Politics, Policy & Opinion in DeKalb, Illinois, USA
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Comment by Steve Berg on May 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm
It looks like the city is really desperate for revenues. When I was a city administrator, my council insisted on annexing a row of houses and a horse farm. I objected, as did the aldermen from the ward they would be brought into, but was ordered to proceed. It was a really bad deal for the taxpayers on that street. I suspect that it will be the same way for these folks. When you have to force people into your municipality, it says a lot about how well you are running it.
Comment by Kay Shelton on May 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm
I hope people pay attention to the letter they receive and notice that it says per installment, not for the full year. That is like taking one can of soda, calling it two servings, and then putting the calories per serving on it.
The map of DeKalb shows some very strange borders for what is and what is not annexed, almost like a gerrymandered voting district in say Chicago.
Comment by yinn on May 20, 2010 at 6:54 am
Fairview is very strange when it comes to boundaries because each time a subdivision was built (also Nestle) the folks whose properties abut the new neighborhoods were asked if they wanted to be annexed, too, so it really is a patchwork.
I think the boundary pattern might be working against the unannexed neighbors in this case, because a “territory” can only be annexed by force if it is surrounded by incorporated property. So the city takes them either individually or in little strips, if I’m reading the code right.
Why would they create so many new, angry voters for a measly $10,000. Is it desperation? The city always (except for what goes into TIF funds) puts property tax into the pension funds. The Fire fund in particular is running short, by about $266,000 annually. This new tax revenue wouldn’t help much.
What WOULD help is to throw this year’s TIF “surplus” property tax of $206,000 into the pension instead of into the General Fund, as the proposed budget does.
But I digress. My working hypothesis right now — just a hypothesis! I’ve tested nothing yet — is that there are key properties on Fairview which, when annexed, would allow a Round 2 of annexations down S. 4th toward Gurler. Each of those homes is backed by Park District land, railroad, or 3M property. Round 3 might be Gurler itself, heading west (there are a few unincorporated properties left along there).
Comment by yinn on May 20, 2010 at 7:38 am
Taking my speculation a bit further, I guess the school district would eventually be the real winner here revenue-wise if they proceed with the S. 4th TIF district idea.
Comment by Ivan Krpan on May 20, 2010 at 8:27 am
I would think that they would do all of this in one sweeping motion. Houses out on N. 1st Street along with the Kishwaukee Country Club and those homes on Greenwood as you pass the Castle Bank on 23 and Greenwood. Why are they just picking on one area? If they are going to do it do them all or none at all.
Personally, many of these people purchased their homes knowing they weren’t part of the city annexation and I believe that many would like to stay that way, I surely would so let them be. The city should become much more focused on better management of money not where they can find a new source to misspend also.
As Steve Berg mentioned above, this is really showing the desperation of this city administration and yes they should consider each one to be a hostile vote if the INVOLUNTARY ANNEXATION were to occur.
Comment by yinn on May 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Ivan’s got a great point. Why just pick on the south side? Now that they are saying in the paper that it’s mostly a matter of fairness, let’s hear the full rationale and if it’s legitimate, develop a city-wide policy for when we do these things.
And another thing: Why do they keep talking about it’s being an idea of Gallagher’s and “others.” Who are the others and why are they being so shy?
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