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Mitchell Esterino: City Council Candidate

27 February 2013 Elgin Illinois 135 Comments

The questionnaire below was completed by city council candidate Mitchell Esterino. Mr. Esterino will be a candidate in the city council election on April 9th.


Mitchell Esterino

Seat for which you are running:

4 year city council

Can you tell us a bit about your background, both personally and professionally?

In college, I met my wife Monica. She is an Elgin native who graduated from St. Edward H.S.. We married in the summer of 1980. In 1992, we moved to Elgin and have been in our home since. We have 5 children, all graduates of U-46 schools and all attended Elgin Community College. We also have twin granddaughters. I have been a downtown Elgin business owner. I, presently, am an Elgin area sales manager (office products).

Why are you running for Elgin City Council?

When I looked at running for city council, it felt like a natural progression along life’s path for me. My community involvement started off with coaching baseball and girls softball with the Elgin area little league. During that time, I was a junior partner working for a locally owned business located in downtown Elgin. My involvement snowballed quickly to include:

* the Boys & Girls Club board of directors;
* Block Captain for the City of Elgin’s Neighborhood Watch program;
* fundraising for the local domestic violence shelter;
* chamber of commerce;
* Lions Club; and
* lots of church activities.

Why am I running? Simply put, I love this community and want to give back.

What do you view as the major issues facing Elgin in the next few years?

>Sustaining City Core Services
>Maintaining Elgin’s Financial Health and Fiscal Responsibility
>Economic Growth and Development

Are you generally in agreement with decisions the city council has made in the past few years? Please describe any measures with which you particularly agreed or disagreed.

The Council has made many decisions in the past few years. Many decisions I have agreed with and some, I might have done a little differently. I agreed with the Council a few years back of engaging with all Elgin citizens in a very tough budget process. I liked the fact that everyone was invited to bring their views and questions to the discussion. While I understand the need for the refuse fee, I would’ve tried to find a way to maintain the city’s “Spring Clean Day”.

If elected, what do you expect to accomplish during your time on the council?

I will work with Council and City staff to maintain the highest level of city core services. I do not want any additional city layoffs. We have wonderful services in this city but we are getting spread too thin in some areas.

We have the highest bond rating possible while our State has the lowest bond rating in the country. That speaks volumes in the way we pay our bills and oversee our money. I want to continue our fiscal responsibility.

In the area of economic growth and development, I am in favor of tying city funding to outside organizations, to a performance evaluation system.

From a crowded field of candidates, why should voters choose you to represent them on the city council?

While I believe my community involvement sets me apart from the rest of the field, the following are also reasons I believe voters should support me:

* My business experience.
* My work experience in downtown Elgin
* I have coached thousands of kids in sports and I understand the value of teamwork and working toward a common goal.

What’s the best way for voters to find out more about your campaign?

e-mail: esterinoforelgin@yahoo.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/esterinoforelgin

twitter: @Esterino4Elgin

e-mail: 847 742 9664

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135 Responses to “Mitchell Esterino: City Council Candidate”

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  1. Tim Palmer says:

    God save us! Another non-commiting liberal trying to get in who thinks everything is just fine at city hall. Oh, and nice move to compare Elgin’s finances to the bankrupt state. That must have been a tough call. We all should be in happy land now? Anyone who thinks Elgin has been acting with “fiscal responsibility” has their head somewhere else, or is just trying to make friends with the other liberals on the council. NEXT!!!!

  2. Mitch Esterino says:

    Thanks for the feedback Tim. Liberal? Not really. More of a local businessman who just wants to give back to the community. Like it or not, Elgin has been fiscally responsible. I’m not suggesting that the city has been perfect, but how do you argue with a top notch bond rating. We have some work to do sorting out some of the new taxes and fees. The garbage fee seems to be a problem. The proposed storm water tax appears to be an issue that is breeding some malcontent.

    When elected, I promise to listen to my constituents and make decisions that are good for the city, long and short term.

    Thanks again for taking the time to post.


  3. paul says:

    “how do you argue with a top notch bond rating.”

    We’ve always had a top notch bond rating; thus rendering your argument invalid in support of a multi-million dollar tax increase resulting in a multi-million dollar surplus as being necessary for the continued top notch bond rating!

    Liberal! Really.

  4. Tim Palmer says:

    What a bunch of nothing. Just what do your words mean? “We have some work to do sorting out some of the new taxes and fees.”

    “The proposed storm water tax appears to be an issue that is breeding some malcontent.”

    “When elected, I promise to listen to my constituents and make decisions that are good for the city, long and short term.” Right out of the liberal playbook I tell you.

  5. Mitch Esterino says:

    Again, thanks for all of your comments. If any of you have thoughts on how we can improve the way the city functions,please letmeknow. I’d be happy to take your thoughts and comments into consideration.

    • Tim Palmer says:

      Damn! Sounds like if you get elected ALL of your ideas will have to come from someone else. Sorry but there’s already too many like you on the council now with no thoughts and rose colored glasses. Moving on…

  6. Cruex says:

    I agree with Tim. It appears Mr. Esterino either doesn’t know the most important issues or is afraid to offer an opinion until after the election if he wins. It’s the duty of all candidates to know the issues and just because one is not on the council doesn’t mean they shouldn’t learn about them.

    More than a few of the 2 yr. candidates knew more about the issues than Esterino does. I’m afraid he may end up being like Powell and Moeller who didn’t know the issues but talked a good game and now we’re all paying for it.

  7. Sally Foster says:

    I don’t know much about you Mitch. Are you originally from the Midwest because people from the Midwest, especially those people running for elected office, have thoughts regarding the happenings in their state & town and speak out. What do you know and what do you believe because this profile is vague at best.

    Do you know the issues and concerns of the tax payer’s of Elgin? If yes, where are your opinions on the issues we face regarding our tax dollars? If you don’t speak on the issues why did you get in the race? Oh yeah, its your life’s progression your following and not the urge for better representation for the citizens. How much effort are you putting into this campaign because you’re coming back to me with “Spring Clean Day”! Do you know anything about the budget? Have you read the current budget? Any thoughts?

    The core services will continue to function without you or your input. You said “We have some work to do sorting out some of the new taxes and fees.” WHAT! How about making a stand for the taxpayer and OPPOSING NEW TAXES rather than helping to sort them out.

    You didn’t participate in the forum hosted by Elgin Octive. Why?

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Sally, as a reference note, the following 4 year candidates did not participate in the Elgin OCTAVE candidate forum on 1/12/13: Bob Gilliam, Rich Dunne, Mitch Esterino, Steve Knight, Tom Armstrong, Jerri McCue and Grace Richard. Also I would like to note that none of these individuals completed our 45 question survey on taxing and spending issues. Chuck

      • Sally Foster says:

        Hi Chuck, I must be missing something in the big picture. Has Mitch responded to me or the questions I asked or is he hide behind or jumping on John’s bandwagon for protection?? My Blackberry screen is small.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          Hello Sally. I don’t think he has responded to you in any meaningful way. But at least with a little agitation, he is showing that despite his earlier post where he said: “Clearly we don’t agree on key issues, which is ok. It’s all part of the political process.” he can really be as opinionated as anyone.

          Now, if he will step further out of the shadows of feigned political civility and consideration, he will take a position on the “Rain Tax”. With months of discussion, and the fact that there are all manner of cities across this country to see how a rain tax works, there is no reason, except being afraid to take a stand, that a candidate should not let the voters know where they stand on an important issue.

          Sally, do you think Mitch will stand up, and make a public position on the “Rain Tax”? If he will, I will grant him a gold star for having the courage to take a position on a controversial issue before an election. Would you give him a star????

          Thanks, Chuck

  8. Tim Palmer says:

    There is no excuse for any newbie running for office to not know an issue or have a damn opinion about it. Guys like Esterino, Dresang, Raushenberger, Knight, Armstrong etc etc want to be told what to do. I’m sick of weaklings wearing happy faces. All this social media and none of these clowns knows what to do??? Stay home and pay more of the liberals taxes.

    • bw says:

      Tim: If I recall Carol Rauschenbberger ran a strong 3rd in the electon. She must have known something. She will be a strong voice on the council. Uour comment proves you have no idea about any of the candidates. She will give the Rain Tax a good look before she votes.

      • Sally Foster says:

        What she new was to run with her maiden name to project to the voters she was a conservative based on the rest of her family’s politics. A wolf in sheeps clothing.

        • bw says:

          SF: She will be the first woman mayor in the history of Elgin. She was the first Dem ever elected to the township board. Her mother was President of U-46 for years and an active member of the community. Her father was Chairman of the Kane County GOP and County Board Member for years. Her brother was a State Rep. and State Senator, and her uncle Bill was Mayor of Elgin. They were the most conservative Elgin family for years. They have a ton of supporter’s in this community. She has the name, education, and right blood line. Just watch her on the council. Remember you heard it here first. I wondered why no one posting here every mentioned her as a possible winner. I guess they did not think it would happen. I would encourage her to run for mayor. She would be hard to beat if she put all of her resources to work in any campaign. When I seen the first returns ,on election night, I knew she would win.

          • Sally Foster says:

            Bw, I think you’re mistken but time will tell what side she is on and a short time at that. Just because others in her family are conservative doesn’t mean she is. Isn’t she a registered Dem? That should tell you that she does not follow the conservative leanings of her family.

      • paul says:

        Rauschenburger will have no voice at all on the council.

        Where was her voice on the township board? Nonexistent. She ran on the platform of eliminating the township altogether and then after she won by 3 votes we never heard another word from her.

        Guaranteed she’ll join the liberal cabal in raising taxes whenever and wherever possible. In the conversations I’ve had with her she appeared to be a complete airhead. The platform she ran on for council confirms her airheadedness - Strengthening Elgin schools!!!! She should have ran for school board. Her family name and ties are the ONLY rational explanation for her election.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          Paul, you are right….

          Now, while I may have sounded like I was crowing on my post a few minutes ago on Gilliam and Dunne, I was also totally wrong about Carol winning. I assumed that liberals who didn’t really know, would hate her because of her last name. And I figured that conservatives who did know what she really was like, would NOT vote for her. How could you win with two opposing sets of people voting against you???? That was my logic………


          • bw says:

            CK: You were wrong on this call. Just a small reminder. Expect Carol to be the leader on the council.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Hey bw, I just stumbled across this………. It is a year later, and do you think that Carol has met your expectation of being “the leader on the council”? Chuck

  9. Mitch Esterino says:

    Folks, thanks again for your comments. Clearly we don’t agree on key issues, which is ok. It’s all part of the political process. The difference is that in going to continue to work hard during this campaign and continue to share with everyone that I talk to that Elgin is a terrific place. When elected I will be pleasd to be part of a City Council that is working toward a set of common goals. Core services, continued financial stability and revitalization/economic development are key issues that must be dealt with for the next several council terms. I have promised everyone that I was going to run a positive, upbeat campaign devoid of name calling and silly innuendo. My goal is to focus on the issues at hand, and once elected work even harder to make certain that Elgin is just a little better than it was before I started my involvement. Without the nonsense.

    See you at the polls.


    • Penny says:

      Mitch, Please let us know where you stand on the rain tax. It is key to who gets my vote.

      • Sally Foster says:

        Penny, don’t wait, Mitch will not answer about any positions he has. I have been waiting since March 3rd with reminders. He has never responded. Dunne only responds we don’t have one but always fails to tell the truth as published in both local papers

        I would venture to say that his (and others) will take the position based on how he/they are instructed to do from Kaptain and Gilliam.

        ACity of Elgin newsletter sent to every resident called the “Budget in Action” from March 2012. On page 2 under the title “Stormwater Utility Tax” is this sentence “The city council plans to establish this tax in 2014?! If anyone wants to see this city newsletter, let me know, I’ve still got my copy. Fact 2.) Within the city’s 2013 budget and the 5 year financial plan passed by this city council, City of Elgin page 13, 2013 General Fund Budget states: “Stormwater Utility fee - The 2012 - 2016 Financial Plan identified the possibility of implementing a stormwater utility fee in 2014 for the sole purpose of further diversifying the city’s revenue streams to reduce reliance on property taxes. The 2013 - 2017 financial plan remains unchanged in this regard.”



        • Tim Palmer says:

          Hey, Penny - Here is Esterino’s answer. Rain Tax? What rain tax? There is no Rain Tax. Who said there is a Rain Tax? Did YOU say there was a Rain Tax? I didn’t say there was a Rain Tax. No one told me there was a Rain Tax! Don’t ask Esterino those tough questions ever again. He can’t handle those tough questions. But he does believe in great core services! Does that answer your question about the rain tax?

  10. Tim Palmer says:

    Look at what you said.

    “When elected I will be pleased to be part of a City Council that is working toward a set of common goals”

    What are those goals? What are YOUR goals? To keep saying nothing?

    “Core services, continued financial stability and revitalization/economic development are key issues that must be dealt with for the next several council terms.”

    How are you going to deal with those issues? If “continued financial stability” means continue raising taxes then you’re not worthy of a vote.

    “I was going to run a positive, upbeat campaign devoid of name calling and silly innuendo.”

    Your whole campaign is full of innuendo as you have no position on anything!

    “My goal is to focus on the issues at hand,”


    “Without the nonsense.”

    By saying nothing of any meaning, YOU are the nonsense.

    You’re not fooling me. Even with the opportunity to say anything you want here and all you do is speak political speak. That tells me you have no thoughts or you are too afraid to voice them. Even the crazy taxi driver in the other race had more thoughts!

  11. Chuck Keysor says:

    Tim, your comments are exceptionally clear and unassailable. Thanks! Chuck

    Mitch, you want to deal with the issues at hand. Who is deciding for you what the issues are? The council, or the tax weary voters?

    It is my belief that the taxpayers feel oppressed by Elgin’s tax burden. Elgin’s unemployment rate is significantly higher than the State’s and this is a lower class city, despite Craig Dresang’s assertions to the contrary. Beyond looking at all the trashy houses,the junky cars and scrap metal trucks, check out the Elgin Schools. I was given figures yesterday that came from U46 which say there are 17,864 U46 students IN Elgin. Of that number, 12,274 are getting federally subsidized lunches. To get those free lunches your family must be poor. The poor students represent 69% of the students.

    Anyway, poor people need tax relief more than they need Artspace, Riverside Drive, bike paths, etc. Maybe you are banking on the fact that poor people won’t turn out for our municipal elections………

    And beyond the statistical fact of Elgin’s high unemployment, we don’t even know how many people in Elgin are underemployed. I believe we have more people under-employed, who used to make good money, but now work part-time for low wages, than we have unemployed. Again, all of these people are groaing under the burden of excessive taxation which is “needed” to support Elgin’s tax and spend mentality. Why did the size of the entire City budget explode from $203,000,0000 in 2011 to $277,000,000 in 2013? That is a 38% increase, and that does not represent a lightening of the load on the stressed taxpayer. How will you reduce the load on the taxpayers, when you just want to go along with the rest of the majority tax and spend liberals of this council????


    • John Steffen says:

      I have to weigh in to try once more to explain why you are misleading the public with your “size of the entire city budget” numbers. As has been explained to you at City Council meetings, you are comparing budget numbers (created before the fiscal year begins=estimates) with actual numbers (figures arrived at after the fiscal year ends=real numbers)–in the comment above its the 2011 ACTUAL number compared with the 2013 BUDGET number that gives you the 38% increase. It is highly misleading to do that.
      These are very different numbers for different purposes. The budget number has to include every initiative or project that could possibly cause us to expend money, but many of those do not occur for a variety of reasons–permitting or regulatory review, funding not complete, etc. An example is the $10.5M Riverside deck project that has been in the BUDGET since about 2009, but had ACTUAL expenditures start only in 2012. When this sort of delay happens Elgin’s ACTUAL budget ends up being less than what we BUDGETED. Here’s a comparison of the last 5 years’ budgets vs actuals to show how misleading it is to mix these two different numbers (rounded):
      2007 $323.8M $225.5M
      2008 $301.2M $239.6M
      2009 $293.8M $201.4M
      2010 $277.2M $210.8M
      2011 $274.5M $203.2M
      Given this historic trend of ACTUAL figures coming in much lower than BUDGET figures, I would expect a similar reduction in 2013’s ACTUAL from the BUDGET of $277.8M
      If I wanted to play politician and use similarly wrong math I would compare the 2007 BUDGET with the 2011 ACTUAL and claim that we have reduced our expenditures by 37.2% over 5 years–almost the exact inverse of your claim, and no more valid.
      Although you and I haven’t talked directly in a while, I still listen to your suggestions when given at council or elsewhere–but find these inaccuracies difficult to take.
      If you truly want to lighten the tax load on Elgin residents, then focus on the General Fund, as that is where almost all of the tax revenues from the taxes and fees you want to reduce or eliminate end up. Looking there you will see the increase in the BUDGET from 2012 to 2013 is $2.37M, or 2.47%. The best place to start gaining an understanding is pages 1-13 of the Letter of Transmittal for this year’s budget.
      Drilling down further with the table on page 11 of that section shows that $2.9M of the BUDGET increase (we claw back some savings in other areas) is due to earnings and benefits. Reviewing a January 2013 council meeting item shows you that Health Insurance costs are going up about 7.85% in 2013 after an increase of 15% last year–you begin to understand where the increased taxes are going. Ideas for cutting expenses have to pertain to that General Fund budget if you really want to reduce taxes.
      Instead, most candidates are misleading our residents into believing we can cut taxes by eliminating other projects or initiatives. These are almost all red herring arguments as the funding for these comes from sources other than the taxes you seek to reduce. Dog parks (park development fees from developers), Social Service Agencies (riverboat), Economic Development Initiatives (riverboat), Bike Paths (grants and riverboat), brick pavers in the downtown (TIF funds) are some of the recent examples–cutting these out of our scope of work would not reduce the taxes since these are not funded from those taxes.
      I look forward to your thoughts and ideas.

      • One Vote says:

        TRANSLATION: Elgin sandbags their budgets.

        And when they do that they can sound the alarm about revenue shortfalls and pass new taxes onto us.

        Chuck’s not misleading us at all. He was the one who told us all that they were crying poor only to end up with a surplus AFTER they’d added the new taxes.

      • Sally Foster says:

        John, I think this was the most I heard from you in years! I thought you were mute and could only shake your head in agreement with Shock and Kaptain.

      • bennie says:

        John the problem is the citizens don’t believe a word uttered by anyone sitting on the
        city council. That’s problem A lack of trust is one of the single most haunting destructive things that have kept this town stuck and not moving forward/ You all seem to be grossly out of touch, perhaps incapacitated for the job at hand and have no desire to hear from the taxpayers, that is a problem and over time it will hurt this city and prevent further improvements and a healthy community for the masses. You city council ppl must remember you are not royalty sitting in you own little fiftom. You are elected to the position for the sole purpose of working for the greater good of the citizenry not for your personal aggrandizement. You all need to take a slow down and take a look at what you are doing and how you appear to the citizens at large. Of the members in it’s entirety the citizens have NO faith and no respect for this body that is not good It should be a privilege to sit on the city council not a lifetime gig and you seat alcoholics on the commission you should sit a more diverse group representative of this community asap in the city council Term limits is a necessary tool to clean u the cmmission

  12. Mitch Esterino says:

    Thanks John. Well articulated. It from the look that I took, it looks like health and employee cost of living increases are big drivers in that increase. Chuck seems well intended, but severely misguided in his efforts to interpret the city’s budget.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Hello John:

      1) First, I had asked Mitch, “Who is deciding for you what the issues are? The council, or the tax weary voters?” I think your defense of Mitch helps to give credence to the rumor that Mitch was recruited to run by you and Anna Moeller.

      2) Concerning my misleading the public with my numbers…. There is almost a sinister implication, when in reality, I got a printed copy of the City’s 2013 budget document. On page one of the “Budget Detail” section, is a colorful chart showing the “Total Budget (All Funds)”. That is the only chart I was able to find that showed the total size of successive budgets, and that is the chart from which my figures came. So if I am providing misleading information, perhaps someone should go back and look at the City’s budget document, and ask whomever prepared that, why they were providing misleading information.

      3) In terms of the council telling me that I am wrong on this subject, I would challenge you to figure out when that might have been. I think you may be thinking of last December 14th during the truth in taxation hearing. Terry Gavin talked about the size of the City’s government. After his comments, you politely commented that there are many factors involved in the entire budget that make it not an accurate reference point, citing the fact that it MAY include expenses such as Riverside Drive. But your comments were tenuous, and not directed to me. When I addressed the council that evening, it was to express my disappointment in the strategic plan. So if you choose to disagree with me, I can accept that, but you can not cite my having been told thus and so concerning the budget, when that has not in fact happened.
      4) In terms of red-herrings, this “Rain-tax” is a barrel full of red herrings being fed to the taxpayers. It is time the City make choices and prioritize more carefully. Every feels that fixing the sewers is important, and if we need even more money to do that, we say it needs to be decided what it is more important than, and take the money from those less important things.

      While the City has been separating storm sewers, it has mistakenly put other WANTS ahead of it, such as the Centre. The City decided to spend $38 million in the early 2000’s on the Rec Centre, instead of separating the sewers. Last year, we elected to throw even more money at the East Side Rec Center.

      4) Speaking of separating sewers, to my understanding, the EPA may not have ever even told us to do this. They told us to stop polluting the Fox. Maybe that is a trivial point, maybe it isn’t.

      5) Thanks for checking out the Elginite John.

      OK, I have to go sing….. Chuck

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        John (and anyone else who cares to read), here is a PS, now that I am done with music practice. I am not wanting to sound flippant, however, your comments on my “misleading the public” bring to mind a similar exchange that you and I had almost exactly two years ago.

        At that time, I was trying to stir awareness of the City’s pending second study for $98,000 to investigate turning Elgin’s part of Rt. 20 into a tree lined boulevard. The Courier’s reporter said that you had told him that I was misleading people about the Rt. 20 proposal by telling them that Elgin’s part of Rt. 20 would have 35mph speed limits and stop lights. You said that those were false assertions.

        When I attended the NENA forum at the Salvation Army chapel, I bumped into you, and asked you about this. You said, yes, that the reporter had quoted you correctly, and then you told me directly that I was not correct because the study did NOT even suggest stop and go lights or 35MPH speed limits. I acknowledged that I had never read the original study, because I was not even aware of it. I said that I was merely quoting what both the local papers had reported, as that was all I had to go by.

        You told me that you would provide me with a link to the actual/first study that had been conducted by the Congress for New Urbanism, of which maybe 1/3 was concerned with the conversion of Rt. 20 into a tree lined boulevard. You even sent me the link from your IPAD as we were talking in the chapel. I told you that I would read that document, and I would send out a mass email to all my readers to tell them what the actual source document said about the conversion of RT. 20 into a boulevard. And I said I would include a link to the official study, AND copy you on the mass email so you could see what I reported. (As a digression, in that conversation you said that you supported the conversion of Rt. 20 into a tree lined boulevard because you thought it would be good for Elgin……)

        As soon as I got home from the NENA forum, I in fact read the official report, and very clearly that study did recommend 35mph speed limits and stop lights. I was totally polite about it, and never said I told you so. I simple sent out my mass emailing saying what I had originally reported was correct, AND I included the link to the official document in case anyone wanted to more fully understand the proposal.

        I bring up this seemingly old Rt. 20 matter, because it is in many ways like the looming “Rain Tax”. I was told then that I was providing false information on the Rt. 20 matter, and needlessly scaring people. And here 2 years later, I am again being accused of misleading the public. And just as virtually anyone I talked to about Rt. 20 being turned into a Blvd was incredulous, and wanted to know who’s crazy idea this was, people react in disbelief at the idea that our City Council’s liberal majority would want to impose a “storm water runoff utility fee”. Though I will admit, I usually call it a “rain tax”.

        City staff has accused of exaggerating the likelihood of the “rain tax” being enacted, and that I am engaging in hyperbole. Yet anyone I tell about the “rain tax”, is simply left dumbstruck. So let us hope we can head off the “rain tax” at the (by)pass. Just like Rt. 20……..


        PPS: Oh,,,, if only we had known about the Elgin Business License BEFORE it was inflicted upon the unknowing City…….

      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

        It is a crime that so much money in the past has gone to wants while people with the old sewers needed separation so they didn’t have to clean up crappy sewer water in their basements. Previous councils should have made that a priority.

        These people are taxpayers and they are not getting the basic service of a sewer that works properly. It is not their fault that the city allowed so much growth that their original sewer can’t take a big storm anymore.

        We need to accelerate the fixing of those sewers in my opinion. If there are not enough wants to cut from the budget then we need to find some way to fund faster sewer separation for those taxpayers.

        I have new sewers that don’t back up but I think in fairness it is the right thing to do to find the best way with the least financial impact to all concerned to accelerate the separation of the old sewers for these impacted older sewer owners.

        Does anyone have any ways to do that without a rain tax?

  13. Cruex says:

    John Steffen forgot to mention he has a Mitch Esterino sign in his yard. Mitch Esterino forgot to mention his sign is in Steffen’s front yard. Mitch Esterino forgot to mention he has no stances or ideas or original thoughts. Mitch Esterino forgot that he’s a new candidate and no new candidate should be calling anyone misguided. Congratulations Mr. Steffen, you bailed out Esterino. You will have many opportunities if he gets elected

  14. Mitch Esterino says:

    Cruex–based on what you have written, it would seem as though YOU may have one of Keysor’s yard signs in your yard. Support of candidates and issues is part of the process, but getting behind someone who continually misrepresents the truth is baffling to me. It’s an odd place to hitch your wagon, buddy.

    Chuck–you were publicly admonished by the city manager just a few short weeks ago at a city council meeting for your misguided and off interpretation of the city’s budget. Sean Stegall offered to personally meet with you and give you any information that you wanted or needed about the budget. I understand that you two did meet, yet for some reason you continue to cite budget facts that simply aren’t true. John Steffen provided a wealth of knowledge and insight about the budget in his post here on the Elginite, yet you choose to counter with nonsense about speed limits on Rt. 20 and comments about a non-existent rain tax. Your inability to engage in discussion without interjecting a bunch of off topic, conspiracy theory crap shows a complete lack of maturity. It also demonstrates that you have no real knowledge of the issues you choose to wrestle with.

    Again, people are allowed and in fact encouraged to to either agree or disagree with candidates and the issues of the day. It’s part of the political process. I find it irresponsible and embarrassing that anyone who lives in the community should continually and knowingly misstate the truth, distort the facts, and propagate their nonsense in a public forum. The real danger is that there are always a select handful who will believe whatever conspiracy theory(s) are written. What’s next piece of nonsense Chuck? Let me guess–you’re also one of those in spite of your engineering background who thinks that man really didn’t land on the moon.

    I’ll be out until the election knocking on doors and talking to people about how to make Elgin a better place.

    For you and the gang Chuck, keep jousting windmills. Who knows, you just may slay one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice vitriol Mitch. Should make for some contentious council meetings if you somehow get elected. Can’t wait for you to take of the kid gloves and say what you really feel.

    • paul says:

      ” I have promised everyone that I was going to run a positive, upbeat campaign devoid of name calling and silly innuendo.”

      Well, so much for that, eh mitch!!!

      Seriously, lmao.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Hello Mitch. Sorry for my slow reply, but I have been busy sending various estimates of what the “rain tax” may cost various Elgin businesses and churches. I have provided estimates using Google Earth and two rates,,,

      Last October, Strand reported that communities in northern Illinois typically charge between $3 and $4 per “ERU” per month. So I make the low calculation at $3/ERU/month.

      But since Downers Grove is close by, and they charge $8.40/ERU/month (hmmmm, that is a lot more than Strand reported…. maybe you should direct some of your negative energy at them…..) I also provide a calculation based on that rate……

      So, now that I am done with that for now…… on to your previous message…. Chuck

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        OK Mitch, now where was I??? Oh yes…

        1)If you could not see the obvious connection between my historic case of how John Steffen can say I am misleading the public on the recent Rt. 20 issue, and his current charge that I am misleading the public then that is another point the voters can consider in evaluating you.

        2)Look, John said I had been criticized by the council for mixing budget estimates, with actual year end financial statements. I clearly countered, that was not the case, and that John had addressed such comments, in a mild way, to Terry Gavin when he spoke at the truth in taxation hearing on December 14th.

        So you, instead of addressing that clear win on my point, chose to say I was scolded by the council when I spoke to the council on 2/13/13. Yes, you are right, I was scolded. But without merit.

        First after I spoke, John Prigge asked if anyone on staff or the council could challenge my figures. No one said a thing. I sat down. After I sat down, suddenly the discussion was, Oh, well of course Chuck’s figures are wrong, he is an engineer, but not an accountant. I stood up, and addressed that now I was being discredited as a matter of course, when no one could say what was wrong with my figures. Ultimately, I agreed to meet with Sean. We met for about 1 hour and 40 minutes on 2/28/13, just to discuss the first page of my speech. We will meet tomorrow to discuss the second page.

        So fine, WHAT did I say to the council on 2/13/13? Mostly I expressed opinions, offered some simple evidence of my points, and then asked some questions.

        Here are the details, and then ask yourself, what is the basis of being able to use this as grounds for discrediting me? You won’t find grounds here, and hopefully people will enjoy your bringing attention to the following summary of my speech.

        I addressed:

        a) the Elgin Neighbor newsletter, and how frustrated and disappointed I was with the City for voting to spend $74,460 to send out 5 more issues of something that provides an unbalanced image to the voters about their tax burden. The current issue has on the front page in bold type “lower property-tax levies and continue to control costs.” And also on the front page with a red house and a large number 1, it says that “The property tax levy is going down again…”

        I said that while yes in fact the property tax levy went down by $1million, there was no balance in the newsletter because it did not give equal time to the fact that all the new taxes and fees that went into effect in 2012 were about $10million, giving a NET tax increase of about $9million.

        b) My second point was to show with my own taxes what the City’s tax changes have done. I had a net increase in my taxes to the City go up by 12%. I brought my tax bill and all my utility bills in to my meeting with Sean and said that he could keep these and have City staff check to see that I hadn’t made a mistake. We will discuss his review of this in our second meeting, that is scheduled for tomorrow.

        c) I asked about our surplus saying that it has been expressed many times by council and staff, that we needed to have the $7 million surplus to resolve cash flow issues and to maintain our AAA bond rating. I asked, how did we not only survive in the previous years 5 years without such big surpluses but we also managed to maintain our AAA bond ratings????

        d) Then I asked what happened to our $7million surplus of 2012? Did we spend it? Don’t we still have it? Why do we need an even bigger surplus of $10million surplus in 2013?

        e) Then I put the $10million surplus of the 2013 budget into perspective, saying this is a very significant sum. I said that if the City chose to not create this huge surplus, that it could eliminate the $4.5 million trash fee AND the $4.8 million electrical tax.

        f) My final point was perhaps not as polite as I generally like to be. But I expect that it was this, and not my figures that got people upset. I said: “It is bad enough that you should use the taxpayer’s money to protect yourselves with bulletproof shields….. But it is far worse that you would spend $74 thousand on hype and spin to protect yourselves from the voters.”

        These are the issues that I raised, and these are all legitimate points that should concern many taxpayers.

        The real value in all of this give and take is that you have shown your true self. Back when I was in college, I concluded that there are two types of readily accessible truth serums. They work wonders and can help to expose what lies inside of a person. One is alcohol, and the other is anger. Get someone drunk, or get them mad, and they are very likely to drop their guard and their inner nature becomes manifestly evident.

        I consider our exchange to be proof that getting someone mad can tell a lot. What is clearly evident is that you should have kept your cool. Sorry, Chuck

    • bennie says:

      Stick around Mr E. you will have a different opinion and sense of what really goes on in this community as far as how the leadership manages the business for this community if you can open yourself up to see and accept reality and separate truth from political window dressing. there is a lot you don’t know. Many of us have lived in this town for more that forty years and know first hand of what’s out there cuz we’ve been on the receiving end. You appear hoodwinked by the darlings of the city machine but give yourself the opportunity to learn the real truth for yourself and perhaps you can come back and run at another time with a renewed knowledge and spirit,there is a lot to learn about what’s in the bowels of this community and what makes it tick.

  15. One Vote says:

    May I express an opinion here?
    It seems to me that a vote for Mitch is a vote for Steffen/Moeller.
    It’s like bringing Warren back.
    We need someone with a new perspective here; not a toady for the status quo.
    Just my opinion.

    • bennie says:

      One vote you are absolutely right maybe we should get together and publish a list of the company rubber stamps running to fill the city council seats clearly ALL of the incumbents are RUBBER STAMPS No wonder this city is not moving forward. Could it be that the city leaders only know how to screw the citizens and don’t have a vision for the future of this city I see they continue to use the same old fossils for the comprehensive planning commission as they have used in the past what joke. LOL The city is desperately in need of some fresh blood and ideas.

  16. Tim Palmer says:

    Attacking an activist is the liberals favorite move.

    “getting behind someone who continually misrepresents the truth is baffling to me.”

    Just do what you are told. That’s why you are running. Who needs to take a stand or offer an opinion when you are out trying to join the liberal team? You already have Steffen saving you. How long before Moeller comes to your rescue? That is if she’s not too busy sending the chief of police out to shut down an “eyesore” that helps women.

    “John Steffen provided a wealth of knowledge and insight about the budget in his post here on the Elginite”

    Whatever John says is good. He taxes and spends because he knows what is best.

    “It also demonstrates that you have no real knowledge of the issues you choose to wrestle with.”

    That’s right Chuck. Do like Mitch does. He chooses not to wrestle with any damn issues. That way he shows everyone he has no knowledge of the issues. Whatever John says is good.

    “Your inability to engage in discussion without interjecting a bunch of off topic, conspiracy theory crap shows a complete lack of maturity.”

    Congratulations. Your first opinion ever and you made it a derogatory comment about a voter with influence.

    “I’ll be out until the election knocking on doors and talking to people about how to make Elgin a better place.”

    Based on what I’ve read you won’t be doing any of the talking on that topic.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Thanks Tim, excellent comments.

      Say, earlier this afternoon, as I was doing dishes, I looked out across the street, and saw a man carrying a Mitch Esterino sign towards my neighbor’s house. My neighbor lives in one of Elgin’s great old mansions. But my neighbor has a policy of NO political yard signs. So I watched as this worker left my neighbor’s house, carrying Mitch’s sign back to his vehicle.

      How disingenuous to go up to total strangers and ask them to let you put a sign in their yard. Why would they want to put a sign across the street from my house, with my signs, which are all for people that I KNOW and that I support????? Does Mitch have to go to total strangers to find someone willing to put up his signs?

      I have some nice neighbors who are not voters kitty corner from me. I expect that Mitch’s people will go back and knock on their door, and ask them to allow Mitch’s sign to be placed in their yard. Nothing like having a solid core of supporters to display your signs…..


  17. John Steffen says:

    Whoa–Though i have followed this site for years i was always been reluctant to jump on for what is displayed above: people getting off the subjects of importance and instead taking personal potshots and attacking people rather than ideas.

    I got on this thread solely to address the inaccuracy of Chuck’s ‘38% increase’ comment and not to push Mitch’s candidacy, so I will address Chuck’s comments to me on the March open thread instead of here.
    As to yard signs I and my wife Kerry (sometimes for opposing people) will place signs when asked and for those we support. I am not actively campaigning for any candidate, much as I tried to stay out of the recent mayoral race.

    • bennie says:

      good idea why not resign then you won’t have to feel the need to respond to anything you don’t like or for that matter the things that you do like. that is what is wrong with those of you who think you are the only voices in this city that have a right to have an opinion. Every citizen has a right to voice their opinion without getting criticized by those who see themselves as elites Guess what you are NOT…..I don’t think there any minors posting on this sight get my drift!

  18. Don Quixote for Mayor of Elgin. Chuck makes more sense than Mitch.

  19. Chuck Keysor knows his figures. He spends hours on this and is meticulous. I wish he would run for Mayor of Elgin. In the meantime I will vote for Toby Shaw for Council , a straight shooter and he is against the so called Rain Tax.

  20. Cruex says:

    Did anyone attend the swan forum yesterday?

  21. Tim Palmer says:

    Thanks for the mail piece Mitch! Too bad with all that white space you didn’t have time to put down any issues or opinions just like your facebook page. You have lived here longer than that kid Holt has been alive and even he knows something about the issues!

  22. Chuck Keysor says:

    Tim, again you are right on!

    Gilliam’s ad also came in the mail today. Gilliam’s is full of information, though he doesn’t directly say he voted for the natural gas tax, electrical tax, garbage tax, leaf rake out fee, Artspace and Riverside Drive, at least he put in a little note saying that he voted to diversify the city’s revenues. So the contrast is quite stark, between Gilliam and Esterino’s fliers in regards to specificity and taking some type of stand.

    But even though Mitch says that he is NOT a career politician, he uses the top tactic of most politicians, professional and amateur alike, of not taking any stands. He effectively says, just vote for me, I’m a nice guy… But that goes counter to his posts above where he has clearly shown that he can be as shrill and derisive as they come.

    No matter if you are a liberal or a conservative, please cast your votes for someone who at least has a series of publicly declared positions.

    Certainly IF you are concerned about your taxes going up EVEN MORE, you will NOT vote for Mitch. IF your taxes cause you pain, and you can’t take any more, then vote for John Prigge, Terry Gavin, and Toby Shaw. Then check out Cody Holt and Rosemary Kahn, or think about the “super-sizing” your vote option.


  23. Mitch Esterino says:

    From the Courier News:

    Mayor calls Prigge clueless about nonprofits

    In a matter before the council prior to the ESO discussion, Kaptain called Prigge clueless for claiming that some nonprofits in town have been “shielded and protected” in recent years during recession-related cuts in city funding, while residents have been asked to pay more.

    Kaptain pointedly told Prigge that nonprofits have been struggling to make ends meet in recent years as the federal and state government have been cut back funding on and/or been late with payments promised them and that the city should do what it could to help.

    “If you don’t think (the nonprofits) have felt pain, you are totally clueless as to what goes on,” Kaptain told Prigge, to a smattering of applause from those in the audience at the meeting.

    Again, totally unbelievable! Prigge is on record for hating dogs, seniors, kids, and the ignoring the needs of the Elgin community. That’s one destructive four year term.

  24. Mitch Esterino says:

    More embarrassment, taken from the Daily Herald, who endorsed John Prigge’s candidacy:

    Prigge said about Elgin not for profits “they shouldn’t remain untouched while taxpayers suffer. “We have made the taxpayers pay while the organizations don’t see reductions,” he said.

    Prigge suggested using half the grant money to replace aging police and fire vehicles, but the idea didn’t gain any traction.

    “If you don’t think that any of these people have felt the pain, you are totally clueless as to what goes on,” Mayor David Kaptain said.”

    The Police Chief went on to state that approximately 1/5 of the Police Vehicles will be replaced in 2013. The Fire Chief stated that Quints and ambulances will be replaced this year. It would appear that Prigge is completely out of touch with what is going on in the city, instead focusing his efforts on denying children and seniors and others who are at-risk opportunity.

    I’ll bet that the Daily Herald would like to take a mulligan on that endorsement. What a shame.

  25. Sorry, Mitch does NOT have my vote. Out of context, everyone feels the slow economy. Point Zerro Five percent return on my lates C.D. renewal at the Bank. Some retirement. I wish I had a state pension or a teachers etc. Vote for Toby Shaw. Prigge. Holt.

  26. Cruex says:

    Mitch Esterino just made a big mistake calling out an endorsed candidate who has been called the Marie Yearman of our time. Like him or not, I have found Prigge to be aggressive and calculated. I suspect when this election is over Mitch will be asking John Steffen, Rich Dunne and Anna Moeller and all of the other local Democrats why he lost.

  27. Chuck Keysor says:

    Mitch: I missed last night’s council session but here are some thoughts for you:

    The responses from the Mayor and from you are predictable given what we have learned about you through your Elginite posts. But however Prigge made his point about the not-for-profits, were you and the Mayor attacking Prigge’s expression of his idea or his idea, or both?

    The ideas that John has been pushing on a higher level are that:
    1)The majority of Elgin’s Taxpayers are pushed to their limits, they are hurting. (I know what it is like to live off of savings, and see my taxes and fees keep going up, while my interest earnings have crashed to an effective rate of zero….)
    2) Any money that comes into the City’s possession, be it from the Riverboat or where ever, is the taxpayer’s money.
    3) The taxpayer’s needs are to be considered above all others
    4) This Council votes repeatedly to fund the charities of their choosing with the taxpayer’s money.

    So with those underlying themes, is it not logical for Prigge to say the money up for dispersal should be used to lighten the load on the over-burdened taxpayers, instead of dispensing it to the charities of the council’s choice? If we use Riverboat money to pay for things we need like new capital equipment, then we don’t have to go to the taxpayers for them to pay for those items. I think that is an entirely fair and responsible point for Prigge to have raised.

    How well did Prigge articulate those points, and how appropriate were his examples, I don’t know, again, not having heard the discussion. But those who support Prigge know the underlying themes he supports, and they will not be de-railed by his articulation of his themes in this instance. And they will certainly not be influenced by the Mayor’s negative opinion, which is so predictable.

    I think of the June 27th, 2012 Council session (which I watched just the other day on a FOIA’d DVD. At that session, the council was discussing the new estimates that Elgin would pull in $2million MORE in revenues ON TOP OF their 2012 budgeted surplus of $7million. Prigge suggested that this money be returned immediately to the taxpayers, as a reduction of their MONTHLY water bills. The Mayor laughed at him, and mockingly asked, Oh, are you going to ask the citizens to give you back that money if we come up short at the end of the year? No one else on the council came to Prigge’s aid, and the incident was played up as another inept bungle by Prigge, by those who can not stand him. Those who can’t stand him, are those people who disagree with the 4 points I listed above.

    Since you didn’t provide any substance in your mass mailed campaign piece, maybe you can comment on those 4 points here on the Elginite. And after that, maybe you can tell us where you stand on the “Rain Tax”, on the trash tax, funding the East Side Rec Center, the hydro electric dam, TIF districts, revenue diversification, the Centre’s accumulated net loss of more than $5million since it opened and what to do about it, etc etc….

    For it seems you can write enough to attack Prigge, but you can’t directly tell us where you stand. How much sense does that make? Now thanks to the Elginite, we do have a good, if indirect representation of who you are, which you have painted with your negative outbursts and now your attack against Prigge.

    Thanks for the added clarification, Chuck

    • Todd Martin says:

      Chuck, I agree that Gavin and Prigge’s interest is “3) The taxpayer’s needs are to be considered above all others”.

      Elgin has more to it than that though. I have children; they are not “taxpayers” so they don’t count for anything according to them. No funding for the Centre where they take swimming lessons, if they had their way. Another example is Elgin supporting Ride-In-Kane, for Elgin’s handicapped elderly. $4 a ride to allow them to visit a grocery store or a doctor, etc. Subsidizing a portion of that $4 cost with Riverboat money is terrible according to them because handicapped elderly aren’t “taxpayers”. There’s no consideration of the benefits associated with providing the public services, only the costs.

      We could live in a city without any support for the elderly, the sick, the arts, recreation, and all those other luxuries that other communities routinely afford. Let me tell you a secret; it wouldn’t make Elgin a more desirable place to live.

      City government is responsible for ALL of its residents. Yes, that includes the old, the young, the sick, and the unemployed. I am very happy our community has a City Council which understands this.

      I may be called a liberal for placing a value on something besides how much money is in my wallet. I can live with that.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Todd, if the people want to support these operations, they should do so themselves. Why is it that the government must be the supplier of these amenities? (And who said your kids don’t count? After all, they are FUTURE taxpayers, and one would hope that you would have compassion for the burdens we are laying up for them to struggle under in their adulthood. “Oh daddy, why did you let government run so profligately and recklessly, so that now as an adult in 2033, I have to stagger in a dead economy that is crippled by enormous debts????” Think of your children’s future, not just their momentary pleasures of today when you want the government to subsidize your kid’s swimming lessons.

        If swimming lessons are vital to your children, then pay for them to go to join the Y. What is wrong with that? Why can’t you do that? Why must I through my taxes subsidize your children’s swimming lessons? What, maybe you can’t afford to send your kids to swimming lessons??? Maybe if your taxes weren’t so high, you could afford to……

        Isn’t it clear how the City running things has huge negative consequences? For example, we had a great Y on Channing Street where you could have brought your kids to swim. (I used to go swimming there as kid.) But when the City opened the Rec Center, that could afford to operate at a loss, the CITY put the Channing Y out of business. So now you can bring your kids swimming at the Centre instead of the Y, because the City spent $38 million to build the Centre. And since it opened 10 years ago, the Centre has LOST more than $5 million. How is it the responsibility of the Citizens to foot such an enormous financial burden, so you can bring your kids to go swimming, when you could have done that at the Channing Y if the Centre would never had been built?

        And why should the taxpayers fund, for example, a play? Is it because not enough people would pay for a play to make it happen? Well, if a play can’t support itself, then it should be like a business, and if it isn’t self-sustaining, it will perish. At the risk of sounding Darwinian, then only the good plays that can attract people will survive. What is wrong with that? Isn’t the government with taxpayer’s dollars only helping to prop up non-viable activities?

        And is it fair to mix one extreme of your argument about poor people needing a ride to the store, which is a concern to any feeling person (who could contribute of their own free will if they in fact were truly moved), with the funding of plays and musicals, which are not a necessity in anybody’s book? Again, plays are great, but let the people who want to attend them pay for them, don’t force anyone to pay for something they do not need or want, especially when the payment of these taxes used to pay for luxuries like plays, seriously burdens people who are paying the taxes.

        Most seriously, we are to have compassion for the poor. OK, so why do we choose to ignore the poor and struggling taxpayers? Elgin has teaming masses of low income people struggling to pay their taxes. Personally speaking, my biggest single bill every year is my property tax bill. And even with Elgin’s new “revenue diversification”, my taxes to Elgin increased 12% last year over what they were the year before. Why not have compassion for all those people? Or are the people making the decisions on the council “clueless” about how most people struggle? I’d bet so. Except for Prigge, they all have nice jobs, and are looking forward to nice cushy government/taxpayer funded pensions. And couple their comfort with their total cluelessness of what it is like to have to barely get by, and it is clear why they are happy to crank up the taxes to pay for every nice little thing you think your kids should have. So maybe Prigge is actually showing greater compassion for a greater number of people by worrying about their tax burdens, than you are for worrying about your kids getting cheap swimming lessons.


        • Todd Martin says:


          We can debate whether the Centre is worth the expense. If it was me, I would have skipped the heated elevated walk-way linking the parking garage. That said, it is a very nice facility which you should be proud of. My kids take swim lessons there because (1) they are Elgin residents, (2) it is a fabulous facility, and (3) the price is reasonable.

          My kids are not burdened with staggering Elgin debt, the city finances are in good shape. The state of Illinois & our Federal government are different debates, please don’t mix them. The Centre was built with Gambler’s money, not taxpayers. Now, it is part of the Parks department. A parks department which receives 1/2 the money per person in comparison to the Parks departments of our neighboring communities. We’ve got a bargain and you can’t see it.

          My example of the Kane ride program for handicapped elderly is not by accident; the Council vote was 2 days ago. Prigge was the only council member who voted against it. I will not support a candidate who routinely ignores the needs of the community.

          My point is that an extreme philosophy can be blinding. An ideology that says “Government is always bad” will make bad decisions. Prigge voted against $250,000 in Riverboat money to support social services and $115,000 on Kane dial-a-ride. Out of $11 million in Riverboat proceeds, that’s about 3% of the City’s take on gambling. For that 3% investment in social services, we get orphans sheltered, the hungry fed, the homeless sheltered, the sick cared for, and so on.

          I understand your argument that charity should be voluntary. Thanks to our democracy, it is. You can vote in April to elect Council members who want to shut down Parks and Recreation facilities and Social Service programs. Or you can vote in April to keep them.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Todd, you write well, and are being very civil, which I admire and appreciate. We clearly have different philosophies and that is an acceptable reason to disagree.

            I will note though that:
            1) You are making it sound as though Prigge has voted against every extra piece of government expense that he could, and that is not fair to John. I am more conservative than John, and I am not the one running. John has probably voted along with the council 99% of the time, including things like the Riverside Drive and Artspace.

            2) Don’t you think it is healthy to have discussions on the council to debate where our money is going, and making people aware that there are choices to be made, instead of having EVERY vote EVERY time be 7 to zero, without any discussion or re-evaluation of who we are and what we are doing? I personally find such arrangements as being inherently bad for everyone involved. When nothing is questioned or examined, waste and abuse are more likely to occur. A 7 to 0 rubber stamp council, which is what it seems as though you want, would be a further step back into the dark ages as far as I am concerned.

            3) You are right, your kids are NOT saddled with staggering Elgin Debt. I was rambling and mixing my sermons. But in the most general cases, we have two large choices; lots of government spending, or minimal government spending. With those two extremes, you can have maximum debit/lowest taxes, or minimum debt/highest taxes.

            The State and national governments are running with maximum spending/maximum debt (having their cake today and kicking the can down the road). And the reason your kids are not saddled with huge Elgin debt, is because Elgin is running in the maximum spending/maximum tax mode. Both modes are bad. By my philosophy of trying to help out the most number of distressed people, the lower income over-stressed taxpayers, Elgin should be trying to be in the minimum spending/minimum debt mode.

            4) Lastly, I am distressed that you don’t appreciate my concern that your kids could have gone swimming at the Channing Y without the City ever having to had spent $38million to build the Rec Centre, and the $5 million in operating losses it has racked up over the last 10 years. Look at all that money. A liberal should be distressed that the City could have spent $333,000 per year in grants to worthy charities for 129 years for all of that money. That should be enough to make every truly liberal person cry.

            Thanks, Chuck

      • Tim Palmer says:

        OK Todd, how much MORE in fees and stupid rain taxes do YOU want to pay next year and the year after that? Go tell your fellow liberals how much more you can afford to pay and they’ll figure out a way for you to pay it. How would you and your kiddies feel if you couldn’t AFFORD to use the rec center because your taxes went up?

      • Terry Gavin says:

        Todd, you’re over simplifying the issue of not-for-profits and the Parks and Recreation Department when it comes to my positions. You have the right to your opinion but you don’t have the right to distort my platform or my public record. Your presumptions are incorrect about these issues, my campaign as well as the record I established during my city council term from 1995-1999.

        I’ve supported many fine not-for-profits throughout my time here in Elgin. For instance I’ve supported the Community Crisis Center, Larkin Home, PADS, Community Crisis Center, Renz Addiction Center and many more.

        The question is not all or nothing but instead it’s how much is too much as balanced against the needs of the citizens who live here and pay the bill(taxes) against the expensive wants of certain members of the current council.

        When the current council decides to increase aid to these types of agencies while our citizens are suffering from the worst recession in over 80 years, along with massive tax increases in the last 2 years, I say that’s wrong and enough is enough. You see the key to making the tough choices about who does and doesn’t get the financial aid these groups all desperately need is balance. Strong leaders make tough choices balancing the needs of all and weak leaders just say “yes”.

        My year plus as a member of the Hanover Township Mental Health Board has shown me again how tough it is to say yes to some agencies in need as well as how tough it is to say no to others. You see, we receive about $1M a year of property tax dollars from township residents and then we decide who gets the financial aid and who doesn’t, so I know the process as a current participant. It is our duty to make these decisions as appointed officials in the most balanced way possible.

        As an example, considering the consolidation of the two rec facilities for the financial health of the whole community is a wise decision and needs more discussion. How can cuts be made in spending without imposing some kind of discomfort.

        In a perfect world basic needs must be met however convenience and desires should not be approved or funded at the expense of a city’s bankruptcy. This is when the community needs to come together and become stronger for doing so.

        It is past time to pull back the reins and start to control spending by making decision that some people will not like or welcome but are necessary for fiscal health in the long term. I am up to that challenge based on my past experience as Councilman and my current experience on the Hanover Township Mental Health Board. I hope you consider what I have said in clarifying my position and I ask you to trust me in making hard decisions since I have made them now and in the past. I do understand how important certain issues are to the citizens and taxpayers and welcome your call to discuss issues further.

  28. Sally Foster says:

    He doesn’t have my vote either! I am still waiting to hear back about his positions on the issues from my 03-03-13 post and my follow up post on 03-09-13. I got his silly flier in the mail yesterday that didn’t tell me anything, not even information on who was pictured with him. They could have been empolyees for the print shop for all I know. I used it for my birdcage lining.

    Mitch you seem pretty good at attacking others with a voice on the issues but you must be suffering from a bad case of laryngitis, which I find hard to beleive in a New Yorker.

  29. Chuck Keysor says:

    As to the Mayor’s quote: “‘If you don’t think that any of these people have felt the pain, you are totally clueless as to what goes on,’ Mayor David Kaptain said.’”

    Gee,,,, the mayor was talking about the not-for-profits. I am Monday morning quarterbacking here, but Prigge could have honestly asked the question back to the Mayor:

    “If you don’t think that the taxpayers have felt the pain, you are totally clueless as to what goes on,”

    Let the Mayor pay all he wants to the charities of his choice, that is fine. But let him do it out of his own pocket, not from the taxpayer’s pocket.



  30. Tim Palmer says:

    Good going Mitch Esterino, you just helped Terry Gavin get elected ahead of you! LOL. What happened to your nice guy & positive campaign? Hey big guy, you better fire goomba Steffen as your campaign manager because this ain’t working for you. Peace.

  31. One Vote says:

    I’m not sure if ESO is a non-profit or if that was even the topic, but I have serious issues about ESO being allowed to rack up unpaid city invoices to the tune of $263,000 without cutting them off. I’m sure a dance studio or any other group using Hemmens would get away with that.
    Maybe it has something to do with Gilliam being on the ESO board.
    As for other non-profits, they are already getting less from the city. The smart ones are making adjustments.
    The job of the council is to assess each one and cut accordingly. At this point you make sure you cover the core services of government…unless you’re of the mindset that “diversifying revenue” (aka new taxes) is the moral thing to do to the struggling citizens for Elgin.
    At least people like Prigge and Gavin will ask the tough questions and have some discussion.

  32. bw says:

    “Let the Mayor pay all he wants to the charities of his choice, that is fine. But let him do it out of his own pocket, not from the taxpayer’s pocket.”

    I cannot in good conscience,join the opinion of anyone which prevents all citizens from receiving needed social services paid out of taxpayer’s funds. This is a Christian community who cares about people needing help from the respectable agencies who are administering compassionately to anyone in need. Charities, like those receiving grants out of taxpayer’s funds help provide care only available because of a compassionate city council that understand what Brotherhood means. The council candidate’s that think like Priggie should not receive a vote from the social service agencies or their board members.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      bw, If this is still a Christian community, why doesn’t that community directly support the not-for-profits themselves? Many churches in town spend money selflessly to support all kinds of Elgin charities. Making these charities dependent upon the City makes it easy for people to shrug their shoulders and ask themselves, why should I give? My tax dollars to to charity. It is unhealthy for any group to be beholding to City Hall.

      When the government steps in and decides who should get funded and who should not, doesn’t that bother you? Certainly the City is only funding a small number of all the charities in the City. Why not fund them all? Why fund the ones that we do fund? Why should the government be deciding which charities I am funding? What if someone has moral objections to a charity that the City is choosing to fund?
      This is much more complex of an issue than simply saying, oh, lets be nice and fund a few charities.

      And there is the other question that is being lost, which is is it right to take money away from poor taxpayers who can not make ends meet, and push them into further hardship so that the City can play Santa with the charities that are willing to engage in the correct political moves to be rewarded with funds from the City?


      • RS says:

        Those are valid points but also keep in mind that a local charity is never ever going to be able to raise money like a national charity can raise money. Fundraising is a complex undertaking requiring expertise, resources and a large potential base of donors. So I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Elgin charities to all be self-sustaining without taxpayer support. And my guess is the more useful the charity, the more support they need.

        But I don’t know how the council decided on the charities they selected out of the 35 that applied for the riverboat money (not saying I agree or disagree).

        This is the list from the Herald:

        The nonprofits are: Oak Crest senior residences, Golden Diners program, Ecker Center for Mental Health, Food For Greater Elgin, Boys & Girls Club, Neighborhood Housing Services, YWCA Elgin, Literacy Connection, United Way and Centro de Informacion.

    • Zreebs says:

      Churches are often very narrow on what they focus on, and what they do focus on varies enormously by church, For example, they might take care of unemployed church members, or perhaps they deliver dinners for the poor at Christmas. So I don’t believe they usually spend money wisely. But I’m not a big fan of local government getting too heavily involved in social services either or you wind up with the very poor moving to communities that provide the biggest benefits.

  33. Chuck Keysor says:

    Hmmm,,,, This year 35 not-for-profits applied for grants. If it is bad for me to think we shouldn’t fund any N-F-Ps, or not very many not-for- profits, why not get mad that the council because they turned down 25 applicants? They denied over 70% of the applicants.

    Who was to say which were deserving, and which were not? Do politics enter into the decisions, like who is friends with this councilman or the mayor????? Gee, I like the Woman’s Crisis Center, and think they do a great job. I think we should have given them all of the money. I am not just joking here. They do a great job, and are as strapped as anybody else. But they aren’t getting money in this list…..

    Here is a case of if we can say no to over 70% of the applicants without raising a storm, why not turn them all down, and take the politics and bias out of this allocation of the taxpayer’s money?


    • Chuck Keysor says:

      PS: Speaking of the Women’s Crisis Center, I wonder how much Gretchen Vapner and all of her truly wonderful staff (honest!) will like to pay their “Rain Tax”? Using Google Earth, I have determined that they have about 6.6 “ERUs” of impervious surfaces.

      Strand & Associates last October told the council that typical “rain taxes” in the northern half of Illinois, are between $3 and $4 per month. Using the low rate of $3 per month, that means the Women’s Crisis Center will have to pay an extra $237.60 per year.

      But wait, Downer’s Grove doesn’t charge between $3 and $4…. No, they charge $8.40 per month! That is a hair over $100 per year for one “ERU”. Applying that rate, the Women’s Crisis Center will have to pay an extra $665.28 per year!

      Every not for profit, every church, every school, will have to pay this “rain tax” and be all the more hard pressed to make their ends meet. All because the City is making another money grab. Look at the City’s 2013 budget. Their excess of revenues over expenses is $9,950,630! That is a SURPLUS! Why do they need EVEN more money? f

      To Todd. I know we have discussed this before after a council session, and at that time you supported the “Rain Tax”. Will you be willing to go to Gretchen Vapner and tell her you will pay her “Rain Tax” next year? I’d rather Gretchen keep her money to help a family in need. I’d rather that you keep your money, so you can spend it on your kids, instead of adding onto Elgin’s HUGE surplus.

      I have never seen any indication that Mitch Esterino is opposed to the “Rain Tax”, which is just another reason that I am opposed to Mitch Esterino.

      Thanks, Chuck

      • Todd Martin says:

        My view on the Stormwater Utility Tax (”Rain Tax”) is more cautious than that. As I mentioned to you at a city council meeting, the question of IF it is a good idea depends on the details.

        Here’s a best case scenario where Elgin taxpayers could LOVE the “Rain Tax”

        1) Most Elgin residents could pay LESS in taxes with a Stormwater Utility tax if the costs are distributed more toward a few problem properties.

        2) Elgin residents could get FASTER relief of flooding and better water quality as the Utility fees allows the City to use Utility bonds to finance more projects AND Elgin companies choose to upgrade their parking lots to be water friendly.

        Here’s a Worst case:

        1) The Stormwater Utility Tax (”Rain Tax”) is really expensive to measure properties, administer, and collect.

        2) The City could be unable to significantly accelerate work on fixing the sewers because of traffic issues, manpower limitations, or bureacratic red-tape.

        3) The incentives for private companies and home-owners to switch to rain-friendly parking surfaces is not enough to make changes.

        So, I don’t know yet how I stand on the issue. I am hopeful the “Best Case” is how it would be, but I want to see the study results.

    • RS says:

      Well there are finite resources. I don’t think anybody gets mad at an employer, for example, because he can only hire one person and a hundred people apply. Or get mad at a college because they can only accept one person out of twenty that apply, etc. Similarly, in a given year the city has a finite amount of money to give to the city’s charities. I don’t think you can say it’s fair or not fair. That’s just the way the world works. Everything is based on scarcity. You do what you can do.

      I have to disagree with Prigge. Especially when he says let’s give it to police and fire instead. That just sounds like an election-year gimmick. And I think he miscalculated on this one.

  34. Cruex says:

    Copied from Prigge’s Facebook site.

    MITCH ESTERINO’S APOLOGY: Before the Eagle Heights forum last night a deeply forlorn Mitch Esterino apologized personally to me for his Facebook comments directed at me regarding last Wednesday’s council meeting. I am convinced Mitch was deeply regretful and embarrassed and I accepted his words as genuine.

    Campaigning is strenuous which made it easy for me to accept his apology.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Cruex, do you think that if Mitch Esterino were in fact truly sorry, that he would take a moment or two to post an apology on the Elginite? Did Mitch post an apology to Prigge on Facebook? Chuck

  35. bw says:

    You are talking about the applicants that receive grants from the city. If I recall,the township gives grants to several others, and the United Way also make funds available to several. All of these applicants go through a screening process before receiving a grant from any source. There is only a small amount of total dollars for each applicant. They all have to budget their funds wisely. Instead of turning any of them down, why not make more funds available via local tax dollars. They all provide great service in helping those in need.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      I, as many others, give charitable contributions to organizations that I/they feel worthy of based upon interests and the organization’s need to continue their good works. That is a personal decision as is the donation amount.

      When our City Council, State or Fed’s give tax payer’s money to organizations which I disagree with, as an example but not solely limited to, Planned Parenthood, PBS or the Arts Council, I have a huge issue with that.

      I do not want my tax dollars funding organizations I do not believe in via anyone’s personal agenda, their beliefs, which maybe contrary to my own, their passionate hobby, anyone’s view of how they think the way things should be or if the decision makers are connected to the supported organization.

      In the current, extremely difficult economical times in our City, State and Nation, everyone must be prudent and live within their means and budget. Why do we not apply this proven common sense approach to local, State and Federal governments? After all its our money! Shouldn’t we be demanding accurate accountability from the ones who promise, approve and ultimately write the tax payer funded check?

      We have an unemployment rate of 11% in Elgin. Nationally, the number is truly over 22%. Illinois is one of 11 states that has more people on welfare than employed and simple math tells us that the money ran out long ago. Un-funded pensions, mismanagement of funds, promises made knowing they were going to be broken at the time they were made and stupid mistakes all being supported and covered up by tax dollars or more tax dollars.

      Many will choose to reason this problem away in order to justify their own comfort level and publicly project their personal compassion however, true math does not lie.

      It is not the responsibility of my hard earned tax dollars to support every person and/or organization because the City, State or Country wants funding to financially support their personal agenda or pet projects. I/We simply cannot afford it or can no longer afford it.

      So how can we help move the system along? I would think it is to get people back to work and participating in the taxing process. Employment supports the family and then moves down to support of organizations. When a person is employed hopefully they have a sense of pride that they are taking care of their families, their obligations and their responsibilities however, many cannot find employment or have given up the search, or feel any job is not worthy of them or perhaps sits back thinking they are owed something for something they have or have not not done. Whatever the case, the raw truth is employment, expanding businesses and new business bring in the tax dollars.

      We require and demand good stewardship and leadership of our tax dollars. Elgin and Illinois have not had either for a very long time. Our prison system confirms that from both sides of the aisle. It is also confirmed locally by the $7Million in Elgin surpluses. What Elgin’s surplus really means is that we have been over taxed.

      We can look at it a different way, had Elgin tax payer’s not been over taxed $7Million, I/we would and could see fit, through our own personal budgets, the need to donate to the charities of our choice in the amount of our choosing. As it is now, my pockets are empty and my patience is gone.

      The easy definition of sustainability as I see it is, taking from the tax payer what is rightfully theirs and funneling into areas that are promoted and sustained by the tax payer for the use by decision makers to push forward that powerful person’s/ groups agenda via organizations and causes.

      The taxpayer has no more money to give. We’re tapped out and we require, we beg and we grieve for strong financial leadership from people who will make the most difficult of decisions by just saying “NO”.

  36. bw says:

    MM: You are entitled to your opinion. However, I disagree with most of your pandering post. We all donate to charity, church, and the boat. What we donate would not be enough to fund the smallest amount requested by any social service agency. The big money has to come from government. I have just as much right to suggest where I would like to see my tax money go as you. I believe the funds allocated by the city council came from money received from the Grand Victoria. The odd part is I never see any Elgin people spending their own money at the boat. I go there often enough and talk with enough people to know the boat money comes from people from areas outside of Elgin. Elgin gets a large amount of revenue from this source. Do you object that a token amount of funds go towards needed service to our community? If you have agencies you rather not see get funded, let the members of the council know. As for the surplus, it shows fiscal responsibility on the part of the council. Many local government have surplus money. When the council spends that money, maybe your taxes will go down.

  37. Margaret Miller says:


    You are correct, everyone is entitled to their opinion/s and you have a right to disagree with my post.

    For clarification, you tithe to a church which is scriptural and the church inturn is to perform charitable works back to the community, perhaps that is one reason why they are tax exempt, and you personally lose at the boat.

    Yes, you do have a right to suggest where you would like to see your tax dollars go the same as I have a right to suggest where they do not go. Yes, a big portion of the money (about 50% less in these economic times) has been contributed by the boat but not all.

    I don’t find it odd that the Elgin people do not lose their hard earned money at the boat. They know the odds and perhaps do not want to loose the funds they depend on. Perhaps the boats revenues are down because people are out of work and are on tighter budgets or that they can no longer smoke there.

    I do not object with the boats contribution to charities or to the city of Elgin in fact I applaud and thank them for their graciousness. What I disagree on is how and to who/m the money gets allocated by the city. (Pet projects, and organizations such as the ESO who are in the red on their rent payment $260,000 yet we still fund this mismanaged organization perhaps becauses that are supported by a member/s of the Council). I hope you are understanding my point. The needs of the many (Elgin citizens) outway the needs of the few (ESO) or the one (city councl member).

    I truly have to take issue with you when you say regarding the $7Million Elgin Surplus…”When the council spends that money, maybe your taxes will go down.”

    That’s like saying when the well dries up they won’t dig for any more water. Do you actually think if that happened they wouldn’t hesitate once again to come after our pocketbooks and raise my taxes to recoup the spent surplus money? Of course they would. This is how the game is played but a few words come to my mind to describe this kind of thinking process.

    If you feel that you are not taxed enough or want to contribute more to the Elgin charities please feel free to write the city or organization a check. I’m sure they will be pleased to cash it. By the way, I am not speaking about taxing for core services.

    You didn’t mention my thoughts on the employed/unemployed or businesses so I guess that is where we agree. Employment and businesses bring more taxes in. You also didn’t comment on my plea for better stewartship and leadership in Elgin and Illinois so I guess we agree ther too.

    All I can say now is that I hope we now have come to an understanding because I do not pander or repeat myself.

  38. RS says:

    You guys complaining about low interest rates should take a look at equities. Current valuations and dividend yields are quite attractive.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Equities…….. Yes, that is right. I lost 40% of my investment value in the most recent 2008 melt-down. And get this… In 2007, my portfolio had just come back to where it was in 2001 after that meltdown. My basis report shows that now, after 12 years, my mutal funds are now ALMOST back to where they were in 1999. Equities………. no thanks, Chuck

      • RS says:

        1999 was hardly a good year to be buying stocks!

        well think of it this way even if ten years from now your stocks are flat (which is quite unlikely given current valuations) you’ll at least have earned a lot more in dividends than you would have gotten from CDs

      • RS says:

        alright, you’re right. i’m out!!

        • paul says:

          classic very bad investor - views his portfolio from peak to peak never recognizing the wealth accumulation from averaging continuous investment. Never recognizing his wealth destruction from his CD’s not even earning the rate of inflation.

  39. Cruex says:

    I checked today and there is nothing on Esterino’s page that mentions his apology. No “man up” in Esterino’s blood it appears.

  40. Sally Foster says:

    Hey Mitch:

    Is it true that you are a current Member of the Board to the Boy & Girls Club?

    • Danise Habun says:

      Mitch is not member of the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Danise, you are a good person, and this is not about you. But I just got done looking at Mitch’s LinkedIn profile. It says he is a long time board member of the Boys and Girls Club.

        Check it for yourself. It says the following:

        “Mitch Esterino’s Overview

        Mitch Esterino’s Summary

        Boys and Girls Club of Elgin Board member since 2004″

        Is Linked-in right? Is Mitch’s campaign flier right, wrong, foggy??


  41. Chuck Keysor says:

    Hello Danise. The advertising card I got in the mail from Mitch last week says: “He is a familiar face who has been involved with: …… long list…… Boys and Girls Club of Elgin Board of Directors…”

    So if someone just does a quick read of this advertising, it is easy to see how someone could get the impression that Mitch is on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club.

    And in all honesty, I had read over that card when it came in the mail, and I too had taken away the impression that Mitch was on the B & G board. It wasn’t until I re-read it to follow up on this post that I realized what the card actually said.

    I won’t speculate as to if that fogginess was intentional or just sloppy writing. But either one is not very good.


    • DAnise Habun says:

      Mitch resigned from the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club after serving faithfully for a number of years. And, you’re right Chuck, this is not about me. I’m just providing accurate information.

  42. Tim Palmer says:

    No worries, Esterino won’t be commenting here from now on. He’s been run off by those not buying his bull. I would have thought the crybaby liberals would have sent someone with more authority than Shanise to take the heat for him.

  43. Sally Foster says:

    I was so pleased to watch the disintegration of Mitch yesterday at the LWV Forum Sunday afternoon.

    It is now confirmed that Mitch never plans on addressing anyone regarding anything effecting Elgin!
    He has yet to respond any of my inquires regarding his positions on the numerous issues facing Elgin nor address the tax payer base directly.

    At yesterday’s Forum, he stumbled to give responses, he was clearly unprepared and unaware of the issues, stammering and mumbling his answers in order to run the clock down. His contribution is ranked zero after all these many months. Its crystal clear he lacks even the basic general knowledge of anything.

    He won’t answer the question if he currently or formerly is/was a Board Member of the Elgin Boys & Girls Club.

    How does the mere presence of this person, who literally offers nothing of any significance qualify him as a serious candidate?

  44. Cruex says:

    I agree with Tim Palmer that Esterino just gave Gavin a seat on the council after his attack on Prigge and his refusal to answer questions. Those advising Esterino, I assume the local Democrats, hurt him by telling him to attack a sitting councilman on a topic that Esterino has a bias for and one that is controversial. Esterino being a board member of the Boys and Girls Club leads me to believe he is running to protect their financial interests with Elgin. A first-time candidate must run a flawless campaign that is free from personal attacks and have some sort of theme or position. Esterino did not live up to either of those.

    Many of those who support him also have a tie to special interest groups that thrive on city money being given to them. Being perceived as a hot-headed New Yorker does not work in midwest. Welcome to the council Mr. Gavin, you owe Esterino a favor.

  45. Danise Habun says:

    Mitch Esterino no longer serves on the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin Board of Directors. Please check out the club’s website for a current BOD listing.

  46. Tim Palmer says:

    Sorry Shanise, I’ll trust Keysor’s links to their very own web site over a third party comment. How convenient for you not to say that he was a previous board member in your first comment if you know so much.

    Peace Shanise.

  47. Sally Foster says:

    Thanks Chuck, I checked the B&G Club link out at the office early this morning before you posted and Mitch was listed as a cureent board memeber. Now I have checked again and his name has been removed. Hmmmmm another mystery surrounding Mitch.

    Could they have removed his name as a conflict of interest? Could it be that they didn’t want to show his connection to the Club? If so why?

    Hasn’t the city given houndreds of thousands of taxpayr dollors to this culb over the last 10 years. I think my count is over $1.1 million.

    Can anyone confirm this?
    Can anyone help explain this? Thanks

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Wow Sally! You are right! I went back and looked, and now Mitch’s name has been removed from the list………… More shady shenanigans! That certainly shouldn’t do anything to inspire trust in candidate Esterino. Chuck

      • One Vote says:

        This is rich.
        Website scrubbing.
        Right here in Elgin. And over a second-rate candidate for city council. Someone on the inside must be watching out for Mitch.
        But who? And why?

        • Margaret Miller says:

          One Vote:
          I will think about it some more. Several people come to mind. The “why” question, we can easily answer. The “who” question won’t take long to figure out. Perhaps we should ask Danise Habun!

  48. Sally Foster says:

    Hi Chuck,

    Did you receive Mitch’s campaign piece in the mail today?
    Did you notice the inaccuracies? They spelled Illinois as “Illinos”.

    I thought that was typical of Mitch’s campaign, always leaving something out. Did you notice how they once again misrepresented his opponents positions regarding tax cuts. Everyone knows that the many strong candidates running against Mitch from the other side have made it crystal clear they would NOT cut core services.

    This liberal tactic is getting really old. Scaring people into believing that his strong opponents are the enemy and insinuates by voting for them would put the citizens and community in danger. There is nothing further from the truth.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      I received it in my mail today. Mitch says he will not make broad statements on taxes & spending in order to be the most popular guy in the room and that he doesn’t like pandering politicians.

      Mitch, does not make any broad statements regarding anything, much less tax and spend issues because he offers no thoughts or ideas regarding either. If he did, I’m sure he would have voiced them being the New Yorker that he is. Even his statement is pandering to his post card audience.

      Then he offers us an endorsement from the “former” Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. In case you didn’t catch that…his endorser is an Illinois revenuer. A tax collector for the great bankrupt state of Illinois.

      If this doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Mitch and what he stands for. He has remained quiet all these many months and now his campaign literature speaks for him.

      Well, Mitch and Mitch’s puppet master, the post card sure speaks volumes to me. He’s a tax and spend candidate who will spend big and tax us big right into the poor house. A rubber stamp vote for the Kaptain council.

      Vote for the issue focused Prigge, Gavin and Shaw!

  49. Can someone scan the mailer with the mispelled “Illinois” and email it to allen@allenskillicorn.com.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Hi Allen:

      I liked your post. He sure is spending lots of money. No questions being answered by Mitch and no details offered. How insulting to the voters of Elgin!

      I wonder how much it costs to buy a seat on the Elgin City council? That piece of propaganda is disgusting and typical of his campaign.

  50. Even a focused mailing list costs about $2000 (almost a dollar per mailer with postage). If he’s hitting every registered voter, it’s a lot more. All for job that only pays $10k and takes a lot time to do well.

  51. Jump The Shark says:

    Mr. Esterino -
    Do your campaign mentors, Anna Moeller and John Steffen, endorse you nailing one of your political signs to a tree in downtown Elgin? The easy answer, of course, is that one of your “volunteers” did it in a moment of overzealous electioneering. But c’mon. You’re ultimately responsible for the proliferation of illegal Esterino signs that have popped up all across the city. Apparently, any notion of fair play went out the window in your campaign quite some time ago. And by the way, the Esterino sign that’s nailed to a tree is on Rt. 31, just south of Chicago Street. As if you didn’t know, right?

    • Elgin Patriot says:

      There is a tree cutting ordinance in effect here. But hey it’s alright if we nail an ugly sign into one. What a hypocritical government! Mitch we don’t know what you stand for. All you do is talk about your family and endorsements. You can’t spell. You blabber along incoherently on stage until your time is up. Since you’re willing to go along with Anna Moeller and John Steffen you have union support along with all the other liberal radicals here. Do you sit on the boys and girls club board? I can’t wait to pull up your D-1 quarterly within the next couple weeks and look at the load of special interest and union support you have gotten. YOU ARE THE TYPE OF POLITICIAN THAT IS DILUTING OUR REPUBLIC!!!

  52. Herb Weyers says:

    I don’t recall ever seeing such sloppy work with regard to campaign material as is occurring this year. Got a brochure from 355 S. Commonwealth recently that stated, ”Elgin Township Budgt FY2012-2013, followed by the word ‘maintenance’ spelled ‘maintanence’. Someone needs to learn how to spell correctly if they expect to be considered a serious candidate.

  53. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey Jump the Shark - - Where is that Esterino sign at in downtown? I’ll rip it down myself tonight and drop it in his driveway along with his bs literature I just received. Esterino reminds me of a piece of clay waiting to be molded. Nailing signs to trees is a hillbilly move.

  54. Jump The Shark says:

    Tim - The sign in question is nailed to a tree on the east side of the small frontage road that runs for a block along Rt. 31, just south of Chicago Street. It’s in a high visibility location, with the Metra parking lot nearby.
    Unless you’re retired and have lots and lots of time, you won’t be able to get to all the illegal Esterino signs planted across Elgin. There are just too many of them. But nailing a sign into a tree? That’s just wrong. On the plus side, everything appears to be spelled correctly on Esterino’s signs, something that wasn’t the case with his literature.

  55. Tim Palmer says:

    I saw the Esterino sign at the train station lot. I will not take it down. It’s the most public statement he has made about what he believes in. After the election it should be donated to a museum.

    • Jump The Shark says:

      Tim -
      While short and sweet, that’s the strongest statement I’ve heard in defining what Esterino is all about.
      Very, very astute. And well said, too.

  56. Tim Palmer says:

    MEANWHILE, the Mitch Esterino sign is still nailed to a tree in downtown Elgin! I love the Rauschenberger and Dresang signs on public property. Stay classy, Obama followers!

    • One Vote says:

      …and it is really strange that Mitch knows all the same people as Gilliam. It’s a slate thing.
      Tim is right about the illegal sign placement. Noland and Dalton always assumed they were above (or is it below) the law. But it’s easy to deflect. “A volunteer did it.”
      To be clear, the sign needs to be on the lawn, not the street-side of the parkway. The sidewalk is the border. In lieu of a sidewalk, it is the utility pole line. The owner must give permission.
      The city/county can remove signs in the right-of-way. Private citizens may not.
      Until they start fining the candidates nothing will change. (It’s sort of like the Do Not Call list - politicians are exempt from the law.)

      • Margaret Miller says:

        Not so strange they know each others friends…birds of a feather.

        Mitch knows Gilliam & Kaptain friends, Dunne flew the supposed conservative nest and now flies with Gilliam and Kaptain friends, this Rauschenberger knows Gilliam and Kaptain friends, and Dresang just jumps around saying “me too, me too, come on guys, let me in the circle I can spend just like you do!

  57. Mitch Esterino says:

    107 comments and climbing. Wow, I have to admit that I’m impressed. For someone that isn’t considered a serious candidate by those who post on the Elginite blog, I certainly appear to have captured the most attention. Thank you for validating my efforts. See you all at the polls on Tuesday, April 9th.


    • Margaret Miller says:

      LOL-The attention you have received on this site has been negative towards you and your campaign.

      • Mitch Esterino says:

        No, not really. The same seven people comment throughout. Hardly negative, considering the integrity of those who post.

        • Margaret Miller says:

          Mitch, you should know about the integrity of the posters considering you just posted yourself about yourself. We still await your opinions on the issues.

        • Cody Holt says:

          Wow Mitch! You know I used to look at you as someone who was being mature and staying above negative comments. I am saddened to say that I no longer have that view of you. I personally know Margaret and many of the people who post here. If you’re lucky enough to be elected you will represent every Elgin citizen and hence the people on this site. I can’t say I agree 100% with everyone here, but I respect their views and opinions. As I wish they would respect mine. If you consider yourself a team player and leader like your literature claims you are; you would know that doesn’t mean insulting someone’s integrity. A leader stays above rhetoric.

          • Mitch Esterino says:

            Cody–best wishes to you and all of the candidates who are on the ballot this Tuesday. It has been a hard fought race, and all who are on the ballot are owed a debt of gratitude by the citizens of Elgin who have been offered a choice by such a widely divided field of candidates.


          • Zreebs says:

            Cody, Can you tell us about your arrest three years ago for fighting? I understand that the charges were dropped, but I don’t know any other details.

          • Cody Holt says:

            Zreebs the charge was disorderly conduct, not fighting, and was subsequently dropped by the district attorneys office before any action in court. The prosecutor agreed it was a retalitory arrest. School district U-46 policy is to arrest both parties involved in any altercation, when state law only requires the main agressor. I was a victim of a bureaucratic school system through their policy. That is one of the many reasons we need change within the school district itself.

  58. Chuck Keysor says:

    Hello Mitch. It is nice that you are putting your civil gentleman’s mask back on. But in the posts of early March you clearly revealed yourself.

    A while ago, I had mentioned how one of your workers went to put a sign in my neighbor’s yard, and I knew it was a cold sales call, as my neighbor does not support you. So I was not surprised when your worker left my neighbor’s house with you sign still in hand.

    Today I was out doing door to door work against the rain tax. And talked to some people who had your yard signs, and none of them knew you or who you were, other than somebody had stopped by and asked to put up your sign, and for whatever reason they said yes. I explained the Rain Tax to these people, and I explained that it was an extension of the same council attitudes that brought us the “trash tax”, natural gas tax, electric tax, leaf rake out fee, etc…. They put out the Stop the rain tax signs with full understanding, and they were happy to learn the names of the candidates who have consistently opposed the rain tax from the beginning of the campaign.

    Given that you are an unknown to so many citizens of Elgin, and given that no one has said you have done well at any forum, it is hard to imagine that you could compensate for these deficiencies with lots of signs in the yards of people who don’t have a clue who you are, or that you could compensate by sending out three mailers, that say nothing of substance.

    But this is what makes politics so exciting, you never can tell what will happen, no matter how obvious the situation looks in advance. But I still bet that you will loose based upon the above cited points.


    • Mitch Esterino says:

      Still jousting windmills, I see. Best wishes to you, too Chuck. I have no prediction about who will win or “loose” (sic), but I’m certain of one thing - the election Tuesday will help set Elgin on a course for the city’s future.


      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

        “Illinos” (sic)

        Mitch, How much do you pay to have a word on your mailer incorrectly spelled?


        We need council elected that will be less tax hungry.

        Because this is an “election at large” the top vote getters are the ones that win. This makes it extremely difficult for a challenger to get elected because many challengers will have voters that are passionate about getting the challenger elected BUT do not realize that when they use their other votes to vote for others usually they will vote for a popular incumbent. Since there are so many challengers who have voters that will vote for the many different challengers along with a popular incumbent the incumbent is naturally inclined to be one of the top vote getters.

        The incumbents love to have a big field of challengers because of this.

        YOU CAN SUPER SIZE YOUR VOTE AND NEGATE THIS “ELECTION AT LARGE” ADVANTAGE. Just vote for the one incumbent that is a friend of the tax payer, Councilman Prigge, and the challengers Terry Gavin and Cody Holt.

        Then go to http://www.stoptheraintax.org
        to decide which of the other challengers appears to be the most Elgin tax payer advocate friendly and pick one more challenger.

        For the two year race Toby Shaw is the man that will BEST represent over taxed tax payers of Elgin.

        I want a more pro tax payer council majority so I definitely have to vote to return incumbent COUNCILMAN JOHN PRIGGE to office.

        I feel challengers TERRY GAVIN and CODY HOLT would vote along the lines of COUNCILMAN PRIGGE so there go two more votes.

        I am not sure of another challenger to vote for and because of the “election at large” effect I can’t vote for another popular incumbent as that would lessen the chances of TERRY GAVIN AND CODY HOLT to be elected because of the “election at large” effect.

        So for what it is worth, I would suggest the taxpayers of Elgin consider voting for COUNCILMAN JOHN PRIGGE, CHALLENGERS TERRY GAVIN AND CODY HOLT for a better tax payer voice on the council for the four year position.


        For the two year vote TOBY SHAW IS THAT VOICE OF THE TAX PAYER in my opinion.

        Thank you!

        • Mitch Esterino says:

          From the “Taxpayers Watchdog” to the “Tea Party’s Lap Dog”. Well articulated, Clarence.


          • paul says:

            “Mitch Esterino
            April 7, 2013 at 6:59 am
            From the “Taxpayers Watchdog” to the “Tea Party’s Lap Dog”. Well articulated, Clarence.

            Comment policy!!!!

            And what is with the quotation marks? I couldn’t find the quotes Mitch uses but refuses to take ownership of. Is that the new civility. Call anyone anything and just put quote marks around it as if someone said it. You can’t even be honest about that!!!

      • One Vote says:

        Mitch is right about setting the course for the future.
        The future will either be expanding taxation through new revenue streams and measuring our success by public projects (that look good on the brochures but are dismal failures in reality) and our bond rating that boosts our credit limit


        city leaders who focus on funding our core services and sending the pork project beggars packing.

  59. Cruex says:

    Mitch Esterino finally returns from hiding and STILL cannot answer one simple question for a voter. You must be a great salesman in your job. Tell the customer anything to get them to buy what you are selling and now you are doing the same in an election with voters? Shame on you Mitch and shame on Elgin if you elect this guy.

  60. Cruex says:

    Criticizing a person’s misspelling of a word is the same as criticizing someone for speaking with a thick New York accent despite having lived in Elgin since 1992. True, both are turn-offs, but the spelling error can be corrected with a few computer clicks or checking a dictionary. The other remains offensive to Midwesterners and Elginites specifically.

    Keep hiding and ducking from the issues while you’re out campaigning today. But mostly, do all of Elgin a favor and just keep speaking to the voters as much as possible.