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October 2012 open thread

1 October 2012 Elgin Illinois 102 Comments

Elgin High School football game Elgin High School football game (Photo by Elgin Town).

Open thread for October 2012. Post what you want.

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102 Responses to “October 2012 open thread”

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  1. paul says:

    Any rational explanation as to why the municipal tax on my Com Ed bill is 5% instead of the 3% the City of Elgin foisted upon us 7/1/2012?
    And when do the city contracted lower rates for electric power kick-in?

    No matter how poor the citizens are, they must pay a 5% surcharge to the City to heat/cool their homes and to keep their baby’s milk refrigerated. Like thieves in the night the city is!
    But at least City Councilman Dunne gets to collect his $55K annual city pension durng his ripe old age of 51.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just saw the elginite’s Facebook post about the economy and the effect on lowering the birth rate…

    Sorry you have to use a username if you want to post a comment.

  3. harmony says:

    I am surprised no one is questioning the new sprinkler ordinance? The Housing sector is starting to recover and Elgin wants to have a ordinance requiring sprinklers in single family homes. Community Development Top gun Mylott and fire chief Faye want to add $8,000-$10,000+ to the cost of a new home. Mylott you have a very new home why didn’t you demand that it be sprinkled. Faye Have you moved into Elgin as required of top mismanagement? Well when you do are you going to have your home sprinkled even if your ordinance is not accepted? We must be paying you to much if you can throw $10,000+ out to the wind.

    • JP says:

      Can you provide some information about this sprinkler ordinance? I would be interested to read some of the proposed details.

      • SIE says:

        It would be like what many other municipalities require, Hoffman Estates for one. Automatic sprinklers in the home to put out a fire, just like it sounds.

        I wonder if it includes the strobe light outside that tells the firefighters which house is on fire. Boy are those ugly.

        For the less than 100 new homes/year Elgin will sell over the next two decades it will add cost. For me it is kind of a non issue.

    • bennie says:

      Now why would anyone do that Elgin does exactly what the hell they want to do they make sure they get what they want prior to imposing rules that they don’t want to follow on the citizens. So many of silly projects this city has engaged in to spend money in my opinion. Seems as though every set of leaders think with the same self serving rules that of course has helped to keep Elgin back in the stone ages In many respects. An example the costand usefulness of too many bike lanes in a town filled with possibly the worst drivers on the planet with accidents 24/7 365 days per year too many unqualfied drivers, many very young hothead drivers who appeaar to have never learned the rules of the road nor took drivers education nor passed the drivers test. The downtown is disgusting no reason to go there it’s like a lost discarded portion of the city clearly under utilized. this town is less attractive now than it was back in the sisties. what a commentary for a city calling itself progressive & on the move.

    • RS says:

      another example of over-regulation and plain dumb idea. and another indication that we have too many overpaid firemen with too much (over)time on their hands.

    • One Vote says:

      Might I suggest to the city fathers that the far greater fire risk in town is OVERCROWDING. And they can’t invade a home simply based on a tip from a neighbor.
      So do us all a favor and leave us alone. If someone wants sprinklers they’ll install them.

      • SIE says:

        Actually isn’t this how Code Enforcement is supposed to address overcrowding?

        Not an invasion per se but a complaint is supposed to trigger some action such as a visit to the home.

        Although IME they want me to provide the evidence of overcrowding before they do anything. I’m not sure what they expect me to give them. I tell them there are seven cars parked in front of a 1000 sq. ft house and I know some (here for instance) will say that is perfectly reasonable.

        C’mon. I think I know the difference between a family having a lot of cars and seven adults living in one house…like my neighbors. Yet Code Enforcement doesn’t seem to find a problem. Mark Mylott (how much did we pay him to relocate for his job when there were probably hundreds of qualified local candidates?) never returns calls so I just deal with the admin people who look it up on the computer.

        • One Vote says:

          I have the same trouble. There never seems to be enough “evidence” for them to do anything. They know the square footage of the home and the number of bedrooms. They know the basement is not qualified for a living space (the windows are too small). They know past residents have been rejected because the city assisted in tearing down the temporary walls and removing the cooking appliances from the basement.
          And yet they cannot (or will not) do anything about it.
          They are afraid of HUD and the lawsuits.
          The house next to me is a rental and it seems to me they could put some pressure on the landlord to do a surprise walk-through.
          But they won’t. This council is too liberal to make such a thing happen.
          And Elgin will continue to have the deserved reputation as a result.

        • bennie says:

          Evidence, Six hours of walking over three day I took 277 pictures of code violations in a very small section of only one subdivision. All over town the violations range from an explosion of junk trucks frequently parked for days loaded, trailers of all sizes shapes are parked all over this town throughout residential areas garbage cans on the front of residents certain people are ticketed while others roam free to do as they please safe houses are located through the city a foreclosure turned out to be a safe house that I complained about to no avail. This city is up for grabs, Code turns a blind eye to most egregious violations and the patrol officers nitpick the same citizens with every questionable alleged violation wile they don’t see blatant violations in plain sight. this town will never do the right things too many people must be bought and paid for not to see these violations. We have patrol officers, Code officers and crime free housing why someone from one of these three entities don’t see these blataant violations amaze me. If I can walk for a few hours a few days per week and see 277 violations in approximately 6 hours you would think the cops, code and crime free could find at least a few of these and take steps to change the landscape I guess the fear is too to great!!!to enforce the ordinances and code violations on the books in this Large City. Maybe city council & mayor could lite a fire to get things moving in the right direction. It appears that the city Leaders just don’t care about enforcement unless it’s against a certain group of citizens!! Seems like their attitude is “nothing to see here folks keep it moving” LOL

          • paul says:

            It’s “a non issue”.

            20 million illegals - non issue. Incredibly, to Dalton running to be YOUR judge the issue is your blatant bigotry in opposing the illegality.

            Lib’s trickle down theory - if 20 million ain’t an issue the 20 living next door to you sure as heck is not an issue.

            In this new age of liberal fascism laws are only enforced for those deemed to be in opposition of the current regime.

          • One Vote says:

            The innocent get picked on while the trouble-makers go free.
            A guy from Code Enforcement came into our work today. He said our company trailer had to go. We can’t park it in the parking lot. The parking lot is for cars.
            The boss put it in OUR parking lot to advertise our business. I guess the city doesn’t want us to have more business. Maybe they want more empty stores in our strip mall.
            He thought he was doing us a favor by warning us before the fines came.
            I should have told him there were three Hispanic families living in the trailer. Maybe then they would have left us alone.

        • Frustrated says:

          Agree with you comment that Mylott never returns calls. His arrogance speaks volumes of the way the city treats its concerned citizens. Not sure what is worse here, the huge tax increases through fees, our City Manager’s super-ego that is in need of constant feeding or Marc Mylott’s arrogance and disdain for the people who pay his salary. Time for house cleaning!

  4. LFG says:

    Elgin-Municipal Election 2013 (Update)

    Petitions for candidacy for the 2013 Elgin municipal election are available in the City Clerk’s Office located in City Hall, Room 202, 150 Dexter Court. The Elgin City Council will have five Councilmember seats open in the election in 2013; four for four-year terms, and one for a two year term. Necessary qualifications to hold the office of Councilmember include being a registered voter in the City of Elgin, a resident of the City of Elgin for at least one year prior to the election, and not in arrears in payment of taxes or other indebtedness due to the City of Elgin.

    Petitions for nomination must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office no sooner than 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 19, 2012, and no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 26, 2012. The placement of names on the ballot will be in the order of filing.

    A Consolidated Primary Election will only be required if more than four (4) electors file their candidacy for the two year term or more than sixteen (16) electors file their candidacy for the four Councilmember terms up for election. If a Consolidated Primary Election is necessary, it will be held on February, 26, 2013. The Consolidated General Election will be held on April 9, 2013

    For more information regarding the 2013 municipal election, please contact the Illinois State Board of Elections at 312/814-6440 http://www.elections.state.il.us or the City Clerk’s Office at 847/931-5660.

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      Does anyone know the current list of people who picked up petition packets and indicated it was ok to release their names to the press?

      Common Sense Clarence Hayward

      “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      Who is planning on running? For four year or two year?

      I am leaning towards the two year term but still not completely decided.

      Common Sense Clarence Hayward

      “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

  5. Chuck Keysor says:

    FYI, I went to City Council tonight. On the way in, I noticed that our ice skating rink is being put back this year on the west side of City Hall.

    If you recall, last year, because of the imaginary “budget crisis”, the City said they couldn’t afford to put up the ice skating rink. Well now, thanks to the approximately $10million in new taxes and the budgeted $7million surplus in the 2012 budget, the City can now afford to put the ice skating rink back up! We are back to business as usual, ie free to waste the taxpayer’s money on things we don’t need.

    Actually, with all this money to burn, I am surprised they are re-erecting the same old derelict plywood shack. I would have thought they would have bought a nice new skating house to help cut down on the surplus……


    • Anonymous says:

      Yes indeed Chuck, “back to business as usual” at City Hall but PLEASE don’t give them any more ideas! This council will find many ways to spend our surplus tax dollars as it is. Of course they will say this is a “quality of life issue”.

    • SIE says:

      Sorry but I don’t view this as a waste of my tax dollars.

      I’m certainly not in favor of much of what this city has done recently and can list a hundred things that have been a waste of money but at least the skating rink is something families and residents of Elgin can enjoy.

      They are going to spend our money, at least with this it’s on something tangible.

      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:


        Good point. There are lots of projects that can be voted no on because of a waste of the precious tax payer dollar but it is also nice to have a place the kids, along with Mom and Dad can go and ice skate.

        Not too costly but priceless memories for families for years to come.

        Common Sense Clarence Hayward

        “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

        • paul says:

          A priceless memory is ice skating at Lord’s Park lagoon on a moonlit night.
          Ice skating in a small circle amidst ugly concrete structures is more akin to nightmarish visions. Some idiot even managed to spill a cup of hot cocoa in my shoe - that memory stained in my sock long afterwards!
          In recent years I had a wonderful skate (no cost to city) at Hawthorne (flat)Hills Nature Center. No signs posted saying prohibited, YET.

          • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

            I too wish we had the Lord’s Park Lagoon to skate on. That was so much better and I am 59 years young so I enjoyed that in my early youth in Elgin.

            Common Sense Clarence Hayward

            “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

  6. Terry Gavin says:

    Oops forgot to put my name on the post above.

    Yes indeed Chuck, “back to business as usual” at City Hall but PLEASE don’t give them any more ideas! This council will find many ways to spend our surplus tax dollars as it is. Of course they will say this is a “quality of life issue”.

  7. One Vote says:

    Speaking of overspending…did you notice the electronic sign message boards, TWO of them per fire station, announcing the open house?
    They are owned by the city public works.
    What do they cost? Ten grand a pop or more? And we’ve got a fleet of them.
    I can see a couple for emergencies, but when we hire road crews they bring their own.
    Do we really need that many of them and use them for frivolous stuff?

    • paul says:

      “Speaking of overspending…did you notice the electronic sign message boards”

      Hawthorne Hills nature center has one of those at the corner of Foothill and Randall. And of course every school now has one.
      It’s a wonder how every school, park, and firehouse managed without, previously!

      “Sorry but I don’t view this as a waste of my tax dollars.”
      Neither are trillion dollar annual deficits a waste either to many if not a majority of people. We’ll find out on November 6th!

  8. Cruex says:

    What will Elginites use more often over the next few months? The free ice rink or the Hoffman Estates dog park? I put my money on the ice rink.

    • Michael says:

      It depends upon whether or not you have a dog. Dog parks are great for those that have dogs. People from Elgin on that side of town that have dogs really appreciate the option of a closer dog park. There are other parks in the area, but all are a drive for folks in that area.

      If you don’t understand how much people with dogs enjoy this option, then you must not have a dog, or if you do, you never have had the jo of letting your dog run off leash and enjoy themselves.

      It seems that those who don’t desire to have the option to use a dog park or ice rink have very negative opinions about having them offered.

      It’s great that Elgin does simple things like this for their residents. It makes Elgin a more desirable place to live.

      What would YOU like to see availble, since you don’t seem to think Ice Rinks or Dog Parks are worth the time or money?

      • bennie says:

        michael, I would like to see some good late night resturants, some good retail shopping and neighborhoods that are not turning to blight due to a high number of foreclosures and a city who enforces the laws on the books without prejudice or bias but simply by the books what’s good for one citizen should be good for all others no one should be singled out because of race color or any factor other than the fact that they violated an ordinance in this city. the city officials are guilty of breaking as many if not more laws and ordinances than some of the residents. of course these violations are tolerated because of who committs them. others are nitpicked and harrassed based on their ethnicity and those are the citizens who get cited unjustly. this town has a bad case of arrogance and is known for profiling, something has to change or this town will be transformed into something out of a horror movie. I have hope that things will change for the best soon.

  9. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    Elgin’s tax dollars are very precious. If a neighboring border municipality is going to do a dog park I think it makes common sense to seriously consider letting that municipality pick up the total cost since it is their idea.

    This concept could be considered just as well for Hoffman’s fire works we chipped in for. They would have put the show on with or without our tax payer dollar input so why when we have so many other needs in Elgin are we branching out to help Hoffman Estates?

    For years neighboring towns have been taking advantage of some of our town’s amenities without putting their tax dollars into them.

    I think so far the two instances we helped Hoffman Estates with we should have kept our tax payer dollar money out of.

    We have enough to take care of in Elgin that we can’t afford to be branching out and helping other towns with our tax dollars.

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward

    “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      One more thought. Now that we have so much higher taxes and fees I am afraid this helping other bordering towns with our precious tax payer money might become much more common.

      A candidate running for mayor in Hoffman Estates has already been whining that he thinks Elgin did not pay enough tax payer money for THEIR (my emphasis) fire works show they put on.

      You give an inch and then they want a mile. We have to be vigilant with our precious tax payer dollars. If they get too low there will be even more demand to raise taxes and fees like we just went through I am afraid.

      Common Sense Clarence Hayward

      “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

  10. One Vote says:

    Just got my electric bill.
    The city tax came in at about 4.5 percent of the total.

  11. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    Below is an article that bocajump just put out.
    Elgin Council passes environmental education program at Hawthorne Hills on split vote


    What are the elginite readers thoughts on this vote to spend tax payer money on this?

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward

    “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

    • paul says:

      “thoughts on this vote to spend tax payer money on this?”

      My thoughts, I’m quite sure, are irrelevant to the powers that be in Elgin government.

      >> $10,000 environmental education program to elementary-aged children<> a sustainability action plan that includes healthy living and community education piece that focuses on sustainable practices.<>Conservation Foundations Mighty Acorns… is an environmental education program… Its programs focus on the native prairie ecosystems in suburban Chicago<<

      One might think teaching economic sustainability to keep people in their own homes might place a tad higher on the importance scale when doling out taxpayer money. But I suppose not if the real objective is socialist government sustainability.

  12. SIE says:

    The use of the term Quality of Life got me to thinking that besides the city itself providing it, even it’s reputation has an effect on what its residents can enjoy.

    Starbucks has a giveaway today tied to their new in home Latte machine. Can I go to a nearby Starbucks to partake? Take a look at a Starbucks locator and see the Starbucks desert that is Elgin. Besides the Target on Randall the only other Starbucks is at Randall & Technology, hardly convenient to most Elgin residents. In fact unless you are a Carpentersville/Sleepy Hollow/Dundee resident coming from the north it’s not even convenient to stop there before getting on the Tollway.

    I know many will say I hate Starbucks, it’s too expensive, etc. but the fact that a city of 108,000 (I noticed the new population signs) Elgin can’t support a couple of Starbucks is sad. I think we all know why Starbucks isn’t interested in Elgin. Elgin is the city of Taquerias, Laundromats, Pawn Shops and Payday Loan stores, but not a decent coffee shop.


    • paul says:

      “not a decent coffee shop”

      Domani Cafe - >>Leo Urdaneta…left his job as social studies teacher at Kimball Middle School in Elgin Area School District U-46 last month to purse his next dream.<>owner, Jerri McCue of Algonquin<<

      If only these local entrepreneurs would cease and desist we could get a national chain in here to sell us a Grande (small) cup of coffee for $4!!!!
      Or not given Starbucks is partial to high traffic locations which certainly eliminates downtown Elgin.

    • elginkevin says:

      It’s going to take me a while to get over the fact that you consider Starbucks to be decent coffee.

      Domani Cafe. Ravenheart. Elgin Books. Three places downtown that serve coffee that I can think of right off. The first two are coffee shops. You should perhaps try something local from time to time rather than funding the big boys.

      • SIE says:

        I knew someone would not understand my post. It isn’t about the $4 coffee it’s about the fact that no decent retailer wants to locate in Elgin.

        Algonquin, South Elgin, Hoffman Estates and even Carpentersville can all thank Elgin for being city non grata. That’s why they all get the good retail stores and Elgin doesn’t. Randall Rd. is a perfect example, except for the new Walmart all the retail is old. But go north or south of Elgin and any retail you want can be found.

        A local coffee shop or book shop isn’t going to contribute squat to the tax base. Elgin’s tax base by its own admission is skewed toward property rather than sales tax. Besides giving residents a place to shop those retail stores provide sales tax revenue.

        Enjoy your book and coffee in downtown Elgin. Bring your property tax bill to read while you are there.

        • elginkevin says:

          You should’ve started off with that. You’re right. And from my perspective the problem is that Elgin is hostile to business. Most business owners I have discussed this with say they’ll probably eventually relocate because the City is so hard to work with. They go after the easy targets, and leave the hard ones alone, which demoralizes the good guys.

          I’ve had City officials admit that they leave “minority” business and homeowners alone due to historical issues. Of course, they’re not “minority” any more, are they?

        • paul says:

          “I knew someone would not understand my post. It isn’t about the $4 coffee it’s about the fact that no decent retailer wants to locate in Elgin.”

          Why not use the example of the brand new crappy Walmart as an example. Walmart was FORCED to build a smaller store than they wanted to accommodate the anti-Walmart powers that be in Elgin and in particular the Kaptains who demanded a smaller environmentally sustainable footprint AND a brick paver parking lot. Elgin backed off the truly idiotic brick paver lot demand but won on the smaller cramped miserable shopping experience store size. Hopefully the new Walmart in Carpentersville will provide me a more pleasant shopping experience.

          How about downtown Elgin old JC Penney location where a business tried to open recently and even put money into it but finally threw in the towel as Elgin city government stepped all over them.

          Speaking of JC Penney, does anyone in Elgin shop Penney now that they have truly abandoned the Elgin area? There are at least 2 Kohl’s stores closer than a Penney’s.

          Is there anyone more clueless than Dave “sustainability” Kaptain???

          • Alan says:

            Well it looks like someone else is going to give it a go in the old JC Penney space. Guess what kind of restaurant it’s going to be. Here’s a hint, it’s not a Starbucks.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Make of this what you will…… The Mayor had scheduled a walking tour of the Near West Neighborhood that was to be held yesterday (Wednesday, 10/17/12). The walking tour was scheduled to begin at 6:30pm and go to 7:15pm. Note, sunset was officially 6:07pm……. The event was canceled due to heavy rain. It is just as well, as I don’t have night vision goggles. Chuck

  13. Cruex says:

    I like the $40,000 yearly ice rink that is free to use and would bet more citizens would want that over the $55,000 dog park that is not free and is not in Elgin. That is my point.

  14. One Vote says:

    Pressing issue!!!
    Worth a $100K study that will take a year to complete!!
    First public meeting Thursday night!!
    The problem? There are places in Elgin where the sidewalk ends and starts up again.
    Shock. Shame. Horror. Lock up the babies.
    I’m glad someone has finally taken the bull by the horns. This is the number one issue in Elgin, for sure.

  15. harmony says:

    Wait until this consultant tells us paver bricks for sidewalks are dangerous!! Hey they are starting to talk budget again, what happened on that study they promised us on comparing salaries. How about seeing that before we approve next years mismanagement salaries.

    Why not eliminate this useless code enforcement department and Mylott and is arrogant manager. WE need a change. They are not dedicated to making this City safer and better. But they are darn good at trying to fine use for every little infraction but hell with the hard violations such a overcrowding,peeling paint,unsafe structures.

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:


      This is what I recently posted regarding a Daily Herald recent article on the budget talks that will be starting at web address below.


      I will be interested to find out what the consultant says about salaries for Elgin management. In a past Courier News speakout the caller was asking how much our Elgin city manager gets paid and when the Courier replied $176,528, because it was so high I thought perhaps he made more than the Vice President of the United States?

      address for speakout article is


      I don’t believe he makes more than the Vice President of the United States if the other web site I went to is accurate and we are comparing year 2011.

      However, it looks as if he could be making MORE than a U.S. Senator as noted below in my post at the Courier.

      For some perspective, according to Infoplease at


      in 2011 a U.S. Senator or Representative was paid $174,000 compared to Elgin City manager: $176,528 which does not list what year.

      Elgin management pay sounds like a budget issue to discuss.

      Common Sense Clarence Hayward

      “A conservative voice in the Elgin community.”

    • paul says:

      If you want to see how well brick paver crosswalks work in the street drive down Douglas ave. Go slow as the difference in elevation between the bricks and asphalt as they adapt to 2 different rates of expansion and contraction is rather jarring.

      • SIE says:

        Speaking of Douglas, I drive it everyday after picking my son up from school. Public Works did their wonderful thing where they cut up the street. This after it was paved last year I think. North of Douglas/Summit the square they cut out has had the gravel wash away and it is now a huge pothole that I’m sure did some damage to my car.

        I call Public Works and I have to spend 10 minutes on the phone as they take the info. Shouldn’t they know what they dug up and repair it as soon as feasible? Not this stupid city.

        • Michael says:

          I find it odd that they are even doing brick pavers like that, as our subdivision had them at the entrance, and we had to take them out at the request of the city. Hmmmm….

    • bennie says:

      wow you are spot on. there are so many code violation that are blatant. The cops and code simply look past the violations unless it’s some non-sensicle non violation that a petty lazy officer decides to turn into a ticket while more aggregious violations go on for months or indefinitely without a single citation. Code officers have a pathetic attitude toward correcting these violations and seem to not want to be bothered as do the rest of the city officials. This lack of enforcement of city ordinances is a joke. The way the city treats it’s citizens makes you wonder who is really running the day to day business of the city or if it’s running itself by the seat of its pants. Clearly this city is not concerned with violations seems like the plethora of violations are committed by those whom the city seem to fear. Really makes you go hmmm.
      Over crowding is a huge problem in this town, most residential areas look like crap and the housing foreclosures are destroying most of the neighborhoods but over crowding and code violations have really taken a serious toll on this town.
      Personaly I am sick of paying the majority of my tax dollars to support schools and this community where I feel that I have little or NO voice I think those who receive services should support the entities where they consume goods and services
      Seems like everything the city of Elgin do is againt it’s citizens. All the decisions are made without input from a greater cross section of the citizens, instead a handfull of connected people who run the city with their brand of what’t right for the rest of us decides what;s best for uus right wrong or indifferent that’s the way Elgin operates sadly their decisions have failed us miserably. I don’t think things will ever change in this town too many pompos arrogant bags of hot air. I am sure many will disagree but his town continue to slide backwards not forward we look like an old cowboy town not a 21 century progressive town.

      • Frustrated says:

        Went on a recent city walk with the Mayor. Many of us pointed out the condition of foreclosed and abandoned homes in our neighborhood. We asked if we could not get more aggressive codes on the books (and enforced) so the city can more effectively go after these negligent bank owners to repair and upkeep these properties. All we got from the Mayor was excuses as to why the city can not get inside these properties without court orders and telling us there is nothing more the city can do. Poppy Cock! The city chooses not to do anything more. They major also admitted the code enforcement department is understaffed. What a revelation! Code enforcement has consistently been a non-priority for this city for decades. These well intentioned people who get elected must drink the kool aid that staff feeds to them once they get in office. No can do…too hard…not practical. Time for a house cleaning!

  16. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    I would like to thank the Elgin History Museum for their Preservation Forum I attended tonight.

    I am so happy to have in one room a number of neighborhood groups and Veteran Memorial groups represented plus so many involved citizens of Elgin sharing some of their goals and dreams as well as concerns for the future of Elgin.

    The past is dear to my heart. I was able to purchase at my Great Grandfather’s estate sale the family ice box.

    Memorial Day always recalls my memory as a boy in my Grandfather’s town of West Chicago especially remembering my Great Uncle Elmer Hayward, a machine gunner in World War I in France who gave his life in war at the very end of World War I. I wish I could have know him.

    My father and mother in law, long time residents of Elgin, Henry and Lucille Barton were veterans of World War II. Henry an Army Medic in the South Pacific and Lucille an Army Surgical Technician in the states.

    I salute all the veterans and I am proud to be an Elgin citizen since 1971. I am so glad my children grew up in the town of Elgin.

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward

    “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

  17. SIE says:

    Suprise, surprise. Get ready to pay more in property tax to U-46.


    And what do we get for that money? I can’t wait until they lose the lawsuit and redraw boundaries so my child will be bused to an inner city Elgin school instead of walking to our neighborhood school. All because the “minorities” who are the majority are being “discrimated against” because they actually attend school close to where they live.

    As a caucasian whose child is in a class of 32 while the hispanics are in classes of 12, where is my class action lawsuit?

    • paul says:

      “on a $150,000 house in 2011. A 3 percent increase on that would equal another $139.83 on those tax bills.”

      See how those brand new U46 administrators (plural) earning six figures with the title of “…Social Justice…” are working for you!!!!

      For those of us who didn’t get 3% raises our standard of living declines even further. And this after massive tax increases from the city of Elgin and State of Illinois!!!

      How about a 3% decline????

      But on a positive note Councilman Dunne retired this year at the ripe old age of 51 with $55,000+ per year taxpayer paid city pension.

      And you thought Al Qaeda was the enemy!!!!

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        I attended the special Committee of the Whole tonight at the “Centre” where they discussed the upcoming Storm Water Run-off Tax. While they didn’t yet vote on this new tax, they did vote to spend $288,000 for a study to review Elgin’s water/sewer charges and the Storm Water Run-off Tax.

        The consultant hired for this study said that typical charges for a storm water run-off tax are $36 to $48 per YEAR for each household. He said that 16 cities in this region have such a tax already.

        ONLY Prigge flat out said he was totally opposed to what he called the “Rain Tax”. Of course Dunne and Moeller said that they weren’t yet ready to vote on the Rain Tax, they wanted to wait to see what the study said. Well, the study will only be proposing the rate to charge each household. And the council will be free to increase or decrease the amount.

        However, we can’t ignore the obvious fact, that as proven by the $10 million this council raised with the new trash tax, electric tax, natural gas tax, maxed out sales tax, liquor tax, leaf rake out tax, this council is TAX HAPPY. There isn’t a tax they don’t like. With this council, it is a forgone conclusion that we are going to be ripped off again. The only question is by how much.

        And, with the review of the water and sewer rates, we are also due for more of our money being seized. Dunne has on several occasions in the past said we need to have water rates that discourage water usage. I always ask myself, what does he mean? We pay $4.52/1000 gallons. If I use more water, I PAY MORE MONEY. The current rate structure makes me save my bath water to flush the toilet. Sorry, but that is what my economy is like.

        So, the consultant showed three rate options. The one that would discourage water usage, showed an upward slope, indicating that the more gallons you use, the higher the price per gallon. That is the type of disincentive that Rich Dunne favors. Can you imagine going to the grocery store and finding one gallon of milk will cost you $2.50, and if you buy a second gallon, that will cost you $3.50? Or lets try that with gasoline to discourage excess gas consumption? Like $4/gallon gas doesn’t discourage driving? (Again, I have driven less than 600 miles since January.) But, I don’t have a pension, like Mr. Dunne, and an extra salary (some call that double dipping). So maybe rich people need these crazy incentives.

        And, at this special session of the council, ONLY Terry Gavin was there to watch how this council is ripping us off. Where were all the other council candidate wannabees? So of course the council passes whatever taxes they want, because NOBODY seems to care. But of course, even if you bring 200 people and then 3 months later bring 250 people to protest the Elgin Business Tax, the council 7 to 0 tells the entire crowd to go to the devil. This is an arrogant council, out to put the screws to the people. And the people just roll over and take it.


        • One Vote says:

          Spending $288K for an outside consultant to tell them what they want to hear? It’s like the $240K they spent to tell them The Hemmens didn’t have enough bathrooms. And who was the dope that put them in the basement.
          I thought we were over that.
          The council is way out of touch here. This is not a time to tax people. We need tax relief.
          They’ve ignored the core services and spent the money on other things. Now they want to charge us extra for the very things they are supposed to provide in the first place.

        • Todd Martin says:

          In 1972, the Nixon administration signed the Clean Water Act, which directed local municipalities, including the City of Elgin, to stop dumping raw sewage into rivers during a storm. 40 years later, we still have combined storm & sanitary sewers which overflow raw sewage during major storms. I would like this problem solved before I die of old age.

          The Downtown construction projects, in large part, was underground in addressing sewer separation. SWAN is next on the list. Other neighborhoods must follow.

          When Schock was our mayor, the City was on a major growth spurt, gobbling up lots of land out West with residential developments. Each had water and sewer lines paid up front by the City with sewer bonds. In theory, the City would be repaid by the residents moving into those developments. In fact, the great recession makes a reasonable return on that debt unlikely.

          The City of Elgin has a lot of old sewer pipes and outdated water systems, which is to be expected of an old city. The old way of pumping stormwater as fast as possible into the river is still in place in many areas of the City. Elgin must replace these sewers and systems too.

          For the first time, we have a Mayor with experience in these issues; he served as Chief Chemist for the Fox River Water Reclamation District (FRWRD). We’re getting this proposal because our elected officials now care about it.

          A Stormwater utility tax could have some advantages: 1) Fairness, people could pay in proportion to how much they contribute to the problem. 2) Incentives, people could pay NOTHING if they handle stormwater on site with a rain-garden, or rain-barrels and such. 3) Transparency, everyone would know how much this problem costs rather than having it hide in the property tax bill. 4) Property taxes would be reduced.

          A Stormwater utility tax could have some disadvantages: 1) The cost to administer the tax can be higher than simply using property tax. 2) There are no tax benefits for paying a stormwater tax like there is a property tax. 3) No one measures runoff from Elgin properties nor is there an accurate way to estimate it from existing information.

          To be clear, the Mayor wants to reduce property taxes while implementing the Stormwater tax.

          Like any big proposal, the question of whether it is a good idea can be in the details.

          In my opinion, the garbage tax doesn’t work that well. It lost the resident a tax benefit resulting from itemizing property taxes and did not give the resident any way to reduce the fee. If the new garbage contract allows residents to pay less for fewer pickups or use smaller containers, then it can become a good program. You or I could recycle more, use a trash compactor, or do any of a hundred different things to reduce trash disposal costs.

          • One Vote says:

            My point is that the city fathers are responsible for planning when it comes to the core services. They knew or should have known that the sewers and water lines and streets and sidewalks and curbs…need to be replaced and plan for that.
            Instead they spent our money on everything else under the sun, dabbling in nonsense. Now they come to us with their hand out for more money to maintain the obvious core infrastructure. We’ve been paying all along and they’ve squandered the money.
            I only wish my home were worth what the tax man says it is. I’d be gone.

          • SIE says:

            “Property taxes would be reduced”

            When have you EVER seen your Elgin property taxes reduced?

            “To be clear, the Mayor wants to reduce property taxes while implementing the Stormwater tax.”

            Clear to who? This is the same Mayor and Council who are charging us DOUBLE for refuse collection.

            Are you some Stepford supporter of this council?

          • SIE says:

            “Property taxes would be reduced”

            When have you EVER seen your Elgin property taxes reduced?

            “To be clear, the Mayor wants to reduce property taxes while implementing the Stormwater tax.”

            Clear to who. This is the same Mayor and Council that lied to the residents and are now double charging us for refuse collection.

            You have a vested interest in the Mayor and the Council keeping their jobs. Your comments clearly indicate that.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          For everyone who wants to become informed about the new “Rain Tax”, here is a link to a Daily Herald story reporting on last Friday’s special council session. The story also covers the proposal to change the water and sewer rates. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20121022/news/710229717/

          And here are my suplemental notes on the same council session which was held on 10/19/12 held in the Heritage Ballroom.

          Strand and Associates to be paid $288,000 to study and report on Elgin’s water rates, sewer rates, and potential “storm water utility tax”. The study would determine the cost of all the storm water related expenses to the city of Elgin, the level of service, the area, examine sewer separation, flood control, stream bank erosion, and detention basins.

          One typical house with a yard of 3100 square feet, is considered as one equivalent residential unit. One ERU results in a typical amount of water runoff. The size would establish how many ERUs would be assigned to each property. Elgin has a total size of about 78,000 ERUs. The study would be done in June of 2013, and the first bills would be sent out in January 2014.

          “Rain taxes” have been implemented in 16 communities in upper Illinois. (Downers Grove, Rantool, Highland Park, Aurora, Rock Island, Champaign…..)

          The typical fee is $3 to $4 per month. For Elgin, this would provide from $2.79 million to $3.72 million in new taxes per year.


          • Terry Gavin says:

            To add to your comments Chuck, I’d like to point out that the “Stormwater” tax will hurt large & medium commercial properties the most. That means those who hire other people for jobs & it also hurts retailers who’ll have to raise their prices to the consumers to make up for the extra expense of the tax!

            All in all this is a terrible idea & as I warned these current council people on Wednesday both those up for election & those up in 2015 they’ll have to answer to the voters where they stand on this rotten idea. I will challenge everyone of them throughout the coming campaign on this issue.

            Now lets look at what will happen to the U-46 buildings in Elgin, Elgin Community College & the Gail Borden Library with this tax, where do they get most of their funding to operate? Well of course from our property tax bills, so what will they do? Of course raise our property taxes just like they’ll do to cover the council’s new utility taxes! Whether this council realizes it or not they’ve effectively raised our property taxes to these other taxing bodies while creating massive new taxes elsewhere.

            It’s been very obvious to me for sometime now that the majority of this council has little or no private sector job experience, so most of them just see more taxes as a way to feed a ever growing city government. I’ve never worked for government, unless you call my 4 years on the council working for government, including the last 33 years as a self-employed entrepreneur. Our Mayor has worked his whole life in government from City of Elgin to the FORWARD sanitary district. It has become very evident that most of these people have NO clue about economics 101.

      • paul says:

        Please run for council, Chuck. I’ll vote for you.

        How many of the 7 current council members are dependent on public taxpayer paid pensions? Kaptain, Dunne and Gilliam I know of right off the top. When Kaptain incessantly talks about sustainability he means sustaining ever increasing government spending to fund his pension payments.

        >>No matter who wins, the government gets elected.<<
        Clarence, if you are not running on a primary principle of a ‘decreasing taxes platform’ I’m not voting for you. And I don’t believe you are. See above quote.

        “A choice between the politicians is not a choice — it is a surrender.”
        Why many people vote not for someone but against someone else - against the greater of 2 evils.

        H.L. Mencken wrote, “The average American legislator is not only an ass, but also an oblique, sinister, depraved, and knavish fellow.”

        “It is democracy that is causally responsible for the fatal conditions afflicting us now. The number of productive people is constantly decreasing, and the number of people parasitically consuming the income and wealth of this dwindling number of productive people is increasing steadily. This can’t work in the long run.”
        Read more: Your Vote Still Doesn’t Matter http://dailyreckoning.com/your-vote-still-doesnt-matter/#ixzz29qepiAwM

      • bennie says:

        I love it!

  18. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:


    Thank you for sharing your financial pain in your budget. I know there are many others in Elgin that are feeling financial pain just like you with all the taxes and fees that have been added by our council.

    I was not at that meeting of the whole due to a last minute family situation that required my input.

    I will watch the meeting of the whole on cable.

    Do you know what term Terry Gavin is running for? I would hope he is running for the four year term so we do not have to be adversaries in the election so to speak as I am running for the two year term unless I get some news that would motivate me to run for the four year term.

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward

    “A conservative voice in the Elgin community”

  19. SIE says:

    “And the people just roll over and take it.”

    What exactly are we supposed to do? Recall all the elected council members?

    I infrequently email the council and Mayor to express my opinions and in those few instances only two have EVER responded, Prigge and Powell. The rest of the arrogant %#*! don’t give a hoot about what any citizen thinks.

    A case can be made that these are the people Elgin elected so we get what we deserve. Somebody who voted for them must be happy.

  20. Terry Gavin says:

    Chuck Keysor is right again on what happened last night at the COW meeting. Not only did they vote for the consultant’s contract to calculate the cost of a stormwater/rain tax for $288,000 they also approved a agreement to continue the 311 phone center initiative,
    whatever that means, for $311,000 to move to Phase V. Just these 2 contracts for consulting add up to nearly $600,000. Mind boggling that this city council mostly follows whatever the city manager & Mayor want with no regard to costs or what the citizen’s of Elgin can afford.

    The other thing that got my dander up was the attitude of staff personnel I talked to during the break, their arrogance was obvious toward my questions about these proposals. It was like “costs to taxpayers was no big deal” it’s what we want, plain & simple. Also during the meeting several times comments from the mayor & city manager about how they lowered property taxes equal to all of the new taxes they passed on to us this year. That is a lie, just look at the city’s own documents & you’ll see that the refuse tax alone for this year was estimated to raise $4.7M while the city reduced it’s tax levy only $1M. I’m getting very tired of hearing the propaganda coming from all of these council people except Prigge, it’s like tell a lie often enough & eventually people will believe it.

    Yes folks last night was a disaster for the citizen’s of Elgin & few were there to see it. The arrogance is obvious & the only thing that will change that attitude at City Hall is next spring’s election only if we elect representatives who respect the taxpayers of this city & lead not follow like the lemmings that most of this council is.

    Clarence I’m running for the 4 year term.

    • One Vote says:

      Deep Tunnel here we come. Imagine the clout you could have with a big public works project to dangle in front of people. And those are union jobs.
      The only trouble is that you have to get OPM (Other People’s Money) to work the system.
      A bit of trivia for you. The official acronym of the Deep Tunnel Project was…wait for it…TARP! Even the government recycles.

  21. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:


    Good luck with your 4 year race for Elgin City Council.

    I sometimes mistakenly want to call our city manager “Senator” as explained below.

    I will be interested to find out what the consultant says about salaries for Elgin management. In a past Courier News speakout the caller was asking how much our Elgin city manager gets paid and when the Courier replied 176,528, because it was so high I thought perhaps he made more than the Vice President of the United States?

    address for speakout article is


    I don’t believe he makes more than the Vice President of the United States if the other web site I went to is accurate and we are comparing year 2011. However, it looks as if he could be making MORE than a U.S. Senator as noted below in my post at the Courier.

    For some perspective, according to Infoplease at

    in 2011 a U.S. Senator or Representative was paid 174,000 compared to Elgin City manager: 176,528 above which does not list what year.

    Elgin management pay sounds like a budget issue to discuss.

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward
    “A conservative voice in the Elgin community.”

  22. RS says:

    Posted this link on Facebook.com/elginite with my comment. Any thoughts?


    “The council did consider, and approve, a contract with Unisys Inc., Salesforce.com and Stern Consulting to move forward with a proposed citywide 311 non-emergency phone system. ”

    I don’t know why this is needed. The average cost of a 311 call is more than $3 and goes as high as $7.78 according to a Pew study. What’s wrong with just using the city website? These are non-emergency service requests after all.

    • Gibster says:

      A 311/CRM implementation is much more then a phone number to call. It’s a centralized Constituent Relationship Management system between all departments in the city to manage citizen requests via email, web, phone and social media. (Think of when you open a help desk ticket)

      Currently the city has no such centralized ticketing system and relies on a very silo’d and slow process for communications between departments when it comes to Codes, Potholes, Information on Services, Living in Elgin, Doing Business in Elgin, etc. The CRM will be integrated into the City Website, Call Center, Social Media and Email.

      • One Vote says:

        In other words, some know-nothing agent will take all the calls so you won’t be able to deal face-to-face with the bureaucrat you really need.
        As for the “help desk ticket,” we already have that for on-line complaints. It doesn’t work. In June of 2011 I created a so-called “help desk ticket” to complain about a tornado siren that wasn’t working. I almost immediately got a response back that Department X had received the complaint and would be in touch.
        I heard nothing until October when I gave the ticket number to the city manager’s secretary (apparently Sean doesn’t have an e-mail of his own). Then the police chief sent me an e-mail that he was handling it. It was a comedy of errors for another month until it was finally fixed.
        So much for complaint tracking.
        Actually, I have found that the City’s meter shop does well. They actually answer the phone when you dial the department.
        311 is an expensive work-around to a problem that doesn’t exist when people do their jobs and answer the phone!

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          The wondrous improvements to be wrought by the 311 system make me think of my 27 year career at DuKane Corporation, which was a privately held corporation in St. Charles. Every two or three years, we would find we were going to be revolutionized by the latest marvel, which had been latched onto by DuKane’s owner, Jack Stone.

          These must-have improvements ranged from Total Quality Management, Just In Time Manufacturing, Cellular Manufacturing, ISO 9000, Customer Relation Management Systems, Integrated Manufacturing, Rapid Response Manufacturing, and others, I frankly can’t even recall, there were so many. Each promised huge improvements by slashing costs through improved productivity, computer integration, customer feedback, etc. All proved to be boondoggles, resulting in large implementation cost and time over-runs. Nothing helped, and everything required massive work-arounds.

          The 311 system for Elgin sounds like the type of pie-in-the-sky gold-plated hot air that DuKane’s Jack Stone used to latch onto. Our largely unquestioning council just takes the City Manager’s promise that the 311 system will be a great thing, just like everyone at DuKane blindly followed the visions of Jack Stone. But, good old DuKane is no more, largely sunk by lousy management chasing after pipe-dreams while ignoring fundamentals.

          But alas, Elgin City Hall can just come up with more new taxes to pay for their pipe dreams. And if this doesn’t work, well we can cover that mistake too with more new taxes.


  23. Terry Gavin says:

    Some historical Elgin election facts/results from 1995 - 1999:

    In the primary held 2/1995 Terry Gavin received 2,588 votes finishing 3rd out of 6 council candidates. 5 weeks later on April 4th I netted 5,205 votes doubling the margin of victory from primary to the general over a 8 year incumbent.

    The Elgin Consolidated Election 0f 1999: After nearly 4.5 years of constant personal attacks by the Courier News lead by Editor Mike Bailey against Mayor Kelly & myself I lost my re-election bid with 4,851 votes. Mayor Kelly lost his re-election bid by 1%. Hindsight would show that even after constant political & personal attacks my vote totals from victory in 1995 to defeat in 1999 dropped only 354 votes. Proof that even in defeat the people didn’t reject me in large numbers. By today’s city election standards I did quite well even though there are more voters registered now then back then.

    Also during the campaign for re-election in 1999 the Daily Herald twice referred to me as the council “watchdog” & the Editorial Board titled me the taxpayers “watchdog”, even though they didn’t endorse me. These titles were earned during council battles & were bestowed on me, not a title I bestowed on myself. With the way the City Council is spending our money today, with far fewer resources, it would appear that we need a few more taxpayer “watchdogs” that are proven leaders then most of our current council.

    I bring up these historical facts to show that in the coming elections for Elgin City Council that those of you here on this site that oppose the extreme agenda of spending & taxing that the Mayor & council have taken truly have a choice. A vote for Terry Gavin is a vote for smaller city government, less taxes, better core services as well as fiscal sanity once again at City Hall. In fact it would mean that the taxpayers are back in charge at Dexter Ct.

    • SIE says:

      If you are elected, a big if I might add, you will only be able to “watch” as you and Prigge are the dissenters and the council continues to be a rubber stamp for Mayor Kaptain.

      No change is coming to Elgin, except in it’s continuing demographic shift. All the people who can, have or will get out of this city. The exodus will leave the minorities who are unwilling (too scared?) to get involved. For them they really don’t care about the taxes, fees etc. They get to live three or more families to a house, send their kids to the schools where they are taught in spanish, eat at the local taquerias, do their laundry at the lavador, etc. For them Elgin is the place to be.

      • elginkevin says:

        If this is your view, then why do you care? Why are you putting any energy at all into this discussion, if the conclusion is set in stone?

        Just move along, and let those of us who are willing to stay and fight do so. If this is the way you feel, you’re just a distraction.

        • Terry Gavin says:

          Great response kevin, my thoughts exactly when I read his comments this morning.

          In addition SIE, I more then any other candidate so far in this race knows what it feels like to run & win as well as to run & lose. So even though I know how tough it is to win & that nothing is for sure in life, except death & taxes, it’s far more possible that I’d win then just “a big if”.

          Let me also add that I care deeply about our city & will fight to protect the taxpayers/citizens against a bigger city government infringing on our freedoms! Plus if you go back to my days on the council I did far more then “watch”, I acted & won issues from the minority side of the council.

          • SIE says:

            Do you really believe even with you on the council the votes won’t be 5-2 or eventually 7-2? Maybe there might be one or two more in your and Prigge’s camp but never enough to make a difference. Unless there is a complete 180 in this city the status quo will continue. Because I say this doesn’t mean I like it or don’t care. I just know the reality of the situation.

            When she was running I thought Powell might be a voice of reason/of the people and she turned out to be another clone.

            Politicians don’t like to make waves. They know where their bread is buttered. In response you’ll say you are not a “politician” but in this day and age that is probably not a good thing if you are going to be in politics.

        • paul says:

          Kevin, do you disagree with anything specific SIE said?

          In general SIE appears to be spot on except for “a big if” on TG being elected. TG’s probably a shoe in given the 2 additional council slots.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            I will add a note, that I was getting petition signatures for Terry Gavin at a meeting last week. Most people there were historically well in tune with Elgin politics. Terry had great name recognition, a big plus to raise him above the pack. And, more importantly, people’s impressions were also very positive, that he was a fighter who watched out for the average citizen.

            Of course this was a small sampling, but I feel it fair to say that he is the only non-incumbent to have a positive name recognition. Chuck

          • Terry Gavin says:

            Thanks paul but I don’t think I’m a “shoe in” either. There’s 2 races each with one new slot, the 2 year slot & a 4 year slot. Rumor has it that Bob Gilliam is running again, if he doesn’t then that would open up a 2nd slot in the 4 year race.

            To SIE you make many wise observations that make good sense but with many candidates running for next spring’s council election there’s a very good chance that we could get to possibly 4 “opposition” council members to the “extremist’s” majority. Yes that’s still a minority but the remaining council members would note the sea change & I believe move right. Of course I could be wrong but then in 2015 we come back & finish the job.

            I cannot & we should not lose hope that We the People can & will prevail! If we don’t succeed at least we went down fighting.

  24. Terry Gavin says:

    Btw, all of the vote totals quoted above are from the archive’s of both the Courier & Daily Hearld including the titles referred to above. Of course there’s also some of my personal opinion’s thrown in as well.

  25. One Vote says:

    Mike Bailey’s political commentary always left me thinking he was jealous of certain elected officials.
    He said some awful things about people under that alter-ego he used.
    What was it? Uncle Lenny or Elmo or ???
    I always thought he felt he would be a great mayor but couldn’t run without quitting his job.
    So he’d attack the people in print to vent his ego.

  26. Cruex says:

    Did I hear the mayor’s close friend and next door neighbor is running for city council? Did I also hear the environmentalist bicycle rider who used to work for the city is also running? Sounds like they will fit right in with the rest of the liberals. Sad, sad.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Dave’s neighbor, Steve Knight has been saying for a long time that he will run. Earlier this year, Tom Armstrong/biker had said he was thinking of running, but a few month ago he told me he wasn’t sure. Tom was at the special council session last Friday, but I didn’t ask him if he was going to run or not.

      If either or both of them run, it will be interesting to be able to ask them how they differ from the present way things are being run by the council.

      For example, I know Steve Knight had told me, during our Elgin Business License fight/fiasco, that he had serious issues with the way the business license ordinance was written. He described it as being so vague and full of holes, it was legally like Swiss cheese. Yet if he had issues, and he was present at virtually every council meeting since Dave Kaptain has been the mayor, how could Steve have not stood up, EVEN ONE time at the council’s public speech time, and NOT expressed his opinion? Steve is a nice guy, but how can he be expected to be anything other than a rubber stamp for the mayor, if he is unwilling to speak out even once on one specific issue where I know he disagreed with City Hall?

      Here is another twisty story about Steve, if you will bear with me… While working against last year’s budget, I had asked Carl Missele at a public Budget Task Force meeting for Riverboat Fund/financial information in the form of a working Excel spread sheet. I was told publicly by Carl Missele, that I could in fact have a working spread sheet. (If any of you have ever worked with numbers, you know you need a working spread sheet.) But City Staff/Rick Kozal got into the picture, and said I could only have a PDF (which is a locked/static image). I protested, but Kozal refused to provide a working Excel spread sheet. He even went so far as to quote 1/2 of a paragraph of the Illinois FOIA law, which said that committee documents are exempt from public availability. However, when I told this to attorney Jeff Meyer, he emailed me the entire paragraph, of which Kozal had conveniently only quoted the first half. The second half Kozal left off said that EXCEPT when information in presented publicly by the head of a committee. So I was entitled to this document, AS a WORKING spread sheet. (The original document was created as an EXCEL spread sheet.) I almost went to Lisa Madigan to appeal this, but instead dealt with this in other means. THE BOTTOM LINE: At the next council session, during break, I discussed this situation with Steve Knight. He TOTALLY agreed that I should NOT be allowed to have a working spread sheet showing the Riverboat funds. His state rationale was that if I were to be given a working Excel spread sheet, that I could play with the numbers, and send out false information mis-representing the City! So he stood solidly on the side of blocking a citizen’s right to information as defined by existing FOIA law.

      So if you believe in REAL openness and transparency, I can tell you that Steve Knight is NOT your man. And just as important, I can tell you that if Steve Knight has an issue with the City Council (as proven in the matter of the Elgin Business License ordinance), Steve will NOT stand up and express a dissenting view.

      We need at least some diversity of opinion on this council. Right now everything pretty much gets rubber stamped, with Prigge sometimes making lone dissenting votes. Adding Steve Knight to the council will only further solidify the present activities of this left-leaning, big tax, big spend council. (The term “hegemony” comes to mind….)

      Keep in mind that this present configuration of the Elgin City Council will ensure that we get our “rain tax” after the next election.


  27. SIE says:

    Three years ago Sherman hospital abandons the east side of Elgin to build a new $170 million luxury hospital on the far west side.

    Now saddled with close to $300 million in debt Sherman joins Advocate Health Care, one of the largest health care networks in the state.

    When asked about layoffs a spokesman hoped that any reduction in force would be through attrition. Also for cost efficiencies in a network of hospitals each individual facility does offer specialized treatments, instead they may be offered at only one facility within a county for example.

    56% of Sherman’s patient base use Medicare or Medicaid or similar. Only 44% of it’s patients use private insurance, an extremely low percentage and a big part of the reason Sherman on its own was not profitable. Obviously getting your patients from low income Elgin is not profitable. They should have moved a little farther west or north and then they could serve a true affluent suburban population whose residents don’t rely on federal programs to pay their health care.

    And what is left of the east side location that for nearly a century was Sherman hospital? Right now it reminds me of a bombed out city. They say eventually there will be some green space…but not a city park…that would actually cost Elgin money. And how long until they sell the land? I’m sure they are pursuing it right now.

    If they hadn’t incurred the debt of the new building they could have remained private and offered services to the residents of Elgin. Now this luxury hospital it will essentially be an emergency room only and patients will be “directed” to other Advocate hospittals if they need real treatment.

    Sherman should never been allowed to relocate. I know they had to get permission from a state hospital board among others. Just another example of foolish greed taking precedence over common sense.

  28. SIE says:

    Article in the DH about more funding for the downtown “streetscape project”. It says the fifth phase alone will cost $3.7 million. So how much will the entire project have cost?

    I love Kaptains quote, “They created a foundation for business to be succesful” Huh? What businesses have been succesful because some bricks were put down?

    In fact the “streetscape” has probably had the opposite effect. I’m sure several businesses have closed because of the construction. Douglas Sports Bar for one.

    To me the saying “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” describes this boondogle. What an absolute waste of taxpayer money.

    I need to get to Ace Hardware on Spring but because Spring has been closed south of Kimball for two months it’s exteremely inconvenient to get there. If I didn’t have to get my one package of leaf bags I certainly wouldn’t make the effort to shop there. I hope the Ziegler family has told the Mayor how the construction has hurt their business. I wouldn’t be surprised if they closed that store.


  29. Anonymous says:

    Is anybody else sick of John Dalton’s campaign? …

    Please pick a user name. “Anonymous” comments are no longer published because they can lead to confusion about who’s posting what.

  30. Cruex says:

    I just read about Kaptain’s stormwater tax. He obviously has the needed support to make it happen. Do people realize 5 of the 7 city council people are either current or former government employees? Talk about a stacked deck!!!

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Cruex, on the matter of the storm water run-off tax, here is a speech I made to the council last Wednesday.

      Note that I did not demand that the pledge be signed to say the candidate is against the Rain Tax. Simply that they state their position now, so that the voters will have the chance to choose who will get their vote. But they will have to take a stand! Thanks, Chuck

      Good evening Mr. Mayor, members of City Council and City Staff. My name is Chuck Keysor, and I live at 2 S. Jackson Street.

      I am here tonight to express my grave concern about the storm water run-off tax, and the fact that this was included as part of the recently commissioned $288,000 study to be conducted by Strand and Associates.

      Beyond the fact that I believe many citizens will be outraged at a tax on rain, I believe we don’t need to pay for a study of this subject.

      We have already been told that 16 communities in this area have such a tax. Further, we were told that this tax typically runs $3 to $4 per month per household. Those rates would net the City of Elgin between $2.79 million and $3.72 million per year.

      Yet the study will not tell the council to implement the tax. The rain tax will be implemented at the discretion of the Council. So shouldn’t the council first decide if they even want a rain tax?

      In such a discussion, the council could say, “Gee, we already have a $7million surplus in this year’s budget. And we have already levied $10 million in new taxes, and only had the property tax go down $1million. And gee, when the new utility taxes that kicked-in in July 2012 taxes are in effect for the full year in 2013, they will pull in $13 million. With all these new taxes and this big surplus we had better not do this rain tax, and simply forget the study!

      But by paying for the study, a message is clearly conveyed that there is a willingness by the Council to implement this tax. This follows in a pattern the voters have come to expect, have a study in the election year, and then when the cost is clear and no one is watching after the election, the council will say, gee, this study makes sense, let’s create this new rain tax!

      Well, Mr. Prigge and Mayor Kaptain did not need a study to figure out where they stood on imposing a rain tax. So to help those on the council who may be sitting on the fence until after the election, I am announcing that there will be a rain tax pledge that will ask each Council Candidate to commit to their position, if they are For the Rain Tax, or if they are Against the Rain Tax. This pledge will be given to every council candidate running in the 2013 Council election.

      Whoever won’t sign the pledge to indicate their position on the Rain Tax will have to explain why they can’t take a stand like Mr. Prigge or Mayor Kaptain, and see if they can sweet talk their way out of this pickle with the voters.

      Thank you.

  31. One Vote says:

    About John Dalton, he claims to be an attorney working out of his home.
    But when you look him up on the state registry, you will find that he doesn’t carry malpractice insurance. Now, if he’s a sitting judge or a corporate attorney, that’s OK. But it’s not OK if you are in private practice.
    I say he’s just looking for a job at our expense. One that pays well with some serious tenure protection. That’s all it is, a public sector job.

    • One Vote says:

      Link doesn’t work.
      Use this one and type in his last and first name in the lawyer search function.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Interesting point One Vote.

        At the Elgin OCTAVE candidate forum late last month, a question was put to Mr. Dalton that I found very interesting. Mr. Dalton was asked that if he is so deeply involved in Law, and has such a passion for legal matters, why is it that last year he applied for the job of communications director for the City of Elgin? In his reply, he directly acknowledged applying for that job.

        More than any other question, that one really gave me pause. Why would someone who described themselves as being so legally qualified and with so many honors in his field of jurisprudence, want to bail out of the legal profession to become the communications director for the City of Elgin? That isn’t a legal position, even in the most remote sense. Should someone who wants to bail out of the legal profession become a Judge?

        Afterwards, some suggested a few theories to me, but none were very positive, and I can’t think of any myself.


  32. RS says:

    I opened a separate thread for discussing the November races: