Quick Hits – Exactly as it should be!

Despite the prodigious cat-herding nature of the process, on occasion, city councils actually manage to get it right! Of course, it could be nothing more than the statistical reality that, given enough rolls, the dice will finally align correctly, but I’m good either way.

So, regardless of the reason, Elgin was dead on when they promoted Commanders Ana Lalley and Al Young to Chief and Deputy Chief. C’mon! Wouldn’t it be reasonably safe to say that Elgin has developed more national police chiefs than any other municipality, so why would anyone want to look anywhere else?


Ana Lalley

And when you think about it, the cool thing is Kane County’s two largest cities now boast female police chiefs. And an Elgin female chief and black deputy chief? If that ain’t diversity, then I’m even whiter than I thought.

When Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman told me she was headed to an Illinois female police chiefs convention, I asked her what she and the other chief were gonna do. Now they have a quorum!

Al Young

Al Young

But, as is almost always the case, this wasn’t nearly good enough for African-American city councilpersons Tish Powell and Corey Dixon. Taking a cue from the EPD’s Puerto Rican initiative to hire more Hispanic officers, they insisted the City “cast a wide net” in search of that perfect new head honcho.

Translated, they wanted a black chief and they’d settle for nothing less.

You see, both of our illustrious councilmen, to varying degrees, take their marching orders from former U-46 school board member and Donald Trump wannabee, Traci Ellis. It’s absolutely no surprise for Powell whose tragic flaw is always gravitating towards the strongest local political personality, but Dixon’s sudden lack of independence is troubling.

“But Jeff! When you compared Ellis to Trump, you’re, once again, pulling hyperbole out of your vast journalistic arsenal, right?” Au contraire, dear reader! This time, I’m as serious as a colonoscopy gone wrong. To wit:

  • They were born into family situations the rest of us rabble can only dream about.
  • If it weren’t for those families they’d probably be homeless.
  • They write books that go to great lengths to explain just how great they really are.
  • They regularly overestimate their intelligence.
  • They make absurd proclamations to rile their base (Ellis recently compared the American flag to toilet paper).
  • Trump uses immigration and Ellis uses the Cynthia DeClements shooting to whip the faithful into a frenzy.
  • Lies always come easier than the truth.
  • Everything is always about them.
  • They are two of the most racist individuals on the planet.

Sadly, Powell is beyond hope. To watch her fritter away all that incredibly rare bi-partisan and multi-racial goodwill she painstaking built up on the likes of a political demagogue is a truly terrifying thing. She could’ve been a U.S. Senator, but now her reelection is in doubt.


Tish Powell

I’m not willing to give up on Dixon quite yet. We’ll just call this the first strike in a one-and-one count and I’m not sure he can hit a curveball. I don’t think Mr. Dixon realizes that the voters won’t soon forget Ellis’ flag/toilet paper comment. How many one-term Elgin city councilmen have there been?

Put more simply, political associations matter.

Meanwhile, please allow me to congratulate Lalley and Young for these well-deserved promotions. They are stellar law enforcement officers who’ve ceaselessly worked to make Elgin a better place for all residents. When I think back to the EPD of the early 90’s, I want to hug and kiss them both on the lips.

Corey Dixon

My fervent wish is that we have the same kind of positive no-holds-barred relationship that former Chief Jeff Swoboda and I had.

But back to our aldermanic dynamic duo!

If Powell and Dixon are as serious about accurate representation as they claim, here’s how they can prove their sincerity. Considering Elgin is just 9 percent black, but 43 percent Hispanic, I want them to draw straws. I’ll be happy to moderate the procedure, too. And whoever gets the short end of the stick will immediately resign in favor of an Hispanic city councilman.

Now, that would be diversity!

8 thoughts on “Quick Hits – Exactly as it should be!

  1. You can hug me but please no lips!

  2. Pretty much right thruout with two exceptions. First, Dixon outright lied about repealing the Fear and Jealousy Rule, a rule which gives him a reason to be lazy. He told me he would vote to repeal yet when called for renewal, he fell into line. Second, Powell never had bi-partisan support on the council. Even before Gavin and Shaw crossed the picket line and became Liberals in May, 2015, she never left her corner of the room. The only initiative she brought forth up to 2018 was to lower the bar on pot possession in Elgin’s portion of Kane County. In fact, at one council meeting she said I HAD to share my ideas with her before presenting them at a council meeting.


  3. Personally, I can’t fault these people for advocating for a black chief. They’re representing their constituency, as is their job. But that doesn’t mean I’m on their side either.

    BTW, I’ve had a colonoscopy go wrong, and let me tell you, it’s pretty damn serious.

  4. Jeff, you’re throwing out some wild accusations. First, you state “Translated, they wanted a black chief and they’d settle for nothing less.” That is complete B.S.. Journalists should report facts, not make up stuff. Look, there is a strong institutional bias in Elgin to promote from within because it allows everyone in the department more promotional opportunities and there is perceived less risk of a leader that would make changes the department personnel wouldn’t like. Those are valid concerns, but those attitudes can perpetuate problems that would otherwise get fixed. The Cynthia DeClements case shows EPD an example where change is needed. Casting Tish as a racist for wanting the City to at least interview an outside candidate is ridiculous. Ms. Lalley’s credentials seem to be very good; I hope she does a good job.

    Second, what does Traci Ellis have to do with any of this? I fail to see where Tish should be tarred and feathered on an employment search procedure because of a friendship with a former U46 school board member.

    Lastly, I’ll say that taunting Tish & Corey to resign in favor of an Hispanic because she supports diversity is offensive. Those words can very well be interpreted as a way to “Shut up” someone because they are fighting for civil rights.

    • Todd,

      Not you too! Although you’ve clearly shown you’re certainly an expert in hurling “wild accusations.”

      Whenever someone doesn’t like one of my columns, the first line of attack is claiming I failed to to my due diligence, i.e. I’m making “wild accusations.” But I did do my research, and if you knew who my sources are you’d immediately apologize.

      The second line of attack, that generally comes from stupid people is, “well, then tell me who your sources are,” as if they’re automatically entitled to twelve years of journalistic efforts. Of course, if I told anyone who my sources were THEY WOULDN’T BE SOURCES ANY MORE. Put more simply, I won’t be giving them up anytime soon.

      So, I will stake my reputation and life on that “they’d settle for nothing less” statement. In fact, I know even more than I let on, but I don’t want to undermine Deputy Chief Young for something he had nothing to do with. Some of us actually have a conscience and care about the EPD instead of insisting on some self-aggrandizing agenda.

      What’s BS is your post, Todd! Because you offered no proof of your assertions other than your flapping gums. And that’s not nearly enough for me.

      The EPD has launched an incredible number of police chiefs. So, suddenly we need to look elsewhere, because it might cause problems not to? PROVE IT! Show me how promoting from within is hurting the EPD and the city!

      Again, your flapping gums aren’t nearly enough.

      The Cynthia DeClements case is one problem that is NOT indicative of a greater problem. Having covered police departments for 12 long years I would hold out Elgin and Aurora as two of the best departments in the country – and I can prove that!

      As far as EPD change goes, do you suddenly have access to the Illinois State Police investigation? Do you know all of the details?. I do! And though there is one thing that does bother me, to try to turn this young woman into a some sort of saint when she was anything but is the height of liberal hypocrisy.

      So much for letting the ISP do their job!.

      Now I wonder if you really read the column, Todd, because I never called Tish Powell a racist. I called Traci Ellis a racist because she is a racist. But Tish doesn’t have a racist bone in her body.

      Once again! I have sources who keep me informed of many things. So, yes! Traci Ellis has everything to do with this. If you disagree, prove me wrong, which you certainly have proven incapable of doing so far!

      Powell’s association with Ellis has, and is, costing her dearly on the city council. Mr. Dixon’s association with her, along with his budding capacity to tell folks exactly what they want to hear, is making some folks very nervous.

      Your last paragraph really has me really wondering about you, sir. “Taunting?” No! It’s simply applying the same hyperbole and irony I’ve applied for 12 years. What’s different here is, you don’t like it this time!

      Powell, Dixon and Ellis aren’t fighting for civil rights! They’re fighting for their own political power. If they were fighting for civil rights they’d note that Elgin Hispanics are woefully underrepresented across the board, and they’d do something about it.

      I’d certainly love to have to endure the kind of racial persecution that got Powell 60+ percent of the city council vote in a four-way race. How could anyone possibly handle that kind of abject bigotry!

      Lastly, if you find my columns offensive, that’s your problem, mine. And I’d be happy to propose a very clear and concise solution. Don’t read them!


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