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City paid BocaJump 8x above market rates

18 November 2012 RS 19 Comments

I truly wanted BocaJump to succeed but it looks like they’ve thrown in the towel. The only satisfying thing about Mike Bailey’s post is that he finally revealed his site traffic, which allows us to finally calculate the actual CPM rates paid by the City of Elgin to BocaJump for advertising.

According to Bailey, the site served up 750,000 page views over its lifetime. According to the taxpayer watchdog group Elgin Octave, the city has paid BocaJump $60,000 up through June of this year. I don’t know if any further payments have been made after June, so it’s possible that that amount can be higher. In any case we’ll just use $60,000.

The City of Elgin did not advertise from site inception either, so the actual page views is going to be less than 750,000. But we’ll just use that number.

Well, the math is simple. CPM or cost per thousand impressions is simply $60K/750 = $80. So the city paid BocaJump a CPM rate of $80. For reasons stated above this is an estimate, not a hard number.

For this amount, the City of Elgin received a small 300×250 run-of-site banner ad.

If you go to the advertiser section of the Chicago Tribune website you can buy the same 300×250 ad, geotargeted to the Northwest Suburbs for $10 CPM.

$10 Tribune vs $80 BocaJump.

Hmmm…which would you choose?

You can go to the Daily Herald, Courier News/ Sun-Times and get similar numbers. Generally speaking, local news advertising rates are not going to exceed $20 CPM. So no matter where you go, it’s going to be a lot less than what the City of Elgin paid BocaJump.

It doesn’t matter anymore now that BocaJump will be relegated to the Wayback Machine but it does go into the folder of clippings that people keep in their minds when they think about government waste, inefficiency or worse.

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19 Responses to “City paid BocaJump 8x above market rates”

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  1. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    Thank you for the advertising comparison. I have to think that the elginite and OCTAVE bringing this issue to the forefront would have possibly eliminated the city spending such high advertising dollars in the 2013 budget.

    I don’t see how the city would have been able to justify the expense with this information we have.

    I really enjoyed reading a lot of the articles written by Mike, Paul, Nick, JJ, Deirdre, and others at bocajump. I wish them all the best.

    I wonder if Mike Bailey will decide to run for city council?

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward

    “A conservative voice in the Elgin community since 1971″

  2. Terry Gavin says:

    For anyone who was present at the City Council meeting on 9/12/12 they’d of heard me address the BocaJump funding issue. In my comments I mentioned the amount of city monies paid to them ($60,000 total) plus my quoting of the City Mgrs. purchasing authority according to ordinance. Thanks to ElginOCTAVE’s F.O.I.A. requests the facts came out now we see the facts of the estimated cost to the city by CPM clearly showing what a bad deal we the taxpayers got.

    After that meeting a local reporter wrote me through FaceBook questioning why I was making such a big deal about this issue & that he’d written about it months ago & nobody seemed to care. I explained to him that it was a “big” deal because of how it was being handled or should I say not handled by the City Council in open session as an individual expenditure. I was told by the City Mgr. after an exchange of emails that when it came up again it would be taken of the Consent Agenda & discussed in the open by the council as required by the city’s own disclaimer statement on all those items on any agenda. So far no further payments have come up since that Sept. meeting. So now it would appear that this issue is closed but the ordinance allowing the City Mgr. the authority to spend more then $20,000 still needs to be “tightened” up to avoid this kind of situation from happening again.

    Fyi, early this morning I filed my paperwork to officially run for a 4 year seat on the next City Council to be seated in April 2013. If fortunate enough to win I promise to not let issues like this fester without taking action to expose in a timely fashion.

  3. Cruex says:

    These numbers are scary. How can the city of Elgin pay so much without voting first?

  4. Bill O'Neill says:

    heh. COE has money to burn. What’s the issue here. ;-)

  5. Bill O'Neill says:

    All kidding aside…..that was the best I could come up with because I’m still in shock. Admitting to 750,000 hits over it’s lifetime is outright embarrassing. I never understood that site. And….wtf is a “Boca Jump”?
    Because if I want to look something up about “Elgin”, “Boca” immediately comes to mind?

    Shock started these little slush funds for his pals years ago. The DNA is another colossal failure that the city continues to throw money at. They’d be better off playing the “00″ on roulette at the GV.

    No…honest!

    How do I get in line for some of this “free money” from the COE???

  6. Tim Palmer says:

    The Boca Jump pay seems pretty scandalous. That is quite a bit of money with no contract. Is there a City Council connection to Boca Jump, or am I paranoid about integrity? I think there is something to this.

    • Terry Gavin says:

      Tim, may I suggest you go back to the August open thread on here & search out my comments regarding how the funding for BocaJump first got started. In several of the posts there you’ll see a possible link between the council & the main benefactor of the city’s/taxpayers payments.

  7. Chuck Keysor says:

    Tim, there are some logical theories floating out there as to how the Boca matter came to pass, but nothing to back them up in writing. Even when I have numbers and info from FOIAs, the City Staff and some council members say I am making up numbers. And someone connected with all of this threatened to sue me. So I have to avoid floating some of the theories as to why the City would want to pay so much money to Boca Jump. Chuck

    • paul says:

      “threatened to sue”

      Who threatened to sue? Why keep the name a secret? Will they sue for you saying they threatened to sue?

      I’m not seeing the big scandal here. It’s just the COE doing what the COE does - spending taxpayers money on frivolous items with little accountability. The COE didn’t even spend ‘that much’ - advertising fees over the course of a few years.
      As scandals go I view the purchase of the cobblestone house on Chicago St. to be a much bigger fiasco scandel - a property tax generatory now a boarded up vacant tax sucking COE owned property. Don’t sue me, Chuck, but I still say you had a hand in that (maybe just a finger). To appease your bending of COE’s ear on numerous issues and in particular getting a ROPE officer in your neighborhood maybe the COE thought they could buy you off! Hear-say is that Fitz-Williams lost her job over that.

  8. Chuck Keysor says:

    Hello Paul. As to suing, I know it sounds stupid that I would be quiet on this affair, but my attorney said making various comments on this issue is legally “poking the bear”, giving the appearance that I am looking for a fight, so he said I should stay quiet. So I try to listen to legal advice when I actually get it.

    Look, I also agree with you totally about the cobblestone house/302 W. Chicago Street. Our neighborhood group with me as the president, tried for YEARS to get the ROPE officer’s house moved back into our neighborhood.

    As part of that ongoing campaign, I found out the rents of two neighborhood apartments(with the thought that maybe renting was a more sound idea) and the cost of one vacant house (318 South Street, empty and available at that time for something like $74,000) that we recommended the City could use as a ROPE house. I had also recommended that the City investigate the purchase of the big Victorian on the southwest corner of South and S. Crystal because its location would be ideal for watching the negative activities up and down Crystal Street, and it was in sight of 222 Locust. But that house while, on the market, was very expensive and I did not recommend it without some price break. I had also been told by the management of 222 Locust, that they may be willing to let the ROPE officer have a free apartment in their building.

    So I sent my offer to help locate a ROPE house in our neighborhood, with my preliminary findings to the Council and Mayor. Only ONE councilman even replied, and that was then councilman Kaptain. He told me that property purchases are highly confidential and that I could not be involved, goodbye. Without massive searching through my old emails, I would guess that communication was in the late fall of 2008, as I would have been pressing this as more likely to succeed if it took place before the pending council elections.

    Maybe 6 weeks before the election, I got a phone call from a now former City Councilman that said he had personally taken our request for the ROPE house to be moved back into our neighborhood, and arranged for the City to purchase the “Kimball mansion”. I asked incredulously, “The Kimball mansion? That is not in our neighborhood, it is north of W. Highland.” He said, no, not That Kimball mansion, I mean the cobblestone at 302 W. Chicago. But you didn’t hear it from me.”

    After this was announced, I paid my political dues, by sending letters to the papers thanking the City for listening to our neighborhood group.

    Please note though, I never asked for 302 W. Chicago Street, and had personally wanted 318 South Street, as it was cheap, available, and was originally a single family home, that had been divided into a two flat.

    I also was horrified when I found out that the City had purchased 302 W. Chicago Street/cobblestone at full price, in the middle of a huge recession, when 318 South was available for a song and I had made that known to the City. I was even more horrified when I was shown inside, and was told that the building was virtually on the verge of collapsing.

    Later that year, we had Mayor Schock speak at the Near West Neighbors Association meeting, and I asked him, how could a fully licensed, inspected apartment such as 302 W. Chicago Street, be ready to collapse? Clearly that property had not been inspected in reality, because to simply walk up on to its front porch was to take your life into your hands. And to walk into the middle of the second floor, it was, well, equally frightening. You could lightly jump up and down, and the entire second floor would bounce! Ed replied that when he found out that the building was ready to collapse, and had been fully inspected, that he went back to City Hall and exploded. But he didn’t say what he actually did about it. I doubt he would have been upset at Jennifer Fritz-Williams.

    As to Jennifer, she and a prominent old house expert were always butting heads, in a way that I felt created a loss for the City. So I made an appointment to talk to Sean Stegall about this and said, look, these two people are really spending so much energy dealing with each other, that someone needs to negotiate a truce here. Sean said, oh, don’t worry, we have a permanent fix for this problem that will be implemented soon. Well, maybe 2 weeks later Jennifer was let go. I hadn’t asked for that, or even hinted at that. But having seen how HR issues work in the past, I would not be surprised if I was used as the scape goat, and that Jennifer was told I had complained about her, and so she had to go. The next time I bumped into Jennifer, was at Steve Munson’s wake, and she wouldn’t even look at me when I tried to talk to her. So, that is why I am assuming she is blaming me for her job loss.

    Oddly enough, I ran into another ex-City employee that was let go earlier this year. He too was upset with me, saying that our group the Elgin OCTAVE had demanded that people be fired in City Hall, and as a result, he lost his job. And I like this guy, so I tried my best to explain that we NEVER asked the City to lay off people. Our position was to give across the board pay cuts to the non-union employees making over $100,000/year. So I don’t know how many people have gotten mad at me for things that aren’t my fault.

    Well, I am rambling again, sorry, Chuck

  9. paul says:

    Poking the bear? Looking for a fight?

    You and me are looking for the same thing - the TRUTH. The bear ought to be exposed for exactly what the bear is. THIS is the scandal - that private citizens are literally afraid to speak out! The bear’s objective was to silence you up via bogus legal action. And he did, in regards to what he wanted silenced.

    That is why I don’t post under my real name, Chuck. Not so much of fear of getting sued. More a fear of drive-by shootings. That and the pre-judgement you’ve experienced from people you don’t even really know.
    Speaking of pre-judgement, someone who hardly knows you told me you and your neighborhood association are racist. I seriously doubt you are. But how do YOU fight that. How do you disprove a negative - you are not a racist? That is a left wing liberal Nazi tactic - to label others as something evil without evidence.

    • Terry Gavin says:

      Hi Paul, just so you know Chuck didn’t pursue this without backup from
      myself. Both in public, at a council meeting in Sept. I called out the city manager & suggested he may be breaking the ordinance, to posting multiple statements calling into question the whole BocaJump deal on here.

      I had a history of challenging “sacred cows” of city hall during my term on the council. From the “whistle blower” NHS scandal to my repeated calls for dropping the “GOD’s Gym” program due to the con job that was done on the council to secure large funding amounts that now is costing us in the millions of dollars to keep operational. In both of these cases I was the one under attack for having the “nerve” to question these wonderful programs, even though on both of those issues I had support from another council person and/or the Mayor.

      You see anybody who speaks out is considered a troublemaker, kind of like you, which is a good thing for keeping government honest. I also agree with Chuck that by putting my name on everything I do keeps me
      from getting to carried away with emotion. Very few elected council people over the years have had the courage to take on the “special interests” & when they do the other politicians will try to take them out & often do.

  10. Chuck Keysor says:

    Hello Paul. Look, I pretty much agree with you, and have at times wished I did my postings with a pseudonym. I had a couple of really cool “handles” back when we could post on the Daily Herald. However, I will be the first to admit that by having no accountability, I could get carried away, just to make my points. Using my name, I need to be more realistic, as my name is my brand.

    As to being racist, if someone who is liberal doesn’t like me, they will call me an “extremist”, and if someone who is pro “undocumented workers” doesn’t like me, they will call me racist, and if someone who hates “illegal immigrants” doesn’t like me, they will call me a leftist. So that is how people deal with anyone they don’t like, brand them as their favorite villain.

    Our neighborhood group (the Near West Neighbors Association/NWNA)in an effort to broaden our reach, begged and persuaded a Hispanic woman to become our president many years ago. A few years ago, when I was looking to step down as NWNA president after a total of 7 years (because frankly, no one else wanted the job), I very earnestly tried to convince two of my neighbors (husband and wife) who are very active in SOAP and related groups, to become the NWNA president. I said you can make of the group whatever is in your imagination, as long as you are working to serve what you see as the best interests of our neighborhood. They both declined due to too many other obligations.

    My personal goal is to have a group that represents the needs of our neighborhood, and I honestly have chased after anyone of any race who could possibly make that be a reality. The fact that I have failed in that regard is not a reflection of my open attitude to anyone who is capable.

    Oddly enough, I was walking home from downtown yesterday, and stuck in traffic because of a train was one of the people I asked to become the NWNA president (and who declined). We chatted briefly, and out of the blue, he said, Oh, I bet you will be working to help elect candidate XXX in the council race. I said, yes, as a matter of fact you are correct. He shot back, well, that man is a racist. I said, look, this election is about taxes and the abuse of the taxpayers by City Hall, and that is my issue.

    Two years ago, I wanted to help Dave Kaptain in his run for Mayor, so I wanted to make an issue of the Schock endorsed plan to convert Rt. 20 into a tree-lined avenue, with cross traffic. It seemed like gold to me as it was a crazy idea, and it was one of the few issues where Kaptain and Schock had different views. So, I decided to create a “save the bypass committee”, which I did in short order with two other neighborhood groups, and then we created a slate, of the two candidates that had gone on record as opposing the plans to change Rt. 20. I wrote campaign literature for the “slate” and for Dave Kaptain, and handed these things out all over downtown, and other areas. And I put signs in my yard for the two candidates on our slate. And I got a couple of emails from neighbors, telling me that they were shocked that I had picked a racist biggot to be on my slate. I had no such opinion of the man in question. He was an opportunist perhaps, that tried to get elected however he could, so in an earlier election cycle he sought the endorsement of AFLA. I had paid no attention to that, as that wasn’t my issue, and I only cared about trying to make an issue of the bypass as best as I could.

    So, if I have stupidly bungled into things that get me branded this way or that way, I will say it is not surprising. But my issue has always been about how the City runs itself and how it treats the taxpayer.

    When Craig Mason and I started the Elgin OCTAVE, we agreed we would ignore all other issues, and only focus on what we felt were core fiscal/management matters. The motto on our cards is: “The Elgin OCTAVE, Working for fiscal responsibility in Elgin government.”

    Again, I am rambling,,,,,,,,,,,,, Chuck

    • paul says:

      The difference between calling you (or anyone else) a liberal and calling them a racist is as wide as the Atlantic ocean. Being called a liberal is similar to calling someone by gender - identifying which side of the spectrum you are on. Few liberals are offended by being called a liberal.
      Calling you a racist, on the other hand, is meant to be an offensive derogatory term used to marginalize you as an evil KKK practicing ethnic cleanser. They aren’t calling you a racist because you voted for Obama based on his race! Being mis-characterized as a liberal can be corrected in mere seconds. The ugly Nazi characteristic of the left calling you (anyone) racist is you (anyone) can’t prove you are not racist, and a large percentage of people will automatically judge you guilty based purely on liberal hearsay.

  11. Cruex says:

    I discovered a favorite Mike Bailey column of mine from nine months back. I think this answers Tim’s question about Boca and a possible council connection. Check out the six comments at the end. probably the most comments ever left on a Boca story.

    http://elgin.bocajump.com/Mike-Bailey/city-council-elections-a-year-away-but-campaigning-has-already-started

    • One Vote says:

      Bailey’s view of Prigge is harsh and belies Mike’s liberal leanings. Whatever lack of success Prigge has had is a result of the fact that he stands alone most of the time.
      I was shocked by the move to the left in Elgin elections. I honestly have no clue how this one will turn out.

  12. Chuck Keysor says:

    It was interesting to see that Bailey was towing the official falsehood that the City was facing a financial cliff of total disaster if taxes were not raised. If you look at the 2011 audited financial statement for the City, they ended with a surplus of over $600,000 when in the early fall of 2011 Colleen Lavery’s figures to the council showed a deficit projection of almost $1.5 million. And, if you look at the budget that was passed for 2012, the Council (except Prigge) raised taxes by about $10million and created a surplus of $7million.

    The creation of an enormous surplus, (when viewed in light of the fact that averaging the end of year statements for the previous 6 years we ended with a surplus of a bit over $100,000) shows that taxes were in FACT raised wildly beyond what was needed to avoid a budget deficit. Yet in Bailey’s article, he supported the company line, that it was either massive tax increases we had, or disaster and catastrophe.

    But ignoring that budget whopper, Bailey’s column was pretty good from what I have seen. Chuck