Monday, June 28, 2010

Employment program cuts off new applicants as demand outstrips supply |


reimburses employers who make entry-level jobs available to people between 18 and 21 years old and to parents with children under 18.

60,000 people have applied for work through the program, and as of Thursday, 16,200 had been placed in jobs, Antolin said.

Click on the following for more detailsEmployment program cuts off new applicants as demand outstrips supply |

Boone County Journal Editorial on County Politics and the Health Department

The following is taken from the Boone County Journal, which is available free of cost at many merchants across the area and at:

The Step No One Wants to Take
Local governmental leaders lead because they are chosen by voters that believe they can best manage the needs of a community. Public governance in a democratic republic must be performed by a chosen few that are
chosen by the masses. Those chosen are elected and/or appointed because they are believed to be competent and able to effect governmental action on matters of public
interest that the people have asked them to execute.

The Boone County Board is led by a chairman that was chosen by compromise. He was elevated after a marathon effort that ran through hours of wrangling before this
man with less than one month of experience on the board was chosen to lead. The same man had years earlier left another public body after those he managed delivered to
him a vote of no confidence. When this man was chosen as chairman of the Boone County Board he told colleagues that he would step down, if that was their decision but no one spoke up as the representatives just went home to reflect on what they had done.

Last week this chairman advanced a slate of nominees to fill vacancies on boards under the guidance of the county board. This is part of what a county board chairman in Illinois does; appoint individuals to serve on public bodies that execute the public’s business. Those vacancies included appointments to a number of boards, but the Boone County
Board of Health aroused the sharpest criticism.

During the time of the chairman’s leadership the county board has been severed, with those opposed to him and his policy on one side and those that favor him and his policy on the other. Neither group seems willing to
interact. Those that oppose the chairman voted to deny some appointments, while those favoring him voted in favor. Both cadres functioned like mocking birds singing
different tunes.

What resulted was that the prior leader of the health department’s executive board was reappointed even after the shabby display last year when members of a search committee seemed to confuse county tax revenue as a personal American Express card to fund a soiree disguised as a job interview, complete with Bombay Sapphire martinis. The same guy that hosted the soiree at Giovanni’s was reappointed by the chairman of the county board to lead the health department for another term and a majority
of the county representatives voted in lockstep to return this man to office. Remarkable.

The ultimate thank-you kiss was planted on the cheek of every Boone County taxpayer when the search committee chose an unqualified candidate to serve as administrator of the health department. The result of this decision was that the county board was forced to hire a mentor to
train the new administrator. This spring the unqualified administrator resigned under a formal list of grievances.
All of this occurred under the leadership of the person that was re-nominated by the county board chairman and reapproved
by his representatives. But those that are opposed to the chairman are equally to blame as they whine without working to bridge the canyon that separates both factions.

If this appointment was not so important it would be laughable. The people that are appointed to serve on the executive board of this vital county department are not

  are takers because they do not care for what they have been asked to run.

The Boone County Health Department Executive Board is made up of many holding professional titles. One might conclude, because of their titles, these people are
qualified to serve. However, a medical professional led the search committee that hired an unqualified person to serve
as health administrator. A banker was another attendee at the Giovanni’s soiree, a person also served on the Boone County Housing Authority during an extended period in which no one thought to have the financial records audited as required under HUD rules. That must have been another
simple “oversight.”

Finally, others on the executive board must have gone along for the free liquor which identifies the local culture as practiced by many elected and appointed officials here.

With the same person leading the health department, nothing will change and the toxic environment at that agency that many complain of will sustain. Yet, other
members of the executive board of the health department refuse to speak up and their silence is deafening

The two co-administrators that lead the department and their staff are performing yeoman’s duty under difficult conditions. It is they in whom residents should find assurance for the valuable services they provide. The coadministrators
and their colleagues are serving the needs
of the community and not those appointed by the chairman of the Boone County Board.
County board members could have improved the work environment at the health department but instead their timidity has made the situation worse, for four more years.

County board members that oppose the chairman should
convene the Boone County Ethics Commission. The Ethics Commission must investigate potential ongoing ethics violations as perpetrated by the executive board of the Boone County Health Department. The county board should also ask why an administrator and their salary
are needed with two highly competent and capable coadministrators that report to the executive board, which also reports to the county board. Why does Boone County
need a high-paid administrator when there are already two leaders that are capably handling the job?

At the least the executive board exhibits an amoral character, as witnessed by their potential violation of the Boone County Code with the illegal use of taxpayer revenue to pay for alcoholic beverages. At the worst, the executive board members on the search committee consciously or unconsciously violated the county code.
Yet, it is bothersome that these alleged acts do not rise to a level that would require investigation, pity. Members of the executive board had earlier rationalized the soiree
was a small favor when measured against the services they provide. That, of course, presumes that the members of
the executive board are in fact performing any service to this community.

Now is not the moment to be timid, but given the sheepish demeanor of county representatives little will likely occur as everyone skips down the lane to that
favorite fishing hole.