The top Geneva employee salaries. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Since The Chronicle didn’t have the cohones to print this, I will.  So let’s take a look at the top Geneva employee salaries. This listing only includes those staffers making six figures or more and, remember, these amounts don’t include the 80 to 90 percent city paid health care benefits and their ample pensions.

These are the salaries that the City of Geneva reported to the state:

City Manager Mary McKittrick  – $139,412.71

Since she became city manager in 2008, McKittrick’s salary has gone from $120,000 to the current amount. That means in the middle of the worst recession we’ll likely see in our lifetimes, her salary has increased by 16 percent over 4 years. Must be nice!

McKittrick makes more than any Kane County employee or elected official including the chairman, sheriff, finance director etc… Unbelievable!

Director of Public Works Dan Dinges – $122,847.59

In 2006, his salary was $105,249.24. That’s another 16 percent recession increase and his salary is also more than any county employee.

David A. Rowland, Electric Line Forman – $119,249.99

In 2006 he was making $99,000.  That’s a 20 percent pay hike.

Jeffery A. Wilger, Public Works – $113,734.62

From $95,751.40 in 2006 to the above amount means a 19 percent increase.

Mike Martens, Water Department – $113,615.52

From $89,052.37 in 2006 equals a 28 percent increase and he’s made as much as $117,000. Perhaps overtime is the culprit.

Community Development Director Dick Untch – $110,306.02

From $91,171.87 in 2006 comes to a 21 percent increase.

Edward Regelbrugge, Electric Utility – $109,581.97

From $91,171.87 in 2006 means a 21 percent increase.

Mark Schiltz, Electric Lineman – $106,319.49

It appears he was promoted 2009 when he made $72,410.65. But that’s still a 47 percent increase

Keith Benson, $106,046.92

I don’t know what Keith does, but his salary was $89,585.80 in 2006. That comes to an 18 percent increase.

William Dethrow, Electric Utility – $105,841.38

I can’t find his job title either, but an  $89,353.13 in 2006 means he’s seen another 18 percent increase.

Randall Erickson – $104,881.99

From $87,231.91 means a 20 increase. Again, his salary varied from year to year which probably means overtime played a role.

James A. Miranda – $104,623.50

Though his salary varies, it’s been been generally flat which means overtime is involved.

Economic Development Director, Ellen Divita – $104,525.70

This one kills me because she doesn’t do anything unless you count presiding over a dying downtown. She was at $87,644.81 in 2008 which comes to a 19 percent increase.

Ronald Chapman – $103,946.85

Again, another likely overtime recipient who’s salary ranges from $94,000 to his current amount.

Assistant City Administrator, Stephanie Dawkins – $103,099.36

There are some city administrators out there that don’t make this much.  Her salary has been generally flat, but the fact that it varies may mean that she’s an hourly employee which, if true, would be absurd.

Director of Electric Utility, Michael Buffington – $101,945.35

From $86,877.62 in 2006 comes to a 15 percent increase. His salary also varies. Could he be an hourly employee too?

And the really odd thing about this is the Mayor and Ms. McKittrick have been telling the alderman that Geneva employees are getting no more that 2 percent raises.  Apparently they’ve found a way around that limitation.

I understand that unions might be part of the problem, but if the county can negotiate 2 percent raises… No wonder they stonewalled the city council whenever someone like former Alderman Ray Pawlak asked for a list of employee salaries.

If truth stretching were an art, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns would be Picasso

Since Kevin Burns thought it would be fun to thrust me in the role of opponent Bob McQuillan’s campaign manager, I’d hate to disappoint him.  burns 2

Thus, considering his response response to McQuillan on another website where the mayor extolled his vast fiscal virtue, having become enamored of the objective Politifacts folks, I thought I might play the role of debunker right here.

So without further ado let’s examine the Mayor’s proclamations:

1. Since 2001 Geneva’s Tax Rate has declined from .73 to .53.

No it hasn’t. If you’re willing to peruse Geneva’s latest budget summary report, on page 3, the current tax rate is clearly listed as .646. Did the Mayor really think no one would check? Oh! That’s right! Neither the Chronicle nor Patch ever do (Where’s Brenda Schory when you really need her?).

Though he certainly gives the impression they have, the mayor didn’t say city taxes have gone down because they haven’t! Since 2001 they’ve increased by approximately 5 percent while the average Illinois home value decreased by 11.1 percent. That amounts to a 16 percent city property tax increase.

Not only that, but in Dec. 2011, with one alderman absent, Mayor Burns cast the very vote that kept a $10 property tax increase alive for two weeks before it finally failed. I know 10 bucks isn’t much, but it’s the thought that counts.

2. Since 2009 Geneva’s General Fund Budget has been reduced by 30%.

No it hasn’t! As I’ve previously stated, the Mayor is talking about budget to budget cuts which aren’t really cuts. It’s when you don’t spend money that you haven’t already spent yet.

For example, I can make myself look really good by budgeting $700,000 for 10 new dump trucks and then  not buying them. But I haven’t actually cut any current expenses. The truth is, under Mayor Burns, Geneva hasn’t made any significant budget cuts.

3. Current City staffing levels are at 2005/2006 levels.

Even though I completely agree with this one, it begs the question, just how stupid does the mayor think we really are? Because what he’s really saying is, “City staffing is at the same level it was right before the Great Recession!”

So while most municipalities bit the bullet and cut staff, the Mayor stated on multiple occasions that municipal employees should not have to “suffer” like the rest of us mere mortals. And they haven’t!

4. Emergency Reserves have been increased.

That’s like bragging about kissing your sister.

5. Only 8% of homeowners’ tax payments are for city services.

Another specious statement.  But if we flip it around a bit what the Mayor really said is, “79 percent of homeowners’ tax payments go to personnel expenditures which include the kind of pension and health care benefits you peons can only dream of.”

The mayor has refused to cut as much as dental insurance! And when Geneva gives employees like City Manager Mary McKittrick get a car allowance, it counts toward their pension!

6. Geneva has developed and operated 11 consecutive balanced budgets.

So what! Most households balance their budgets too. The vast majority of smaller Illinois cities do not and cannot operate on a deficit. When you’re making no real budget cuts, it’s easy to balance the budget.

7. For 3 consecutive years, Geneva has earned the prestigious Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States & Canada.

Yes! And if you send that “prestigious” group your checkbook and $425, they’ll send you the same award. Ninety-eight percent of municipalities that “apply” for the “award” get it!

8. Geneva has posted its payments to vendors online for many years; before it was fashionable to do so.

Where? Unless the Mayor is counting the annual budget I don’t see ’em anywhere. So much for “transparency.”

More to come in part 2! And rest assured, I’m not telling you who to vote for, I’m just telling you the truth.

I haven’t heard this much whining since…well…never!

It’s true! On occasion, I will fall prey to a middle school mentality and some things that shouldn’t amuse me actually do. County Board member Mike Donahue for example!

But when it comes time to face the music, take a dose of my own medicine, or simply own up to one of my many shortcomings, at least I make an effort to do so without cursing the unjust fates for having the nerve to single me out. It’s important to understand the concept of Karma.

Though I have the power to remove them, as long as a blog comment doesn’t overuse the F-bomb, no matter how disparaging it may be, it stays up! But sadly, having the maturity to employ a modicum of grace under fire is rapidly becoming a lost art.

And even though I’ll surely slip from time to time, what I cannot fathom are folks like Elgin Township Clerk Laura Wallett who imbue their every waking moment with the comportment and emotional maturity of a six year-old. And while we’re at it, let’s add Ken Shepro and Ellen Nottke to that same sordid list.

It’s utterly baffling. Don’t we all have to grow up at some point?

Laura Wallett

Laura Wallett

Though I’ve removed myself from her facebook blather, someone showed me one of Wallett’s latest posts in which she basically congratulated her now-on-the-outside Kane County Republican ilk for standing up to a bully like Chairman Chris Lauzen.

Of course, she’s referring to the recent Executive Committee fracas which we covered here. Apparently, the fact that Lauzen asked non-executive committee members to sign up to speak and limit their comments to three minutes puts Kane County on a par with North Korea.

I’ll start worrying when they explode a nuclear device under Building A.

First, it’s a privilege to be on the Executive Committee and not a right. It’s a privilege to speak at Executive Committee meetings and not a right! And the reason it’s not a right is, to shut up one board member, Wallett’s former county board lackeys instituted a rule that forbade board members from from speaking at committee meetings in which they weren’t a member of that committee.

Look! I’m done with Karen McConnaughay. She’s out of Kane County and, despite any delusions of hitching herself to Kirk Dillard’s star, she’s gone as far as she’ll ever go. But I sat through dozens of board meetings where, with one simple glance, she would set the jackals (Hurlbut, Wyatt, Jones and Fahy) upon hapless dissident board members like starving hyenas upon a wounded wildebeest. And it wasn’t pretty either.

So when Wallett and her petty ilk have the nerve to complain about Lauzen, it’s the height of hypocrisy. Yes, the Chairman has his moments, but his worst days are nuthin’ compared to the kind of bullshit that went on in the Kane County boardroom from 2004 to 2012. That was the stuff of legend, my friends.

To Wallett, Shepro, Nottke and all their slimy little sycophants, I say this. Your time is up! You had your chance, you blew it, and now you’re done! You’re already out of politics, you just don’t know it yet.

Even if you managed to get your bizarre acts together, while you insist upon eternal shrieking and whining, Kane County is turning more and more Democratic with every breath. And your persistent toddler temper tantrums borne of a self-absorbed self-interest, will only serve to weaken the KC GOP to the point where its almost inevitable demise will come with the weakest of whimpers.

Grow up!

And then there were three – Geneva Township Clerk Write-in Candidates that is!

I told you I’d get to the bottom of the last minute Geneva Township Clerk write-in candidate(s) and I have. The problem is, just thinking about the ineptitude that led to this logjam makes my fricken’ head hurt. Though I’m sure you’ll only end up almost as confused as I am, let’s give it a shot.

The last time we talked, I was amused that developer Joe Stanton, the man who would be Geneva kingmaker, had seemingly slated his administrative assistant, Debbie Draus, to run against original clerk write-in candidate Geoffrey Carreiro.

To repeat, the Township folks threw Carreiro off the ballot (no conflict of interest there!) because he ostensibly didn’t get enough valid signatures and because they could. As Trustee Robert Kovacs put it, they wanted to dispense with Democracy and appoint their own clerk anyway!

So Carreiro decided to do the write-in thing and Draus quickly followed suit.

But then, immediately after our last conversation, former Township Highway Commissioner John Carlson suddenly submitted his clerk write-in candidacy too. I found this particularly odd considering  three write-in candidates favor Carreiro because Draus and Carlson are very likely to split the insider vote.

So here’s what I think happened.

Joe Stanton

Joe Stanton

Given their prior relationship, Stanton is wholeheartedly supporting Mike Abts for Township Highway Commissioner. And this falls right into Pat Jaeger’s Napoleonic wheelhouse because he’d just as soon see highway incumbent Mark Wissing sent packing himself.

You see, folks like Jaeger cant stand the thought of anyone who’s capable of thinking for themselves.

But when Stanton got wind of the Carreiro-Township write-in fracas, he saw it as an opportunity to boost his vast ego and his rapidly flagging local influence by slating his secretary for clerk. So that’s exactly what he did. The problem is, Stanton didn’t talk with the equally egomaniacal Jaeger who’d already conned Carlson into running for that very spot.

So now we’re stuck with three clerk write-in candidates and the fact that any or all of them can withdraw doesn’t really matter. It’s like trying to unring bell. That blank write-in line is on the ballot to stay!

Joe! Give it up! Not only do you actually manage to make Karl Rove look good, but slating your secretary? I really don’t mind your insistence upon resorting to deviousness, but it does bother me when you insult my intelligence in the process.  That’s my wife’s job!

As far as Jaeger goes, it’s par for the course. This minuscule township fiefdom is the only thing that gives his miserable life any meaning.

So here’s my thought Genevans! When you find yourself at that April 9 polling place, vote for Wissing and write-in Geoffrey Carreiro. You’ll be glad you did.

Today, on Left, Right and You…

Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen will join us to discuss executive committee meetings, animal control, the Longmeadow Parkway and more.  seek_truth_left-right-and-you-ward-skillicorn

Then, Allen and I will answer this burning question once and for all! Is Barack Obama the most liberal president we’ve ever had or is he just another conservative commander-in-chief?

I think you’ll be surprised by the answer – I know Allen will!

All this and your calls (847-931-1410) today on Left, Right and You, AM1410 from 3 to 4 p.m.  You don’t wanna miss it!

The walls are closing in on Cathy Hurlbut…

Much like they would in a sinister Poe story. If you recall from these previous blog posts:

in her former capacity as the president of the their board of directors, Cathy Hurlbut did her damndest to single-handedly take out that swanky 220 unit Lake Geneva vacation spot known as The Cove!  hurlbut

Of course, we Kane Countians already know this is typical behavior for our former nasty county board member, but this time, instead of taking on some run-of-the-mill local peons, she tried to steamroll folks who actually have some cash. And they’re fighting back!

According to a multitude of sources, Hurlbut has already been served and The Cove’s attorneys have set aside a full day for her deposition at the end of February. And the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the IRS, and the Lake Geneva Police all want to know what happened to the more than $1 million of Cove money no one can seem to locate.

If you’re interested, the following links will take you to the most recent court hearing transcript: Cove Court 1; Cove Court 2. Though it doesn’t mention Ms. Hurlbut by name, you want to pay particular attention to Sean Skellie’s testimony starting on page 7.

It’s absolutely fascinating. For reference, with Hurlbut having driven the Cove directly into receivership, Mr. Skellie has assumed the facility’s day-to-day operations.

Now, please understand that Ms. Hurlbut is innocent until a judge or jury decides differently, but I’m beginning to believe that she doesn’t come out of this one without some serious consequences.

And speaking of the Chronicle…

Q: What’s worse than a local newspaper that doesn’t do its job?

A: One that does it very poorly!

So there I was at brand new 25th District State Senator Jim Oberweis’ open house yesterday when I couldn’t believe my ears. And this time, it wasn’t something the Senator said! As people were filing in and out of his North Aurora Office, Chronicle and Shaw Media reporter Nicole Weskerna actually asked visitors if they wanted to make a statement on same-sex marriage!   oberweis3

Really? The paper that doesn’t take a stand on anything finally decides to grow a pair?

I’ve been as hard on Jim as anyone, but even someone with my vastly limited intelligence knew this was neither the time nor the place to go after him or his guests. Don’t we have to give Jim some credit for persevering, mellowing a bit, and getting elected to public office?

And when someone like Tom Cross is the cream of the Springfield GOP crop, what have we got to lose?

This was Jim’s big day. It was his turn to be the center attention. Whether you agree with him or not, it was our turn to wish him well in Springfield. Then, if only for a moment (someone had a word with the young lady), it was undone by a reporter who doesn’t even begin to understand the concept of manners.

And have the nerve to wonder why people despise the press as much as they do.

Hey! Tom Shaw! You really need to stop counting your dwindling pile of cash, pick up the phone TODAY, and personally apologize to Sen. Oberweis. Then you might want to have a little talk with your reporter.

This is how it’s done folks! I’m surpised the Chronicle had the nerve to print it!

Now, normally I don’t put other people’s stuff up here because no one can match my unbridled writing talent. Who’d want to dilute a fine wine with water? But in the case of Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen’s response to a Chronicle editorial, I’m willing to make an exception!  lauzen 2

If you’re a politician and you’re considering parrying the press and then striking back – something I would normally advise against – this is how you do it folks! The only thing I’d have done differently would have been to omit the all-too-obvious news that county board member Kenyon has clearly followed in Denny Hastert’s fine footsteps by using public office to enrich himself at our expense.

We all know who Mike Kenyon really is.

And best of all, you don’t even have to go to the Chronicle to read it – it’s right here:

Lauzen: Sauceda will prove himself

The Kane County Chronicle editorializes, “Even if [Rob] Sauceda were the best candidate for that job, [Chris] Lauzen should understand it’s questionable for him to seek to fill the spot with a political supporter of his.” I accept the paper’s skepticism, but reject its and Mike Kenyon’s assertion that his former primary challenger Rob Sauceda is not a good choice for the position of temporarily collecting the bills at the animal control shelter.

Just one pleasant year ago, the Chronicle endorsed my opponent in the important primary for the Kane County Board chairman race. However, we went on to win that contest with 70 percent of the vote. I am delighted to have literally tens of thousands of “political supporters.”

I hope that the more than 2,800 voters and their families who put up yard signs as “political supporters” are not automatically disqualified from helping me now that we are putting in place needed management and ethics reforms. Did you notice that there were no laudatory editorials when I appointed supporters of my opponent (who had contributed thousands of dollars to beat us) or even five elected Democrats to important Kane County Board chairmanships? I did not see that balance in reporting and opinion.

Over the objections of some of my political supporters, I appointed political opponents because I believe that they are the most competent to fill the roles to serve our mutual constituents. Likewise, this is my firm assessment regarding Rob Sauceda.

Perhaps the Chronicle editorial board has forgotten that those whom they quote who criticize my selection were part of the decisions at animal control that resulted in three humiliating failures. Mike Kenyon, who – with his family – has sold millions of dollars worth of land to government units both before and during his tenure as a County Board member, supported the most recent selection for director before this one that resulted in a $45,000 loss that had to be subsidized by taxpayers and a default on last year’s $93,000 mortgage payment. We will need to double-up on that payment later on in this year, with Rob’s help.

This is the sad context of the Chronicle’s criticism.

I am proud of my three- to four-year friendship with Rob Sauceda and his family. I am deeply grateful for Rob’s and tens of thousands of voters’ “political support.” I appreciate that Rob and his family have contributed a grand total of $205 to bring 10 to 15 people to three of our annual Fay’s Pork Chop picnics. This is hardly pay-to-play cronyism.

At least Capitol Fax is amusing…

Former Board Member Bonnie Kunkel

Former Board Member Bonnie Kunkel

What can you say about insipid Capitol Fax instigator Rich Miller that hasn’t been said before?

Lets see, he can’t spell the words “impartial” or “truth,” he couldn’t string two sentences together if his life depended on it, he’s not very bright, and he thinks he’s God’s gift to journalism when everyone knows it’s really me!

I guess it all has been said before!

Of course, since Rich only runs things other people tell him (the poor thing can’t come up with anything original on his own), he took Chairman Lauzen to the woodshed yesterday for brutally squashing any semblance of debate at Kane County Executive Committee meetings.

The horror! Why, this prospect has me so terrified that I’m writing this from the crawlspace in my basement.

Actually, I too wish the chairman would let board members speak unfettered at Executive Committee meetings if for no other reason than the full board gatherings won’t drag on to the point where suicide becomes a viable option. Please consider that possibility Chairman Lauzen.

But if Miller did something drastic like, oh, I don’t know, actually applying himself, he’d have discovered the reason spectating board members aren’t necessarily allowed to speak at committee meetings is the infamous “Bonnie Rule.”

Yes! The Bonnie Rule was the former chairman’s answer to dissident commissioner Bonnie Kunkel commandeering a meeting almost as well as that insipid Cathy Hurlbut could. In an effort to get her to put a sock in it, the FOKs (Friends of Karen), instituted a new rule that read if you ain’t on the committee, then you can’t speak at the meeting.

Though I love me my Bonnie Kunkel and the rule was more than a bit heavy handed, considering how she could abruptly drive a committee/board meeting right into the Fox River, there was something to it.

Ah! But now that they’re hoist by their own procedural petard, the board members complaining to Miller the most are the ones who can’t stand the thought of the Bonnie rule applying to them and, even worse, can’t get over suddenly becoming outsiders.

This, of course, makes all this whining just another case of a small oval purple fruit gone bad! Please don’t subscribe to Capitol Fax – it only encourages Miller.