Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kane Co. Health dept. employees, programs get 30-day reprieve

County board members created a delay in planned layoffs to allow state lawmakers and union officials to find $1.5 million in overdue state payments for services the health department has already provided.

After the meeting, Kuehnert said both the 30-day delay and a line of credit mean nothing if the state is a deadbeat.  "If you're not going to get paid, it all just digs the hole deeper

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | Kane Co. Health dept. employees, programs get 30-day reprieve

Belvidere seeks new ways to lure downtown business


$20,000 for the liquor license, which admittedly if not the highest in the state is one of the highest in the state,” Brereton

The downtown grant program was repealed last month, which was supported by the city’s initial $20,000 liquor license fee. Aldermen pulled the program’s ordinance because of outdated language and confusing terms for applicants. ….The council’s initial talk of axing the program in May was enough for Ken Kolanowski to throw in the towel on opening Kennitt’s Ale House in Belvidere.
He backed out of the 3,500-square-foot space he had been renovating since last fall. He has moved his business into a Marengo property

Click on the following for more details:  Belvidere seeks new ways to lure downtown business - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Boone County’s budget may get second look - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

the board [may] reopen the fiscal year budget, which runs through Nov. 30. The move could help tackle a deficit of about $411,000.

Newhouse requested County Board Chairman Bob Walberg put pressure on department leaders to commit to making cuts themselves, rather than having the board impose them.

County Administrator Ken Terrinoni told the board the county might be short $1.5 million in 2011, with a worst-case scenario of $2 millio

Click on the following for more details:  Boone County’s budget may get second look - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

My answer to Ms. Glass and Mr. Walberg

On July 10, a re-print of Terri Glass’ Letter to the Editor of the Boone County Journal was posted—I am re-posting it and my Freedom of Information Act  request to Chairman Walberg.  I am requesting that Mr. Walberg release the names of all applicants who filed for the two remaining Board of Health seats.  I hope Mr. Walberg will comply, supply the names in a timely manner so Ms. Glass and all of the board will give their advise and consent to two well qualified candidates.

Dear Editor:
I would like to respond to a recently published letter
written by Mr. Bob Walberg. He references a “scheme” by
six county board members. The idea of a “scheme” could
not be further from the truth. Perhaps he is simply confused.
Six people just seemed to see that the Board of Health had
some definitive problems. I, for one, fielded many complaints
from Boone county residents regarding the Boone
County Board of Health. Ironically, Mr. Walberg suggests
that a “scheme” was used by six board members to remove
those Board of Health members: then, by default, there was
a scheme by the other six board members to retain them.
From my June 16, 2010 Memo to the County Board:
“Illinois State Statute has given county boards much responsibility,
one of which is the authority to appointment
people and/or community members to serve on various
boards and committees. The County Board Chairman must
make the appointments but can only do so with the advice
and consent of the County Board.
These boards and committees are intended to serve the
interests of the community, oversee any budget and/or tax
dollars that the entity may receive and establish policies and
procedures. The people who are appointed to these committees
and boards must be held accountable for their decisions
and actions not only to the County Board but to the general
public as well.
It is only fitting that the members of the County Board
give the applicants and appointments proper consideration.
I feel that in order for me, or this County Board, to make
educated decisions regarding the appointments certain information
must be provided. I, for one, will not be a mechanism
for placing a rubber stamp on an appointment.”
In that memo I also indicated that I would vote “no” to
every appointment unless I am provided complete and adequate
information so I may render an educated opinion.
I have been vocal in my opinion on the appointment
process and lack of information. My voting “no” to all appointments
was the direct result of insufficient information
required to make educated decisions on those appointments.
Mr. Walberg states “I always ask members to call me with
questions or concerns when I make appointments.” Perhaps
Mr. Walberg is looking for the consent part of the appointment
process while disregarding the advice part. Case in
point, the filling of the District 2 position approximately one
year ago. This
same board indicated that they would not fill
the position without receiving the names of all applicants
Numerous steps were taken to prevent the dispersion of information
to the County Board in relation to the candidates
for that opening. It appears that asking for advice is one
thing and listening to that advice and furthermore following
that advice is another. I can only speak for myself, but how
can I call with questions or comments when the agenda I
am provided only says appointments and it appears on every
agenda. In addition, there are many times the candidate
information is placed on our desk the day of the County
Board meeting.
The prior practices of opening up the appointment process
not only to the Board but to the community seems to
have been shelved. The law indicates that I am to provide
advice and when applicable my consent. I do apologize to
any candidate that may fall victim, but I simply cannot or
will not vote on any issue or appointment without first having
ample opportunity to review all the information I can.
The people of Boone County deserve that.
Theresa “Terri” Glass

Click on the photocopy to enlarge: 

FOIA 7-12-2010


Quinn wants open primaries for Illinois

Lawmakers can accept or reject the Democratic governor's amendatory veto. If lawmakers do nothing, the bill dies and the current primary system stays in place.

Bills for so-called "open" primaries have been introduced many times before but have gone nowhere.

Northwest Herald | Quinn wants open primaries for Illinois

Illinois Governor Alters an Election Law Bill to Convert Illinois Open Primary Into a Secret Open Primary

eliminates the requirement that a voter publicly declare party affiliation when voting at a primary election. Voting is a sacred right and as long as I am Governor, I will do everything within my power to protect each citizen’s ability to cast a ballot. With my recommendation today, a voter’s partisan preference will no longer be known to others. The decision to cast a primary ballot for one party or another will be strictly a matter of personal choice.

On July 13, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn used the Governor’s authority to amend a bill that the legislature had passed.  In particular, he amended an uncontroversial election bill to set up Voters Pamphlets on the internet.  Quinn amended this bill, HB 4842, so that the bill also switches Illinois from a public open primary to a secret open primary.  Here is the text of the bill as amended, which is 15 pages long.

Most observers believe the legislature will not permit the bill to become law.  If the bill were to become law, it appears to violate the Democratic and Republican Party national bylaws, which don’t recognize presidential primaries if they are secret open primaries (although the national parties have made exceptions for a few states

Click on the following for more details:  Ballot Access News » Blog Archive » Illinois Governor Alters an Election Law Bill to Convert Illinois Open Primary Into a Secret Open Primary