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September [2013] open thread

2 September 2013 Elgin Illinois 275 Comments

EHS football game EHS football game (Photo by The Elginite).

Monthly open thread for September 2013. Discuss the latest Elgin issues here.

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275 Responses to “September [2013] open thread”

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  1. Danise Habun says:

    A bit thank you to our community for attending the 2013 Elgin iFest on August 31, 2013. Despite having to cancel the parade due to inclement weather AND despite having to react and quickly respond to the destruction caused by Friday’s storm, the festival went on and was a huge success!

    Many thanks to the staff of the City of Elgin, the community members who loaned us your pop up tents and to the volunteers who made the 2013 Elgin iFest possible! True community spirit was demonstrated! We had a great celebration of all of our cultures throughout the day and night!

  2. SIE says:

    I wonder if my “culture” was represented? Doubt it.

  3. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey SIE, don’t you know EVERY DAY is your culture day?

    • SIE says:

      Hey Tim, not in this city. I could go on but I’d get deleted.

      • One Vote says:

        Tim’s right. We’re paying the taxes of a symphony city and getting tattoo parlors and taquerias. Livin’ the dream, baby.
        We’ve got two rec centers, brick paver “streetscape”, an artists’ enclave, an award-winning library, festival park…and coming soon an $8 million riverwalk.
        All paid for by…wait for it…US.
        Next door they’ve packed three families in a two bedroom home, with assessments based on two children while they are sending four to U46 schools. (Did I mention they are free lunch, fees waived kids?)
        Like Tim says, every day is OUR culture day because we are paying the freight on it all.
        Don’t you feel blessed?

  4. Harmony says:

    I can’t believe this City. Pump Millions of dollars for the downtown and they now have 3 tattoo parlors. The one that didn’t mention the arts was almost not allowed. But have a art studio on the second floor your in like Flynn! Things to be proud of the downtown. Having a City that embraces zombies( nightmare on Chicago street) Pub crawls?? And now in the name of art More tattoo parlors per block. Yep I am really going to come to the downtown with my grand kids for dinner. And I am just curious I live in a leaf rake out area and pay extra for leaf pick, part of that deal was I would get my street swept ed more often haven’t seen a sweeper since May.

  5. RS says:

    OK here are the articles:

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130830/news/708309942/?interstitial=1

    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/22254341-418/two-more-tattoo-parlors-may-open-in-downtown-elgin.html

    Last Wednesday, the city council heeded the recommendations of its Planning & Zoning Commission and granted conditional use approval to the owners of Funky Monkey, 73 S. Grove Ave., by an 8-1 vote and to Big Heads Tattoos LLC, 210 DuPage St., by a 5-4 margin. Ordinance approval — the final step in the process — is scheduled for a vote at the next city council meeting, on Sept. 11.

    According to supporting material for last week’s council meeting, Sarah Mooney and her husband Jose M. Napoles Colin of St. Charles have backgrounds in painting, drawing and sculpture, and intend to operate Funky Monkey as a tattoo parlor and art gallery. The spot they will be renting recently had held a skateboarding shop.

  6. Tim says:

    To be honest top notch tattoo has one of the nicest store fronts in the entire city.

    • paul says:

      “To be honest top notch tattoo has one of the nicest store fronts in the entire city.”

      Just don’t trip over the full-bodied tattooed cigarette smoking slobs hanging out front lounging in the ever present Adirondack chairs cluttering up the sidewalk. How do you get “nice” from that look???

      • RS says:

        Tattoos, cigarettes, Adirondack chairs! The horror!

        • paul says:

          “Tattoos, cigarettes, Adirondack chairs! The horror!”

          In keeping with Rick’s inability to understand context, no doubt he won’t explain how “Tattoos, cigarettes, Adirondack chairs” ALL located on the public right-of-way and interfering in the public right-of-way makes Top Notch ” one of the nicest store fronts in the entire city.”

          I’ll answer for Rick: IT DOESN’T. And completely absurd for anyone to claim otherwise.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Hey, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the expansion of the public housing for 120 S. State on Tuesday night. Anyone I talked to said the building was not appealing, it didn’t fit the neighborhood, it violated all set-back requirements, and an attorney said it did not meet the LaSalle case requirements.

            But two commissioners lauded the building as something like visionary, bold and exciting. If they can say that, then RS’s observations on the tattoo parlor may be similarly grounded…………… Chuck

          • Todd Martin says:

            Thanks Chuck for sending out the information about the EHA new building plans. I had seen a presentation they made previously at City Council, so I knew they were wanting to make changes.

            I agree with the people you spoke with, the plans do not show a pretty building. And I agree the setback requirements are skipped over. There’s really no room for any landscaping.

            I feel that EHA made a lowest cost renovation project to replace studio apartments with larger family sized units.

            I would have preferred EHA had chosen to spread out more in Elgin rather than concentrate housing even more on State Street. There’s no reason my neighborhood, the NorthEast side, couldn’t host a modest EHA apartment building. I would have preferred an EHA project with a campus style look (more green space).

            However, if I had gone to the Planning meeting and objected then I would have been labeled as being against affordable housing. I actually like affordable housing.

            I would have fought the NIMBY crowd if it was in my neighborhood. But arguing against the project because it’s ugly isn’t worth it.

          • RS says:

            Indeed it could make more sense to move the public housing project to the Far West Side, where there would be plenty of green space for residents and where the Burlington school district can benefit from the additional socioeconomic diversity.

            There’s already a high density of low income households in the downtown area. Increasing it further doesn’t seem like the best idea.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Todd and Rick, thanks for the feedback.

            1) I would like to point out a big irony here, that I did not bring up at the public hearing, as it would have been taken the wrong way…. But when Bob Gilliam ran for re-election in 2005, the cornerstone of his campaign was that Elgin had TOO much “affordable” housing. He said Elgin and Aurora had become the dumping ground for section 8 housing in the Fox Valley. He handed out fliers, of which I still a copy, which showed how many units of affordable housing each city in the Fox Valley had. So it was OK for Bob Gilliam to say that. IF I would have said that, or even hinted at that, which I assiduously avoided, I would have been labeled as being against minorities, which is not the case at all. And the bigger part of the irony in this story, is that despite Bob Gilliam said Elgin had become the dumping ground for the Fox Valley’s “affordable housing”, that they will be naming the new addition to 120 S. State/more affordable housing, after Bob Gilliam!

            2) Since it is so widely regarded that crammed public housing is a failed concept, I don’t know why the Housing Authority would be advocating increasing their housing density. The fact that this building does not meet any type of setback requirements should simply end the discussion. We have empty land all over the City where a new building could have been constructed that did not violate any zoning or set back requirements. So, I also consider it ironic that the Housing Authority of Elgin would advocate for a position that is widely discarded, and actively being worked against (increased density) as being bad for the low income residents. They never even looked at another location. From day one, the concept was to cram it all in onto the existing “campus” with the availability of 132 S. State.

            Chuck

          • Todd Martin says:

            Chuck, I agree 100%.

          • OWT says:

            Chuck-Once again you exhibit you talent for not letting the facts get in the way of your conclusions. First, the Housing Authority building on Rt. 31 is a senior housing facility. Although Elgin has an abundance of “affordable” housing, the senior housing segment lacks sufficient number is Elgin as well as across the country due to the aging population. The EHA building is in need of renovation due to age and functional obsolescence and the new Executive Director, Mr Duncan has begun this process. The process includes the building of the new annex as well as renovating the tower. The reason for the site selection in part is that it is widely recognized that grouped senior housing provides better accommodations and services to this demographic that scattered site public housing. You may not like the design of the new building, but there is a finite amount that can be spent on the project unless you would like to contribute some of your monetary resources to have it suit your design sensibilities.

            Your amazement in the potential naming of the EHA project after Bob Gilliam defies credibility. Mr. Gilliam served as a Councilman for 40 years and a member of the Housing Authority board for decades. No one individual has had the record of service and impact on Elgin as has Bob Gilliam. It is more than fitting the the senior housing project be named for him.

            Keep up the negativity and criticism without contributing to the process and solutions and remember to never let facts get in the way of your erroneous conclusions

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Dear OWT, I am working to contribute to a positive outcome concerning the senior housing situation. It is also of note that I do not, nor did anyone at the public hearing on 9/2/13 deny the need for more subsidized senior housing. And no one even said, “Don’t put this in our neighborhood”.

            The basic problem is that this project, is being crammed in where it does not physically fit without multiple violations of code. And it will add extra traffic and parking stresses to the neighborhood as I had publicly testified and provided reasoned figures to support my contentions.

            Look, I like Bob Gilliam, and I wish him well. But honoring him with a building that will not be the best way to fulfill the intended objectives of quality subsidized senior housing, and which consequently adds stresses to an over-stressed neighborhood is not an honor.

            It is only my speculation, but I doubt that any serious effort was made to research possible options for the location for additional senior housing. Can you shed any light on the matter of site investigations, or was the only consideration how they could squeeze the addition next to the existing building at 120 S. State?

            And it remains a fact that Bob Gilliam did run for re-election in 2005 with the cornerstone of his campaign being that Elgin has too much affordable housing. He made no distinction as age groups served. I still have the campaign fact sheet he distributed during that election.

            Chuck

  7. Harmony says:

    Yes they do Tim, But do we really want our downtown to be hangout for people who want tattoos? Do we really want to be a downtown of staving artists? Do we really want to be a downtown that promotes drunkenness and zombies? Take look a St Charles’s downtown, I went thru La Grange last weekend I was amazed what they have done. The downtown was full of people at street side tables. Elgin can do it but we need a lot better leadership then Downtown neighborhood association and the the high cost City managers staff.

    • RS says:

      Times have changed. Everybody and his grandmother has a tattoo. They have gone mainstream.

      Zombies, artists and tattoo parlors may be the only way forward. It’s worth a try.

      • One Vote says:

        I’m with you.
        Out with the ESO; in with the tramp stamps. It’s a better fit for Elgin anyway. Maybe we can add some more pawn shops.

        • RS says:

          ESO is music and is compatible with the vision of an art/artist friendly Downtown Elgin. Yes, more music options would be nice. More punk music, dance clubs, etc. But there is no easy way to support these other than giving them a liquor license.

          ESO on the other hand, we’re talking about a multi-million dollar organization with a 70+ payroll.

  8. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey Harmony, thanks for bringing up LaGrange. Look at these statistics. Now you know why Elgin will never be like LaGrange. Do you think they have an I-fest in LaGrange? HAHAHAHA

    2010 Census: La Grange Population & Housing
    Population - 15,550
    Caucasian - 91%
    African-American - 5%
    Other - 4%

  9. Tim says:

    On a brighter note, apparently villa Verone has closed their doors. Just what the city needs, another closed business and deserted store front. This city just doesn’t have the economic base to support local business, or attract anything new to downtown.

    • One Vote says:

      The Herald had a nice article about the closing. The quotes from DNA and the Chamber were hilarious. Crime is down. Villa was such a great business. Poor wittle Elgin is so misunderstood.
      There is a whole world of consumers out there who aren’t impressed by pub crawls, zombie nights and tattoo parlors.
      And there’s nothing appealing about high taxes and empty storefronts.

      • RS says:

        http://couriernews.suntimes.com/business/22457400-420/last-call-at-villa-verone-thursday.html

        http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130909/business/709099766/

        Although while not laying blame, the new city 3 percent tax on alcohol also hurt the bottom line, he said, as did not having a city-sponsored performance season at the Hemmens Cultural Arts Center.

        His accountant charged him extra to separate out the 3 percent liquor tax, and it did cause other bookkeeping costs, Verone said.

        Neither were people coming to eat before shows.

        “Whenever we had a show, we had people come in before the show started,” Verone said.

        Even with Elgin Symphony Orchestra performances, they didn’t see large turnouts, he added.

        “I don’t know if they don’t have the money to spend … but let’s face it, the last five or six years the economy hasn’t been the best,” and people are eating out less, he added.

        • paul says:

          >>Despite his main misgiving, Gavin said he wants the symphony to stay in Elgin and prosper in the city, and that his vote should not be seen as punitive.

          “We need them, and they need us,” Gavin said. At the same time, he said, he is concerned about taxpayer money being used to subsidize the symphony.<<

          I hate to say it but maybe bw was right: Gavin just isn’t quite intelligent enough to get it. Gavin’s contribution to the city of Elgin will be the elimination of the ESO and the shuttering of the Hemmens. Take that Villa Verone. But at least we’ll have 3 tattoo parlors to hang out in.

  10. R. Z. says:

    I took a walk around downtown Elgin yesterday afternoon. On such a nice day, there were very few people walking around enjoying the day.

    The much hyped ‘Art Space’ gallery was closed, as most businesses were. There was an abundance of empty store fronts and plenty of signs in windows that were in a language that I do not speak or read.

    I observed that the 2 roads that people enter Elgin on are filled with businesses that are not attractive (rt 31 and rt 25).

    This is what people from out of town see on their way in. It’s no wonder that the downtown area is not full. There is nothing to draw people to come and enjoy except the casino, which has all the ‘needs’ met for folks, so they don’t need to look any further.

    Al’s cafe had some tents outside for their patrons, and it was nice to see that there was something ‘observable’ that was open for business.

    With all the money spent to beautify the downtown area, I was shocked to see the area near Festival Park that looked weed-filled and trashed.

    The planters were filled with plants that looked out of control and uncared for.

    It made me sad. We need businesses that draw people to downtown to enjoy what we have to offer…but first we need to be able to offer more than just a pleasant place to look at.

    • Mason says:

      Ditto! Well said. Who do we speak too? The planning commission?

      • bennie says:

        save your precious breath nothing will change in Elgin until the current old guard is gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tim says:

      You mean to tell me cash for gold, broken down gas stations, 67 hair salons, and tire shops open to the street aren’t appealing to travelers?
      What about the car insurance shops on every corner or calling card shops, that has to be a draw….

      My wife and I walked from the art showing at the haight on Friday down to Al’s and back and I really understand why no one chooses to go downtown. It’s just not a nice place, there’s few attractions and the Risk of danger is just too high.

    • paul says:

      That very same day (overcast) we had breakfast at an outside table at On the Side restaurant (Groupon discount). Stopped in at the bookstore a few doors down. All very pleasant except for the multitude of bicyclists riding the sidewalk (unlawful); the bookstore even had a sign on their door saying watch for bicyclists upon exiting the store. Bicyclists hitting pedestrians on downtown sidewalks better have good insurance. City of Elgin better have good insurance too given they are allowing it.

      Mr. Tequila’s serves Margaritas in huge glasses with over-sized straws (snorkels?) for $7.50 (you’ll only need one). Bonus: they also serve VERY reasonably priced GOOD Mexican food. Double bonus: They also have outdoor seating.

      VIlla Verone was over-priced and I want my Italian restaurant more intimate; not open room seating.

      • RS says:

        That’s an interesting idea. Bicycle traffic presumably is being routed away from construction along the riverbank. But what if we make this change permanent? In other words from now on, simply force bicyclists traveling the Fox River Trail to walk their bikes through the downtown streets? I wonder how much increased foot traffic that would bring. Maybe enough to support a bike shop!

        • paul says:

          “simply force bicyclists traveling the Fox River Trail to walk their bikes through the downtown streets?”

          OR, or or absurdly ridiculously require bicyclists to OBEY the LAW and ride in the street as they are required by law to do.

          Crystal Lake has a bike shop, Algonquin has a bike shop, Carpentersville has a bike shop, East Dundee has a bike shop S. Elgin has a bike shop, St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia have multiple bike shops. Elgin does not have a bike shop. The edumacated powers that be in Elgin are spending many millions of dollars right now this very day to run their bike trail behind the downtown district. And all the other property adjacent to the bike trail in Elgin is owned by the government. After 50 years of this BS of Elgin city government running the city of Elgin into the ground does it ever occur to anyone that maybe government IS the problem.

    • DEA says:

      What more needs to be offered?

  11. ADV says:

    I’ve been reading the comments here for a long time and I gotta say a lot of posters here have it backwards when it comes to downtown Elgin.

    There’s all this talk about wanting a high end downtown like Naperville, much of which looks like a fancy mall. The problem is that businesses like Whole Foods, Starbucks, and high-end specialty boutiques only go to existing viable markets. They don’t place locations on a speculative basis and wait for the people to arrive; they follow the people. And in situations like downtown Elgin, the initial waves of people are almost always brought by small, scrappy, independent businesses.

    We’re not going to get big, fancy stores until the traffic is already there, and the only types of businesses who are willing to bank on creating that traffic are ones that need to start with low overhead. These types of businesses are often going to attract younger or more bohemian patrons because those are the kinds of people who actually start the businesses and those are the products or services being offered. This is not a bad thing.

    If a tattoo shop, for example, can be successful and gain a reputation for high quality work (as Topnotch successfully has), then people will travel to patronize that business and provide the other businesses around it with a lift. Ask Elgin Public House how they feel about Topnotch. It’s a huge boon to them.

    This is the fundamental pattern of gentrification and urban revitalization, and it has happened time and time again in cities and downtowns across the country. Twenty years ago the Bucktown/Wicker Park area of Chicago was really sketchy and the only people who lived there were artists because studio space in the Flatiron Building was cheap. Those artists eventually started opening coffee shops and restaurants and boutiques, and the area started to be hip, attracting more people, until big business took notice and now it’s one of the most polished and expensive neighborhoods in Chicago. There are plenty of other examples.

    This is also the reason why the arts are so important to this City, from classic arts like the ESO (see Pietro Verone’s quote above) to more lowbrow stuff like the proposed gallery/tattoo shop. The arts are the economic engine that powers revitalization. Right now in downtown Elgin there are businesspeople who are working hard to bring in new customers and create additional economic growth. If they are successful, that in turn will create additional jobs, draw more people to the area, and raise property values. Will they all be successful? No. Should they all be successful? Of course not. But if they’re not welcome to even try, nothing will ever get better.

    Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but it can happen if we support it instead of tearing down the people who are working so hard, people like Pietro. The thought of Starbucks arriving in Elgin tomorrow is a pipe dream and nothing more. Ravenheart, however, is already here.

    No matter how you feel about art, the bottom line is this: is if you sneer at every jewelry maker, shopkeeper and business owner who doesn’t fit your exact notion of what Elgin “should” be, in the end you’re only hurting your own wallet.

    • One Vote says:

      The big names go to areas where there is…wait for it…INCOME.
      Elgin will never appeal to national chain stores because it lacks gross family income. Once all the Barringtons in the country are filled up, they’ll move on down the list.
      And scrappy small businesses come and go, most failing within a year or two.

      • ADV says:

        “Most failing within a year or two” . . . you mean like that little coffee shop in Seattle, what was it called? Speak for yourself.

        • One Vote says:

          Actually I mean the odds are against a new business surviving for five years, especially retail and restaurants.

          • ADV says:

            Statistically that’s certainly true. Still, these are the businesses are the initial stimulus that helps lift the overall economic profile of an area and thus eventually attract the larger retailers. Again, look at Bucktown.

          • ADV says:

            whoops . . . “these businesses are”

    • paul says:

      “Ask Elgin Public House how they feel about Topnotch. It’s a huge boon to them.”

      Thanks for the laugh. Exactly how many people do you think are getting tramp stamps per day at Topnotch? And both of them drop the rest of their paycheck at EPH!!!

      “people will travel to patronize that business”

      The people traveling from out of town to patronize 1 of 3 tattoo parlors in Elgin apparently do not have a single tat shop in their own community. Why is that?

      “The arts are the economic engine that powers revitalization.”

      So after $4 million of Elgin taxpayer money spent on bringing low income housing/Artspace to downtown Elgin Villa Verone goes out of business because…. the residents of Artspace couldn’t afford Verone’s! We need more downscale shops - like tattoo parlors.

      “tearing down the people who are working so hard, people like Pietro.”

      Who is tearing down Pietro? Answer - NO ONE. That makes your statement untrue.

      ” if you sneer at every jewelry maker, shopkeeper and business owner who doesn’t fit your exact notion of what Elgin “should” be, in the end you’re only hurting your own wallet.”

      Don’t know about anyone doing sneering but I’ll file that statement under the ‘not credible’ as well.

      • ADV says:

        Okay, even though it’s clear that you regard my post as”downscale,” I’ll play for a moment:

        “Exactly how many people do you think are getting tramp stamps per day at Topnotch? And both of them drop the rest of their paycheck at EPH!!!”

        It is a fact that tattoos and piercings have become more mainstream and popular in recent years. It is also a fact that the quality of tattoo art varies. Good tattoo artists who do higher quality work are in higher demand, just like in any other trade. Topnotch has a good reputation, with a 4 star rating on Google and a 5 star rating on Yelp. Contrary to what you appear to believe, quality of work is important to the overwhelming majority of tattoo customers. Since Topnotch has one of the stronger reputations in the suburbs, people regularly travel from other towns to go there. Both the employees of Topnotch and its customers are regular sources of business for EPH. If you don’t believe me, ask Greg, Lou, or any EPH employee. Really, do it.

        Also, Topnotch has been there for I don’t know, 8 or 10 years? That would seem to refute your assertion that they are doing two tramp stamps a day. They are an established business that appears successful.

        “The people traveling from out of town to patronize 1 of 3 tattoo parlors in Elgin apparently do not have a single tat shop in their own community. Why is that?”

        See above. Quality is important and good business is worth traveling for. I highly doubt that all three tattoo businesses are going to make it. The market will ultimately decide. Another example is the guitar repair guy downtown — he has customers coming to him from as far as Chicago when there are plenty of other choices between here and there. His customers prefer his work and will travel to get it.

        “So after $4 million of Elgin taxpayer money spent on bringing low income housing/Artspace to downtown Elgin Villa Verone goes out of business because…. the residents of Artspace couldn’t afford Verone’s! We need more downscale shops - like tattoo parlors.”

        Artspace has 55 housing units in it and not all of them are rented. 55 households is not enough to support any business regardless of income. Let’s generously assume that there are 4 people in each Artspace unit even though many of the units are studios or 1 bedrooms. 55 x 4 = 220 people. Let’s conservatively assume that Villa Verone needed to serve an average of 40 meals a day to remain solvent. 40 meals/day x 7 days/week x 52 weeks/year = 14,560 meals. That’s 66 meals per year per Artspace resident. Does that seem reasonable to you?

        ““tearing down the people who are working so hard, people like Pietro.”

        Who is tearing down Pietro? Answer - NO ONE. That makes your statement untrue.”

        Actually it doesn’t. The phrase “people like Pietro” modifies the subject of the sentence, “people who are working so hard.” The sentence does not say anyone was tearing down Pietro specifically. It says that Pietro is a hard working small business owner and that hard working small business owners are being torn down here. If you’re not satisfied with that, how about this: You clearly can’t contain your disdain for Topnotch, a small business that has been here longer than Villa Verone was.

        “” if you sneer at every jewelry maker, shopkeeper and business owner who doesn’t fit your exact notion of what Elgin “should” be, in the end you’re only hurting your own wallet.”

        Don’t know about anyone doing sneering but I’ll file that statement under the ‘not credible’ as well.”

        Take a look at this: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/March-2007/Chic-Chicago/How-Bucktown-Got-Boutiqued/

        The article states that in 1990, the majority of the area’s residents made less than $10,000 annually. By 2000, however, the median home price in Bucktown had risen 198% to $382,895. Today the current median sales price for homes in Bucktown is $429,500. http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Wicker_Park-Chicago/2969/

        sneer — “smile or speak in a contemptuous or mocking manner”
        “Thanks for the laugh” . . . “tramp stamps”. . .”the residents of Artspace couldn’t afford Verone’s” . . . shall I go on? :)

        • paul says:

          “The sentence does not say anyone was tearing down Pietro specifically.”

          It is your semantic gymnastic that establishes your lack of credibility. So you use Pietro as your example though you can’t evidence a single ‘tear down’ of Pietro!!! LMAO

          “hard working small business owners are being torn down here.”

          If you mean Topnotch owner Clifford being the most adamant against 2 more competitors, I’ll give you that one. But other than that I’m not seeing your claimed verbal ‘tear downs’. But nice attempt at building a strawman.

          “You clearly can’t contain your disdain for Topnotch”

          You are wrong yet again. At least you are consistent.
          I’m good with 12 Tattoo parlors in downtown Elgin. But calling Topnotch’s store front one of the best store fronts in Elgin is still hilariously absurd. Nor do I particularly enjoy walking through a cloud of foul cigarette smoke. Nor do I particularly enjoy maneuvering around lounging lizards sprawled out on Adirondack chairs within the public right-of-way. I’d say the same about the yarn shop if such decor was outfront of that.

          “That’s 66 meals per year per Artspace resident.”

          Truly bizarre. My contention is low-income Artspace residents weren’t supporting Verone at ALL. Try to grasp the obvious; low-income people do not gravitate to high-end restaurants.

          “tattoos and piercings have become more mainstream”

          So has heroin, food stamps and welfare but not quite persuaded yet that should be Elgin’s target market.

          • ADV says:

            Speaking of “semantic gymnastics,” it’s interesting how you argue that I said things I didn’t say and you didn’t say things you did say (while continuing to say them), yet ignore the evidence presented that artists and bohemians can and do catalyze gentrification.

            It’s such a common occurrence that a DePaul University professor wrote an article analyzing media coverage of the phenomenon, which he describes as the “the artist-led gentrification story:”

            http://www.natcom.org/CommCurrentsArticle.aspx?id=966

            “In most large cities, there is a neighborhood that has become known as the new hip area. You could go there and find a range of new restaurants and bars; pop into some funky clothing stores and independently owned record shops; and find some cafes that felt unique because they didn’t feature the same green, white, and black logo that adorns other cafes in other parts of the city. You were fascinated by the street life in this neighborhood, especially the quantity of twenty-somethings who were hanging out, most of whom seemed to be adorned with tattoos, piercings, and thrift store apparel. ”

            “But then the neighborhood started to change; it was gentrifying. The reporters now describe this change as a problem because the neighborhood is quickly losing its edge. That is, people like you are hanging around too often, looking to buy a condo, and transforming the place from an artsy bohemian enclave into a haven for yuppies and middle class couples with one child and a large dog.”

            Gotta go through Step 1 to get to Step 2.

          • RS says:

            Paul, somewhere on this page in a previous comment you said that Villa Verone was “overpriced” (which I don’t really agree with), so it doesn’t sound like Artspace people are the only ones who do not “gravitate to high-end restaurants.”

            I’m pointing this out not to be argumentative but to make a point that Villa Verone’s pricing may have had to do with its ultimate failure to remain in business. There are not that many people in Elgin who can afford to eat at Verone on a regular basis. But there are many more people who can afford to eat at places with a lower price point. And they can do this on a daily basis.

          • paul says:

            “a point that Villa Verone’s pricing may have had to do with its ultimate failure to remain in business.”

            No argument there. Pretty sure that is it in a nut shell.

            Speaking of lower price point packing-the-customers-in Bandito Barney’s in E. Dundee has very good cheap food and drink, live bands, and an over-abundance of very good looking women. And no 3% Elgin liquor tax!
            Mr. Tequila has good Mexican food reasonably priced and giant Margarita’s for $7.50 (you’ll only need one).

  12. Tim Palmer says:

    Most of Elgin is Hispanics. Hispanics like El Faros. The rest of Elgin that likes Italian food are okay with Olive Garden where they can see Hispanics serving Italian Food. If you want more Villa Verone’s you have to get more people who like Italian food and less of those who like El Faro.

  13. Tim says:

    I guess Tim Palmer sort of nailed it.

    This city population just isn’t interested in a bustling downtown or ” normal” shops, restaurants ect. The populous of the area has no money to spend.

  14. ADV says:

    There are plenty of people who are very interested in a bustling downtown and are putting their money where their mouths are. Maybe they’re just not the people you think. Generalizations are rarely helpful except when it comes to keeping assumptions intact. El Faro and Villa Verone are both good.

  15. One Vote says:

    How about that dust-up between the YWCA and Dolphin’s Cove.
    Who knew Carpentersville was such an exclusive town?
    It would be funny if the folks at the Y weren’t so serious.

  16. RS says:

    These were taken at Top Notch with my Hasselblad 40mm CF FLE lens. They hardly look like “MMA wannabes.” And yet I think these are the most typical customers in tattoo parlors these days.

  17. RS says:

    Another shot with the 40 distagon. This time for those who hate Mexican restaurants.

    I think they can be very pretty!

  18. Cruex says:

    Your references prove to me that there are enough tatoo shops in this country. When I see a line of people waiting to get needled I will change my mind.

  19. SM says:

    A very old but apt saying from a wise, old farmer: “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. Elgin = sow’s ear.

  20. SIE says:

    No surprise that Pietro Verone wants to focus on his Geneva location. It’s funny how so many towns that at one time were similar to Elgin are now considered high class and can support a vibrant business/downtown environment. They did something right. Elgin didn’t.

    From the Daily Herald:

    “Deirdre White, executive director of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, said Verone and his restaurant will be sorely missed.

    Restoring downtown Elgin to its former glory from decades ago has been a challenge for city leaders.

    White said downtown is home to shopping, dining and a variety of architecture. DNA has hired a development director to help bring more businesses to the area, and crime is down 4 percent from last year.

    “The perception of downtown Elgin is not the reality,” White said. “People don’t realize that.”"

    I guess she has to say that but I bet she goes to St. Chuck when she wants a decent dinner.

  21. I’m more of an El Faro kind of guy, but I will miss Verone’s :(

  22. R. Z. says:

    As I am reading through the responses to my earlier post, I am amazed at the amount of angst that is relayed through them.

    Nobody has the ‘answer’ to what is going to ‘revitalize’ the downtown area. There is no hard, fast rule that will make it happen.

    I have visited many of the surrounding area downtown areas for the following reasons: a nice wine shop, specialty clothing stores, mom and pop eateries, popcorn shop, beer making/wine making supplies, ‘nicer’ eateries, casual eateries. Wine festivals, Car shows…

    I have not gone for ‘Starbucks’ or national big brand stores/eating/shopping. I can go to a mall for those, so the discussions about trying to get big national brands downtown to draw people…really does not resonate with me.

    As I see it, the city has spent a LOT of money making the downtown area a visually nice place to visit. It is (mostly). But the hard work is to create a ‘living’ place that is vibrant and that people want to visit. There is a place for ‘el Faro’ and ‘Villa Verone’, but there needs to be MORE places like that and more variety. It will come at a cost of people wanting to open a business and having the money to keep it open for the 5 years or MORE that it will take to start to draw people downtown on a regular basis. This is not something that will be resolved or fixed overnight. It will be a slow awakening of interesting things going on downtown.

    Perhaps a monthly car show..Lombard has a car show every Saturday during the summer,where people bring their ’special’ cars for a few hours in the evening… I’ve seen how the street fills up with classic cars and muscle cars, and people come to see them. EVERY Saturday. I was amazed.

    The ESO is not going to revitalize the downtown area. People will come for the shows and maybe eat in town. But that is not going to make downtown alive. It will take a LOT more than that. It will take great personal investment from many people that feel it’s worth their time and money to open a shop and keep it running. Traditionally a new business doesn’t MAKE money for the first 5 years. That’s a long time without a profit in this economy…which is most likely why we have so many open store fronts…and businesses closing.

    • ADV says:

      I absolutely agree. I mention chain stores because for most people they are a benchmark of economic viability.

      My issue is with all the stones being thrown at the people who have made investments and are working hard. It’s unfortunate that tattooing has become the example here, but I suppose we’ll keep it going: it’s not easy or cheap to become a good tattoo artist. It’s also not easy or cheap to run a bar, an art gallery, or a bookstore. If we want downtown to do better, it’s more beneficial to support the businesses that are already here if they have offerings that are appealing to us. If they don’t, we can at least not wish them ill, because every dollar spent here counts.

      Really, we’re making the same point, which you sum up perfectly in your mention of “a slow awakening of interesting things going on downtown.”

      That’s exactly what we need. And it’s already happening.

  23. james madison says:

    Margaret Miller
    August 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm
    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!

    Margaret, this sounds exactly like John Prigge’s posts…is he writing for you or vice versa…any other “tea parties” you and he are sharing?

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Thank you for just making my day the best of the week.

      In case you didn’t know, great minds think alike!

      I will humbly accept you compliment.

      I hope your day turns out as great as mine started. Thanks again!

    • Margaret Miller says:

      James,

      After a 45 minutes commute to my office, facing east bound I90 traffic and the second day of my company’s audit, I still have the biggest smile on my face! Thank you baby!

      Your inspiration, along with my fabulous selection of ROCK music did more for me than anything I can think of that could be posted here.

      My day is and will be fantastic!

    • paul says:

      james madison: you closely resemble MSNBC in your inability to speak in your own words, have your own thoughts, and do anything but parrot other people in your extremely lame attempt to disparage them with the epithet “tea party”.
      Almost exactly like MSNBC!

      When you quote someone, james, use quote marks. Quote marks enable others to know you are quoting someone else. That is why quote marks are called quote marks. The very essence of communication - being able to communicate. You inability to communicate correctly according to societal rules of communicating speaks directly and loudly about your intelligence.

      As to your extremely limited point you were MAYBE trying to make, do you have ANY evidence MM or Prigge are “tea party”; or is everyone anyone everywhere who might be notionally concerned with government spending fit your cursed “tea party” label? The question is rhetorical, the answer is obvious.

      Seriously, beyond your lame name calling disparagement attempt, DO/DID you have a point?

      And I’M the uncivil one!!!!

  24. Tim says:

    Here’s a few ideas to fuel the revitalization of this city.

    Code enforcement, end the overcrowding and deplorable conditions of the homes in this city.

    Reward and incentivize the deconversion of multiple unit homes back to the original single family purpose. Also encourage owner occupancy of homes instead of renters.

    Enforce and apply more rigid overnight street parking bans to discourage over crowding and also give our neighborhoods a cleaner appearance.

    This will hopefully help the city attract a better home buyer, Increase property values, increase property tax revenues, and bring a buyer with money to spend on shops downtown.

  25. james madison says:

    Paul, typically when I choose to directly address a specific person, I will use their online ID. That is “the very essence of communications.”

  26. RS says:

    OK so we were talking about gyros before, so…

    I tried the gyro sandwich today at Simply Kabobs (South Elgin). It was good and really cheap (Thursday special!). Just have them substitute a salad for the fries and you’ll have all the veggies you can eat. More people need to go there. There’s never anybody around. The kabob sandwiches are also good but the beef one tends to be tough. I’d stick with the chicken.

  27. One Vote says:

    I have a couple of questions about the ESO deal.
    1)Janelle Walker at the Courier reports that all NFP performing groups in Elgin will get the same discount, but only if they “use the facility more than 50 times each year…” That effectively means no one else will get the discount. I’m not even sure ESO uses the place 50 times a year.
    2) If the city gave retroactive discounts to ESO, will other groups get rebates?
    3) If ESO defaults it says “the city would get the symphony’s name, trademark, logos, copyrights, ‘goodwill, and books and records relating to or used in connection with the operation of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra,’ according to the resolution.” I shudder to think of Dexter Ct owning an orchestra.

  28. Margaret Miller says:

    One Vote:

    Regarding your point number three. Those things and $5.00 will get you a vente at Starbucks.

    As I see it, the ESO has no assets or collateral.
    Even if the City were to take over any possible trademark they may have and the city tried to sell that trademark, it would be like naming the next group of symphony players Enron.

    The name is now connected with poor management, uninformed musicians, fair thy well donors and beggars with no house.

    But never fear, the Council members that voted on Wednesday to allow this inept, unworthy NFP organization to continue to cling to the bre_st of the taxpayer’s will be answering to the voters in 2015.

    Have a wonderful day like I plan to have.

  29. Margaret Miller says:

    Look what just came through on Facebook.

    Join us on Saturday, September 21, 2013

    American Legion Post 57
    820 North Liberty St.
    Elgin, IL 60120

    Free Admission

    9:00 – 10:15
    Healthcare Reform – What you need to know.
    Affordable Care Act Summary
    What takes effect January 1, 2014
    The Marketplace
    Open Enrollment, October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014

    10:30 – 12:00
    Elgin Townhall with Councilman Terry Gavin and Councilman John Prigge
    Come to listen and speak with the Councilmen regarding issues that effect Elgin. Opening Comments - State of the City - Q & A

    • james madison says:

      Elgin Townhall meeting with Councilman John Prigge =

      IDIOT-PALOOZA

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Mr. Madison. I think that a town hall meeting should be welcomed by everyone, as we need more of these outside of election cycles. Rich Dunne had one maybe 3 years ago at the VFW hall, and it was well attended, showing that people are hungry to get a better understanding of what is going on in City Hall. I was glad I attended, and I appreciated the fact that one councilman wanted to go the extra mile to let the voters know what is going on.

      Even though it is clear you don’t like John Prigge, you should be glad to be able attend such a session to form a better understanding of what the background thinking is by two of our council members. And you should be glad to go to meet others in the community that are interested in what is going on at City Hall.

      I hope not only that you would attend this important example of our elected officials working over-time to reach out to their constituents, but that you would encourage your favorite council members to conduct a town hall meeting of their own. We could all benefit from more such events.

      Chuck

      • james madison says:

        Chuck, great points.I will attend and encourage other to emulate these two Councilman’s initiative.

      • Anthony says:

        Chuck well said, We need to know more about those intrusted to lead this community,I do not expect everyone to agree on all matters but I would like to know what they think other than the election rhetoric.

  30. Harmony says:

    Tim, You are right on the money with your code enforcement issues. But first we need to dissolve the entire department from top to bottom and start all over. The management of this department is a totally incompetent and totally over priced. we don’t need the guy from South Carolina Mylott and the former home inspector gone broke Cuttello. That’s well over $200,000 plus benefits that is a total waste. What is Stegal waiting for?? Fire them and start over.

    • Still Concerned says:

      Glad someone is still interested in CODE ENFORCEMENT! I’ve spent decades working with groups and as an individual to try to move this city to a more active code enforcement policy with stronger codes and other policies that would enhance this city. Very discouraged when our current Mayor says some people think the city is too aggressive with code enforcement. He tells us there is no way to win an overnight parking ban…and please note Mr. Stegal is very much apposed to that, too. Marc Mylott is totally unprofessional and non-responsive to the city’s citizens and needs to be fired. The city is considered 2nd class due to decades of poor code enforcement and the proof of that is the declining per-capita earnings of this city….time to start anew!

  31. Chuck Keysor says:

    Still Concerned:

    I will repeat my thinking on this, only because I don’t recognize your name. Regular readers can skip my comments lest I sound like a broken record….. click,,,, click,,,,,, click,,,,, click,,,,,,

    In the last 10 or 15 years, I have gotten around in much of Elgin doing simple campaign work, handing out fliers, getting petitions signed, distributing yard signs, etc. Going up close to so many houses in most of the old parts of town is actually depressing. Huge sections of town have cracked, patched up, neglected, run-down houses with peeling paint, broken sidewalks (private) cracked stairs, and poorly maintained yards. And unfortunately, mine fits into this state. One can do a lot by oneself, but the average person can’t keep up an old house all alone, without having to spend some serious bucks……….

    So if you became the king of Elgin, would you go around and fine every homeowner with peeling paint, cracked sidewalks (on their property), missing shingles, etc????? If Elgin were a rich city, and everyone were sitting on huge bank accounts but they had chosen to let their houses rot, maybe you’d be able to transform Elgin into the City of your dreams, something like Oak Park.

    But guess what, MOST people in Elgin are broke! Our unemployment rate is pushing 10% (though it has fallen some, as we are told many have given up looking for work, or they got hired for part-time minimum wage work without benefits, which also moves them off of the unemployment rolls). Look at the demographic profiles for our schools. My local grade school, Washington, which I attended in the 1960s, is 86% at or below the poverty line! http://schools.chicagotribune.com/school/washington-elementary-school_elgin
    Check out other schools in town, others are even worse.

    Where are all these people going to get the money to make the repairs you think are needed? Are you going to heap financial coals on their heads so that their houses look nice like we would all like them to be? Fining people will not improve the neighborhoods. If you drive out the poor people with fines they can’t hope to pay, who will move in to take their places???? More poor people. Do you think rich people will magically move in to the vast swaths of Elgin’s run down housing???? Why on earth would they?

    This is a count that I credit Mayor Kaptain with, he is a man of compassion, and he knows you can’t fine your way into a beautiful Elgin. He also promotes Elgin work days where at least a few houses can get patched up.

    I am not bragging, as even friends well-meaningly call me a fool for donating time to people in the neighborhood for making simple repairs to their houses, when my own house needs tons of work. It is called compassion, and the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Imagine that you had lost your job, and things were falling to pieces in your house and life. Then imagine finding a letter from the City telling you that you had gotten a fine of $50 for peeling paint, or a letter telling you that you had to redo your roof, which will cost you $15,000. What would you do? Wouldn’t you appreciate it and be thankful to not be harassed by the City Code Department?

    Find one of those dumpy houses that annoys you so much, and go knock on their door……………..

    Chuck

    • Still Concerned says:

      Ah, you finally put you finger on the truth. Elgin is a POOR city, with really no hope of ever climbing out of the pit thanks to decades of poor financial and other policies. Enjoy!

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Still Concerned:

        Well, we agree, that underlying Elgin’s basic problems, is the fact that vast sections of Elgin are populated by poor people.

        However, while I have many notions, I don’t claim to understand how we got to be this way. And I don’t know what you specifically meant when you attributed Elgin’s problems to our “decades of poor financial and other policies”. So I can’t say I agree with you or disagree with you.

        I would be interested to hear your theories and supporting history for what the City did that brought on it’s decline. Understanding what has not worked and why has to be a vital first step before deciding what if anything can or should be done in the future.

        Thanks, Chuck

        • ADV says:

          Chuck you are very correct about the expense and burden of keeping up an old house. Ours doesn’t look optimal either and yet we try very hard and have done a lot. It’s tough to justify doing something like replacing a roof (assuming one can afford to do so) when the property has lost most of its value. It’s a tough call: abandon ship or hang on and wait for things to get better? We have chosen the latter.

          We’ve had code enforcement cite us for peeling paint, as have our next door neighbors (not horrendous in either case), when our block has much, much bigger code issues. It was difficult to understand why the inspector made that choice; it almost seemed like he was picking on people who were actually working on their houses.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            ADV, thanks for working on your house as best you can. As to how the Code Department works, I really think it is almost entirely complaint driven. If no one complains, then your pealing paint would not have been an issue.

            I have talked to enough Code officials over the years, especially while I was the president of our neighborhood group for 7 years, to know that EVERY house has code violations. ANY house can be written up. So why isn’t every house written up? Well, that would be chaos and create an up-roar…. So the easiest way is to only address the houses where someone comes in to complain about. Then Code can rightfully say look, nothing against you, but someone complained so we had to investigate. That strikes a logical balance between uproar in the City over everyone being cited, and people being upset that nothing happens even if they complain.

            It may be someone complained about your neighbor for some reason, maybe there was a disagreement. Then your neighbor thought you had called him in, so he called you in. Little local wars can be created using the Code Department as the weapon.

            Maybe 8 or 9 years ago, we a member of our neighborhood group who worked at City Hall in the Planning Department. He got laid off, and then felt free to tell us how things went on in the Code Department AT THAT TIME. Maybe things are different today, maybe not…….

            Chuck

  32. SIE says:

    Here’s my tale of dealing with Code Enforcement regarding overcrowding. Sorry it’s so long.

    A 3 bedroom, no basement house down the block that had been in foreclosure was sold. When it became occupied I could see that multiple families were living in the house. I didn’t sit and spy but it was very clear. I contacted CE and asked them to investigate. A few weeks later I called to follow up and was told the inspector found no violation.

    I decided to call Mr. Mylott and after leaving several messages he called me back. He looked up the file and said the inspector did find X amount of people living in the house. The residents told the inspectore they were relatives living there “temporarily”. First red flag, I thought it strange that my follow up call told me no issue but in fact the inspector did find something going on.

    So I asked Mr. Mylott what would be done. After several days he sent me the cities code regarding occupancy and said that the amount of people living there was not a violation. He talked about how square footage comes in to play as opposed to number of bedrooms, whether there is a basement, etc. “People can sleep in the living room” is what he said.

    It’s clear the house is overcrowded. It’s clear it’s not a single family living in a single family house but the city will do nothing about it. Fast forward nine months and the overcrowding continues and in fact has gotten worse. Should I pursue it again? Frankly I don’t have the heart to deal with Mylott and the bureaucracy that is this city.

    The city says it wants to eliminate overcrowding. It is all lip service.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Thanks SIE, that is a very enlightening story. I hope others will contribute their details. We can all benefit by getting a bigger picture of what is going on. What if anything happens after that is not knowable, but first things first, getting an over-view.

      Thanks, Chuck

    • One Vote says:

      As we know, one man’s eyesore is another man’s diversity.
      Their liberal view will not change. Staff is entrenched and it would take a solid majority on the council for several years to change the paradigm.
      It started as HUD Phobia and has become the status quo. Cogley has no guts. Stegall isn’t looking to push hard. Kaptain understands the problem but refuses to believe it.
      Vote with your feet. I’m looking for an opportunity to get out of this town. I only hope I can get back to the 2005 property values first. The blight may make it impossible to do that.

    • bennie says:

      don’t you know that the City of Elgin will NOT enforce residency laws to prevent overcrowding this town is a ticking time bomb the numbers just keep getting bigger and bigger the sad part is those in violation have no respect for the surrounding properties. on weekends it is almost impossible to drive down residential streets due to the number of cars and the violators will park practically in private drive ways and refuse to move. I am building a case against my neighbor who parks on purpose on both sides of my driveway and is very arrogant when asked not to do so every time he parks like that I take pictures. I feel I have to have a strong case to get anything done

      • paul says:

        “every time he parks like that I take pictures.”

        There is your problem. Every time he parks like that call the POLICE. That is why we have a police department. That is why we spend millions on police salaries. Let the police do their job.

        • RS says:

          I don’t think street parking spots are allocated to houses so I don’t know what the police would issue a citation for. There is overcrowding in some neighborhoods and not enough parking spaces so you just have to get used to it or move.

  33. Tim says:

    So essentially what you’re saying, is when a homeowner either can’t afford or decided to not maintain their property it’s the neighborhoods problem?
    I’m not talking uncut grass or peeling paint. I’m talking decrepit properties that are ignored, falling apart, littered with trash and junk. Painted solid neon colors with paint all over the windows. Why should neighbors and the city stand for this this crap?
    Home ownership is not a right. If you can’t afford or decline to maintain your property in good standard it should be expected that you will be fined until the standard is met. If a house isn’t worth repairing year it down and level the lot.

    • What were they thinking? says:

      That’s right. Let’s arrest these people who can’t maintain their properties and throw them in debtors prison. Don’t let them out and keep fining them until they can pay. That will fix the problem.

      • Tim says:

        What’s your solution?

        • RS says:

          It sounds like you want to live in a subdivision with an association.

          • Tim says:

            Expecting pride of ownership isn’t out of the ordinary, is it? Should homeowners not be expected to keep up their homes ?

          • What were they thinking? says:

            Nobody chooses to live in poverty by choice. Many of these people can barely keep their family fed. When it comes between choosing to paint the trim or eat, the choice isn’t hard. Try to have some compassion for your neighbors instead of trying to make their already hard life harder.

          • RS says:

            The truly poor probably don’t own homes. Perhaps the code department can be a little more selective in terms of going after landlords vs single family homeowners.

            Landlords presumably have enough money to maintain their properties. If not, they should perhaps get out of the business.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Last Wednesday we heard mayor-elect Rauschenberger say the Elgin Symphony was not a business but a non-profit organization?????? Can anyone verify if this woman ever completed high school? Did she suffer a brain injury. BW, can you confirm?

    Last Wednesday Moeller voted for the Elgin Symphony deal even tho her sister in law is in the symphony?????? One we’re stuck with for four more years and the other for less than 2 more years. I can put up with dumb but not with arrogant council people.

  35. bw says:

    ADV you put it right ESO is what you posted in your message. The city attorney said that thare was not a conflict of interest in Moeller voting on the ESO issue. On this one I agree with the city attorney. The dumb one is the person who posted the message. He/She should get their facts right before they make an ignorant post. If it is a conflict in your pea brain so be it. No wonder you remained Anonymous in this post. You knew you were wrong but thought you would take a shot at it to see what kind of reaction you would get. Read this message and you will find out quickly.

  36. SadElginite says:

    I have lived in Sunset Park since 1985. I have never seen this neighborhood looking so run down. If you can’t afford to own a home maintain it, inside AND outside then don’t buy. Pick up the trash you drop on the ground as you get put of your car, turn the music down at 10PM, stop parking on the lawn, that is what the DRIVEWAY is for, put the trashbags in the garbage container so the raccoons don’t spread it all over, and be respectful of your neighbors. It doesn’t cost anything for that last point but some people have’t a clue how to be homeowners.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Dear SadElginite: You may think I am bi-polar, but I do agree with your yearning for good neighbors that keep their music down, who pick up trash, and who respect their neighbors.

      It makes me sad when I see what little regard some people hold for their neighbors. For many years I would go out an pick up litter, but with the exception of regularly picking up litter on the former train station property on S. Crystal, now I usually just step on the litter that I used to pick up.

      Though you didn’t say so, others in this thread have, issuing fines will not fix the fundamental decay of the lower levels of society.
      While not a matter of race, gender or religion, it does seem inescapable that if you visit a more expensive neighborhood, you will find things to be generally much tidier.

      I think if you ponder this, you will see why it is that when people move up financially, that they also move out. It is an age old response that keeps people moving on, leaving poorer neighborhoods behind, often to continue in their downward spiral. And that desire to move out has been expressed in this thread.

      But with today’s economy, many people are trapped with underwater mortgages and decreased/eliminated incomes. And the houses that have been emptied by foreclosures get turned into rental units with absentee landlords that seem to rent them out to poorer and poorer people.

      Now, the irony I am working up to is all the people that act in ways that many of us do not like, are in fact moving up! They have moved in to Elgin from much poorer gang-infested neighborhoods in Chicago and they are relieved to not be dodging gun-fire just to sit on their porches. Or they have moved in from some desperately poor third-world country, where they are used to living in shanties and having raging drug wars where the police are slain regularly, and rival gang members are decapitated. So for these people, they are moving up and they say, “Hey Elgin, what a great place, I need to get my relatives to move here!”

      I am perhaps slightly over-stating the case to make my point. But I think this is a key part of what we are dealing with. This is a major societal/demographic shift that hits low-income cities. How can Elgin ever escape this situation?

      If it were a few houses here and there, I think fines could actually arrest the decline by keeping things from decaying to the point where those who could move would not want to. But when the problem is a tidal wave, and the majority of houses for blocks are in such circumstances, you won’t ever fix these neighborhoods with fines.

      A few options are: a) try and fight the tide b)resign yourself to the tide c) move out d) those in well maintained neighborhoods, maybe YOU have to be mean and rat on your new bad neighbor before it is too late e) other to be supplied by you!

      I personally alternate between a and b, so perhaps I am bipolar….. Chuck

  37. Margaret Miller says:

    bw:

    As a reminder. Please see my post below from August 21, 2013. This is a recap of Councilwoman Moeller’s abstention voting record. So, she knew she had professional conflicts of interest but when it became personal, she lost her conflict even when her sister in law plays for ESO.

    August 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm
    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?

    http://www.cityofelgin.org/DocumentCenter/View/46163

    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)

    http://www.cityofelgin.org/DocumentCenter/View/46162

    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)

    • bw says:

      MM:

      I don’t care about Moeller’s voting record. The city attorney told her nd the rest of the council that her vote on the ESO isssue was not a conflict of interest. I agree and I was in politics and on the county board for several years. I know what COI is and her vote on the ESO is not a COI. If you think it was you have a right to your opinion. Have a nice day.

  38. Cruex says:

    bw-for some reason my name did not show up on my last post but I am the anonymous you responded to. How classy for an “educated” elderly woman like yourself to insult the size of my brain. Allow me to educate you and others by saying that to be non-profit organization you MUST BE A BUSINESS. Don’t most people know that? That business must be organized as a corporation, trust, or unincorporated association. I am not surprised that your mayor-elect Rauschenberger does not know that. Based on her ridiculous statement alone I question her academic claims of education past the 12th grade.

    As for your other “educated” member moeller I ask what would you say if Shaw, Prigge or Gavin where to be in a similar circumstance of voting to provide continued economic relief to their sister-in-law’s employer? I believe they would have been smart enough to abstain especially if they knew the measure would pass anyway without their vote. I did not appreciate Moeller’s arrogance and lack of respect for the voters but have come to expect nothing less.

    • RS says:

      In the last or one of the previous open threads, the Moeller in question was identified as her husband’s cousin. Is it now her sister-in-law? Have you guys made up your mind yet?

    • bw says:

      Cruex:

      You are entitled to your own opinion on your definition of a business.
      I do not agree with you. I guess you think all government, corporations, churches and schools are a business because they provide a service to people. When you file papers as a corporation you must state that you are a not-for-profit or non-for profit entity. In your little mind entity and business have the same meaning. You are playing a word game. Ms. Rauschenberger is a well educated woman. You don’t know the definition of an educated man or woman as proven by your non-creditable post. As expected by you…

    • paul says:

      A sad day indeed when Carol was actually one of the adults in the room.

  39. Cruex says:

    Farewell Villa Verone. Thanks for trying to make downtown better. Catering to Elgin’s white liberals and being across the street from the DNA was a bad business plan. Libs are not loyal people when it comes to business so maybe Pietro should have asked for a loan or a city grant. Where are the lonely Courier reporters and the heavy drinkers on the city council going to go now?

    • paul says:

      Speaking of city grants, DH reported today that the owner of the local Village Squires, local Rookies franchises and Alexander’s received a city grant of $25K to rehab Alexander’s.

      2 weeks in a row the city gave taxpayers money to local millionaires; $500K to Butera and $25K to Karas.

      • SIE says:

        At least they didn’t close up and move to a neighboring town.

        The Elgin Rookies is by far the worst of all the locations. Even though they have two restaurants in the city it’s clear Elgin is not really their focus.

  40. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey Margaret Miller what is wrong with voting to keep a member of your family working off the public’s nickel? What are you anti-family and anti-job? HAHAHAHA.

    • bw says:

      Tim:

      No, she is anti everything. After all she is a business woman somewhere on Elgin’s northwest side.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Hi Tim:
      LOL! Nepotism happens all the time in this State. Now we know it’s local as well. Why should Anna’s sister in law be an outcast of her vote? After all, her now “favorite” sister in law holds the keys to her continual ESO employment at my expense.

      bw:
      Whether Mr. Cogley cleared her of conflict of interest, I would like to think he caustioned her of the perception of how her “yes” vote would reflect poorly upon her. Assuming that she did, she dismissed this legal advise in favor of her family member.

      You and she perhaps have forgotten the perception her vote left on the tax payer. That perception will carry itself via the tax payer up to the 2015 election.

      For the record, I have a one way 45 minute I90 east bound commute and I rarely go west of the river.

      • bw says:

        MM:

        I woulld like to think her yes vote sent a message to people who think like you. Not because she is worried about 2015 like you. We all may be dead by 2015. She voted because she knew it was not a COI and I agree with her thinking. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

        • Margaret Miller says:

          bw,

          We may not be here in 2015 but if she isn’t thinking about the election what are your thoughts on her published October 11, 2013 Fall Fund Raiser at her home. I wonder if the ESO will play for free as a thank you for her vote. +h, what am I thinking. They don’t do fund raisers. Not even to pull themselves out of debt! Interesting guest list.

          Starting the campaign 18 months before the election. Maybe she’s trying to soften up her image of tax, spend, give aways, etc. Or maybe her thinking is feed them and they’ll forget.

          Sleep well.

  41. Harmony says:

    Hey Chuck, With your sob story for all the people violating City Codes, you own admission that your own property needing major repairs, your great community service as a neighborhood association president.Your a fake. With your current comments about deteriorating property you have no desire to make this community better. I remember a time when neighborhood groups demanded action and got it. I also remember how within your watch a s a neighborhood group leader the City made this big pie map and made the neighborhood groups part of the City neighborhood associations. The City started giving out money and the neighborhoods took the bait. Stop complaining and get the money, voice your concerns and loose the money. How’s that garden on Crystal street doing Chuck?? AS for Mylott he better start packing his bags, you can’t count the living room, kitchen , bathroom, laundry room, dining room as sleeping space. But wait we don’t blame Mylott he just relied on what his incompetent code manager told him. Looking forward to the neighborhood walk in your neighborhood Wednesday night Chuck, I hear it starts on your corner maybe you could tell everyone how sad you feel the people can’t maintain their property and that is why their property values continue to fall.

    • ADV says:

      wow I see why so few people post here.

      • paul says:

        “wow I see why so few people post here.”

        Why?

        • ADV says:

          Because insults, name calling, and ad hominem arguments appear to be the hallmarks of discourse here.

          • paul says:

            If you are insulted by TRUTH please stay away. That you can’t cogently respond to Harmony’s rebuttal of Chuck’s rambling tirade speaks loudly to your inability of maintaining civil discourse.

            Personally I though Harmony’s response appropriate and spot on, given Chuck’s quite bizarre diatribe starting with his self diagnoses of bipolar disorder and proceeding to strongly advocate for NOT calling law enforcement officials when faced with lawlessness in Elgin neighborhoods.

            Well said, Harmony.

          • ADV says:

            *my* “inability of (sic) maintaining civil discourse?” LOL It’s clear that you regard yourself as quite the rhetorician, but for all the pride you take in misusing the terminology it’s equally clear that your core arguments inevitably contain core fallacies. Which is another way of saying you’re using bluster, rudeness, accusations and ego to cover up shoddy, biased thinking.

            Go ahead and lob around some more words you don’t understand; you’ll be able to gloat over them all you want as I’ll henceforth decline to reply.

            Later, Socrates. And by the way, they’re called quotation marks, not “quote marks.”

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Look, I was just trying to engage in some folksy discourse making clear that the issue of code enforcement is complicated. And I wanted to point out that the other side of the story is that the people that are often complained about on the Elginite are people too.

            I didn’t say give up, or don’t give up, again, it is a complex story. If Harmony wants to be mad at me for that, fine that is his right. I guess he will never come up to me and proudly introduce himself on a neighborhood tour.

            As to Paul, you know, if I were to stand on a mountain and preach:
            “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
            Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
            Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”, Paul would brand it a rambling tirade.

            Well thankfully there is much more to life than posts on the Elginite. But l do look forward to changes that will be made in the future to the Elginite. They will allow even casual readers to easily register their opinions of each post. I think this will go a long way to bring balance to the Elginite posts. Let’s all encourage RS to proceed with these and other upgrades he has in the works. His efforts will be greatly appreciated by all!

            Thanks, Chuck

          • paul says:

            “Because insults, name calling, and ad hominem arguments appear to be the hallmarks of discourse here.”

            “you’re using bluster, rudeness, accusations and ego to cover up shoddy, biased thinking.”

            LMAO@U

  42. Cruex says:

    It was stated at the city council meeting that Moeller’s sister in law is a musician in the ESO, not a cousin. It’s her husband’s sister that she just made richer with her vote.

    • RS says:

      OK, I just watched it. It’s her husband’s brother’s wife.

      I don’t think it’s an issue, but everybody can decide for themselves.

      I also found interesting John Steffen’s point about the covenant on the Hemmens saying it has to be owned by the city. I don’t think that’s a realistic concern at this point. Who’s going to sue? Patty Hemmens? Her estate? Does it exist? What will they do? Take back the building? Is that a bad thing?

      • bw says:

        Right on!

      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

        It is important to abide by any covenant that Hattie put in there. Glad to see Councilman Steffen is addressing a concern of Hattie’s. How can any rich person die with any satisfaction that their covenants are being kept if we don’t abide by them?

        • RS says:

          That’s just the way life is. If Patty Hemmens wanted her building to last forever she could have provided not just a building but an endowment to pay for the permanent upkeep and when necessary the complete rebuilding of the structure. Nothing lasts forever.

          Would she prefer the building be demolished than given to the ESO or another organization?

          Rich people are generally smart enough to know that nothing lasts. The more sophisticated of them for example stipulate that their foundations be completely dissolved within a set timeframe because they know that their heirs and administrators are very likely to completely change the goals and focus of their foundations.

  43. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey RS, take some photos of bw and the rest of the pro choice people at Moellers fundraiser for us!

    • bw says:

      Tim,

      Who are we to tell a woman that she must have a baby. That is between her and her God. From a good Catholic who prays every morning and night for you and everyone who post on this board.

      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

        I am glad my Mom chose to have me and my six younger brother and sisters. I wasn’t big enough to give her my opinion from the womb but if I was I would tell have told her my life is important to me.

        I love my life and to think someone could take it away is terrifying. She always wanted all of us.

  44. Cruex says:

    Don’t you love the lib spin? When you have something to hide you can cloud it with words. Moeller’s sister-in-law is now being called her husband’s brother’s wife now? I suppose if I had something to hide I could call my father my great-grandfather’s grandson.

    • RS says:

      I think husband’s brother’s wife is a more distant relationship than husband’s sister. Both might be called “sister-in-law” but they don’t mean the same thing.

  45. paul says:

    Good point. Not only is the person not a blood relative of Anna’s, the person isn’t even a blood relative of Anna’s husband.
    Keep beating that dead horse, Cruex. The refusal of the dead horse to get up might actually mean something.

  46. Jason Dusenberry says:

    I’ll jump into the conversation about code. My wife and I moved into a foreclosed older home in one of the historic districts. Admittedly, the outside was in rough shape, with peeling paint and wood that needed repaired in many spots. However, we got a good deal on the house and the interior was re-done. With what we saved on the final price and some strong saving, we were planning to invest into getting the outside repaired. Although we were not getting it done immediately, it was definitely going to get done as soon as we had just a bit more money saved up. In less than a year after moving in we received what I considered to be a less than friendly letter in which the content consisted of a short time frame to get the outside fixed and a threatening tone of fines, court action, etc. Certainly, they had no way of knowing that we were on the verge of getting the work done, but it was quite a welcome to the city and to the neighborhood! I called the head of that dept and he really just gave some bureaucratic mumbling with no real answers as to why it was handled that way. When I mentioned the numerous other houses in the neighborhood that were in similar or worse condition, more non answers were received. I was told that if I wanted to report any houses, they would check it out. So, now it’s my job to turn in many of my neighbors? I was also told that it was likely that many people could be claiming financial hardship and that’s why the issue isn’t being forced with the people in those homes. I realize they don’t have the easiest job, and I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I don’t feel it is a department that has their act together overall. Addressing and streamlining this department certainly couldn’t hurt anything, in my opinion.

    • SIE says:

      Sorry for that not so nice welcome to Elgin.

      I try to be aware of what’s going on in my neighborhood. If I had known a foreclosed house was sold (and I would!) I would give the new owners the benefit of the doubt. If after a reasonable amount of time had gone by, and if I was so inclined, I would inform Code Enforcement of my concerns.

      I can’t say why you were sited so soon. Was it a complaint from before you bought? Also can’t say why other houses didn’t get similar notices. If I was going to inform CE about an issue I would do it for all properties I was aware of.

      I wasn’t aware that financial hardships could be an excuse for not maintaining a property. Like a few have posted here, owning a home comes with responsibilities. I suppose thatif the violation is going to cost a lot of money to fix the city could work with the homeowner to delay any fines. But if a violation is warranted I would hope the city wouldn’t give only certain people a “break”.

  47. Cruex says:

    Heed your own advice about beating a dead horse. Your 3 yr. old dead horse called Art Space still remains on the ground I see. Like it or not the public has more disgust for a politician who enriches their own family with public money than an appropriation of funds for a building project. I did not like the Art Space vote either but making a mistake on a vote is one thing and intentionally being arrogant is quite another thing.

    • bw says:

      Cruex:

      Just keep pounding away????????????

    • paul says:

      “the public has more disgust for a politician”

      You’ve mistaken yourself for the public. You didn’t vote for Moeller before and wouldn’t in the future so she lost nothing. Gavin’s opposition and destructive intent regarding the ESO lost my vote. His intellectual inability to comprehend that kicking the ESO out of the the Hemmens and out of Elgin won’t save your ‘Elgin taxpayers’ a dime speaks volumes.

      Artspace remains an excellent example of the City of Elgin squandering $4 million in public monies in yet the latest 40 year attempt of Elgin government to fix their downtown area that Elgin government themselves destroyed.
      Bringing low income housing to downtown as the latest fix is really quite comical.

      Are any of the units in the Fountain Square building Section 8 rentals yet?

      • Margaret Miller says:

        Morning Paul:

        I will take issue with your comment regarding Councilman Gavin’s ESO supposed intent.

        He has stated for the record, more that several times, that he supports the ESO. His hesitancy comes from not wanting them to take 15 years to payback the city and I believe his frustration comes from this mismanaged organization not doing anything, like fund raisers, to get them on a better financial footing.

        May I suggest that rather than guessing about the Councilman’s thoughts and posting your summation on this issue you call him or e-mail him at gavin_t@cityofelgin.org

        • RS says:

          Their fundraising (donations and sponsorships) yielded $1.4 million in the last fiscal year. They went from an $800K deficit in 2011-2013 to a surplus in 2012-2013. Non-profit and government grants represented less than 5% of their budget.

          So I don’t know why people want to make up things about the ESO and claim that they’re not doing anything or are mismanaged. Compared to every orchestra I’ve looked at, the ESO is in very good shape. This is indeed very surprising considering the state of classical music in America as well as the rapidly shifting demographics locally. I guess we are just lucky or it could be that the ESO is in fact a well-run organization.

          • Margaret Miller says:

            RS,

            Perhaps you need to direct you question/s to Paul.

            I just set him straight on Councilman Gavin’s public thoughts on this issue.

            I also beg to differ with you that it’s a well run organization. If it were, they would not have publicly announced their mismanagement in January 2013. If it wasn’t mismanaged, why did they pay their debt or offer any amount of money back to the city to cover their debt.

            Shall we stop now?

          • RS says:

            You should listen to Prigge’s remarks from the last council meeting in which he praises the ESO leadership’s business acumen. That might answer some of your questions.

          • paul says:

            “direct you question/s to Paul.
            I just set him straight ”

            Yeah, I’m pretty straight on your inability to understand the ESO issue.

        • paul says:

          “he supports the ESO. ”

          I call that back stabbing.

          “May I suggest that rather than guessing about the Councilman’s thoughts and posting your summation on this issue you call him or e-mail him”

          I’m not guessing at all about him. He was clear. He does not have the intellectual capacity to understand the issue. I DO NOT need to hear further babbling idiocy on the subject.

          Getting rid of the the ESO won’t save the Hemmens or save the Elgin taxpayers a dime. I’ve brought this point up numerous times and you or anyone else refuse to address it.

          • Margaret Miller says:

            I bet you don’t want to hear anymore on the subject.

            You will continue to throw out misinformation regarding Councilman Gavin’s position rather that speak with him directly as I suggested. Now that makes sense!

            How about speaking with Councilman Prigge, he was harder on the ESO than Gavin. Why do you never include him in your tirade?

          • paul says:

            “You will continue to throw out misinformation regarding Councilman Gavin’s position ”

            Actually it is you RS is referring as to continually putting out misinformation. And again now you put out misinformation about me. Put up or shut up: what is my “misinformation”?

            “How about speaking with Councilman Prigge, he was harder on the ESO than Gavin. ”

            Gavin’s back stabbing was quoted in the newspaper.

            Speaking of untruths, I thought you were done talking about the ESO. But as I said, only if you get the last word!

            And again you refuse the gauntlet I’ve thrown down a half-dozen times on the ESO subject. WHY??? Here it is again: >>Getting rid of the ESO won’t save the Hemmens or save the Elgin taxpayers a dime. I’ve brought this point up numerous times and you or anyone else refuse to address it.<<

      • Margaret Miller says:

        RS:

        I don’t know what you heard but I walked away with the impression that Councilman Prigge was being sarcastic. He congratulated Mr. Bearden for being a Donald Trump, a shame, a con artist that got his money by sitting back on his behind and did nothing. He congratulated him for pulling another one over on the Council and tax payer’s

        I think you need to go back and look at the tape and look at the real message. In my opinion, Councilman Prigge has not been a fan of the ESO Since January.

        It is my humble opinion that we need to move forward on not only with the ESO issue but Butera.
        No matter what anyone’s opinion is, it only needs to be remembered not a constant reminder. There are far bigger obstacles ahead to remain cemented in what has already taken place and decided. Let’s move on!

        • paul says:

          “we need to move forward on not only with the ESO issue but Butera.”

          Yet YOU cant’t stop yourself from bringing it up. Only if you get the last word!

          And I haven’t heard you mention the $500K of taxpayer monies your beloved Gavin gave away to Butera (yet another reason NOT to vote for Gavin). Prigge isn’t any better with his no vote only because he wanted to give away $250K to Butera instead of $500K of TAXPAYERS money!

          With friends like that we don’t need anymore enemies.

          Giving $4 million of taxpayer money to Artspace was a “no brainer” to John Steffan. And then he proceeded to massively raise taxes which he now gives away to millionaires.

          Question: why are socialist offended being labeled as socialist?

        • RS says:

          Well yes, obviously it has all the subtleties of a backhanded compliment. Perhaps it was lost on some, but as even you heard, Margaret, Prigge congratulated Bearden on having gotten the best of the Elgin taxpayer. That’s a compliment. The attack was on his ethics, not his business acumen. Bearden got what he wanted, and the ESO is fortunate to have capable leaders who can get what they want for the organization.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Here is a link to the Courier’s story about a committee being formed to look at future options for the Hemmens. http://couriernews.suntimes.com/22790915-417/committee-to-look-at-hemmens-options.html

            Last month I got the results of a FOIA asking to see statement of revenues and expenses for the Hemmens going back 10 years. I won’t type out the full page of information, but here is the bottom line:

            2002: Loss $729,567
            2003: Loss $661,609
            2004: Loss $568,334
            2005: Loss $684,914
            2006: Loss $754,065
            2007: Loss $823,631
            2008: Loss $967,065
            2009: Loss $568,825
            2010: Loss $503,187
            2011: Loss $721,797
            2012: Loss $309,540

            Clearly the change over to rental only cut the losses by over $400,000 relative to the previous year. Based upon the Courier story, it would look like there are those on the council who would like to jack the losses back up in order to help out the downtown restaurants. I guess some on the council have forgotten our “financial crisis” that created the cut-back to the Hemmens in the first place.

            I’ll send a copy of the spread sheet to RS. Maybe he can publish it, or send it out to people who ask him for it.

            Chuck

            EDIT:
            Here it is:
            http://elginite.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/hemmens-income-expenses-for-10-years-9-13.pdf

          • RS says:

            By doing nothing with the Hemmens other than rentals, residents are getting nothing for their subsidy, said Council Member Anna Moeller.

            “We are spending money but not getting a benefit from having the facility as it is now,” Moeller said.

            Residents aren’t getting musical or comedy acts and Elgin isn’t getting the additional revenue of people dining at area restaurants before or after those shows either, she said.

            Wow, we are talking about a huge subsidy for the benefit of a few people out of a 100,000. And many ticket buyers are out-of-towners as well. They want to yearly subsidize $500-850K or more for a few music and comedy acts (generally nothing we care to see) and people are complaining here about a few thousand dollars for the ESO?

            Looks like you guys have a new something to keep you busy.

  48. Harmony says:

    Jason, This code department and their management don’t have a clue on how to work with people. Yes you had code violations, yes your realized them and were addressing them.About 5 to 6 years ago they would work with you,in your case maybe would suggest possible grants. Not now the management and staff haven’t a clue how to make compliance a joint venture and improve the neighborhood. They got this new idea , cite them, they can just get a adjudication hearing in front of a “wanna be judge” attorney hired by the city(sounds fair doesn’t it?) and a fine, then add it to your water bill, by passing any real court system. Wake up Elgin dissolve this department and start over. This is turning into a reason why Elgin needs to get rid of the city manager-council form of government.

  49. One Vote says:

    They are wasting our tax dollars again!
    South of Summit and east of Liberty to Lords Park they are tearing out perfectly good wheelchair ramps on the sidewalks of ALL the streets in that area.
    The current ramps have a grip surface molded into the concrete. And they are in good shape. Never have I seen a problem with a wheelchair stuck on the ramp.
    But all of them are being torn out (and a sizable margin as well) to accommodate new red friction mats, 2′ x 3′.
    Of course, they tear up some of the asphalt in the process and that will need to be patched as well.
    Must be some new federal regulation…maybe a little grant money. This “jobs created or saved” crap needs to stop.
    They are destroying perfectly good (and seldom used) ramps just for the sake of spending more money. Surely there are some other uses of our precious tax dollars.
    Then again, maybe they are just spending it so they don’t have a surplus at the end of the year.

    • Tim says:

      Even better is that some of the streets are in terrible shape, but rather than address that they make them even worse by digging out the corners to install the red pads.

      • One Vote says:

        I’m waiting for the bureaucratic jamoke to come on here and explain to us that those funds were earmarked for ADA compliance and could not possibly be used to pave the streets.
        The mentality is thick among the tax and spenders.

  50. Cruex says:

    Let’s see what pearls of wisdom we get from mayor-elect Rauschenberger when the budget hearings take place. It should be a priceless blooper reel.

    • SIE says:

      What’s with all the “mayor-elect” Rauschenberger references? Obviously you are trying to be cute and/or funny. It’s not working.

      No one can predict the future but I highly doubt she will be elected mayor.

  51. Margaret Miller says:

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130920/news/709209755/
    Article updated: 9/20/2013 6:13 PM

    Bill Ayers to highlight ECC speaker series

    Excerpt:

    William Ayers, one of the leading targets of conservative criticism during Barack Obama’s first run for president, will be the first guest speaker at Elgin Community College’s Humanities Center Speaker Series, which opens Thursday.

    He will speak from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in the Building G Spartan Auditorium at ECC’s Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. The event is free and open to the public.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Contact information below if you are so inclined to voice your opinion.

      Teaching, Learning and Student Development
      847-214-7363
      officialsrdigerlando@elgin.edu - she is the sponsor

      ECC PRESIDENT
      Dr. David Sam
      dsam@elgin.edu - her boss
      847-697-1000

      • One Vote says:

        Is he bringing Bobby Rush with him?
        Maybe Ayers will talk about effective anarchy; things like cop-killing, bomb-making and blowing up college buildings (or was it police stations).
        Or maybe he’ll tell us how to be a ghost-writer.

      • Margaret Miller says:

        http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130922/news/709229836/
        Article updated: 9/22/2013 4:14 PM

        ECC president defends choice of Ayers for speaker series

        Elgin Community College President David Sam is defending the school’s choice of controversial figure William Ayers to speak Thursday as part of its annual Humanities Center Speaker Series as criticism of the selection mounts.

        In a statement to the Daily Herald, Sam says the college has received emails about Ayers’ inclusion in the speaker series, which the college describes as bringing “speakers of international, national and/or regional importance to ECC for the benefit of the ECC academic community to speak on topics significant to the humanities.”

        • One Vote says:

          Ergo, if I were to bomb a building at ECC, or even their billboard arch, I would then be considered as a diverse, interesting person, and then be given a chance to address the students.
          How about if I blow up a campus police car? Would that be enough?
          We’ve already had Dolores Huerta pitching social justice for Latinos.
          When do they have time to learn academics at ECC. Dr. Sam would do better elevating the standards of excellence at the college.

    • One Vote says:

      The good news is that his star must be fading if he gets bookings from a back-water community college like ECC.

  52. Cruex says:

    SIE read this hilarious post by bw in April to answer your question about the mayor-elect words. One word of caution tho, be prepared to gag and laugh loudly. Another word of caution for you. Rauschenberger just figured out that even in a leap year there are 24 hours in every day.

    Anonymous says:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    All of those silly comments about Carol Rauschenberger before the election (see above) and who took 3rd. Her name was Carol Rauschenberger and she will be the leader on the council. Maybe the problem with your listening to her intervieew was you,as a spectator at large, did not understand answers from an itelligent new member of the council. In order to understand how government works you have to know something about it. It is obvious that you lack that gift. I see Carol running for mayor in two years when she gets city hall working right again. Carol, if you are reading these post knocking you, just consider the source. These people are mad that you won. They were surprised to see you come in 3rd ahead of Dunne and Gilliam. Just enter your new job with the same confidence you had during the campaign. They don’t even know that the Elgin City Council is a nonpolitical body. All I read is conservative and liberal. Neither have a place on the city council. I know you will do an excellent job as a new member of the coucil. The post from Anna was truly laughable, expect to read more like that from these type of individuals. You were elected as a citizen of Elgin to represent the rest of us. You’re a smart young woman who will do what is right for the community.
    Reply
    bw says:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm
    the above should have been posted as bw.

  53. Margaret Miller says:

    REMINDER:

    Elgin City Council will be held this Wednesday (09-25-13).

    The Centre of Elgin - Heritage Ballroom -
    100 Symphony Way
    Starting at 1-5:00 BREAK - Restart 6:00pm

    Consider speaking at the recognized person segment.
    Come and be a part of the process.

    • bw says:

      MM:

      Are you serious? Who in their right mind would spend that many hours in a boring session of the Elgin City Council. I have more important things to do with my life. Hope you enjoy your day with your political friends.

      • Margaret Miller says:

        bw,

        You ask “who in their right mind”…

        My guess would be people smarter than the one who made your decision not to attend.

        It was never implied that anyone should attend all day. It was offered a public service reminder.

        I will be at my office until 4:00 pm and will attend the 6:00 session. As for my friends and acquaintances, quite frankly they are truly none of your business or concern.

        I hope we’re clear now so I will bid you a good evening.

  54. Cruex says:

    This isn’t about me. It’s about what standards the public holds politicians to. The public does hold more contempt and disgust for a politician like Moeller than if a banker or an auto mechanic acts as arrogantly as she does.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Standards of elected officials, hmmm, I guess that would depend on whom you’re speaking too. Everyone has their base, their standards, and their opinions. Some higher and lower than others.

      In this economy, what I would pray for is the holding back, cut back and slashing of all unnecessary spending.

      Many organizations and NFP will learn this soon. THE KITTY IS EMPTY! I would strongly suggest they start making other arrangements to obtain their “gifts” and “tax payer support”. The state is falling behind, people and businesses are moving out of Illinois at a fast pace. The tax base is disappearing and my wallet cannot afford any more higher taxes and assessment nonsense to cover dreams, deals cut, paybacks and unfunded pensions.

      Illinois unemployment is the highest in the country and Elgin’s is higher than the The State of Illinois.

      My question is, when will elected officials throw out their personal agendas and start to consider the people who pay for their green dreams, food co-op, lawsuits, symphony and other pet projects?

      There is too much to address. If the issue has been settled, move on to the next one. We have really no time to waste. We’re in very bad shape. What good is a city that offers everything to anyone who asks, even brick sidewalks when the citizens are walking on those sidewalks with holes in their shoes?

      And please, don’t anyone come back to me with a AAA bond rating comment.

  55. bw says:

    MM:

    You should to grow wings and fly out of Elgin. You’re so pro Gavin and Prigge that it makes me sick. Do you think that your BS is getting you any points? If anything, it is making you look like a person who loves members of the council that believe in saying no to every issue ESO included. Prigge and Gavin know they will continue to look bad in the eyes of the voters unless they make an half hearted effort to suggest the like the ESO. Those of us who did’nt just get off the boat know better. Paul was right on in his post that you claimed to put him on the right path. People like you have pulled Elgin in the wrong direction for years.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      bw,

      Sounds like I got your dander up. So be it and too bad.

      I’m pro conservative. If that makes me lean towards Gavin, Prigge and Shaw, so be it. No different that your connection to the other side makes me just as sick.

      I gave you more credit to disseminate, being that educated women you are.

      See you tomorrow on the other side of the aisle. Good night for now.

  56. Cruex says:

    Oh bw, you’ve done it again. LOL.

    “If anything, it is making you look like a person who loves members of the council that believe in saying no to every issue ESO included.”

    Saying yes to more taxes, more fees, more giveaways, more spending to defend lawsuits, helping your mayor-elect chasing ideas to bring high-priced organic vegetables to a town of high unemployment and dwindling demographics, kissing the behinds of the very rich ESO, yeah, that’s the kind of government we all need to say yes to.

    “Prigge and Gavin know they will continue to look bad in the eyes of the voters unless they make an half hearted effort to suggest the like the ESO.”

    LOL. “In the eyes of the voters” Prigge and Gavin finished 1-2 in the election just six months ago remember? Shaw destroyed his wildly liberal opponent by thousands of votes. Is long term memory a problem with you already?

    “Those of us who did’nt (sic) just get off the boat know better.”

    If to “know better” was to only be able to sneak in your mayor-elect Rauschenberger, (you do remember her, don’t you? She’s the liberal hiding behind her conservative maiden name despite being in her 60’s) then you need to stay on land. Do the names Esterino, McCue, Richard, Dresang, Knight, Armstrong sound familiar to you? Yikes, I forgot another failed liberal who lost badly. Robert Gilliam. Mayor-elect Rauschenberger and turncoat Dunne were the only liberals to make it. Very good point bw.

    “People like you have pulled Elgin in the wrong direction for years.”

    Well then you will have much to discuss at Moeller’s 2015 election fundraiser in a few weeks about how to pull Elgin into the right direction, won’t you? Bring $40 per person and a desire to pull Elgin fom the left. Please post more deep thoughts?

  57. SIE says:

    And the three of them have been undewhelming so far. As was clear from day one they are outnumbered so pretty much anything they do is moot. Even so Prigge might as well just have a “no” sign printed up as he’s against everything. Gavin seems the exact opposite of what he once was and Shaw looks like a deer in the headlights.

    I voted for all three but it’s clear they aren’t the ones to turn this city around.

  58. One Vote says:

    I see the city is angling for more grant money, this time for the bike path.
    I am up on Congdon two or three times a week and see an occasional jogger or people with strollers using the path. Not much traffic.
    Do they actually monitor bike travel and usage of the existing bike lanes, or do they just ask Tom Armstrong if he’d like more paths?

  59. TLC says:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    September 25, 2013

    Elgin Rebuked by Federal Judge

    (Elgin, Ill.—Sept. 25, 2013) U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan issued a severe order Tuesday in the case of TLC Pregnancy Services denying the city of Elgin’s request to delay proceedings. The judge noted that any further stalling, “would unjustly delay the vindication of the rights of the Plaintiffs seeking relief on the 11 remaining counts.” Judge Der-Yeghiayan also stated that he was, “not foreclosing the issue of whether sanctions are warranted.”
    “The judge’s order referencing sanctions suggests Elgin’s statements to the court, in August, that it needed time to pursue settlement options were misleading given that Elgin filed for its appeal immediately after the court gave the city 30 days to pursue such settlement,” said TLC attorney John Mauck.
    In March 2013, TLC filed suit after its free mobile ultrasound facility for expectant mothers was shut down by the city for violating a temporary use ordinance. Judge Der-Yeghiayan ruled on Aug. 8, 2013 that Elgin’s ordinance was “vague” and “overbroad” allowing TLC to resume operations. According to TLC, since 2010, over 200 low-income women and girls have been given free pregnancy and ultrasound tests through the mobile facility.
    “Most importantly these women who find themselves pregnant come aboard the mobile facility feeling overwhelmed and alone. We are available for them providing the practical, emotional, and spiritual support they need,” said TLC director Vivian Maly.
    TLC will continue to pursue the case against Elgin by taking depositions of certain city council members and other officials. “We hope to expose to the people of Elgin which officials and what actions were behind this shutdown of free services to expectant mothers,” said Mauck.
    “The city has been found wrong at every turn and is now faced with possible sanctions from the court,” said John Juergensmeyer, TLC’s board chairman. “I can’t understand why the city insists on spending our taxpayer money on attorneys’ fees when all the members of the council say they support what TLC is doing.”

  60. Harmony says:

    TlC, I am curious when you state,John Juergensmeyer, TLC’s board chairman. “I can’t understand why the city insists on spending our taxpayer money on attorneys’ fees . Did the City again hire outside attorneys for this? If so we need to replace our incompetent legal staff. Why are we paying to hire outside attorneys?

  61. paul says:

    ““The city has been found wrong at every turn and is now faced with possible sanctions from the court,” said John Juergensmeyer, TLC’s board chairman. “I can’t understand why the city insists on spending our taxpayer money on attorneys’ fees when all the members of the council say they support what TLC is doing.””

    Because it isn’t about TLC. It is about whether the CITY has the right, responsibility, duty and obligation to its citizens to regulate who, what, and where is conducting business out of mobile vans within the CITY. Sounds like an excellent use of “taxpayer money”.

    • RS says:

      I don’t like laws that curtail people’s freedom unnecessarily. It’s not like there’s a huge problem with mobile vans operating businesses in Elgin (actually I wish we had that problem if it meant a fleet of food trucks). But I think cities have a right to regulate that and in normal circumstances the city could craft another ordinance targeting mobile units specifically, since the ruling said the original ordinance was poorly written (probably by corporation counsel) and could encompass something as simple as hanging a flag.

      I say in normal circumstances, because in this circumstance, it’s obvious that TLC will go to the same judge and he’ll throw it out again because in his original ruling he claims that TLC was specifically targeted:

      Based on the above facts and the uncontested evidence provided by Life Center, the motives in amending the Code in 2012 are highly suspect and the City appears to have been targeting Life Center. The City’s Code is unduly burdensome to the right of a woman to choose life. The City’s effort to curtail private entities from providing free and valuable services to its young women is ill-advised. It is puzzling why the City would be so unreasonable in implementing ordinances and policies that curtail not only the constitutional rights of its citizens, but also the availability of needed medical care and emotional support for its vulnerable young women. Based on the above, the court grants Life Center’s motion for summary judgment on Count I and finds that the Temporary Use Provision is unconstitutional as being overbroad, vague, and unduly burdensome.

      The city is dealing with a pro-life judge. Aside from the above-quoted passage, you can note his six references to “unborn children” in the opinion whereas a pro-choice judge would have just talked about pregnant women. The city is not going to prevail with this judge. Perhaps that’s why they want to appeal it from the get-go and take it to somebody who may not be obviously pro-life. But the process is expensive and is it worth it? What problem are we solving? Why are we continually making new laws to solve problems that don’t exist?

      What is the actual history of this ordinance? After nearly 200 years of getting along fine without it, who woke up one day and decided we needed to do this????

      • paul says:

        Real irony - the very same people here in favor of TLC’s unregulated mobile services van are the ones crying about the COE allowing more tattoo shops in Elgin.
        How about a mobile tattoo van!!!!

        Does the city council vote on every single business that wants to open in Elgin? Why is the city council even involved in who gets to open what business in Elgin?

        “who woke up one day and decided we needed to do this????”

        Most ordinances are drafted in response to arising problems. That is why we have a city government: to address current concerns. We didn’t need an ordinance addressing pitbulls until pitbulls became a problem.

  62. Tim says:

    Why don’t they focus on regulating and limiting the scrapper trucks clogging up traffic and parking on every street in the city.

    • SIE says:

      Our garbage day is Monday, the scrappers start coming by on Friday. And keep coming well past when the garbage is picked up. Tired of the noise and like you say the constant traffic of trucks coming up and down my street.

      Many cities regulate scrappers and require licenses. I asked Prige about it once. Never will happen in Elgin.

  63. There’s a big difference between a food truck or for-profit tatoo van :-) and an ultrasound/blood/vision van. Apples and watermelons.

    • paul says:

      “There’s a big difference between a food truck or for-profit tatoo van :-) and an ultrasound/blood/vision van. ”

      But you just can’t explain what the differences are?

      All of the above provide services people evidently want and need.
      All of the above can easily provide their services via an existing storefront facility.
      All of the above services are already being provided in Elgin via existing storefront facilities.
      All of the above have costs that have to be covered to remain in service.

      Is it the word “profit” the difference for you? Indicating your dislike of the free market capitalism and your love of the socialized services sector. If your medical services van isn’t gaining (profiting) anything why are they doing it??? Because they are bored out of their minds and have nothing else to do with their money (profits)?

      The one providing the medical services should be the one most tightly regulated.

    • Elaine says:

      With this TLC van, it’s my understanding that they park on McClean to be near Larkin HS. Do girls have to get permission from their parents before they get their free ultrasound? Or are parents notified if their daughter had an ultrasound and counseling from the van? I wouldn’t want anyone talking to my daughter about her pregnancy without me knowing about it. Does anyone know if other towns in the area allow ultrasound vans to park near high schools so their students can have access to these free ultrasounds? I think pregnancy issues for young girls should be between her and her parents. I would be very uncomfortable with any organization that tries to get between young women and their families on this kind of issue.

  64. Harmony says:

    Tim, Elgin has a good ordinance that addresses scrapper trucks on the street and on private property, they just don’t enforce it. Just like the Code Department picks and chooses who to pick on.

  65. james madison says:

    Must have been thousands at the town hall meeting with Prigge and Gavin. I understand the fire marshals had to shut down the meeting due to overcrowding at the hall. Too bad the Hemmens is so expensive to rent (except for the free rent for the ESO).

    • Tim Palmer says:

      Hey James Madison, there are no fire marshals in Elgin anymore. Councilman Dunne was the last one Elgin had. He was removed from that job but still kept a job with the fire department.

  66. The vision and ultrasound vans are charities and do not compete with brick and mortar businesses. There is not a compelling reason for the city to put such restrictions on them. Resonable restrictions would be like making them have written permission to be parked on private propert and being parked in a safe and well lit location.

    Food trucks compete with brick and mortar restaurants that pay property taxes. I’m also pro food truck, but realize that restaurants need some reasonable protection too.

    • Elaine says:

      Doesn’t the group with the ultrasound van also have a location in a building in Elgin? Don’t hospitals / doctors have ultrasound services in buildings? Don’t they compete for the same business? Plus is the van licensed to provide these services, like doctors and normal clinics? Do they have to abide by the same regulations that a doctor’s office would have to abide by- for example parental consent when treating minors?? If not, why not?

    • Margaret Miller says:

      I could have sworn that the City of Elgin, pursuant to it home rule powers has the authority to exercise any power and perform an function pertaining to its government and affairs including the power to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare and to establish general license regulations and fees for work requiring permits in the city.

  67. Elaine says:

    Allen-

    Would you want your daughter to visit this van without you knowing about it?

    • Shawna says:

      I would rather have my daughter get help when she feels like she cannot talk to anyone else. This can be a life-saver for some of these girls that are too afraid to talk to their parents or another adult in their lives.

      I think it’s terrific when parents have a great relationship with their kids and can talk to them about anything. However, the reality is, not all kids will come to their parents or teachers for help with something like a pregnancy. The service was obviously needed and accepted, otherwise it would not have operated at all. Nobody wants to waste their time. If the service was not used, it would not have been around.

  68. Elaine says:

    Nope. There are parental consent and notification laws in this state for a reason. I don’t want anyone performing an ultrasound or giving birth control pills to my daughter if she is a minor without my knowledge and permission. I don’t care if its a school, a church or a doctor. My guess is that they do this in Elgin because the kids they see and their parents don’t know what their rights are.

    • RS says:

      And imagine if Planned Parenthood or some other pro-abortion group set up their own van. Then we would have a whole ‘nother group of furious people.

  69. Elaine says:

    And let me tell you, if I found out that they performed an ultrasound on my child without my knowledge or permission, they’d be the ones getting sued- not the City.

    • One Vote says:

      Get real. An ultrasound is nothing like an abortion.
      It is non-invasive and, unlike abortion, does not commit an irreversible act.
      It only provides the girl with information about a possible pregnancy.
      I think if your daughter doesn’t tell you she’s concerned about maybe being pregnant no van is going to fix your relationship.
      By the way, girls under 18 in Illinois cannot have an abortion without parental consent. (At least that’s the current state of things.)

      • Elaine says:

        I don’t care if it’s “non-invasive.” An ultrasound is a medical procedure and requires parental consent if it is provided to a minor. And their mission is to convince a child on how to proceed with a pregnancy- all without parental consent. That is wrong and potentially a legal violation. Why aren’t they parking their van out in front of St. Charles North High School or New Trier or Highland Park High School? My guess is because they’d get run out of town pretty quickly by parents who know their rights.

  70. One Vote says:

    So, I was up along the frontage road to I-90 yesterday (I think they call it Davis over there) and saw the Elgin Assault Vehicle parked outside a vacant warehouse with a number of other cars in the parking lot.
    My guess is that they were doing some sort of SWAT training.
    But I was surprised at how small it is. It’s not even as big as a Suburban or the mid-sized Hummer.
    I thought it was supposed to be this big vehicle to provide cover to victims trying to leave a building. This little thing wouldn’t provide transport or cover for more than a couple of people. The old bread truck would have been much better for evacuations.
    Let’s see. $200K for a toy SUV or $5K for some more steel to beef up the bread truck????

  71. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey how screwed up is Elgin to say it’s okay to pay 100,000 dollars to have bikes ride in bike lanes on busy streets, but it’s NOT OKAY to have a mobile home parked OFF THE STREET ON SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY to help women who might be pregnant for free?

    • Elaine says:

      What the heck does a bike path have to do with this van? And this group doesn’t provide free medical service- they provide free religious propaganda services to young girls at their most vulnerable- and again without involving her parents. Do they provide free monthly prenatal and obstetrics care to the girl while she is pregnant? Do they provide free baby delivery? Do they provide free medical services for the baby once it’s born? I don’t think so. So you “get real” and stop calling it free “women’s health care” because that is not what they are providing.

      • One Vote says:

        Just try to think of the fetus like you would a baby seal.
        Then you’d be all over protecting it.
        Or how about an eaglet egg.
        Seriously, all they are giving this girl is information about what’s going on inside her body. And telling her about options.
        And yes, there are agencies that can get her prenatal care and delivery.

  72. Hi Elaine, IL’s consent law is nothing like what you describe. I suggest talking with your state rep or senator if you want such an expansion.

    I’ll let TLC answer the medical questions, but realize that this oridinance also restricts blood vans, Lion Club’s vision van, mobile libraries, and even mobile vote polling places.

    The city manager and attorneys have put the council in a bad place and it’s a shame no one has yelled stop.

    • paul says:

      “The city manager and attorneys have put the council in a bad place and it’s a shame no one has yelled stop.”

      On the other hand, thankfully, the voters did say stop to your bid for city council.
      ANY reasonable person would not think it unreasonable for a city to be able to regulate who, what, when and why is conducting business out of mobile vans.

    • The Esquire says:

      Mr. Skillcorn,

      Imagine what state TLC and Elgin would be in now if TLC had just filed the proper paperwork and paid their fees, as required by the City of Elgin?

      How come no one is discussing that TLC services have not been interrupted and please correct me, don’t they also have a bricks and mortar location within the city?

      From my understanding of the ordinance a medical service, such as Life Source, is not banned from Elgin and the language does not imply that.

      City governments have a responsibility, to some degree, to regulate businesses and free services under the guise of citizen protection. If these are the rules, why did TLC feel that they were exempt from the process or for that matter why didn’t they just file and pay? Was this an example of Man’s law verses God’s Law?

      The process cannot be stopped now. It is entangled within the court system.

      Mr. Skillcorn,

      Please confirm that you are an East Dundee Trustee.
      Can you inform the Elginite readers how your lawsuit against Carpentersville and Wal-Mart is going? My last update was around August 20, 2013. Wasn’t that the second time a Judge threw out this lawsuit East Dundee appealed?

      Do you think East Dundee should continue to fight for what they think is judicious or drop the appeal and just let Wal-Mart go as they have been planning for so many years?

      I mean after spending so much money appealing and including Carpenterville, in the process under TIF, does an end ever come? I must have been under an incorrect impression, I always thought a Corporation had the right to make decisions based on their best interests to close, expand or move locations?

      Perhaps I’m am missing some of the details that only a Trustee is privileged too such as you may be missing information Elgin officials are privileged too.

      • Todd Martin says:

        The TLC case is frustrating on many levels. Unfortunately, the cloud of “No Comment due to current litigation” is not helping me understand the issues.

        1) If the City of Elgin wants TLC to operate normally, but accidentally got caught up with an ordinance issue… then why appeal the decision? Why not simply amend the ordinance to avoid the controversy?

        2) Since a Federal judge has ruled the ordinance to be un-constitutional, why did the City use the same staff & lawyers who wrote the law review & recommend the appeal?

        I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t tell if the injunction will survive appeal. I also don’t understand the City’s decisions on this matter and CAN’T understand it because of a “No Comment” policy.

        What I see from the outside is there is a danger that the forces of pride and self-interest can operate unchecked when secrecy is involved.

        The City Council is there to oversee City Government and I am sure they have been briefed on the matter. However, so far they have relied completely on the secret advice of the very people who put the City in this position.

        It is my opinion that City Council should instruct the City Manager to hire an outside lawyer to review the case and publish a legal opinion on the merits of an appeal. It shouldn’t cost that much money to get a 2nd opinion which can shed a little light for us unwashed masses. If the 2nd opinion agrees with City staff, then it buys some peace of mind. If the 2nd opinion disagrees with City staff, then it provides Council a chance to minimize mistakes.

        Regardless of the case, the City could publish a draft proposal for an amended ordinance. While TLC may want to haggle on the wording of an amendment, the City should not be afraid to publicly demonstrate a good faith effort.

        • Elaine says:

          Todd-

          Why don’t you reverse your question and ask why TLC can’t just drop their suit and accept the rules. I haven’t heard of any other business or organization that has a problem with them. They must think they are above the law. And Esquire is right- they are still operating in the city- I see them all the time on McLean so why they are still suing is beyond me. It’s a BIG WASTE of money and time.

          • Todd Martin says:

            Elaine, TLC won the case in court. It would make little sense for them to say “never mind” and accept an Ordinance with a permanent injunction placed against that Ordinance.

            TLC is still on McLean because a judged ruled (due to the lawsuit) that they can stay there. That’s not being “above the law”. Rather, that is applying the legal system.

            From what I understand, only about 1/3 of Federal cases are overturned on appeal.

            TLC also has legal expenses to pay, which may be covered by the City once the appeal is completed.

            I’ll stand by more original question.

        • paul says:

          “If the City of Elgin wants TLC to operate normally”

          You mean open up a store front like everyone else?

          “why appeal the decision?”

          Because if the decision stands the city can’t regulate mobile services vans in Elgin.

          “simply amend the ordinance to avoid the controversy?”

          You can’t amend a ruled unconstitutional ordinance.

          “why did the City use the same staff & lawyers”

          because the city already is paying them.

          “only about 1/3 of Federal cases are overturned on appeal.”

          Only!!! Only 2/3 of federal judges rulings are upheld!!!

          This case isn’t complicated rocket science. Does the city have the right to regulate mobile service vans in the city?

          • Todd Martin says:

            Paul, I think you pick fights regardless of anyone’s position on any topic.

            To be clear, at City Council it was stated the City does not want TLC to stop using the mobile unit. The City wants to work with TLC and would work to change the ordinance.

            The city can choose NOT to appeal, let the existing ordinance die and replace it with a more lenient set of regulations. I used “shorthand” in calling it an amendment. Again, I’m not a lawyer, so perhaps amendment was technically incorrect.

            Using the same staff that drafts an ordinance to decide whether or not it was defective is a conflict of interest.

            1/3 odds of winning is not where I’d want to wager.

            The dispute is more complicated than a generic right the City has to regulate. The questions involve the ordinance’s unintended consequences and how reasonable the costs & restrictions are.

            I’m not saying whether the ordinance deserves to be upheld. I am saying the process the City is following does not make sense to me. The “No Comment” policy makes it impossible for anyone on this blog to really understand it because we’re not getting the facts.

          • The Esquire says:

            Todd:

            It is always in the best interests to remain silent until all litigation is completed.

            I’m sure you have seen countless newsreels with the reporter trying to interview anyone involved in an on going case. What are those two little words everyone says? Hint: “No Comment”.

            I will also inform you that whenever a city, town or village is being sued. The Council or Trustees are continually briefed and updated. If you not sure, ask Mr. Skillcorn about the East Dundee suite against Carpentersvill and Wal-Mart. See if you get an answer. I didn’t over the weekend when I asked him on this very blog.

            I’m sure all will revealed in due course. Let’s not accuse those who are trying to defend the city. The facts and truth will see the light of day when the time is right.

          • paul says:

            “Paul, I think you pick fights regardless of anyone’s position on any topic.”

            Todd, an explanation addressing your continuous self admitted confusion is hardly a “fight”.
            You admit you know very little on the topic yet you babble on as if you know everything about the topic.

            “The dispute is more complicated than a generic right the City has to regulate.”

            Really! Yet you can’t can’t/won’t/don’t say how it is more complicated (while admitting you are completely confused).

      • Esquire, I agree with Judge Ackemann’s ruling. I am in the minority and believe the law prohibiting TIF funds within 10 miles is too vague for ED prevent C’ville from using TIF funds.

        Remember Elgin’s ordinance only allows use of mobile services for 30 concurrent days, 4 times a year for $800. Since TLC uses the bus infrequently (not for 30 day stints) it unfairly restricts their rights. I also believe that private property should be allowed to use their property as they see fit as long as that does not cause others harm.

        If you think that Elgin has a compelling interest in regulating TLC into four 30 day periods, I suspect we disagree about the proper role government in our lives.

        Please cite why you believe Life Source is exempt?

        • The Esquire says:

          Mr. Skillcorn:

          Thank you for getting back to me on this issue.

          The regulations in Elgin are clear. If TLC chooses NOT to use the full 30 days the permit allows, for whatever reason, that is their choice. If they feel they have any issue regarding regulations instituted by the city, they could have approached the city to make a change in the regulation or be awarded and exception to the regulation as a matter of proper procedure. To my knowledge this did not happen.

          It doesn’t matter what I think, what matters is the regulations that were in place at the time the ordinance was broke.

          Have you ever book a vacation where you had to pay for your housing up front? Let’s say you booked a hotel for ten days but realized you mistakenly booked your return flight three days earlier than your housing reservation.
          Are you entitled to a refund from the hotel or do you pay the airline penalty and make changes with your flight? If you decide to leave early, do you feel that you can go back to that hotel and check back in any time it was convenient to you all while informing the hotel that you already paid the last time you visited but you didn’t stay the entire length of time your reservation was originally booked for?

          What do you think the hotel’s response would be? Is a city any different?

          To clarify, I never said Life Source was exempt. What I said was….”From my understanding of the ordinance a medical service, such as Life Source, is not banned from Elgin and the language does not imply that.”

        • The Esquire says:

          Mr Skillcorn:

          Would you please address the use of East Dundee tax payer dollars being offered to private businesses.

          Specifically the Anvil Supper Club who asked for a $300,000 in funding for improvements.

          Thank you

  73. Harmony says:

    I wonder when this code department is going to address this blatant zoning violation just o block south of JB,s parking lot at S.McLean and Main? The State is spending millions of dollars to improve the intersection and the first thing you see is this. Once a gas station now turned into a used car lot, a repair shop, an auto junk yard, an auto collision shop. There has to be at least 40 vehicles parked her, double stacked on the property lines. My wife called code a month ago about this and again 2 weeks ago and it continues to get worst. What the hell is the answer to this? Property was the best investment, might still be, but not in Elgin. Where’s the police chief to shut this place down? What about the drug bust there? What the hell is going on Stegal?

  74. bw says:

    Gavin and Prigge are the two biggest cry babies on the city council. All I hear from each of them is I and me over and over. I thought the were elected to represent the citizens of Elgin. I sounds like the represent thenmelves. I don’t like this or that as if anyone cares what the like as individuals. I want my epresentives to speak for the people not their own likes and dislikes. They both need to mature.

    • james madison says:

      And the power of their persuasive arguments drew a total of 12, that’s right 12, to a “Town Hall” meeting where most were probably there to hear about ACA myths and legends. They are classic loud mouth bullies whose only claim to fame is the ability to charm and befuddle 2,700 voters. (They are both exactly what Paul Ryan was described as, “they are what dumb people think smart people sound like.”)As for maturity, they see themselves as the only adults in the room at the Council meetings. It will be an interesting mayoral race since Prigge and Dunne are obviously positioning themselves to run and if the Mayor decides to run again, the “normal” voters for Dunne and the Mayor may split enough votes to let the “tea party crazies” have enough votes to elect Prigge as Mayor. That is obviously his entire motivation when he speaks on any topic at the Council meetings. His audience is 2,700 (plus MM) voters who will absolutely vote and could elect him if there are a number of candidates.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Dear bw:

      Terry Gavin and John Prigge did not misrepresent themselves in any way during the election. The voters got what they wanted, councilmen who are upset about high taxes and excessive spending. They ran on the promise to roll back some of the taxes, such as the “garbage” tax, and to kill the “rain tax”. Those themes are what both Prigge and Gavin are sticking to.

      If the “rain tax” is declared as DOA in September, you can thank Prigge and Gavin for leading the way. If the “garbage tax” comes off of the water bill, that will be even better.

      You are criticizing Prigge and Gavin for what I see as being strong individuals. They are outnumbered on the council, so to compensate, they must speak out to make their points. Had they been meek and mild as it seems you would like, they would have lost the election. And if they were meek and mild and would have by some miracle won the election, then they would not even have any hope to deliver on their campaign promises.

      As to their saying “I” and “me”, that is a petty point. If they said “we the people want this”, or “our constituents want that”, you would simply be criticizing them for not representing you. If they say I, it is implicit that they are speaking for the majority that voted for them.

      You can legitimately criticize them for not liking their positions, as that is your right. But your other comments and criticisms are baseless. As long as they stick to their election positions and can deliver at least some of their promises, everyone who voted for them should be satisfied.

      Chuck

      • bw says:

        Chuck:

        I stand by my post. You’re entitled to the opinion that you post but they both re not mature enough to represent me on the council. That all they know is how to be a weak member of an otherwise strong city council. All your points have to do with tax issues. There is more to running a city than wondering how revenue is raised and money is spent. Enough is enough these two guys have done nothing to enhance the city in the last six months. The problem is we have to put up with their nonsence for almost 4 more years. Two weak links in a strong chain. They are similar to all the “Tea Party” members of the GOP. I give Shaw the benefit of the doubt as he has a lot to learn before he becomes a sttron member of the council. He talks so fast that i can’t understand what he is saying. He is young and needs to listen wo the wise voices on the council. He will not be a force on the council for a long time. You’re a one issue citizen and it all has to do with the revenue side taxes, taxes, and more taxes.

    • One Vote says:

      I’m pleased with my votes for Prigge and Gavin.
      In general they are doing what I sent them to city hall to do - put the brakes on an intrusive and expensive government. I wish they’d be bigger “cry babies.”
      And when I see our government tearing up perfectly good wheelchair ramps on our sidewalks I am reminded why we need people like them.
      I am very pleased that guys like you despise them; your flak means they are over the target and scoring hits.

  75. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey everyone, did you see all the people in downtown today? It was called Love Elgin Day, or something, but it really should be called Illegals Come and Get Free Stuff Day. It’s days like this that keep Villa Verones from coming to downtown.

  76. Cruex says:

    What bw is really trying to say is that she cannot process facts from the last election. Prigge and Shaw first and Gavin second. Not to leave turncoat Dunne out bw slips when recalling her new liberal friend finished first in 2009 and then fourth in 2013. A mighty fall from grace made worse by mayor-elect Rauschenberger’s finish ahead of him.

    “There is more to running a city than wondering how revenue is raised and money is spent.”

    With 6 liberals on the council spending is not an issue. The supply of money is endless and the spending of it is too.

    “The problem is we have to put up with their nonsence (sic) for almost 4 more years. Two weak links in a strong chain.

    Don’t worry one of them is needed to tell mayor-elect Rauschenberger what end of a pen the ink comes out of.

    “I give Shaw the benefit of the doubt as he has a lot to learn before he becomes a sttron (sic) member of the council. He talks so fast that i can’t understand what he is saying. He is young and needs to listen wo (sic) the wise voices on the council.

    Why can’t he make up his own mind?

    • bw says:

      Cruex:

      Did you find out the meaning of your lifestyle. ADL and IADL best tells all the rest of us who you really are. ADL and IADL tells us you can’t think for yourself or for any of the members of the ELGIN city council. Do us a favor and look up the meaning of ADL and IADL on Google search. So you know what I mean. When you find the meaning you will know your status on this board.

  77. Cruex says:

    This lawsuit has cost Elgin a pretty penny. Moeller owes Elgin an explanation into her conduct that caused this.

  78. Elaine says:

    Wrong. TLC has cost the City money by suing in the first place. The City has a right to defend itself and place rules on where this van can park.

  79. bw says:

    The city should have some compassion for the poor. The van is not hurting anyone. It is helping poor women from our community. They ought to be getting rid of the marketon Rt. 31 the old Lee Wards building. I remember the good old code department headed by Big Klu, the Fellows family father and son, Bobby Richardson, Olson, and the rest. Those guys got things done according to the laws on the books. Ask all the apartment owners who were in court defending themselves. The blue car squad weree there representing the city.

    • Capitalist Pig says:

      bw:

      Ask yourself this: Why should a government shutdown send down the stock market? Answer: Federal government spending provides more than 30% of the income in the country. Put another way, Federal government spending plus state & local government spending provide over 50% of the income in America (GDP).

      America really has no economy — the government IS the economy. Or, only half the people in the country produce something for a living. The other half consume the taxes the others pay, plus all the money the federal government borrows into existence.

      Of course, the government will never pay all that debt. They cannot, just as they cannot stop spending, so the debt WILL be repudiated, either by default or by hyperinflation.

      But the truth of that obvious conclusion runs so contrary to accepted wisdom — “what everybody knows” — that only very few can hear and accept it. People believe what they want to believe.

      I hope you are stockpiling can goods.

      • RS says:

        http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shutdown-furloughs-800000-federal-workers-2013-10-01

        It says “essential services” are still up and running. That means all the furloughed jobs are non-essential and probably unnecessary in the first place. So hopefully the “shutdown” can be made permanent.

        • bw says:

          It says “essential services” are still up and running. That means all the furloughed jobs are non-essential and probably unnecessary in the first place. So hopefully the “shutdown” can be made permanent.

          I hope the “shutdown” is made permanent and that it ends up costing all U.S. taxpayers much more than they bargained for in lost financial resources for years and years. The domino affect will be interesting to watch.

  80. paul says:

    “They ought to be getting rid of the marketon Rt. 31 the old Lee Wards building.”

    Are they hurting someone? Unlike TLC, that building pays property taxes supporting your liberal tax and spend policies. And on that basis TLC is hurting the community, unlike the ‘marketon’ Rt. 31.
    Doesn’t that ‘marketon’ help the poor people from our community???

    Me thinks bw is racist for wanting to hurt the poor Hispanic community that shops at the “marketon’ Rt.31.
    I’m tired of you liberal racists.

    • One Vote says:

      Perhaps bw is talking about the outdoor flea market they have every week end. They set up the bouncing castle and a variety of other outdoor booths, far less attractive than the TLC van.
      And it’s every week end when the weather is good.
      And they aren’t non-profit, either. It would be interesting to check the books on these operations to see if they really are paying taxes.
      Maybe they’ve got different rules.

      • paul says:

        “They set up the bouncing castle and a variety of other outdoor booths, far less attractive than the TLC van.”

        It is private commercially zoned property. The city cannot restrict that because of the TLC ruling prohibiting specific targeting.

        ” And they aren’t non-profit, either.”

        So only people who work for a living under the free enterprise system should be subject to rules and regulations?

  81. Margaret Miller says:

    In today’s Daily Herald…
    Excerpt:

    Elgin’s Gilliam: Losing is best thing that ever happened to me
    By Elena Ferrarin

    Bob Gilliam

    The 68-year-old returned home earlier this month and sat down with the Daily Herald for a candid and exclusive interview that touched on a wide range of topics about his four decades in office. Here is an edited version.

    Q: How do you feel about losing your seat?

    A: It was the best thing that ever happened to me. In the past I would not take care of my health, I was too busy. If I was re-elected, I probably would be dead in two years. Now I have all this time to devote to myself and my family. I’d lie if I said sometimes I didn’t miss it. But I’ve moved on. It’s time to give someone else the chance.

    Q:Was there ever a difficult time on the council?

    A: Sixteen or 20 years ago, everything was a 4-3 vote. It was very difficult, very contentious. Everybody was angry, and there were a lot of personal attacks. I learned to be hard on the issues, not on the individuals. Terry Gavin (a current councilman who also served 1995-1999) and I used to fight over the time of day, but we had a lot of respect for each other. I view him as a leader on the council now.

  82. bw says:

    MM

    Terry Gavin (a current councilman who also served 1995-1999) and I used to fight over the time of day, but we had a lot of respect for each other. I view him as a leader on the council now.

    Show me one way where Gavin has been a leader on the council in the past 6 months. Voting No on every important issue is not a leader.
    I think Gilliam has lost it.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      bw:

      I was wondering how long it was going to take until you commented on something positive. This had to just about killed you! It didn’t take long to come back at me but your comments are not positive at all towards Councilman Gilliam or Gavin.

      You showed no appreciation towards Mr. Gilliam. You did not wish him well. You did not thank him for his service to the city. Nothing but gripping, as usual.

      In case you didn’t read the full article, the link is below for your searching ease.
      http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130930/news/709309949/

      Here is what Gavin, Prigge & Shaw have saved in the 4.5 months they have been in office and more to come.

      The “NO VOTE” saved taxpayer’s $75,000 PER YEAR with ESO. No more cash subsidies ad infinitum.
      The “NO VOTE” saved taxpayer’s $36,000 for an opinion survey.

      More “NO VOTES” on the way. I can’t wait. It about time we get our fiscal house in order.

  83. bw says:

    MM:

    They are just like the Tea Party members of congress. The Tea Party is going to cost the taxpayers millions and millions if the allow the government to shut down over a law that 56% of the American public favor. Anyone who votes for thesee people in the next election ought to have their voting right taken away forever. ABC announced today that it will cost each American over $9000 in their 401K loss. Almost a million Federal workers will be out of work with no pay. Gavin and Prigge are two more cut of the same mold. I liked the 4-3 vote from Verbic, Schmidt, Hansen, and Yearman. They ousted the city manager, police chief and a few others. Elgin was moving in the right direction when that council had their agenda active. Gavin and Prigge will never accomplish what that council did. They both talk the talk with their smooth rhetoric. I was an active member of the GOP for over 30 years. Now the party is an embarrassment to the whole country. I will never vote in a federal, state or local election again. The whole bunch are a bunch of worthless bureaucrats all on an ego trip. I’m ok your not ok is their motto. Some day you people will weak-up and smell the roses. I will continue gripping as usual about this do nothing city council. Every vote that is cast is 6-3 and that will not change for some time.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      bw says…

      “I will never vote in a federal, state or local election again.”

      Margaret says…

      “PROMISE”

      I would prefer smoooooooth rhetoric over rough shod any day!

      Keep it coming bw, the country has changed, you just didn’t get the memo.

    • paul says:

      “The Tea Party is going to cost the taxpayers millions and millions if the allow the government to shut down ”

      Absolutely hilarious. The government NOT spending taxpayer’s millions “cost the taxpayers millions”.

    • Capitalist Pig says:

      Obamacare Website Quietly Deletes Reference to ‘Free Health Care’
      7:24 AM, SEP 30, 2013 • BY JERYL BIER 

      Even as President Obama and his administration are making a last minute push to encourage enrollment in Obamacare, a quiet change was made on the Healthcare.gov website regarding those who will still not be able to afford coverage after the program kicks in. From at least June 26, 2013 to as recently as September 15, under the topic, “Where can I get free or low-cost care in my community?” the following statement appeared: “If you can’t afford any health plan, you can get free or low-cost health and dental care at a nearby community health center.” Here is how the page in question appeared:

      However, sometime between September 16 and September 23, the reference to “free” care was dropped. The title of the topic was changed as well, and now reads: “Where can I get low-cost care in my community?” Here is how the page currently appears:

      The page in question is not a new one, as the webpage’s Internet address remains the same, still containing the word “free”: http://www.healthcare.gov/where-can-i-get-free-or-low-cost-care/.  However, there is no notation anywhere on the page that it was revised; the change just appeared unannounced.

      Other changes include dropping references to “dental” care and the availability of “prescription drugs,” as well as exchanging the phrase “specialized care for more serious conditions” for the milder “referrals to specialized care.”

      Since President Obama has been emphasizing of late how inexpensive Obamacare will be for many Americans, advertising the availability of “free” health care might have been viewed as a deterrent to purchasing even the least expensive option from the government-run exchanges. Since the “bronze” and “silver” level plans that the president has recently been touting as equaling “the cost of your cable bill” and “less than your cell phone bill” will still entail significant out-of-pocket costs for medical care, “free” might still look more attractive to many on the lower end of the income scale. It may be that community health centers will still offer free care to some, but visitors to Healthcare.gov will no longer be made aware of the option.

      UPDATE: Brian Cook, director of media relations for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, basically confirms the crux of this post and says in statement:

      “This part of the website which HHS updated as part of its routine changes, describes Community Health Centers, which provide services on a sliding scale with some people getting care at no cost to them.”

      • Anonymous says:

        CP:

        Maybe we should go to a system like they have in England. The government provides healthcare to all of it’s citizens pay for out of taxes. The government also has complete control of all healthcare providers. They get paid by the government out of tax money.

        • Anonymous says:

          Posted by bw.

        • Capitalist Pig says:

          bw:

          You bring up an interesting notion. I’m glad you provided me an opportunity to address this topic.

          Let’s consider the fact that 51% OF AMERICANS DO NOT PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAX. The richest 20 percent of the country pays more than half of income taxes for two simple reasons: America’s wealthiest 20 percent earns half the nation’s income and their income is taxed at a higher rate.http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/51-of-americans-pay-no-federal-income-taxes/238329/

          Now on to Britian:
          The Huffington Post UK reports that, according to the NHS’s own data, close to 3 million people “were waiting to begin NHS treatment at the end of June, following a referral by their GP.” That represents an increase of 240,000 people from the same month last year. The NHS target for treatment following a referral is 18 weeks. The data show 91.7 percent of patients are “seen” within 18 weeks, but being seen and getting surgery or treatment are not the same. After the first appointment, patients often get in another line. Some wait additional weeks or months until a surgeon becomes available. Some die while waiting. The Daily Telegraph reports the entire system “could collapse within a year without major changes and extra money.

          Britain’s National Health Service(NHS)is truly socialized medicine, provided by the single payer, The British government funded by the taxpayer. The NHS has a body called the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that decides which new treatments and drugs the NHS should pay for.

          Taking its lead from Britain’s Department of Transport — which has a cost-per-life-saved threshold for new road schemes of about $2.2 million per life, or about $45,000 per life year gained — NICE rarely approves a drug or treatment that costs more than $45,000 per life year gained. In short, NICE does not want the NHS to spend more than $45,000 to extend a citizen’s life by one year. So imagine your loved one needing treatment but realizing the ‘Citizen Councils” start to assist in sorting through ethical issues.

          In a NYT article published July 24, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/world/europe/25britain.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
          LONDON — Perhaps the only consistent thing about Britain’s socialized health care system is that it is in a perpetual state of flux, its structure constantly changing as governments search for the elusive formula that will deliver the best care for the cheapest price while costs and demand escalate.

          In Time Magazines August 18 issue, “Is Britain’s Health-Care System Really That Bad?” caught my attention. http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1916570,00.html

          The current lack of adequate nursing staff, cuts to elder care budgets and a rise in immigrant populations are a few of the factors that have exacerbated the problem.
          http://www.abqjournal.com/253096/opinion/britains-health-care-horrors-should-be-a-warning-for-us.html

          Sizing up the world’s biggest employers and compiling a list of the top 10, the NHS is revealed to be the fifth largest, with 1.7 million workers across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17429786

          Forget about how the perception of “FREE” anything means to people, the reality is that nothing is free when the books are opened and the spine is cracked, so to speak.

          I am not interested in subsidizing anyone’s need for a tummy tuck, nose job or male/female enchantments and if they personally feel that would assist them in obtaining a better opportunity as a pole dancer, smell tester or Sports Illustrated figure, they really the only one to capitalize on it and they should be the sole one to pay for it. After all, what they feel is an improvement on or in their life does not equate to a positive change in my life.

          My personal opinion, I want to keep my HSA. I pay myr own way through pre-taxed dollars after your regulated deductible has been met.

        • Capitalist Pig says:

          Hi bw:

          Just wondering you thoughts on the below. Thanks

          On Thursday, the government’s official Obamacare Facebook page was riddled with people expressing sticker shock over the government’s high cost premiums after struggling for hours to wade through the technical failures vexing Obamacare exchanges all across the country.

          “I am so disappointed,” wrote one woman. “These prices are outrageous and there are huge deductibles. No one can afford this!” The comment received 169 “likes.”

          “There is NO WAY I can afford it,” said one commenter after using the Kaiser Subsidy Calculator. “Heck right now I couldn’t afford an extra 10$ [sic] a month…and oh apparently I make to [sic] much at 8.55/hour to get subsidies.”

          Another person shared a link found on the federal government’s main Obamacare page listing premium estimates for small business employers:

          The information is not very complete as I don’t see anything about deductible or other detailed info, but it does given an actual price as to the “Premium.” It is VERY SCARY!! For example, my insurance plan right now for my spouse and I costs $545 a month with 100% coverage after my $2500 deductible. We are both 32 years old. When I looked at this site for 80% coverage it says it will be $954.78 a month!!!! So compare my old Plan: 100% coverage for $545 a month To New Plan: 80% Coverage for $945 a month. This is only only an estimate but it is VERY Scary for me to see this kind of increase in rates and reduction in benefits!

          A single mother of two said she is in school and working full-time while living “75% below the poverty level.” She said she was shocked to learn she did not qualify for a healthcare subsidy. “Are you F’ing kidding me????” she wrote on the government’s Obamacare Facebook page. “Where the HELL am I supposed to get $3,000 more a year to pay for this ‘bronze’ health insurance plan!?!??? And I DO NOT EVEN WANT INSURANCE to begin with!! This is frightening,” she wrote.

          Amid scores of comments expressing frustration with technical failures, one woman said she is “just amazed you could even get to the point of seeing pricing” and that she had been trying to access the system for three days to no avail.

          Obamacare sticker shock will not affect millions of low-income Americans; a New York Times analysis published on Wednesday found that Obamacare “will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help.”

          Obamacare will cost taxpayers an estimated $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years.

          http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/10/03/Obamacare-Facebook-Erupts-With-Citizen-Sticker-Shock

  84. bw says:

    MM:

    Another example of an inept government program.

    Reminds one of how the Elgin City Council works.

  85. pleased says:

    Elgin Gov. dropped us down this hole a long time ago in the name of “WHAT HAVE YOU GOT FOR ME?” [ nice little pensions, help their rich buddies ?] How about that ad in Mexico? “COME TO ELGIN” Thats what will make us prosper..NOT! The whole Elgin ,’dilema’, could be resolved simply and very inexpensively. If the high ups could climb down here. Stop hireing out of town players. QUIT THROWING MONEY AT IT! The answer was right under your noses. I’m afraid it could be too late for anything but a Detroit syndrome. [ARE NONE OF YOU ENTERTAINERS ?] OH and, Come on people didn’t you get what you voted for? [All my love, ME]