Cortland’s Waste Treatment Lagoons are Near Full

I raised my concerns last year about Cortland’s ability to povide sanitary service to the new school. Here’s an update from attending DeKalb Sanitary Board Meetings.

Cortland’s sewage treatment lagoons are nearly topping over. They haven’t been able to spray irrigate yet because of wet conditions. You might be able to see it on google earth satellite. They don’t have enough irrigation acres. They are seeking a new agreement with DeK San to have them treat 62% of their wastewater from the existing Pine St. lift station.

With more rain in June they are getting desperate. They can only irrigate when the water table is at least 4 ft down & not when the ground is frozen. They tried to discharge into a drainage ditch but the IEPA refered them to DSD. No agreement has been signed. Continue reading Cortland’s Waste Treatment Lagoons are Near Full

SE Side Would Bear Brunt of Firefighter Layoffs

Somewhere in the pile of creative thinking known as “the blogs” it was suggested that, if three firefighters should really be laid off, perhaps the fire station closest to campus (#3) could be closed during the summer session when most of NIU is gone.

Though I don’t think I wrote this down anywhere, it’s been clear to me from the start — and confirmed today — that if a station were to close due to layoffs, it would be Station 2 on South 7th Street. Continue reading SE Side Would Bear Brunt of Firefighter Layoffs

Corrupt Illinois Politicians vs. the Sicilian Mafia

The Chicago Tribune continues to follow the admissions scandal at the University of Illinois. Columnist John Kass wrote a piece and in the comments section was this gem:

“Voice of reason
Hammond, IN
7 hrs ago

John, I have read your articles comparing the corrupt “pols” to the Outfit. I googled Mafia and found an interesting article that printed the Mafia’s 10 Commandments.
“In November 2007 Sicilian police reported to have found a list of “Ten Commandments” in the hideout of mafia boss Salvatore Lo Piccolo. They are thought to be guidelines on how to be a good, respectful and honorable mafioso.
1. No one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.
2. Never look at the wives of friends.
3. Never be seen with cops.
4. Don’t go to pubs and clubs.
5. Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty – even if your wife is about to give birth.
6. Appointments must absolutely be respected.
7. Wives must be treated with respect.
8. When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth/
9. Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.
10. People who can’t be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t hold to moral values.

After reading this I don’t believe the “pols” have enough character to be in the Mafia.”

Dominoes

I wish I knew what this meant:

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 813 met Wednesday evening, and members voted unanimously to uphold their contract, Local President Mike Taylor said. That means the union has rejected cost reductions – and now three members face layoffs.

“The membership felt that without a guarantee of no layoffs, then we would honor the contract,” Taylor said.

I thought that was the whole point: wage freeze for one year equals no layoffs for one year? Continue reading Dominoes

City of DeKalb to Honor Contracts When It Feels Like It

Last night I once again spent four hours in Bizzaro World. It was very hot inside and about the same hot outside, yet the exit from the city council meeting felt like a breath of fresh air.

Well, it did until a certain city official tracked me down as we stood outside in little groups to process what had happened. He wanted to take me to task for “not providing context” to my gym membership figures when I spoke at the last council meeting. Seems he felt I should have gone into detail about which portion comes from payroll deduction vs. how much from the city, etc.

[rant on] Continue reading City of DeKalb to Honor Contracts When It Feels Like It

Firefighters Rally Tomorrow

The DeKalb firefighters’ union, IAFF Local #1236, is putting out the word to their brethren in Aurora and Bolingbrook to join them in a rally preceding the Council meeting tomorrow evening.

The members of DeKalb L-1236 need your help!! The city council is planning a vote at their meeting on June 22 concerning citywide layoffs, including Fire Fighters. These layoffs are not justified and are meant to build the “reserve fund” for the city, and are based on “doomsday” type projections.

Continue reading Firefighters Rally Tomorrow

Breakfast and FOIA with the Attorney General

Attorney General Lisa Madigan gave an overview of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and proposed changes at a breakfast by the Better Government Association.
Better Government Association logo

The room in the Union League of Chicago was a little dark, perhaps because bright lights would not be friendly to the artwork on the walls. None of my pictures came out very well; I meant this picture to be a test with the lighting. The proposed changes appear in SB 189 and await the signature of Governor Pat Quinn. See the bottom of this article for how to find the text of the bill: http://www.daily-chronicle.com/articles/2009/06/05/16359524/

This is my summary of the handout “Key Components of Transparency Legislation Senate Bill 189” provided by the Office of the Illinois Attorney General on what the bill proposes:

Give the Attorney General’s Office the authority to assign fines for non-compliance
Create a process for FOIA requests, $2,500 to $5,000
Create an environment with the presumption of transparency
Requires that a response be given within five business days instead of seven
Establishes a Public Access Counselor in the Attorney General’s office to determine if documents should be released under FOIA or denied
The Public Access Counselor would also assist in determining if a public body violated the Open Meetings Act
Makes exemptions to FOIA more clear
Limits the charge on copy costs to the first 50 pages free and $.15 per page thereafter
If a citizen sues to get FOIA access, and wins, attorney fees will be reimbursed
Requires annual FOIA and Open Meetings Act training

A panel of speakers discussed the merits of the bill and any flaws. Continue reading Breakfast and FOIA with the Attorney General

Rally for Human Services Tomorrow

DeKalb Community Coordinated Child Care (4C) is planning a rally at Rep. Bob Pritchard’s office Thursday (tomorrow) at noon. The reason: social service agencies expect to be funded by the state this coming fiscal year at half the usual levels.

If this happens, agencies such as Children’s Learning Center daycare, which serves many low-income families with subsidized childcare, would have to close its doors. This would affect the livelihoods and well-being of hundreds of families.

Now, I’ve never visited Rep. Pritchard in his local office because he is just so very good about responding to e-mail, but I see it is listed as being at 2600 DeKalb Avenue in Sycamore–oh! I do believe that’s also where the DeKalb County Community Foundation is headquartered.