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Religious figure, Elgin IL (Photo by The Elginite).
Monthly open thread for August 2012. Post what you want.
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Dave Kaptain - Mayor of Elgin, Illinois
I have begun talking to residents about the concept of a storm water utility. We will be meeting with consultants in the next few weeks to determine a plan to meet the needs of the community. Join Kyla Jacobsen and me at the September live chat to hear more.
More taxes on the way!
Mayor Kaptain beware!
Any talk of a rain water runoff tax will be met with extreme resistance from the voters/citizens/taxpayers of Elgin. This city council is taxing & taking our hard earned money on false premises.
Storm water utility/runoff indeed it’s also known as rain water runoff. Why not try to tax the oxygen we breathe & the carbon dioxide we exhale? Oh did I just give them another idea on how to tax us even more?
Enough is enough Elgin City Council stop taxing us for your own special interests! You’re not listening to the people of Elgin.
Say Terry, you are right about the angry masses. I was out this evening singing in my church singing group, and had two people come up to me, one I had never met before, and the other I hadn’t seen in 5 years. Both were mad as the blazes at the new taxes, and expressed their eager anticipation at getting to “vote the bumbs out”. Not only were they were mad about all the new taxes, but they are upset over the wasteful spending on Artspace. In our brief chat, they asked a common question,,,, “why do we need to spend taxpayer’s money to make retail space for artists when Elgin has tons of existing vacant retail space?,,,, why do we need to spend taxpayer’s money to make housing for artists, when downtown Elgin is full of empty condos?” I agreed with them.
Maybe we should print tee shirts that say: “Tell me if you hate Elgin’s high taxes” and bumper stickers that say, “If you hate Elgin’s high taxes, vote the bumbs out in April 2012″.
How about Vote for conservatives for Elgin City Council?
Clarence, I have been told by Mike Bailey that I use language that is not conducive to getting along, well something close to that anyway. I do that on purpose, as most people want to just sit. I try to use language that will engage people on a different level.
I think in regards to this present tax issue, that people’s anger has to be tapped into in order to get them to do something. I do not seek to make people angry, but instead, to harness the anger that is already there. Hence my choice of words.
And, there are people who are liberals, that don’t like being robbed by the City (see, there I go again!). So we of course don’t want to scare away liberals with signs that say vote for conservatives. Saying vote against high taxing and high spending can appeal to people of any political position.
” told by Mike Bailey that I use language that is not conducive to getting along”
You disagreed with Mike Bailey!!!! That or you objected to him being funded by the taxpayers/City of Elgin.
” I try to use language that will engage people on a different level.”
I try to wake them up.
” I do not seek to make people angry, but instead, to harness the anger that is already there.”
Many/most people intentionally avoid issues that requires intellectual engagement, especially those issues that might make them angry. Waking them up to the issues often makes them angry (about the issues).
Hello Anonymous (by the way, I thought Rick was going to not allow that handle any more……)
You are astute in your Bailey assumption. The City posted in the Daily Herald Legal notices, all of the City’s expenses for 2011. A friend of mine told me that he saw in that listing, that Boca Jump had gotten $41,000 in 2011 from the City. I went wow, how could that be? I had understood they were getting $30,000/year. So I filed a FOIA to see every payment ever made to Boca and its owners by the City.
In the mean time, my friend emailed someone at Boca Jump, and asked them to justify getting $41,000 from the City in 2011. Mike Bailey sent a reply, in which he stated, and I quote, “Concerning BocaJump specifically, we did NOT receive $41,000 from the city last year. That is a highly inflated figure.”
Well, it just so happened that the day before, I had gotten back my FOIA from the City. The FOIA gave invoice numbers and dates for every payment to Boca Jump, and it showed that the City in fact did not pay Boca Jump $41,000 in 2011 as my friend thought. Boca Jump got $40,000 all paid in calendar year 2011.
If anyone is concerned that I am taking things out of context or twisting the truth, I’ll email them the full thread and the Foia. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yeah I didn’t get a chance to delete the anonymous comment before you replied.
Regarding your comments on BocaJump, here’s a thought:
If Mike Bailey consistently gets a fixed $30,000 per year from the city for BocaJump, wouldn’t it be appropriate for that to go before the city council each year for a proper vote? Otherwise people may think that there is a deliberate obfuscating effort to break the payment up into smaller amounts so that it doesn’t reach the threshold where it has to go in front of the council, leaving it purely at the discretion of the city manager.
In the interest of transparency and good governance, I’m not sure the current way they are doing it is the best way. The council routinely votes on far lesser amounts. I don’t see why BJ should be an exception.
” they are upset over the wasteful spending on Artspace”
And I thought I was the only one upset.
That the council voted 7-0 to spend millions of Elgin taxpayer dollars on a private development project to bring low-income housing (and all the associated problems of low income housing - think 222 Locust) to downtown Elgin ignoring city codes and requirements (56 units and not a single parking space!! you and I would never get away with that) and State and Federal Fair housing laws (if you only rent to “artists”, age and race are no longer a determinant - only adherents to their community organizing socialist philosophy will be accepted); why be upset?.
Rent starts at less than $400!
Prigge was one of the 7-0 yes votes.
The only thing missing from the downtown Elgin scene are tumble weeds blowing up and down Grove Ave. Where can I get some tumbleweeds?
I will buy and wear a t shirt if you make and sell them
I spoke with Mayor Kaptain about this during a “Walk with the Mayor” event last week. The general description he gave of the stormwater utility was to float a bond to pay for storm sewer separation in a specific neighborhood, and then charge fees to the residents to pay it off.
I have a few concerns about that. I suppose the first is that I’m already being charged for sewer use, so where’s that money going?
And also, as we all know, once government starts charging a fee, it rarely stops. So I would think we’d get stuck with this fee forever, not just until the bond is paid off.
He also said that the electricity tax is based on the number of kwh per month and not a percentage. I told him I don’t think there was enough effort to communicate the way these new fees and taxes would be applied to citizens. This new tax added more than $9 to my bill last month.
In general, I like the idea of charging people for what they use, but want to make sure we’re not being double charged for it.
I think the mayor said his electricity tax was only $3 something. Apparently he doesn’t use an air conditioner. Some of my neighbors were easily into double digits for the tax.
Between the taxes on my landline, cell phone, cable TV, electricity and natural gas that’s a lot of tax to Elgin. And that’s before proeprty tax, sales tax, liquor tax etc.
elginkevin, you posted “In general, I like the idea of charging people for what they use, but want to make sure we’re not being double charged for it.” And with that statement I’ve got no problem but I do have a problem with the fact that Elgin city government has absolutely no role in the supplying, delivering or maintaining electric or natural gas to our homes & businesses. What right do they have to tax us money based on our usage when they have no stake in?
On top of that what we were told about all these new taxes turned out to be false, plus what they told us about the budget
deficit was untrue. Now they want to institute a rain water runoff scheme to extract even more money based on a natural event. What happens when you’ve got a drought like this year does the city give us money back for lack of stormwater?
No when someone has been dishonest with me I won’t trust them with more of my hard earned dollars. I’ll find people who are honest to represent me.
well said this group seem to be a great watchdog group for the citizens who are not in the loop. keep up the good work
Common Sense Clarence-
It doesn’t even take that much. All it takes is someone with average addition and subtraction skills who do not get a government pension or paycheck like Gilliam, Kaptain, Moeller, Dunne and Steffan do. You have 6 liberals and a conservative now on the council, I’m sure. Now that Dunne has turned into a liberal much to the disgust of many local republicans he’s a lost cause for any change. This is why I think the 2015 election is Elgin’s only real chance to survive.
I don’t remember ever disagreeing with you on one of your prior posts until now. Not the part about the average addition & subtraction skills or the people who get government pensions or paychecks but the part where you think the 2015 election in Elgin being our only real chance to survive.
Instead I’d argue that the 2013 elections are critical for our survival & success in 2015. Let me explain it this way if we can elect 2 or 3 good conservatives & retain Prigge we could slow down the radical Kaptain agenda. We would also have established a bridgehead in which we could excercise influence in the Mayoral race in 2015. The problem we’ve got now is there’s only one council member voting NO on this extreme agenda of taxing & growing the size of government.
Very similar to the conservative landslide of Congress & state legislatures in 2010 will help defeat the current occupant of the WH. The task is huge to win back our city government for the good of the citizens but very achieviable with proper planning now!
You make a very good point.
Common Sense Clarence Hayward - “A conservative voice in our Elgin Community”
There is an article in the Tribune about the Rivers Casino. Of course the Grand Vic is mentioned.
To quote the article: “That ripple-effect loss of attendance has meant a hit to revenue in Elgin, where officials said they boosted taxes to cover lost casino revenue”
Huh? I thought Casino funds were never used for day to day operations of the city. Why would would taxes need to be raised to replace the lost casino revenue? Of course we know taxes were raised but I don’t think it was for the reason stated in this article. Or does the Elgin official they contacted really believe that?
Sie, City Manager Stegall said during last year’s budget task force meetings, that in fact for several years, Riverboat Funds had mingled with General Fund expenses. IE, the Riverboat was in fact supporting some operating budgets. Maybe someone will say I heard wrong, but that was my understanding, and it seemed to be a very candid admission.
And the primary vehicle the budget task force was looking to for funding cuts, was the Riverboat Fund. And, if Riverboat Funds were totally isolated in a glass bubble, then cutting the Riverboat Fund wouldn’t have helped the City’s “Budget Crisis”. Note the quotation marks!
The City Manager also pointed out the unfortunate situation that with the way the Riverboat Fund had initially been set apart from operating expenses, that the Riverboat allowed the City to BUILD BUILD BUILD, but then did nothing to support the operation of what had been built! Think about that….
The below post was a July thread reply to Jules that I am afraid will get lost since it is now August and I just posted the reply to Jules today. So I am adding into the more current August thread. It is timely as at the end of the post it talks about the group who wants to start a charter school and their relationship to players back in 2004 concerning possibly hiring Futterman law firm for $44,000 first by the city and then by the parents group. I believe SIE is not interested but anyone who is concerned about the value of their tax dollar should be aware of what went on back then.
Common Sense Clarence Hayward
August 5, 2012 at 4:58 am
I am going to paste a previous posting I wrote in Feb of 2011 showing how sometimes people like our now former Mayor Schock wanting to get involved with our school system can indirectly lead to a class action lawsuit that last I knew has cost our U46 school system at least 9 million dollars. I believe it still has not come to a conclusion. In my opinion this class action law suit is hurting our property values.
Common Sense Clarence Hayward
February 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm
I was a voracious blogger before the last election to remind the voters how the Mayor and his informal majority wanted to hire Futterman at an initial cost of 44,000 to explore suing OUR OWN SCHOOL DISTRICT.
The mayor sent a letter to the editor of the paper explaining why he had to do this and my letter was below his as to why it was a STUPID idea.
This informal majority should not have been fanning the flames of litigation talk. They should have taken the role of fire fighters and tried to douse the sparks of litigation before they took hold and roared into a flaming class action lawsuit by the parents who took up where the city left off and hired Futterman and consequently burned up 9 million and counting tax payer dollars up in smoke.
Common Sense came too late as one of the informal majority withdrew support so the formal vote would have been a tie back then with only six on the council at that time and was tabled.
Council people Walters, Figueroa, and Rodgers all lost their bid for election despite having a total of about 33 years on the council.
Now Mayor Schock is left. I believe we have to hold our politicians accountable for the FOOLISH IDEA TO SUE OUR OWN SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE DAMAGE THAT HAS BEEN DONE.
Councilman Steffen is now up for reelection and he was NOT on the council back in 2004 when this all went down. However, his lawyer wife Kerry Kelly was supporting the lawsuit. (see her quote below)
Now I have to wonder if he also should be voted out for not stifling his lawyer wife and her litagation talk as well. I wonder as a lawyer himself, why he could not see what was going to come of this?
I like all of the people in this story personally (I never met Kerry Kelly, Councilman Steffen’s lawyer wife so I don’t know if I like her) but people who should know better need to be held accountable for what this law suit has done to U46, teachers, students, other staff, and school programs.
The irony of the situation is it still makes perfect common sense to me to have school boundaries that allow more students to go their neighborhood school and not be bused farther away from their homes especially in bad winter weather that is not bad enough to close the school for the day. After school activities are much more convenient when they are at your neighborhood school as well.
You can read in a July, 2004 Daily Herald article - Elgin Won’t Sue U46 - the whole story as I have shared it in this blog.
Read the quote by Kerry Kelly (Councilman Steffen’s wife) in the article and you will see why I wish Councilman Steffen would have stifled her so to speak.
Her quote below -
“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.
Common Sense research by googling Futterman law firm whould have shown these people that they were dealing with Master Chessman and the locals were merely pawns in their hands.
Now they go laughing all the way to the bank probably singing “We’re in the money” at the tax payers and U46 expense.
Mayor Schock needs to go because of this. I am on the fence about Councilman Steffen.
Have you been Schocked enough lately?
Postscript: Mayor Schock lost his election to now Mayor Kaptain. The day after the election results Mike Bailey who writes for http://www.bocajump.com emailed myself, Clarence Hayward to inform me I have lost all privileges of posting on bocajump.com for breaking the rules. The rules were never posted and I was never previously informed I broke the rules.
Could it be that my posts in Elginite.org and Daily Harold and Courier leading up to the Mayor’s election bid could have been the deciding factor to kick me off bocajump when the city pays boca at least $39,000 for advertising and Mayor Schock lost by a few hundred votes?
I think I helped him lose a few votes reminding the voters of what he did above.
At the web page address below you will read about some of the above or relatives of the above, Kerry Kelly, and Mayor Schock’s wife, who now are hoping to eventually use our school tax dollars for a charter school.
A few paragraphs from the Sun Times Media article below -
Launching an idea
That “handful” of Elgin residents includes Moeller; Schock; Kari White; Kerry Kelly, wife of City Councilman John Steffen; and Laurel Warren, wife of former City Councilman Mike Warren, according to Schock.
“Our commonality is we all care about education and we all care about Elgin,” Schock said. “We want to look at options for the children of Elgin.”
Both Schock and her husband, former Elgin Mayor Ed Schock, spent their careers as educators in U46. Moeller also has a background in education, the councilwoman said, and both she and Kelly have young children.
So Kerry Kelly who was totally behind the parents group suing U46 which last I knew has cost taxpayers 9 million is currently exploring along with the wife of Mayor Schock the possibility to get U46 to go along with a charter school which would entail more tax payer money.
While Council Woman Moeller was running for council office I tried to find out what her opinion had been regarding the Mayor and parents views of hiring Futterman. I expected she would have had an opinion since her husband is a teacher in another school district and with young children who would someday attend school I thought surely she must have had an opinion.
Alas, she was totally involved in her young children at the time and had no opinion she told me and yet now she is part of the group wanting a charter school. Looks like going from totally cold to hot on school issues in a period of years.
There is my response to you Jules. I appreciate if you read it. I imagine over the coming months there is going to be an effort to raise interest in a charter school. I just wish the same group raising the interest could have used common sense back in 2004 and put out sparks of litigation so 9 million dollars of tax payer money could be spent for the kids rather than the lawyers.
Common Sense Clarence Hayward - A conservative voice in our Elgin Community
Hi Mr. Hayward,
We’ve been in Elgin just long enough to know about the suit you mentioned above. I was wondering if anyone on here is involved with the U-46 Citizens Advisory Council? https://www.facebook.com/groups/145031035536411/
I don’t know any charter school students, parents, or teachers, so I was looked at articles. I suppose it depends on the way charter schools are set up here, but I don’t think that they have the level of transparency that Elginite readers typically want. For instance, in PA, residents may not have access to all aspects of charter schools’ finances, although the schools are funded at least in part by taxes. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/education/pennsylvania-charter-public-schools-not-always-bound-to-same-rules-648697/#ixzz23SKYJPbV
I’m joining CAC this year as a representative for my daughter’s school. Should be an interesting time.
I am noticing feelers being put out regarding a charter school in U-46. There may be a meeting held with South West Area Neighbors soon to discuss some of the options. I don’t have a strong feeling either way, as long as Northern Kane Educational Corporation isn’t involved. Not a big fan.
RS and Chuck,
I have to wonder to myself if the payments the city makes to bocajump are cost effective?
Mike Bailey, when he was Editor of the Courier wrote a column about why he liked the current Mayor Schock. I believe that was when he was also on the City Parks and Recreation Board. An unpaid, appointed, volunteer position. He was not happy when I questioned him on being on an appointed, unpaid city volunteer board member as well as being the editor of the local newspaper writing articles about why he likes the mayor. Sounds a bit too bias to me.
It certainly was nice for Mike working for boca under Mayor Schock’s reign that boca started getting paid for city advertising. I just don’t know why they can’t advertise at the city’s own web site a lot more instead of boca?
Mike Bailey emailed me the day after Mayor Schock lost his last mayoral election bid and told me I can no longer post at boca jump because I broke the rules. The rules that were never posted and were never previously communicated to me that I was breaking.
I think the real reason was because I was a voracious poster under election articles at the newspapers reminding voters of a big mistake Mayor Schock made in 2004 regarding the Futterman Law Firm. I think that helped him lose some of the votes that cost him the election in a close race.
Common Sense Clarence Hayward “A conservative voice for the Elgin community.”
One more thought regarding advertising at boca. If it can be proven that those advertising dollars we pay boca generate a good return for the city then it is worth it. Otherwise, why not consider using that money for flashing ads elsewhere? Or for other needs in the city?
Precious tax dollars have to get us the most bang for our buck.
Common Sense Clarence Hayward - “A conservative voice in the Elgin community.”
As I understand the history of the Boca Jump funding it was approved by City Mgr. Stegall which under an ordinance authorizes him to spend up to $20,000 on a city expense without council approval. That ordinance was on the books when I served on the council in the 90’s, so that’s ok if it benefits the city when time is critical to move on something important. What we are seeing now is an abuse, in my opinion, of that authority. For nearly 3 years the city has been funding Boca Jump without a council vote. We’ve spent upwards of $60,000 or so with more going out each month. My understanding from city hall is that’s about to stop soon. Better late then never but it should NEVER have gotten to this point in the first place.
If the funding is pulled by Sean then someone on the council, Bob Gilliam probably, will have to ask to put it on the council agenda for a vote to continue the funding. You see Bailey & Gilliam are very good friends & Bailey has been writing supportive articles about Gilliam for several decades. Like big time politics you scratch my back & I scratch your back.
Recently citizens have been asking tough questions about the city’s funding BJ & now the sunlight might just very well put a stop to it until of course the council approves it anyway. You see with all the new taxes the city is taking from us they can just go ahead & spend away as in business as usual.
Let’s also not forget LFG was paid as a consultant under this same authority from Sean to help design the new city website. Which when exposed was at about $19,5000. In my world if any city employee is abusing his or her authority that authority must be taken away!
Terry, you make a valid point about how funds are spent with and without council votes. I should add that my engagement in February of 2011 was shared with all the current council members at the time to gain their input/approval on moving forward on a redesign of the website and engaging my company The Gibson Group to look at putting an RFB together and explore options. To my knowledge it was supported by the majority of council members at the time and thus I was engaged for the project. My company did not bill anytime until an engagement with the vendor was reached in August of 2011. I’m very proud to save tax payers over $17,000 in fees from the vendor using our buying power to negotiate. Another project my company is working on is a monthly print and online version of the Elgin Spirit to promote civic groups, Elgin in a positive light, events, the community, what makes us unique, what is made in Elgin, etc. It will be paid for with advertising by our community and available free to the public at various locations in-town. I hope this is a project you can help support… after-all if Kane County Woman is FREE at Paul’s Dinner, why shouldn’t residents have something about Elgin similar to Kane County Magazine or Naperville Magazine? And no, my company has not asked for one dollar from the City to support this project. They can advertise if they wish just like Sherman Health or Car Dealerships and other retail professional organizations. I’ll be looking for an ad sales rep and some freelance writers soon. We’ll also be live-streaming local Elgin Sports via the website. ;)
Thank you for the update Laurie. My main concern or beef was not directed at you it was directed at Sean & the Boca Jump funding. The website looks great & since my expertise is not website design or IT matters I’ve got no idea how good or bad your price was. My understanding of your consulting on this project is or was that the entire council was not aware of it nor that a vote was taken to approve your contract. I’d also point out that after April 2011 2 new council members were sworn in. If I’m wrong about that I’ll apologize but my understanding of those issues is that my statements are correct. Unlike some of the statements this current council has made to the public about our taxes, new budget or the so called budget “deficit” crisis!
Good luck with your latest projects. I’ve also heard rumors that you might be planning a run for city council?
Did you forget the long friendship Bob Gilliam and Mike Bailey have? I was told it goes back 40 years. Bailey was fired twice by the Courier and his wife was fired once by the Daily Herald. That adds up to no income until the city came to the rescue with some money. This appears to be what you said and that’s dirty. Is the blame on Stegall or is he being pushed by Gilliam to do this? Why would Stegall allow one councilman to push him into a loophole? Bad either way.
I don’t know or care about Bailey’s financial situation or personal relationships. Regardless of who owns or manages BocaJump it should not be held to a different standard. It is abnormal for the city government to dole out $30,000/year without a council vote. That’s all I said.
But I will add that it’s also abnormal for anybody to purchase “unlimited advertising,” which is what the city ostensibly gets for its $30K/year.
The standard metric for display advertising on the web is cost per thousand (CPM) impressions. Because it’s standardized, rates can be easily compared against The Daily Herald, Courier News, Chicago Tribune, etc. Instead of paying on a CPM basis like everybody else (which would cost it a tiny fraction of what it’s currently paying), the city is providing a grant-like fixed amount to BocaJump.
The city is definitely not paying market rates for the advertising they are buying from BocaJump so it’s best viewed as a grant. As such, the council should compare it to other grant options. And there are many worthy causes in this city that should be at a higher level of priority than paying Mike Bailey to blog.
I want BocaJump to succeed, but it’s had enough time now on the public teat and it needs to either stand on its own or fold.
Thanks for some great incite regarding advertising rates. I too enjoy the writing at boca. Mike Bailey, Paul, and others really write some great columns that get me thinking. Some I agree with and some I don’t. If I decide to run for a city council position I am imagining I will probably feel the power of his professional writing expertise used against me. I really admire professional writers but one thing that I can’t understand is why there are so many typos that get through at bocajump. Because they are professional writers I would think they would check and double check before they print something. I make mistakes with the English language every day in print because I don’t know the rules and yet the typos at bocajump jump out at me on on a first read. I don’t get it how it gets past everyone at boca?
If you want to watch a fun video go to bocajump and look for Mike Bailey’s son J.J. Bailey writings. Probably one of the the last articles he posted has a link to a video that just made my day.
You may not care about Bailey’s personal relationships but the fact is it’s relevent to this issue. How you might ask? If it weren’t relevent BocaJump wouldn’t be on the city’s payroll. You see ladies & gentlemen what we’ve got here is Elgin’s own version of “crony capitalism”, just like the big boys in Springfield & Wash. D. C.!
C S C H
Though I agree sometimes BocaJump has some good columns to read they’re biased towards the city’s position & have actually attacked Chuck Keysor & me for truths we’ve spoken about the budget & the new/increased taxes they’ve passed. I’d go so far as to call BJ the propaganda mouth piece of city hall!
When Bailey was at the Courier he made it his crusade to destroy Mayor Kelly & myself politically over the 4 years we served & along with the Daily Herald supported Schock for Mayor in 1999. For 4 years he did nothing but attack us personally week in & week out. So if you’re wondering what it feels like to be the target of his professional writing expertise, just ask me since Kelly has left town. Mike Bailey views himself as some kind of “king maker” here in Elgin & if people don’t wake up soon this type of garbage will just continue to happen.
The fact is clear Bailey’s relationship with Gilliam is relevent
to why the city is paying our tax dollars to BJ…
Most of the good columns that I like from Mike Bailey don’t have anything to do with the city.
I have to laugh at myself because in my last post my complaining about the professional writers at bocajump having typos all the time, I noticed that I had a typo of on on in my post. How embarrassing.
I can’t understand why Mike’s wife Chris seems to have left the earth. I really liked reading her Sunday editorial in the Daily Herald. I have never read anything that I know is hers since she left that paper.
Does anyone know if she is writing anywhere?
Hello Rick, concerning Boca Jump:
Sean Stegall in an email to me said that the City does not have a contract with Boca Jump. And the FOIA I got on this matter, shows that the City paid Boca Jump $40,000 IN calendar year 2011.
a)the City uses “cash basis” accounting (where money is accounted for when it is paid and not when the debt is incurred)
b)there is no contract between the City of Elgin and Boca Jump,
c)Boca Jump got $40,000 last year from the City of Elgin/taxpayers,
Therefore let it be resolved that henceforth, we should state that Boca Jump got $40,000 in 2011 and not continue to refer to the previously rumored $30,000.
I will email the FOIA to anyone who wants it. My email address is email@example.com.
I’m aware of the two extra $5,000 payments totaling $10,000. But I don’t know what they were for.
So until we get more information on that, I’m just going by their ordinary monthly $2,500 payments.
Rick, I agree with Terry Gavin on the Boca Jump payment issue.
Further, I believe that the purpose of all the money, not just $30,000, but all $40,000 is that it is what is needed to keep Boca Jump going. The CPM technicality was probably not even a consideration in determining the payments.
And if $40,000 for 2011 is not simply what was needed to prop up Boca Jump, but is in fact a fair payment based on actual Boca hits, then Mike Bailey and Sean Stegall can technically justify the payments by releasing audited/certified hit figures for Boca Jump. Then these figures can be compared to the Courier and Daily Herald hit figures. If our city government is in fact open, then the audited hit rates for Boca Jump need to be released.
However, even IF the CPM figures prove to be in line with market rates, who even says we need all this advertising? This then brings us back to Terry’s point. Hopefully this entire matter will in fact come before the council, so Boca Jump funding can be voted on. The people on the council can then be directly accountable to the voters.
As a metric, “hits” were discarded at least ten years ago. They do not represent site traffic because anything that hits up the server is a “hit.” No point in explaining it here, but you can google it for more information. The relevant metrics are page views, unique visitors and ad impressions delivered.
At The Elginite we are not secretive about our traffic. It’s directly measured by Quantcast and available publicly:
Any website that takes advertising has to be open about their traffic because advertisers have to know what they are getting for what they pay. In our case, you can see that we have about 3,500 people visiting the site monthly.
Market CPM rates for a local news website in the Chicago region are about $20 CPM.
This implies that BocaJump, which receives $2,500/month from the city, should be delivering 125,000 ad impressions per month. Which means they have to deliver at least 125,000 page views per month. If the page views do not match the ad impressions it means they are making up numbers.
Actually what they are doing is cycling through ads. Nobody else does this because normal advertisers would never stand for it. But BocaJump cycles through ads. Just go to their website and you can see. Wait a while and watch the ad change. You can be scrolled all the way down the page and never saw anything but the first ad that was served but they are probably still counting each different ad they cycle through as an impression.
So they can just open up their page and because they cycle the ad every ten seconds, it means in one minute they have “shown” 6 ads. Keeping that web page open for an hour means they’ve shown 360, which they no doubt count up as “ad impressions.”
I’m sorry to say that this is an unorthodox, shifty practice that no reputable web publisher engages in.
Thanks for the advertising education RS.
Yes RS very instuctive, maybe the city can hire you as a consultant to evaluate the best use of our dollars at city hall for advertising purposes! I mean whoever is doing it now seems to be incompetent.
Rick, maybe I was being too circular, My point was that advertising rate conventions, old, new, honest or dishonest have nothing to do with what Boca is being paid. It is my belief that these payments to Boca Jump and their size are being made for OTHER reasons, and justified somewhere in City Hall for reasons OTHER than any advertising rate metric.
It is my unproven belief that Terry’s explanation based upon who knows who, and who owes who is the basis for the payments and their size.
And of course, I may be wrong. So to get to the bottom of this, the first step would be to have Boca Jump get audited viewership/impressions/whatever you want, and then compare those to established market rates, and evaluate their validity based upon the points you made. Should it turn out that Boca is getting paid more than market rates, that will dramatically improve the chances that Terry is correct in his theory.
Anyone who is concerned, and wants to learn the truth of this affair, could start by demanding that the market value of Boca’s advertising be independently established. Then this information can be presented to the council for their evaluation and vote on funding for Boca Jump.
As well as citizens speaking out on this, the council could also proactively take action to investigate this matter.
Elginte gets more traffice than Bocca…..
TP, this is great information!!! Thanks.
The data shows Boca Jump with only 928 unique visitors and the Elginite with 3,820 unique visitors! An even more interesting fact is that Boca Jump’s viewership dropped dramatically a bit over a year ago, and it has stayed at a dead/flat line ever since. This looks even worse when compared to the Elginite’s viewership that is trending upwards!
Wondering why the new electric rates did not kick in? I’m sure the city said it should start sometime in July.
I received a letter from Com Ed saying the new rate won’t become effective until September 13. So we vote on this in March, it is approved soon after, the city says do nothing and your rates will change, but now they won’t change until the high summer usage period is over.
Thanks for the links, TP. Very interesting.
Just so everybody knows, when you post 2 or more links it automatically goes to the moderation queue as a precaution against spam. So sorry if it takes a while to show up because I don’t check the queue every day.
If I understand those graphs correctly they are measuring the amount of unique hits to each web site and it would not be repeated hits by the same isp address?
If that is correct then looking at the graphs when the next budget meetings come up if the council really thinks they need to pay for local internet advertising it looks to me as if they should consider a bid from your web site to get more internet exposure.
Even Mayor Kaptain was not aware of what a boca bargain was when I was in a recent email conversation with him and I made reference to the boca bargain.
Different sites, different objectives.
Boca is a news site with a person (Snell?) actually out getting reports.
Elginite is a blog of open commentary, mostly.
Boca essentially disallows open commentary and viewship suffers accordingly. I find little of use on Boca and what is there slants reports according to their own personal views which are not grounded in the same reality the rest of us live in.
Diverse public commentary is much more interesting and educational than Boca’s one sided alternate reality paid for by the Elgin City government(Elgin taxpayers).
No doubt Elgin council members and bureaucrats read this blog to keep tabs on any potential threats to their overall public opinion well-being. It probably surprises them that 4000 unique (what ever that is?) visiters to this blog relative to their paid mouth piece Boca! I say that because I noticed earlier on that Keysor/Mason’s facebook page, devoted to keeping tabs on the city government, had many council members as friends (keeping tabs on Keysor/Mason).
Very true paul very true indeed. Though Scnell has been replaced by Nick Petersen hopefully we get better reports. Of course with Bailey in charge I doubt it.
The city manager funding of BocaJump must stop immediately the authority of the ordinance does not support this expenditure on an ongoing basis or for the amount already paid out. It’s my belief that the majority on the council doesn’t want to vote on this issue to avoid public criticism if they support this waste of our tax dollars.
I hope nobody is actually taking the statistics found in TP’s message as the truth. As the site actually acknowledges, those are rough estimates based on a small sample size of nationwide internet users. The more local you get, the more incorrect those statistics will be. This is easily shown when comparing Elginite’s usage statistics. For the month of July, 2012, it is off by 2,000 hits. That is not within any reasonable margin of error.
Bocajump may not have any real utility, but if we want to criticize, we need to have actual numbers. Start asking questions during council meetings, but don’t use a random company’s numbers that are demonstrably wrong.
Hope you leave anon’s post up, RS. Classic liberal fascist argument. ‘Boca’s taxpayer subsidized funding is beyond criticism unless we have hard factual viewer rates to support any criticism.’
The mere FACT this thread argument really wasn’t about Boca’s viewer rate but RATHER Boca’s taxpayer subsidized funding to the FACTUAL (thanks, Chuck) tune of $40,000 in 2011 is evidently irrelevent to anon (Todd?). Actually his objective is to stand the argument on its head and desperately try to make the argument about unsubstantiated erroneous viewer rates. RS documented viewer rates and the other supplied documented viewer rates were within 1% for July 2012. Rough estimates or not at least they are comparing apples to apples - Elginite to Boca - rather than anon’s UNDOCUMENTED hit rate (whatever that is and wherever it came from).
“numbers that are demonstrably wrong.” Except that he utterly FAILS to demonstrate they are wrong.
” if we want to criticize, we need to have actual numbers.”
Last I checked $40,000 is a REAL number. And when citizens are losing their HOMES to foreclosure and LOWERING their standards of living while the council is raising their taxes in multiple ways to fund multiple idiotic things like Boca it is unjustified, immoral, uncivil, and just plain flat-out WRONG.
Chuck, did Bailey apologize for lying to your friend about $41000 being highly inflated? Doubtful.
Paul, no appology was offered by Bailey.
I have contacted our webmaster, and will see about getting that entire thread posted on the Elgin OCTAVE website. I’d paste it here, but it is too long, and I did tell Sean that if I passed it on to others, I would only do so in its entirity. Chuck
Does this portrait of California bear any similarities to Illinois?
I don’t know if this is true but friends of ours were saying that in Chicago if you go just one mile an hour over the limit in a construction speed zone you will get a $350 ticket which I imagine if true certainly fills up the cit coffers.
The author, Mr. Hanson certainly paints a picture that you could substitute Illinois to a certain extent.
I yearn for the Leave It To Beaver era. It looked like life was no worries and ideal back then. Of course I am simplifying things.
Red is blue. Blue is red.
Truth are lies. Lies are truth.
Right is wrong. Wrong is right.
As California goes so goes the nation.
Budget busting blow-out spending with $1.4 TRILLION annual deficits and Republicans are the uncompromising party!!!! How much more compromising can we afford???
You really can’t get there from here - work, I mean.
The Kimball Street bridge is torn up, as is Lawrence going up the hill.
They had these warning signs Monday morning that said, “Right lane closed ahead.” And the goofs had the LEFT lane closed on the approach patching potholes.
Then 31 is down to one lane at the Chicago Rawhide bridge.
So, to make it even more fun they closed Wing Street.
Do they even consider the mess when they schedule all these projects at once??
Speaking of California, had any Burgers or Ribeye lately, check out this video at http://www.campassionoverkilling.com
Wrong key stroke,,, http://www.compassionoverkilling.com
I cannot believe what I just read in the Daily Herald today. It is the article about the east side rec center. Does Anna Moeller understand what this country is going thru? Will someone read her quotes and tell me if I am crazy?
Cruex, I was there, and the DH quotes are right. Anna essentially said the city is in the business of providing non-essential quality of life amenities at a loss.
Also, John Steffen said we should spend this added money for the ERC, because it is not taxpayer’s money we are spending, it is Riverboat money. Thankfully Prigge called him out on that. (However I can not imagine that Steffen’s opinion was changed as a result.)
So no wonder the council spends, spends, spends! They think they are not spending taxpayer’s money, AND they think it is their purpose to provide services at a loss. How else could we explain spending $2.5 million (of which Prigge says about $800,000 is out of Elgin’s pocket and the rest is from bankrupt Illinois that spends with even worse abandon)?
I went on the Budget Task Force bus ride last summer. One of the places we stopped at, was the East Side Rec Center. Sean Stegall pointed out that on top of loosing something like $600,000 per year, the ERC faced HUGE structural issues. He made it clear what a total money pit that facility was/is. After I heard Sean’s facts on that facility, I felt certain that the ERC would be closed.
Well, the State of Illinois came in with their $1.84 million grant. And after the City’s MASSIVE tax hikes that went into effect this year, to quote Sean Stegall from last February’s Council Retreat, “The City has all the money it needs to fund whatever priorities the Council sets.” So the City, suspending all sense of responsibility AND stewardship, decided to throw all of this TAXPAYER $$$$$ into the money pit called the ERC.
Sean originally made the correct analysis of the ERC facility, that the facility was shot and not worth repairing. Responsible management and leadership would have recognized the foolishness of pouring PRECIOUS tax dollars into a rat trap, that provides non-essential services. Even if Bill Gates would have come and offered to front the money, responsible leadership would have said we can not take money from any source to spend irresponsibly on something we do not need, and which will generate losses out into perpetuity.
The East Side Rec Center case represents the fundamentally flawed nature of this City Council, that alows them to happily WASTE taxpayer’s money. They even seem to view this as their duty! Vote for CHANGE next April!
Why is Sean Segall still employed with this City? How long can he keep his incompetent group of phoneys of management getting the big bucks from this City? What an idiot.
I’m beginning to seriously question Moeller’s competency to hold office. I don’t know who she is representing but it’s not me or anyone I know.
Five people, possible future candidates, have picked up nominating petitions for the council election. Myself, Terry Gavin, Tom McCarthy and Anothony Nance. One did not wish to give the City Clerk any info. I will release some of my and your interests on topics when contacted by our local newspapers.
I picked up nominating petitions yesterday at city hall. I hope to be of service on the Elgin City Council in the future if the valued voters choose to elect me to the office.
Common Sense Clarence Hayward “A conservative voice in the Elgin community.”
Good luck to all. If you need a website for your campaign I would like to help.
Yes it’s true, I’ve picked up nominating papers for running in the April city elections with the intention of running for a seat on the city council.
Over the last 2 years I’ve attended most all of the council meetings as well as budget task force meetings and watched our city council under the direction from our Mayor follow the same failed path that our state government & federal government have traveled. That path has included increased spending on many new projects as well as increased funding for groups & organizations both for profit as well as not for profit. On top of that I’ve watched our council in the last year pass the largest tax increase our city has ever seen at a time when families & businesses are struggling like never before. We’ve seen budget projections that are off the mark & often exaggerated to the point of a so called crisis with little or no proof to back it up. We’ve also had service cuts described as a swap
of garbage fees placed on our water bills for reduced property taxes
that didn’t happen. These are just a few examples of how most of this council has forgotten that they represent we the people not the special interests of the few.
What we need in Elgin government today is elected representatives who understand that smaller government is key to a prosperous local economy not higher taxes & more spending. It’s basic economics 101. My record from 1995 - 1999 clearly shows I’m a conservative in deeds not words with both common sense & logic to do the job of the taxpayer’s watchdog! When I served before my first question on every issue was is this constitutional or not. The time has come for someone to stand up & say “enough is enough” & with the support of the citizens who pay the bills WE will show this council who is really in charge!
One issue that seems not be getting the attention it deserves is that…
I’m sorry, but to avoid confusion among users, anonymous comments must be deleted. It’s not that hard to fill in the field so just pick a name.
Terry you sold your house in Cobblers Crossing right at the top of the market to move less than a mile away. I always thought that a bit suspect as you were (somewhat) of an advocate for the vastly underrepresented far east side. Sure you still live nearby but our neighborhood has been virtually ignored for 20 years. If you still lived here I could support your candidacy.
Strange comment, indeed.
Are you calling Terry a carpetbagger? That makes no sense.
What’s your point? That you won’t vote for anyone unless they live on your block?
Now, if you’ve got some juicy tidbit that he HAD to move because of ???? then dish.
Whoever you are Onyourmark the facts are we sold our home in Cobblers
in 2004 a bit before “at the top of the market” that bottomed in 2008.
We purchased a older home in Lord’s Park Manor 1.5 miles away rather the leave this city because we needed/wanted a ranch & because we wanted to stay in Elgin,which btw has lost tremendous market value like all Elgin homes in this economy. As for my being an consistent advocate for the far eastside I’m still here & still an advocate for the eastside, so what in the world are you talking about.
The only person who would write something like this is a realtor with the first name Gary who lives/lived in Cobblers X-ing who left me a nasty note in my mailbox when he didn’t get my listing. If it’s you Gary then come out & be man enough to say who you really are or simply go away. Or even better if you’ve got something else to champion then let me know, my desire is to represent both our side of town (eastside) & the west side which is served by this same city council. If you really know me you also know I always represented the people of the east side of Elgin who overwhelming voted for me in at least 3 elections. I never forget those who stay loyal to me but it seems some people will hold a grudge against me forever. I’m not any different then I was 15-20 years ago regarding my positions of what’s best for all of Elgin!
Gary is long gone, sold his house too. I guess you were smart to get out too. Cobblers is a shadow of its former self. Kind of sad that one of Elgins nicest subdivisions at one time is now a mess. But then it is pretty representative of what Elgin is today. Overcrowded houses with five cars parked in front of each one, loud parties in the back yards where not a word of English is heard, criminal activity, etc.
I wouldn’t call Lords Park Manor an improvement. What’s your beef with Terry?
Comments like this I just don’t understand. Why do you care if “not a word of English is heard” at a party in someone else’s back yard? Just two generations ago most of my family only spoke German.
Obviously if you see criminal activity you should be calling the police to report it. I know from personal experience that it’s not only immigrants that have loud parties. Plenty of “your kind” of people have them too.
And, we had five cars in our driveway when I was growing up, and five people in the house too.
At least make an attempt to keep the xenophobia veiled, would you? Just stick to telling the darned kids to keep off your lawn.
Sure your family spoke German but they learned to speak English didn’t they? They assimilated. That’s what all previous generations of immigrants did. Not this one. Why should they when we cater to them.
Did the public schools educate your relatives in German? Of course not, but my tax dollars pay for public school students to be taught in Spanish.
Actually, Onyourmark, you tax dollars DO go towards teaching English to German immigrants. U46 provides bilingual education in other languages besides Spanish. The district provides programming support for basically any language needed, but in any given year often include: Polish, Lao, Philippine, Urdu, Italian, Gujarati, Korean, German and Vietnamese.
I’m not sure why the topic is winding this way, but hey, redirection works too.
Yes, I do think immigrant families should learn English. Keep in mind though that our school district (chasing the money) tries very hard to route them through bilingual classrooms. I’ve spoken to parents on the playground who very much want their kids in English classes, but they get enormous pressure to put them in the one-way bilingual classes.
So, don’t just put this on the immigrant families. Our school district is playing a large part.
You worded it carefully but what you imply does not occur. U-46 doesn’t instruct in any language other than Spanish (and English). Students who speak the languages you mention or any other besides English (and in most cases Spanish) will be in an ESL class where they will be taught in English. They are not taught in Polish, Urdu, etc.
Bilingual classes are offered only for Spanish speaking students. While in theory the instruction should be in English and Spanish, in most classes only Spanish is spoken. Even the teachers speak Spanish to each other (and to other employees) when they aren’t in class.
Only because of the low number of students needing support in other languages (I think it is less than 20? per language?). I was just pointing out that time and resources are spent on immigrants from other countries.
Yes as they should be. I want to know why one particular ethnic group is catered to and why my tax dollars are used disproportionally to benefit them?
Normal English speaking classes=30 or more students, most with only one teacher. Bilingual Spanish speaking classes=10 or fewer students in most cases, most with one teacher and one assistant.
It’s time people speak up and do something about this. But of course no one will. They just move their kids to private school.
I’m OK with U46 teaching English, but they spend five years preserving the native language and culture of Latinos. They don’t do that with German immigrants.
It’s called Biligual Inc and there is money in it for teachers, textbook publishers and bureaucrats. Washington doesn’t throw grant money around for Germans, but they have a boatload of it for Hispanics.
Just keepin’ it real, enough already.
Onyourmark you’ve made some good points such as the problem we’ve got here with overcrowding of homes by multiple families.
It puts tremendous stress on both the city & the school district. We taxpayers here who play by the rules of our society pay the majority of the bills for the lack of assimilation by mainly illegal immigrants.
You mentioned how bad Cobblers X-ing has become but for the last 15+ years our neighbors in Blackhawk Manor have been fighting these problems as well as Lord’s Park Manor, plus other neighborhoods all over the city.
I still drive by our old home in Cobblers & visit friends who are still there & it looks good to me but of course I no longer live there so maybe I don’t see or hear what you do. But I also drive & walk through Blackhawk Manor & see some bad situations stressing that neighborhood. You don’t live here in my neighborhood either so you don’t see or hear what we do.
There’s only so much a city can do legally but we must try to discourage overcrowding of single family homes because it’s a matter of public safety & fairness for the taxpayers.
It’s interesting what I see as I drive through Elgin neighborhoods. It is illegal for Real Estate agents to “steer” clients to certain neighborhoods but that seems to occur in Elgin. There are many areas where there are little to no Hispanics or other minorities and other neighborhoods where they predominate. Of course some of it is related to the fact that’s where they want (and can afford) to live but I have to think there is more to it than that.
Cobblers while never immune to racial diversity has now become the go to destination for immigrants (at least the north, less expensive side). Please understand I don’t have problems with immigrants per se, but I do have problems with how many behave as I outlined (and you corroborated to a degree).
Another poster said he remembers having five cars parked in front of his house. In a single family home, five cars usually signifies overcrowding, especially in smaller square foot homes. While Elgin says they care about overcrowding, I find it lip service at best. If you call to report a suspected problem they want you to provide evidence. Then try to get a follow up. Mr. Cuchetto and Mr. Mylott don’t even return phone calls.
In my mind it all comes down to being a considerate neighbor. Whatever language you speak, having backyard parties to the wee hours multiple times a week is just not the way a good neighbor behaves. But since it is a vestige of how things happen in their former countries we are supposed to be tolerant of it.