City Barbs Turned 8 this Month

That’s probably, what, 24 in blog years?

The actual anniversary date was November 6 but I’ve been distracted by other business. Luckily it’s Friday so I can hoist one to celebrate Joe’s creation and the work of the original Internet Research Commandos. Hope you will, too.

I’ve also cleaned house a bit. (Yes, sadly, that’s my current idea of a good time.) Among other things I’ve developed a Policies page and have eliminated links to blogs that haven’t provided new content for a year or more.

If you have a blog you’d like to link under Local Voices or you’d like to blog here, use the contact form below. Read the rest of this entry

First off, I want to follow up on the question of repealing home rule in Mt. Vernon. Voters defeated the challenge, meaning home rule is retained. High profile business backers, a core group of “Vote No” volunteers plus use of social media are credited with the success.

While the Mt. Vernon pro-home rule group won with 57% of the vote, there was a veritable smackdown by 70% of voters of the proposition to make the city clerk’s office in DeKalb an appointed one. It’s difficult not to look at this as a referendum on city administration, and on the performance of city manager Mark Biernacki in particular. Let him laugh at the suggestion that the ballot question was an attempted power grab — that doesn’t make it untrue.

With the retention of an elected city clerk, congenitally optimistic residents like me can hope for a real watchdog in the position.

Lastly, I’d like to note that City Barbs is now seven years old.

Treat this as an open thread if you like. Name yer topic.

We’re doing a brisk business today in searches for Corn Fest postings, particularly financial reports. Hitting the Corn Fest tag will present them in a pleasing reverse chronology for you. Enjoy!

Posts Temporarily Pulled

Two popular recent posts, “DeKalb’s Pension Funding Progress” and “Updated Year-Over-Year Revenue Tracking” have been pulled from the lineup because they’ve been messing up a blog feed. Once I figure out the problem and fix it, I’ll republish them.

One potential cause of a drop in unemployment is a declining labor force. In this case women are dropping out of the labor force in significant numbers — and not household “second earners,” either.

I quite recently discovered CEPR Blog and am getting a lot out of it, so have added it to the Public Policy blogroll.

A certain person has suggested I “correct” my posting called Sampling of Electric Bills, Old DHS and New, on the grounds that I got it wrong about why District 428 can’t pay its bills.

On the contrary, no correction is needed. Due to the small sample size and obvious adjustments made to one of the bills, I took pains NOT TO come to any conclusions.

No, the figures for the June charges and balance due for the new DHS were not accidentally transposed! There were significant downward adjustments made on that bill.

That is one reason why I am making no claims about the bill charges being particularly representative.

Yes, I did also say that I found the unpaid balances startling, but AGAIN: I drew no conclusion from it.

If this person were a member in good standing of the City Barbs community, I would invite him to post the ADDITIONAL information he’s found. Unfortunately, he was banned for life years ago and this kind of thing reinforces the decision.

Site News: We’re Six

Oops, I missed City Barbs’ anniversary! We turned six on November 6.

Though it’s usually my name on the byline, this is more a community blog than most ever realize. Thanks to those who have mentored, visited, contributed articles, commented, phoned with tips and e-mailed suggestions.

Thanks also to site founder Joe and to my husband, who gave me a nudge at the right moment.

And to Mac McIntyre, who always has advice when I ask for it (and sometimes when I don’t).

This is post number 905.

Interesting Search Terms

Here are a few of the search terms people have used recently that led them to the citybarbs blog. Thought you might enjoy.

“hunted houses”

“universal rest group dekalb”

“i lost minutes for a meeting”

“1971, that was a bad year for libraries”

“pig poop is black”

People also wanted to see firefighters saving cats, find out which non-home ruled municipality uses hotel tax to pay police salaries (so do I, now) and seek mybigblackbuddy.com.

Each month, visitors also still come to read about Henry Ford’s soybean suit and the loss of Milan Krpan.

City Barbs Turns 5

Most blogs don’t last a year, but we’ve been here five as of today, tallying over 700 posts and nearly 4,000 comments.

Many thanks to CB contributors, whether you write for us or read us or send background, tips and juicy rumors to follow!

New Category: Local Voices

Here’s a little meta to accompany morning coffee. I’ve separated out the “Blogroll” category so that statewide or national watchdogs and policy wonks now reside under the “good government” heading and the truly local sites and blogs under “Local Voices.” Today I welcome Dan Kenney’s issues blog, Prairie Voice. Let me know in comments if a local gem has escaped my notice!