Friday, September 19, 2014

9-18-2014 UPDATE on Plote CASE

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The above is taken from:  http://www.judici.com/courts/cases/case_history.jsp?court=IL004015J&ocl=IL004015J,2014CH170,IL004015JL2014CH170D1 This reference should also update the reader concerning current status.

If you want a history of the case and its background see the August 29, 2014 Boone County Journal; portions of which are shown below.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Trend Alert: Industries in Desperate Need of Skilled Employees

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Worldwide, it is estimated that 69 percent of employers reported having difficulty recruiting the qualified workers they are looking for. At the same time, many countries still face high unemployment.

Besides the economic recessions in different regions, the situation was made worse by the fact that many corporations simply stopped training their people. In misguided attempts to reduce expenses, countless  organizations literally eliminated their training functions. However, as we have highlighted in this publication so often, the real problem is that most countries are just failing to produce workers with the right skills.

In the United States alone, more than 30 million people are unemployed, under-employed, or have given up on looking for a job. As we forecast in our book titled "Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People", there is already a workforce crisis in the US. This crisis is most acute in four industries: Healthcare,
Information Technology (IT), Aerospace, and Manufacturing.

Highlighted by Dr. Edward Gordon in his new book "Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis",these four industries are feeling/will feel the most pain now and moving into the near-term future.

Healthcare. We currently have urgent needs for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, therapists, dentists, "and just about anyone who is trained in a broad array of healthcare occupations to cope with a rapidly aging population". "The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2020, jobs in this field will grow
by over 20 percent."
IT: The War for Talent is alive and well across the IT sector. Between 2010 and 2011, the sector created over 80,000 new IT jobs. In 2011, CareerBuilder.com posted 30,000 open tech jobs. The problem: many of these positions, required specialized skills of five or more years of IT experience. Gartner, a technology research company, expects 1.9 million IT jobs to be created in the US alone between 2012 and 2015.
Aerospace. According to Boeing's top executive, "Many seasoned and skilled workers are close to retiring, and insufficient numbers of capable workers are being prepared to replace them." In fact, by 2015, 60,000 employees, or 40 percent of its workforce, may be gone. Already, Boeing is suffering from a record order backlog.
Manufacturing. A Boston Consulting Group study warns that by the end of the decade, this shortage in 2011 of 600,000 could rise to over 875,000 highly skilled US workers.

What is needed is major investment in the training and development of our global workforce. Corporations and governments alike need to take notice, but more important, take major action and take it quickly. If corporations and countries are to flourish in the future, this investment is not optional. Those that ignore
this important obligation will ultimately find themselves out of business or bankrupt.
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© Copyright 1998-2014 by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman
Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (336) 210-3548 or http://www.hermangroup.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a registered
trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.


July Unemployment at 9.4%
According to the latest report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the unemployment rate for the Rockford metro area in July stood at 9.4%. That is up a half-point from June, following summer job trends seen in previous years, but down from July of last year, when unemployment stood at 11.6%. It’s the lowest July unemployment rate for Winnebago and Boone Counties since 2008, according to IDES.
Unemployment in Stephenson County stands at 8.1% for July, down from 10.2% a year ago.
The state report indicates growth in the professional-business services sector along with to-beexpected
gains in the hospitality and construction industries.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

9-6-2014 UPDATE on Plote CASE

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The above is taken from:  http://www.judici.com/courts/cases/case_history.jsp?court=IL004015J&ocl=IL004015J,2014CH170,IL004015JL2014CH170D1 This reference should also update the reader concerning current status.

If you want a history of the case and its background see the August 29, 2014 Boone County Journal; portions of which are shown below.

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Oakwood Hills president resigns amid power plant controversy

 

Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune

Many residents of Oakwood Hills oppose a plan for a power plant in the area, saying the proposal caught them off guard.

Many residents of Oakwood Hills oppose a plan for a power plant in the area, saying the proposal caught them off guard. (Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune)

By Robert McCoppin, Tribune reporter

The village president of Oakwood Hills has resigned in response to outrage over a proposal she helped negotiate for a power plant.

President Melanie Funk resigned Wednesday in a letter, writing, "I no longer feel that I can continue to take the abuse that I have been subject to over these last few months."

The $450 million power plant proposed by Enventure Partners sparked protests by hundreds of people at meetings on the subject in July. Residents are concerned about the plant's potential effects on pollution, noise, water use and property values. The proposed plant would be built about a half-mile from homes and across the street from a grade school.

Village officials shut down village hall for the month of August after they said someone made a threat against public officials over the plant, though they said they had no documentation of a threat.

Village Trustee Beth Gorr and Village Attorney John Cowlin also resigned, Village Clerk Melissa Goldman confirmed.

Trustee Paul Smith, who was president pro tempore, becomes acting president, Goldman said. That opens up two trustee positions for election next April

Read more of the article by clicking on the following:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-oakwood-hills-president-resigns-amid-power-plant-controversy-20140911-story.html

Here is the Village’s view of the zoning issue:

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Energy Center Information

Upcoming The next Zoning Board Hearing will take place on October 9, 2014 at the Holiday Inn; the time will be posted soon.

Done The Open House will be on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the HOLIDAY INN Conference Room in Crystal Lake.

DoneThe Zoning Board Hearing will be on Thursday, July 24, 2014 beginning at 6:30 PM at the HOLIDAY INN Conference Room in Crystal Lake.

DoneThe additional Zoning Meeting will be held on Thursday, July 31, 2014 beginning at 6:30 PM at the HOLIDAY INN Conference Room in Crystal Lake.

It is apparent from the responses of the public at the zoning hearings on July 24th and 31st regarding the zoning petition that there was a lack of understanding of the process before the Zoning Board and a need for clarification of the process that the Zoning Board is required to follow in considering the Petitioners’ request.

The Zoning Ordinance of Oakwood Hills provides that anyone who is seeking approval for variations, amendments or other zoning requests from the provisions stated in the Oakwood Hills Zoning Ordinance must follow the procedures outlined in the Ordinance.

Once a Petitioner submits a Petition the Zoning Ordinance requires that a hearing be set up not less than 15 nor more than 30 days from the time the notice of hearing is published in the Northwest Herald and is given to the taxpayers of record that abut the property for which the request is made. The initial date and time for the hearing is strictly controlled by when the Petitioner files the notice of hearing set forth in the ordinance.

The hearing held on the Petition filed is a public hearing. It is a process to allow the Petitioner to present its case for what is being requested. As a public hearing, it is also to in favor of Petitioner’s proposal. At the conclusion of the public presentation, the public presentation is closed then the Petitioner has the obligation to respond to the questions and comments raised by the public.

Once the Petitioner has concluded its responses to the questions and/or comments from the public, it is then the Zoning Board members time to raise any questions or concerns that they may have regarding the Petition to the Petitioner. The hearing is over when the Zoning Board members have concluded their questions of the Petitioner. After the conclusion of the meeting, the Zoning board may postpone its vote only once to a future meeting unless a further delay is obtained with the approval of the Petitioner.

The original schedule of meetings listed a meeting on July 24th from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with an additional meeting, if needed, for July 31st at the same times to allow everyone interested in the proposal to be present and speak. On July 24th, the Zoning Board continued the meeting to July 31st as there were members of the public that had not had the opportunity to speak or make a presentation to the Board. The public was informed that they would also be given an opportunity on the 31st to sign in if they did not do so on the 24th.

The Zoning Board received a Motion for a Continuance of the Hearing to October 9th to allow the Petitioner to obtain new counsel and consider the statements made by the public at the meeting on July 24th. The Petitioners were within their rights in making the request and the decision of the Zoning Board approved their request which effectively brought the meeting to an end on July 31st. At the meeting on the 31st, someone shouted, “Why don’t you just vote no now.” As I have outlined, the Zoning Board is required to follow the rules established by the Zoning Ordinance of the Village, which are not unique to the Village.

The Zoning Board is committed to follow the procedures established in order that both the Petitioners and public are provided due process as required in the hearing process. When the hearing reconvenes on October 9th the meeting is at the public presentation stage of the proceedings. Those members of the public who have not had an opportunity to speak will be given that opportunity. With the large number of public that has shown an interest in speaking, everyone will be given that opportunity and, if necessary, additional meetings will be held until the hearings are brought to a conclusion.

 

 

See earlier post:  http://boonecountywatchdog.blogspot.com/2014/09/oakwood-hills-residents-voice-concern.html

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Government Debt Isn't the Problem—Private Debt Is

Richard Vague

Sep 9 2014, 12:10 PM ET

What’s astonishing is how little attention the global debt problem—the extremely high ratio of private debt to GDP—has gotten. Not only does it leave the U.S. and other countries vulnerable to crisis should brisk growth in that ratio resume, but, quite apart from any crisis, the accumulation of higher levels of private debt over decades impedes economic growth. Money that would otherwise be spent on things such as business investment, cars, homes, and vacations is increasingly diverted to making payments on the growing debt— especially among middle- and lower-income groups that compose most of our population and whose spending is necessary to drive economic growth. Debt, once accumulated, constrains demand.

Read the entire article by clicking on the following:  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/government-debt-isnt-the-problemprivate-debt-is/379865/2/

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BOONE COUNTY PSB Sales tax

 
The Sheriff is requesting Boone County Board to purchase eight new squad cars for approximately $18,500 each.  The funds are to be obtained from the PSB Bond fund. This would be over and above the $200,000 limit imposed by Ordinance 10-35 for FY 2015.  See Ordinance below.

Here are some of the facts regarding the issue whether this sales tax should be used for anything other than interest and principle on the PSB Building.

This was previously posted in 2012.
Boone County’s half cent sales tax for the Jail

Boone County Government’s website has a summary of the history of this sales tax.  The following are excerpts from that site which is at:  http://www.boonecountyil.org/sites/default/files/pubsafety%20sales%20tax.pdf

First, the actual ballot resolution

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

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The Boone County Board’s 1999 published statement regarding the referendum issue.

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Beginning in FY 2004 (12-1-2003 to 11-30-2004) the county began using the sales tax for items related to jail operations but not related to bond repayment.  Note the FY 2001 numbers were only for part of the year.  See below:

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For FY 2011, a very large use of Jail sales tax was actually authorized.  See Ordinance 10-35 below. The county proposed very large operational expenses for the sales tax, gradually reducing it until it was projected to stop in 2018 with the final payment on the jail bonds.

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The half cent PSB sales tax was budgeted to be $1,358,000 for the FY 2012.  The highest PSB tax receipts was in 2008 when $1,653,891 was received. See below:

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