Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chrysler once again returns to The Big Three | WBEZ

ranked behind General Motors and Ford in May auto sales. It’s the first time the Detroit Three have been the Big Three since February 2006, according to, a Web site that offers car-buying advice.  During its worst days, such as its 2009 bankruptcy filing, Chrysler fell as low as fifth in the industry, outsold by Toyota and Honda as well as its Detroit neighbors.

large part due to weakness by Japanese auto companies.

Click on the following for more details:  Chrysler once again returns to The Big Three | WBEZ

Special Meeting of the Boone County Board: June 2


A Special Meeting of the Boone County Board will be held on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011,
at 7:00 P.M., in the Boone County Board Room at the Boone County Administration Campus,
1212 Logan Avenue, Belvidere, Illinois.
The purpose of said meeting is:
1. Discussion with Boone County Fire Districts
2. Any other business to come before the Board

Dated this 27th day of May, 2011.
Pam McCullough
Boone County Clerk

It appears that Mr. Walberg’s decision not to reappoint incumbent trustees at the three rural fire districts has caused the need for additional discussion and public comment.  For further details see the story from the May 20, 2011 Boone County Journal, shown below:

County Board Chair
Appointments Prompt Debate
By Bob Balgemann
Representatives of Fire Districts #1, 2 and 3 will meet with the Boone County Board
at 7 p.m. on June 2 to hash out problems they have with board Chairman Bob Walberg’s
(District 1) decision not to reappoint three incumbent trustees.
Firefighters packed the board meeting room Wednesday in protest over possibly losing
trustees they said were doing a good job.
The root of the problem appears to be an ordinance enacted by Fire Districts #2 and 3
that require all commercial buildings to have sprinkler systems. Some county officials, the
firefighters claim, believe that mandate will chase business from the county.
But more recently chiefs in all three districts have imposed a one-year moratorium on
the requirement. The ordinance likely will be included in the discussion on June 2.
Walberg said after the meeting he chose three new trustees he thought would be good
for their districts. He did not make those appointments Wednesday, calling the moratorium
“a good compromise’’ and saying further that he would “respect the (June 2) meeting and
see where we go from that.’’
During Wednesday’s meeting Fire District #1 President Ron Tinberg, one of the three
trustees possibly being replaced, defended the sprinkler system ordinance, calling it “a
safety item. Now is the time to change it when nothing is going on.’’
He said he had been told he and the other two incumbent trustees “were puppets of
the chiefs. Judging from the appointments, you want us to be puppets of the board. Yes,
sprinkler systems cost a lot but not as much as a building a new building. When there is a
fire people can be out of work.’’
Further, Tinberg said the person slated to replace him lives in Fire District #3, not District
#1. But Walberg said later the only residency requirement was that trustees live somewhere
in Boone County.
“The issue seems to be the sprinkler systems, is that correct?’’ board member Pat
Mattison (District 3) asked.
“Yes,’’ Tinberg replied. “Ever since we adopted the ordinance we’ve been getting a lot
of flak.’’
Support for the incumbent fire district trustees was voiced by board members Ken
Freeman (District 3) and Marshall Newhouse (District 1).
“I have never heard anything bad about the (incumbent) trustees and I will support
them,’’ Freeman said.
Newhouse provided some history on the sprinkler ordinance, saying concern was
expressed earlier about the impact such a requirement would have on commercial
development. He said after fire chiefs were asked to think about that they enacted the
moratorium. “I want to thank them for their generous decision to do that,’’ he said.
Further, he said he would “be in support of the current trustees.’’
Concerning appointments, county board member Terri Glass (District 3) said, “This
shows tonight why we should interview candidates. We need an open and honest process.
I’m hearing the different sides but nothing about anyone getting together.’’ She suggested a
meeting between firefighters and the board “where we can have an adult discussion.’’
Board Approves Replacement for County Clerk
Also Wednesday the board voted 8-2, with one abstention to concur with Walberg’s
appointment of Mary Steurer to replace longtime County Clerk Pam McCullough, who is
retiring in June. Steurer now serves as the department’s chief deputy.
Board member Cathy Ward (District 2) said while she thought Steurer would do a
good job, she added she thought the vacancy should be opened up for applications, with
candidates going before the Administration Committee to review. “We should do the same
with this (opening) as with the others,’’ she said.
But county board member Anthony Dini (District 2) said with the shortness of time
before McCullough’s retirement, he would support the appointment that night. “I would
like her to get her feet wet before Pam retires,’’ he said of Steurer.
Glass asked Steurer, who was in the audience, not to take it personally but she would
not support the appointment. “I don’t understand why we publish some vacancies and not
others,’’ she said.
Walberg called Steurer “an obvious choice’’ and said she only would be serving for 18
months before the next election.

Mr. Walberg has previously informed the County Board that they should not “micro-manage”the Fire Districts.  (See Mr. Walberg’s memo to the county board and states attorney opinion statement, shown below.)  Is Mr. Walberg taking his own advise?  Are Mr. Walberg’s appointments based solely on Mr. Walberg’s desire to abolish the sprinkler code?

Rumor has it--that the whole sprinkler issue maybe related to a local “special interest” who wishes to forego this additional expense.  Should Mr. Walberg succeed and get the sprinkler code repelled, perhaps a review of future building permits will disclose if the rumor has credence.

Click on the photocopy to enlarge: 

sprinkler 1

sprinkler 2

sprinkler 3