Archive for the ‘ Honor Roll ’ Category

*Update: Final list of candidates is here.*

In the article, “DeKalb County Certifies Preliminary Ballot,” the county clerk stated that there are about six people who have filed as write-in candidates in April’s Consolidated Election so far. As of 9:30 a.m. today there were indeed exactly six:

  • Michael Franckowiak – Genoa Park Board
  • Veronica Bruhl – Kaneland Board of Education
  • Rick Goken – Shabbona Township Trustee
  • Virginia E. Toppe – Malta Library Trustee
  • Charles G. Rose – DeKalb Regional Board of Education
  • Antonio C. Amaya – Genoa Park Board
  • We could see additional declarations of write-in campaigns this week because the deadline is Thursday, after which the final list of candidates will be posted at dekalbclerk.com.

    While I’m at it I’d like to recognize John Acardo and the Office of the DeKalb County Clerk & Recorder for their high standards of professionalism and customer service. Nobody answers requests for information faster than they do, the communication is very good and I like how I am treated.

    DeKalb County put its new website online this week.

    The county says the overhaul was not made in response to the Illinois Policy Institute’s recent grade of D-, but has been in the works for about a year.

    DeKalb County has put lots online for quite some time, but finding it or even getting a real sense of what all is there could be a problem. Read the rest of this entry

    Website Transparency Standouts

    The Illinois Policy Institute recently re-tested government website transparency in DuPage County’s York Township and released results last week.

    Dubbed “The Local Transparency Project,” grades are based on the availability to the public of vital community information such as public meeting schedules, government employee salaries and tax rates. Since the project was launched by the Institute in February 2010, more than 160 government entities have been graded.

    The government entities that scored above 80 percent were: DuPage County, Elmhurst School District 205, DuPage High School District 88 and the municipalities of Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Downers Grove and Lombard. The village of Lombard, in fact, maintained a score of 100 percent that initially awarded in May 2012.

    Almost all of the websites gained points the second time around, and the top sites made such improvement as to suggest conscious responses to the first test.

    And it’s not just about uploading content, but organizing it in such a way that it is easy to find.

    The Village of Lombard website is tops for several reasons. Redundancy is one. For example, you can get to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) information and forms from both the “How Do I…?” menu on the front page, and via the “Online Forms by Department” menu. An “A-Z” index is also available, which is how I found out the village offers extra goodies for residents, such as a directory of local contractors who meet village requirements for insurance and so on. Read the rest of this entry

    Rockford Register Star asked the question: When it comes to municipal electrical aggregation, what’s in it for the city?

    City brokers deal with other municipalities, lands nearly $20 million in savings for area customers, hands over thousands of accounts and gets nothing in return?

    Rockford’s Central Services Manager Carrie Eklund says that’s exactly what the city did when it decided to waive an administrative fee, a small amount that would be added onto everyone’s bill and funneled back to the city.

    The state’s new electrical aggregation law allows cities to do it, Eklund said, and some have. But not Rockford.

    “We are getting no compensation from this whatsoever,” she said. “The option was there, and we chose not to use it. We wanted to pass along all of the savings to our residents and small businesses.”

    “Fee?” We need to get our terms straight. Read the rest of this entry

    Back in February I alerted you to the resignation of the mayor of Alorton, because it seemed the investigation and scandal had something to do with Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

    Turns out it had little if anything to do with TIF and a lot to do with shakedowns at traffic stops.

    Now Alorton is back in the news due to the actions of its new mayor, whom the St. Clair County state’s attorney has been trying to remove from office. Read the rest of this entry

    Charity Navigator loves it some “top 10″ lists, among them a listing of “10 Slam-Dunk Charities” that the organization rates tops for sound financial management and for having privacy policies in place. Northern Illinois Food Bank has earned a place on this list. Congrats!

    It has been brought to my attention that the Town Council of Fairfax, California, follows a meeting protocol that is printed on every regular meeting agenda and recited at each meeting as faithfully as the Pledge of Allegiance. Long story short, a Fairfax Council member recently viewed portions of a DeKalb City Council meeting on YouTube and I ended up with a copy of the Fairfax agenda for the July 7 meeting as a result.

    MEETING PROTOCOL

    The Mayor shall maintain order at the meetings in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order and the Council has a responsibility to be a model of respectful behavior in order to encourage community participation and citizen input at Council meetings. The Council and the audience are expected to refrain from using profane language and/or ridiculing the character or motives of council members, staff, or members of the public and to maintain the standards of tolerance and civility. Read the rest of this entry

    For Genoa

    Genoa is getting many things right, putting community togetherness, generous donations, and volunteering as priorities. This is for Genoa: Read the rest of this entry

    In 2004 — just about the zenith of the “greed is good” decades-long Wall Street feeding frenzy — Cambridge economist Noreen Hertz published The Debt Threat: How debt is destroying the developing world…and threatening us all. Here’s a great article about her experiences. Since the early 90s she’s been often ignored and sometimes attacked for her views that the markets were unsustainable, and that one of the major factors in unsustainability is inequality. Ignored, that is, until everything crashed last year.

    Hertz saw the financial meltdown as not only a failure of the laissez-faire market, but also — and more important — a failure in thinking. “People either ignored the unknowable or purposely disregarded the facts,” she says. Read the rest of this entry

    Gallagher’s Got Some News

    [Update 11/4: The Plan Commission closed the public hearing last Wednesday but will consider the matter at its next meeting, which they've reset to November 18 to avoid meeting on Veterans Day. Says the city's acting planner Sue Guio:

    A primary reason for postponing action was to allow Staff time to research whether the product to be stored is considered a raw material. The definition will determine the appropriateness of this as a special use in a residential zoning district. Also, the postponement will allow the Sanitary District time to prepare responses to some of the questions that were brought up during the meeting by both residents and Commissioners.

    H/T B.G.]

    A quick check of the City of DeKalb’s website reveals that none of the aldermen are using their ward pages. Gallagher, at least, links his outside website there — a tad irritating to make us take the extra step, but it’s something — and, lo and behold, he’s got some actual news: “Recycled Dewatered Sludge Facility.”

    The DeKalb Sanitary District is a requesting a Special Use Permit to construct a facility (100′ wide x 275′ long x 30′ high) to hold sludge that will be used as agricultural fertilizer (biosolids).

    The meeting to discuss this is tonight Wednesday (10/28/09) at 7:00pm at City Hall.

    Constituents, land owners, and business owners who live/work/own near I-88 and Annie Glidden Road that I have spoken to…only just received the info from the Community Development Department on Monday, Oct 26…due to a mailing error. Read the rest of this entry