Sunday, November 29, 2009

The transparency test: How easy is it to track how county governments spend your tax dollars?

A great study of transparency at DuPage County.

Campaigne Piercy knows that counties aren't looking to add programs in down economic years. But she says this is transparency that can be accomplished easily.

"I think that's the general perception of that it's a big undertaking," she said. "Basically all they need to do is turn their board packets that they have every month into a PDF (a scanned copy of a paper print out). It takes five minutes."

Click on the following for more on this story:  The transparency test :: The Courier News :: Local News

McHenry County Board set to vote on gaming

The McHenry County Board will vote Tuesday on an ordinance to ban video gambling in unincorporated areas of the county.

County boards in Lake, Cook and DuPage counties have enacted bans….Lake in the Hills has approved legislation allowing the machines and setting local fees, and Johnsburg is mulling similar legislation, citing its proximity to Wisconsin, where video gambling is legal.

Click on the following for more details:  Northwest Herald | Board set to vote on gaming

Belvidere Assessors: Fair Union Negotiations or Game of Partisan Politics

This a repeat of a posting of November 7, 2009 and is being reposted as a convenience to readers of the Belvidere Daily Republican.  A recent article in the BDR mentioned my posting and commentary.

We all know that Diann Helnor (D) was elected Township Assessor by the narrowest of margins last April.  Before she even gets into office in January, her defeated opponent, Robert Falkenstein (R) has negotiated the  first ever union contract with his  assessors.  All these employees were selected and hired by Mr. Falkenstein over his many years holding this office.

What is this?  A sweet heart deal to old political appointees?  Mr. Falkenstein’s friends get a 3% raise while the other township employees get nothing.  And the township provides no additional money to the assessor’s office.

Is this a revenge move? Raise the wage bill so the only democrat holding office  in the township cannot properly run the office.

Can anything be done about this?

Township Assessor

Tax Assessor 2

Source:  Boone County Journal, November 6, 2009, page 32.

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