Expenditures of Distinction, July 2009

The check register in the latest City Council agenda packet has inspired nominations for the first Monthly Expenditures of Distinction Award.

Expenditures of Distinction — Disdain Division

  • $48.60 for Yards of Distinction award covers (p. 73)
  • $584.00 for Yards of Distinction signs and frames (p. 79)
  • YoD is a very strong contender. Not only is the expense itself a breathtaking extension of city government’s middle finger to struggling families, it has already cost more than Genoa’s skating rink.

    Expenditures of Distinction — Hall of Shame Division

  • $1754 in gym memberships (pp. 72, 77, 83)
  • $41.79 credit card finance charges (p. 76)
  • $39.00 credit card late fees (p. 77)
  • The Finance Office now omits the names of the employees & legislators who take advantage of the 50/50 wellness program gym benefit, even though I did not name Victor Wogen when I criticized the expenditures for a council member family of four during the budget hearings.

    Expenditures of Distinction — Sacred Cow Division

  • $965.60 for a gong and snare drum (p. 82)
  • $350.00 for sheet music (p. 74)
  • Expenditures of Distinction — Public Safety Siphon Division

  • $22,482.50 General Fund debt service (p. 92)
  • $314,962.50 TIF Fund debt service (p. 93)
  • $4,092.50 for outside legal services (p. 75)
  • The City of Sycamore pays $60,000 per year for all their routine legal services plus, if memory serves, $200 an hour for nonroutine tasks such as annexation agreements. The City of DeKalb budgeted $462,000 for its legal department in FY2009 (p. 55) and still required pricey outside help, in fact to the tune of about $16,000 just for the past six months (not including the usual administrative hearing fees).

    3 thoughts on “Expenditures of Distinction, July 2009”

    1. I counted and I have 22 awards and certificates in my house. Only three of them came with the frames. The frames should be dropped as an expense but keep the award. The expense could drop down to about $1.00 to $1.50 for a really nice certificate on nice parchment-like paper.

      The Municipal Band is good, and Dee Palmer should be considered a city treasure. I missed this year’s 4th of July concert because of the surgery, but it is easily the best ‘free’ family entertainment event in the city. I do not recall anyone ‘passing around a hat’ asking for donations the previous years but I bet if someone did that, they could easily support the expenses for new sheet music and a gong, with probably a lot left over to cover other expenses. The performer should have provided a snare drum him or herself. Nobody wants a gong in their own house. With free will donations, the Municipal Band could probably fund itself.

    2. The Muni Band budget is approaching $60,000 a year now. Its FY2010 budget is $5800 over 2008.

      In no way would I advocate getting rid of our band, but circumstances e.g. layoffs warrant a look at the way we fund it. I like your idea about free-will donations by actual users. This is how Shabbona (at least in part) funds its annual 4th of July fireworks, each carload of visitors sticking a little something into a fire fighter’s proffered boot!

    3. I personally feel that the DeKalb Municipal Band is one of the events that could be considered entertainment for the community. I’m sure part of that $60,000.00 is for the fireworks displayed at the first concert of the year and I would think also for the the last.

      Why is the DeKalb Municipal Band not part of the DeKalb Park District? The band shell is at Hopkins Park. The crowds utilize Park District amenities when they come to listen to Dee and the Gang.

      The Park District should be able to budget for this and would do a better job with holding the hat out for donations. The city council should be thinking about life and safety issues not skating rinks or municipal bands.

      I do fully support the DeKalb Municipal Band but I do believe corporate sponsorships could be sold for a band that has been a very big and important part of this community for years.

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