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June open thread

21 June 2015 Elgin Illinois 18 Comments

June 2015 open thread

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18 Responses to “June open thread”

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  1. RS says:

    Slight update I guess on the 8th district race. Still not entirely clear to me if Noland is in but it kind of sounds like it, which is awesome!


    A May 19 Ogden & Fry poll of 575 likely 2016 Democratic primary voters commissioned by The Illinois Observer finds that 64.7% are undecided between State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), who announced his candidacy a few weeks ago, and businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who is taking a second run at the seat after being thumped by Duckworth in 2012.

    For voters with an opinion, Cullerton leads 18.1% to 17.2%.


    The third candidate—he says he will declare formally by mid-July—is state Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin. An attorney, 54, Noland also was a medic, in the Navy and Marine Corps, and appears to be the most populist of the three. “I wish Hillary Clinton well. But I like what I hear from Bernie Sanders,” he says, referring to the Democratic presidential contest.

    Noland sponsored legislation to boost the state’s minimum wage, would like to extend the Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line from O’Hare all the way to Rockford and sponsored the law that allows voters to recall an Illinois governor. “Cullerton has street smarts, and Raja graduated from Princeton and Harvard. This job takes both practical and book learning,” he says.

    Neither Cullerton nor Noland has the wallet or long list of big-name backers that Krishnamoorthi does, at least not yet. But each says he has raised more than $100,000 so far. Cullerton points to backing from some mayors and has retained well-known pollster Anzalone Liszt Grove Research.

    • Jimmy McGill says:

      FYI - Raja is not a closer.
      A 3 way race is anyone’s ballgame.
      The rap on Tom us that he pulled Republican ballots in the past.

    • RS says:

      It will be competitive and exciting. As will be the race for the senate seat Noland will vacate.

      John Steffen for state senate!

  2. RS says:


    Local governments can establish SSAs, or geographically limited taxing districts, with the purpose of delivering services — in this case, services provided by the neighborhood association — to that area. The process entails at least one public hearing and a majority vote by the city council. The tax money would be collected by the city and disbursed to the Downtown Neighborhood Association.

    However, the special service taxing areas cannot be created if an opposing petition is submitted with signatures of at least 51 percent of registered voters residing in the proposed area and at least 51 percent of property owners in the area, officials said. That has to happen within 60 days of the public hearing.

    OK, but isn’t this going to make the downtown a less attractive place to own property? Not sure people are going to be willing to pay the DNA premium to live downtown. Just the Spring Street parking deck already costs them an extra $1000 a year…

    The downtown is not a normal neighborhood. It serves the entire city, therefore the costs should be spread across the entire city. I see why they want to do this (so their funding is not subject to debate every year), but it disincentivizes living and investing in the downtown.

    • What were they thinking says:

      I don’t think many downtown businesses could identify any value they get from the DNA. And on the other hand, I don’t think the DNA could identify any successes they have had (on their own) about bringing any new businesses to the downtown. The farmers market is nice, but that is a seasonal business that is self contained and located far from the center city. And the parade brings people downtown, on a day when all the businesses are closed for the holiday! Just what has the DNA been doing the last fifteen years that has made the downtown a better place?

      • RS says:

        It’s hard to make a case that they do enough to justify their own tax district and their perpetuation as a quasi-government body. I’m amazed that people would support creating a new tax district. I mean what’s next? A tax district for the Boys & Girls Club? Community Crisis Center? Everybody can make a case that they provide an essential service.

        The fact is, DNA should never have turned into something with a full-time staff. It should always have been like any other neighborhood organization made up of volunteers. Now it’s on the verge of becoming another level of government bureaucracy that exists just to put some people on the public payroll.

        I feel sorry for the people downtown who are going to be taxed to death.

  3. Chuck Keysor says:

    RS: I must ask,,,,,,, you suggested you have support for John Steffen running for State Senate. And you express concern/disappointment/disapproval over the funding of DNA….. John Steffen was a founder of the DNA, and has supported it at all turns, including funding it with the ill-fated business license, and then through the creation of the special taxing district.

    John Steffen is a nice man, but why support someone to run for Senate, when you may have fundamental disagreements with his approach the role of government?

    This is a key aspect of my efforts in local politics, to find out where people stand on important matters of governance. And in the most recent council election, John Steffen would not even bother to read, let alone complete a detailed questionnaire showing where he stands on local tax and spend issues. Why would you want to support someone who not only has views fundamentally different than your own, but who also won’t even bother to make an effort to commit his views in writing?


    • RS says:

      Well I think it’s certain that Noland will try to anoint his own successor. It could be Cristina Castro, It could be Veronica Noland. I really don’t know what the Democratic field looks like, but I think given all the possibilities for a Democratic nominee from Elgin, John Steffen is as decent a candidate as you’re going to find. I never said I would support him in a general election, where I have always voted Republican.

      • Jimmy McGill says:

        Don’t count out a State Representative who may want to move up.

        • RS says:

          I don’t think that happens too often, because it’s not a big jump. In the Illinois legislature, there are only twice as many reps as senators (unlike the US Congress), so going to the higher chamber doesn’t give you much more influence. The chief benefit there is not having to run for office as often. So I kind of doubt that she would be interested.

          I am wondering now who will run for senate on the Republican side…Toby Shaw? John Prigge?

          Chuck, any insight on this?

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            RS: I haven’t heard of anyone on the GOP side interested in running for the State Senate. And I have asked around, and no one I have asked has any inkling of who would run for State Senate.

            Certainly Jeff Meyer’s experience last year in the run for State Rep can not be ignored by anyone who may have otherwise been interested.


          • Jimmy McGill says:

            Shaw, Prigge & Meyer - are you kidding me?

            Even with Rauner’s millions, there’s no way they’ll be competitive.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Look, nobody said Shaw, Prigge, Meyer, Kaptain, or anyone else was running. So out of courtesy don’t laugh at people who aren’t even thinking of running, as they are innocent non-combatants! Chuck

          • RS says:

            I think Shaw and Prigge can be competitive in the senate race. There is no incumbent. That’s the big thing. There hasn’t been a race like this in years (since Noland vs Billie Roth), and despite whatever people tell you, a Republican can win this district. It does take some savvy, however, and a half-baked campaign is not going to work. But if someone is truly motivated and has a moderately sophisticated understanding of political campaigning, it is certainly doable.

          • Jimmy McGill says:

            ==There hasn’t been a race like this since Noland vs. Roth==

            Are you forgetting 2010?

          • RS says:

            If you’re talking about the Rauschenberger race that was a little different, yes, but still Noland was the incumbent.

            This is the first race in like a decade where there is no incumbent.

  4. RS says:


    CHICAGO, April 20, 2015 – Imagine downloading 25 songs in less than one second, or before you can even crank up the volume. Imagine loading your favorite HD movie in less than 36 seconds, a fraction of the time it takes to pick which movie to watch.

    It’s now a reality for qualifying residents and small businesses with today’s launch of U-verse with AT&T* GigaPower in parts of Elgin, Oswego, Plainfield, Skokie, Yorkville and surrounding communities located throughout the metro area. Additionally, AT&T has announced plans to expand the service to Chicago this summer.**


    Comcast announced Monday the addition of nearly six miles of fiber optic network to serve businesses in Elgin and South Elgin while also offering more than 7,000 Wi-Fi hot spots in the area, including more than 60 in outdoor locations.

    There are now two miles of fiber optic network in Elgin near Interstate 90 and Randall Road and four miles of network along Schneider Drive from Bowes Road south to Sundown Road in South Elgin that will give businesses who are Comcast customers the ability to access high-speed Internet up to 10 Gbps, the company said in a news release.

    “Proactive investments in our technology infrastructure will help Elgin compete at a regional, national and even international level, as well as help create good jobs and attract new companies that require access to high-speed, high-capacity data networks,” Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said in a news release.

    It’s good news, and I hope the city will stay on top of this and make sure that the downtown is covered one way or another.

  5. RS says:

    Please move all discussions to the July open thread