Quick Hits – September 27, 2017

How NOT to win friends and influence people

And the number one possibility on that list would be shouting “fuck you” in the middle of last night’s Batavia City Council committee of the whole meeting.

Yes! It really happened!

Apparently some Genevan, perturbed with where the Campana Building debate was going, dropped the F-bomb as a means of showing his displeasure.

“But Jeff! How do you know it was a Genevan?”

Oh, trust me! I know!

The Bird

First, I live in Geneva and this is the kind of bullshit I have to put up with on a regular basis. And second, though Batavians do have their entitlement mindset moments, they’ve never yelled “fuck you” at a city council before.

It’s not that I have a problem with those kinds of epithets, because I don’t. But not even yours truly would consider hurling it in the middle of a municipal meeting.

And let me tell you, those aldermen are pissed, and they know it was a Genevan, too. So, if y’all had any shot at getting that body to cut off the Campana project, those hopes were summarily dashed by the mere mention of two simple words.

Well done, sir!

 

Yes! I read what she said.

And that’s exactly why I’ve blocked U-46 School Board member Traci Ellis from all forms of social media a long time ago. I have absolutely no interest in hearing what she has to say.

Her sixth-grade comment doesn’t bear repeating and, while the First Amendment clearly gives her the right to say whatever’s on her mind, it will not protect her from the inevitable consequences of having said it.

Moving on!

 

Kane County budget part 1 – the judiciary

The 16th Circuit – the last budgetary holdout – finally came back to the county board with a “we can’t, in good conscience, make the 3.6 percent in cuts you requested. For to do so would mean eliminating our home monitoring program, which would put more people in jail and blow the Sheriff’s budget.”

So wrapped in the flag and carrying a baby in one arm and a freshly baked apple pie in the other, Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles declared, “The only way we’ll cut the home monitoring program is if the scurrilous and evil county board forces us to do it.”

courtServices

While that argument is technically true, it is beyond disingenuous. And here’s way:

1. By implementing the kind of efficiencies that the other Illinois circuits have adopted, the 16th could cut their budget by a third.

Kane is one of the few circuits where each judge gets their own courtroom, and each courtroom is dedicated to a separate crime. For example, Judge Kliment resides in courtroom 217, and he only hears felony cases. Meanwhile, DeKalb County judges hear all kinds of cases and they’re not necessarily relegated to one courtroom.

Should the 16th Circuit adopt a similar “hot seat” system, in which judges share courtrooms and crimes, not only would it be exponentially more efficient, but it would save the county a boatload of cash.

The Sheriff wouldn’t have to assign as many court security officers, the Circuit Clerk wouldn’t have to man all those courtrooms and they could cut way back on bailiffs and a host of other court services support staff.

Of course, the Chief Judge will argue that the current court rules don’t allow such a thing, but it’s the judges who write the rules and they can change them any time them want to.

2. With some notable exceptions, judges don’t work full days.

They typically start the morning call late at 9:15 to 9:30. They break for lunch at 11:30 and, if the docket hasn’t been cleared, court resumes at 1 p.m. If there are no more cases, they might stick around for an hour or two to review the next day’s call, but most of them are gone by 3 p.m.

Considering the state pays them $200,000 a year, the least they could do is put in a full day. If they did, and the 16th implemented the shared courtroom and crime system I’ve suggested, the savings would add up to far more than the paltry 3.6 percent county board asked for.

 

But there’s absolutely no impetus for Chief Judge and her peers to adopt these rules because it doesn’t benefit them. What they’re counting on is, the taxpayer will buy into their we can’t cut something like home monitoring smoke screen sanctimony and not ask the kind of questions I’ve posed here.

If Finance Director Joe Onzick and his staff can take pay cuts to help the county balance the budget, then Judge Boles and her team, the highest paid officials in Kane County, can make a similar sacrifice.

 

Kane County budget Part 2 – the Public Defender’s office

As in, if there’s a department that should be spared from the current round of cuts, it’s the Kane County Public Defender. That would truly be justice denied

Having covered a great deal of the Rak and other trials; having observed how judges generally treat PDs; and watching the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office regularly dismiss them as if they were mosquitoes, it’s clear that that job is already difficult enough.

So, adding to their already absurd caseload is patently wrong!

public_0

I’m sure all of you good Christians understand the least of our brothers and sisters deserve a zealous defense when faced with the full weight of the people. Thankfully, we’re only talking about $267,000 out of a quarter of a billion dollar budget, so it’s not as if I’m asking for the sun, moon and stars here.

Of course, if the head public defender had a political bone in her body, she’d understand how to make this argument with the board behind the scenes. But she doesn’t and she can’t. To make matters worse, one of her finest qualities is aggravating the shit out of absolutely everybody she encounters, which never really helps your cause.

So, please allow me to make this argument on her behalf. Don’t cut the Public Defender’s budget. It wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

One thought on “Quick Hits – September 27, 2017

  1. You are absolutely right. Cutting the Public Defender office budget is absurd.

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