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May open thread [2013]

1 May 2013 Elgin Illinois 212 Comments

May clouds, Elgin IL May clouds, Elgin IL (Photo by The Elginite).

Monthly open thread. Have fun!

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212 Responses to “May open thread [2013]”

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  1. One Vote says:

    My tax bill arrived today.
    The “savings” from the city (combined Elgin and Elgin Pension) was $24.57 over last year.
    Thanks Kaptain and crew. I paid that much more in one month for trash pick-up, utility taxes and sales taxes.
    Explain to me again how that saved me money?
    And why did we need to do that when we had a surplus?

  2. michael says:

    Yep…I hope all remember this the next voting cycle. Vote them all out…except for Toby (since he was just elected)

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Michael, Terry Gavin will not be on the council until May 8th, so he along with Toby Shaw had no part in the creation of these new taxes. And John Prigge voted against most of the new taxes. And all three of these men (Shaw, Gavin and Prigge) have pledged to fight against the “Rain Tax”.

      But you are right, we do need to keep the memory of the new taxes alive! This is important so that in 2015, we can vote against John Steffen, Anna Moeller and Tish Powell (and Dave Kaptain IF he should run again). All 4 of these council members have not yet had a chance to face the voters since they had their key roles in voting for ALL of the new taxes (trash, electric, gas, liquor, sales tax increase).

      Thanks, Chuck

      • Michael says:

        Chuck,

        Yes, I agree. I was simply referring to the next voting cycle. Everyone running in 2 years EXCEPT for Toby are directly responsible for the taxes. Hopefully we will have some good people to vote for then.

        Yes, enough politics! Hooray for Lou Malnati’s! Do we know of any other businesses that are moving into that strip mall?

  3. SM says:

    Ok, enough with the politics. Now for some more good food news for us Westsiders. A little birdy told me Lou Malnatis is coming to Elgin. Kitty corner from Portillos at Randall and Bowes!

    • RS says:

      Cool! Their website says it’ll be carry out and delivery only. The address is 901-903 S. Randall Rd, which should be in the same strip as Noodles & Co.

  4. Chuck Keysor says:

    Gee, wasn’t it just a year or so ago that everyone was asked to rally around Nick’s Pizza to rescue them from going under? Chuck

  5. One Vote says:

    Mayor Kaptain is in full Hillary mode. His Education Summit is classic liberal tripe.

    • Dustin Good says:

      The Education Summit was far from nonsensical. Yes, it was laced with photo-ops but behind all the P.R. there were meaningful discussions, at least in my group, about improving educational opportunities for our area.

  6. Tim Palmer says:

    I’ll bet nobody mentioned the words “ILLEGAL ALIENS” at this Education Summit. OH NO CAN’T SAY THAT! Nothing will change at U46 until the Elgins and Streamwoods and Hanover Parks quit giving illegals homes to live in. You know its bad when the Elgin white liberals want charter schools to get away from the illegals and their anchor babies. As far as Kaptain goes the only ones who approve of him are the greenies and there ain’t enough of them to win another election.

    • SM says:

      Jay Leno hit the nail on the head the other night on political correctness ruin amuck:

      “And in a groundbreaking move, the Associated Press, the largest news gathering outlet in the world, will no longer use the term ‘illegal immigrant.’ That is out. No longer ‘illegal immigrant.’ They will now use the phrase ‘undocumented Democrat.’”

      • bw says:

        SM: If I remember right it was the friends and relatives of these “undocumented Democrat” that sent Mitt packing last November. It was the best thing that could have happen in the U.S.

        The GOP will never recover. The only hhing they have going for them is their “RIGHT WING”, tea party base. Blacks and “undocumented Democrats” will continue to carry the liberal agenda candidates for years and years.

    • paul says:

      “I’ll bet nobody mentioned the words “ILLEGAL ALIENS” at this Education Summit. ”

      The left has defined the phrase ‘illegal alien’ as bullying terminology and thus not acceptable in what the left defines as civil discourse.
      But then the left also defines bullying as any words or phrase the left doesn’t like. Thus the left deems it perfectly acceptable to bully anyone the left labels as bullying.

      Went to that community ‘lovefest’ after that gang killing on Silver court last month and the very first question asked was why was there a lack of diversity at the ‘lovefest’? I should have stood and asked if I was too white, and left the building. Instead I wasted more time hearing that I (we) need to change our way of thinking!!!! Evidently it is our way of thinking that causes gang killings!!!
      It was worth some time to watch government funded social agencies spew their spin while inadvertently acknowledging they haven’t a clue.

    • Dustin Good says:

      What are you willing to bet?

  7. bw says:

    Tim: “ILLEGAL ALIENS” are here to stay. Just read the news and watch the Congress act this year. Better get use to it. Did you ever think that maybe Kaptain don’t want another term.

    • paul says:

      ” “ILLEGAL ALIENS” are here to stay.”

      No doubt. Legalize 12 million illegals and 12 million more will be here shortly.

      Great to see socialist fascist dumorat Durbin advocating for illegal activity!

      Loved the line from the illegal who said she would get a better job when she becomes legal; ignoring the obvious question of who will do the job she is currently employed at only because she is illegal!

      And how many years has the government statistic of 12 million illegals been stuck at 12 million? 10 years?

  8. Chuck Keysor says:

    We had a good City Council meeting tonight with the swearing in of those newly elected. All the newly sworn in council members got to make a speech. Terry Gavin’s speech was very strongly grounded in themes and principles of conservative values, and was quite stirring. Toby’s speech was very personally touching and moving as he connected with his friends and family who were there to support him in his two year quest for the council. John Prigge’s speech was imbued with his characteristic sense of humor. Carol’s speech was quiet and reasoned.

    The disquieting section of the evening was when Ina Dews during the recognition of persons present stirred the City Manager to state of anger with intimations of racism. I hadn’t really understood what Ina was talking about, as this seemed to have been the continuation of an earlier speech of her’s that I had missed. If anyone can provide some background as to the issue, and why Sean chose to respond as he did, I think the readers here would be interested to know.

    Chuck

    • Danise Habun says:

      Chuck,
      Ms. Dews’ remarks were a continuation from the previous City Council meeting where a request was made by another citizen who, along with Ms. Dews, asked for 2 things: 1) for a review of how the city awards bids for construction jobs and 2) a “softening” of the City’s hiring policy related to criminal background checks. At that meeting, Mr. Stegall responded in length. Part of his response dealt with the large applicant pool that occurs when jobs are posted. Another part of his response addressed the high standards that are set when hiring. He clearly indicated that these standards would not be lowered nor should they be. Ms. Dews chose to interpret his remarks the way she did. Sean’s response last night was quite appropriate.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Thank you Danise. I appreciate your taking time to provide the rest of the story. Thanks, Chuck

    • bw says:

      CK: I don’t care about the candidate’s pandering speech. I want to see some action. Elgin needs a lot of grooming. For instance, look at the weed problem along the railroad on Big Timber Road and at Timber Drive at Elgin Paper Company. The weeds are three feet tall and never get cut. This is par for many spots in Elgin including at State and Kimball at the candidate’s favorite political advertising spot and the lot just North. I keep up my property so I expect the city to do the same all over town. Hiring a college student with a weed trimmer is not going to break the bank. The large hole on State Street at the Railroad Tracks almost took the wheel off my car the ther night when I was coming from the boat. The DNA sees to it that the downtown area is well groomed, what about the rest of the city. I don’t want to hear that that it is the railroads property. The city can put some heat on them to cut their weeds and patch the crossings. Tell the conservative candidates on the council to open their eyes and look at the many housekeeeping jobs that need attention throughout the city. They want to focus their attention on the Rec. Center and the Hemmens. They are large projects that will give them notoriety. Like all elected officials they want the spotlight to help get elected the next cycle. I will be watching if the city gets their house in order by taking care of the things I mentioned, the thinngs voters can see on a daily basis. Elgin is a long way from the “City in the Suburbs” and completeding their Strategic Plan. The need to do a SWOT analysis to recognize the threats that are a challenge to the whole city. I recommend that the member’s of the council drive around the city and list the negative images they spot all over town. The same things the voter sees. Maybe they can develope a plan to fix these eyesores that are not consistent with their strategic poriorities. The same eyesores that upset the citizens of the community. I will hammer on seeing that progress and improvements are made every chance I get. I hope that members of the council read this media and try to connect with the residents through real commmunications. Candidate’s hear is you first assignment. Start communicating with your neighbors outside the walls of city hall and your confortable meeting chambers. You have a long way to go in making Elgin “THE CITY IN THE SUBURBS.”

      • paul says:

        Thank you, bw, for your unwitting hilarity.
        First off, bw, they are not candidates. They are now council members.
        Secondly, you are already blaming the conservative minority council members for the condition of the city after 2 days on the job!!!!
        Thirdly, where were you with your concerns before the election? They significantly raised your taxes while cutting your services and now your complaint is they didn’t raise your taxes enough!!!!
        Fourthly, what did your hero Carol say to you about all your concerns? You have spoken your concerns to her, right? Odd, all your recent daily posts praising her as the greatest elected official in Elgin history and yet she mysteriously disappears from your lengthy diatribe about all the ills, woes, and complaints about the city of Elgin!

        Seriously, bw, you are hilarious.

      • paul says:

        “The weeds are three feet tall and never get cut. ”

        Evidently you haven’t been to any city of Elgin parks lately. They now have ‘no mow’ areas where they just let whatever grows grow.
        That used to be called fields and vacant lots. Now we call them Parks!
        How many Park employees do you suppose got laid off since they reduced mowage? My bet is zero. Ask Carol.

  9. harmony says:

    Well the City spent all this money to establish the 311 call center. But forgot to install the phone and computer lines and I also heard they had not funding any money to run it. Anyone else heard this? Also I guess the spending continues on the community development heads office. Can some one tell me why we have this department head?

  10. ElginSpirit says:

    Images from the May 8th, 2013 City Council Meeting and Swearing-In Ceremony for Toby Shaw, Terry Gavin, Carol Rauschenberger, John Prigge and Richard Dunne (absent via Chilean Sister-City trip) are now online.

    http://elginspirit.com/2013/05/may-8-city-council-agenda-live-tweets-and-video/

  11. harmony says:

    Bw
    I totally agree with you on your comments and I hope the whole council is listening. But again 99% of these image problems are being ignored by the incompetence of the management and staff at the code department. This department needs to be dissolved and reorganized into the police department. Start with a new staff and see the results of new dedicated people who want to work. Do the math 125K for the director, 90k for the manager not counting benefits and so on. AS for Prigge I don’t like his comments in the courier this morning giving Stegal and company praise for their work that has brought us added taxes and lies.

    • bw says:

      harmony, I ignor Prigge as he is the best at pandering his remarks in trying to impress the citizens of Elgin. He is a weak member on the council. He has not worked in the interest of the city. I don’t like his agenda.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Harmony, would you really prefer a police state type code department? I am not sure you realize what you are asking for. Code will tell you that they could find violations on ANY house if they want to. Do you want a knock on your door, telling you to fix this or face an instant fine?

      Who will pay for all of the repairs that you are going to get the energized code department to enforce? Oh, you can’t afford to fix your house up to our standards, as fast as we want? Well that is alright, we will just slap fines on you and bring you to court and get you kicked out of your house, so you can live on the street, and so that we can add a new blighted vacant foreclosed property to Elgin’s inventory…. Is this what you want?

      Also consider, as soon as you try to have a mass code crack down, just wait for new lawsuits, claiming racial bias? Elgin already has been there and done that in the late 1990’s or maybe early 2000’s with the HOPE fair housing lawsuit.

      I don’t know if you get around town or not, and look at houses up close. But every election cycle, I am out going door to door, handing out information, all over town (spread over years). And it is actually rather depressing, seeing how dumpy many areas of Elgin are. I boil it down to the simple fact that most people simply do not have the money to fix their houses, and this is essentially a poor City by and large. That basic fact that people don’t have the money to fix their houses to either your OR their satisfaction, can not be over-looked. That is a fundamental problem.

      Chuck

      • bw says:

        CK: I suggest ypu read my post. It suggest that the city needs to fix the eyesores all over town, Leave the home owner alone utail the city grooms the town like most cities do. I road down Lyle Street today and it is like a washboard. Until you people get on the city council, Elgin will keep going downhill. Im ashamed to live in a city with so many problems. Yes, it takes money to fix up the town. The longer these problems are ignored the worse and more expensive it will cost us taxpayers. Help keep the pressure on the city council. It is their job to get these problems fixed.

  12. harmony says:

    Chuck, So you agree during each election cycle the housing stock is deteriorating. And as a home owner you are alright with that? Do you really feel code is doing their job in a fair manner? Well I thought you really didn’t live under a rock. What happened to the enforcement of code violations to foreclosed properties which you pushed as past president of your neighborhood? The City went out and hired a private firm. Maybe you should file a FOI to find how many illegal units have been removed? How many zoning violations have been removed? How many violations have been complied? How much has this private firm has been paid and how much in fees have been collected.As for the present state of the Code Department they have inspectors out on weekends looking for those obvious violations of garbage on the tree bank, unpaved parking, junk in the yard and issue no warning citations at $50.00 violation But pass up the holes in roofs, missing siding, peeling paint, and life safety issues. I personally know of a owner that has a well maintained house that was out of town and was cited for having an empty beer case on his tree bank over a weekend and tried to have it voided, the code manager would not, yet the house next to the property was foreclosed, unsecured, and where people were partying which probably where the beer case from, which DIDN’T EVEN HAVE AN ACTIVE CODE Why? They might have to work with the homeowner to work out a time table and other resources for compliance without that $50.00 citation.
    The City used to have great code enforcement that was fair, they worked hand in with the Police to shut down gang and drug house, with the Fire department on life safety issues and helping fire victims work red tape after a fire, Public works on tree and street conditions. But that has changed and the present management. That needs to be changed that is why I suggest merging with the Police department where they have the crime free department, put the building department under the Fire department and you eliminate another $90K manager.

    As for lawsuits, the legal department didn’t do their job the first time. Why don’t you file a FOI on how many lawsuits are brought against the city? And how much has been paid to hire outside attorney”s? You will be amazed. And will wonder why we pay our present head legal attorney more then other department heads.

    I challenge you to request these FOI’s and prove me wrong.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Hello Harmony & BW (oops I mean bw, sorry). I have been busy. May I request that you file the FOIAs you have suggested, and you can report to all of us what you find out. You made so many comments that were loosely connected, that without a careful laundry check list to wade through, addressing each one would become rather wearisome.

      Now, as to the larger issue of Code Department, look, it was not an issue in the election cycle. I can recall a few comments by Terry Gavin on the subject, but it was barely even a blip on the radar. I frankly would rather have an under-active Code Department, as opposed to one that you seem to favor. Code can do their job checking after new construction and remodels as they already are doing.

      The much bigger issue in the election was taxation, and excessive taxation in particular. Having a beefed up more active Code Department is not going to do anything but add costs to the City. That is why Code is down in its staffing, as it saves money, and the City is still getting along just fine in many people’s opinion in that regard.

      And as to the larger issue of what you see as Elgin’s mess,,,,you and BW (oops, I mean bw) have scolded the senior staff at City Hall for the image mess of the City. Maybe they have a better handle on this than you do, and don’t see it as a huge issue requiring a fix. I think that is a more correct assessment, based upon my threshold point that if I am not willing to fix a cosmetic issue myself, it probably isn’t that important.

      Elgin would hold more attraction to businesses and homeowners if it had a reduced tax and fee burden. Planting daffodils along the road looks fine, if you ignore the litter and weeds that they are growing up in the midst of.

      You and BW seem to be all worked up over the mess of the City. And you have lauded the efforts of people to do some clean up. Why don’t you use some of your energy to pick up litter and plant flowers, and organize other people to do the same, instead of demanding that the City do this? That would be the fairest way to deal with what you see as a mess, and give you a chance to demonstrate some self-reliance instead of demanding that other do for you what you think should be done.

      Maybe you can adopt a part of your neighborhood to keep cleaned up. Maybe you already have….. In 1997, our neighborhood group, the Near West Neighbors Association, adopted the abandoned railroad property on S. Crystal, at W. Chicago Street. We spent years clearing out garbage, cement, rocks, trash trees, regrading, planting, and even cutting down and removing long abandoned steel support towers that held up a long gone conveyor system. And 10 years ago, we even painted the Union Pacific bridge over W. Chicago Street. And all these years later, I am still out mowing the abandoned railroad station property on S. Crystal through the entire mowing season. (Remember, on COSMETIC issues, I figure if I am not willing to do something about something I don’t like myself, that it isn’t worth complaining about.)

      My point is that our group in general, and myself personally, could have sat around and belly-ached about the mess in our neighborhood. Instead, we took the initiative and have poured in huge amounts of time and energy into cleaning and maintaining the old train station property. Or if you really want to get an example of a group that took the initiative for their neighborhood, look at the Gifford Park Association and all the huge projects they have undertaken over DECADES to improve their neighborhood! WOW!

      I hope that after you are done running all those FOIAs and posting the results here, that you will actually get up and take some action and show some personal responsibility for actually fixing your neighborhood, instead of whining about the city council and the City Staff needing to clean things up. And IF you have already been doing that type of work for years, well please let me know, and I will apologize!

      Chuck

      • RS says:

        That land up there by the railroad would make a nice community garden.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          RS: I have floated that by two individuals who are into such things, and I was told that any gardens in such a spot would have to be raised beds, with fresh dirt, as the soil there may be contaminated, having served as a train repair area over the years, and a general dumping area for the railroad. They weren’t interested. Do you want to garden???? Chuck

          • RS says:

            i would love to help! raised beds sound like a great solution!

            another issue with any community garden is finding a way to tap into the water supply. would that be a problem at this site?

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            RS: You have my email address, let me know if you want to discuss this further. There is no water on site. The nearest water is on the north west corner of W. Chicago and N. Crystal (”kitty corner” from the north end of this site).

            Chuck

          • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

            If the dirt is contaminated how is a raised bed going to prevent the roots of edible vegetables from eventually reaching the contaminated soil?

            RS, if you or anyone wants a garden plot, our church, Highland Fellowship Church, two blocks east of Randall on Highland in Valley Creek has garden plots for a small price.

            call 847/741/6629 for more information

            For Mother’s Day I tilled the soil next to our patio so my wife can try a small garden.

          • Dustin Good says:

            In areas with little or no access to water a thick layer of mulch can be installed over a layer of fertile media (e.g. mushroom compost, topsoil, etc.) which acts as a wet sponge over your soil. Depending on rainfall for the given season watering after install may not be necessary. The wood chips also serve as a source of slow release nutrients which adds to soil fertility each passing season.

            Regarding common sense’s concerns about roots eventually reaching our now contaminated soil, there are several ways around it. We could line the bottom of these raised beds with cardboard (reused of course) using as many layers as we’d like. Adding a layer of rocks on top of the cardboard serves as another barrier while improving drainage. And an additional step would be to elevate the beds to say…..waist high; which would also help those with waist down pain or those using a wheelchair.

            Its seems like everywhere I look in Elgin a new bed is going in and people are sharing plant tips. Great to find it here, buried in this May thread. Let me know if you are interested in advancing this plot(goodustin@gmail.com). I preside over a student group at ECC who would love to help on a project like this. The semester just ended and I know students were already looking to volunteer for the Elgin Community Garden Network.

            Good luck to all of you this season.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Dustin, since you are into gardening (as am I), you should find this following video to be very informative. The concept is based on using fully ground up trees (as opposed to just the bark) as mulch. Check it out and you will be impressed. http://vimeo.com/28055108 Chuck

          • Anonymous says:

            Chuck,

            Thanks for the link! I had heard of the film before but never got around to watching it until last night. Its almost comical how simple solutions can be…and yet people still try to act as though we can “outsmart” nature. Hahaha…I can’t wait to get my own plots going.

            Everyone should be aware of this technique! Thanks again for sharing.

      • bw says:

        CK:: IF you have already been doing that type of work for years, well please let me know, and I will apologize!

        I waiting for an apology as I have been doing twice as much community service in comparison to your listing before I got ill. I’m 77 a lifelong resident of Elgin and have been doing community service since I was 18. I’m now in poor health and cannot do anymore. I even have my own yard work completed. Mowing and trimming every week, fall clean-up ($250), and all inside and outside work in need of repair. We are on a fixed income and our healthcare bills are higher than most seniors, we have a $2000 deductable supplement healthcare poliicy to keep our cost down. If we can pay for someone to do our work, why can’t the city do the same. The city came out with their Strategic Plan covering 2013-2017 It is their Road Map for the Future. Their priorities, objectives and strategies are all part of their improvements as a part of the plan as I read it. In order to make progress I suggested they start with an city overhaul as seen by ever citizen. If they can’t get the work completed by staff, hire it done. The council talk out of both sides of their mouths. Read the plan and then write your remarks.
        Harmony challenged you to prove him wrong via a FOI request. You dump the project back into his court.
        Maybe taxes are not that important to many. Your group are the penny pinchers. You don’t hear me complaining about more cost to get this city into shape. I’m to old to care about taxes anymore. I hope this city council spend whatever they need to start what I suggested in my post. They have a Road Map to follow let them get the vehicle rolling. Whatever it takes, they have my support. I hope they take a hard look at the Rain Tax and if they think it is needed they should pass it like other communities do. Same with any other fees or taxes. I’m not a liberal, I’m a realist.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          BW: For what little it is worth, I’ve done more than I have said, and was not trying to give a catalog of self congratulations, but merely trying to point out some examples of how I try to practice what I preach, and they are all public knowledge.

          I frankly have no clue what you have done, or any way of knowing. So I am not about to apologize for things you may or may not have done, without some verifiable specifics from you. It may be inspirational and motivational if you could share what that past work has been. But more fundamentally, you clearly continue to express the opinion that the work of cleaning up is the government’s responsibility, which goes against the concept that you would be a massive volunteer worker that believes in self-reliance.

          You complain of a fixed income. I have NO income, and have had NO income for pushing 7 years, living entirely off of savings. (I get no governmental assistance of any kind.) I too have had a host of medical plagues over the years and do not function to my normal capacity, and in the 1990s I had 6 years where I got nothing done beyond surviving. That is part of why I choose to live as I do, instead of working to this day.

          And I have a $5000 annual medical deductable, and haven’t seen an MD for close to 7 years. These things motivate me to want lower taxes.

          That is why I find such a huge logical disconnect in your concern over expenses for your insurance and medical bills being so high, yet you have no concern over paying for higher and greater taxes. If you have enough money to pay for all the taxes the City wants to impose, then why would you have a hard time paying your medical bills? You simply make your case unbelievable, casting yet additional question over all of your posts and claims.

          You said: “Harmony challenged you to prove him wrong via a FOIA request. You dump the project back into his court.” Look, why should I be obliged to do the FOIA work Harmony wants? If he or she can challenge me to do the FOIA, I can challenge him to do it himself,,,,, nothing wrong there!

          As to the City’s strategic plan, I commented on it publicly to the Council last December at the Truth in Taxation hearing. I found it to be an empty plan, that as defined, is largely without value. As you describe it, it is a detailed plan for cleaning up the City….. I have a copy of it sitting here in front of me, and I don’t see anything like what you are misleading people to believe is contained in that plan. Sorry……

          Chuck

          • bw says:

            I have a copy of it sitting here in front of me, and I don’t see anything like what you are misleading people to believe is contained in that plan. Sorry……

            I also have a copy in front of me. If you read between the lines and understand the model you would know that those who drafted the plan mean exactly what I’m talking about. Is it necessary to spell out every detail in this road Map for people to understand what it means in the plan riorities, objectives, and strategies in the eight categories listed. It is understood that cleaning up the mess in the city is an integral part of the whole. When you make up a plan for a project you don’t include every detail, you expect that people will know or have some idea what it means. I’m sorry you are so limited in your thought process to be able to fill in the blanks (not exactly listed) that I mentioned in my post. I resent your post suggesting that I’m misleading people. Peole are not dumb. People who take the time to go over the plan will fully understand what I’m suggesting. I notice in you many post you love to take things out of context. All that Ii posted is with the contents of the plan, not spelled out as I did but nevertheless ways to measure the progress of the Road Map. If you choose to believe otherrwist that is you right. Your the one who is misleading people. I suggest you get your act together.

            As far as my accomplishments to the comunty they are well documented. The Courier has a file contining (recognizing) my contributions to the city. I have a box full of awards presented to me throug the years. I don’t intend to list all that I did for this community. Why do you think I go by bw and not my whole name? There are several good reasons. Take my work for it, and my post and claims are every as good as yours.

            Just because you have no income is not a valiid reason to punish the community with no additional taxes and fines. Government cost money to run. If more money is needed to do the job it must be generated with increased revenue. I don’t object to that because people need government services. We all must care for the poor via the government.The poor don’t have to worry because they will benefit without cost. We are our brothers keeper. Don’t ever forget that by your penny pinching mentally. Have a nice day.

          • paul says:

            “If you read between the lines and understand the model you would know that those who drafted the plan mean exactly what I’m talking about.”

            Hilarious, bw. If we would only read what isn’t written we will understand exactly what you are talking about!!!!

            Something about a roadmap, whirled peas (world peace?), and increasing taxes YET AGAIN, Elgin can finally get cleaned up.
            Does that pretty much summarize your position?

          • paul says:

            ” my accomplishments to the comunty they are well documented. The Courier has a file contining (recognizing) my contributions to the city. I have a box full of awards presented to me throug the years. ”

            I’ll read between your lines, bw, and assume your awards were not for spelling, punctuation, or literacy???

  13. harmony says:

    bw
    Are you aware that the City actually owned the property of the old golf course on South Mclean after what I thought was the property they traded with ECC? The weeds were tremendous even obnoxious thistles. Your right the city needs to care of their house first, and again I blame top management!Look what some volunteers did to North State street with the daffodils, why can’t the citydo that?

  14. One Vote says:

    Code enforcement has suffered the 1-2 punch.
    1 - The HUD ruling has made them timid about enforcing the overcrowding issue. That’s the #1 life-safety issue in town. You’ve got 3-4 families in a single family home. They have two families in the basement cooking and sleeping. A fire is all it takes to have some serious fatalities. Cogley talks about new BOCA standards but they still won’t knock on the door, count heads and get out the tape measure. We’re no better off than we were 20 years ago.
    2 - Morale. Not only do code agents have no support for vigorous enforcement, they also get slapped with discrimination suits within the department.

    Soooo, what you end up with is code enforcement picking the low-hanging fruit. My employer moved into new space in an industrial park and put a 3′ x 6′ sign up so our customers could fine us. Within 48 hours code enforcement was at our door looking for the boss.

    Any business with outward signs of growth are targets.

    So, we’ve got the houses loaded up and we can’t do anything about it while code enforcement keeps busy with other things.

    • One Vote says:

      All fatalities are serious. I’m talking about the number of them. Sorry.

  15. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey bw — You weren’t expecting Prigge to thank the mayor or the other council dum-dums in his speech were you? LOL. They cannot be happy so maybe Prigge should have said thank you for helping him win. LOL.

  16. bw says:

    Harmony: I like your challenge to Keysor. I don’t think he will do anything to prove you wrong. When you know a person is right it is better to get off of the subject. CK can see the same problems we are discussing. He lacks vision and overall strategy on how to go about correcting the problems. He wants more value for his tax dollar withoout any increase. Cleaning up the mess comes with a price. A price CK is not willing to pay. Service deliverly is the job of the manager and council. We expect them to take a plan approach to each objective. Grooming up the city cannot be a job beyond theor ability. It will help improve the image of the city for bigger things in the future. You don’t need a PhD to accomplish these easy task. The new members of the council should be able to comprehend these goals. The grooming work can start next week and continue through the summer. Someone needs to step-up to the plate and get the ball rolling.

    • paul says:

      “He wants more value for his tax dollar withoout any increase. ”

      Chuck’s well documented very large tax INCREASE without any increase in services either NEVER happened or completely irrelevant to the likes of liberals like bw.
      So according to bw what we need are MORE tax increases!!!! bw is an unwitting regular comedy routine.

  17. One Vote says:

    What’s the buzz on the beatings/stabbings over on Grove last night?
    15 N Grove is Gasthaus.

    • rm says:

      Perhaps a follow-on to the events of last March.

      http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/18607204-418/one-wounded-in-elgin-bar-shooting.html

      Note particularly Officer Theriault’s remarks on the bloody shooting at the Gasthaus: “Forty people in the bar - no one could tell us what happened.”

      By the way, damned decent of the Daily Herald to report the recent story without mentioning the Gasthaus - and I don’t recall that they reported the March incident at all!

      Is the Gasthaus pitching to fill in the void left in January when Elgin’s leading downtown amateur fight bar and mercado di narcoticos in the old Library finally had its liquor license pulled? Anyway, maybe it’s time for Dave Gathman to do a story on how an old-fashioned German restaurant becomes a gangsta bar. He might want to start his research at the “Fades and Blades” hangout next door. As for the rest of us… stay well clear of that area after dark.

      By the way, when and why did news reports start giving suspects’ addresses only in the ” - hundred block” rather than the specific address? It’s only been in the last few years. Why the coverup?

      • One Vote says:

        Not a great neighborhood.
        Speaking of downtown, did they ever open the old Mad Maggie’s? They had that “soft open” thing for part of it. And what about the pizza place with the subsidized facade? Chooches or some such a thing.
        As for the address thing, The Courier used to give the exact address the the Herald just the block (I think). Something about perp’s rights I suppose.

        • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

          Speaking of the downtown and the tulips being in bloom, how many people while driving through the downtown are having a wonderful visual experience looking at those tulips that are planted inside rectangle planting boxes decorated with black iron fencing?

          I hate that black iron fencing as it detracts from the plants that are suppose to be the main visual focus.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Clarence, I agree with you 100%. And if you look at the cement work, it wasn’t done correctly, so that the iron posts have busted out the cement around many of the legs of the iron fences. And, a downtown store owner told me that the railings you are talking about cost about $110 per foot! OK, that is second hand information…….. Chuck

        • JP says:

          Yeah, it seems like the downtown area is slipping, there have been numerous instances of violence at the Gasthaus as of late. I only visit once in a while, but if [big if] I’m there and it starts to get late I’ll be getting out of there pretty quickly.

          Chooch’s is open but I haven’t been there yet. The bar area looks nice from what I’ve seen walking passed it and from pictures online.

          I think the old Maggie’s business that had a “soft-opening” last Thanksgiving closed within a week. I recall reading that they had an issue with permits and their elevator, but I can’t say if that’s real or not. A new Mexican restaurant has opened there called Mr. Tequila.

          Mr. Tequila - https://www.facebook.com/MrTequilaDeElgin?ref=stream
          Chooch’s - http://choochspizza.com/

        • rm says:

          OV, I’ve been to Chooch’s a couple of times and found it pretty good. Good pizza, pasta, soups and salads, generous portions, a good bar with quality labels, and nice environment. Why not do a little browsing in the used bookstore next door and then drop in to give it a try?

          Further down the street is a new breakfast/lunch spot called On The Side in the Red Bar space. Haven’t been there, but I’ve heard good things about it, and the menu looks attractive:

          http://www.onthesiderestaurant.com/

    • JP says:

      Follow up to last weekend’s Gasthaus event: Two gang members were arrested.

  18. Ernie says:

    Hey Tim Palmer, I mean John Prigge, don’t hurt your arm patting yourself on the back.

  19. harmony says:

    Congratulations to the animal control officers they have effectively shut down 3 horrible animal abuse houses. Shame on the Code Department again all 3 of these properties are rental units. The last case on Villa would not require a rental license inspection because it is family occupied but has had extensive code cases in the past and should of been closely monitored. This is why I have suggested the Code department be handled by the Police Department and given examples how money could be saved.

  20. bw says:

    harmony: The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to prioritize an approach to the area of concern you discuss in your post. Public Safety and Neighborhoods are two of the eight areas the council should consider as part of the Road Mad for the Future. A switch from the Code Department to the Police Department could be an objective that the council could consider under the plan in the areas I mentioned above. There are those indiviiduals who would not agree but they lack the ability to understand the real purpose of the plan as outlined under the eight highest priority areas. Safety and Neighborhoods are major focus areas. Things like the Code department and poor grooming in every neighborhood, according to them, is not part of the purpose of the 2013-2017 plan. They want a line item under each one of the eight major category. In other words, they want every item to be listed under a major heading of one the eight. They can’t connect the dots unless someone organizes the plan so a kid K-6 would understand it. If it is not listed the plan don’t include it is their way of thinking. The overall plan is way to deep for them to comprehend. You are on the right track. Just expect some flack and consider the source. Your suggestions are great. Don’t back down in something you believe is right.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Hello Harmony and BW. Of course we disagree, and my post is for the benefit of other readers who may be interested in the other side, ie why it would be bad to have the Code Department be merged with the police department. Here is what comes to my mind, and hopefully others can offer their ideas:

      a) My exposure to the EPD is that they are truly servants to the public, and they have to work very hard to earn the trust and confidence of the public. They value their rapport with the community, and frankly depend on it for the effectiveness of their department.

      Now, imagine the case where someone has someone break into their house, and they also have code issues. Will they want to invite the EPD into their house to help with solving a crime, or will they say, “I am not going to allow the EPD into my house and bring down the City on my back for peeling paint in my kitchen, or the illegal apartment in my basement. I had better not call the EPD….”

      When people clam up, and won’t talk to the EPD, that makes it harder for the EPD to do their VITAL work. This is the number one reason your idea of having the EPD handle Code, or even having Code in the EPD is a bad idea. Ask Chief Swoboda about this.

      b) You want the EPD to handle Code, because it will elevate the power and fear of the Code department to the maximum level of authority, which from the point of view of people who love big government, and have little regard for individual liberties, this must seem pretty awesome. From the point of view of someone who believes that government is here to serve the people and not control their lives, the EPD is entirely the wrong entity to run Code.

      c) Beyond the fear and power aspects, there is no justification for assuming a toughened Code department will still not just get lawsuits to be filed against the City, costing us all money, and for what?????

      d) The fact that you don’t like the Code Department’s performance does not mean it is even broken. You don’t like it, but I think it is fine, as a balance between taking care of what must be taken care of, and not being too intrusive. Merging it with the EPD won’t fix what isn’t broken.

      Frankly, you guys may simply like the idea of asking the IRS to take over Code. You have no doubt seen in the news how they are good at intimidating people.

      Chuck

      • bw says:

        CK: You’re entitled to your opinions like every other citizen. It is an area that should be investigated. Nothing is written in concrete. The members of the council will make the final decision on all issues that comes before them. The EPD could have a seperate unit to do the code enforcement. Similar to the Sheriff doing real estate sales and evictions. Your IRS remark was not necessary. We want to clean up the city not intimidate people.

  21. Cruex says:

    Terry Gavin’s speech after his swear in where he said the top 3 vote getters pledged no more taxes made a good point. What pleased me the most after watching the council meeting is the feeling that we are now watching the last of Powell, Moeller and Steffen. Only a catastrophe at the the polls or bad candidate choices will get them back in office. All 3 will again demand more tax and fee increases for the future knowing that the new liberal Dunne and confirmed coat tail rider Rauschenberger will go along. If they suddenly find God and start caring about taxpayers they will be scorned by their liberal brotherhood and seen as phonies by the rest of the public. All of it means good things in 2015.

    • SIE says:

      Once taxes are implemented they are rarely repealed. A lot of damage will be done by 2015. The best hope for any meaningful change would have been a clean sweep in last month’s election. It didn’t happen and the Council will continue along the same path as it has the previous four years with a 6-3 majority instead of 6-1.

  22. harmony says:

    Chuck, with your comments and having a “soft’ code department. It would appear that the City dissolve that department? And save some money. You appear very happy not having a code department that focuses on life safety issues, overlooks overcrowding, doesn’t mind lead base peeling paint. Heck Chuck you would make a normal City of Elgin code enforcement officer. Because that is the exact attitude of that department. How about that falling ceiling at the Black Hawk apartments? DH states 7 displaced from that apartment Why was the lady and child sleeping in the living room? Could it be a 2 bedroom apartment? By the way Hanover Parks code department is under the police department and I haven’t heard of any lawsuits.

    • paul says:

      “Why was the lady and child sleeping in the living room?”

      Because we live in America where we don’t have to fear storm trooper Nazi’s breaking down our doors to count the number of people in our homes and exactly where we might be sleeping.

      Apparently harmony never heard about the federal lawsuit brought against the City of ELgin about 10 years ago for code enforcement against overcrowding living conditions. The City of Elgin LOST.

  23. Chuck Keysor says:

    Harmony, I did say the present Code Department strikes a reasonable balance, I did not say to eliminate the Code Department.

    Ask how many people in Hanover Park know that Elgin was sued, and they probably wouldn’t know a thing about it. Ask most Elginites, and they wouldn’t know about our having been sued. The fact that you aren’t aware of a problem in another City really means nothing.

    The facts are that Elgin had a huge problem, and is now being reasonably prudent in avoiding repeating the problem again. While I am not a lawyer by any stretch, it would seem that since Elgin has a “record” for discrimination in the eyes of the court, that a second offense could be treated more harshly than our first offense. And it would not be unreasonable to expect that there are lots of eyes watching Elgin, just itching for the chance to file a suit and charge that Elgin is biased. (Did you watch the most recent council session with the City Manager having to fend off charges of racism?)

    There is a hair trigger on this matter, and you are unwittingly begging to spring this trap of a big lawsuit onto the taxpayers of Elgin. Sorry, we disagree on this totally. Chuck

  24. bw says:

    CK: (Did you watch the most recent council session with the City Manager having to fend off charges of racism?) Yes, I waatched the bully go off on the poor little old lady Not a professional acting public servant at all. He should of had more control of his emotions and considered the source. He showed his true colors. We have a bully for a city manager. The thing we’re trying to overcome in our society. He lost all creditability with many Elgin citizens by his actions.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Thank you BW, we agree on something. But my point was, there are certainly a good number of people waiting to spring the racial bias issue on Elgin, deserved or not. Chuck

  25. bw says:

    CK: I know what your point was. You can’t run good government based on what you think people are or are not going to do. If you are right, you don’t have to worry about legal action. You or I could file a lawsuit anytime we think we have an actionable issue. Filing an action is one thing. Winning the action is another. The city has to move forward without fear of legal action.

  26. paul says:

    “You can’t run good government based on what you think people are or are not going to do.”

    You certainly can’t run a good totalitarian government based on what people want to do.

    “If you are right, you don’t have to worry about legal action.”

    If you are totalitarian you don’t have worry about legal action. Witness IRS political targeting, AP new service massive wiretapping, and Benghazi lies.

    ” Filing an action is one thing. Winning the action is another.”

    Apparently bw is clueless about Elgin LOSING the federal lawsuit 10 years ago.

  27. harmony says:

    Quit living in the past! Elgin lost because of a spineless Elgin Legal department.By the way is still run by the same guy. Who also happens to be the highest paid Elgin employee. As I said before Chuck run a FOI on lawsuits against Elgin and the amount paid to outside attorneys,and don’t ask me to do it, prove me wrong on the incompetence of your City’s top management.As for Stegal what did you expect the seed does not fall from the tree.

  28. Chuck Keysor says:

    Harmony,,,,,, are you now asking me to run FOIAs so that I can see the “incompetence” of Elgin’s top management? What makes you think I disagree with that? I don’t need FOIAs, I have plenty of first hand experience and observations to go on for that issue. Chuck

  29. Gibster says:

    And the saga continues… what are your thoughts on how the city Code and Safety departments are handling the recent ‘elevator’ situation with the historic Elgin Tower Building? Should the Stickling Foundation ‘give-up’ and fold? Sell the building at auction to a private investor? Should the city step in to take over like the old Woolworths or ERC?

    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/20125216-418/elgin-tower-building-faces-another-elevator-inspection-deadline.html

    • RS says:

      If the foundation can’t manage it, then they’ll have to sell it. I don’t see why the city would be involved. What would the city do with the building? Operate it at a loss for the benefit of subsidized tenants? I think Elgin OCTAVE would have a thing or two to say about that.

      • bw says:

        RS: Iagree, let Ted Myers worry about the building, he has made tons off of the foundation.

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      Let market forces determine the fate of the Tower Building and Woolworth’s. No need to use our tax payer money.

      • Todd Martin says:

        The Stickling Foundation appears to lack the resources and talent needed to successfully operate and maintain the Tower Building. Certainly, it is desirable from historical, cultural, marketing, artistic, and economically for the structure to remain.

        The best solution to this issue depends on a few questions:

        1) Would a Tower renovation be more successful as office space, retail or as residential (apartments or condominiums)?
        2) How much money would it take to renovate the Tower for each of these uses?
        3) What changes need to take place in Elgin downtown to make the Tower building more attractive for investment and utilization?

        What should be done?

        The DNA (with the help of the Elgin Chamber of Commerc) should do a market analysis of the Tower to answer questions 1 & 3. If the downtown is glutted with overcapacity in office space, for example, it makes little sense to renovate the building to compete in that market unless you’re willing to remove less desirable office space in the downtown from the market.

        The Stickling Foundation should get up-to-date cost estimates on renovation costs for various uses of the Tower. You can’t come up with a plan or a solution without knowing the funding requirements.

        After the homework is done, the City and any other possible investors can make an informed choice.

        The City has a lot more options than to choose between purchasing the building or nothing. In my view, the structure is too valuable to just “let nature take its course”. I’d prefer a more rational answer.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          Good question Gibster.

          I will side with the free market forces side. If the Stickling Foundation, for whatever reason, can not make a go of the building, then the only option should be that of putting it up for sale. Individual investors should have to figure out what they can use the building for, and then gamble their own money. Don’t come to the City of Elgin looking for a handout to make a go of some risky business. We have seen time and time again how the City stinks at picking winners and losers. (It isn’t their business, and they are bad at it, a double whammy. But mark my words, when some crazy investor comes up with a hair-brained idea, they will come to the City looking for money. Forget it, and just put a big sign on the building, for sale, NO incentives available from the City of Elgin.)

          Further, the City and State are already offering NEGATIVE incentives, with their demands that the elevators be upgraded. They can demand that the elevators be safe, but NOT that they must be automated. An old fashioned manually operated elevator can be totally safe, and a regular inspection of what is there can provide certification of that fact. So why toss into all of this complex mix an added expense to replace two elevators, making the building less attractive to the free market forces that should be running this.

          And by free market forces, we are talking NOT about DNA and the Elgin Chamber. They are both dependent upon the City of Elgin, and only represent the potential for added meddling by the City.

          And Todd, we agree, a rational answer is need. But for me, the first step to making this a rational process, is to assure that:
          a) The City of Elgin has nothing to do with planning what happens with the building
          b) The City even clarifies in advance that they will NOT offer a single penny of incentives.
          b) The authorities in Elgin and the State agree that the manual elevators do NOT have to be replaced, simply that they must be fully inspected (of course).

          Establishing all of these conditions up from before the building even goes up for sale, should that happen, would not only provide unprecedented clarity, it would also free the present building from the crushing expense of needlessly replacing perfectly good elevators, which may help keep the Foundation solvent.

          Chuck

          • Anonymous says:

            Chuck,

            I do not think it’s fair to single out the Stickling Foundation to deny them the use of DNA or Chamber of Commerce resources. Nor do I think it is appropriate to dismantle these organizations because they have ties with the City.

            Since there is a community benefit to having the Tower building in our downtown (Icon, History, Art, Beauty, Landmark, Identity, Economics), it is reasonable for the City and other civic institutions to consider ways of helping that structure survive and generate tax revenue.

            The “free market” does not care about Elgin, beauty, history, art, safety, or Icons. It is not a perfect system that produces best outcomes in all circumstances. Even so, the “free market” works a lot better with good information. A market study for the building and cost estimates would go a long way toward allowing investors to make prudent choices.

            Personally, I think manual elevators are a lousy long-term business expense for a skyscraper. They should be automated as part of any serious renovation project.

            I don’t think it is wise to rule out any public investments into the Tower building NO MATTER WHAT. That’s blind ideology. If one comes forward, listen to the proposal and get the facts before making a judgement. It may very well be that the solution is something completely different than what you expect. Remember also that public investments do not always fail. An eternal pessimist never succeeds in the long run.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Dear Anonymous:

            A)Did I say to dismantle the DNA or the Chamber? No. What I have said in the past was that these organizations should be self-supporting, without any money from the City of Elgin.

            B) It looks like the purchase deal has been arrived at without any plans or studies made by the City, the Chamber or the DNA….. Could this be the “Free Market” at work, without any $$$ from the taxpayers???

            C)”Blind ideology” is what you call it,,,, I call it experientially based prudence. If something is worth doing, then someone in the private sector will want to fund it. So why put the taxpayers at risk for money that is not providing a core service?

            D) I believe you referred to me as “An eternal pessimist” at the end of your thread. Not joking,,, but I could say that you are the eternal pessimist, because you don’t seem to ever believe that the “Free Market” works, and that governmental intervention is needed for anything to succeed. If you disagree with me, you can say why. Or simply say you disagree with me. But there is no need to apply easily manipulated negative labels as they do nothing to strengthen your position.

            E) Also, if you weren’t aware of the rule, you are not supposed to post anonymously. Especially when you can make up any name, or even use your own name!

            Chuck

        • RS says:

          A couple of comments have talked about how it’s good to have the building there. Well, the building is not going anywhere regardless of who owns it or what they’re going to do with it. You can’t move a 15 story building. And demolition is not going to happen because it would cost more than any other option.

        • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

          Todd, I have lived in Elgin for 41 years and after my daughter’s braces were taken off in the Tower Building I have not had a desire to return to that building. Not even to ride the elevator with a live human operator.

          This is not a job for the city. The city can’t do anything with there downtown that is very productive.

          I don’t know if it was the DNA or the city but those black foot and a half rails around every flower box downtown is the most ugly unnatural thing to look at.

          I believe the Mayor was hosting some officials from other towns recently. I would not want them to look at our downtown and see the few tulip and greenery hidden behind all that black iron. Our downtown landscaping in my eyes must be the laughing stock of the Fox Valley or a great showcase for selling black iron railing.

          Government is not to be the solution to every capitalistic problem that gets into trouble.

          Chuck has a very good common sense solution to ease up on the elevator standards as long as they are safe.

      • rm says:

        Whatever side you’re on regarding the public policy issues on funding Tower Building renovations, the building is a valued part of Elgin’s Art Deco heritage:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuTApiM-VFw

  30. harmony says:

    Well Chuck we finally agree!! We have had a great debate on the code enforcement in the City. Hopefully our newly elected officials will take up the matter. Both sides I think have provided plenty of “thinking thoughts”. Great responses,looking forward to the next debate.

  31. harmony says:

    Whoops, And thank you bw for your input also. You also came up with some great ideas and responses. I commend you on your community volunteer involvement, I as you have some great placates on the wall for volunteer and projects and I agree with you it is much more fun being anonymous.
    I think all 3 of us want to see this City restored, but we are just frustrated by our City government.

  32. bw says:

    The Gorman group will purchase the Tower building for $1.15 million. They want to build apartment complexes. Their looking for investors and grants. The city needs to let them know up front that no money is available from them. Also that they will get no tax reduction from Elgin. The building is worth saving but the Gorman Group need to get funding from the Federal and State for their project. The city management need to wish them luck and grant them the proper zoning for the project providing it mmets Elgin’s code. Not one cent should come out of the city’s budget for any part of Gorman’s project. The deal should be between Gorman and the Stickling Foundation. Elgin is not the “Shark Tank” and they should let Gorman know that the city is out of any financial arrangement.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Wow bw, we agree again! Agreed, not a penny from Elgin’s taxpayers should be used to make this deal happen. Chuck

      • bw says:

        CK: Why get excited about the DNA or Chamber. They lost most of their clout to city government when Mayor Schock lost to Kaptain. Look at all the money that was spent downtown and for what? Consider the source and let their comments roll off your back. Downtown is one of the eight priority areas in the Stratrgic Plan. I don’t know what the city expects to achieve in the “big picture” with downtown Elgin. Downtown Elgin has a lack of clear identity as a business district. The DNA and the Chamber perceptions are not based on reality. If it was not for the boat, downtown Elgin would be a goast town. There is a lack of connnection to the citizens and the downtown district.

        • paul says:

          “Look at all the money that was spent downtown and for what?”

          To clean up the city as you demanded? Apparently they haven’t spent enough given your demand for tax increases.

          “Downtown is one of the eight priority areas in the Stratrgic Plan.”

          Is that good or bad? Must be good given your exalted praise of the Strategic vision - whatever that is - beyond the vision to increase taxes even further.

          ” Downtown Elgin has a lack of clear identity as a business district. ”

          For more than 40 years encompassing the entire reign of your hero councilman Gilliam.

          ” . I don’t know what the city expects to achieve in the “big picture” with downtown Elgin. ”

          $4 million of taxpayer money to bring low-income subsidized housing to downtown ArtSpace might be a clue. Your regime that squandered that money is still in control. As you have stated, Prigge, Gavin and Shaw don’t have enough votes to change that.

          Ask Carol!!! More of the same. All we need are higher taxes and life will be nirvana.

    • RS says:

      Well, you have to wonder what the Stickling Foundation is going to do with the $1.15M. I thought they were in such a pickle that they were ready to offload the building to the DNA for free. So if Gorman wants money for this project, shouldn’t it come from the Stickling Foundation not taxpayers?

      What else is the foundation going to do with the money? Its entire purpose was to preserve and operate the Tower Building. Now that Gorman is going to do that, it kind of sounds like they [Gorman] should keep the money.

      • bw says:

        RS: A 4+ acre parcel of commercial land located on the corner of Illinois Routes 25 and 68 in West Dundee,(East Dundee) Illinois is being sold by the Stickling estate upon the closing of which the proceeds will be distributed to the Foundation. The property sold for a good deal more than one million and a gas station and car wash have been built on the real estate. Did the foundation use those proceeds for maintaining the Tower building also? Ted Meyers was the attorney for that sale.

  33. paul says:

    The Stickling foundation is a private foundation. It is not a charity.
    I believe the Stickling foundation also owned the Professional building and prudently sold it off to fund the Tower Building upkeep and maintenance.
    What the foundation does with $1.15 million will be up to the last will and testament of Stickling in accordance with the law.

    Gorman sounds like the best possible solution. The Tower building would probably eventually fall into taxpayer funded government hands eventually if major capital improvements were not done. Then the taxpayers could make the massive capital investments to either improve the building or tear it down.
    ANY tear town will be taxpayer funded. Put that into your calculations when you demand no taxpayer money, no TIF, not a dime of public support to keep that building standing.

    This is a town that provides hundreds of thousands of grant dollars (millions?) every year to private homeowners (many well-to-do) to maintain their private homes!!!

  34. Cruex says:

    For the next two years there are more than enough votes on the city council to give Gorman anything they want financially. Gorman better make their pitch before 2015 though because Gavin, Prigge and Shaw will say no, while the six liberals will say yes and then be voted out of office before the new elevators are placed.

  35. paul says:

    “the six liberals will say yes and then be voted out of office”

    They weren’t voted out of office after giving $4 million to private Artspace organization to bring low income subsidized housing to city center.

  36. bw says:

    Read about the background of the TOWER building, including the historical status:

    http://elgintowerbuilding.com/2012/05/hello-world/

    Seeing that the federal and state are involved, it will not be a quick and easy real estate transaction. Check out the FQ&A section for a good start.

  37. Tim says:

    In regards to the code enforcement talk.

    I believe Elgin is either ignoring or just plain doesn’t care. When you see a block with 8 homes, driveways full and the street packed with cars and scrap metal trucks it’s evident there is a problem with occupancy.

    When homes are falling down, overgrown, and in various states of disrepair or complete neglect its time to step in. As a property owner that cares for and maintains my property it negatively affects my value and neighborhood appeal when people treat their homes like giant dumpsters.

    I do t want to hear about how fines wont work, and people can’t afford to maintain. If that’s the case, then move to an apartment somewhere else, and either have to property sold to a capable family or torn down and left as green space.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Tim, with the assumption that you don’t live next door to me,,,, why don’t you simply complain to the code department about the issues that you have cited, and report to us what happens?

      In my capacity of Near West Neighbors President, I had people in our neighborhood complain about code issues, but they were afraid to call in the complaints, as honest, there are lots of people that fear code, and are afraid word will leak back about who complained, touching off a local “phone in your neighbor’s code violation” war. So to those people afraid to call, I asked them to do this themselves, and I don’t think they ever did.

      It has long been my understanding that Code is complaint driven. It is not illogical to consider that if no one is complaining, maybe the issue isn’t so bad, just let sleeping dogs lie sort of thing. So if you start to complain, you may well see some action.

      However, you may want to consider what may happen if someone suspects you as the source of the complaint. You may suddenly find someone complaining about your house. And as I have noted, Code has told me that they can find violations on ANY house. That was why the people who asked me to file complaints were afraid to do so themselves. You may live to regret your actions.

      Your comments about telling people who can’t afford to fix their house to your satisfaction is rather heartless, to put it mildly. I could easily pour $50,000 into fixing my house on the outside. But I don’t have that money to spend. I keep puttering around trying to fix everything myself. But when you have a big old house, things can get away from you. Some people look at my house, and tell me, wow, what a cool house you have. Others look at it and tell me, gee,,,, you sure need a lot of work….. So much is also in the eye of the beholder.

      I hope you will remember the golden rule, that you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you before you start phoning in complaints on your neighbors.

      Peace, Chuck

  38. Tim says:

    There’s a discernible difference between someone that actually cares and makes an effort, and the homes I’m referring to.

    You can drive south on 25 and probably find 80 houses that are so unkept that they are better served to just be torn down. The curb appeal in this town is well beyond non existent.

    My comments you may consider heartless, but they are the facts of life. If you can’t maintain a car, it breaks and you take the bus. Nobody lets you park your junker in the road to rot.

    • paul says:

      Most of us can readily identify with your concerns and frustrations, Tim.
      Most of us bust our rear in maintaining our properties. Then there are a few that do nothing, And fewer still who actually trash their property.

      Do not be afraid to call code enforcement. Code enforcement only responds to complaints, apparently. Code enforcement personnel drive by the same junk cars, unmowed property, and junk furniture on the tree bank that we drive by everyday. They will do nothing unless a complaint is registered. Just like the EPD - why do you think loud car stereos are 24/7 despite $500 fines?

      Mayor Kaptain told our neighborhood directly last week to call code enforcement concerning quality of life issues. Mayor Kaptain actually understands how hard most people work to maintain their properties. Kaptain understands that unkempt properties denigrate entire neighborhoods and all the hard work everyone else does.
      Kaptain wants you to call code enforcement.
      I’ve called code numerous times over the years and have always gotten effective responses rectifying the situations. Calling the EPD - not very effective!

      There is nothing code can do about legally parked vehicles in the street. Code cannot go into people’s homes because you claim the homes are overcrowded.

      Ask Chuck about the his rants and raves over the foreclosed house next door to him a few years back. He had a whole different attitude back then about code violations.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Paul, you know, I’d like to know why you think I ever made a big rant or rave on the vacant foreclosed property issue. I never spoke to the council about it. I never wrote a letter to the editor about it. I never spoke to the Near West Neighbors about it.

        I only discussed it publicly at two locations. One was at a SWAN meeting, where they had as a standing agenda item how to deal with the vacant foreclosed properties in their neighborhood. The ONLY other place was at Unity Fest, where I talked to 3 or 4 people about my proposal.

        I recall just a couple of days after Unity Fest, that someone ripped into me for “ranting about the crazy vacant property proposal” in a post on the Daily Herald. What is this ranting business? I think had you accused me of RAMBLING about the proposal, you would have been more on the mark. I am not predisposed to ranting. That requires fist pounding and swearing vile oaths, and I have never done either.

        Out of my entire life, that proposal represents about 1 billionth of my existence. What it represented was my being aware of a problem that many people were talking about. And I heard a long discussion about this at a City Council retreat. I listened to some really lame discussions, and heard how nothing could be done, beyond a marginal program that Rich Dunne had found being used somewhere in northern Illinois.

        I started to look at this as a, gee, what is so hard about this situation, and started to think about it. My curiosity in seeing if I could propose something that could be acted upon took greater control over me than was characteristic of me, in that I usually follow my ideologies as guiding principals, and in this case, I did not. But being a flawed human, I lost my sight of things as a result.

        The program as I proposed it was much simpler than what it turned into. But again, it gave me valuable insights to further ground my opinions. I got to see how the mayor fulfilled certain parts of his role. It was actually interesting, because when I explained this to the Mayor, the first time through he said, Sorry Chuck, legal/council says there is just no way to do this. I then repeated the concept, because he seemed to have missed some key points. Upon the second run through, he went, OH, now I get it. And he then brought it up to the council that very evening as a suggestion asking staff to investigate.

        And I got a different view of how councilmen can interact with their constituents, as I complained to two councilmen over what had become of my proposal, and I was, in effect, told to bug off and mind my own business. So with that, I had nothing further to do with this, except to keep getting little darts from you over this.

        But my role model was in fact my neighbor’s house. You know, they say statistically, you are most likely to get into a car accident within 5 blocks of your house, because that is where you actually drive the most. Using that as a corollary, I would say that if you are going to propose an ordinance about a foreclosed property problem, that the model will be within 5 blocks of your house…..

        I got nothing out of it. All I got out of it actually, was a summer’s worth of mowing the lawn of the foreclosed vacant house next door. By the end of that summer, that yard looked nicer than it had in 10 years.

        So now this adds up to maybe 2 billionths of my life! (I should have just kept reading the biography of Alexander Hamilton instead.) Chuck

        • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

          Chuck, there is a good possibility the my wife’s relatives are related to Alexander Hamilton. I hope you find a lot of good things about him.

  39. Chuck Keysor says:

    Tim, if that is how you feel, maybe you should, as I suggested (with trepidation), go ahead and report these houses. Then keep us posted as to what happens. Chuck

  40. harmony says:

    Boy Chuck, Just when I thought we agreed you blow it out of the water again. I am getting ashamed that you consider yourself conservative your comments sure sound liberal to me. Chuck you have to have a code department to be afraid of, it appears your scared as h—. Get real. This code department needs to be dissolved completely and start over. new employees, new management just that simple.I haven’t seen a code department car in my neighborhood in years,I live on the southeast side and years ago I would see the same car every other day some times every day and ya know what?? I never had to call a complaint in that inspector took care of the area! Where has that kind of inspectors gone? You can go down any major street and Elgin and see nothing but s—, may be we could get that guy that showed off downtown to the officials of St Charles, Geneva around the neighborhoods to show them what lack of enforcement we have and go ahead and blame a lawsuit from 10 years ago, heck there isn’t a inspector or management around from then,WHAT IS THE EXCUSE!

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Harmony, there is a spectrum of conservativism, and I am closer to the Libertarian end of things (though not that far). That end of of the spectrum says government tends to be excessive. Visiting family in Texas, where their city has minimal code enforcement, I am impressed with how well things run by themselves. You are looking to have government solve your problems, which from my point of view puts you far to the left of me. Chuck

    • bw says:

      harmony: I fully agree with your post. The code department use to be everywhere and sent the property owner a letter giving 15 days to get your property in order. I can picture that short guy and his crew roaming the city looking for things that needed enforceemnt and following through to see that the problem(s) were fixed. Elgin had a strong code department at one time and things got taken care of without a lot of bull. They must have taken all of those code department funds and used them to do the millions of dollars of repairs to downtown Elgin. Chuck is a product of neigborhood associations the groups that have had a negative impact of the entire city. They opposs the positive for the whole city and worry about their own neighborhood. DNA is a great example of that philosophy. Downtown Elgin is in the worse shape I have seen in my 77 years as a citizen of the community. WHAT IS THE EXCUSE?

      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

        Talk about the downtown being in bad shape. I drive through it every Monday on my way to Schaumburg and all I see is expensive black metal fencing for the most part hiding tulips and other greenery. A professional landscaper or florist knows that it is the flowers and greenery that need to be the focus of the eye not the expensive black metal fencing surrounding it. I imagine it was TIF funds that paid for that ugly eye distraction?

    • paul says:

      Apparently harmony and bw refuse to call code enforcement, too.

      ” I haven’t seen a code department car in my neighborhood in years”

      Then you and your neighbors have never called them. One JUST drove by my house 5 minutes ago; and I haven’t called them. That is an evident fact.

      Stop babbling in broad generalities and provide documentable evidence. You REFUSE to call code and whine snivel and complain about lack of code enforcement!!!! Unbelievable.

      “WHAT IS THE EXCUSE!”

  41. Chuck Keysor says:

    PS to Harmony: As to being afraid, I am the one posting with my name. It is easy to sound tough when you are hiding behind a made up name/pseudonym. Chuck

  42. One Vote says:

    The EPD love triangle is like an STD. It just keeps on giving.

  43. harmony says:

    PS to Chuck I really could care less what your name is.You pulled the same thing with bw. We are debating our ideas here. Our name or your name mean nothing unless you are using this forum to advance into the future,
    Paul, you must be on a main corridor to be lucky enough to see a “code car” are you sure you saw one? It may have been a public works unit. And Paul, I and my wife have called the code department several times after we stopped seeing that officer patrolling in our neighborhood. They have caller ID and have stop returning our voice mail.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Harmony, we strongly disagree on the effect that writing under our real name has. In the days of the active Daily Herald blogging, I was a regular, and I did not use my real name. I know it is a lot easier to get carried away and say things you would never say when no one knows who you are. When the Daily Herald put up their pay wall, and I moved here, I felt I needed to speak with some personal accountability and that in order to do so, I had to use my own name.

      Of course I “pulled the same thing with bw”, because she, he or it, is in the exact same situation as you are. It is not a trick to pull, but is instead a valid argument against writing without accountability.

      Try and go to speak to the City Council and say, hello, my name is Harmony…. The Mayor will tell you to sit down. Try to write a letter to the editor, and sign that as Harmony…. See where that gets you. Your name is important, and if you used your real name, you would more likely than not exercise greater consideration over what you write.

      Chuck

      • paul says:

        Chuck, Because YOU use your real name you believe you have more moral authority than those who do not. YOU do not.

        The irony (sweet and delicious) is your admonishment to others on this board not to call code enforcement for fear of retribution from Code or your neighbors!!!
        As the city falls down around us.
        And by extension of logic do not call the EPD for the very same fear( or greater fear) of retribution from people wearing guns and/or your neighbors.

        Why I don’t use my real name is due to the belief of many and particular among liberals that ANY disagreement is deemed UNCIVIL. (why liberal talk radio doesn’t exist - because disagreement is not allowed). I don’t need people I’ve never met or talked to doing their hate mongering routine on me behind my back. Prime example is an educated professional politically active liberal who never met YOU telling me that you and your neighborhood organization are racist (I don’t know you but I sincerely doubt that). For me to dispute his claim would have been deemed uncivil. What do you think Gilliam’s public statement that you were out to crucify him was all about? An explanation was not required - he should have said nothing - he was rallying his base against the racism of neo-KKK Elgin Octave!

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Paul, I know that I do not have a higher moral authority because I use my real name. My point is, and has been, that when people use their real names, they are more careful AND considerate in what they say, at least I believe in most cases. I pointed out that when I used to post without my name on the Daily Herald, that I too would on occasion say things that were in poor taste.

        My personal reason for not calling code is primarily the golden rule. The fact that I admonished others to beware of what they may unwittingly and regrettably unleash upon themselves, is because I believe that line of reasoning carries greater weight with most people.

        As to the EPD, I have called them before. In one case maybe 4 years ago, the man I reported for urinating by the cobblestone house at 302 W. Chicago Street came and threatened me after the police left. (The officer asked me to identify the public uninator in front of the offender, and perhaps stupidly, I did…. and the officer didn’t even do anything to the offender.)

        Interestingly, on 9/11/1999, I did the opposite concerning retribution…. I had a man try to kick in my back door while I was at home. He was shouting at me that “I will lay you away” mixed in with lots of loud profanity. I am assuming that by screaming “lay you away” he was threatening to kill me. I frantically dialed 911 and the EPD showed up, right as the lunatic broke in my back door. They wrestled him to the ground, and when subdued, this muscle bound hulk became totally meek, and told the EPD that he was only walking through my yard! The arresting officer said the man had no record except for DUI, and he felt the intruder was high on something. The officer recommended to me that I NOT press charges, because that would likely only encourage him to come back and get revenge. Fourteen years later, I still don’t know if I did the right thing, but the crazy man never came back.

        So, there are my two cases of my calling the EPD where retaliation was in fact a real threat. In one case I ignored the threat of retribution, and in the other case I did not.

        Chuck

        PS: Thank you again EPD for quite possibly saving my life!

        • bw says:

          CK: So we all should all use our real name because Chuck thinks we should. Identity theft is the main reason people don’t use a real name on social networks. End of debate.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          bw, I’ll let you know when someone tries to steal my identity. It hasn’t happened yet. Chuck

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            PS: I even have my name, address and phone number in the phone book. Certainly there is a foolish risk of having my identity stolen! Chuck

          • bw says:

            ck: I have had my stolen four times for over one thousand dollars. The bank called us last month and advised us some unusual transactions were trying to be processed from India. My son has had his stolen twice and my daughter once. You must change account numbers each time. When someone steals your identity the bank policy reqires that you close your acounts and open new ones. You need to fill out some forms to get your money back from the bank. It takes about 10 business days each time it happens.

        • paul says:

          “My personal reason for not calling code is primarily the golden rule. ”

          You mean the golden rule of not ratting out neighbors? The exact same rule that literally rules the ghettos and Chicago - murder capital of the U.S.?

          Or more likely the golden rule of ‘I too have my multiple code violations and do not maintain my property to reasonable standards which just also happen to be civilly societal community standards as established by our local democratically elected government’?

    • paul says:

      “Paul, you must be on a main corridor ” Wrong.

      “are you sure you saw one?” If is says city of Elgin code enforcement on the car do you think it was code enforcement?

      “officer patrolling in our neighborhood.” Code enforcement does NOT do patrols. They come out on calls.

      “stop returning our voice mail.” I flat out do not believe you.

      You have 9 (NINE) representatives on the city council. How many of them have you contacted telling them of the failure of code to address your concerns??? How many times have you been down to city hall to talk whoever (Stegal) about the failure of code to address your concerns. Code Enforcement is not an empire unto itself.

      I do not believe you. That being said, there are some nut cases out there that might badger Code every 5 minutes about a piece of paper blowing down the street or complaining about the neighbors putting their garbage cans out at 4 pm instead of 5 pm the day before pick-up. I’ve heard about people like that (do you live on Silver St?).

      Funny we haven’t heard back from Tim. Code is open Monday through Friday. Evidently he isn’t going to bother to call Code either.

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      Harmony,

      I also care what your name is?

  44. Cruex says:

    To show support for a friend of mine associated with TLC I attended the city council meeting last night. As I listened to those in support of their mission speak to the council I hoped someone would have asked Anna Moeller why she saw fit to call the chief of police to check on a occupancy permit over the more appropriate choice of using a code officer. I would like to know why Chief Swoboda felt it was his duty to cross departmental lines to carry out Moeller’s personal outrage. I want to see the legal bills for this when it is all over.

  45. Chuck Keysor says:

    Cruex, I too attended last night’s council session and was moved by the presenters from TLC.

    One thing that was implied, or maybe directly expressed in the surrounding discussion, was that TLC should not have filed a lawsuit, and that they over-reacted in doing so. Supposedly, in the eyes of the City, they should have come to staff or council to try and work something out BEFORE filing a lawsuit.

    I would counter that if there is a fault here, it is with the City. The City should have discussed this with TLC first, to let them know there was an issue, and tried to work something out before taking any action, since this was clearly not a public safety hazzard. Instead, the City’s first word to TLC on the issue, was the order shutting down their operation. In my book, if anyone is at fault here, it is the City. They slapped first without warning, and that the filing of a lawsuit by TLC in response was therefor not an over-reaction.

    And again, this line of reasoning is from my perspective of government exerting too much control over too many things that aren’t their business. This ranges from the ridiculous how many times a minute a electronic sign board can change, all the way to limiting what vans can be parked in JB’s parking lot.

    Chuck

    • paul says:

      We are back to this idiocy?

      Allow me to agree with you. Yeah, the City Of Elgin should not regulate who and what does business from mobile vans.
      ” It is possibly a fight with God” as quoted in today’s DH. Don’t want to oppose the implementation of the Christian God’s rule here.

      One thing for certain TLC is well funded to sue the city over whether the city has any right to regulate who and what and when can operate mobile businesses in the city. Very doubtful TLC will win; but if money determines who gets to carry the biggest stick for retribution, you never know!!! Witness Elgin’s attempt to regulate residential occupancy codes. Right, wrong, sanity, rationality, and reason be damned.

      Speaking of regulations - churches now have neon (LED) signs out front!!!! Saw one this week WEST of Randall on rural Highland Ave. No doubt lit 24/7 365. On the bright side (Chuck’s dim side) at least it wasn’t an unregulated billboard size, though God’s christian rules might require it!!!

  46. ElginSpirit says:

    May 27th Memorial Day ceremonies in Elgin - bring out the family for these special programs running since 1892!

    http://elginspirit.com/2013/05/2013-elgin-memorial-day-events-may-27th/

  47. Anna Claire says:

    I noticed that there were two late comers to Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Anna Moeller and legal counsel.

    Once the TLC supporters finished speaking Anna Moeller spoke up. To say that her dissertation was rehearsed would be an understatement. My guess is that this was the reason why she and counsel were late.

    Let’s call Anna’s disingenuous speech what it really was, damage control for her and the city.

    It’s hard for me to believe that after all the years she has been in Elgin, she was unaware of this mobile unit and its services. I also wonder why she have called the Chief of Police and not Code Enforcement placing the Chief in a difficult position?

    Now the topper of her insincere speech: She regrets that there will be tax dollars spent dealing with this. Blah, Blah, Blah claiming tax dollars are precious. WHAT! Citizens please remember that over the past 2 years Anna has NEVER shown any worry about the taxpayer’s or how taxpayer’s money was/is spent. How completely transparent of you Anna! Forget about higher office, you’re a liability. You and the past city council caused this problem by changing the ordnance last year. Now fix it at the least cost to the taxpayers!

    Carol Rauschenberger
    Once again embarrassment herself with her lack of knowledge of how city government works. She speaks out of turn. She suggests that on future concession bids that as a community we should support venders that offer healthy fresh foods. I have no issue with healthy foods but wonder if this was her segway into her Co-Op idea she campaigned on and that she wants the taxpayer’s to fund? She said that she would like to see smaller bids in the future to allow Elgin companies to be supported. Doesn’t she realize that competitive bids allow for a greater savings and offering up smaller bids to only Elgin companies is illegal? Oh, and Carol, let’s give Metro-West another $30,000 because you think it’s a good idea! Hey Carol, when not knowing the issue in full, would you vote on the side with the taxpayers, please.

    Rich Dunne:
    Always supportive of the unions, specifically the Fire Fighters, who showed their loyalty to him during the election by allowing him to come in a distant 4th place with their help, put up a barrier to the Annexation Agreement to provide for the establishment of a nursing and personal care facility on Highway 20. Rich wanted to see the EMS plan prior to the annexation agreement. Now why would they offer up an agreement on something that has not been voted on in their favor? Vote: 8-1 / Dunne voted no.

    Toby Shaw
    What a surprise that he voted for the continuation of the $30,000 Metro-West membership. This should have been a immediate no vote for Toby. After all the details offered, he voted yes for neighboring cities networking, Springfield lobbyist, duplication of information with other groups Elgin belongs too. I fail to see the benefits to Elgin and Sean seemed hard pressed to site any benefit other than to strengthen the Elgin-Aurora relationship, fighting the City of Chicago and offset the ever changing coalitions with Chicago and downstate. Toby should have taken your cue from John Prigge and voted no, this is just a duplication of free information and you just voted yes to pay $30,000 for free information.

    John Steffen
    Was his always notable uninterested self.

    One Persons Opinion.
    Happy Memorial day weekend!

    • One Vote says:

      Anna Claire,
      I appreciate your thoughtful recap and look forward to more of your perspective.
      I do hope Moeller recused herself on the Metro-West vote. She is, after all, in the same business.

    • paul says:

      “wonder why she have called the Chief of Police”

      Police handle parking issues. Code handles peeling paint issues. Police handle illegal activities.

      “placing the Chief in a difficult position?”

      If upholding the law is a difficult position for the police chief we need a new police chief - STAT.

      “It’s hard for me to believe… she was unaware of this mobile unit and its services.”

      Why? I never heard of it. But then why would I? But I sure hope at least one city official knows who, what, when, and how is conducting business out of vans in parking lots.
      How long has it been going on? A few years! I find it hard to believe you don’t know how long it has been in ‘business’.

      I’ll bet large if this van was providing abortion services all you supporters would be on the exact opposite side of this issues. Which makes you all hypocrites. And actually much worse than hypocrites. You want you own religious “sharia” laws. We know how that ends - with doctors being murdered in Kansas.

  48. Ernie says:

    Thanks Anna Claire, for your opinion on the city council. Reminds me of the air-head freshman girls I dated in high-school. Is this another pseudonym for John Prigge or just a misguided fan?

  49. Concerned again says:

    Comments on code enforcement in the city. For over 40 years I have been engaged with the code department to help encourage them to properly assist we property owners in keeping this city eye appealing and desirable in which to live. I can only say that after these 40 years I still maintain this city does a poor job of code enforcement. Not that some of the people in that department don’t work extremely hard trying to enforce the weak and limited ordinances in place, never having a sufficient work force or the tools needed to help them and us — they do work hard! It’s been and still is the mindset of this city to be lax with code enforcement and not to properly fund this critical department and not to pass or not to ENFORCE aggresive ordinances needed to bring the situation under control. Heck, the mayor himself told us this past fall there was nothing that could be done to help force the banks who owned several foreclosed and abandoned homes in our neighborhood to properly maintain them! ANd the code department could not move on deteriorating roofs or walls unless HOLES opened up — per the current ordinances. Let’s get real people! The city has a decades long poor track record and a second class mindset when it come to helping maintain this city… From foreclosed homes, to deteriorating infrastructure to streets, etc. I agree with a comment above..clean out city hall and build anew!

  50. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey Anna Claire, I agree with you. Liability is the perfect word choice for Moeller. Dishonest would be my second choice. Swoboda should be fighting crime and not carrying out liberal personal grudges. Where was Stegall?

  51. bw says:

    The lawsuit:

    http://mauckbaker.com/Content/11178/347712.pdf

    Decide for yourself.

    • One Vote says:

      bw,
      Thanks for the link about the TLC lawsuit.
      From what I can tell, the City is in real trouble here.
      Look at all the temporary land use problems that abound in Elgin, such as the weekly flea markets in the La Movida parking lot.
      And there is a clear paper trail that Moeller started the vendetta and Swoboda accommodated her request.
      Financial exposure to the City (settlement and legal costs) could exceed seven figures.
      Of course, if they get a judge like Dalton or Gettleman all bets are off. But if they get a judge who understands the law and has no hidden agenda, the City could lose big time.
      They have already lost in the court of public opinion.

      • bw says:

        The Federal Judge already has ruled in favor of TLC. If you read all of the counts in the lawsit you will realize that there is a lot of legal issues at stake in this lawsuit. A 36 page complaint is going to cost a whole lot of money to resolve. Moeller is mentioned right in the suit. She better be saying her prayers that this matter can be resolved quickly. TLC is asking for damages in the form of money. They have the city right where they want them.Federal civil right suits are a serious matter. This suit is being heard in Federal Court in Chicago by a non-bias federal judge. The city better hope that they can resolve this matter before it goes to trial or you’re looking at six figure expense to be paid by the taxpayers. don’t you wonder how much all of these attorney’s are charging for this lawsuit? Look at all the cases cited in the lawsuit. Hundreds of research hours have been spent in briefing all of this case law. That is just on the part of the Plaintiff (TLC). The defendant (city) has to answer with case law of their own. Stay tuned!

  52. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey thanks bw. Moeller said she could not tell what type of services were being offered by looking at the mobile? The words IMAGE CLEAR ULTRASOUND and PREGNANCY are right on the side!!! I agree with one vote too, the city could lose some money on this one.

  53. Give me a break says:

    Thanks for post bw. Note that the link is from TLC’s attorney and doesn’t have the city’s response to the lawsuit. To claim that the city’s temporary occupancy rules are “unconstitutional” is a joke. TLC may not like them, but that doesn’t make them unconstitutional. Are othe businesses and organizations joining TLCs suit to complain about the rules? Looks more like their lawyers are looking for a pay day on this one. U-46 lawsuit ring any bells?

    No surprises here that you are bashing Moeller on this. The Tea Party extremists on the city council and their supporters are going to be looking for any opportunity to go after Moeller, Powell, Steffen and Kaptain because they don’t go along with their anti-tax, anti-Hispanic, anti-arts, anti-anything remotely progressive agenda. Oh and it looks like Rauscheberger and Shaw should start watching their backs too. God forbid they have an independent thought from the Tea Party crazies who elected them.

    • bw says:

      Go to Google Search and type TLC V. City of Elgin and find much more on what is going on with this issue. The link is the actual lawsuit filed by TLC’s attorneys’. The whole legal process moves ahead from the complaint stage. The city will file an answer, discovery will follow, motions will be filed,they will depose everyone who is responsible for offering any and all information on each cause of action. All city council members including he mayor, staff, police chief, etc. It is up to the city to prove that they are right and TLC to prove their side of the case before a jury down the road. These cases take a lot of time making their way through the legal process according to the law. Our legal system is not a joke and everyone has a right to our legal system. Attorney John Jurgensmeyer is a hard nose attorney. I have watched him in action. He knows the law and will not be bullyed by the city. He is President of TLC and will offer his input to this action. These cases can take months or even years to be resolved while the meter is running. The city als has to pay for outside legal work.

    • One Vote says:

      Actually GMAB, the City’s response IS in the document bw linked originally.
      Of course, you’d have to actually read it to know that. You might learn something about the case if you read it.
      The City response is Exhibit E, prepared by Christopher J Beck.
      Beck is one of TWO lawyers who report to Cogley.
      (Do we really need THREE lawyers and a paralegal in a town of 108,000? I guess if the council members are going to push legitimate non-profits around they do.)
      So GMAB, why don’t you send them a check to cover the legal costs so I won’t have to. You seem to feel that the pro-life position has no place in America.
      Seriously, if this had been a Planned Parenthood RV passing out condoms at Larkin High, do you think Moeller and Swoboda would have sprung in to action? The liberals get away with murder.

      • bw says:

        Exhibit E is a part of TLC’S original complaint. The city will answer each item to give an answe using the law as they see necessary. Their answer will look a lot like the complaint but according to how they wish the court to look at their position. They may also attach exhibits or may not provide an answer as you might expect. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow many options on filing an answer. It becomes a game of cat and mouse. That is way attorney’s depose individuals. The way a question is answered is recorded for future use. Discovery will include production of documents, written questions,and other legal methods to get at the truth to be used at trial. It is a cumbersome procedure. A few years ago I, PRO SE, filed a petition in the United States Tax Court against the IRS. I used the above procedure and won my case after about a year of pleadings.

        • One Vote says:

          I defer to your legal experience. But I think the City has already stated its position in Exhibit E. They could have amended or even rescinded the ordinance once TLC brought the problem to their attention. But instead the dug in their heels.
          Now they are further down the road and will spend more of our tax money to try to prove themselves “right.”

          • bw says:

            I’m on the jury. Convince me that the is not unconstitutionally vague and overboard. Exhibit E is nothing more but a letter from Beck explaining the position of the city to TLC. Not a reason in the letter why the ordinance is not vague and overboard. There are vehicles parked and traveling the streets all over the city on a daily basis offering healthcare services and other type of service to the disable. Ae they required to have a permit? Exhibit F shows the picture of one such vehicle. Sherman and Provena have mobile medical vehicles in use on their property everyday. Such as: mobile X-Ray Units, cancer treatment,heart screening, etc. Why is TLC’S any different. I think that there is a hidden agenda in the passing of this ordinance. Teenage pregnancy is a big concern with all mother’s who have sexual active daughters.

          • paul says:

            I have no idea what ‘limited to 4 times a year’ means!

            The outrage to think the city of ELgin has any right to regulate mobile vans running businesses in parking lots.

            Can hardly wait for my neighbor to set up his mobile garage sale every week. Following the golden rule of not ratting out my neighbors, we should not call for enforcement of the rules and regulations, regardless!

            Did everyone enjoy paying that 11.5% tax on your 6 pack of beer over the Memorial Day weekend? The fallen would be spinning in their graves to see what the concept of freedom and liberty have dissolved down to. The government can’t prohibit it but they sure can make prohibitively expensive!

            Speaking of which how does the State of Illinois get away with requiring me to BUY a license in order to exercise my U.S. Constitutional right to bear arms.
            Any other rights I need to buy a license for?
            Puts a whole new meaning to the ‘freedom ain’t free’ saying!

    • paul says:

      “anti-Hispanic”

      LOL. The sweet irony that TLC predominantly serves the Hispanic is absolutely lost on you. Too bad you allow your intense liberal hatreds, bias’, and prejudices blind you to obvious truths and realities. Because it also obscures your single valid point - ” the city’s temporary occupancy rules are “unconstitutional” is a joke.” I completely agree with that statement yet you call me every derogatory name in the book! Good thing you are anonymous.

      P.S. It is a complete misnomer to call your political agenda progressive. History teaches over and over that your agenda and hatreds always ends in totalitarian oppression.

      • One Vote says:

        paul,
        Don’t disturb the liberal narrative. They think they have all the answers and we don’t get to play unless we agree with them. Name-calling is one of the tactics they use to avoid making any reasoned responses.

      • Katie says:

        Paul, I want to meet you!

  54. harmony says:

    If Chris Beck is involved the City lost.

  55. bw says:

    harmony: what do you have against Chris Beck?

  56. Cruex says:

    IF there is a hidden agenda with TLC, whose would it be? By now all of Elgin knows who.

  57. SIE says:

    This town gets you from every end. I always suspected the Parks and Rec fees were high so today I took a look at some other communities’ fees.

    Hanover Park charges $96 for one week of camp. Elgin charges $120. They also have lower fees for swimming and other programs. In fact their non resident fees are still lower than what Elgin charge. They also offer more diverse programs than Elgin does. Other towns such as Streamwood and Hoffman Estates also have better pricing.

    A relatively small town such as HP can charge less for programs and also offer more programs? What happened to economies of scale where a larger city like Elgin can be more cost effective?

    Through the course of my son’s participation in programs I will pay hundreds of dollars more than I would in another city. Ridiculous.

  58. Gibster says:

    Does Elgin have 5 potential “Towering Infernos”? What are your thoughts?

    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/business/20422367-420/elgin-files-fire-safety-suits-vs-3-high-rises.html

  59. James Thiel says:

    EXCLUSIVE: Judicial Watch Challenges Obama Admin on IRS, Benghazi - Tom Fitton #N3

    16 minutes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHn2v37rEu4&feature=em-share_video_user

    Get involved:
    http://www.judicialwatch.org/
    http://rtr.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/RestoreTheRepublicActNet

  60. Margaret Miller says:

    So this is what happens to a once great state after decades of Democratic/Liberal/ Progressive control.
    Hmmm, you must be so proud!

    Illinois Tops Nation in Growth of Food Stamp Recipients

    President Obama’s home state of Illinois has gained a new distinction: it tops the nation in the growth of the number of its citizens on food stamps.

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 15.7 percent of the Land of Lincoln’s population are now enrolled in the food stamp program.

    As Joe Schoffstall points out: “The USDA’s latest data shows 2,023,635 Illinoisans were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in February 2013. In February of 2012, 1,831,898 people took part in the program. That’s an increase of 10.5 percent in just one year.”

    Schoffstall further notes that, “Illinois was the only state to see a double-digit increase of the number of residents enrolled in the SNAP program from the same time period last year.”

    This should come as no surprise. Illinois consistently ranks in the bottom with the worst states in nearly every metric used to measure a successful state.

    Here are just a few of the “low lights” of Illinois’ standing among the states:

    •Illinois has the most under funded pensions in the country and faces a deficit growth of $17 million per day.

    •The state also has the worst funded teachers pensions in the country.

    •Illinois was identified as one of the worst states in the union for its oppressive, jobs-killing lawsuit climate.

    •Illinois had more home foreclosures than almost every other state.

    •Illinois ranks as the 49th worst debtor state in the nation.

    •Illinois was ranked the 48th worst state for business.

    •Illinois ranked 48th for unemployment, making it among the worst five states for joblessness.

    •Its government also has one of the worst rankings for state transparency and accountability in the nation, too.

    In light of all this, the fact that Illinois has an increasing number of its citizens on food stamps should not come as a shock to anyone.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/29/Illinois-Tops-Nation-in-Growth-of-Food-Stamp-Recipients

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      At this link you can see thanks to BMO Harris they are motivating poor people with link EBT cards to spend our tax dollars on HIGH PRICED PRODUCE at the Elgin Farmers Market rather than go to a store such as Buteras and get much more value for the tax payer’s dollar. My thoughts I added at that sight below.

      http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130528/business/705289777/

      Clarence Hayward · Top Commenter · St. Edward High School
      I am all for helping poor people eat healthy but not at the expense of our tax dollars being spent at this Farmers Market. Without the extra $20 stipend people can cherry pick the sales at local grocers and fill their food basket with much more fresh fruit and vegetables.

      My family is middle class and I have looked at the prices at this market and I can’t afford to shop there. If I had a link card I still can’t afford to shop there because I would not get value for the tax payer dollar that is supplying my link card.

      It would be morally wrong for me to use link to pay such high prices.

      Butera is a reasonable distance in the other direction for walking and I shop there all the time for their hot sale items. Plus, it is good exercise if they don’t have a car.

      Truly a situation of government making things worse for the taxpayers. Bummer!
      Reply ·
      · Wednesday at 4:22am

      Clarence Hayward · Top Commenter · St. Edward High School
      What this $20 stipend really does is subsidize the high priced dealers at the Farmer Market so they can get some more income at the expense of the tax payers and local grocers.
      Reply ·
      · Wednesday at 4:28am

      Clarence Hayward · Top Commenter · St. Edward High School
      It is wastefulness of our tax dollars like this that is starting to put more people into the lower class due to the reckless spending of tax dollars.

      • Todd Martin says:

        Wow Clarence, that is really over the top zealotry.

        1st, you are complaining about wasting tax dollars when BMO Harris bank is DONATING PRIVATE MONEY to feed the hungry in your community. That’s not classy.

        2nd, the Government does not, nor should it dictate which grocery store people have to go to when buying food. A “buy only from Butera” policy would be thrown out in court immediately. All the other grocery stores and the Elgin Farmers market would be harmed by such a discriminatory policy. Retailers have rights. Individuals have rights. You do not get to play God and choose winners and losers based on your opinion of value.

        3rd, Wide availability of food providers is important in every community. It is NOT better to force people to walk miles to haul food home. There are young, sick, elderly, and handicapped people who need to eat. Advocating a deliberate restriction of access to food “for more exercise” is blind to the needs of the vulnerable in our community.

        4th, That “tax money” in your pocket which you are worried about? Would you rather have it go to Bolivia, China, Mexico, and Honduras or have it go to a farmer on the west side of Elgin? That Farmer’s market you are outraged about is there to support local businesses and families.

  61. Sally Foster says:

    Hey Rich:

    Just saw your write up in the Courier this morning.
    I didn’t know your were the appointed ambassador for the City of Elgin!

    Why didn’t the citizens know about your trip? I never heard about it at any of the City Council meetings.
    Did your fellow councilpersons approve the purpose of your trip?
    How much did it cost the taxpayer’s of Elgin.

    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/20392298-417/sister-city-sojourn.html
    Sister city sojourn
    By Mike Danahey mdanahey@stmedianetwork.com May 30, 2013 5:10PM
    Updated: May 31, 2013 2:33AM

    Elgin City Councilman Rich Dunne presents Elgin’s flag to officials from Cauquenes, its Chilean sister city.

    ELGIN — City Councilman Richard Dunne and his wife Judy recently served as goodwill ambassadors to Cauquenes, Chile, visiting there during that town’s founders’ day celebrations.

    In turn, Elgin is preparing to host a delegation from Cauquenes that hopes to be in the area in time for Fourth of July festivities, the Dunnes said.

    So goes Elgin’s initial foray into having a South American sister city, with Elgin’s first delegation having traveled there in March, another heading there in July and the Dunnes’ stay this month.

    “It brings a lot back to our community to understand other cultures from first-hand experiences like this, and offers insight into Elgin itself and its diversity,” Judy Dunne said.
    “The people were absolutely amazing, generous and kind. And they are looking for any knowledge that will help them rebuild their city,” she said.

    In February 2010, a good portion of Chile felt the force of a devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake, and the nation’s coast dealt with an ensuing tsunami. Rich Dunne learned that in Cauquenes, which sits in a plain, a large percentage of the buildings were either destroyed or damaged enough to be condemned. Today, about 40 percent of structures still show signs of damage, he said.

    • Gibster says:

      Sally: It was mentioned at City Council meetings in April, plus it was also the reason Councilman Dunne was not sworn-in on May 9th because of the trip. Travel and Hotel expenses were paid by the Dunne’s personally with assistance of the Sister-Cities monies (paid to local translators/escorts) within the Elgin Community Network raised by many groups to send aid, training, equipment and share cultural experiences between sister-cities. Mayor Kaptain was invited for this trip, yet deferred to council and staff for sending a representative in May. My opinion is that Dunne was a natural choice because of the current donated Fire Equipment training programs, etc.

      • One Vote says:

        Gee, we should pass the hat for ole Rich. I’m not sure he can afford it on his now triple-dip pension.

        • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

          I see nothing wrong with a very industrious person like Rich Dunne earning three pensions. I believe he has one from the military, one from the fire department, but what is the third one?

          Why would anyone want to begrudge him what he has earned through all that hard work throughout his lifetime?

          Military and Fire Department both deserve pensions for their service in my opinion as well as thanks for serving our country and possibly risking their lives in both.

          Thank you Rich for your service!

          • One Vote says:

            Clarence,
            You should listen to the news now and then.
            Government is incapable of managing pension funds. You and I are on the hook. Even in Elgin. Our property tax rate for city operations floats dependent on the pension fund requirement. The more the pension needs in a given year, the LESS they get for operations.
            Corporations realize pensions are a bad idea and they don’t want the performance risk. So they offer matching IRAs.
            Maybe you read about the retired Addision school teacher collecting $399K a year in her retirement.
            Your endorsement of multiple pensions is right out of Animal Farm.

          • paul says:

            Yeah, thank you, rich. For real community service please don’t live to be old.
            Retiring on your 51st birthday as a public servant at an annual pension of $57K increasing annually via cost of living raises and who knows what else, the taxpayers will pay you much more for your retirement than they paid you for your PAID “public service”.
            And thank you once again, Clarence, for your exhibited utter lack of common sense.

            “all that hard work ”

            Coal miners work hard, Clarence. EFD personnel’s primary activity is sitting on their asses watching TV and drawing well over the average citizens annual earnings.

  62. Overland says:

    Our water has tasted like seaweed for about a month now. I have noticed this since around the time of the flooding a while back. Anyone else notice this? Has the city changed the way water is treated?

  63. Cruex says:

    Mr. Dunne’s military and fire pension are deserved and are beyond criticism. Actually, his military pension is a bargain for the public to pay because he was only able to achieve a chief master sgt. rank after 25 years. The lower the rank, the lower the pension.

    I do find his new job with FEMA for which he will receive a pension should he stay on the job for 10 years, to be greedy and for that he should be criticized. Taking a FEMA job with two pensions in hand thus not allowing another applicant who may not have any pension is disgusting.

    • bw says:

      How to deal with envy, MYOB. Who would be so stupid to turn down a job because you might be able to collect a third pension in 10 years?

    • paul says:

      “Mr. Dunne’s military and fire pension are deserved and are beyond criticism.”

      First off, last I checked the 1st amendment still exists despite Obama’s multiple attempts to supress them.
      Secondly, YOU are not the arbiter of criticism (see 1st amendment).
      Thirdly, I’m paying BOTH Dunne’s pensions (involuntarily at the point of a gun) thus MAKING it MY business and thus FULLY open to my criticisms.
      Fourthly, in case you haven’t noticed, it is the skyrocketing costs of overly generous public pensions that are bankrupting the State of Illinois and causing dramatic State and local taxes increases.

      Dunne’s ridiculously generous pensions are neither deserved, and most certainly, nor above criticism.

      • bw says:

        Dunne’s ridiculously generous pensions are neither deserved, and most certainly, nor above criticism.

        OH YES THEY ARE!

        • One Vote says:

          It isn’t envy when I’m paying the bill.
          The last company I worked for with a pension was 20 years ago.
          I worked 10 years there to be vested. I was in middle management. If I live to 67 I will collect a shade less than $10K a year or $833 a month from that pension plan.
          If somehow this company turns out to be the next Enron, I could end up with far less. (Yeah, yeah…I know…Government is watching the pensions…Too big to fail…But I didn’t work for GM.)
          So, I’ve got a 401K (my risk) and whatever is left of Social Security. I’ll live.
          What I protest is the give-away to city workers who are not better people or harder workers than I who are raking it in because other city workers couldn’t say no and our city leaders rubber stamped the deal year-after-year in the interest of “labor peace.”
          We were taken for a ride. Could it be that bw was one of our former leaders who bought the hype and voted for it???

        • paul says:

          “OH YES THEY ARE!”

          Well, we can always do a face to face, bw. And then you can try to STOP ME from exercising my 1st amendment rights. Unfortunately for you, bw, I’ll be exercising my 2nd amendment rights when that happens!
          D’oh!

  64. Cruex says:

    Curse the sun and the moon all you want, too. The first amendment protects you there also.

    Criticize an enlisted man for receiving his pension after serving in the military? Tell your story first to the VFW and let me know how that works out for you. Criticize a fire employee for getting a pension? You may have better luck with that one but it was in the books when he started, like it or not. But two pensions are enough and Dunne is greedy and knows what he is doing is greedy.

    • bw says:

      Do you know anyone who would do anything different? You see it as greed. He is following the law that allows a person to collect every pension he earned. He has to wait 10 years to collect the third pension. There is no guarantee that he will ever collect the third pension. It may or may not ever happen. Are you mad because he got the new job?

    • paul says:

      “Curse the sun and the moon all you want, too. ”

      Ah, yes. The standard liberal fascist bromide - ‘there is nothing you can do about it so STFU’! Speaking out against the outrage of excessive bankrupting pension plans is actually doing something.

      “Tell your story first to the VFW ”

      Why, are the VFW thugs going to deny me Constitutional rights!

      ” Criticize a fire employee for getting a pension? ”

      Are the firefighter union thugs going to engage in illegal activities in protecting their government sanctioned rape of the taxpayers? Quite possibly.

      “in the books when he started, like it or not.”

      Apparently you believe ‘the books” to be written in stone and delivered by Moses. They are not and were not. THAT is what needs to be changed!

      “Dunne is greedy and knows what he is doing is greedy.”

      NEWS FLASH: We all are greedy. We all operate from our own self-interest - we always have, we always will.
      I don’t fault Dunne for exploiting the system to maximize his benefits. I fault the system. The system imposing massive Federal deficit spending, State of Illinois virtual bankruptcy, and sky rocketing local taxes clearly needs to change - you clearly disagree. Good for you - that is your right. I’m just pointing out the absurdity and ridiculousness of your position.

      P.S. Dunne spent his entire military career in the Air Force RESERVES. In other words Dunne had so much free time on the EFD he had to time to accrue his military pension at the very same time he was accruing his EFD pension.

  65. Anna Claire says:

    Let’s get past the Rich Dunne pension issue for a moment since there is nothing we can do about it.

    Shouldn’t we turn our focus on Mr. Dunne’s voting record. Can anyone offer any information if he has voted “NO” on anything that has to do with taxes or spending.

    That would be the immediate money out of my pocket.

    • paul says:

      “Shouldn’t we turn our focus on Mr. Dunne’s voting record. ”

      There is nothing you can do about that either. Especially given he was just RE-ELECTED for a 4 year term. What’s to discuss!

      • Anna Claire says:

        We could discuss how to approach Mr. Dunne to remind him that he was elected a distant 4th place after being the top vote getter 4 years ago. We can remind him that his base of 4 years ago is not happy with his change of attitude and party affiliation. We can contact him (if he would return the e-mails or phone calls)and voice our opposition to his last 2 years of voting and request that he straighten up and fly right!

        That may be a good place to start unless you feel that effort is a waste of my valuable time. Let me know.

        • paul says:

          “unless you feel that effort is a waste of my valuable time.”

          Knock yourself out. DO not understand why your valuable time is inclusive of my valuable time. You used “we” 3 times!!!

          Less than 2 months after being elected to a 4 year term may not be the best time to expressing unhappiness of your minority concerns with Dunne.

          But please go for it - it can’t hurt to try.

          • Margaret Miller says:

            Hi Paul:

            Thank you, I have already contacted Mr. Dunne but have not received a response from my e-mail. Perhaps he is still catching up from his 3 week trip to Chile but I’m reminded that Chuck posts I should not hold my breathe awaiting a response from him.

            The reason I used “we” is because I cannot do this alone but you already know the obvious. If pressure is placed on him now we can only hope that he will finally get the message. If he doesn’t, there should not be a third term for him and I will do my best to see that he is not re-seated.

            I do wish you would show a softer side in your posts and punctuation once in a while but then you wouldn’t be you..

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Anna. I have a 4 year history of contacting councilman Dunne. Putting it mildly, he is not easy to connect with.

        Because I feel there is value in your communicating with Dunne (for your satisfaction and the satisfaction of the many that agree with you, NOT because it will have any affect upon Dunne) I would recommend that you attend a City Council session, and simply go up to him and say you want to meet with him, or tell him on the spot what you think.

        And, if you want to be public about it, you can certainly sign in to address the entire council during the recognition of persons present section. Then you can spend up to 3 minutes telling Dunne your opinions.

        The value in your addressing Mr. Dunne in this public forum would be for the satisfaction of all the voters that agree with you on this matter. I would see this as a useful community service that you can perform should you decide to do so. And even if Dunne is not responsive, it will send an important message to Anna, Tish and Steffen who will of course be up for re-election in 2015. Those three will be more attentive then Dunne.

        Chuck

        • Anna Claire says:

          Thank you for the advise Chuck. I will give it some serious and careful consideration if I do not receive a response in the mean-time.

  66. Margaret Miller says:

    The Growing Threat of Smart Meters

    Sustainable Development is code for a policy designed to transform human society, essentially eliminating individual life decisions and replacing them with top – down, one-size-fits-all government control. In steady fashion, the agenda for this new policy, designed at the international level, is put into place piece by piece with a new government council here, and new regulation there, each designed to appear as a “local” development program. Like the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling pot, many Americans fail to notice the rise in government heat.

    The main course of action to impose the new agenda is through the pretense of environmental protection; “Sorry about your rights, but if we don’t save the planet, then we will all perish!” And so with the devastation of a thousand pin pricks, America and its form or government is being changed through the creation of non-elected boards, councils and regional governments, designed to enforce the new regulations and “assure that we protect the environment.”

    The pin pricks come disguised as such issues as controls on community development; controls on use of private property; controls on use of open space; creation of development areas, many times under the excuse of historic preservation; communities designed on the blue print of pack and stack housing; making it harder to drive as roads are narrowed, even forcing cars to share the road with bicycles; the enforcement of expensive mass transit boondoggle projects; and the never ending spending spree on inefficient, unworkable alternative energy, such as wind and solar power.

    In fact, control of energy and water are the two most effective tools in the enforcement of the Sustainable Development agenda. Without energy and water, human society stops. Using strict controls on how, or even if, energy and water can be used provides government with the power to dictate every aspect of society.

    So how is that control carried out? There are obviously several ways, including regulations and taxes on production of gasoline; EPA restrictions on energy production; and government subsidies to create and enforce the use of alternative energy, specifically wind and solar.

    However, controlling energy use in individual homes provided a more difficult obstacle than mere taxes or regulations. Government needed to be able to monitor energy use and individual habits in every single home. And so, the Smart Meter was born.

    The Smart Meters are being installed on homes across the country, replacing the old style analog meters. The power companies are telling their customers that the Smart Meters will help them save money on electric bills by helping control usage. They also claim that the Smart Meters will help the power companies operate more efficiently by eliminating the need for meter readers to physically read the meters as they do with analog meters. However, these sales pitches from the power companies hide the real facts behind the push to replace every analog meter in the nation with the Smart Meters.

    There are several major problems for homeowners as the Smart Meters are installed. Here are just a few:

    The cost of heating and cooling homes with Smart Meters is going up because of the inefficient alternative energy that is more expensive than coal and nuclear power.
    Homeowners with Smart Meters in place are discovering that they can’t heat or cool their homes during peak power usage as the electric companies control the thermostats and automatically cut back on usage.
    Property rights are being violated by Smart Meter installers who come onto property against the will of the owners.
    A 2012 Congressional Report now reveals that power companies are able to read data from the meters that reveals residents’ daily schedules and their personal behavior, the types of appliances they use, even if there are certain types of medical equipment in use in the home. This information can then be sold to private concerns or placed in government files. It can lead to identity theft and unwarranted government surveillance.
    Evidence is now emerging that the Smart Meters, which operate by emitting electromagnetic signals, has become a health hazard, as thousands of Smart Meters in neighborhoods blast a non-stop signal, creating what is called Electromagnetic Smog. The electromagnetic radiation is dangerous for the elderly, children, pets, and those subject to such disorders as epilepsy, heart disease and more. It can lead to disruptive sleep patterns, chronic fatigue, depression, headaches and much more.
    As Americans become aware of these threats they have begun to oppose the installation of Smart Meters on their property. Some local and state government’s, when faced with the health complaints, have offered opt out provisions. Others have responded using force, resulting in arrests, as in Naperville, Illinois. In other places, power companies have shut off electricity to homes of those protesting the Smart Meters.

    As the battle against the Smart Meters grows across the nation, Americans need to understand the issue, the dangers, the real reasons behind the government’s drive to force them on angry and protesting homeowners, violating their property rights and endangering their health in the process.

    Smart Meters are designed to provide government with detailed information of your energy use, your movements in your home, the way you use your personal private time, and even how many people are in your home at any given time. It is an unconstitutional invasion of your home by government, as set down in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Every American has a duty to preserve freedom by protesting and stopping the forced installation of these devises.

    http://americanpolicy.org/

  67. Margaret Miller says:

    On Monday, Fitch Ratings downgraded the Illinois state government’s credit rating.

    The decision to drop the state’s credit from an “A” to an “A-“ came as state legislators failed to move forward on solving Illinois’ public-employee pension crisis, reports the Associated Press.

    Prior to the Fitch downgrade, Illinois already had the nation’s lowest credit rating of any state.

    The downgrade may result in higher interest rates for borrowing funds.

    The state’s five employee retirement systems presently have $97 billion worth of unfunded future liabilities.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/04/Illinois-Credit-Rating-Downgraded-Due-To-Pension-Crisis

  68. Margaret Miller says:

    Obama’s Super Secret Treaty Which Will Push The Deindustrialization Of America Into Overdrive

    http://www.infowars.com/obamas-super-secret-treaty-which-will-push-the-deindustrialization-of-america-into-overdrive/

    • Margaret Miller says:

      More Signals of Slumping Manufacturing
      Trouble in the manufacturing sector has been mounting for months, and several signals this week indicated the pain could continue into the summer.

      Associated Press
      By Josh Mitchell and Jeffrey Sparshott

      Trouble in the manufacturing sector has been mounting for months, and several signals this week indicated the pain could continue into the summer.

      The latest data Wednesday showed that the manufacturing sector entered the spring on weaker footing even before the Institute for Supply Management’s factory-sector gauge, released Monday, indicated contraction last month.

      Apart from the volatile transportation sector, new orders for factory goods fell 0.1% in April, after falling 2.8% in March, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Among the biggest slumps was demand for computers, which dropped more than 9%.

      Overall orders for manufactured goods, which cover everything from farm machinery to carbonated sodas, rose $4.9 billion during the month, or 1.0%, to $474 billion from March. That reversed a 4.7% decline in orders in March. April’s gains largely reflected higher demand in transportation; aircraft maker Boeing Co., for instance, increased orders during the month and likely boosted the overall figure.

      The report offers evidence that factories are suffering amid weak demand from customers overseas, as Europe grapples with recession and parts of Asia slump, as well as weak demand in the U.S.

      The purchasing managers’ index by the ISM showed that the manufacturing sector activity unexpectedly contracted in May, posting its worst month since the recession ended four years ago. Factories cut back production and saw new orders fall.

      And a government report this week showed exports grew at a tepid pace in April, due largely to continued trouble in Europe, where demand for consumer and business goods has fallen as much of the continent grapples with recession.

      Factories appear to be hurting because of several factors, mainly weakness overseas, but also a reluctance by businesses to invest in equipment and software–the type of big-ticket, long-term investments that help drive economic growth.

      The signals so far point to continued softness in manufacturing, underscoring the loss of momentum across the economy in recent months.

      “The slow start to the year is already in the books, but without a serious strengthening from the survey data or other indication of an improving outlook for the business sector, the firming that we expected to see by this point is just not there,” Wells Fargo economists said in a note to clients Wednesday.

      Wednesday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that business investment, as measured by new orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, rose at a weak pace of 1.2% to $67.51 billion, after rising 1.1% in March and falling 4.8% in February. Businesses use such goods–machinery, computers, electrical equipment and heavy duty trucks, for example–to make other products.

      Business investment had been climbing steadily since bottoming out in April 2009. But capital spending started to sputter in 2012 as the economy slowed. So far this year, signals have been mixed–with a big surge in outlays at the start of the year but only modest gains in March and April.

      This January, business spending hit a record high of $69.29 billion, though the figure isn’t adjusted for inflation and investment has not returned to that height again this year. Before the financial crisis, orders peaked in April 2008 at $68.97 billion–about $74.5 billion in today’s dollars once inflation is taken into account.

      http://stream.wsj.com/story/economy-stream/SS-2-17745/SS-2-246427/

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Rising Red tide: China encircles U.S. by sailing warships in American waters, arming neighbors

      By Bill Gertz - The Washington Free Beaconm - Friday, June 7, 2013

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/7/china-encircles-us-arming-western-hemisphere-state/

  69. Cruex says:

    I think you just changed my mind. We should be pressuring our legislators to go back on the word firefighters and military people were given regarding pensions.

    And what a great place to start, the military! Does anyone have Durbin’s e-mail address handy?

    • Margaret Miller says:

      You can only contact Durbin + Kirk via phone, snail mail or their web contact page.

      • paul says:

        Classic Cruex argument: can’t win the debate on facts so build ridiculous strawman argument out of lies to easily knock down!

        I NEVER said a single word, implied or intimated about reneging on existing contracts. For you to imply otherwise is a straight out bald faced lie. But that is YOU.

        Exactly why debate doesn’t happen here - Cruex STARTS off with public pensions as represented by Dunne’s pension as not even being subject to debate (”beyond criticism”). Thus completely unable to discuss public pensions as being a LARGE part of Illinois deficit spending and Elgin large tax increase problem.

        Ironically Cruex, unlike you, I don’t blame Dunne for taking his contractually earned 2 public pensions on his 51st birthday by calling him the derogatory name of “greedy”. In his shoes I would have done the exact same thing.

  70. Cruex says:

    I’m in awe of you Paul. Let’s all work for government. In Dunne’s case, let’s all get three government jobs and collect their pensions by the time we are 61 years old.

    • Anonymous says:

      GO FOR IT!

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Sure, then we can call ourselves thr United Sates of Greece.

    • paul says:

      LMAO@U, Cruex

      Given your complete utter lack of argument, I’ll give you your last meaningless words on the subject!!!

      “I’m in awe of you Paul. Let’s all work for government. In Dunne’s case, let’s all get three government jobs and collect their pensions by the time we are 61 years old.”

  71. bw says:

    I see the city had a five man weed cutting crew cutting the East entrance to the mayor’s subdivision. How about the rest of the city? The whole city needs grooming Mr. Mayor in case you have not noticed.

  72. Cruex says:

    I knew if I slowed things down to a weaker pace you would then get the sarcasm directed at you. You’re welcome.

  73. bw says:

    How is the suit TLC v. City of Elgin going in the federal court?