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March open thread

1 March 2013 Elgin Illinois 155 Comments

Bluff City Cemetery, Elgin IL Bluff City Cemetery, Elgin IL (Photo by The Elginite).

Open thread. Let’s get some discussions going!

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155 Responses to “March open thread”

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  1. Gibster says:

    Come on down to Lords Park and meet the new Bison, Becky and Drew inside the zoo! The partnership between Brookfield and Elgin is a beautiful thing, as a result we have 2 bison donated *free* to join Po-Key in the new pen. I was out there this morning and all the girls are getting along swell. It’s important to preserve part of Elgin’s heritage, and that includes the zoo in Lords Park since 1895.


  2. Terry Gavin says:

    At the Daily Herald candidate’s interview on Thursday Feb. 28 we had a 1 hour discussion of the issues. There were 6 of us in the 7:00am session including incumbents Councilmen Gilliam & Dunne. The highlight of the interview from my perspective was a mini-debate between Councilman Gilliam & I over the city’s budget, taxes, surpluses & spending.

    While Mr. Gilliam said he was fine with the massive tax increases, about $24 million, passed over the last 2 years in our city & he also stated he was good with the city’s $7 million to $9 million surplus for FY2012 with $10 million expected for FY2013. Due to time running out I never got to mention that at the same time he & most of the current council was taking all of this money out of our local economy our city’s total budget has increased by 36.7% just since 2011. I guess when your idea of good government is more taxes, more spending & large surpluses makes it acceptable that we the taxpayers have less money in our pockets to spend in our community to spur economic prosperity. Some surplus is appropriate but this city council has built up an excessive amount.

    I’m sure there will be another chance for me to take him on about the need for an ever growing city government taking more of our money for what they want but maybe not for what we the citizens need.

  3. Shane Nowak says:

    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone knows the dates of all of the candidate forums for the Elgin city council? I know the Elgin League of Women Voters is March 24 but this can’t be the only one. Thank you for your help.

    Shane Nowak

  4. Margaret Miller says:

    A good friend sent this to me and I thought I would share it.
    This essay is the work of Lori Borgman and ws first published in the Indianapolis Star on March 15, 1998.

    Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
    - Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
    - Why the early bird gets the worm;
    - Life isn’t always fair;
    - and maybe it was my fault.

    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

    It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

    Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

    He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
    I Know My Rights
    I Want It Now
    Someone Else Is To Blame
    I’m A Victim

    Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

  5. TP says:

    Hey Chuck see this one on tonight’s agenda?


    Consideration of Purchase of Service Agreement with Elgin Chamber of Commerce ($275,000)

    Objective: Contract with the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce to provide economic development services including small businesses assistance, business retention outreach and foreign trade initiatives through “sister city” and other similar programs.

    You keeping a total?


  6. Chuck Keysor says:

    Thanks J…. Last year when the Chamber’s contract was up for renewal, they gave a long presentation, explaining that they would do everything they had done the year before and do it for only $275,000 instead of $400,000 that they had been paid in 2011 (and also in 2010). They said they had gotten Bystronics to come to Elgin, and gotten Walgreens on N. McLean to expand, and a few other points I don’t recall off hand.

    I spoke to the council that evening, saying that the Purchase of Service Agreement specified that they attract new businesses, encourage existing ones to expand, and to keep businesses from moving out of Elgin.

    I told the council/mayor/staff that IF we are to credit the Chamber with bringing one or two companies to Elgin, and for getting Walgreens to expand, shouldn’t we also hold them accountable for all the businesses that have gone? I had checked with InfoUSA, and they had told me that in the two years that the Chamber was getting $400,000 per year, that there were something like 200 fewer businesses in Elgin.

    Instead of saying, gee, that is an interesting point, the Mayor verbally attacked me, asking me where my figures were for other cities. Try and offer a balanced, other half of the story, and that is where it gets you in Elgin.

    Now as a note, by my recollection, without going back through my old notes, up until the business license went into effect, the Chamber got about $127,000 per year. Then in 2010 they got $400,000 and in 2011 they got $400,000. Then with our “budget crisis”, the Chamber was cut back to $275,000 per year. Now in 2013 they get $275,000 again…

    NOW, here is a NEW angle on what many may consider my tired old rant…. The biggest issue with the Chamber being dependent upon City Hall for $$$$$, is that the Chamber will not advocate on behalf of its member businesses in issues against the City. OK, so what is new??? Well, the “Rain Tax”, IF enacted (and why wouldn’t it be, based upon the tax and tax more history of this council) businesses will be clobbered HARD!

    For example, using Google Earth, I have estimated that the East side Ace Hardware has about 35.3 “ERU”s (basic unit of measure for the rain tax, which is equal to the imperious surfaces in a standard residential property. The west side Ace Hardware has about 15.2 ERUs. So in total, Ace Hardware in Elgin has 50.5 ERUs. Last October, Strand and Associates told the council that “rain taxes” in northern Illinois typically run between $3 and $4 per month, which is $36 to $48 per year. Using the low figure, Ace would have to pay $1818 per year. But get this, Downers Grove has a “rain tax”, and THEY do not pay $3 to $4 per month for an ERU. They pay $8.40 per ERU each month! For Ace Hardware in Elgin, that would cost $5090!

    OK, now back to my point,,,,,, clearly the businesses of Elgin will be MAD! Do you think they can go to the Elgin Chamber of Commerce for help in fighting City Hall’s possible, if not likely “Rain Tax”? OF COURSE not! Again, this clearly points out why the Chamber should not get a penny from the City. And if more businesses in Elgin would wake up to this issue, they would demand that the Chamber choose to side with the business community, or else.

    So, in this vacuum, the Elgin OCTAVE will try our best, despite lack of funds, to fight the rain tax. Step one is in the Election, trying to get anti-rain tax candidates elected. Step two will take place after the election.

    DON’T be fooled by anyone who says that the Elgin OCTAVE is engaging in hyperbole and trying to stir up needless concerns. DON’T be fooled by candidates who will NOT tell you where they stand on the Rain Tax. DON’T vote for any candidate who has not declared that he is absolutely opposed to the “Rain Tax”. And DON’T be fooled by candidates who claim they want to enact a “rain tax” to prevent Kane County from enacting a “rain tax” on Elgin!

    We learned that it is REALLY hard to get rid of a tax after it is in place with the Elgin Business License. So we will NOT sit back and wait for a “rain tax” to be enacted, and THEN fight it!

    OK, now I am late for the Council session!!! Just as well, thanks J, whoever you are. Chuck

  7. John says:

    There are several items of concern from tonight’s meeting.

    First, the “Predictive Policing” presentation was very alarming. Did anyone else flash back to that movie ‘Minority Report’ where people were arrested for “pre-crimes”? According to the presentation, the “Predictive Policing” program uses a computer system called “PredPol” which incorporates Google Maps and algorithms to supposedly predict target crime areas based on prior occurrences of crime. So, in the Minority Report analogy, the algorithms are the “pre-cogs” I suppose. Creepy. And the presenter said that PredPol doesn’t know the racial make-up of the targeted areas (racial profiling being an obvious potential criticism) but how can that be? Prior incident reports of crime always list race, so how can that be? And, Google Maps is built using Census data which of course records race, so it’s a little hard to believe that information wasn’t used in the algorithm, though they probably wouldn’t want to advertise that fact. And if they’re not using race in their algorithm, they very well could be using socio-economics, which, obviously, could be a form of racial profiling all its own.

    As for the community involvement in solving crime, be careful citizens because my experiences in helping the city kick gangs out of my neighborhood was a mixed bag. Initially, when several gang drivebys had occurred on my block, including one incident where a gang member targeted my next-door neighbor who was believed to have been in a rival gang, shot out his car windows and scribbled gang graffiti on my front walkway in broad daylight, the responding officers denied there was a gang problem. I mean, point-blank lied. When I finally got tired of being in the line of fire, literally, I involved the gang task force who removed the renters in the house next to me. Unfortunately, since that time, the landlord lies and tells all his tenants, almost all of whom have been in trouble with the police, that I am racist. Right, because only minorities join gangs. So, are we racist or do we just not want to be shot at?

    Well, apparently fears of being labeled racist were enough to keep all my neighbors silenced, since even though there had been several shootings on my block, nobody went to the police, not even our Neighborhood Watch captain. Later one of my neighbors complained to me about a rooster crowing every morning at 5 a.m. at another rental house on our block, which elicited fears of one of our neighbors running a cock fighting ring. We were additionally afraid that the renter might have been a drug dealer since different people were repeatedly seen coming and going out of the house. I contacted Animal Control, who I suppose conducted a raid since we never heard the rooster again, but they and the police department never followed up with me as I had requested. (And last year when the U.S. Census Bureau was surveilling, harassing, stalking, and even assaulting people, I wish the Elgin PD had followed up on the numerous reports I filed, both online and in person. Maybe they did follow up and told the Census Bureau to knock off their illegal activities, but they did not follow up with me.)

    Due to the history on my block, which is now a peaceful place to live after kicking all the criminal elements out, it is hard for me to recommend citizens go to the police. Perhaps I would say that before citizens report crime to the Elgin Police that they understand what’s at stake. Normally I am a live-and-let-live person, but the crime was so conspicuous on our block, there was no choice but to do something about it. There were kids on the block and yet you could hear gun shots whizzing by our windows. It would’ve just been a matter of time before a child or other innocent was shot and killed in gang crossfire.

    But as a result of trying to make my neighborhood a safer place, I was ignored by the police, lied to by police, and ostracized by the Latinos in my neighborhood. Again, apparently not wanting to be shot at and not wanting to turn a blind eye to animal cruelty somehow to them meant I was racist. But racism goes both ways. And as Martin Luther King, jr. once said, “Hate can’t solve hate.” So Elgin citizens, if you try to rid your neighborhood of crime, you should know what you’re in for. It doesn’t feel good to be ostracized by some of your Latino neighbors as a “narc” simply because you wanted to rid your neighborhood of gangs, drugs, and animal cruelty. That’s the true history of Elgin. We are not a melting pot. We are a bunch of people thrown together by socio-economic circumstance who live tentatively with one another. Meanwhile, in the past, Elgin has ignored or outright denied that there was a gang problem here, so you can understand my skepticism about “PredPol.”

    Secondly, the Chamber of Commerce/Elgin Development Group. Did we ever get a direct explanation of what exactly that $275,000 to the Chamber of Commerce will be used for?

    Thirdly, what in the world does Elgin need to retain and pay lobbyists for at 25,000 smackeroos? A storm water ordinance and a deed restriction? Does this appear to anyone else as frivolous spending? Kind of like all those studies, like the Fox River Study Group at $25,000, the city pays for. How many feet of sewer could $25,000 separate? Are lobbyists really necessary? Does the city council even care what their constituents think? Because I think most would say they don’t want these expenditures. THESE frivolous wastes are the things that cost taxpayers.


  8. CONCERNED says:


  9. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    Who has a solution to the problem of separating the combined sewers faster than is currently planned? If I were a tax payer with one of those sewers I would be mad as hell that so much of the river boat funds have gone for other things or groups and the combined sewers are backing up crap into basements when it rains too hard?

    I fortunately have a working newer sewer.

    It is a basic right to have a working sewer. Where is the money going to come from to speed up the tax payer’s right to a basic working service of a sewer?

  10. Terry Gavin says:

    More on the Elgin “rain tax”, according to some at City Hall we need to impose this tax to speed up sewer separation in our older neighborhoods. Well this is blantantly false, we could speed up the process by either taking some of the current surplus in the General Fund which is now about $9M or cut back on other spending such as the Eastside Rec Center which has cost the city over the last year about a million dollars or any number of other non-core projects the city is engaged in.

    The current surplus is the result of this council passing over $8M+ in new taxes for 2012 while only reducing the property tax levy $1M. Those same new taxes are estimated to generate over $14.5M this year with a reduction of only $5.5M in this year’s property tax levy.

    The city staff has estimated the “rain tax” will generate another $2.5M - $3.5M in new revenue on top of all of the other taxes imposed on us. The study some candidates like to reference is largely designed to tell the city council how to calculate the new tax not whether we truly need it or not.

    All of these taxes being taken out of our private sector economy while as the Chamber of Commerce stated last week our unemployment rate here in Elgin is well over 11%. Does the majority of this council really think that passing this new tax will help reduce our unemployment rate or help our local economy?

  11. paul says:

    Excellent photo opp at Wing Park band-shell.

    Tagged with: BROWN PRIDE.

    Runneth over with irony.

    Vandalism. Illegality.
    Disrespect of community person tagger lives in.
    All in the name of racist pride.
    Demonstrated ignorance.

    Imagine the outrage if it were tagged white pride.

  12. Cruex says:

    Hey Clarence are you monitoring how much the city is spending in defending the lawsuit from TLC Pregnancy Co? I love seeing my taxes being spent on lawyers because a certain pro-choice council woman knows an eyesore when she sees one.

    • paul says:

      Anyone can sue the city at anytime for anything.
      Sounds like an entirely appropriate enforcement of the law.
      Operating out of a bus 52 weeks of the year is absurd.
      Rent a building like everyone else.

  13. The imaging Bus was a good looking vehicle, but if it violates the limits or code…. An eyesore is someone pregnant who should not be. It used to be a TB bus when I was a teenager visiting town. Now it is a pregnancy support vehicle. Lots of rules are being Broken, sad.

  14. harmony says:

    What gets me is why did the police chief shut this down? This is a code enforcement issue. Maybe because the lack of leadership and management with the community development director and the code enforcement manager? Why do we have this department? Either get some person who knows code enforcement or shut it down and put the money into separating the sewers.

    • Who knows, maybe the code people thought they would be excommunicated ?? If the vehicle also handed out condoms what would happen. Or do they, after the fact.?? Why not park it in St. Marys parking lot ? Thomas More . FCC ? quien sabe?

      • This site has not moved the clock forward one HOUR yet. As far as the TLC bus, I would be happy to have them park in my DRIVE WAY on McLean Blvd. if it would have prevented or discourged my 16 year old daughter from getting PREGNANT. thank you Kenia and Anthony. But at least they got married on 20 Dec 2012 . Poppa Eddie.

  15. Sally Foster says:

    Last evening Mr. Knight, the professed Texan, claimed that he knew the budget probably better than everyone at the Blackhawk Fourm.

    Perhaps his knowledge of the budget and his comments have been spoon fed to him via his neighbor Mayor Kaptain who I have to wonder, as I do with Mr. Gilliam, if he understands how to read a budget properly or if he are taking the Mayor’s interpretation on face value.

    If he has, why hasn’t he fought for the taxpayer by speaking out about the citizens being overtaxed leading to a 2012 budget surplus of approximately $7-9 Million.

    Remember budget figures don’t lie but people who purposely misrepresent the facts do.

  16. ElginSpirit says:

    The Elgin Image Awards are Thursday March 21st at 6pm… free to the public at the Centre of Elgin’s Heritage Ballroom… come out and help celebrate the ‘do-gooders’ in Elgin for 2012-2013!


  17. Terry Gavin says:

    Report from the Black Hawk neighbors association forum, date 3/16/13:

    Under the title the more things change the more they remain the same. For the second time in the last 2 weeks, 40 year Councilman Gilliam, a pronounced liberal, attacked me with false & misleading statements in an attempt to discredit my position on our city budget. In the face of withering criticism, by several candidates at the forum including one incumbent, of the council’s majority’s massive tax increases on the citizens & businesses of Elgin over the last 2 years. Bob Gilliam decided at the end of the forum to come at me personally with false & negative charges. Those charges included, that if they followed my suggestions of tax cuts, Elgin would have to close 2 fire stations, layoff police officers as well as firefighters & public works employees.

    His first falsehood is the term “tax cuts” when what my platform states clearly are rollbacks on several of the massive tax increases he & the majority of his council mates have passed in the last 2 years. His second premise is that there would be further layoffs of core service employees or the closing of fire stations in my platform, which is simply untrue.This is a worn out tactic, used for decades by big government liberals, and is nothing but a scare tactic to get uninformed voters to vote for more taxes & spending.

    Now for some facts from the city’s own budget documents. Mr. Gilliam helped lead the effort by this council to raise our taxes by over $22.5M in the last 2 years & the city now has upwards of a $7M to $9M budget surplus. At the same time 6 out of our 7 current council members voted for the largest tax increase in our city’s history they also increased spending in our overall budget by 36.7%.

    Mr. Gilliam has never voted NO on any tax increase ever proposed over the last 40 years. I guess by attacking me this is what a long time politician has to do to try to hold on to his seat on Elgin City Council.

    In closing let it be known, I’ll not be bullied, intimidated or distracted from supporting the citizens/taxpayers of our city by false & negative attacks. Let me also say, quoting the famous words of John Paul Jones, “I’ve only just begun to fight” this battle for the people of Elgin!

    Terry Gavin

    Elgin City Council Candidate 4 year term

  18. Chuck Keysor says:

    Terry, your comments, as always are excellent. Thanks for posting, and thanks for running, because you can be counted on to make sure these important issues are discussed, and will not simply be swept under the rug. Chuck

  19. Crysta says:

    For those who missed (or wish to re-watch) the SWAN-GPA Candidate Forum, the video is now available on ElginElections: http://elginelections.com/2013/03/18/swan-gpa-forum-video/

  20. TP says:

    The city passes a tree ordinance to protect the Day School property and then ends up buying it!!!! So now we have lost our property rights AND turned another private property into a tax payer funded entity!

    What are they going to do with the buildings that are there? Anyone know?

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      TP: The Courier ran a story on line, dated 3/1/13 on this. They quoted Ass’t City Manager Kozal as saying “some of the campus buildings eventually would have to be demolished.”

      Yes, another waste of the taxpayer’s money. Chuck

    • paul says:

      “The city passes a tree ordinance to protect the Day School property and then ends up buying it!!!!”

      Maybe that was the whole point of the ordinance! As I said at the time of the ordinance consideration - the ordinance devalued the land by restricting its use. In essence a taking of private property via zoning restrictions.
      Maybe someday we the public will find out what the city is paying for it.

      What budget surplus? Government never has surplus money - if government has money government will spend the money.
      Just fulfilling another societal need!

      And speaking of social needs, wonder if that homeless camp is still active on the north side of the tollway next to the Day school property?

  21. One Vote says:

    There hasn’t been much said about the U-46 election.
    All I see are Veronica Noland yard signs.
    She’s off my list because of connections to her husband and LULAC. No thanks.
    Toby Shaw rang my bell yesterday and left info for himself and Napolitano. A Shaw endorsement carries some weight for me.
    Donna Smith won’t get my vote. She’s been there all along with the discrimination case.
    It’s hard for me to find more than one to vote for. The rest are unknowns.
    Any suggestions?

    • Terry Gavin says:

      Gary Percy is an excellent choice for the school board O V. He lives in Elgin & has the support of many of the same people Napolitano has including mine. He’s one of the best informed people I’ve ever encountered on public school issues!

  22. Margaret Miller says:

    Congratulations to Prigge, Gavin, and Shaw on your outstanding responses to the questions at the LWV Forum this afternoon!

    You all commanded the stage and spoke from your platform with strong knowledge of the issues facing our city. The momentum is with you all and citizense are paying attention to the truth in your words.

    Thank you for your dedication to this campaign and our city. We appreciate your efforts.

  23. bw says:

    MM: In other words thay told people what they wanted to hear. All three would not support grants to social service agencies. They do not represent the values of the community. They may represent yours and we all know where you stand. A vote for any of these three is a vote against progress. We need a city council that will represent all citizens living in the city. I will not support any one of these people. I urge every voter to find out the whole truth about these men. If they get elected, you will see a city without a government that will support projects and programs we need to move forward.

    • paul says:

      “In other words thay told people what they wanted to hear. ”

      Good one, BM. Hate those candidates who pander to the people.

      ” They do not represent the values of the community.”

      Hmmm. Confusing. Pandering to the needs and wants of the people isn’t representative of the community? Thus inferring the people are not the community. Maybe we can re-educate the “people” at the new government Day School until they get their minds right!!!

      “A vote for any of these three is a vote against progress.”

      Right on, BM. Indeed a vote for any those three might slow the steady progressive march to totalitarian fascist socialist government. They must be stopped. Sieg Heil, comrade BM.

    • Margaret Miller says:


      You have once again tried to distort their position regarding grants to non for profit/social services/Recs.
      All three of these men have supported these services either personally and/or professionally.

      They are fully aware of the/their responsibilities in making the difficult decisions in these trying economic times and have the courage to say no if it is required of them.

      Prigge & Gavin both have fist hand experience as elected officials and Terry Gavin is a current member of the Hanover Township Mental Health Board assisting in the distrabution of about $1M per year of property tax dollars from township tax payers. It’s this board that decides who gets the financial aid and who does not.

      They both know the full process as current participants and have the serious duty to make these heart wrenching decisions in the most balanced way possible. They do not take this responsibility lightly. Toby Shaw included.

      For the financial health of Elgin cuts need to be made. It truly is not the responsibility of Elgin’s tax paying citizens to make up for the lack of funds promised to them by the Sate of Illinois, that is between them and the State. Responsible organizations know times are hard and have adjusted their budgets for that. For goodness sake, something has to give.

      I also urge each voter to learn about these men so then everyone will know the truth about their dedication and courage to jump into a firestorm in order to make the corrections and budget cuts we need for our fiscal health. These men have stepped up to/for the job and are willingly taking on the challenges others shrink from.

      I already mentioned I do not pander nor repeat myself, in your case I will make an exception.

      Congratulations to Prigge, Gavin, and Shaw on your outstanding responses to the questions at the LWV Forum this afternoon!

      You all commanded the stage and spoke from your platform with strong knowledge of the issues facing our city. The momentum is with you all and citizens are paying attention to the truth in your words.

      Thank you for your dedication to this campaign and our city. We appreciate your efforts.

      BTW…Thanks for your support Paul!

      • bw says:

        The news account of the LWV meeting yesterday did not gave anyone of these three high marks for outstanding responses of the issues. I think you are a little bias. It is good that the media cover and report a non-bias opinion about all candidates. I did not read any mention of strong knowledge on issues facing our community. It is great that we have news reporters who are dedicated to telling the truth. I believe the voter will believe what they read in the paper rather than what is posted by a supporter of these three candidates.

        • Bob says:

          Um…are you on Facebook? You don’t have to venture far on FB to see Mike Danahey’s comments on everything. They are anything but “non-biased.”

        • Margaret Miller says:

          BW, consider the sources you site, the LWV and the local media. Talk about slanted in favor of liberal progressive candidates. Give me a break.

          Unfortunately you were not there to speak from your impressions. They were the only ones offering coherant thoughts.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          BW, don’t take everything the paper says at face value. One candidate was reported as stating in the Sunday LWV forum that he opposed video gaming, when the exact opposite was true. Of course the candidate contacted the paper, and they said a correction would be printed….

          Last week, the other paper in town reported that the City’s 2013 surplus in the general fund was $2.8 million! TOTALLY INCORRECT!!! The 2013 general fund surplus is $9.9 million!

          The amount the paper reported was approximately how much the surplus had been increased in 2013. The general fund budgeted surplus was $7million in 2012, and in 2013 is $9.9 million.

          Two years ago, at the LWV forum, one candidate made a clear statement about Rt 20 being turned into a boulevard. But the paper said the exact opposite. I called the reporter at the time. It was explained to me that the candidate called the reporter after the forum and wished to clarify her view, so the reporter changed the candidate’s position, but did not state that this change was made after the forum.

          So PLEASE, you have to do your own thinking and double checking. Well, of course if you like to trust the City council and staff without thinking, I suppose doing the same with the paper is not such a big leap. Chuck

  24. Chuck Keysor says:

    I was tied up today, and was unable to attend the League of Women Voters forum today. Can anybody provide a factual summary of what each candidate said about the “Rain Tax” at today’s LWV forum? This is an important issue, so a summary would be of use to everyone no matter which side of the fence they may be on. Thanks, Chuck

  25. Cruex says:

    For what it’s worth two men came to my home yesterday morning from some church asking if I knew about the TLC mobile lawsuit against the city of Elgin and if I was aware that councilwoman Anna Moeller called the police and shut down their temporary operation. They had what looked like a petition with several signatures on it but did not ask me to sign. I don’t think they were from Elgin because they were unaware that Moeller was one of six liberal Democrats on the council who obviously sounds like she is pro-choice. Did anyone else get this visit?

    • John says:

      Along the lines of what I wrote about a few days ago, it is truly despicable that Councilwoman Anna Moeller had the mobile TLC Pregnancy Services RV shut down last summer. TLC rightfully filed a lawsuit against the city of Elgin earlier this month, probably to hear it from the horse’s mouth, Moeller herself, why she would want to keep high school girls and young women from accessing pre-natal care. So there goes more of your tax dollars down the drain Elgin, being squandered for the legal defense of an ordinance that may have been changed for just the purposes Moeller used it for, leaving many to wonder if Moeller didn’t unethically use her position of power to force her agenda.

      According to the Courier News, TLC “provided women in Elgin — particularly high-school-age girls — with free pregnancy information, testing and ultrasound care through its mobile ultrasound facility for nearly two years before it was shut down last summer by the city…the organization provided ultrasounds, free pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins and pregnancy health care information to nearly 200 women.” (http://couriernews.suntimes.com/business/18699423-420/mobile-pregnancy-care-provider-sues-elgin-over-shutdown.html)

      This sounds like a good thing, so why was it shut down?

      “…Police Chief Jeff Swoboda, at the request of City Council member Anna Moeller, boarded the mobile facility last August while it was parked at JB’s and ordered TLC’s ultrasound technician to ‘cease and desist.’ It said Swoboda told the technician that a city council member had driven by and described the mobile facility as an ‘eyesore’/The city council had amended its zoning code the previous June in a way that classified the mobile facility and a number of other mobile operations as a ‘temporary land use’ limited to only four uses per year at each location. When TLC attempted to renew its permit, TLC’s statement said, the group was told that no further permits would be issued in 2012.”

      Oh I see. So if there were people driving around town in an RV handing out condoms and pamphlets on safe sex to high school students like many high schools do in the nurse’s office, no problem. But an organization that provides, according to the TLC website, “free pregnancy testing and accurate information regarding: the development of their baby; the risks of casual sex (including sexually transmitted disease); abortion; and adoption” is unacceptable? (http://www.tlcpregnancyservices.com/) Really? So if Planned Parenthood were in the parking lot in an RV handing out pamphlets and offering information, would that have been an “eyesore”? And the council will likely say it had to do with the law that THEY had changed and that pro-lifers shouldn’t make this a pro-life/abortion issue, but come on, it’s pretty clear what’s really going on here. Aside from the pro-choicers on the council who I guess don’t believe a girl or woman has a right to choose to adopt her baby out to a family in need, here again we have the council telling private property owners in an unreasonable manner what they can and can’t do with their own property. If that’s the case, will the council now be telling everyone in Elgin who has a camper or RV parked in the driveway of their residence or business that they can’t have them because they’re an “eyesore”? When viewed that way, Moeller’s story just doesn’t really hold up now does it?

      Besides what looks like a cheap and dirty move by Moeller, let me enlighten you a little about the pro-choice movement. For instance, let’s look at Planned Parenthood for a minute. Did you know that in 2011 an undercover camera inside a Bronx, N.Y. Planned Parenthood Clinic filmed a Planned Parenthood Supervisor who was “willing to assist a man posing as a pimp…offering guidance on how the pimp’s underage girls can get insurance through tax payer funded programs to pay for abortions and other services”? (http://exposeplannedparenthood.net/newsroom/press-releases/) Did you also know that eugenicist and anti-Catholic Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood? The pro-choice movement either flatly denies that Sanger was a racist or argues that she softened her stance later on in her life (even though Sanger’s Wikipedia page, which was clearly written by apologists, acknowledges she was a eugenicist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Sanger). Sanger’s “softening” is not so surprising given that when criticism of things like eugenics is widespread precisely because it is so very heinous, it has a tendency to simply go underground or become an undercurrent. For instance, it’s not like Anna Moeller is openly telling the Elgin community she had TLC shut down because she’s pro-choice, she doesn’t want pregnant high school girls learning about other options besides abortion, and she just used the “eyesore” thing as an excuse. Likewise, I bet the true history of Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger — including the Negro Project — isn’t mentioned in the literature handed out at Planned Parenthood (http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/special_issues/population/the_negro_project.htm).

      Notice how often the history of the pro-choice movement is kept from women, or an apologetic or revision applied to it. If Moeller is any indication, it looks like the pro-choice movement may keep young girls and women with unplanned pregnancies from accessing knowledge about all the choices available to them as well.

      So is the pro-choice movement really about giving women a choice, or freedom, or liberation? If Councilwoman Moeller shut TLC’s RV down because it offered young girls and women a choice besides abortion, well, doesn’t that just prove that some in the “pro-choice” movement don’t really want women having alternative choices? In this way, women and girls with unplanned pregnancies are not liberated; they’re pawns. Even Norma McCorvey, a.k.a. “Jane Roe,” who was the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade in 1973 has since changed her opinion on abortion and is now active in pro-life causes. McCorvey has even gone so far as to say that she had been “the ‘pawn’ of two young and ambitious lawyers…who were looking for a plaintiff with whom they could challenge the Texas state law prohibiting abortion.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norma_McCorvey) As such, I’m sure Ms. McCorvey is now reviled by the very cause that once exploited her and I’m sure her change of heart, like Sanger’s true history, probably isn’t mentioned in the literature handed out at Planned Parenthood either.

      Again, from its inception, abortion was about eugenics, plain and simple. Sanger was only one of the admitted eugenicists behind it. So is abortion really about a woman’s right to choose, or is it about the powers-that-be once again playing god and deciding who lives and who dies; who has the right to breed and who doesn’t? Consider, too, who the majority of recipients of abortions in this country are: Minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged. People Margaret Sanger described in her essay, “We Must Breed a Race of Thoroughbreds,” as “breeding like weeds.” Sanger wrote, that birth control clinics/dispensaries should be established,

      “…in which men and women will be taught the science of parenthood and the science of breeding.”


      “…to breed out of the race the scourges of transmissible disease, mental defect, poverty, lawlessness, crime…since these classes would be decreasing in number instead of breeding like weeds.” (http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/special_issues/population/the_negro_project.htm)

      In Sanger’s eyes, not all humans were created equal, as is evidenced by the fact that she is describing herself and other elitists as “thoroughbreds,” and minorities, the poor, the sick, etc. as “like weeds.” But no, according to the pro-choice movement, Sanger wasn’t a racist or a classist. She was a eugenicist, but not a racist. Are you picking up my sarcasm?

      Similarly, Chicago Bishop Joseph Perry recently wrote,

      “Abortion killed at least 203,991 blacks in the 36 states and two cities (New York City and the District of Columbia) that reported abortions by race in 2005, according to the CDC. During that same year, according to the CDC, a total of 198,385 blacks nationwide died from heart disease, cancer, strokes, accidents, diabetes, homicide and chronic lower respiratory diseases combined. These were the seven leading causes of death charted for black Americans that year.”

      Bishop Perry went on to say that,

      “Dr. Alveda King, niece of slain Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is a pro-life activist. In August 2007, she told a meeting of Priests for Life ‘those abortionists plant their killing centers in minority neighborhoods and prey upon women who think they have no hope…the great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of’.” (http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/100312)

      So can pro-choicers really argue that abortion isn’t racist? And in the context of this discussion, it leads a reasonable person to further ask why the whitest white woman in America, Anna Moeller, should get to decide whether socioeconomically disadvantaged and minority women can bring their children into the world or not. Where are these girls’ and young women’s choices? How can it be “pro-choice” if the pregnant girl or woman is denied access to knowledge about her options to keep her baby or to give her baby up for adoption? Or is this a case of a bunch of elitist white people telling minority and poor girls and women “It’ll be your choice when you decide the way we want you to decide”?

      Notice too that the pro-choice establishment leaves their fallout — not the least of which is the horrible guilt many girls and women feel over having aborted their child — for the churches and other truly humane organizations like TLC to mop up. Now, inhumanity is trying to stop even these charitable organizations from offering women proper care and alternatives to a “choice” that could haunt these young girls and young women for the rest of their lives.

      If it is demonstrated that Anna Moeller had ulterior motives in shutting TLC down, which it looks like she did, then she should step down in disgrace from the council (but then, so too should many of her counterparts). After all, Mike Powers stepped down from the council for a much less serious offense. At the very least, the city of Elgin should settle this matter out of court and spare the tax-payers from having their tax dollars wasted to defend an action taken by the city with which most Elgin citizens wouldn’t agree.

      People may shy away from the truth out of fear, but that’s precisely why we should tell the truth. Truth is the only antidote against those who would poison all that is beautiful in life, including life itself. You want to know which is the godly path? It’s the one that encourages life and freedom and justice. You want to know which is the ungodly, wicked path? It’s the one that destroys life, and seeks to take away freedom and justice from the downtrodden and the needy who need freedom and justice the most.


      • Margaret Miller says:

        Agedna 21-more to come under this and sustainability gendas.

        Anna, I hope you do the right thing now and step down.
        I also hope this stops you in your muddy tracks from acheiving you dream of higher State office.

        By the way, thanks for the lawsuit. We cann’t afford this but you don’t seem to care as long as your fanny and agenda is covered by changing the rules and the taxpayers paying your bill. This is twisted!

      • Margaret Miller says:


        Please remind me if my memory is failing.

        Who was it at the Blackhawk Forum how shot out of his seat, as if sitting on a spring, spouting in a loud voice that pro-life issues have nothing to do with campaigns?

        I think that was Craig Dresang.

        Am I correct?

        Sorry for the earlier typos. Working again from my smart phone.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          Margaret, it was Craig Dresang who literally jumped up and loudly proclaimed with great indignation that abortion was not an issue for the City Council!

          As soon as he said that, I asked myself, Gee, doesn’t he know about the TLC issue? When Toby Shaw was given his turn to answer that question, he in fact did point out the TLC case and said this was in fact a relevant question.

          As to the issue of is it wrong for council members to get ordinances changed to aid their personal agendas,,, if it is, then the same thing happened with the tree ordinance. I can’t imagine this is illegal if such changes are made for ideological reasons of the council person. The case of Mr. Powers was I think quite different, as there was allegedly the question of personal financial gain which I can’t imagine being involved in the TLC case.

          If people do not like what Anna Moller did, fine. Remember that in the council election two years from now and try to voter her out of office.


          • John says:

            If Moeller is guilty of an abuse of power, why wait til the election to call for her ouster? And since the judge today extended the temporary restraining order, citing Elgin’s ordinance as “overbroad and vague,” it looks like TLC’s got a substantial legal leg to stand on:


            A federal judge on Wednesday extended until August a temporary restraining order allowing TLC Pregnancy Services to continue offering women free ultrasounds in its mobile facility while its dispute with the City of Elgin is pending.

            TLC, a faith-based organization promoting “pro-life issues, the family and Christian living,” filed a federal lawsuit against the city earlier this month claiming that Elgin’s new zoning restrictions would prevent women from accessing its services, which include providing free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests in privately owned parking lots.

            TLC representatives say they have offered the services for about two years in the parking lots of J.B.’s Pub and Evangelical Church of Elgin, with the permission of the owners.

            Federal Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan’s order allows the group to offer the services at least through Aug. 21.
            Late last summer, Elgin police ordered TLC to cease operating its mobile facility pursuant to an amended city ordinance that classified the vehicle as a “temporary land use.” During a hearing earlier this month, Der-Yeghiayan ruled the regulations were overbroad and vague.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            John, I did not mean to imply that I like what Anna Moeller did. Far from it. This case on a lower level bothers me as another example of the over-regulatory nature of our City. We have so many regulations, most of which are so arbitrary, and the fact of the matter is that most serve no true purpose other than to dominate and exercise control.

            When one can watch an hour long discussion at the City council on the subject of if a sign on Randall Road can be one foot taller than the ordinance allows, and the burning question of how often the lighted message on that sign can change, it should make people run for the isles as they realize the madness of it all. I would not be surprised if one could study such things, that we could eliminate 90% of Elgin’s ordinances and life would not be adversely affected. If they do not good, why have them? So someone in authority who doesn’t like something today can exert their will, and add another law onto a hundred years worth of accumulated things that people long dead didn’t like. Just like someone on the council wanted to save trees on the Country Day School grounds, so we got more regulations. Some didn’t like the TLC van and what it represents, so we got more rules, all accumulated like so much manure in a barnyard. But the manure is at least good for something.


      • paul says:

        “it’s pretty clear what’s really going on here.”

        Is it, John?

        Provide another example of a business or service operating 52 weeks a year within the city of Elgin out of a mobile facility. (one way to get around the business tax and multiple other rules and regulations concerning operation of a business within a governing jurisdiction!!!!)

        What is clear, after reading the comments here, I’m sure some of the commentators would switch to the other side of the issue if the mobile facility was providing abortion services.

        And I doubt Moeller is against pregnancy services. But I will keep an open mind!

        Why don’t they rent an office like everyone else? Operate from within the church building! Most certainly this ordinace is not onerous nor vague or overbroad. 4 times a year!!! My neighbor can only have a garage sale 2 times a year instead of 52 times he would prefer. Hmmm, maybe he should have mobile garage sales!!!! - LMAO.

        Funny how codes are unnecessary until someone is directly affected.
        Remember how someone we all know and love was all up in arms about a vacant property next door to him and demanded the city enact a new code requiring property owners submit to a costly inspection of their private properties for code violations in the event their properties became vacant???

        That this is even an issue is pure politics.

        • Sally Foster says:

          Hi Paul:

          Would your or Anna feel the same way if it was the Life Source’s van and not TLC’s van on a Blood drive 4 times per year? Same van, same parking situation.

          • paul says:

            I have no friggin idea what Anna thinks.

            IF lifesource wants to draw blood 52 weeks a year rent an office just like everyone else who conducts business 52 weeks a year in this town does.

            What part of the LAW do you not understand?

            Given your want of wandering the hypothetical desert, would you have a problem with your neighbor running a mobile garage sale 52 weeks a year out of his van? Turning this simple code ordinance law violation into left right political issue verges on insanity.

            Please don’t tell me Noland is out stealing campaign signs again.

          • Sally Foster says:

            OMGosh, Paul you are so angry about so many things.

        • John says:

          I agree Paul, it’s pure politics.

          Allen Skillicorn talked about the TLC van on his show March 19, and the TLC representatives maintain there were/are other mobile health services (like Loyola’s) that were not restricted like TLC was. They also mentioned mobile food trucks that were not restricted either, and yes I’m sure they operate a majority of the year.

          I was also easily able to look up mobile services, such as the pet groomer Kitten KaPoodle (http://kittenkapoodle.net/about.php) who likewise probably run their business most of the year, so the argument about taxes goes out the window. Besides, TLC is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit, so their taxes are limited anyway, and they do have clinics on Dundee Avenue and Weatherstone Lane according to their website (http://www.tlcpregnancyservices.com/about.html). My guess is that Moeller didn’t like the van’s proximity to the school, though if an RV is an eyesore, how much more so a school bus. (Again, this was pointed out on Skillicorn’s show.)

          Further, on Skillicorn’s show the question was asked: When’s the last time you heard of the Chief of Police responding to a code violation call? The answer was “Never” because of course the Code Violation Officer responds to such calls. So it’s also odd that Moeller sent out the Chief of Police to serve a cease-and-desist notice to shut TLC down. Sounds like Moeller wasn’t just shutting TLC down, she was trying to intimidate them. And yes, that’s pure politics…dirty, dirty politics. But then we’re starting to get all too accustomed to that from the Elgin City Council.

          I’m sorry I can’t pick anything else intelligible out of your comments, but you can hear the radio broadcast at the following link:


  26. Gibster says:

    Topic: Helping people be informed and get them our for Early Voting March 25 - April 6

    I’ve had a few people ask me an opinion about candidates for School Boards and Townships… I wish I could give them a better site with recommendations for these candidates, the Daily Herald has ‘a little’.

    So far I’ve shared the sample ballots for Kane and Cook County Elgin Residents as to their choices… in a hope they can Google up some research. Other resources and idea are welcome, I’d like to be able to share facts or at least direct them where to learn more about these other candidates.


  27. Sally Foster says:

    Looking for an explination.

    I checked the B&G Club link out at the office early this morning 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

  28. Sally Foster says:

    Looking for an explination.

    I checked the B&G Club link out at the office early this morning 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 dollars 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

  29. Cruex says:

    I suspected this for awhile but I am now convinced beyond any doubt that Bob Gilliam lives fulltime in Mesa, Arizona. In the past 2 months I have asked 5 current and retired city employees and they all to a man say he and his wife have lived in Arizona between 6-8 years. He jets to Elgin twice a month and stays at his condo to attend council meetings and then returns home to Arizona within 48 hours.

    To me that is unconscionable. The rules need to be changed to make sure this cannot happen any longer. The IRS rules for residency should apply. Is that too much to ask?

  30. Sally Foster says:

    My sources tell me that Bob is still in the hospital.
    I think this is now 6 days.
    Sounds like it is more than an asthma attack.
    Good luck Bob.

  31. KCCNDavid says:

    The real problem with hard surfaces is that they DON’T SUCK.

    They don’t absorb precipitaion and draw it down into groundwater, that is.

    So as for the infamous “Rain Tax” - provisionally, I could be totally for such a thing. My reasons go deep - like about 1400 feet deep which is where the wells in Kane County hit the salt water layer of the vast, but rapidly being depleted, Cambrian-Ordovician Aquifer that’s under much of the upper Midwest. The Elgin quadrant of Kane County has recorded aquifer declines of over 500 feet since people first started measuring such things. Our wells are getting perilously close to salt water.

    Unlike Cook County, we can’t draw water from Lake Michigan (which by the way is near historically low water levels). So for us it’s either increasingly deeper wells, or the Fox River which runs from Waukesha, WI to Ottawa, IL - that would be 202 miles of a whole lot of folks needing its water if anyone’s counting!

    The Illinois Rivers Decision Support System puts it this way:

    The Fox River flows from Wisconsin through northeastern Illinois and joins the Illinois River at Ottawa. The Fox River drains 938 square miles in Wisconsin, and 1720 square miles in Illinois. The river and the land in the watershed are used for many purposes and are under increasing pressure from development as the watershed is a highly desirable place to live. The main stem of the Fox River and the Chain of Lakes region are used for recreation and provide unique aesthetic attractions. The Fox River is used as a source of potable water for public water supply. The Fox River and its tributaries carry storm water and are the receptors of effluents from numerous wastewater treatment plants. In Illinois, the population of Fox River watershed by 2020 is expected to increase by more than 25 percent from the 2000 totals, with much of the growth in McHenry and Kane Counties. Consequences of this population growth will be greater demand on the Fox River for public water supply, storm water and effluent assimilation, and without proper planning, decline of water quality.

    Hard surfaces wick away storm water too quickly to amount to any significant reabsorbtion. If such a tax were used for purchasing land to increase our green space infrastructure - and I DO mean infrastructure as it is as critical as storm water management, water treatment plants,and the like when it comes to being good stewards of Elgin’s water supply - I’d be all for it.

    Rain barrels and rain gardens are great(I have both and love ‘em), but the real issue is not having a development plan that accounts for where the water’s coming from. If an Elgin “Rain Tax” prohibits rampant development and the careless paving over of Kane County, that would be great as far as I’m concerned. Who needs another shopping plaza with a huge parking lot, who needs another industry that abuses the watershed, who needs politicians that can’t see the forest for the asphalt? Not me.

    As it is, Elgin and Aurora are the only two major metropolitan communities that draw municipal water from the Fox River. How long is that going to last? Population growth projections combined with current water usage rates suggest that by 2050 the river will be but a trickle in Ottawa. I’m sure they would be none to happy about that! And whose to say water issues in Wisconsin won’t effect downstream Elgin?

    We need a more holistic water usage plan - green infrastruction, community education, and yes, tax incentives that reward water conservation. If a “Rain Tax” were propsed in support of such things, I vote for it in a heartbeat.

    Keep Elgin’s rain in Elgin.

    • SIE says:

      I live in Elgin and Cook County. I should be able to get Lake Michigan water.

    • One Vote says:

      I have a question for you, KCCNDave.
      Where has ALL the population growth come from in the last 50 years?

    • paul says:

      “Who needs another shopping plaza with a huge parking lot”

      The people who shop there!!!!!

      “the Fox River — a whole lot of folks needing its water.

      Then maybe you should direct storm water into the Fox instead of stagnant mosquito breeding grounds and sewage treatment plants. It is RAIN WATER.

      ” Fox River for public water supply, storm water and effluent assimilation, and without proper planning, decline of water quality.”

      Water quality of the Fox River is the highest it has been in over 100 years. That is an absolute FACT. And you LIE about declining water quality!!!!

  32. David, planning for runoff should be handled differently than placing another burden on existing property owners. Nobody is arguing against impact fees for new construction. Want to build a huge parking lot, then contribute to the storm water runoff management. That doesn’t mean hiking taxes on seniors who have existing homes. The state already has economic development tools in place that can help accelerate the storm water funding, but the city outsources economic development to the chamber, and the CoC can’t legally enact many of those tools. Taxing everything that moves is not the solution and lame duck Kaptain is in over head.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Allen, a note about new construction and rain…..

      Large new construction is and has been required to have retention ponds to handle storm water run-off. Use Google Earth, and check out the big retention ponds on the south end of the new Walmart, and on the expanded 2nd Baptist Church grounds. It may be that the new construction is already not impacting our storm water run off equation. But not to worry, they will be taxed anyway if we get the “Rain Tax”, BECAUSE the “Rain Tax” is simply another money grab under the guise of “revenue diversification”.

      The city would have to offer a really big credit though to Walmart to cancel their large water-proof surface area. The new Walmart has 250 ERUs of “impervious” surface.

      At the low rate of $3 per ERU per month, the “Rain Tax” would cost Walmart $9000 per year before any credits by the City for their ponds.

      If Elgin charges what Downers Grove does, $8.40 per month per ERU, Walmart’s “Rain Tax” bill would be $25,200 per year before any allowances for their retention ponds.


      • paul says:

        “the “Rain Tax” is simply another money grab under the guise of “revenue diversification”.”

        The rain tax is about funding an unfunded mandate from unelected Federal bureaucrats. The very same bureaucrats who last year decided the air we humans exhale is now a pollutant subject to Federal regulation. Stopping the rain tax won’t stop the mandate from being funded via Elgin taxpayers. Keysor’s argument is about how it will be funded by Elgin taxpayers.
        The argument should be about whether it should be funded, period.
        I vehemently say no. Let the rain flow directly into the streams and rivers instead of requiring rain water to be expensively treated at the sewage treatment plant, forcing yet more people out of their homes only to take up residence among the numerous homeless camps along the Fox crapping directly into the river!

  33. Margaret Miller says:


    Former Elgin cop’s federal lawsuit dismissed

  34. SIE says:

    I looked pretty thoroughly and never saw any mention of an Easter egg hunt in Elgin. We went to Hoffman Estates so our son could enjoy this activity. Streamwood had one too. And practically every other town. But not Elgin. Pathetic.

    • Todd Martin says:

      Grace Evangelical Church on 1800 Bowes Road in Elgin had an open Easter Egg hunt on Saturday, March 31st at 1pm. They separated the kids by age, which I think is a good idea. The City of Elgin used to have a public Easter Egg hunt held in a parking lot downtown.

      If the City were to resume a public Easter Egg hunt, I would hope they would put in on grass instead of asphalt and round up some private sponsors to defray costs.

      • SIE says:

        Hoffman and Streamwood held their egg hunts in parks…on grass. I’m pretty sure Elgin has some parks with grass. Streamwood’s was sponsored but Hoffman’s was through their Park District. A Park District that I use more than my own cities Park District. Even paying non resident fees for programs it works out cheaper than paying Elgin’s high prices. Just another way Elgin sticks it to it’s residents, make us pay high taxes AND high fees.

        I wish I had moved 3/10 of a mile east and then I would be in Hoffman instead of Elgin.

  35. Margaret Miller says:

    Here’s some more important work from the Illinois Democratic Party.

    IL Dems Propose Legislation That Would Ban Driving With Your Dog
    by Debra Heine30 Mar 2013, 10:09 AM PDT


    While there are much more serious issues to deal with, like the state’s financial crisis and Chicago’s exploding crime wave, Illinois legislators have decided to focus on the burning issue of driving with dogs.

  36. Margaret Miller says:

    Report shows IL health care insurance costs could increase by 46% or more

    SPRINGFIELD - A new report by the Society of Actuaries on the “Cost of the Future Newly Insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” suggests that if all states choose to expand Medicaid, the cost of ACA could cause insurance costs to rise by an average of nearly one-third. Illinois, though, could see an even higher increase.


  37. Margaret Miller says:

    Have a blessed Easter.

  38. Jump The Shark says:

    I am appalled at the number of illegally placed campaign signs I have seen throughout Elgin. The most egregious offenders are Mitch “Yes To Everything” Esterino, Carol Rauschenberger, Tom Armstrong, and, shockingly, incumbent Elgin City Councilmen Richard Dunne and Bob Gilliam. How could anyone ever vote for candidates who refuse to play by the rules? The straw that broke my back was seeing a large Esterino sign planted alongside an Elgin fire station.

  39. Sally Foster says:

    I was doing some research and came across the Daily Herald & Courier article from 2011 referencing the storm water tax. So, to all the candidates who claim there is no storm water tax coming, the Herald & Courier tell a different story.

    Remember, we also received in the US mail the 2012 Budget and 2012-2016 Financial Plan Quick Guide (under revenue diversification) where it notes stormwater fee (TBA in 2014)


    Article updated: 11/28/2011 11:13 PM
    Latest Elgin budget adds several new taxes
    By Tara García Mathewson.

    Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall presented council members with a new draft of the budget proposal Monday night in one of the final discussion-based meetings the group will have before approving the financial plan.

    The latest recommendation is marked by a variety of new taxes, two of which will be used to close a budget gap with the rest planned to offset proposed reductions in property tax revenue.
    Changes expected for Elgin waste removal program

    A refuse fee will remain from Stegall’s first budget recommendation — but it will be just $13.30 per month to cover the costs of the program — and an electricity tax, natural gas tax, alcoholic beverage tax and, in 2014, a stormwater utility fee will be added.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Thanks Sally for the important re-affirmation that the Rain Tax has in fact been in the works since at least sometime in 2011. The Rain Tax was also discussed in the City’s 2012-2016 Financial Plan.

      In reading the articles you linked to, I was reminded of other aspects of the fall 2011 City spin on our fake budget crisis, and the supposed revenue neutral nature of the 2012 budget that was anything but revenue neutral.

      Here are some quotes from the Courier article: “Stegall said the budget still assumes just under $111 million in revenue.”

      ““The bottom line is revenue has not changed,” he said.“We are not looking for additional revenue, we are just coming at it from a different way,” Stegall said.” (Chuck: Hmmm, the February 2012 report to the bond rating agencies showed we had a $9million net increase in taxes! How can he say “We are not looking for additional revenue?)

      “The utility taxes are more fair to homeowners, Stegall argued, because businesses use far more of those services than homeowners do.” (Chuck: How is it more fair for me to pay Elgin taxes on my utilities when I shouldn’t be paying them at all? And why is it fair to suck even more money out of businesses? Maybe the businesses think it would be more fair to suck money out of high salaries at City Hall…..)

      “Mayor David Kaptain added that while the city and residents have little control over property tax, as the county sets home value assessments, residents do have control over how much power they use.” (Chuck: Right, I have control,,, that is why I am sitting with a hat and coat on in my house because I have to cut back my heat even more to pay my Elgin taxes.)

      “If they can reduce their energy costs … that will be reflected back on the tax. Our goals should be to encourage people to reduce their energy costs,” Kaptain said. (Chuck: Your goal should NOT be to force your liberal green agenda upon everyone. That is YOUR personal philosophy. You have no right to inflict your agenda 21 inspired views on all the residents of Elgin. Your goal should be to provide core services at minimum expense/tax to the citizens, not to make us all be molded in your image.)

      I hope that everyone who does not like how this council under the leadership of Mayor Kaptain, has massively spiked our taxes all under the guise of heading off a budget crisis that was pure fabrication and fiction will rebel, and vote against Dunne and Gilliam as they voted for all the $9million in net increased taxes, which went up another $3million in the following year.


      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

        Last night I took advantage of early voting at the library from 2pm-7pm. No lines!


        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 SUPERSIZE 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.

        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.


        • bw says:

          The tax rebate for senior citizens is no longer going to be sent as Councilman John Prigge sold the council that the money would no longer be available even though there is a $7 million surplus. All seniors should remember this when voting next week. Prigge was the only candidate that against grants to agiencies that need these funds. This guy is a sure no vote on issues that are important to the community. I suggest he is not a responsible candidate but his supporter’s on this board seem to love him. They support the same conservative agenda. Elgin is now a moderate community as hispanic citizens are now the majority.

  40. Sally Foster says:

    My sources inform me that Bob Gilliam is in the Intensive Care Unit.

    • bw says:

      ICU is for people where the doctor sends patients who need close watching. Two or three days and their released. My friend was in ICU for three days. He was sent back to the floor and released the next day. He is now back to work. We can read through your motives.

      • Sally Foster says:


        No motives other than to bring this update to the attention of the Elgin citizens.

        The Herald and Courier are not doing their jobs keeping us informed of the health status of an elected official.

        This is no different than the daily reports we received when Mark Kirk or Todd Stroger were ill. We knew about Kirk and Stroger the day it happened with updates regularly. Any public official, currently engaged in an election cycle who is unable to perform or appear is news and the public should be aware of that fact.

        The citizens have a right to know what is happening, especially this close to an election.

        My sources tell me that he has been in the ICU for longer them 4 days.

        • bw says:

          your source is not suppose to tell you anything per HIPPA REGS.

          • Sally Foster says:

            I’m sorry, that is not true. My source has nothing to do with HIPPA Regulations.

            Bob is a public official and we have a right to know.

            Shed some light on this issue.

            Is this man able to continue to serve or not?

    • What were they thinking? says:

      Our prayers are with Bob (but not our votes)

  41. bw says:

    Your information has to come from a health care source. A patient’s medical condition in private per HIPPA. Your source maybe making this story up for political reasons. Until the news media report it, everyone should consider the source. Bob should have been elected mayor many years ago. He is similar to the President. Ninety percent of the black vote will go to him.He will also get the hispanic vote as he represents them on the council.

    • Sally Foster says:

      bw: You have to be kidding me with that post!

    • paul says:

      “Your source maybe making this story up for political reasons.”

      Yet now you are reporting it!

      Will your apology be forthcoming or is humility beneath your standard of civility too?

      • Sally Foster says:

        Thank you for the support Paul!

        Seems to me I broke the story and my sources were correct.

        Sally Foster did what the Herald and Courier were TOLD not to do.


  42. bw says:

    Bob reported his story in the news media today. He is doing well and will be able to continue as an active council member. I+ ur++ge everyone to cast a vote for him.

    • Margaret Miller says:


      Unfortunately, Bob’s continual health issues over the years along with this continued absenteeism have shown me he is not physically up for the challanges for the next 4 years and this election is too important to waste a vote on Bob.

      It is a crying shame that he is being pushed to cross a finish line by supporters who seem to have placed their own selfish interests ahead of Bob’s health, well being and quality of life.

  43. Chuck Keysor says:

    I am glad Bob is doing better. But BW said that “ninety percent of the black vote will go to him.” I say that the high taxes that Bob has enacted along with the majority of the rest of the liberal dominated council should make any homeowner in Elgin upset enough to vote against Bob. This should cut across all racial boundaries.

    With all the new taxes and fees (trash, electric, gas, leaf) that Bob Gilliam got passed, even after my property taxes went down, the total money I paid to the City of Elgin went up 12% in 2012 compared to 2011. This doesn’t just hurt me. It hurts voters of all races.

    The poorer a person is, the harder it is to make these new payments. Of course if you have a big pension, and enough money to fly back and forth between homes in Arizona and in Illinois, clearly you aren’t going to have a hard time paying the extra taxes and fees imposed by the Elgin City Council. Why should the many poor communities in Elgin, of all colors, find a bond with someone who is so clearly well off and willing to raise your taxes and increase your cost of living?


    • bw says:

      As Chuck, you’re pandering once again. If Bob wants to travel between IL. and AZ. that is his business. It cost money to run government and money must be raised via taxes, fees etc. A year from now more money will be needed to support the growth of Elgin. Years ago I use to farm most of the real estate West of the city. Now it is all homes and stores. Four years from now you will be supporting other candidates. Maybe Elgin needs a new form of government?

      • paul says:

        ” Years ago I use to farm most of the real estate West of the city.”

        Then you have a long history of being on public welfare.

  44. paul says:

    “If Bob wants to travel between IL. and AZ. that is his business. ”

    If Bob lives in Arizona it is the voter’s business.

    If Bob’s wife is ill in Arizona thus preventing Bob from attending Elgin council meetings it is the voters business.

    If Bob is ill in Illinois thus preventing Bob from attending Elgin council meeting it is the voters business.

    If Bob refuses to discuss matters of fiscal responsiblities in regards to the city of Elgin by invoking comparative images of the KKK and Elgin Octave, it is the voters business. It was Gilliam’s claim that Elgin Octave was out to crucify him as reported by your beloved media, bm.

    Bob is a blood sucking parasite upon the public body.

    • bw says:

      Those are all big “IF’S”…be civil or do not post your crap!

      • paul says:

        “Those are all big “IF’S”…be civil or do not post your crap!”

        Those are “ifs” only to those with heads in places unable to see daylight.

        It is not a if about him living in Arizona.
        It is not a if about his wife being sick in Arizona.
        AS you reported, it is not a if about his illness.
        As your beloved media reported it is not an if about him claiming crucifixion as his excuse for refusing to attend a public forum on fiscal responsibilies.

        Your definition of civil needs work when you call my easily proven FACTS “crap”. But thanks for displaying your true character.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          I don’t care for the use of “crap” publicly or privately. But I will remind everyone that last June, when Bob finally returned to the council after his long absence, that he angrily told the council that he was “sick of the crap from the critics”, with those critics being everyone who did not like how the council majority had jacked up our taxes for 2012.

          Bob continued angrily, “Show me your plan, what would you cut? Man up!” Two weeks later (7/11/12), I spoke to the council, and informed them that I had emailed Bob, and copied the rest of the council and the manager, the cuts that the Elgin OCTAVE had proposed in late 2011. Those cuts amounted to about $3.4 million all made to the riverboat fund. And that did not even require closing either Lord’s Park or Wing Park Pools, and did not cut any police, fire or public works.

          You know what? Despite Bob’s demands to see the “plans of the critics”, and despite the fact that I announced this and sent this to the entire council, and despite the fact that we didn’t even have a deficit in 2011 as promised by the City (instead of a deficit of $1.75million, we ended 2011 with an audited surplus of $652,090!) BOB never replied. He never said, gee, I am sorry for complaining about you and calling your opinions “crap”.

          If Bob would have followed up, and said, Chuck, thanks for sending me your work, I know you put a lot of time into this, and I can see it was possible to cut without hurting core services, I would be telling you that Bob is an honorable man who deserves another term on the council. But that is NOT the case. And this is only ONE example I have. I am not reacting to a single slight.

          Look, I am nobody special. I have no illusions or pretenses. But I can say I do interact with these council members, and I am not forming my opinions based upon if this person is my neighbor or my friend. I am basing my evaluations based upon how they WORK with someone who is trying hard to bring things to their attention. Will they listen? Will they talk responsibly? Will they even communicate? And that is even before considering how they vote!

          Based upon YEARS of dealing with Bob Gilliam and Rich Dunne as a concerned citizen who interacts repeatedly with these men, I am telling you that neither of them should be re-elected.

          If you want to vote for someone because they are your neighbor, go to your church, are your same race, or share your gender preferences, then that is your freedom, and the council election will remain a beauty/popularity poll. As a likely result, the City of Elgin will continue to suffer from high taxes and excess spending.


          • bw says:

            I don’t care for the use of “crap” publicly or privately. But I will remind everyone that last June, when Bob finally returned to the council after his long absence, that he angrily told the council that he was “sick of the crap from the critics”, Would Bob have thinking of you when he made this statement. What I read on this board, you seem to big the biggest critic in the city. You must of had a poor upbringing. You’re mad all of the time. I wonder if you ever smile? I don’t see Elgin the same way that you portray it. Like any city it is going through growing pains, and your remarks are a lack of respect of people who are trying to do the best they can. Another Sunday morning quarterback. Can you say anything good about Elgin?

        • bw says:

          Paul, I never have read a post from you that you couuld prove. At least I have some character, something you’re lacking. Good character is what Gilliam and Dunne have shown the voters of this community as council members. Elgin needs their experience and courage.

          • paul says:

            “Paul, I never have read a post from you that you couuld prove.”

            Apparently you are a product of U46! So you are saying you, the media and Gilliam all are liars?

            “At least I have some character”

            So did Hitler and Manson. You are in good company.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Paul, great post!

  45. Tim Palmer says:

    NOBODY stays in the hospital for nearly two weeks with asthma. They DO go to Intensive Care if that asthma turns into pneumonia.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      You are correct Tim. My oldest brother suffered from asthma and died in 1995 at the age of 35. My youngest brother suffers as well and twice I called 911 for help. They got the attack under control each time he was released the next day each time. Of this I am certain.

  46. bw says:

    Bob adds that mature and needed stability to the council. Government needs individuals with his experience and knowledge. He will be able to continue his excellent work for the community. Knowledge is power. Bob has the desire to see the community grow. I like the wisdom he brings to the council. Bob has earned your vote next week. The expected low voter turnout will help Bob and Dunne.

    • Sally Foster says:

      I laughed so hard when I read your post that my drink came through my nose.


    • bennie says:

      bw please reveal yourself so that the readers know how to recognize you for future info. thanks

    • One Vote says:

      Thanks for the link.
      You can tell by the tone of the story that Danahey really likes Bob. He’s in his pocket and acted more as stenographer than reporter.
      Bob told a big U46 lie several years ago and I’ve never trusted him since.
      Does anyone know if he’s on the city council insurance plan?

  47. bw says:


  48. Sally Foster says:


    • bw says:

      You’re the one who is putting her nose where it don’t belong. Next you get squirrely. Anoher woman who thinks she knows iit all.

      • Sally Foster says:

        Well, I sure knew about this didn’t I? That really bugs you doesn’t it?

        If you don’t think that if the situation was reversed your side would act differently, boy are you living in some other world.

        The public has the right to know. You’re just mad because the secret is out and you could not control it..

        Stop pushing this old man to do your work. Let him retire in peace, please.

  49. Cruex says:

    I will not be voting for Bob Gilliam again. There is no doubt he lives in Arizona full-time. I’ve spoken with too many of people close to him who have said so and that is good enough for me. At least live in the city you are supposed to be representing.

  50. Sally Foster says:

    Hey everyone, check this out this BINGO!…

    Under the title of “desperate people will do desperate things”!


    • paul says:

      Thank you Sally for bringing this to attention. I don’t do Facebook. Facebook is for women and children.

      Terry Gavin gets it. The rain tax is more than just a rain tax. The voters will never get to vote yea or nay on a rain tax.
      The rain tax is really about increasing taxes upon property owners without increasing property taxes. Thus enabling the tax and spend city of Elgin liberals to claim they are lowering your property taxes while back door radically massively raising your taxes.

      • Sally Foster says:

        Morning Paul:

        I don’t do Facebook either but I do open the pages to see what has been written by the candidates and this one was fantastic response!

        Terry does get it more than others because he keeps a careful eye out for the interests of all not just the interests of one group or one person and he cares about the success of Elgin.

        I get that the rain tax is all about what the liberal progressives term “revenue enhancements”. This kind of tax is dangerous because what happens when they want more money? They raise this tax at the whim of the price for their next project or cry wolf like they did two years ago claiming projected deficits, then they raised our taxes again and now we have $9 million surplus. This is one tax that will always have a sliding scale going in one direction of upwards.

        I don’t like taxes and I don’t appreciate having taxes shoved at me at anytime especially when they are surrounded by deception and ulterior motives. Enjoy Terry’s post below.

        Under the title of “desperate people will do desperate things”!

        It has become abundantly clear that some candidates in the Elgin City Council race are misleading citizens regarding the Stormwater Utility Tax aka “Rain water tax”. Any candidate who claims the “rain tax” is not real or coming up for a vote after the election. Is either being disingenuous or simply ignoring the facts contained in City of Elgin documents and media publications.

        There are clearly two different positions that candidates running for City Council have taken during this campaign. One group, myself included, has studied this issue and has taken a pledge of not supporting this new tax being implemented on the people, churches or businesses of our city.

        The second group, includes all of the other candidates who simply refuse to take a public position on the “rainwater tax”. In fact, those who are in this group have used the same excuse by stating “I have to wait to see the study before making a decision”. The fact is, the study from Strand & Associates is a “How to Guide” to calculate the cost of such a tax that would be placed on every one’s water bill, not whether we need the tax or not.

        The facts backing up my position include 1.) a City 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.” Please note there’s no mention of this new tax going for any additional sewer separation then we’re already doing!

        Facts can be difficult for some to deal with if they’re trying to get elected without stating where they stand on this critical point or any other specific issues. This is not about scaring anyone or misleading anyone, it’s about having the courage to take a stand for the citizens of Elgin.

        Also please check out these links to 2 newspaper stories regarding the stormwater utility tax/fee.



  51. HM says:

    Be very afraid of voting for TOBY SHAW. He recently stated that he would have voted against Video Gambling in Elgin due to his religious beliefs. If elected what would follow? Closing the Grand Victoria Casino? Banning alcohol sales? Prohibiting social dancing? Limiting Human Rights such as reproductive rights for women or equal rights for the LGBT population. He is a member of an extremist National Church (The Vineyard) whoses not so subtle agenda is to impose THEIR vision of religion via public service upon all they govern. Belief in god is one thing, imposing a particular and extreme brand of religious dogma upon all is contrary to our Constitution and our individual freedoms. Be very afraid to elect this type of person.

  52. bw says:

    HW: You are right. It is the best post why not to vote for Shaw. We all should be afraid of his way of pushing his agenda as a member of the council. We need a council that has an open mind and cast a vote on an issue that is best for the community.

  53. Chuck Keysor says:

    HM, your post is so over the top, it almost seems as though you could be speaking sarcastically, and making fun of those who feel Toby’s conservative values are something to fear. Clearly Toby can not make any of those situations you pointed to come to pass.

    bw, you are right, this is the best post saying why not to vote for Toby Shaw, and as noted, it is so over the top in its outlandish fear mongering that it isn’t even remotely believable. Yes, this is the best…….

    The issues Toby can affect, will be matters concerning how the taxpayer’s money is spent in coalition with the other conservative candidates who will be elected on April 9th. The conservatives will get elected, because I believe that most taxpayers are still upset over their trash tax, electric tax, natural gas tax, liquor tax, leaf rake out fee and increased sales tax. And a good number are also upset the way that the liberal council wants to twist the truth by only telling people that their property taxes have gone down, while failing to mention how the over-all tax burden went up, NOT down.

    All of these pains in the pocket book of the taxpayers come from the liberal left, that views the taxpayers as a resource to be squeezed so that their grand visions for Elgin can be made real. If liberals have been proven to produce so much financial pain to so many taxpayers, why would they want more liberal tax and spenders on the council?

    Craig Dresang is as liberal as they come, and at the LWV forum for the primary candidates, he said Elgin’s residents aren’t over-taxed, and he supported the rain tax. That is much scarier to most taxpayers than anything you can whip up on Toby.


    • HM says:

      Time will tell chuck, but the ultra right wing agenda is taking hold everywhere and I will not support those people who feel their brand of religion should be the ONLY option. Good comments though…dialog is always a positive even if we disagree.

  54. bw says:

    ok know it all. Get off the taxing issues and stop your idoit paandering. We all advising us how the city should be operated. You’re post are always over the top. Your crazy ideas are nothing more than garbage. Some people think they know everything. The truth of the matter is they know nothing and have nothing of any value to offer to us true Elginites. The people who were born and raised in the community. I never of you 20 years ago ormaybe even five. Now you’re the king pin of the city. Your post are great entertainment when we have nothing more importent to occupy our time. Have a good dat. lol

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Thanks HM. I can share anyone’s concern about being forced to accept the moral dictates of others, and that is a legitimate issue.

      That is part of why I object for example, to Anna Moeller and her use of her position to exert City pressure on those who are in disagreement with her views on abortion. I am of course referring to the TLC mobile van issue.

      In my ideal state, the Council would simply be looking at the dollars and cents, and how to spend as carefully and cautiously, knowing that every thing they decide to spend affects the taxpayers financially. That would apply to Toby, and Anna, as well as everyone else.

      However, how could that even be possible? For example, what would Dave Kaptain be if he didn’t have his liberal green agenda? That is in his core, and I honestly admire that he is passionate about something that is important. But I do resent his using his office to spend tax dollars to promote and further his personal agenda.

      But again, since that is simply human nature, people can’t ask their council members to be financial robots, as much as I would personally like that. So, realizing the very nature of people can not be denied or contained, we are all almost forced to weigh the candidate’s positions on matters that seemingly should be unrelated to the matters of City Council.

      As to bw (shouldn’t that at least be capitalized?) I’m not a know it all, nor do I pretend to be. Now, why would you be critical of me for not knowing who I am, when you feel totally free to opine and slash from behind the protection of a pair of lower case letters? Doesn’t that strike you as odd that you would say that of me, when you won’t tell anyone who you are?

      True, I wasn’t born in Elgin, my family moved here from Park Forest, when I was almost one year old, back in 1957.

      As a note, I had been active in the Near West Neighbors Association since it was founded in 1997, and have served in every position. That is not any honor, but being in a public group, that depended on the City for so much, I like most people was totally constrained from complaining about anything concerning the City, because no one wants to bite the hand that feeds them. So I can understand many people who get things from the City will want to protect their valued rewards, and to defend those that can keep giving them what they want. (However, I guess I did speak out at a couple of public hearings during the time the Rec Centre was being discussed, planned, and built.)

      OK, I have to go knock on some doors in the neighborhood, the election is almost here!


    • paul says:

      April 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm
      “…stop your idoit paandering. We all advising us how the city should be operated….The people who were born and raised in the community. I never of you 20 years ago ormaybe even five.”

      Little early in the afternoon to be drunk faced, isn’t it???

  55. bw says:

    CK: I bet the neighbors love to see you coming. You’re something like a bad illness. Something even the best doctor can cure. Go our and pander the poor citizen who is trying to enjoy a Sunday with the family. I think you were the guy that was trying to send hispanics out of town. Now, the congress is about to pass a bill that will them to stay and work in the U.S. I have you on TV trying to tell the City Manger how the budget should look from your point of view. The City Manager told you that you did not know how to read and understand it. He told you to meet with him and he would explain it to you. The TLC mobile van issue Is A Women’s health issue that I agree is a needed community service. It seems that you’re on the wrong side of everything good for the community. Knowing that you’re in your 50’s helps me understand where you’re coming from. The older you get, the better you will understand life. As you grow older you will find out nobody cares about your opinions, not even me.

    • RS says:

      If you continue in this vein you will be banned from the site. All are expected to abide by the comment policy.

  56. Margaret Miller says:

    How about an April thread.

  57. Cruex says:

    What would you think if the spouse or lover of a candidate wrote a support letter to the newspapers for the candidate and did not mention it in the letter? Would it matter to you?

    • Jules says:

      I think family members of candidates should identify themselves. I mean, “church family” members seem to do it frequently, so why not? However, if someone may or may not be dating, it’s none of our business to insist if they are or not.

  58. Jules says:

    Why didn’t Elgin pay for stormwater utility or sewer upgrades in the 1990’s-2000’s with the riverboat money? Wouldn’t those working for the city and on the city council have been aware of this issue? I’m sure folks had flooded basements back then too. I didn’t live in the city at the time.

  59. That’s a great question Jules!

  60. Chuck Keysor says:

    Jules, it may be a mistake for me to post this today, since everyone is thinking about the election. But you have raised some interesting questions. Based upon the information I will present shortly, the City clearly has know about the sewer issue for a very long time. Here are some background facts for you to consider. (Also, Kyla Jacobson is in charge of all the sewer separation work, and she is the public contact should you have any specific questions.) Chuck

    Based on information I got by FOIA from the City, Elgin first investigated the matter of sewers polluting the Fox in the late 1960s. With the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972, the combined sewers have been regulated facilities. In the early 1990s, the City of Elgin assumed direct responsibility for the combined sewer discharges into the Fox. Since that time, Elgin’s over-flow points have operated under a permit. As of 2009 (the study I am reading now) said we had 10 over-flow discharge points into the Fox.

    In June 2002, the City was notified by the EPA, that they were under extra attention as I read this, because our part of the Fox is “impaired”.

    More records from the City of Elgin show the first storm sewer work taking place in 1992, which cost $1million at that time.
    In 1994 Elgin spent $700,000
    In 1996 Elgin spent $1million
    In 2000 Elgin spent $1.5million
    In 2002 Elgin spent $500,000
    I can’t keep typing all these numbers, but the total that the City told me that they had spent to date on separating sewers is $24.9 million. Roughly speaking there is $100 million of work left to be done.

    Now, to put this into perspective of where have our priorities been, it seems not with the sewers……
    The Elgin Recreation Centre opened in 2003 at a direct cost of $38,422,460.
    And, SINCE the Rec Centre opened, it has lost:
    2003: $475,874
    2004: $272,543
    2005: $933,288
    2006: $543,697
    2007: $523,538
    2008: $911,249
    2009: $597,676
    2010: $885,773
    2011: $782,204

    And none of this includes the costs of paying the interest for the bonds that were taken out to pay for the Centre.

    • Zreebs says:

      Chuck, What do you recommend we do with the Centre? It looks like it will never break even. If we sell it, it will probably be sold for the land value.

  61. Chuck Keysor says:


    I honestly don’t know what should be done with this in the long term. But I know in the short term that we must not continue to ignore this problem, and say that all recreational facilities MUST loose money. (I won’t even go into the matter that despite protests at the time, the public was assured that the Centre would be a “profit center”.)

    The first short term measure to try and do something about the losses of the Rec Centre, should have been to close the East Side Rec Center and merge its operations into the Rec Centre. That would have saved the money that was poured into that facility, and hopefully increased the utilization of the currently under-utilized Rec Centre.

    The second short-term measure should have been to put this issue into a strategic plan to figure out how to END the Rec Centre’s losses, with the imperative that IF a reasonable plan to end the losses can’t be conceived, that the Rec Centre should be closed/sold, which at least would end the losses. While hopefully the closure could be avoided, without that as the fixed alternative, it will simply be allowed to continue to bleed red ink.

    However, as long as we have a council that doesn’t have to worry about money, and only justifies loss centers as being “quality of life” issues, we will be stuck with the Rec Centre.

    Thanks for asking, Chuck

    • Zreebs says:

      I can’t say I am optimistic that a solution would end the losses. If someone could find a way to cut the losses by 75%, then I could buy the quality of life argument. The city will attract more upscale developments with the Centre than without it. But I agree that the city can’t afford to lose over $200k per year. You are right to be outraged.

  62. Tim says:

    As a taxpayer I don’t mind the centre losing money as its something I can actually use in this city.

    My family and I pay thousands in property taxes, and thousands more to send our son to private school in Dundee because of Elgins atrocious school system.

    Without the centre and without quality of life items for the taxpayers to benefit from in this city what will attract taxpaying families to this city? Do we want more leeches that only take from this city?

  63. Sally Foster says:


    I’m not crazy about your term ‘leeches, but what would you advise me, a person who does not have children continually paying through my property taxes for bad schools and places for children to go (good or bad) that turns out to be a money pit for the tax payers? This place has been subsidized for years and years and it is desperately failing to keep afloat. I cannot support or afford it anymore.

    I understand and agree with you about the Elgin U46 and your decision to private school them but that is your personal choice and decision.

    As far as it being a draw to the community, how about a community that is fiscally conservative and responsible in their spending? To me, that is the greatest attraction, not a rec center.

    By the way, this rec center is not your only choice. Isn’t there another rec center in Elgin you can attend? How about a rec center in Dundee?

    Just a thought from someone who has well paid for their own education 4 times over.

    • Anonymous says:

      So your solution is to leave town to use their taxpayers public projects?

      If I could allocate my own tax dollars I have no issue with the centre, because its one of the few things in this city I feel safe taking my family to. As far as you paying education dollars with taxes, you’ll be doing that anywhere you go. At one point I’m sure you attended school and taxpayers subsidized that for you.

      • Sally Foster says:

        I will repeat…Just a thought from someone who has well paid for their own education 4 times over.

        No, don’t leave town, just like a school choice, there is a choice of rec centers.

    • Tim says:

      So your solution is to leave town to use their taxpayers public projects?

      If I could allocate my own tax dollars I have no issue with the centre, because its one of the few things in this city I feel safe taking my family to. As far as you paying education dollars with taxes, you’ll be doing that anywhere you go. At one point I’m sure you attended school and taxpayers subsidized that for you.

  64. Tim Palmer says:

    Leeches is right. Every damn nonprofit in this city is a leech with no shame. Maybe the leeches will stop sucking blood when the boat closes. What will Esterino’s Boys and Girls Club and choir and dance groups do then?

    • Sally Foster says:

      I don’t know what they would do but perhaps the ESO should start to look for another place to call home. If not, get the back rent paid off ASAP and sell the Hemmens “as is” to them and make them and their concert goers responsible for the facility in its entirety.

      BTW, I took Tim’s “leeches” comment to mean people and not organizations.
      I’m not sure if Tim and Tim Palmer are the same person. I would guess not.

  65. bw says:

    Sally and Tim,

    There are ways to make the Rec Center produce more revenue for the city. It just takes the right people to be put in charge. There is a ton of revenue being generated at the South end of Grove Avenue. A deal could be worked out so other types of games that could be added to finance the Rec Center and make it a revenue producer. (e.g. high stakes bingo, or poker tournments etc.) in co-op with the boat. The public support those types of activities. Just one idea as the Rec. Center has enough room to host other type of revenue generating events.

    • bw says:

      The Rec Center onlt needs to generate %100,000 per month and that will cover any losses, pay expenses, and provide a profit. Any idea has to be promoted. Maybe some sort of community activity card that will include several city recreation activities, including food access.

      • Sally Foster says:


        I don’t have the answers but what I know is that the building is a disaster. Now, who will be paying for the repairs and maintenance? Does your figure of $100,000.00 per month cover those costs?

        If not, sounds like the cost of using the facility should go up to make up the difference. Like Carol Rauschenberger said at the forum, user fee/tax. If you don’t use it, you don’t pay any part of it. If you do, you take on the responsibility of it all.

        If that user fee/tax was enacted, I would gather that most members would give up their membership because the cost is too high and then move on to another facility. Again choices.

  66. Tim says:

    There’s nothing to really ” move on” to. It’s the only real indoor swimming facilty for children between Hoffman estates and Randall rd. no for profit place of its kind can exist in a multi mile radius of downtown because the takers outnumber the makers in this city.

    • SIE says:


      Does the Elgin Park District offer free programs such as swimming to any of it’s residents? I don’t think so. Ironically Hoffman Estates (and probably other towns)does if you are unemployed. But I’m pretty sure Elgin does not have a similar program. If I am mistaken please tell me how do the “takers” “take” when it comes to the ERC or The Centre?

  67. Sally Foster says:


    The takers out number the makers in the entire state.

    When Illinois, one of 11 states that have more people on welfare than employed, something is wrong.

    Seems to me that its a perk that we simply cannot afford anymore. Perhaps it can be privatized and let it be the new owner’s worry, not the Elgin taxpayer. Just a thought. Win-Win!