tell me the story, Todd, of why the city already has a contract with web vendor Civic Plus for website redesign and upgrade, and yet still wants to pay LFG for supposed past freelance website redesign work done with out contract?

          http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/9345403-418/zoo-advocate-gibson-aiello-consulting-on-elgin-website.html

    • DB COOPER says:

      Maybe this is how they’re funding her? ;-)

  3. Don't hate on me! says:

    I don’t see how the LFG thing can be seen but anything but sketchy? All this does by her doing it without a contract is give them the opportunity to see if they’re going to get away with it. ie, does this look like something we’d pay $92K for? If not, screw her. Then watch for Elgin2031 or something to surface!

    With her husband doing that stupid 2030 thing, all they’re doing is holding their hands up high saying “see, we don’t hold grudges!” but then you have to look at those again. Those were horribly done and you KNOW she helped him do them so wtf exactly is her talent again? I would like to see something she’s actually done (website, brochure? Something other than a self-shot / posed picture of herself flicking her hair!). She may be amazing! Watching those 2030 pieces though leaves me scratching my head but then again this is the same city who’s been paying a former State Rep 10’s of thousands of dollars to disseminate information on a site that MAYBE 88 people read! Plus the 2030 pieces didn’t exactly do what they were made to do, did they.

    I don’t think she’s a bad person. I like her, but this is payback for something. What and from whom is the question? Plus what kind of website can one do with a city that looks like its downtown was evacuated because of a virus scare or something which brings me to my next question. The DNA and the Chamber.

    Neither one of these has done squat for the city in 10 years or more except keep their hands out and keep giving politico jobs to the arse kissers. Are we doing away with those? Why are we dishing out so much f’ing money for this crap to hold events that are only BIG, to them? Why is it so TABOO to talk about? You wonder why our Downtown looks like sht after paying out millions to the people in the DNA clown car to drive around and say LOOK WHAT WE’RE DOING, WE’RE DRIVING AROUND IN OUR CLOWN CAR AND GETTING PAID A BOATLOAD OF MONEY TO DO IT TOO! The people at the GV have to be shaking their heads because this city’s administration has failed them on a major level and it’s not because they didn’t have the money and it’s not because of a supposed recession. It’s because they don’t have someone who’s capable of thinking OUT OF THE BOX! Now they’re getting $8M for the Riverwalk? Let’s see how many different ways they can piss that money into the river.

    And where the hell is the clock from the Tower anyway? Has that been repo’d?

    • paul says:

      What is relevent:

      1. >>The Gibson Group, and she worked on the campaign website and social media for Elgin’s current mayor, Dave Kaptain.<>The last of 16 such videos to be found on YouTube (and viewed 185 times) dates back to early April, just before the spring council and mayoral election…He likens then-Mayor Ed Schock to Mr. Potter, the miserly banker from “It’s a Wonderful Life” and offers several criticisms of Schock.

      3. >>the current web vendor, Civic Plus, on a redesign, which is set to be unveiled in April 2012.
      Negotiations with Civic Plus led to an original quote of $19,900 for a redesign and upgrade.<>City Manager Sean Stegall said he has had a verbal agreement with Gibson-Aiello since February for the work. Thus far, she has not been paid for the project, on which she has accumulated 56 billable hours, to be paid at between $75 and $90 an hour.<<

      A $4000(so far, and still accruing) VERBAL city contract!!!! No bids! No council approval! INCREDIBLE. Literally, incredible.
      And if you don’t beleive Stegall, just ask him!

  4. cruexxxx says:

    Todd-

    You missed the point. This is a beauty. Stegall just insulted and ridiculed the entire LFGA clan, especially her vulgar-speaking Elgin 2030. Stegall should be praised for his play. By buying LFGA off for a few thousand dollars (IF he even pays her), he has destroyed elgin 2030 and what little childish credibility it had. Now, she looks foolish for working without a contract and Elgin 2030 looks like a paid-off cry baby. If he pays her and there are more videos after the check has been cashed, elgin 2030 will be seen as forever ungrateful for a job that paid $75-$90 hour. Touche, Mr. Stegall.

    Stegall also has legitimate cause to not pay her. Nothing signed. If 4 of his leaders (the city council) direct him not to pay her, he can’t. He could resign, but that is not going to happen. Who would vote to not pay her? I’d guess Gilliam and Prigge for sure. Kaptain and Dunne, both close friends of LFG and Kaptain’s campaign staffer and current facebook administrator, will vote yes. That leaves Steffen, Powell and Moeller to settle the matter.

    Not paying LFG would be justified unofficially but not probable. Making her sweat for several months before considering paying her would be justified and quietly seen as fair payback.

    The big loser in this is Kaptain. This smacks of Chicago-style political hiring and for a man who claimed he was above the prior mayor’s tricks, he sure did not waste time in getting his hands dirty, did he? Putting his buddy on the planning and subdivision board and then his very own campaign manager as chairman for the Budget task force looks dirty even though no money was involved. I think Kaptain has some explaining and apologizing to do immediately becasue this involves money.

    Todd, your claim that LFG is “smart, talented, and dedicated to helping the community.” makes me chuckle. Usually those qualities are not associated with mean and vulgar people like elgin 2030. I find it hilarious it took Stegall to neutralize and castrate this hatefulness of elgin 2030 in this, a very humilitating way.

    P.S. I sure hope LFG has an Elgin business license to do this consultant work. If not, shame on Stegall for insulting licensed Elgin businesses by not offering a contract opportunity to them, also. Is anyone left at Elgin Octave to do a FOIA?

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      We need Elgin Octave to do an FOIA. Cruexxxx, this is enlightening to me. Who is Kaptain’s face book administrator? I appreciate your post. It give a lot of cause to think.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Cruexx” (what the h$*% kind of name is that anyway), your diatribe is incoherent.

      You state the City Manager insulted and ridiculed LFG by hiring her? That’s pretty twisted.

      You think it is justified to not pay someone for their work AND that it is justified to “Make her sweat for several months” as “fair payback”. That sort of attitude is atrocious. We are adults, not kids in a playground with imagined passive-aggressive powers. I’m glad I don’t live in the Fantasy you enjoy describing.

      You spout that the Mayor is rewarding someone AND at the same time the City Manager is tricking that person. Which is it? Obviously it is neither when you simply look at the facts.

      I won’t defend Elgin2030. It was stupid. It was also done by Tony Aiello, not LFG. I have met LFG and gotten to know her enough to understand that YES, she is smart, talented, and dedicated to helping the community. I can separate my judgment between 2 people.

      I suggest that you look at the BEFORE and AFTER look of the City website, when it goes online. Make a fair judgement of her work. Then you can decide for yourself whether taxpayer dollars were well spent.

  5. Terry Gavin says:

    Clarence in no way do I wish to minimize your efforts to defeat Schock. There was a lot of issues that he couldn’t run away from. And in the end he got exactly what he deserved but NOW we’re still paying for his 12+ years as mayor & councilman. Hope he enjoys his home in Arizona.

    I also find much of what you post on here agreeable to me as well.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone here on elginite!

  6. Terry Gavin says:

    Finally Leo Nelson is gone from the Chamber of Council, well sort of. Now if only the city would cut funding a orginization that has stopped advocating for business’ but has become a dependent of the city’s/taxpayer’s & an arm of the government. That also started in 2000 when Schock was first elected mayor.

  7. cruexxxx says:

    Todd-

    Mr. Stegall certainly could not be faulted for returning the ridicule and insults directly to the source. I would not blame him. He is a non-elected employee of the city who was victimized repeatedly by personal insults on social media. LFG and elgin 2030 enjoyed 15 minutes of fame from their small number of friends. I say this may be part two of the payback. Todd, If you want to talk reality, the first step would be to stop separating husband and wife when it comes to hate. The wedding line “for better or for worse” applies.

    Atrocious not to pay or delay? That is for the council reps to decide. Consider that it may be atrocious for a “smart, talented and dedicated” person to perform contract work without a contract. For sure, the mayor is appearing less than sparkling for the third time since becoming mayor. I would guess Mr. Stegall would get a scolding from the mayor if he did not use LFG. You can draw your own conclusion as to how the mayor would even know about a rejection.

    The city website is average at best and could use a makeover. Some of the people who could upgrade it may be city business-licensed professionals that may offer the same or better services for a lower rate. I stand by my earlier words, Stegall engineered a beauty.

  8. One Vote says:

    Keep your eye on the ball, folks. Stegall is grabbing for $6 MILLION and we’re fixated on a few thousand in freelance work.
    If I were the mayor I’d insist on a quid pro quo with these high-tech creative folks setting up shop in Elgin. We’ve given them some breaks to help their start-up. They need to pony up some pro bono website development in return.
    As for Linda, give her a plaque in a city council meeting.

    • paul says:

      “Stegall is grabbing for $6 MILLION ”

      I counted it at $10 million less 1 million in alleged property tax reduction which I would never hold my breath on.
      And he already has the $10 million. My keeping my eye on it ain’t gonna change it.
      I tried to warn you this past summer via Art Space project. When they voted to expend $3.5 million in the face of already know multi-million dollar deficits, raising your taxes was baked in. No one cared then and there is NOTHING you can do about it now. They set up a finance task force and had public meetings as if that would be matter. It didn’t, no surprise.

      All that noise about a $250K business tax was the ultimate distraction. $10 million taxes/fees raised while saving businesses from admittingly passing on to the consumers a $250K tax. Has Elgin Octave declared victory?

  9. cruexxxx says:

    Bill-

    There is an abundance of internet design talent in this area. Since this was patronage unofficial hiring the residents will never know how many would have submitted an offer to do a re-design. But that is not the point because Stegall hired her with a scheme. Stegall knows what he is doing. He has destroyed a mean-minded and vulgar elgin 2030 and getting some free help at the same time. Kaptain has sure acquired some patronage hits in just 8 months, hasn’t he?

    • Bill O'Neill says:

      well……..maybe. I don’t like the whole off the books issue. When they talk about cutting fire and police services, they sure as hell shouldn’t be spending $100K under the table in a handshake agreement. As for 2030, maybe it’ll comeback as a professionally produced mini-series on “Why you should love your City Manager!” or “When is a DUI not, a DUI”? Of course it would be a Comedy series.