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July open thread

2 July 2015 Elgin Illinois 17 Comments

Open thread for July 2015. Have a nice discussion.

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17 Responses to “July open thread”

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  1. Dan Miller says:

    View a save the date postcard for the 34th Annual Historic House Tour:

    • RS says:

      I wonder how you guys manage to do everything you do without being funded by the city or having your own taxing district :)

      Does DNA really do more than you guys do?

      • Dan Miller says:

        DNA does do a lot more than we do. Thanks for he compliment. We have a core of about ten volunteers that do the housewalk every year.

      • RS says:

        Look what I dug up in an old post.

        The GPA does such great work. It would be nice to see them have a permanent home (how about the one above?) and a full-time staff member so they can qualify for grants that require it.

        The permanent home of the GPA would also double as a museum and resource center for people who want to learn more about historic house preservation, and more specifically how they could go about the process of rehabbing their own homes or other property they have their eyes on. There could be exhibits and staff or volunteers can act as informal consultants to people looking to restore their historic homes. I think it would be a very important community resource.

        One side benefit is that they can reduce neighborhood density by converting one huge house that has a half dozen renters into an office/museum. The house would also be an important standardbearer throughout the neighborhood and city, representing the potential beauty of each historic home.

        And imagine how much more inspiring it would be to hold GPA meetings in a grand historic house rather than Elgin High. I hope to see this happen in the coming years.


  2. One Vote says:

    Did you see the Herald article about the Elgin subsidy of the Tourism Bureau where the Director gets $118K a year?

    Who makes that kind of money around here? And she’s got no data to show for it.

    I know some non-profit directors in Elgin making $35K a year and working like dogs for a few thousand dollars from the city. And they provide reports and audits every year just to be considered.

    How do you pay these groups $200K a year for nothing?


    • RS says:

      The Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative organization that tracks and analyzes government spending, commissioned the report on salaries of leaders at nonprofit organizations around the state that receive tax subsidies. Emily Rose, the institute’s vice president of development, said it’s important to analyze and track this type of spending, especially when state funding is becoming increasingly limited.

      The shocking thing is that most of this pay information is or has been secret. For example we still don’t know what the Elgin Symphony Orchestra pays its music director, despite the considerable funds given to the organization by the City. This is their idea of an annual report:


      Compare that to a corporation’s 10-K statement or even the statement of a well-run nonprofit. And yet organizations like this receive a lot of public money and have very little accountability. (We should note that in the case of the ESO an industry blog has pointed out their habitual willful omission of pay information on their Form 990. Apparently the ESO doesn’t believe it has any “key employees.”)

      The same goes for religious organizations like the Church of Scientology which is completely opaque and yet enjoys tax-free status.

      • RS says:

        And of course Stickling Foundation is about to walk away with a million dollars handed to it on a platter by Elgin bureaucrats. Remember how Stickling Foundation refused to allow the city to even take a look at its books in exchange for a bailout of the Tower Building? And now, wow, an organization that apparently hasn’t filed a Form 990 since the year 2009 is going to get a million bucks in exchange for a money pit.

    • Fred F Stone says:

      “A dollar more spent by the city on marketing today generates two dollars back in city tax revenues within nine months,” he told reporters at the time. “Not many investments double in nine months.” Bruce Rauner 2013
      - See more at: http://www.sportsdestinations.com/destinations/illinois/budget-cuts-threatening-chicago-cvb-including-spor-9607#.dpuf0

      • One Vote says:

        Freddie, do you know ANYONE who considers Elgin a destination?
        I forget, the Bandits play here. Um, strike that.
        And exactly how much advertising has come out of Elgin’s Tourism office?
        Maybe she did that campaign encouraging people to buy the old houses. No. That was someone else.
        I’ve seen her booklets. They are very slick. Somebody’s getting rich on her printing contract…but who actually SEES them? And how many real HOTELS do we have? Two…maybe.

        • Fred F Stone says:

          Not sure if you know the area one vote but there are 4 at 31 and 90 and a couple more at randall and 90
          Its also called the Elgin “area” cvb so the dundees sleepy hollow and other towns also contribute so make that 5 at 31 and 90
          the bandits havent been here since 2010 and the dumb call to bring them here happened back in 2007 (might be time to move on) but they came here because of the sports complex it is the biggest draw in Elgin filling hotel rooms during its tourney weekends so you are wrong there is a reason to come elgin
          not just for the forward thinkers we are blessed with

          • One Vote says:

            I guess one man’s motel is another man’s hotel, big spender.
            And the Elgin “Area” Chamber is another demographic ruse to disguise what Elgin has become.

            When Sleepy Hollow, West Dundee and Saint Charles take over paying that babe’s salary, give me a call.

          • Fred F Stone says:

            Whats your number?? There are 10 other towns along with Elgin that pay her salary

            the other CVB and this one too in the Daily Herald article are mostly funded with hotel and motel taxes (the state doesnt care if your a big spender or not) its 50% of 1/3 of what is now 6% going to the local CVB

  3. RS says:


    Though Krishnamoorthi and Cullerton are the only declared Democratic candidates, Democratic state Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin has said he’s considering a run and created a committee that raised $41,675 during the second quarter.

    Noland could not be reached for comment on the status of his decision to run.

  4. RS says:


    Meanwhile, the city is starting conversations with community entities about their willingness to jointly develop the 90 acres for additional sports fields — especially with synthetic turf — and maybe an indoor sports facility, Reopelle said.

    For example, Elgin Community College has “unmet facility needs,” and the Elgin Youth Football League needs more football fields, he said.

    Councilwoman Rose Martinez said she supports plans to expand the Sports Complex. “It’s really about time we have something indoor and something that’s big,” she said. “We should be the sports mecca in this area.”

    The city has nearly $780,0000 in tax-increment financing funds — property tax money generated diverted from local governments to help with redevelopment — that had been set aside when John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc., the parent company of Fisher nuts, had planned to build its headquarters on those 90 acres, Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal said.

    There are three empty buildings on the site — an office building, an 1880 horse barn, and a laundry building designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg, who also designed Marina City in Chicago — that were used by the nearby Elgin Mental Health Center, the original owner of the 90 acres.

    Yay. Please please please preserve the Goldberg laundry building! An indoor recreation facility of some kind would be awesome. The laundry building is an architectural attraction. Turn it into a skatepark or something, or even just a basic facility that can host the New Wave Art Salon. Whatever the solution it needs to be incorporated into the city fabric instead of being corralled off with the mental center, on the wrong side of the fence.

    I think this could also be an opportunity to put in a large community garden. The horse barn might be incorporated into that somehow. Think of the expansive community gardens at Primrose Farm in St. Charles. We should be able to do something similar and it would be very accessible once a road to Rte 31 is opened up.

    • paul says:

      “put in a large community garden”

      And put the comrades to work building a trolley so the citizens can get to the communist paradise where we can ALL grow our own food. We’ll put those nasty capitalist farmers out of business, heheheh!

  5. Jimmy McGill says:

    Will see y’all at the Elgin Fringe Fest.

  6. RS says:


    State Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park says he’ll drop his bid for Congress in 2016 and run for re-election to the Illinois Senate instead.

    His exit from the race leaves businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg and fellow state Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin as Democratic candidates for the seat..

    Krishnamoorthi has led early fundraising, pulling in $621,041 to Cullerton’s $134,761 in the second quarter of the year. Noland reported raising about $64,516.

    What do you guys think, does this help or hurt Noland? Would he have done better in a 3-way race?