Sunday, November 1, 2009

BLOG Count for Boone County Watchdog: 702 visitors since 9-28-2009; 294 unique visitors

image

**********************************************************

Cities Where Jobs Recovery Will Be Slowest

Our area is one of the worse of worse: 

Perhaps more surprising is that the job market in a city such as Rockford, Ill., is forecast to worsen over the next 12 months. Rockford now has a 15.2 percent unemployment rate, which IHS Global Insight expects will move closer to 17 percent by the fourth quarter of next year.

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  Cities Where Jobs Recovery Will Be Slowest - Yahoo! Finance

Daily Herald | Red-light camera company more than just a vendor

Article described the extensive lobbying of RedSpeed and other vendors.

Our office

Lombard-based RedSpeed is one of several companies leasing cameras to many Northwest and West suburban municipalities to catch red-light violators.

$100-per-violation tickets go to people turning right on red without coming to a complete stop or stopping before the white line, a maneuver experts consider less hazardous than running a red light. The research also found in many cases, cameras are located at or planned for intersections with minimal red-light-related accidents.

Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson responded that the cameras were sold to the village on the safety issue as a means of preventing deadly broadside accidents. But police found little public safety benefit.

Instead, the village received a flood of complaints and out-of-town visitors threatened to boycott hotels, shops and restaurants

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | Red-light camera company more than just a vendor

Chronicle’s View: The appearance of impropriety

That's why it's not enough for public officials to simply avoid improper conduct, but also its very appearance.

Perhaps really interesting is some of the comments on this DeKalb Chronicle’s Opinion regarding the city granting a $52,000 contract to  Alderman Wogen:

Thank you for reinforcing the notion most in the community already hold, which is that governing only by what is legal is a very low standard indeed."

Fair citizens, this is just the tip of the iceberg. One might become familiar with our local[DeKalb County] circuit clerk's office, judiciary, and county board to discern that many powerful folks in our county expressly ignore the appearance of impropriety in their hiring and spending decisions. They take your ignorance to the bank. When these facts are finally laid out before the public, it will make this Wogen controversy seem like Nero fiddling while Rome burned."

Illinois pay(s) what is being called a corruption tax, approximately 15% of local, county, state, and federal taxes go toward waste, fraud, nepotism, cronyism, etc. Just think how many taxes would not have to be raised if the corruption tax could be lowered. I do not expect all government to get cleaned up in this state but it is time to start putting holes into it

"The more things change. The more things stay the same. What do you think you really accomplished? This will be forgotten in less than seven days."

Our View: The appearance of impropriety | Daily Chronicle

Chrysler 
dealers
 anxious

image  Dealers are impatient for details about Marchionne’s five-year game plan – to be announced Wednesday

or now, Chrysler’s fate and the livelihood of its remaining 2,400 dealers hang by a thread of government aid. Taxpayer money, around $15 billion, will have to keep the company afloat until its new management, Italian car company Fiat SpA, finds a winning strategy for Chrysler after two unsuccessful ownerships in the last 11 years

dealers there only are vague assurances of seeing a redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee in the spring and a new Chrysler 300 large sedan sometime next year.

Chrysler’s existing lineup is weak.

Business Journal | Chrysler dealers anxious

Analyst: Fiat may redo, cut Caliber lineup

Belvidere’s fate maybe told on Wednesday.Belvidere Chrysler workers ...

CEO Sergio Marchionne is expected to give the presidential auto task force his five-year business plan for revitalizing Chrysler Group LLC on Wednesday.

Last month, it was reported that the Belvidere-built Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot will receive extensive updates in the next year to 18 months to try to recapture some market share.

The Wall Street Journal echoed the call on the Caliber and also believes the Compass is on its way out

Even with the plant closures, Chrysler still has more capacity than they need right now,” Handler said. “There may be still a day of reckoning for Belvidere … unless we see Alpha Romeos and Fiats flying off lots

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  Analyst: Fiat may redo, cut Caliber lineup - - BusinessRockford.com

Government health plan 
to cover few

 ... Kaiser Family Foundation

“The public option is a significant issue, but its place in the debate is completely out of proportion to its actual importance to consumers,” said Drew Altman, president of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation

Click on the following for more details:  Northwest Herald | Government health plan to cover few

Flex spending accounts face hit in health overhaul - Yahoo! News

 

Bills in the House and Senate would cap at $2,500 an employee's allowable annual contribution to a health care flexible spending account.

There is no federal cap on contributions now, though companies that offer the accounts — more than 80 percent of companies employing 500 or more workers do — typically impose their own limits, usually around $5,000.

Click on the followingFlex spending accounts face hit in health overhaul - Yahoo! News