So, today’s horoscope told me to “avoid snarky commentary!” First, how did they know? Second, I’m not sure I’m capable of that. And third, what fun would it be if I did? With that in mind let’s proceed!
Since I was certain there were going to be fireworks, I managed to slough off this home-office coil long enough to deposit my posterior in one of those Building A main auditorium press table chairs.
You see, this was the first full County Board meeting following the previous proceeding in which Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen broke a board deadlock by voting to reimburse himself for $149 in expenses.
As I remarked about that kerfuffle back then, “Be still my beating heart!”
With far too much time on his or her hands, one of our finer county commissioners petitioned State’s Attorney Joe McMahon to share his legal theory on whether a chairman, or a board member, could vote for a reimbursement on their own behalf.
To make a long story short, they can’t. So, it was the impending reimbursement re-vote that caught my attention.
But instead of going there, the Chairman presided over a short program which commenced with what this board had accomplished so far. And that’s not a bad thing because, in their relentless pursuit of pointless political battles, government bodies frequently need to be reminded of their purpose.
I won’t bore you with all the details, but those kudos included:
- A six-year flat tax levy
- The Longmeadow Parkway Bridge
- 65 percent debt reduction
- A new court case management system
- A self-sustaining Settler’s Hill cross country track
- Absorbing the Aurora Election Commission
and more. When you consider the previous administration’s utter lack of progress, there’s something to be said for moving forward.
But then the Chairman veered into an area that, were I his political advisor, I would’ve cautioned against. Don’t get me wrong! Jeff Ward the incorrigible journalist and happy curmudgeon loved it, but that doesn’t make it politically expedient. To summarize, Chairman Lauzen:
- Referred to the 10 anti-reimbursement board members as “petty and obstreperous.” It may be true, but a chairman probably shouldn’t say that in public.
- Accused the Gang of Ten of “destructive nitpicking” that stands in the way of progress. Again, it’s true, but shouldn’t be said out loud.
- Asked them to examine what they’ve accomplished for $25 grand a year and a Cadillac benefits package.
The he ripped up that $149 check.
As my regular readers know, I rarely focus on the speaker at these meetings, because it’s far more fascinating to watch the minions’ responses. And this one was no different. When you consider a packed house including a slew of 20-year county employees being recognized for their service, all of the sniggering, laughing and joking did not reflect very well on certain board members.
So, completely ignoring that horoscope and considering the Chairman’s what-have-you-accomplished-lately question, let’s reflect on those 10 board members’ “achievements” in no particular order:
1. Mike Kenyon
While Mike was a reasonable Forest Preserve Chairman, I can’t think of a single thing he’s done to benefit his constituents. He’ll also be the first one to tell you that the Chairman is an a*****e, but Mike is so much worse. Though he’s always been cordial to my face, at least 30 people have relayed his true thoughts on my existence. Who knew I was so heinous? The only way Mike Kenyon would ever be happy with any chairman is if they regularly kissed his ample ass.
2. Mark Davoust
If anyone can name just one small accomplishment in 3.5 terms, besides marrying into money and driving his in-law’s business into the ground, I’ll provide them with a C-note. I suppose you could count spending $116,000 to lose to the likes of County Clerk Jack Cunningham, but that’s certainly nothing to write home about. (I’ve heard Melanie keeps his balls in a jar locked up in a kitchen cabinet, too.)
3. Barbara Hernandez
Aside from not working much for State Rep Linda Chapa LaVia. I haven’t as much as heard her voice at a county board meeting. I’m beginning to think she might be mute. Of course, if you count accruing 25 grand with benefits, taking up space, rolling her eyes while snickering at the Chairman, and regularly batting her eyelashes at male board members, then perhaps she does have some merit.
4. Theresa Barreiro
I absolutely love Theresa as a person, and she really is a hoot! But as a board member, she’s an unmitigated disaster. To put that in perspective, Theresa makes me long for the days of Cathy Hurlbut and Bill Wyatt.
5. Maggie Auger
Maggie wasn’t there yesterday, which was a vast improvement over the times she actually does show up. She’s managed to accomplish even less than Mark Davoust.
6. Susan Starrett
I used to like Susan and once thought there was great promise there. But when she does manage to appear, she’s downright mean, nasty and utterly self-absorbed. Just like a third-grader during a difficult math test, everyone in the gallery could hear her running commentary on the Chairman’s presentation. Now that’s maturity! Susan, you really need to resign.
7. Penny Wegman
First, she’s not a Democrat. And second, though I love her mother and County Recorder Sandy, Penny certainly hasn’t inherited her mother’s political acumen. But she is exceptional at taking up space while she waits to inherit her mother’s office. Her main accomplishment is finally showing up to a board meeting not dressed like she’s homeless.
8. Myrna Molina
I love Myrna! She’s incredibly intelligent and very witty, but I can’t figure out why she wants to be a board member. Her attendance record sucks, she doesn’t do a damn thing for her constituents, and she’s turned out to be a political opportunist. If she applied just half of her vast talent towards making things happen, she’d be a force to reckoned with.
9. Monica Silva
Having proposed to her in print, I’m not nearly ready to dismiss her outright. But she single-handedly did more to damage the probation officers’ strike negotiations than any other board member. And Monica! You have to stop spilling the contents of every executive session to anyone who’ll listen.
10. Jarret Sanchez
I like Jarrett, too, and he’s still learning. But I have two suggestions for him! First, don’t vote against someone else’s reimbursement when you just voted for your own $222.77 car rental remuneration. And second, please be savvier about keeping your political powder dry. Voting against Lauzen’s $149 was pointless, and the Chairman has a very long memory.
So much for horoscopes, right?
Meanwhile, a plurality of our Gang of Ten had the temerity to tell the Daily Herald’s worst reporter that they should get credit for voting for the very items the Chairman cited at the beginning of his program. So, they actually managed to show up and say “aye?” Like I said before, be still my beating heart!
In the end, were I in the Chairman’s shoes, I would’ve stood up, ripped up the check, and sat back down. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t make a valid point.