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August [2013] open thread

2 August 2013 Elgin Illinois 219 Comments

White dog White dog (Photo by Elgin Town).

Here’s the August open thread. The picture will come later I guess.

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219 Responses to “August [2013] open thread”

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  1. One Vote says:

    About the ESO deal, I am assuming that the 50% rental reduction will apply to all NFPs who rent the Hemmens…or do you need to be a deadbeat organization to get the discount?

    • Margaret Miller says:

      That discount only applies to the deadbeat, lazy, suckers of the taxpayer’s money recipients known as the ESO!

  2. paul says:

    “do you need to be a deadbeat organization to get the discount?”

    No, you just need to be the anchor.
    >>The survival of the ESO is critical to the survival of the Hemmens Cultural Center, Stegall said. “There isn’t a universe of dependable renters that are going to rent it on Tuesdays in January, but the symphony does,” he said.<<

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Paul, I’m not sure if you have been keeping tabs on Elginite during your holiday… but you Amy want to review my July post pertaining to the Jan 2013 council meeting regarding the ESO. Very insightful how all the ones with a degree are singing a different tune now.

      Regarding the Hemmen’s it most likely will not be inhabitable. Awaiting the structural study.

      • paul says:

        “Regarding the Hemmen’s it most likely will not be inhabitable.”

        I’ve seen zero evidence of that.

        But in the mean time the City of Elgin will pay the annual hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain it; even if the City of Elgin drives the ESO out of existence. Sounds a like an absolute lose/lose for Elgin and it’s taxpayers. No ESO AND the exact same Hemmens expenses.

        And as long as you all have ordered the wrecking ball, take it to the Centre as well. That is a $3/4 million drain on the taxpayers.

    • One Vote says:

      …and when the “anchor” is not a viable business, what do you do?
      Do you build them a new hall?
      The whole idea is absurd. If ESO IS Hemmens then Hemmens is ready for the wrecking ball. ESO is a bankrupt organization.
      And thanks for throwing all the small arts groups under the bus. At least they pay their own way.

      • paul says:

        “ESO is a bankrupt organization.”

        No, the ESO is NOT bankrupt.

        “And thanks for throwing all the small arts groups under the bus. At least they pay their own way.”

        That is where the cutting your nose off to spite your face part comes in. I’m not throwing anyone under the bus - you are!
        After you are successful in eliminating the ESO, your “small arts groups” will have to pick up the annual tab for the ESO vacancy - assuming they actually do pay their own way.

  3. Cruex says:

    I took in the Art & Soul event today with a neighbor. For what it’s worth, the talk there was very negative against the ESO. This came from two conversations overheard in the space of about 45 minutes while strolling.

  4. bw says:

    The remarks some of you guys post about ESO, Hemmens, Center, 2015 election, and other issues makes me think that the wreaking ball hit you on the sise of the head.

  5. Cruex says:

    After Stegall reviewed the ESO books he declared them fundamentally bankrupt. Bearden said the ESO has no assets. We all know they have a large unpaid debt. That’s what you call bankrupt. Should they fail it will be their own fault. My taxes are not to be used to keep a bankrupt business that only a few support alive.

    • paul says:

      “That’s what you call bankrupt.”

      No! It isn’t.

      Bankruptcy isn’t a grey area. Bankruptcy is a legal term for a legal process.

      “My taxes are not to be used to keep a bankrupt business that only a few support alive.”

      Your taxes are being used to support all kinds of businesses organizations and individuals.
      Why should I and all the taxpayers who don’t use the Centre have to buck up with $3/4 of a million every year!
      How much did the City of Elgin spend for your pleasure on Art and Soul this past weekend? Why should I subsidize your entertainment?

      What do you suppose Elgin spends on the concerts in the park! Hiring bands can not be cheap. Why else would Elgin build and maintain a bandshell.
      Do you really think the city ball-fields pay for themselves?

      The city of Elgin is paying someone $500,000 a year to operate Porter’s Pub!!!!!! I, the taxpayer, am subsizing beer drinkers!!!

      • SIE says:

        So you’ll be offering up your residence for Parks and Rec programs?

        Why don’t you check in to other cities and see how much money their facilities make or lose? Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg to name two have multiple Park District facilities. I can’t imagine each one turns a profit. To be blunt it’s the cost of doing business.

        What kind of city do you want to live in? One that has no programs, no place for a child to learn to swim or play soccer? I want my city to provide programs and I pay taxes for the priviledge. If it’s a matter of mismanagement that is causing the Centre to lose money then get Stegall to fix it. If it’s a function of cost/revenue then deal with it. And if your argument is you or your family don’t partake, again that’s the price you pay for living in a city. Try to move to one that you won’t pay even more in taxes for parks, band shells, etc.

        Some of these comments really make me wonder what type of lives you people lead.

        • paul says:

          “So you’ll be offering up your residence for Parks and Rec programs?”

          I have no idea who you are responding to or what you are talking about. Responding with theater of the absurd and ludicrous hardly sheds any light except to your state of mind.
          Offering up my residence for Parks??? No, and I won’t be opening up my refrigerator to the City of Elgin for free beer either.
          As the great defender of all government “business” that provides you with free subsidized programs at everyone else’s expense, please please please defend the $1/2 million subsidy for the beer drinkers at Porters Pub beyond your “that’s the price you pay for living in a city”, as our taxes go higher and higher and higher!

          And if you want to discuss the Centre please reference the non-governmental agency East side YMCA that was run out of business by the Centre, as well myriad non-government services that still provide essentially the same services as the Centre with the exception they are not subsidized by the government, including the thriving west-side YMCA (why does the YMCA still exist and people actually buy memberships when they could just go to the Centre?).

          • SIE says:

            I’m not talking about Porters’ I’m talking about The Centre. Was this not your quote:

            “Your taxes are being used to support all kinds of businesses organizations and individuals.
            Why should I and all the taxpayers who don’t use the Centre have to buck up with $3/4 of a million every year!”

            Did I misunderstand or aren’t you complaining about paying taxes for The Centre?

            If I am correct then I think my comment is pretty spot on. You are so all over the map you can’t even keep your own comments straight. Perhaps you are the one dealing in “theater of the absurd”

          • Anonymous says:

            To Paul and SIE:

            I partially recall a childhood story of a tiger and a lion that chased each other by the tail. They went round and round, ever faster, until they melted into a puddle of butter. Hey, it was a stupid story, but that is what is coming to mind.

            You both have a lot on the ball, but a puddle of butter won’t change many minds. Chuck

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            To Paul and SIE:

            I partially recall a childhood story of a tiger and a lion that chased each other by the tail. They went round and round, ever faster, until they melted into a puddle of butter. Hey, it was a stupid story, but that is what is coming to mind.

            You both have a lot on the ball, but a puddle of butter won’t change many minds. Chuck

          • paul says:

            “Did I misunderstand or aren’t you complaining about paying taxes for The Centre?”

            To a person of most average intelligence CLEARLY you misunderstood.
            This thread, this debate, this discussion, IS NOT about taxes in general, or the Centre, or Porter’s Pub. Or at least it wasn’t until you stepped in with your CLEAR misunderstanding. This debate is about the ESO.

            Comparing the ESO use of an existing City of ELgin facility without paying the full cost is COMPLETELY similar to YOU using the Centre, the Parks, or Porter’s Pub without YOU paying the full cost thereof.

            That you cannot/do not/did not/completely missed understand this very simple very similar comparison is really quite stunning.
            Even more stunning is your position in support of the ESO, I believe. Yet in your CLEAR misunderstanding of my simple perfect analogy comparison supporting your position you jump off the sanity wagon in your misguided attempt to disparage me, SIE.

            How’d that work out for you?

  6. Tim Palmer says:

    The orchestra deal sounds easy to solve. Either tell them to pay up or get out of the Hemmens or tell the dumb a**es on the council who vote for them to stay they have to get out in the next election. Someone has to get out!

    • paul says:

      “The orchestra deal sounds easy to solve. ”

      That is why you are not and never will be a city councilman, Tim.

      Your man Prigge had the best idea. Give ESO the Hemmens.

      “Someone has to get out!”

      Get your man Prigge out?

      What IS the cost of tearing down the Hemmens? I don’t suppose you figured that into your in-depth analysis.

      Where were you when the city of Elgin gave Artspace $4 million to bring in low cost subsidized housing to downtown Elgin? It seems like I was the only taxpayer bothered by that.

      Really, Tim? Your primary concern is ensuring the ESO is a source of revenue for the City of Elgin!

    • bennie says:

      Mr. Palmer, thanks for your common sense approach I am happy someone out there sees things with a realistic mind

  7. Rich Jacobs says:


    Sponsors: Advocate Sherman Hospital, Lamp Inc., Mueller, &
    Golden Law Offices

    Featuring: Famous Fay’s BBQ Pork Chop and Chicken Dinner
    at Advocate Sherman Hospital — Carry Out Drive thru available!


    SPONSORS: Advocate Sherman Hospital, Lamp Inc., Mueller, Golden Law Offices


    TIME: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    (Randall Road near I-90)
    1425 N Randall Road, Elgin, IL 60123




    The Kiwanis Club of Elgin has raised well over $500,000 in the 53 years of hosting it’s BBQ fund raiser. The Kiwanis Club of Elgin meets at 12:00 p.m. Noon each Tuesday at The Hickory Stick Bar & Grille Restaurant, 875 Sports Way, Elgin, IL 60123, located at the Highlands of Elgin’s Golf Course. Meetings are open to the public. There is a $11 charge for lunch. Membership information is available by calling (847) 909-8173. The Kiwanis Club of Elgin received its charter on March 9, 1920. The Club has been donating funds to more than 30 deserving organizations in Elgin and South Elgin, primarily those serving children.

  8. One Vote says:

    Cogley and Moeller got a beat-down from the judge regarding the Ultrasound Bus.
    But according to the Trib Cogley’s planning an appeal. Duh!
    The silver lining here is that the brouhaha will probably cost Moeller the election. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bureaucrat.

    • bw says:

      How much is this foolishness costing the taxpayers?

    • bennie says:


  9. Cruex says:

    One Vote is correct. Moeller has been one very expensive councilwoman to keep on the council. In her world whatever money it takes to administer her kind of government is money well spent. That’s what her college professors taught her.

    • bw says:

      I have had many, many college professors and at 77 years old still am being taught in graduate school. I never had a professor mention spending any money for any government activity. I had five classes in federal, state and local government. Monday I will start a graduate class in Hralth Scienve Management. We will discuss health care issues on the global scale. I just finished a course from John Hopkins Unibversity on Health Safety as 200,000 people die each year from health care safety mistakes by people in the profession. Delivering health care in the wrong way.

      • paul says:

        “Monday I will start a graduate class in Hralth Scienve ”
        “I just finished a course from John Hopkins Unibversity ”

        Only in America do we subsidize 77 year old illiterates for utterly useless advanced degrees!

  10. Chuck Keysor says:

    I noticed this request for a quote today. The City wants to have Welcome to the downtown signs. Here is a quote from the City’s website. Who thinks we need this? I assume this will be something the liberals want to spend money on every thing will think is a great idea, and the conservatives who don’t want to waste the taxpayer’s money will go “YIKES! When will the crazy waste of $$$$ stop???” Lest there be any doubt, I think we don’t need this. Chuck


    Title of Professional Services: Entry Way Signage
    Need of the Community
    The City of Elgin is in need of gateway entry signs
    at main roadways leading into the downtown district.
    This project is designed to enhance our image by welcom
    ing visitors, increasing community identity, and
    heighten the community’s sense of place.
    Scope of Provider Services
    Prepare a plan and design report with cost estimates, preliminary drawings and specifications for entry
    way signage. Each proposal may include up to (2) additional alternate sets of plans, designs, and
    preliminary drawings and specifications for the sign pr
    oject provided that they all comply with the below
    described general specifications. Each report is to describe the scope and costs for the design and
    permitting up to (5) signs.
    Potential locations for signs are as follows:
    1 Route 20 and Shales Parkway
    2 Route 20 and Route 31
    3 Route 20 and Randall Road
    4 I90 and Route 31
    5 I90 and Randall Road

    • One Vote says:

      If these entry signs included a license plate reader that set off an alarm any time there was a match to an outstanding warrant and the cops picked up said perp, then maybe.
      If it was just to make us look like something we aren’t, then no.

  11. doobie says:

    I was told Elgin already spent $60k in their TLC persecution. Anna Moeller’s vendetta against TLC was very costly for Elgin taxpayers.

    Maybe she won’t run again and do us the favor of not having to beat her. I can imagine negative mailers about her now.

    The link

  12. Harmony says:

    I like to know who was the person that rewrote the zoning ordinance to ban this? Could it be that guy from South Carolina? Who’s is like the the development director but really isn’t since Cogley is the Chief development Officer, of which he got this big pay raise a few years ago. Any comments?

    • SIE says:

      I think you are referring to Marc Mylott.

      Why in the world they ever hired him is beyond me.

    • One Vote says:

      Cogley got a nice bump in pay a few years back (around 2007 I think) because he was wearing two or three hats. In addition to his lawyering he was watching over code enforcement and community development, kinda sorta.
      Anyway, it was enough for Schock to give him a nice raise.
      Of course, once you’ve got it they never take it away.

  13. Cruex says:

    The Daily Herald left Moeller’s name out of the article but the Tribune did not. Why the Daily Herald would omit her name as the sole cause is perplexing. The $60,000 figure for legal fees sounds in line for a federal suit.

    • One Vote says:

      From the Trib:
      “The city received the court’s opinion this afternoon,” said Elgin’s city attorney, William Cogley. “The city respectfully disagrees with the legal conclusions and the interpretations of certain facts of this matter as recited in the opinion. The city will be reviewing this matter further in the next several days and will be determining the appropriate courses of action.”

      Let’s hope Elgin isn’t dumb enough to contest this ruling.
      The right thing to do now is change the ordinance to comply with the rights of the people.

      • bw says:

        The city just can’t admit that they were wrong. Cogley is not spending his money the money belongs to the taxpayers. It is time for the city too understand that being on the wrong side of an issue is not the end of the world. Enough is enough. Change the ordinance so it complys with the ruling. Appeals are costly and most accomplish nothing and add to additional legal arguments that the legal profession can site in future years. A needed service is being provided to women in the area so they can make aa informed deciision that will be best for their future. We all make mistakes, many can afford to pay out of pocket but many can’t. They need to have this service available at no cost. I hope the service is expanded to more locations throughout the city. As the Pope suggest we must take care of the poor’s needs.

        • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

          From a lifenews.com article let’s not forget who apparently started this issue. I will remember Councilwoman Moeller’s action at election time and not vote for her.


          Last summer, Elgin moved to shut down TLC’s mobile facility for the rest of the year at both locations. Records indicate that, in August, Police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda, at the request of City Councilmember Anna Moeller, boarded the mobile facility while parked at JB’s and ordered TLC’s ultrasound technician, Jane DeFily, to “cease and desist” her activity. The officer informed DeFily that a certain city councilperson had driven by and described the mobile facility as an “eyesore.”.

          I don’t consider the van an eyesore but I do consider those atrocious black planters downtown an eyesore. On State Street in Chicago they use very minimal black iron and it is a 100 percent improvement. They showcase the greenery and flowers in similar size planters while Elgin showcases the black iron and hides the greenery and flowers.

          I don’t want Elgin to put these planters in the new river front area or National Street train station remodel so I emailed Councilwoman Moeller and asked her to be concerned about the black iron planter eye sore.

          I hope she goes at this planter eye sore with even more conviction than the TLC van.

          • One Vote says:

            Clarence, now that the U46 lawsuit is winding down, maybe Patty Whitten will have some time to work with Cogley to defend them on the TLC case.
            Sure, let Elgin fight the ruling and try to prove that the TLC bus is an eyesore and must go.
            Let the billable hours begin!

  14. Chuck Keysor says:

    bw, you are 100% correct on the TLC issue! Chuck

  15. Harmony says:

    Yes, Marc Mylott is a waste of our tax payer money. It is interesting Cogley the “legal eagle” would even approve of that ordinance. So here comes Moeller relying on a ordinance that Mylott wrote and is in deep doo doo.Let’s fire mylott and send him back to South Carolina. Oh wait he can’t go back there because they got smart and eliminated his position. Head west Mylott.

  16. Cruex says:

    Mr. Cogley is not at fault here, the entire city council is because they tell Cogley what to do. Did you forget Mr. Cogley and most of the council are college educated? How could they do any wrong with all of their education? You are not following your embedded liberal script here bw by defending the rights and practices of a pro-life business bw. You better check yourself. Your fellow liberal Moeller picked a fight with the wrong people and because of that we’re all going to pay. I don’t see the pro-choice supporters coming to Moeller’s aid do you? Where are all the NENA people at now? What does future mayor Rauschenberger have to say on this issue? Does she even know the city is being sued?

    • bw says:


      bw, you are 100% correct on the TLC issue! Chuck

      Since your team member Chuck Keysor posted the above, I feel my post was right on target. Thanks Chuck for the compliment.

  17. Give me a break says:


    From what I’ve read the city is being sued because of a zoning issue. You and half of the people on here are the first to complain about over crowding and code enforcement in apartments and houses. So zoning rules and codes only apply to families- not vans doing ultrasounds? Can’t have it both ways.

  18. Cruex says:

    To the contrary, violating zoning laws does not normally involve human safety.
    Overcrowding and code enforcement in apartments normally does.
    Unless ordered to by a liberal pro-choice councilwoman the chief of police
    does not enforce zoning laws. Chiefs of police are supposed to be too busy to carry
    out personal vendettas for the elected in their villages.

  19. One Vote says:

    City Hall has become intrusive. It will continue to do so in the name of “new revenue streams.”
    Just the other day I walked past the church across the street from Lords Park. They have put out a banner every year for decades, inviting people to sign their children up for preschool.
    This year the banner is sporting a large orange sticker from the city that approves the banner (for a fee, of course.) The banner is 1×4 feet, set back from the street a good 20 feet, on the lawn of the church.
    Everybody’s got a sticker for their banner.
    And they’ll make you take down yard signs, too (unless they are from Art and Soul, in which case they can be anywhere, even on the parkway).
    The council goes along with these staff concoctions because they are told it will enhance revenue and the businesses pay. It won’t impact the public. Any council member that becomes an adversary to staff will be marginalized and accused of micromanaging. That’s how the game is played.

  20. RS says:

    I oppose any law that can be used against taco trunks, but I think some of you guys would be singing a different tune if the van was doing something else (well aside from selling tacos)…

    Such as…handing out abortion coupons, condoms and contraceptives, providing safe sex instructions, birth control etc. Then you couldn’t shut it down fast enough. Innit?

    • bw says:

      RS: The van should have an agenda to do those things you suggest in your post. When a young women visits the van she wants to know if she is expecting and how far along she is in the term. She can now make the decision if she wants to abort or carry the baby to term. (HER RIGHT TO CHOOSE…

      The people running the van clinic can suggest that she carry the baby to term or advise her about the adverse affects of an abortion. Remember this young woman is going to follow her own mind as to which way she will go.

      The clinic people should be in a position to inform her about safe sex, as your post suggest, after she either gives birth or aborts. There is no garantee that every woman who visits the van is going to deliver a baby. Several may decide to visit the nearest abortion clinic. That decision is between her God and herself.

      My point is that the van should be available regardless of which way a woman wants to do with her life. Have a baby or go for an abortion if she is in a safe period for such a procedure. So the van is helping women make an lifelong decision about her condition. That is what it means that a woman has a right to choose which is the law of the land. (Roe v. Wade)

    • One Vote says:

      I am living the code enforcement dream. The house next door has two bedrooms and an illegal basement (ceiling too low, windows not large enough for egress and too high off the floor).
      There are currently six adults, two children, a baby and an expectant mother living in that house.
      The only thing code enforcement has done about it is warned them not to park their cars on the patio or the back lawn. They will not enforce the rest of the code because that would mean early morning raids, counting noses, checking where they are sleeping and cooking and measuring all the rooms. They won’t do that. They won’t squeeze the landlord.
      So they use the code to give warnings to people who park their car on the front line with a For Sale sign or smack down a guy who flares out his driveway on his own property or bust a church for their preschool banner.
      I will take every judgment I can to screw the city for strong arming a good cause…for that is how the liberals got the upper hand over decency.
      Like I said earlier, government has gotten too strong and the time has come to fight back.

  21. Margaret Miller says:

    Look what I found from Councilman Terry Gavin’s Facebook page:

    While it’s been some time since my last post I’ve been far from idle. We’re at about the 3 month point since the swearing in of the new city council. Here’s one the biggest issues to come up in that time frame, the ESO’s debt to the city of over $300,000 and what to do about any continued support.

    This is just Part 1 of a 2 part post on this issue.

    The city council has had 3 discussions of this topic at each of the last 3 council meetings. The plans for continuing support for the symphony as well as the repayment of the debt they’ve racked up over the last 2 years generally falls into the following categories. 1.) The ESO repays us the $300,000 they owe us over 15 years at 3% interest per year. 2.) We continue to award them a cash subsidy of $75,000 a year. 3.) They rent the Hemmens from the city at a discounted rate of 50% (what they get now) and 70% suggested going forward. These are a very bad deals for the taxpayer’s of Elgin.

    From the start of these discussions I’ve argued along with Council members Prigge & Shaw that the 15 year pay back is far to long even assuming the symphony lasts that long. I’ve also stated strongly that they need to make a major down payment of $100,000 now and a much shorter period of pay back of say 5 years on the balance. If they don’t come through on those points then they should get nothing further from us, in my opinion. Without those concessions there is no reason to continue supporting them going forward.

    Unfortunately the majority of the city council at this point seems perfectly fine with the 15 year payback and cash subsidies of $65,000 to $75,000 a year. By their own admission the ESO’s problems over the last 2 years are largely due to their own mismanagement, yet they expect us to simply give them a sweetheart deal with the taxpayer’s money. I will NOT support the deals on the table currently. If you agree with us who oppose this bailout then contact council members Moeller, who’s sister-in-law plays for symphony, Steffan, Powell, Dunne, Rauschenberger & Mayor Kaptain with your opposition to their plans.

    Next post Part 2: What should we do about the Hemmens the primary home of the ESO?


    • Peter Galbreathe says:

      Margaret, I found this on Prigge’s Facebook. Looks like he gave them what for on this issue too!


      QUICK ELGIN QUIZ: What do all of these towns have in common?

      Kalamazoo, MI
      Buffalo Grove
      Park Ridge
      Lake Barrington
      Bayside, WI
      St. Charles

      They represent some of the towns people live in who have emailed me asking me to spend more Elgin tax dollars and continue giving more free office rent to for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Of course, none of the emails mentioned the $303,000 owed to Elgin’s taxpayers for Hemmens rent by the ESO.

      Perhaps the writers weren’t aware of this colossal debt when they emailed me. They know about it now.

      I have responded to each emailer asking them, some of whom are even ESO musicians, to please send a check or make a credit card payment directly to the city of Elgin marked, “ESO DEBT” to bring down this unprecedented debt owed. Doing this will preserve their desire to listen to live orchestra music in Elgin. I further urged them to contact the elected officials in THEIR towns and ask them for an immediate check to be cut from their taxpayer’s checking account payable to the city of Elgin.

      I have received only one response so far. That came from an ESO musician who said they have “already donated to the city of Elgin by accepting what amounts to a 20% salary cut” for the ESO’s upcoming season. I see.

      Funny, Elgin’s taxpayers have received ZERO in the last two years from an organization that is working with a 2.5 million dollar budget and has paid off all of their creditors except one, us. The ones who own the building they perform in.

      • paul says:

        That represents a very large (outside of Elgin) patronage of the ELGIN symphony orchestra! But that funding of their non-taxpayer financed $2.5 million payroll comes from somewhere!

        “Funny, Elgin’s taxpayers have received ZERO in the last two years”

        AT least the Elgin taxpayers received subsidized beer at Porter’s Pub for the $1 million Elgin taxpayers spent keeping that place going the past 2 years!

        Funny, the (ELGIN) ESO spent $5 million the last 2 years, not received a single dime of Elgin taxpayer money, and incredibly Elgin got “zero” benefit in return. That is funny.

        Free beer for everyone.

        • Anna Claire says:

          Sure sounds like they will and can do just fine without the taxpayer’s money then, right Paul?

    • One Vote says:

      The ESO is a textbook example of government picking the winners…and doing it badly.
      The ESO does not own the Hemmens. They should pay full rent. They should not have special privileges regarding scheduling. They should not be allowed to be delinquent. They should not be subsidized by the city while other NFPs are denied grants.
      In other words, the rules should be the same for ALL NFPs who rent the Hemmens.

    • paul says:

      Do you people have some type of mental deficiency that prevents your from understanding a simple concept: THE HEMMENS IS NOT VIABLE WITHOUT THE ESO?

      When you achieve your victory of exterminating the ESO what exactly will you have won given that the Hemmens will have the exact same costs with or without the ESO only Elgin will be without an ESO and have a vacant Hemmens?

      “very bad deals for the taxpayer’s of Elgin.”

      Really, Terry? I’ll give you a 10 page list of “very bad deals for the taxpayer’s of Elgin” and the ESO won’t rank in the top 10 pages. Start with your subsidy of beer drinkers at Porters Pub to the tune of $1/2 MILLION annually! $3/4 million annually to the Centre!

      But then you seem very short on good deals or good ideas; in fact you don’t seem to have any ideas on this ESO dilemma of your and the City of Elgin’s own creation. If you demand the ESO pays Hemmens rental fees with money they don’t have and therefore don’t pay; what do YOU do, Terry? Seems like you have two options: refuse them the use of the Hemmens or …. I guess you really have only one option - pointless to sue an organization without assets for assets they don’t have.

      • Chuck says:

        Paul, I am not advocating this position, nor do I know if this is part of anyone’s official logic or not. The following could though, be part of someone’s unspoken thinking.

        It has been stressed for a long time that in addition to the losses and wastes you cited, there sits the Hemmens that looses something like $700,000 or $800,000 per year. If the Hemmens needs the ESO, and the ESO needs the Hemmens, IF someone doesn’t care to save the ESO and is willing to let it go away, then that would give a free hand to get rid of the Hemmens, and therebye end that huge annual loss.

        Getting rid of the Hemmens would not mean tearing it down. After all, who would tear down a perfectly good building for no real purpose? (OOPS, I forgot about our beautiful 1960’s version of the Gail Borden Library…..) It would simply make it more logical to sell the building to someone else that could figure out what to do with it.

        Not only would the City not owning the Hemmens end the City’s perpetual loss of $700k to $800k per year, and not only would that bring in some cash from the sale, it would put that building onto the tax rolls. (Unless it would be bought by a mega church……. but who would want a mega church without any parking???? Oooops, sell them the vacant lot where the libary used to be.)


        • RS says:

          Mega church is an interesting idea!

          Another idea: Did they consider having the ESO take over the Hemmens in exchange for forgiving their debt?

        • paul says:

          “I am not advocating this position”

          What position? That the ESO pay up their debts to the City of Elgin? And clearly NOT in 15 years!

          “more logical to sell the building”

          Centrally located river front property of an old inadequate high maintenance large auditorium building without a single window facing the river!!! The only buyer would be a church - at a low price; for any other purpose it would be torn down. Sell off Porter’s pub and the golf course it sits on. Sell off the butterfly garden park and all that vacant land on Mcbride street. But that ain’t gonna happen either. It is the Kingdom of the City of Elgin government.

        • Margaret Miller says:

          The previous Council was strong on the “NO VOTE” back in 2012 regarding additional funding to the ESO and anyone listening to the January 2013 Council meeting would have thought the same thing. I attended the January Council meeting when Mr. Bearden offered his ESO bailout driven presentation. As I have transcribed the Council’s portion of that meeting, I am all too aware of Council’s questions, responses and public concerns regarding the ESO’s request for funding.

          Now with all the discussion favoring an ESO deal of the century in the way of a fifteen year repayment plan, a low 3% interest rate and discounts up to 75% on the Hemmens rental, I wonder what happened 2012 to now?

          Well, we’re at that fork in the road with regard to this money pit of an organization. Do the Elgin tax payer’s bailout the ESO? What about future rental charges? Why is an offer of discounted rental even on the table when discounts shouldn’t be offered to anyone. Shouldn’t the Hemmens to be a revenue generator and not a profit loser as the East Side Rec Center has been for years? How in the world was this debt allowed to accumulate without being addressed?

          It is clear that the ESO has done nothing on their own behalf to raise funds, offering a clear appearance of laziness regarding their own financial plight however not too lazy to extend their hand to the City Council for more funding.

          It is also clear the ESO placed no importance on the repayment of their debt since their was no line item for debt repayment in either of their published budgets. (Note: the published budgets are not full disclosure.)

          With a PUBLISHED Budget 2012-2013 REVENUE - $2,475,165 EXPENSES - $2,275,365
          PUBLISHED Budget 2010-2011 REVENUE - $2,236,185 EXPENSES - $2,817,285

          I want to know where the separation of money is? The ESO owes Elgin well over $303,000 and the money clock has not stopped ticking. Now, they have an upcoming season starting in October, has anyone asked them for the rent money or sent them an invoice for the Hemmens or office space rental yet? Does the city have plans to do that? If yes, when, or is it just assumed that any additional Hemmens rental and office fees will be tacked onto the current debt ad infinitum? Has this Council put the ESO on notice that past debt has nothing to due with future rental charges for either location? Has the ESO been placed on written notice that they need to get their rental money together or be locked out of their locations? How long is this City going to allow this absurd behavior going to continue?

          If the ESO considers the Hemmens its home, I have to wonder if that house is sound enough for anyone to rent. Has the structural study come back so everyone knows what is truly facing tax payers? How much will it cost to bring this building up to code? Millions I suspect.

          On the other hand, the Hemmens may be in such bad shape that it may not be standing in five years. So, then what? Elgin has a relationship with the ESO that’s joined at the hip by the Hemmens. If its not structurally sound and because of some agreement with the ESO, do we now have to build them a new home as discussed back in 2007 and mentioned in Mr. Bearden’s January address to the Council? My conservative guess for a new facility would be at a tax payer’s cost upwards of $50 million dollars? Which may have been the plan all along.

          • james madison says:

            Margaret, i have watched the January presentation of the ESO several times. Could you point me to the spot on the video where a new facility is mentioned. I have heard this several times and cannot locate that section. Thanks, James

          • Margaret Miller says:

            Morning James:

            You may find the information you ask from me at http://www.cityofelgin.org/index.aspx?NID=141
            COW January 23, 2013 - Video Mark: 00:51:15

            Also please note Video Mark: 01:07:10 & 01:26:45

            You may ready my July 11 Elginite Post for additional information and the below will offer additional insight.

            You may also want to read the excerpts from a 2007 interview

            AD: Tell me about the proposed new hall.
            BH: There’s ahuge probability that it’s going to happen. The big issue remaining is whether it will be a multi-purpose hall or a concert hall. There is a movement afoot to try to bring Broadway to Elgin. The symphony feels that, while Broadway could be a nice thing to bring more folks to the downtown, it is difficult to mount and sell – especially since Elgin has no history of producing Broadway at any level. Elgin already has a wonderful orchestra. Why not capitalize on the orchestra by building a world-class concert hall?

            AD: Tell me about your plans to build a new hall.

            MP: The challenge we’re facing is that we’re in a building, The Hemmens Cultural Center, which was built 40 years ago and which was built just to get it up – it was not meant to be a building that would last forever.

            When Hattie Hemmens died in the mid 1960s, Elgin was at an all-time low. The Elgin Watch factory had just closed and the city had very little money. She left money to build a community center, but did not leave enough money, so the city had to cobble together enough money to cover the balance. They then ran into all sorts of underground water problems and had to value engineer as much money out of the building as possible. Now, 40 years later, it’s not lasting. We’re faced with the potential crisis of not having a viable building 15 years from now.

            There are three types of halls:
            a concert hall, which is meant for an orchestra to perform in.
            a fly-tower, where you can have first-run Broadway shows.
            in the middle – a flexible space with the ceiling, floors, walls, and audience rake of a concert hall, but that has a variety of flexible features so that many different things can happen on the stage.
            A concert hall is unlikely for us – the current debate is between options 2 and 3.

            A flexible space has the ability to do everything currently done in Hemmens but with much better sound. It would be different from the other halls in the region, but you wouldn’t be able to have Broadway.

            We need to figure out how much it will cost – we’re early in those negotiations. The city might build the building and we might raise an endowment to cover part of the subsidy of the building, perhaps the difference between the current subsidy of Hemmens and the future subsidy of a new building. We might also raise money to add niceties to the building, such as changing cement finishes to wood or granite.

            AD: How did you decide the amount of money you were capable of raising for this project?

            MP: We sat down with a group of community leaders and talked to them about what Bob [Hanson] saw as top priorities for the orchestra. They ultimately decided that we needed to build a new hall. We made it clear that they were the ones who had to make it possible. We came out of it with a group of individuals intent on building the hall. Over a 6-month period, we decided we were going to raise $5 million – all we had were some drawings of what the building might look like. We succeeded; six gifts made up the $5 million, and only one person said no.

          • James Madison says:

            Margaret, thank you very much. If the interview was from 2007 I doubt that anyone has an appetite for building a new hall after the meltdown of 2008 (which continues for many of us).Thanks again for your help, James

          • SIE says:

            I think we get it. You are against any further subsidies for the ESO from the city. You want them to pay their bill, etc.

            I have to think you are aware of all the other issues facing this city yet you continue to make long posts about the ESO with transcripts that could easily be read by anyone if you just provided the link.

            There has to be some thing more to this vendetta against the ESO. Why don’t you tell us?

          • Margaret Miller says:

            I’m not against an ESO that is self sustaining. I am against any organization that continually has their hand out for my tax dollars without doing anything to make themselves solvent, even to the point of repaying their debt.

            All the money we keep throwing at the ESO is money that is taken away from other NFP that feed, shelter and offer other services to people in need. The ESO provides zero with respect to that.

            How can you have an budgeted revenue of $2.5 million and not pay off your debts and then comes back to Elgin crying they need money. Pathetic!

          • paul says:

            “All the money we keep throwing at the ESO”

            We are NOT currently throwing ANY money at the ESO. What part of that do you not understand?

            When you succeed in your war against the ESO and the ESO is gone, YOU will STILL have the exact same amount of taxpayer money spent on the Hemmens as with the ESO only now you’ll have a vacant Hemmens and no ESO, no $2.5 million non-taxpayer financed ESO payroll, no patronage of Elgin businesses by ESO concert goers.

            “taken away from other NFP that feed, shelter and offer other services to people in need.”

            Your idea is to turn the Hemmens into a homeless shelter!

            “How can you have an budgeted revenue of $2.5 million and not pay off your debt”

            Maybe the ESO could eliminate their string section! Or eliminate the Elgin residents on their non-taxpayer financed payroll!

            Do you still have a nose or have you already removed it to spite your face?

          • Margaret Miller says:


            I have never been so surprised with your opinion on this ESO issue! Usually you exercise common sense but perhaps you have lost your objective opinion on this one.

            If it were anyone else but the ESO, I have a suspicion that you would be on the taxpayer’s side of the issue. Instead your on the welfare for the elitist side of things and that doesn’t match up to what I have read on this blog posted by you in the past.

            I will turn this back around and ask you, why are you so devoutly supportive of the ESO knowing what you do about this organization’s debt? Do you have a relative in ESO as Anna Moeller does or are you part of that string section you mentioned?

            I will add that just like someone who has lost the argument, you lower yourself to personal attacks and name calling. Its beneath you Paul.

          • paul says:

            “Usually you exercise common sense ”

            Translation: anyone who disagrees with anything MM says must be nonsensical.

            ” I have a suspicion that you would be on the taxpayer’s side of the issue. ”

            I am on the taxpayers side of this issue. Ask Chuck about his rants here about the Centre. I don’t support the $3/4 million annual deficit the Centre incurs but too late; we already built it. Boarding it up isn’t really a viable solution. I don’t support the $0.5 million subsidy to Porters pub but too late; the city already built Bowes Creek CC and the CC isn’t viable without food and drink service.

            “Do you have a relative in ESO”

            Ahhh, there it is, the conspiracy theory. That must be why I don’t agree with you and too don’t cut my nose off to spite my face!!!

            “lost the argument”

            I assume I won the argument given your complete refusal/inability to rebut a single argument I made.

            “you lower yourself to personal attacks and name calling.”

            If speaking truth is lowering oneself in your world I hope I’m at the bottom. Speaking of speaking truth please reference my personal attack and name calling of you - I can’t find it.

            P.S. I’ve never been to an ESO concert, not even a free one in the park; and have no plans to attend in the future. Thus, I really don’t care about the ESO beyond the benefits the ESO provides me by utilizing an under-utilized already existing Hemmens facility, providing some vibrancy to the downtown area of Elgin, providing patronage to Elgin businesses, providing an annual $2.5 million privately financed payroll, providing me something other than a Detroit lookalike landscape of empty store fronts, empty houses, and vacant land.

            P.P.S. I also support the COE decorating the downtown area for Christmas, unlike some people here. What kind of town do you want to live in: A Carpentersville or an Elgin that resembles Carpentersville?

          • Margaret Miller says:

            There were only statements in your post, nothing to argue with.

            P.S. I’ve never been to an ESO concert, not even a free one in the park; and have no plans to attend in the future. Thus, I really don’t care about the ESO beyond the benefits the ESO provides me by utilizing an under-utilized already existing Hemmens facility, providing some vibrancy to the downtown area of Elgin, providing patronage to Elgin businesses, providing an annual $2.5 million privately financed payroll, providing me something other than a Detroit lookalike landscape of empty store fronts, empty houses, and vacant land.

            Neither have I.

            P.P.S. I also support the COE decorating the downtown area for Christmas, unlike some people here. What kind of town do you want to live in: A Carpentersville or an Elgin that resembles Carpentersville?

            I want an Elgin that looks like Schaumburg.

            Are we about done here?

          • paul says:

            “Are we about done here?”

            One might assume so given your refusal/inability to cogently refute a single word I say. But no, now you ramble on with rank amateur erroneous psychology as to my state of mind, and disparaging name calling.
            Of course, you can stop ANY TIME you so desire!!!

            I’ll ask AGAIN: how are you, how is Elgin, how are the Elgin taxpayers better served by your campaign of terminating, exterminating, getting rid of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra from the Hemmens GIVEN that your expense, the City of Elgin expense, the taxpayer expense, the Hemmens expense will be virtually exactly the same; with the ONLY change is that you, Elgin, taxpayers, Hemmens won’t have an ESO and all that the ESO brings with it including a $2.5 million privately funded payroll, Elgin patronage, and Elgin prestige.

            I don’t expect you to answer given your refusal/inability to answer that previously; but until you provide a cogent answer to that YOU add nothing to this discussion. IN fact, I say you take from the issue by obscuring the reality of the issue.

            In the same vain I’d sure like Prigge to explain to me his Yes vote for the $300K of routine maintenance on the Hemmens while decrying it (his vote) as being insane. Is Prigge not a man of principle? Prigge refuses to put forth a solution to his own created problem either. Classic standard politician.

          • One Vote says:

            Looking at it another way, what is the benefit of ESO? Is it worth free rent and free office space?
            Is it more worthy of those perks than other NFP performing groups who pay to rent the facility (and always have) and get nothing from the city?
            How much of that payroll actually goes to Elgin? Most of the performers are NOT local.
            This whole sweetheart deal and failure to pay rent has Gilliam’s fingerprints all over it.
            Trust me; other groups who lost their funding were required to pay their rent just the same.
            It’s time for ESO to pay their own way, just like everyone else who rents the Hemmens.

          • RS says:

            I think Paul makes some valid points. Are there acts lining up to book the Hemmens? I could be wrong but that’s not my impression. I only ever recall hearing that the city has a hard or impossible time booking acts that are both profitable and can fill the auditorium. If the ESO can do that on a regular basis, that solves a certain problem.

            What the council preliminarily agreed to do was rent the space to all nonprofits at a discounted rate, so why should we be discussing special treatment of the ESO at this point? They will pay the same rate as other nonprofits. At that rate, they might be paying about $40K a year to the city in rent.

            But we should also keep in mind that in the real world, the largest and best customers are always able to negotiate preferred rates and discounts. The ESO is the best customer they have. Who else is going to book so many dates? Why shouldn’t they be able to negotiate a discount?

            For a time I wondered too if we weren’t just subsidizing a pleasure outing for a certain segment of the population, but in the end I concluded that it does make sense for numerous reasons to provide modest support for the ESO, which is basically what the council has agreed to do (I guess pending a final vote).

            People are arguing about such a small sum. An annual grant of $8,500, which as a percent of their budget is an extremely low amount of public funding compared to other orchestras.

            The rent subsidy to me seems like it might be financially neutral or a net positive to the city. Yes, they’ll pay only half the normal rate. But who says those dates would otherwise be filled by somebody paying a full rate?

            I do find it improbable that the Hemmens could successfully fill up all those dates without the ESO. If they managed it, it would not be without a huge investment of staff time to book and manage the dozens of acts that would be required over the years. Most of which, I’m guessing, will lose money for the city.

  22. Cruex says:

    Example fail by RS. Your examples are not medical testing and ultrasound services completed by technicians and are expensive with a doctors office yet are free with TLC. What you are talking about are products that are available free on the internet or for low cost thru a vending machine

    • RS says:

      The technology has nothing to do with anything. Let’s face it: TLC got lucky with a pro-life judge appointed by George W Bush:


      The ruling makes no legal sense at all (except to a judge who went to a Christian college and a law school nobody’s heard of). That’s why Cogley wants to appeal. He knows he’ll win. Unfortunately it’s just not worth the trouble.

      • paul says:

        Will it suddenly be worth the trouble when the abortion services van pulls up? How about the medical marijuana service van? Drug addiction van - get your free clean needles here! Don’t Taco trucks provide a community service?
        One way to get around the business license fee too!

        I agree with Moeller - twice now; Gavin - not so much! And Gavin wants to raise my taxes by eliminating the business license fee, too!!!

  23. bw says:

    RS: The finding makes all the sense in the world. Anyone can tell tht the city attorney drafted the ordinance to satisfy certain members of the council. If Cogley appeals he will not be successful as the civil rights of the poor are being violated. It is a no win situation for the city. I could see this case going all the way to the Supreme Court costing a large sum of money. As you posted, it is not worth the trouble. The council should tell Cogley to drop the case and save us taxpayers a lot of money. Let’s not compound the issue by doing something stupid.

  24. bw says:

    Course Description: HSM 514 Starts 8-19-2013

    This course provides a systematic understanding of the components and major themes of US health care system. The course focuses on the development, organization, structure and characteristics of the health care system, current payment and reimbursement systems, the functions of health care providers, and organizational patterns of health care facilities.

    This course starts with an overview of health spending and health status, the organization and financing of the health care system, and the policy making process. We will then examine several current health policy issues, including topics related to private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, covering the uninsured, quality of care, health information technology, social disparities, long-term care and the future of health services delivery. I’m looking forward to starting this course as an extension to my graduate studies. I encourage other seniors too continue their education.

  25. Jason Dusenberry says:

    I was listening to the police scanner yesterday. Not that I needed any reminding, especially in a city our size, but the need for strong and ample core services was never so evident. There was some sort of incident near the library with multiple squad cars, a hit and run of a car, and a guy drinking beer on the front stoop of a house in which the person does not know him. This was all happening simultaneously!

  26. bennie says:

    Well Jason that’s what happens when no city ordinances are enforced or enforced only against certain ppl. This city is getting just like the rest of the country “out of control” we should not b surprised to see almost anything one can imagine. There was a time that ppl could not be seen drinking alcohol in public places not even on one’s own front porch without police getting involved that remains the case in certain areas. For select ppl that same enforcement is absent. Since we have ppl living here experiencing a culture different from their home land so the rules are relaxed actually ignored.
    I don’t know the reason except I guess we are not charged with profiling. Too many ppl have no respect for others nor their property.

  27. bw says:

    Give the Hemmens to Willow Creek. They have a church operating in Huntly. I’m sure the founder would love to set up shop in Elgin. They have the resources to make necessay repairs. There is parking in the parking lots and garage around the Hemmens, the same parking used by all current activities hosted there now by ESO and other groups. Willow Creek would provide he mega church Elgin could use for those who are looking for a church that offers entertainment. Maybe ESO could be part of their weekly services and also work out a deal with willow Creek that would allow them to use the building for their annual concert schedule. Willow Creek has 10,000 members making weekly donations to their mega church. They are always adding on to their main church in South Barrington. Maybe the city manager should approach them about taking over the Hemmens.

  28. RS says:

    What did you guys think of John Prigge’s Facebook post on the Sister Cities trip:

    Terry Gavin is quoted in this article saying, “So realistically, we just gave the (six) Chileans a nice vacation with no legal Sister City designation.”

    Councilman Gavin is right.

    And as I just discovered, three of the six-person Cauquenes vacation entourage we put up in a hotel and fed were firefighters. Instead of Cauquenes’ industry reps, Chamber of Commerce officials, import/export experts or anyone else crucial to a mutually beneficial Sister City relationship, we paid for three firefighters to frolic about Elgin and Chicago. What’s worse is that two of the three firefighters weren’t even from our so-called Sister City of Cauquenes.

    Wait, it gets better…

    One person in the six-person taxpayer stomp was a news reporter from Santiago, Chile. That’s right, we put up, fed and chauffeured around a foreign reporter to cover their vacation getaway. The only members of this tour group who could have been seen as pertinent were the Cauquenes city manager and one councilman. That’s it. 33% of the group.

    And all of this happened under the dull-pointed, shameless fabrication that we not only took a vote naming Cauquenes as an official Sister City but that the vote was unanimous. Follow that with a weak, intentional misrepresentation that ceremonial proclamations are ordained approvals for spending and policy implementation and you have yet another black eye on the face of transparency in Elgin.

    My suggestion to Elgin taxpayers is to not get caught up in the “less than $5500.00” smoke screen and stick to the practicality, or lack therefore, of this last-minute, tag-team escape to the USA that you paid for.

    Maybe the reason we did not have one meeting with the Cauquenes tour group about business and commerce for Elgin is that 66% of them are unqualified to discuss commerce. Not even one meeting was planned about disaster preparedness, which is ironically something 66% of this entourage IS qualified to discuss. That is, if we forget that we have a FEMA employee on the city council and that the odds are near impossible that Elgin will suffer from a catastophic earthquake like Cauquenes did three years ago.

    I endorse open discussions about a fair, two-way Sister City relationship with equal, qualified cities. Not an “Adopt-a-City” plan where taxpayers get to pay thousands for Summer vacations.

    Which he made in response to Mike Danahey’s Courier story:

  29. Cruex says:

    bw may be on to something here. Willow Creek has almost as much money as the ESO members and supporters do and a lot more decency and responsibility. If you can find future-mayor Rauschenberger amongst the stars somewhere ask her to submit it!

  30. bw says:

    Most local church members are going to Willow Creek every week. my three Catholic grandchildren and their mother, my son and his girlfried, another son,his wife,and grade school daughter go there. They tried Harvest but it was not like Willow Creek. The young people like the Willow Creek agenda better. Ask any local member how many individuals have quit their church and attend Willow Creek. My own church, St. Lawrence, has lost members to Willow Creek. The Hemmens would bring a real mega church to Elgin and many people with them. Just think of the money that would be generated for the downtown businesses.

  31. RS says:

    By the way hope you guys didn’t miss out on this unusually informative article about the ESO from the local press:

    Why the Elgin Symphony Orchestra is atypical in the suburbs

    Some things to take away from that:

    1 - there are a lot of community orchestras in Chicagoland, most that nobody has ever heard of because we don’t live there just as they are not likely to have heard of our orchestra

    2 - the ESO has a HUGE budget

    3 - the size of the ESO is fairly large. with 63 members it is well in excess of what is required to play the works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart and even Beethoven (basically anything up through the Classical period)

    4 - for an organization of its size/budget, ESO’s subsidies from the city are modest

    We’ve been hearing a lot from critics locally about how the ESO is mismanaged but actually compared to other orchestras in the United States they are doing a pretty good job with their budget. That wasn’t in the article but if you do some research you can confirm it.

    City council agreed in July (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130724/news/707249578) that ESO would basically get $8,500 a year through the cultural arts commission. They would get 15 years to repay the $300K debt and 50% discount on rent at the Hemmens.

    That means the city will actually be making money off the ESO on the rent of probably around $40K a year. Yet we’re still hearing a lot of complaints.

    Perhaps it is time to let go of this issue and move on to something else.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      With respect, as the monitor, in your first post regarding Councilman Prigg’s Chilean Facebook post, you ask people for their thoughts and in the next post regarding ESO you inaccurately express ESO facts and ask people to move on to something else.

      Firstly, Councilman Prigge can publish anything he wants to on his own Facebook page. Remember that we all still retain the First Amendment.

      Now on to your second post regarding the ESO. I feel adequately qualified to respond to you since I have been close to this particular issue for some time. Please remember that if this post is too long, anyone has the free will to move past it and read a shorter post.

      To your point #1 - You imply that most people don’t hear of other communities orchestras because they don’t live in that community. I’m sure the ESO and Mr. Bearden, along with several Elgin Council members and supporters would disagree with you. After all, they claim “The Brand” is an asset to Elgin and they are enlarging their circle with, as reported, with fewer performances. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130109/news/701099561/
      I wonder how you increase your footprint and revenue with fewer performances? Also, if you were reviewing Councilman Prigge’s Facebook page, you would have see a short list of locations noted from ESO supporters, Wisconsin and Michigan doesn’t sound like local to me.

      To your point #2 - The ESO has a huge budget compared to other neighboring communities. Yes, they do. Could it be that those communities have a better sense of fiscal tax payer responsibility than Elgin’s past Council’s did or does by some current Council members? Could it be that personal associations with ESO and Council members may have something to do with additional money, debt terms and discounts being offered? You did fail to mention that ESO’s large budget is largely due to the Elgin tax payer’s support. When the economy went south so did ESO’s responsibility to pay their way in rental fees and office space now exceeding $303,000. Shame on the city for not addressing this problem 20 months ago. That is unconsciencable. The ESO budget sure tells a story doesn’t it?

      PUBLISHED Budget 2012-2013 REVENUE - $2,475,165 EXPENSES - $2,275,365
      PUBLISHED Budget 2010-2011 REVENUE - $2,236,185 EXPENSES - $2,817,285

      To you point #3 - The size of the orchestra is a matter of opinion isn’t it? Many of these member musicians are freelance. As I do not know the details of their recent June 2013 contract, I don’t think all members report for all concerts.

      To your point #4 - As I have already pointed out in my response to your point #2, ESO has a spending problem, donor sponsor problem, debt problem and are cash poor problem. Perhaps that is why they continue to approach Elgin with their hand extended. I don’t think what the taxpayer’s have subsidized is modest at all in comparison.

      I will call it your point #5 - What is your proof of that statement and more to the point, Mr. Bearden open admits to the mismanagement, that’s the entire reason why he took on his non compensated position of CFO.

      I will call it your point #6 - It was suggested, NOT agreed to by Council, that the ESO apply for a $8,500 Cultural Arts grant. The application is not a guarantee of anything. Also, the $8,500 is twice the amount the Chicago Symphony received from Chicago tax payer’s. The fifteen years and discounted Hemmens rental has received its own disgruntle response from several Council members and as suggested, those numbers and repayment time frame has been reined in. I will also add that the Hemmens should be a profit center and not a money pit as the East Side Rec Center has been for a long while.

      I will call it your point #7 - Through what mathematical equation do you actually see the city making a profit on the Hemmens with the ESO? They don’t pay their rent. So discount or not, fifteen years or not, the ESO does not pay their debt. $40,000 profit to the city. How do you figure that? We just approved $273,000 for the boilers. There is maintenance inside and outside this building not to mention updates to code issues. $40,000, if you even count fictitious profits, it is a false drop in the bucket and we’re still losing money. The ROI with this one sided partnership is awful.

      I would be happy to move on to something else once this issue has reached its final and logical financial conclusion in favor of the tax payer.

      Perhaps the swing vote will be Anna Moeller. Will she chooses to abstain due to the citizens perception of conflict of interest with her sister in law in the ESO and a possiblt re-election bid in 2015, or will she consideration that, via the TLC lawsuit, her actions and associations will end up costing the tax payer’s hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      Psssst, RS, the word on the street is that a small group of excited and anxious taxpayer’s are planning a rally at City Hall regarding the ESO upcoming vote. Additionally, if the ESO debt is not paid by their October’s opening, that rally will become a picket line opening night.

      • RS says:

        You’re arguing over a subsidy of $8,500 for an organization with a budget of almost $2.5M.

        Does the ESO generate economic and other benefits to Elgin of at least $8,500 per year? The answer is yes, it does. It employs dozens of people–presumably many residents, brings some traffic to downtown businesses, marginally helps the city’s image. It keeps musicians in the community who are able to perform, tutor and teach. The orchestra has also long been a destination for school field trips.

        The value of the orchestra is well in excess of $8,500 a year. We should consider ourselves fortunate that they are able to operate with so little support from the city.

        Yes, ideally the ESO or somebody else would take over the Hemmens, but right now it is city property and its maintenance is the city’s responsibility. Hopefully the city can convince the ESO to take over the Hemmens, perhaps in exchange for forgiving the debt owed…

        • Margaret Miller says:


          Again with respect, I am surprised that with all I offered, this was your response.

          I would be happy to offer, if I could, $8,500 in exchange for a check from the ESO in the amount of $294,500 to clear their debt.

          - $8,500
          $294,500 - That will just cover the cost of the 3 new boilers Council approved Wednesday.

          How is it an economic benefit if the city, pays out more than the community takes in from this organization?

          Perhaps you are referring to a possible benefit in public relations?
          If it is, I want my money back for false advertising under the bait and switch laws.

          Caveat Emptor

          So I’m guessing you won’t be joining us at the rally.

          • RS says:

            Yes, they have $300K debt. Elgin has millions of dollars in debt. Illinois has billions ($100 billion just in pension debt). And the United States has trillions, almost $6T owned by China alone.

          • paul says:

            “with all I offered”

            Evidently no one wants your nose even if you do cut it off to spite your face.

            “you won’t be joining us at the rally.”

            I’m always up for a good freak show. You’ll be the one without the nose!
            I’ll be the one laughing at you.

            What else have you offered, seriously?

            P.S. I assume the daily newspapers put to rest your hysteria over the Hemmens being a viable structure! $20 million over 20 years with or without the ESO. Not sure if that even includes operating costs. Funny, no mention from you about that.

          • Margaret Miller says:

            RS, what’s the point to your question. We’re talking about Elgin and the ESO.

            Is the comparison to Illinois and the country your attempt at making the ESO debt seem small in comparison? Good try.

          • Margaret Miller says:


            I can see you didn’t get enough rest last night because you have a moodiness about you today. I do hope that changes since it’s Friday and therefore the weekend will be upon us shortly.

            By the way, I don’t think I was directly addressing you in that earlier post but chime in all you want. You continue to prove that the people on the other side of this issue are passionate to the point irrational behavior, rants and questionable facts. I have posted many times regarding the Hemmens. It must have been around the 30 days your were requested to take a break from this blog for bad behavior.

            As I remember Paul, you wanted to attend the Chilean rally, if there was one but I guess its still a free country and you can pick your issues as you can your nose!

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Rick, the Daily Herald ran a very informative, well researched story by Elena Ferrarin about suburban symphonies. It was eye opening in the presentation of how other suburban symphonies are funded and connected to their host communities. I hope you can read that, and post it. Elgin’s support of the ESO is over-the-top compared to every other comparable symphony.


        • RS says:

          In absolute terms it is larger because the budget of the ESO is far larger than other community orchestras in Chicagoland, which are not normally “fully professional.” In terms of a percent of their budget the level of funding received from government (city) sources is within the norm of orchestras across the United States.

          Even at its peak funding of $125,000 that represented what would have been about 5% of their budget at that time. Compare that to other orchestras that are receiving 10 or 20% of their budget from their cities (according to the article you cited), and you can see that the ESO is doing really good for a suburban orchestra. How they are even able to pull in more than $2M boggles my mind.

  32. james madison says:

    So the ESO not paying rent is equal to the death of thousands on 9/11…shame on you John Prigge, have you no shame at all? Shame on you

  33. RS says:


    The city manager she said was forcing her to resign or be fired at that time, and she explained her resignation had nothing to do with that sex scandal that had gone on there at the same time.”


    Womack was Elgin’s chief of police from August 2005 until April 2010 and eight months later was hired in Lakeland. In Elgin, she resigned in the middle of a lengthy internal investigation into the scandal, records show. Her resignation was in lieu of being fired by Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall, Elgin’s newspaper, The Daily Herald, reported.

    But Stegall wrote a kind letter of reference for Womack to use in her job search, and in emails, he told The Ledger that Womack was innovative and left the city in good standing.

    Womack said her departure in Elgin had “absolutely nothing” to do with the sex scandal.

    After getting a three-week, resign-or-be-fired notice in March 2010, Womack signed a severance agreement on April 1 that year. She was officially gone eight days later, according to Elgin records obtained by The Ledger.

    She received $75,343 in severance pay, half of her yearly salary. As a standard part of most such deals, she agreed never to sue Elgin…

    Public officials in Elgin and Lakeland’s Thomas said the Elgin police sex scandal and the subsequent internal investigation weren’t connected to her exit…

    But her exit from Elgin did leave some wondering about it.

    “The city manager wanted to name his own chief. It was that simple,” Womack said…

    Attempts to reach Elgin’s nine City Council members were mostly unsuccessful. Two of them sent no-comment replies, saying they didn’t serve on the council while Womack was chief.

    Ed Schock, who was mayor in Elgin during Womack’s tenure, said he spoke with Stegall often and thought Womack and Stegall “just weren’t right” for each other in a variety of ways.

    Schock said he felt Womack did a good job.

    Why was she forced to resign? “Sean never gave a reason,” Schock said.

    John Walters, a longtime councilman who served during Womack’s tenure until April 2009, is a lawyer and former judge. He said there were “lots of rumors and innuendo” about Womack’s stay in Elgin. The council was told that any disagreement between Womack and Stegall, the heir apparent to city manager, was “a personnel matter.”

    “We were told: ‘Unless you want to be part of a lawsuit, you don’t want to know about it,’” he said. “So, we never knew.”

    Is it just me or is this really kind of disturbing?

    • SIE says:

      The whole article focuses on Elgin and our sex scandal. What about the sex scandal in Lakeland? Other than a cursory mention they don’t go in to any detail. I suppose the residents there already know about it but I don’t after reading this article. Kind of a poorly formatted article IMO.

  34. Katie says:

    Why are you bring up this news? She is no longer Elgin’s problem.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Katie, not too long ago, RS posted a request for information anyone would have about Lisa Womack’s time here in Elgin. He said a reporter in Florida wanted to research her past, presumably because of her seeking, or having a job in Florida. So RS has simply provided the article that was the end result of the reporter’s investigation.

      It is an interesting story, shining light on how the council and the mayor interacted with Sean Stegall.


      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Well I see Margaret has already provided the link to Elena’s Daily Herald article on the ESO. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130812/news/708129954/

        I hope any interested in the ESO situation will take the time to read this article. Chuck

        • bw says:

          I think the ESO issue should be put to sleep. The city administration and the council are playig games with all individuals who offer sound about ideas getting the Hemmens out of the control of the city. They have no intention in selling, donating or tearing it down. The administration or the counsil can’t make the hard decisions facing them. They continue to play politics with every hard issue they face. Elgin is governed by a group of spineless individuals. They have no creditability with many citizens. They act like a high school class running a mock government. there is not another government in the state that functions like Elgin, it is just a “city in the suburbs”.

          • bw says:

            I wish all people who post on this board wouoardld and follow my advice as posted above. Enough is enough on ESO and thr Hemmens. The council made it clear at their last meeting what direcyion they are going on the Hemmens wgen they approved the 3 new boilers expenditure. Even Gavin and Prigge voted for the project. Years ago when I served on the County Broad, we knew how a vote would go on almost every issue. It was decided before any discussion by any pro or con statements by anyone for or against the project. The leaders had the votes to pass or reject the issue being decided. Showing up at any city ouncil meeting, contacting members, sendind, etc. are all in vain. The council member’s will still rubber stamp the manager’s agenda. It is called politics.

  35. Jason Dusenberry says:

    The storm water utility fee “study” is due to the Elgin council/manager sometime this month, I found this interesting article about Du Page county and what they are considering. And RS, you’re correct…No matter what someone’s political leanings, it’s an unfortunate and foregone conclusion sometimes with most politicians regarding the rubber stamping. There’s too much rubber stamping in all of politics.


    • bw says:

      This is the same Rain Tax that citizens of Elgin were upset about a few months ago. Looks like it is goinng to pass in DuPage next week. Elgin will be next for the same fees.

  36. Jason Dusenberry says:

    Correction, BW.

  37. Cruex says:

    Why would anyone follow your advice on anything? You are all over the the place when speaking about the councilmen of Elgin. First you say Rauschenberger is the smartest one on the council and will be the next mayor. Then you cannot explain her non-stop staring off into the galaxy and lack of core brain function at meetings. Then you say the college educated council will lead Elgin into greatness but you go silent and like now contradict what the educated ones are doing. If there is any rubber stamping it’s coming from your friends.

    • bw says:

      Ms. Cruex,

      I have a right to post my opinions whenever and how I feel the council members are acting when watching them on Comcast. If they act like a non-profession council, smart or not,I will discuss their way of conducting our city business. Each member of the council published his/her profile that I assume each one wrote and turned into the city PR department to be sent to each resident. I just quoted what they each wrote for the public to read. Maybe they did not accomplish all the things their profile mentions. I assume their profiles were creditable.

  38. SIE says:


    Pretty bad accident last month on the far east side. Apparently the drag racers rendezvouz at the Taco Bell on Summit and do their thing. I’m surprised there haven’t been more incidents.

    We can hear the cars racing in to the wee hours. You’d think the EPD would increase patrols and put an end to it but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  39. Cruex says:

    The city profile page shows the 3 women on the council have Master’s degrees. If that does not thrice discredit your previous postings regarding education, nothing does.

  40. Tim Palmer says:

    I say let the ESO walk if they can’t pay their bills. Let the richies pitch in and save their butt. Someone is going to have to explain to me how Moeller can vote when her sisterinlaw is on the board.

    • James Madison says:

      Tim, I looked at the ESO website. Do you know the name of Councilwoman Moeller’s sister-in-law who is on the ESO board?

      • Margaret Miller says:

        She is not on the Board that I’m aware of.

        Cellist Kerena Moeller is Anna Moeller’s sister in law who lives in South Elgin.

        Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory of Music - Master’s Degree in Music Performance & Literature from Eastman School of Music Bachelor’s Degree in Music, The Royal Northern

        Another one with a Masters degree thriving off the tax payers of Elgin.

        Looks like a conflict of interest to me! I wonder if Anna will abstain with her vote?

        • Margaret Miller says:

          Sorry, her credintials cut off.

          Cellist Kerena Moeller is Anna Moeller’s sister in law who lives in South Elgin.

          Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory of Music - Master’s Degree in Music Performance & Literature from Eastman School of Music Bachelor’s Degree in Music, The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester England) British cellist, Kerena Moeller, has performed concertos by Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Elgar with orchestras in England and the United States. She has performed and toured in Europe and Japan with many of the leading orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (principal cellist), Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and the Handel Choir. She is currently the assistant principal cellist in the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and a section cellist with the Rockford Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. In addition to teaching at ECC, Kerena is on faculty at the Music Academy of Rockford College since 2009 and teaches at the NIU Community Music School.

        • Anonymous says:

          MM: How do you figure that there is a conflict of interest because someone who has a sister who plays for ESO. She carries no weight where it would be a conflict for Ms. Moeller to cast a vote one way or another. If the sister was on the ESO Board it might change but even than I doubt that any conflict of interest could be charged.

          • Margaret Miller says:

            A term used to describe the situation in which a public official or fiduciary who, contrary to the obligation and absolute duty to act for the benefit of the public or a designated individual, exploits the relationship for personal benefit, typically pecuniary.

            In certain relationships, individuals or the general public place their trust and confidence in someone to act in their best interests. When an individual has the responsibility to represent another person—whether as administrator, attorney, executor, government official, or trustee—a clash between professional obligations and personal interests arises if the individual tries to perform that duty while at the same time trying to achieve personal gain. The appearance of a conflict of interest is present if there is a potential for the personal interests of an individual to clash with fiduciary duties, such as when a client has his or her attorney commence an action against a company in which the attorney is the majority stockholder.

            Incompatibility of professional duties and personal interests has led Congress and many state legislatures to enact statutes defining conduct that constitutes a conflict of interest and specifying the sanctions for violations. A member of a profession who has been involved in a conflict of interest might be subject to disciplinary proceedings before the body that granted permission to practice that profession.

          • Margaret Miller says:

            A situation in which a person has a duty to more than one person or organization, but cannot do justice to the actual or potentially adverse interests of both parties. This includes when an individual’s personal interests or concerns are inconsistent with the best for a customer, or when a public official’s personal interests are contrary to his/her loyalty to public business.

    • paul says:

      “Someone is going to have to explain to me how Moeller can vote when her sisterinlaw is on the board.”

      She can vote without concern for your opinion knowing full well you didn’t vote for her before and won’t be voting for her in the future. You are not her constituent.

      Now I didn’t vote for her before but I certainly may in the future. She appears to have some degree of reasonable sense. On the other hand I’ve lost some respect for Prigge and his inability to vote with principle. Vote no on Hemmens routine maintenance issues if you feel that way, but don’t vote yes and immediately declare your vote insane.

  41. Margaret Miller says:

    Hi Tim:

    Consider sending her an e-mail and that very question. Let us know her response please.


  42. James Madison says:

    Councilman Prigge uses the word irony a lot. He is constantly assaulting the ESO for their back rent payments yet publicly declares that rental costs at the Hemmens are not competitive and that he was “stunned at the rates and requirements” when he inquired about renting the facility. Maybe the ESO has been getting hosed for many years since they have rented from the Hemmens since it opened, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to a facility that is “not competitive” with other facilities. Is he attacking the wrong side of the horse? Maybe the intake valve needs to be adjusted before attacking the outflow valve.

    I think there are so many sides to this issue that a simple sentence to slam either side is not productive and does not help the City or the ESO.


    John Prigge - Elgin IL City Councilman Jon, regarding issue #1, I have been told the building’s structure is sound. Upgrades internally are needed. The rental costs are not competitive with venues like Pheasant Run in St. Charles. I know this as a business owner who inquired about using the Hemmens years ago and was stunned at the rates and requirements.

  43. Margaret Miller says:


    Here’s one more simple sentence…

    The only ones getting hosed with this ESO mess are the Elgin tax payers.

    All the ESO has to do is ask their donors for an emergency bailout and all this stops with the exception of the future lease agreements and consequences for future non payment.

    Hasn’t their reputation suffered enough in the name of their bad debt?Its embarrassing.

    • paul says:

      “The only ones getting hosed with this ESO mess are the Elgin tax payers.”

      Yet you cannot/will not/refuse to say how Elgin taxpayers are “getting hose”.

      Without the ESO Elgin taxpayers will have the exact same expenses they have now with the ESO.

  44. Cruex says:

    Politicians are defamed and run out of office for voting on contracts where just friends and cousins benefit from those votes. Blago signed off on state contracts for friends. I say let her vote and the voters will be happy to sort it out for her in 2015.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Morning Cruex:

      Her options are Yes, No, or Abstain. If she votes Yes, that is a conflict of interest in my eyes. She has abstained several times in the past several months. Let’s see if she does it now.

      I wonder if she’s willing to put her political career on the line for her sister in law’s livelihood?
      Gosh, what a conflict it must be.

    • RS says:

      Everybody has a friend or family member who is affiliated in some way with an organization that comes before the council. Politicians typically recuse themselves only when they have a personal financial stake. They don’t even recuse themselves when dealing with donors to their political campaigns (whether they should or not is another debate).

      If everybody recused themselves under such a broad interpretation of conflicts of interest then there are always going to be just a few votes cast because everybody (hopefully) is connected in some way to the myriad organizations that have business before the council.

      Each case is different and there are gray areas. But I do think that in this case saying Moeller has a conflict of interest because her cousin is in the orchestra may be an uncomfortable stretch of the criteria.

      • Margaret Miller says:

        Hi RS:

        Below is a two year recap of Councilwomen Moeller’s abstention voting record. There are no notations regarding the reason for her abstaining from these votes.

        One could draw a few conclusions. 1) She clearly knows what conflict of interest is and has exercised it in her voting record sixteen times thatI’m aware of. 2) She also has abstained on votes that were no cost to the city but felt a conflict of interest if she casted a vote.

        Since she has abstained in the past and clearly understands the meaning of conflict of interest, what would be the difference NOW if she were to abstain on ESO vote? Wouldn’t she be following her own example?

        So now the ESO vote is coming up. This vote will cost the city and the tax payers money. She has a sister in law in ESO. Why wouldn’t she abstain if for no other reason but conflict of interest?

        If she chooses not to abstain, and under the guise of transparency, I hope someone questions her about a possible YES vote, offering her a few minutes to explain herself and her inconsistent, misguided rationale on this one.

        I guess she could surprise us all in a moment of clarity and vote NO, couldn’t she?


        02/13/13 L Engineering Services Agreement with HR Green for the Bluff City Boulevard Sewer Separation Project ($211,750)

        04/24/13 C Engineering Services Agreement with Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd. for the 2013 Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Program ($83,100)

        05/08/13 C Agreement with Hampton, Lenzini and Renwick for Grant Writing Services (No Cost to the City)

        05/08/13 D Agreement with Trotter & Associates for Grant Writing Services (No Cost to the City)

        05/08/13 O-2 Resolution Authorizing Execution of Agreement with Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. for Engineering Services in Connection with the 2013 Neighborhood Resurfacing Program

        07/10/13 F Amendment No. 1 with Homer L. Chastain and Associates, LLP to Add Construction Administration Engineering Services for Hammond-Cookane 2013 Street Rehabilitation Project ($178,650)


        01/11/12 O-10 Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Agreement with Trotter and Associates, Inc. for the Lord Street CSO Basin Green Infrastructure Retrofit Project

        02/22/12 O-4 Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Agreement for Energy Consulting Services with Independent Energy Consultants, Inc.

        03/21/12 O-5 Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Hoffman Estates Park District and the Streamwood Park District for the Construction, Maintenance and Operation of an Off-Leash Dog Park

        07/25/12 E Amendment No. 3 to an Agreement with Baxter and Woodman for the 2007-2013 National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Phase II Storm Water Permit Program ($110,497)

        08/08/12 O-3 Resolution Authorizing Execution of Third Amendment Agreement with Baxter and Woodman, Inc. (2007-2013 National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Phase II Storm Water Permit Compliance Project)

        10/10/12 B Addendum to Engineering Services Contract with Trotter and Associates for the Lord Street CSO Retrofit Project ($50,800)

        10/19/2012 - Special COW C Agreements with Unisys, Inc., Salesforce.com and Stern Consulting to Complete Phase IV of the 311 Initiative and begin Phase V – ($331,251)

        10/24/12 H Traffic Signal Operation Management and Engineering Services (Annual contract total $55,739)

        10/24/12 O-2 Resolution Approving Change Order No. 1 for the Contract with Trotter and Associates, Inc. for the Lord Street CSO Basin Green Infrastructure Retrofit Project

        11/14/12 O-4 Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Agreement with Hampton, Lenzini and Renwick, Inc. (Traffic Signal Operations Management Project)

  45. bw says:

    In the eyes of the law this is not a conflict of interest for what it is worth. In my opinion Moeller can vote as she wishes. Show me where the conflict of interest law applies. I want a legal opinion not an opinion from a Sunday morning quaterback.

  46. Margaret Miller says:

    The opinion of this Wednesday quarterback obtained the information from the site below and its a Monday morning quarterback. You cant be a Sunday morning quarterback, the game hasn’t been played yet.

    Here’s another Definition of CONFLICT OF INTEREST
    a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust


    • bw says:

      How about all the games played on Sat.? Or did you forget? The ESO vote would not be a conflict of interest. Her vote would not make any difference anyhow. You still have a 5-3-1 in any case.

  47. JJ says:

    8/21 Elgin filed an appeal of the TLC injunction. They’ve probably spent over $100,000 fighting and losing this, and now will spend another $100,000 on an appeal when all council members state they want TLC to be able to have its free medical services to Elgin women! If they lose again–and they’ve lost on every point so far– they will have to pay TLC’s attorney’s fees too, no doubt well over $100,000. That’s over $300,000 that could have kept ESO in business– or lowered our taxes! Email the councilpersons and let them know what you think of this. JJ

  48. bw says:

    I can’t believe that the City Attorney can be so misguided in his leagal knowledge that he would appeal the ruling allowing pregnancy testing van to operate at any City of Elgin location within the community. It sounds like a sour grape move to prove a point by the city attorney. This appeal will cost the taxpayers a ton of money and will make the city look like it could care less about medical services to the women pregnancy needs from a local chruch group. At one time Elgin was known as a Christian city with neighbor loving neighbor. Like many communities in the US. Religion has passed suddenly from sight. In what Appeaal Court was this action filed. The charitable thing to do is to send a donation to this church group to help them fight this appeal and to let them know that there are people in Elgin who believe in helping the poor of the community. There is more to this issue than a local ordinance, there is a hidden agenda by certain members of the city council who support this action. It will all come out in the wash in the coming months.

  49. Cruex says:

    Nice of you to share your superior “leagal (sic) knowledge” about the city attorney. When your mayor-elect Rauschenberger becomes mayor in 2015 she can appoint you as city attorney seeing that you will be all educated by then and a real “leagal” (sic) expert.

    “The charitable thing to do is to send a donation to this church group to help them fight this appeal and to let them know that there are people in Elgin who believe in helping the poor of the community.”

    What “church group” is that and where are you going to send your donation?

    • Anonymous says:

      The church group who cares about the poor because some of their members have been there. The problem with the city administration and the city council is that they have no idea what being poor means.
      The Pope, in several messages told us too “take care of the poor”. He is a man of God and sees how the poor suffer everyday. Just because you’re in a comfortable environment and could care less about you brothers and sisters from this and every oher community in the United States and have no compassion towards the poor will not deter those of us who want to step up and help whereever and whenever we can. I ask thhat a person of compassion finds out where donations can be sent and post it on this board. I hope that Elgin takes the beating of their life on this appeal. It is our job to keep the pressure on the counci members who know what being poor really means. The city of Elgin is an embarassment to society.

      • Anonymous says:

        Should be bw as the poster, sorry.

      • Katie says:


        Judge not least ye be judged.

        You have made some rather bold statements about Cruex and I question the truth of them. I will assume you know nothing about Cruex’s beliefs and/or contributions and therefore can say with some certainly your judgment warrants your apology.

        • bw says:


          You can express any opinion you wish. If you wish to defend Cruex you have that right. I don’t no your motive except to tell you you no nothing about me and what information I have about anyone who post on this board. You are the one who is doing the judging by posting false statements. I don’t use one post by a person to decide an answer. Cruex has been posting questionable remarks on this board for a long time. She is always making negative about Carol Rauschenberger who is a member of a lifelong respectable Elgin family. Cruex has no problem in defending herself. She is fully aware that what she post here could result in different views from another poster. “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen”.

          • Katie says:

            I’m not going to get in a debate with either of you about this.

            bw, you made a judgment call in my opinion regarding someone with no proof of his/her circumstances and if the reversed happened, I gather from all of your fiesty posts I read that you would have called them out for not knowing your personal situation. Some could say your remarks are questionable as well. Maybe if I hadn’t called it what it actually was, you wouldn’t have become so defensive about my comment.

            Chuck, I appreciate you taking a referee position however, that criticism was below the belt in my opinion. Anonymous or not, how can someone call or ask for Christian Charity (donate to TLC) with one breathe and not exercise it in the next breath? (Judges Cruex) I will keep in mind your analogy for the future.

            As for me, don’t worry, I’ve handled much more heat than you’ll ever know. Take care everyone.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          Katie, how does someone know the beliefs of anyone that doesn’t even post under their real name? I have long contended that because anonymous posters have no accountability, they tend to exaggerate and engage in theatrics in a way that they would not do so carelessly if they were posting under their real full name. This emphasis on theater and over-statement seriously skews and distorts the views of the real person behind the anonymous posts. That is why I do not think anonymous posters can usually be taken too seriously. And that is why it makes no sense to criticize one anonymous poster for not knowing or respecting another anonymous poster’s “views and contributions.”

          Perhaps you could compare posting to wrestling. Anonymous posters are like professional wrestlers, such as Hulk Hogan. They have their skills, but are primarily engaging in show and theater and are not taken to be taken very seriously. Posters using their own names are more like Olympic wrestlers, in earnest, legitimate, fully accountable and responsible for their conduct.

          In the pseudonym posting game where anything goes, basic courtesy is not required of the poster because that is a part of the theater or entertainment in which they are playing. So the offended anonymous poster isn’t due any apologies and the offending poster doesn’t need to apologize. But if someone such as Todd Martin says something I disagree with, I respect him and feel compelled to show basic courtesy, because I know he is a real person, posting under his real name, and I am a real person posting under my real name.

          It is only in cases where the poster become malevolent, demonstrating sociopathic behavior that the line of anything goes anonymous posting is crossed. And that line is defined by moderator/host/ringmaster RS.

          So the mysterious gamester bw does not need to apologize to the equally amorphous quasi-fictional Cruex, unless they both start becoming accountable and post under their real names. And as long as they remain anonymous, well let the mud continue to fly without any apologies!


          • paul says:

            “Katie, how does someone know the beliefs of anyone that doesn’t even post under their real name?”

            How do we know you are really Chuck Keysor?

            How do we know there really is a Chuck Keysor?

            You could be kevin Spacey’s fictional Keyser Soze in the Usual Suspects!!!
            Coincidence of same name??? MAYBE NOT.

            How do we know your true beliefs are your TRUE beliefs?

            Always hilarious, Chuck. Your belief that you have more credibility than everyone else because you post under the name Chuck. You don’t!

          • bw says:

            Iagree with most of what Chuck post however, if every poster knew who the poster is, that poster could experience unjust attacks.

      • raingirl2 says:

        I don’t know who u r anonymous but you are right I don’t even worry about the outcome of this case there will be many ppl on the city council eating crow this program for poor women is a much needed asset to our community if you only knew who is served by this program perhaps there would not be so much resistance but the leaders of this city are very selective and short sighted the ppl sponsoring the TLC program will prevail I have no doubt in my mind and I hope council members and citizens will recognize how deficient the leadership in this town really waste our precious tax dollars. This is a costly senseless venture that will cost the taxpayers thousands of taxpayer dollars that could and should be used for other things to improve this community. It seems clear that the administration of this city would rather flex their muscles dig their heels in against their wrong headed dumb policies than doing the right thing. I am confident they will loose this case what a waste of time and resources a more level headed legal council should be a legal advisor as well as a financial advisor I think Bill Cogley is wrong on this one.

        • Anonymous says:


          You are right in your excellent post. Politics is a dirty business. However, since none of them have never been there how would they know what the por are going rhrough everyday. It is like going into space, few Americans have ever made the trip so they have no idea what it is like. I pray that the city will be defeated on this one. The rich and famous city council memberswill end up eating crow on this one. They all forgot from where they came. They walk around like they owned the city. After all they do treat the s— we send them each day at the treatment plant. That is one of their main jobs as a member of the counil. You can smell the stink all over the city.

  50. bw says:

    I will put Attorney John Jurgensmeyer up against the city atorney anytime. The city attorney, if hhe had any legal would not have Elgin ib it’s present position. The guy is costing the taxpayers an arm and a leg. If another city employee was costing us this amount of money they would be fired. These guys can’t make in the private world so they get a government body to hire them.

    • TC Public Relations says:

      Dear bw,

      I work for the law firm that represents The Life Center’s (”TLC”) mobile pregnancy services. We appreciate your comments. Attorney John Mauck was concerned with how misleading the Courier-News story was in quoting from a press release from Elgin’s attorney. Mr. Mauck will be responding shortly and we plan to share his response with the Courier-News editor and post them here.

      Thank you.

      Tom Ciesielka
      TC Public Relations

  51. TC Public Relations says:

    I handle the public relations for Mauck & Baker, which is the law firm representing The Life Center’s (”TLC”) mobile pregnancy services.

    Since the Courier-News only published selected items from Mauck & Baker’s press release, we felt that the entire release should be shared here at this link http://bit.ly/14mJzkT

    Stayed tuned: Attorney John Mauck will also address two previous law suits the Elgin attorney mentioned in the Courier-News article. You’ll see two more cases of Elgin getting in the way of charitable organizations wanting to help area residents.

    • paul says:

      “You’ll see two more cases of Elgin getting in the way of charitable organizations wanting to help area residents.”

      Yeah, zoning laws restricting number of illegals in a single family residence are unconstitutional and violate the rights of the illegals.

  52. Harmony says:

    I posted over 2 months ago when it came out that Chris Beck was answering TLC complaint. My post was if Chris Beck was answering the complaint Elgin lost. I guess I was right. The legal, zoning and code enforcement departments should be dissolved including it’s high cost management and start over with new people. And if not replace the City manager for incompetence.

  53. bw says:


    Good job in getting the truthful story out to the residents of our city. The city has a habit of cherry picking and pandering issues that they present to city taxpayers. They tell them what they only want them to know. I hope your PR firm will keep my fellow citizens informed about the on going appeal. The Daily Herald is the best read newspaper in the city. Citizens of Elgin want to know the truth about legal issues we are fighting. TLC is represented by good people living in Elgin. They are trying to offer a needed service to the poor. I can’t understand where the city is coming from in wanting to stop TLC’S motive. I think some ego’s have been hurt and now they want to try to prove they are in power. Keep up the good work. We will be praying for a successful conclusion to this appeal in favor of TLC.

  54. bw says:


    You have no business bring up talking about defensive. Your post was as defensive as they get on this board.

  55. TC Public Relations says:

    “Darth Vader” Answers Elgin’s Corporation Counsel Cogley

    For those following the story (http://bit.ly/14mJzkT) about the TLC Pregnancy Services mobile ultrasound unit, this response (http://bit.ly/16jH92m)from the attorney representing TLC sheds light on the matter.

  56. Harmony says:

    Chuck, It is not important that I post under my real name. Maybe if I did, I might be trying to get name recognition for some other reason. In reality I really don’t want you to know who I really am. All though you really do know who I am. I’ll let you know some day. Let’s all just express our opinions and enjoy and our challenging world. To everyone else let’s keep adding some interesting thoughts of view.

  57. Anna Claire says:

    “Darth Vader” Answers Elgin
    By Attorney John W. Mauck August 22, 2013

    Our law firm represented All Nations Church which Elgin crushed and put out of business. Thenwe unsuccessfully defended a homeless shelter: Elgin put the men back on the street. So far we are protecting TLC Pregnancy Services mobile ultrasound unit from Elgin’s attempt to shut it down.

    On Wednesday Elgin issued a statement announcing it was appealing the federal judge’s injunction prohibiting it from enforcing the ordinance which it had used to keep the mobilefacility from operating at its preferred location. Although Elgin has not posted the statement publically, press reports indicated that Elgin then also implied Mauck & Baker LLC wereopportunistic attorneys motivated only by money.

    John Mauck replies “If helping a small congregation, homeless Elgin residents and pregnant teenagers is evil then I guess I’m DarthVader. However if Elgin residents care for the little people they may want to consider whether Corporation Counsel Cogley reflects their values.

    • paul says:

      “helping a small congregation”

      Helping violate city code! Was that the one that tried to set up in a store front with little to no parking?

      “helping…homeless Elgin residents”

      To potentially die! Was that the shelter NOT zoned for housing yet you wanted to house them in a building with out adequate fire escapes?

      The zoning laws reflects my values. Your darth vader and Al Qaeda do not.

      Now where is that van selling medical marijuana at!!!

  58. Cruex says:

    oh poor bw, you make this so enjoyable.

    “I will put Attorney John Jurgensmeyer up against the city atorney (sic) anytime.”

    Jurgensmeyer is not the attorney of record. He is just a TLC board member.

    “The city attorney, if hhe had any legal would not have Elgin ib it’s present position.”

    I have no idea what you meant but will guess you are blaming Cogley for this. Try putting the blame on your Masters degreed friend Moeller.

    “If another city employee was costing us this amount of money they would be fired.”

    You can’t fire a councilwoman.

    “These guys can’t make in the private world so they get a government body to hire them.”

    That applies to Moeller too you know. Of course you know that because you’re smart.

    Cogley takes his orders from the city council. There had better be a good reason to appeal this. One woman’s personal disdain for free pro-life services is not something I want to pay for.

  59. bw says:

    Cruex you’re nothing but a big bully who likes to harass other posters on this board. Why don’t you do something productive with your life or are you unable to do ADL or IADLS activities. If you don’t understand what these abbr. stand for go look them up. It will give soething to do today.

  60. One Vote says:

    To clarify who is in charge at city hall, it is my understanding…
    *That Cogley reports to the city manager and takes his orders from him.
    *The city manager takes direction from the council.
    *There is a fair amount of latitude in the day-to-day operations of the city, but something legal and very public ought to have regular guidance from the council.
    *The council may discuss this topic in closed session because it is a legal matter.
    Cogley is no fool and would not likely act unilaterally on this issue UNLESS he is sheltering the council by giving them deniability here. It is possible that only a couple of council members are pulling the strings here but not very likely. It is a matter that will almost certainly be followed by the press. TLC will not remain silent about it as it moves through the courts.
    So, I’m guessing Prigge and Gavin know something about this. It would be bad form to spill the beans to the public (and might even impact the case.) But they could tell Kaptain that he owes some sort of explanation to the public and if he won’t talk, they will.
    Someone had better enlighten us.

  61. Katie says:

    Can we wait and see what the court decides. The people in the know need to and are most likely required to remain silent for the duration. Let this run its proper course.

    • bw says:

      No! Let’s help TLC by keeping the pressure on the whole City administration and Council Members. Contact them by em-mail, phone and letter. Help TLC’s PR firm by requestions copies of the pleadings. Help whereever you can to make sure the city fails in their appeal. Use common sense and stay legal. Remember you are helping the poor womenof the community who cannot hel themselves.

      • Katie says:

        Isn’t it possible that the public is only knowledgable of what has been published in the papers and there is more to the story?

        Don’t dismiss the city’s resource in Mr. Cogley. I’m sure he/they have used reason in making any decision.

        Why don’t we just wait. Once the decision has been made through the court, you can e-mail, write or call anyone you want to yell at or thank them.

        • Chuck says:

          Katie, your line, “Why don’t we just wait”…. Earlier this year (before the election), I had an interesting email discussion with the City Manager. He said that any discussion on the “rain tax” was entirely premature, that nothing may even happen, and so we should wait to see what happens with it before over-reacting.

          I told him that the Elgin OCTAVE had been criticized for not fighting the Elgin Business License before it was enacted, and people with lots of experience said it will be virtually impossible to get rid of after it has been enacted. So I said that no way would we wait to fight the “rain tax”.

          So saying “Why don’t we wait”, is MUSIC to the ears of the behind the scenes powers that run City Hall.


          • paul says:

            “criticized for not fighting the Elgin Business License before it was enacted”

            But YOU did fight it before it was enacted with packed council meetings, vociferous outspoken denunciations, AND the impetuous for starting your Elgin Octave. And you lost the vote 7-0 including your man Prigge! Hence your nickname Don Quixote.

            Now you’re running around in circles churning butter with ESO and TLC. The moronic comedy routine with the TLC protest is the VERY SAME people who constantly complain here about lack of code and code enforcement when it comes to the number of illegals living next door NOW incredibly don’t believe the City of Elgin should be able to regulate mobile service vans operating within the city!

            If we disband the police department won’t the official crime RATE drop to zero?

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Paul, we have had this same exchange before, and as before you are wrong when you said: “But YOU did fight it before it was enacted with packed council meetings, vociferous outspoken denunciations, AND the impetuous for starting your Elgin Octave.”

            The Elgin Business License went into effect in October 2010, and the Elgin OCTAVE was not formed until late April 2011.

            Our first mass protest to the council was in October 2011. Our second mass protest at a council session was in January 2012. I stand by my statement, and you are wrong again.


          • paul says:

            “The Elgin Business License went into effect in October 2010″

            The city council vote affirming the EBL was in 2012 which passed 7-0 including your man Prigge’s yes vote.

            You are WRONG again.

          • SIE says:

            Chuck you must have some serious clout to get Stegall to actually respond to your emails.

            In my 20+ years of living in this city I have emailed the Council members, Mayor and City Manager probably less than five times. The response rate was abysmal. And forget about calling. All Stegall’s calls go direct to his bulldog of an Admin Pro, can never speak to him directly.

            In general I found the cities elected officials and employees to be non responsive. It’s a guarantee that any call I make to the city whether it be Forestry, Code etc. will go to voice mail 99% of the time. I’m pretty sure they use caller ID to screen calls. And then it’s 50:50 if I will receive a return call.

            The best response I ever had from a city official was from Formalin. He actually did something regarding my concern. In general I found the cities elected officials and managers to be non responsive. Disappointing to say the least.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Hello SIE. I wish that I could attribute my access to clout. It is mostly a matter of having been around City Hall and getting acquainted with people.

            I got to know Sean while I was the president of our neighborhood group. When I started in that roll, Sean was at the top of the food chain for interfacing with neighborhood group. It is simply a matter that if you get to work with someone, and they become acquainted with you, they are more likely to reply.

            I also attend lots of City functions, which also helps to provide chances to get acquainted with people in City Hall. Helping people run for City Council also seems to improve your contact around City Hall.

            Some contact is not initiated under pleasant circumstances. I addressed the council in February, complaining about the vote that night for $75,000 more for glossy newsletters to be sent out across the City. The editions which had been sent previously were nothing more than hype and spin for the City Staff and council, paid for by the taxpayers. I expressed that opinion, and presented my personal figures showing that contrary to what was stated in the February newsletter, my net tax burden for 2012 had increased, NOT decreased.

            After I sat down, I was trashed by top City management, “Of course Chuck’s figures are wrong, he is an electrical engineer, not an accountant.” With that I went back to the podium and said excuse me……….. Prigge and Kaptain asked that I meet with Sean to review my figures.

            I had two meetings with Sean. I brought my tax bill and all my utility bills. We reviewed my figures, plus I left them with him for his review. At our second meeting, he said my figures were right, and then we moved on to discuss the second page of the speech I had given to council, where I asked questions about our surplus, and why do we need it. In that meeting, I posed a set of three requests for data. One was a set of month by month cash flow statements for the previous year, another was a set of income statements for the years 2000 through 2005, and the other new escapes me. Those figures were to help me and some of the candidates deal with the budget. But so far the third meeting is about 5 months late….

            So, do I say I have great access because I had two detailed discussions with the City Manager, or do I say I have crummy access because my third meeting, where I was supposed to get answers to my questions is 5 months past due?????

            But whatever the reason, it is not clout…… Chuck

    • One Vote says:

      The court has already decided, and the city lost.
      They are tinkering with OUR money here in an effort to preserve Cogley’s and Moeller’s egos. That’s not a reason to appeal.
      We have the right to know why Cogley keeps pursuing this and who approved it.
      These cases can run up MILLIONS and tie things up for years.
      This is a case of government trying to bolster their own position of supposed authority over us using OUR money to do it.

      • Katie says:

        Chuck bw, & One Vote:

        I appreciate your passion, faith and concern for this issue. Please remember that there are always three sides to a story, their’s, ours and the truth. Mr. Cogley has the backing and support of the city’s officials and is a competent attorney. If the city felt differently they would have dismissed him long ago.

        The only final opinions that count are the ones the Judge will hand down in the appeal. This is the system in which we live under. I’m taking the most educated position, one of wait and see.

        Have a wonderful day!

  62. bw says:

    TC Public Relations posted the following on this board for those of us who are smart enough to understand the case:

    View the Permanent Injunction Order here and the original Complaint here.

    For additional supporting documents or to schedule an interview, please contact Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net.

    Contact Tom if you don’t understand, have questions, or need more vinformation.

  63. Cruex says:

    “TC Public Relations posted the following on this board for those of us who are smart enough to understand the case:”

    For those of US smart enough?? LOL. Us? US?

    You had me until you used the word, “us” as if to include yourself. But at least your spelling was routinely incorrect again. Wouldn’t it be better to just ask some of your fellow college educated folks on the council to explain it to us who are NOT “smart enough to understand the case?” They are the ones responsible for this case continuing and should be willing to speak about why it is going on and on.

    For anyone else who missed bw’s informative musings on education here is something to keep in mind when wondering about the TLC lawsuit.

    “Dunne, Kaptain, Moeller Powell, Steffen, and Rauschenberger, the six educated members of the council, are following the above just as you suggest. These council members add the strength needed to make Elgin a sustainable community. Prigge and Gavin are working hard to tear down what these six are promoting. They live in the past as their votes show on different issues. Neither of them have any higher education that is needed in a position of leadership.”

    Does “sustainable” from the educated mean the ability to pay attorneys or does it mean bringing an unneeded fruit and vegetable store to an empty downtown? Does this educated leadership include sending Elgin into deeper debt because of one of your “educated” leaders is pro-abortion?

    • bw says:

      For someone who don’t know what ADL or IADL is you should think twice about posting anything about educated people.

      Prigge and Gavin would not be the best council members to ask to explain what is going on with the appeal. They would suggest that “to have standing” would mean that the Plaintiff should be sitting down to understand the Complaint. Just one of several examples for these uneducated council members as they admit in their portfolio in the city PR material. I hope the both know that the city is the Defendant in this case as it was filed in the Federal Court and a Permanent Injunction Ordered. Injunction not junction like one would find while driving boys.

  64. One Vote says:

    Here are three quotes from this thread:
    I’m taking the most educated position.
    He is an electrical engineer, not an accountant.
    The educated six will lead Elgin in the proper direction.

    Rather sad isn’t it? Especially given the historical performance of the smartest guys in the room.

  65. One Vote says:

    I see where the city dangled a $500K carrot in front of the Butera family and they agreed to reopen the old Eagle grocery store at Tyler Creek Plaza.
    Does anyone know if this will change the plans to put a Butera at Summit and Waverly?

    • Anna Claire says:

      No comment…

      • Anna Claire says:

        Yes comment, I wonder how Carol will vote on this and all their Chinese origin goods.

        • One Vote says:

          Butera sells Chinese groceries? Do tell.
          Carol probably is a big fan of eliminating the imaginary “food desert.” Such a sacrifice to go clear down to Larkin Ave to get groceries. $500K would buy a lot of bus rides.

    • paul says:

      “city dangled a $500K carrot in front of the Butera family”

      What is more interesting is the fact the City did not dangle a $500K incentive for Butera to build smack in the middle of heavy competition on Summit. Jewel is 2 blocks down the street on Summit. Elgin Fresh Market is next door on Summit. Armado’s is right around the corner on Liberty. Dino’s (closed due to fire) is across the street on Summit.

      It is unlikely more groceries will be sold in Elgin because there are more grocery stores in Elgin. The surrounding existing stores will have less sales. West side Jewel will have less grocery sales. Will be irony and justice if West side Jewel goes out of business in a few years. That $500K incentive is truly $500K of Elgin taxpayers money going into Butera’s pocket with zero gain for anyone else.
      On the plus side Mayor Sgt. Kaptain will save one mile in driving distance from Eagles heights to Century Oaks instead of Larkin Ave!

      Insane to incentivize a retailer $500K to provide an already existing well provided product. The ONLY thing the city of Elgin accomplishes is a LOSS of $500K. Truly, the IDIOTS are in charge in this town.

  66. bw says:

    Butera has their work cut out for them with all the grocery stores within the area. A grocery store is needed for the people living in the area but Eagle could not make it and I question if Butera can do any better. There is a lot of competition in the area and most people will travel to save a buck and get quality meat. The Jewel store on Larkin has lost a lot of business to the competition. People go there to buy a few items but the large grocery buying individuals use Wal-mart and Woodman’s.

  67. paul says:

    “Eagle could not make it and I question if Butera can do any better.”

    Maybe you could contact Paul Butera with all your educational and retail grocery expertise and let him know, given this will be Butera’s first foray into the grocery business!

    “Jewel store on Larkin has lost a lot of business to the competition.”

    What competition??? Only grocer on west-side with the exception of the mexican Fresh Market. You need to talk with your neighbors. Everyone I talk to has stopped shopping at Jewel because of their outrageous prices. But they do have a case of Bud on sale for $12.99 plus 2 bags of doritos for 1 cent more! Buy them at the South Elgin jewel and avoid the 3% Elgin tax.

    My wonder is who still shops at Jewel? From observation it appears to the 49 million people on food stamps. Apparently price isn’t the concern when the food is free!

  68. Cruex says:

    How nice it would be for my council to finally bring the northwest side of Elgin some much-needed minimum wage jobs to those who do not speak English! I almost fogot the Spanish music playing overhead in the store, the Spanish signs and shopping carts littered up and down Big Timber Rd. Oh wait! What about all that Spanish flea market traffic from the old Seigle’s store across the street? Can’t forget that about that cash! I would like to keep my $500,000 thank you very much.

  69. One Vote says:

    About the Summit/Waverly Butera project, Daily Herald is reporting that it is still a viable project for Butera along with the old Eagle location.
    The tax breaks are for the west side location only.

    • paul says:

      >>Council approved 7-1 on Wednesday an economic incentive agreement that paved the way for a Butera Market to be established at 20 Tyler Creek Plaza. Councilman John Prigge was the lone dissenter, while Councilwoman Carol Rauschenberger abstained from voting.<> In the last three or so years, the city got about four inquiries from real estate agents or developers representing grocery stores, and all passed up the Tyler Creek site, Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal said.<<

      So let the taxpayers of Elgin pay a grocer to to sell groceries.

      “Councilwoman Tish Powell said this will help residents of the Valley Creek subdivision. The future Butera location last held Eagle Fresh Market in 2003.”

      Wrong subdivision AND wrong store!!!

      “”I’m constantly amazed at the number of those folks, as well as others in other parts of Elgin, who go outside of our borders to buy something as simple as groceries.”

      Really? Where do they go? The people on the east-side I know who go to Woodmans will still go to Woodmans.

      On the other hand I’m constantly amazed at the number of people I talk to who WILL NOT shop at Butera’s clock tower plaza due to safety concerns both inside and outside the store, and inability to communicate with ANYBODY at the store in their native English. (If they can’t speak English do you suppose they are illegal? Or did they get a green card to alleviate the worker shortage in grocery retail due to dearth of unemployed workers in Illinios?)

      On the remote positive side at least the liberal socialists admit the rate of taxation actually effects consumers and retailers alike as they remit sales tax back to the government selected retailer winner. A real shame they DO NOT extrapolate and incorporate that simple obvious truism into their philosophy. But then they wouldn’t get to pick the winners and losers while spending taxpayer money doing so.

      I know one guy who buys his beer in S. Elgin and goes to Banditos Barney’s rather than EPH to avoid Elgin 3% alcohol tax. Beyond the lost 3% lost tax to Elgin, COE also loses out on the tax on the foregone meal at EPH. Constantly amazed socialist liberals NEVER figure out basic human nature ALWAYS governed by self-interest.

      • Todd Martin says:

        I support the economic incentive agreement with Butera Market.

        This is a win-win situation. It takes a little twisting of facts to believe otherwise.

        The City of Elgin wins because a blighted strip mall gets a new anchor tenant bringing jobs and new tax revenue.

        The Residents of Elgin win because they get jobs and a new grocery store in a quadrant of the city that doesn’t have one. Believe it or not, there are residents in this city without a car.

        The sales tax sharing agreement does not add any tax burden to the residents. If anything, it reduces the tax burden on the public since some of the taxes are being returned. If Butera gets a tax rebate, they can lower their prices returning those savings to the consumer.

        The City does not “lose out” on any tax revenue if the project was not going to move forward without an agreement.

        I shop at Woodmans because the prices are low, there is good variety, I like that it is employee owned, and my “gas” expense is Zero since I drive an electric car. That doesn’t make a new Butera in Elgin a bad business bet, I’m simply not in their demographics. There are plenty of Elgin residents who DO want to shop at Butera.

        This is not just a Pro-Liberal position. It is a Pro-Business position. It is a low tax position. It is a Pro-Consumer position.

        • paul says:

          “This is not just a Pro-Liberal position. It is a Pro-Business position. It is a low tax position. It is a Pro-Consumer position.”

          It is a Pro-liar position.

          “The sales tax sharing agreement does not add any tax burden to the residents.”

          $500K less revenue to the City of elgin doesn’t add to residence tax burden???? A bald faced lie.

          Slicing up the Elgin grocery retail pie into smaller pieces doesn’t make the pie bigger; it just makes the pieces of the pie smaller.

          “There are plenty of Elgin residents who DO want to shop at Butera.”

          There are plenty of Northwest Elgin residents who ALREADY do shop at Butera’s Clock Plaza store and Jewel west-side but will not in the future. CLEARLY there will be LESS tax revenue from those stores along with less employment from those stores.

          • Todd Martin says:


            Calling some a “Bald face liar” isn’t friendly, helpful, or accurate. Goes with the territory for anonymous postings I guess.

            No one’s taxes are going up because of this agreement. You confuse a tax rebate with a tax increase. The City believes that their net revenue will increase. I agree with that assessment. This is not a Zero sum game. Net grocery shopping in Elgin will certainly increase with a new store covering a neglected territory.

            Have a nice day!

          • paul says:

            “You confuse a tax rebate with a tax increase.”

            WRONG. You CLEARLY confuse $500K of forgone tax revenue with, literally INCREDIBLY, increasing tax revenue.

            “The City believes that their net revenue will increase.”

            The City NEVER said that.

            “Net grocery shopping in Elgin will certainly increase”

            Yet you Refuse/will not/cannot say how. Apparently you believe Butera’s new customer base will be non-Elgin residents.

            “Believe it or not, there are residents in this city without a car.”

            Where do they buy their groceries now? Maybe they walk to Woodman’s! Maybe there are a bunch of starving people in NW Elgin!

            “This is not a Zero sum game.”

            OF COURSE it is a zero sum game. Butera sells an already existing well provided service to the local community. Butera is not manufacturing groceries. And Butera is NOT exporting its service outside the local community. How the hell could it not be a zero sum game? Elginites are going to be buying more groceries now? Insane.

            Wonder what it would cost to entice JCP to the “blighted strip mall” that used to be Lowes on Randall Rd. At least there aren’t 6 other JCP’s in Elgin! It only cost Elgin taxpayers $4 million to bring low income subsidized housing to the former SEARS building in downtown Elgin.

            You seeing the problem yet, todd? That you liberal socialists think you can pick the winners and losers with my MONEY. After 40+ years of you picking the retail losers in Elgin, spending million upon millions of taxpayers money, you are still at it! Gavin is still at it.

      • paul says:

        “The northwest side is a food desert, Councilman Terry Gavin said. “I don’t like the term, but it’s a fact,” he said.”

        What is the difference between Gavin and a liberal socialist? Answer: absolutely none. In Gavin’s infinite socialist wisdom, despite 4 grocery retailers saying NO, Gavin spends $500K of taxpayer money to pay a grocer to say Okay!
        And then there is rubber stamp Shaw.

        • bw says:

          You guys are starting to learn. It took awhile but what can we expect from you intellects?

        • Todd Martin says:

          Let’s try one last time:

          The City giving a tax rebate to a new business is not a tax increase on you. There are more parts to the City of Elgin’s budget than you and a grocery store.

          If Elgin residents leave Elgin to buy groceries, it is entirely reasonable that some would switch to Butera’s new store. It is also entirely reasonable that some residents outside Elgin will come to the new Butera. Some people like Butera and now it will be closer to them. The new employees will have an incentive to live in Elgin to be near their work. That brings demand on local housing and local shopping.

          Butera will also help switch people from shopping for food at convenience stores or fast food. This improves health and standard of living (groceries cost less, leaving more money for other things).


          A “Zero sum game” belief fails to consider gains in efficiency. It is more efficient for consumers to make short trips. A grocery store is more efficient than a 7-11. Butera is more efficient with many stores than just a few.

          I don’t expect to “change your mind”, but realize that I have no personal stake in Butera. I am just applauding Elgin for doing something positive for the City and its residents. There is more to life than an “Us versus Them” mentality, where everyone else should pay more so you can pay less. Where life is a complaint against anyone else getting help or tax relief.

  70. Today on Lest Right and You John Tillman from the Illinois Policy Institute explains the latest plan to raise your taxes through the so-called progressive income tax amendment. We will also be talking with TLC Pregnancy Services and the City of Elgin’s latest attempt to outlaw their free ultrasound services.

    Please tune in to Left Right and You every Thursday 3-4pm CST on am1410 or http://tunein.com/radio/WRMN-1410-s22500/

    Click here to LIKE Left Right and You on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/LeftRightandYou/

    Archive of Left Right and You podcasts:

  71. One Vote says:

    I wanna play this government economics game.
    Let’s say that I’m fed up and want to move from Elgin. I mention it to Sean and the Kaptain and they say they don’t want to lose me.
    So, I promise to stay for 10 more years and keep the house painted and the grass cut. In exchange they cut my tax bill by 50% as an incentive to stay in Elgin.
    So, did the city lose revenue? Did it “cost” other Elgin homeowners anything because of the deal they made with me?

  72. One Vote says:

    And another thing…
    I can’t get a decent gyro within walking distance of my home.
    I can manage a walk to McDs and a couple of taquerias, but no gyros.
    I live in a gyro desert.
    And I don’t like it.
    Do you expect me to drive all the way to the other side of town for a good gyro?
    Why does the city council hate Greeks?

    Note to Gavin: Stop reading about FDR. That Freedom from Want stuff is socialism in a pretty dress.

    • Nikos says:

      Good Morning,

      Great, now, I’m craving a gyros! Thanks

      • RS says:

        OK so who’s got the best gyros in town? I’ve tried a few times but haven’t had any luck. I like fresh veggies in my gyro sandwiches!

        Also can we do something about getting an El Faro on Randall Rd? And a La Michoacana! That would be really nice.

        • elginkevin says:

          “Also can we do something…on Randall Rd?”

          NO! You come here to down town. We’re lonely.

        • One Vote says:

          St Sophia’s Greekfest, just past, is a regular stop for me. They’ve added the drive thru function.
          Jesters on Mclean has a gyro. Good, not great.
          JK’s across from Wheeling High is better.
          Most of them have onions that are too strong for me.
          I’m sure open to suggestions for a good gyro.

          • RS says:

            It just occurred to me that the kabob place on Randall in South Elgin might have gyros. If so, it could be promising because they do serve plenty of fresh veggies with their kabob sandwiches.

            Oh man, I miss King Shawarma

  73. Cruex says:

    “If Butera gets a tax rebate, they can lower their prices returning those savings to the consumer.”

    That is the most naive and laughable comment I have ever seen anywhere. I cannot imagine a child past the age of 12 making that kind of statement.

  74. Harmony says:

    Does anyone remember what the incentive was to Wallmart and the Sam’s Club?I want that deal to live in Elgin with a better incentive then One Vote, I’ll also cut the foreclosed property next to me.

  75. Capitalist Pig says:

    REMINDER ON THE BUTERA VOTE and Good Business Practices:
    The final vote came through as 7 in favor, 1 abstention (Rauschenberger), 1 No (Prigge)

    As I understand it, Butera plans to make a $4 million investment to buy and renovate a city property. Elgin will REBATE HALF the sales & alcohol tax revenues for 10 years. This amount is NOT TO EXCEED $500,000. The city will waive approximately $15,000 in permit fees. AFTER INCENTIVES, THE NEW GROCERY STORE IS ESTIMATED TO GENERATE $2.14 MILLION IN DIRECT AND INDIRECT BUSINESS TAX REVENUES TO THE CITY OVER 10 YEARS. Butera also says they plan to build another new store in Elgin. A rebate program for business expansion.

    This is NOT the first time the city has offered incentives to businesses to come to Elgin or stay in Elgin. Butera is being requested to post collateral to protect the city under the terms of the agreement. If they do not perform and if the city has already made rebate payments to Butera, that money is protected under the agreement. Doesn’t the city already do this with developers and other businesses? Why the outrage on this deal?

    How does a $4 million dollar investment in an underdeveloped area of the city and a possible new store in 2014, constitute some sort of give away?

    How is bringing jobs to an area with unemployment higher than the entire State of Illinois a bad thing?

    Let’s face it folks, we have not had a business opportunity in Elgin this big in a very long time. This is a private business that wants to expand in Elgin rather than open somewhere else. They agreed to the City’s terms and are still willing to move forward with their plans.

    In these difficult economic times, city’s must grab every business opportunity they can. We should be grateful that Butera wants to remain partners with Elgin.

    • bw says:

      Your words are music to the ears. These people who think any different are against eveything the council votes to approve.

      None of them can give a good reason to poo poo the deal. Wait until the city gives the buyer’s of the Tower Building the help that they will need to purchase the building. These same people will go through the ceiling at city hall. It is called progress. It happens all over the country. This is a function of government. These people need to grow-up.

      • Capitalist Pig says:

        Part of the agreement is if they close the Clock Tower store at any time within 10 years they stop receiving the rebate and they MUST repay the city EVERYTHING they have received prior.

        That locks them into a deal for 10 years on two locations or IT COSTS US NOTHING!

        With a third store in the works for the east side in 2014.

        What the heck is it going to take to please you people?

        • One Vote says:

          We get it. We really do.
          It just rings hollow about growing business in Elgin when it comes on the heels business taxes imposed by the city.
          It would “COST US NOTHING!” to make business licenses $5 a year for all businesses.
          It would “COST US NOTHING!” to eliminate some of the stupid codes Elgin enforces against other struggling businesses just because they aren’t worth millions to the City Fathers.
          Ed Schock was criticized for picking winners and losers and greasing the skids of businesses HE courted to bring to Elgin. You guys have institutionalized it.

  76. Capitalist Pig says:

    Glad to see “you” get part of it. Winner & Losers are only chosen by the free market consumer. The term “free market” does not mean free of regulation. There is nothing improper about courting businesses to set up in your city, State or country. That is done every day and usually years in advance of any actual plans going into effect.

    Some may argue that regulation/s is/are needed to protect the consumers, but in reality, it hurts consumers. Regulation is a kind of protectionism that tends to benefit that regulated industry at the expense of consumers. Large and politically connected businesses often use the government to drive the smaller companies out of the market. (Sound familiar Wal-mart)

    In my opinion, compliance to regulation/s actually represents a hidden tax on businesses, and it’s then passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices. If businesses did not have to spend so much to comply with government regulation, then perhaps they could afford to hire more employees.

    When officials step in and regulate the free market, they cause new problems. Seems to me that most government solutions are usually as bad as the problem itself and often makes the original problem worse. As an example ethanol. When we subsidized (corn) for fossil fuels it actually lead to more carbon pollution. How is that a good use of regulation and tax payer money?

    Regulation also causes government to grow dramatically. When the government passes new regulatory policies, it has to expand or create agencies and departments to enforce or oversee them. Aren’t we all better off when the size and reach of all governments, including local governments are limited? If policymakers were serious about growing the economy, then they should support policies that reduce dead weight loss, keep tax burdens low, and get the heck out of the way of business/es.

    Did people suddenly get greedy in their pursuit of larger homes, second homes, or flipping homes for easy profit? I think yes, but only because extremely low interest rates made it so enticing. This was hardly a failure of free markets or greed. In truth, it was a predictable consequence of government distorting interest rates.

    Adopting short term solutions without seeing the harmful long term consequences never seems to work, does it?

    Now Elgin did something in the best interest of the city and its economy. They should be applauded and encouraged to do much more.

  77. bw says:

    Healthy People 2020 provides why TLC’S service is needed:


  78. RS says:


    Well I just read the articles about Butera and it sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Is Butera really headquartered in Elgin? Why is this the first time i’ve heard that? They own 104 Piggly Wiggly stores? This would make them one of the largest businesses in Elgin. Whaddya know?

    Anyway, $500K rebate of tax revenues is not a bad deal. But I think the $2M over ten years may be an exaggerated figure if they are only doing $110K/year at the other location.

    The article says they’re also opening a store at 880 Summit? Isn’t that the location of a Fruit Market or Fresh Market? Is it replacing that store? I haven’t been in that part of town in a while but last time I was there the store seemed like it was doing fine.

    • One Vote says:

      Butera put up a sign a couple of months ago that the are building on the site.
      It was actually a Dominick’s site that was never built upon. Soon after Jewel opened up they built the parking lot and stopped. It is between O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and Waverly.
      With Aldi’s, Fresh and Jewel in a two block area does that make it a food oasis?
      Butera’s HQ is indeed located in Clock Tower Plaza. As for the Piggly Wiggly connection, the IL and WI stores appear to be under separate ownership.
      Still, it’s a pretty good empire given the volatility of the grocery business.
      Butera never shows up on the radar as a major business in Elgin so it must be a shoe string management group.

  79. Chuck Keysor says:

    Yes, as One Vote noted, the Butera HQ is in fact in the Clock Tower Shopping Center. I have been in it a couple of times to provide information, and it is a busy, but small beehive.

    I wonder if Butera were to be run like Elgin City Hall, with sky-high salaries, gold plated pensions, and layer upon layer of management, if they would go out of business in one month or would they last for two?


  80. Cruex says:

    “Part of the agreement is if they close the Clock Tower store at any time within 10 years they stop receiving the rebate and they MUST repay the city EVERYTHING they have received prior.” That locks them into a deal for 10 years on two locations or IT COSTS US NOTHING!”

    Wrong. The materials I read states Butera gets a maximum of $500,000 back in sales tax with up to ten years to acquire it. They are not locked into any time frame if they meet that number before the ten years expires. The Courier said the Clock Tower store pays $110,000 a year in taxes. Do the math. At that average Butera’s could scoot in less than 5 years and keep the half mil.

    “With a third store in the works for the east side in 2014.”

    LOL. Don’t count on an east side store to be built now. That store needs to be built from the ground up. What would that cost? $10 million or more? The store on McLean is already built. I did not see anything about a new store mentioned in the deal. How convenient to be left out.

    • SIE says:

      The east side store was mentioned in the article I read.

      But I agree with you and have doubts it will be built. We drive to the Clock Tower Butera but would much prefer the Summit St. location.

    • Capitalist Pig says:

      What materials have you read other than what has been published in the papers?

      As for the third store, whether they open or not, that’s Butera’s choice and actually has nothing to do with this deal. This deal has already been voted on and approved. 7-1-1.

      This Capitalist is moving forward with the city!

  81. Cruex says:

    bw I hope you forwarded this healthy people 2020 link information to all of your educated pals on the council. You know the ones who want to drag out denying free medical care to poor people? We wouldn’t want any of your fellow educated liberals to not know about this, would we? Take your time explaining this to your mayor-elect Rauschenberger. She may think 2020 means the television show.

  82. bw says:

    I can’t get you to research ADL OR IADL, that you are suffering,how can I get the council to visit the URL I posted. They have access to this board and the read what is being posted. Go online and do your research if your smart enough. ADL and IADL has to do with the way a person functions.

  83. SIE says:

    Disappointed in Prigge’s Butera vote. I typically agree with his voting but it seems now he just votes no no matter what.

    Surprised not closing the Clock Tower store was part of the deal.

    When I saw the sign for the potential new Summit St. east side store I thought for sure that meant they would close Clock Tower. For one retailer to have three grocery stores in one town is pretty rare. We’ll see if the Summit store ever gets built, I have my doubts. They say a “May or June” opening but ground hasn’t even been broken.

  84. Cruex says:

    What materials have you read other than what has been published in the papers?

    The documents are from the city’s website on the meeting’s agenda. The newspapers have the same information. They only print what they want to from it depending on their personal slant or as space allows.

    You’re right about the third store on Summit St. I hope they do not ask for the same deal if they open there.