Quick Hits – February 1, 2019

There aren’t many thrilling topics to cover today, so I thought I’d catch up on a few minor things.

Small boards should be appointed

Look! I understand why Aurora State Rep Stephanie Kifowit drafted legislation that would convert the Aurora Library Board from an appointed to elected body. Not only is it in line with our representative democracy mien, but it might just help mitigate kerfuffles like the recent row over the potential relocation of the West Library Branch.

Though I have to say it is kind of fascinating to see a local library issue rise to the top. That hasn’t happened in quite a while!

kifowit2

But despite our State Rep’s legislative heart being in the right place, there are a number of problems with her proposal, not the least of which are:

1. Illinois has almost 7,000 governing bodies and even the savviest voter can’t possibly apply the appropriate due diligence to all of them.

2. Because voters don’t pay attention to these low-level races, you tend to get way-out-on-the bell-curve candidates like Elgin’s Randy Hopp. Hopp managed to make it on the Gail Borden Library Board only to be banned from that building for verbally abusing the staff. And he’s running again.

3. These small board consolidated election races don’t draw enough candidates and those electoral positions wind up being appointed anyway.

4. The folks best suited for those non-paying small board seats generally don’t want to have to mount a campaign to do all that work for free. I know we want to avoid these patronage pitfalls, but I’m just fine with water reclamation, park, and library boards being appointed.

5. If these semi-invisible races don’t draw loons, they tend to attract the kind of people you’d find serving on a homeowner’s association board. They’re far more interested in self-aggrandizement and having any modicum of power than in serving the public.

And the bottom line is, when the public pressed the Aurora Library Board not to move that West Branch, that’s exactly what happened – it’s staying put. So, the process still works, and if it ain’t broke, let’s not fix it!

 

March on my female compatriots!

Conservatives’ reactions to the various January 19 women’s marches never failed to be amusing – especially those of conservative women. It’s almost as if they took it as a direct affront to their gender. And the responses of Geneva women to our Third Street march were particularly intriguing.

Image result for geneva il women's march

Though the march clearly didn’t diminish them in the least, their proclamation generally ranged from “Don’t they have better things to do,” to “Why do they feel the need to march,” to “How dare they attack our President.”

Really?

While most folks can’t be bothered to drive to a polling place in a light drizzle, these 500 or so motivated women braved our worst winter storm to stake their claim to political power. I’m not sure you could call it a protest, but it certainly was a peaceful demonstration with nary a mention of Agent Orange.

And that kind of march speaks directly to the core of our democracy. If you recall, this nation was founded on some not-so-peaceful protests, as well.

What I want to know is, what’s wrong with carrying signs saying, “We march for human rights,” or “Be brave. Speak your truth!” or “We are not afraid!” Those certainly aren’t radical thoughts. I’ve been encouraging folks to get involved in the process for 12.5 long years and it’s kinda cool to watch it happen.

So, lighten up my traditionalist ladies! No one’s forcing you to march, adopt a liberal ideology, or burn your brassieres. It’s all good!

 

SUI? Please God no!

Before we start, please let me clearly stipulate that I love the Blue Goose grocery store and I love the Lencioni family, too. But when I read they were petitioning the St. Charles City Council to allow customers to indulge in a little wine or beer sipping as they strolled their aisles, I wanted to immediately avail myself of my favorite crawlspace hiding place.

Why, I haven’t been this terrified since Geneva proposed allowing alcohol at city council meetings. Oh wait! The Mayor already does that!

Because if I had to choose between standing buck naked in the middle of Randall Road and Route 38 during rush hour or enduring any grocery store at 1 p.m. on any weekend day while fully clothed, I’d choose the former without hesitation.

Whether it’s Meijer, Jewel, Target, Trader Joe’s, or Aldi, food shopping has become something similar to surviving a military obstacle course.

First you have the female shoppers who stop dead in the middle of the aisle to gab such that, to quote the great Gandalf the Grey, “You shall not pass.” Then there’s the folks who insist upon hitting you from behind with their cart, the ones that just can’t get a plastic bag off the roll, those that leave their cart unattended in the middle of the aisle, the shoppers who insist upon swerving and changing direction like a squirrel on speed, the ones that take two hours to pick the perfect plum, and my personal favorite, the parents who take great delight in foisting five of their ill-mannered and shrieking progeny on the rest of us.

Image result for wine drinking grocery store

Now, imagine adding alcohol to that incendiary mix and what could possibly go wrong with that?

Though, come to think of it, applying copious amounts of booze to the out-of-control children who just love to race those mini shopping carts around those tight Batavia Trader Joe’s confines might not be a bad idea. A shot of scotch should calm the little bleeps down!

You never know! Given the Batavia City Council’s generally strange proclivities, they just might go for it.

“You have the opportunity to earn customers’ understanding and respect, and to change how they see the experience of having a meal,” Blue Goose owner Paul Lencioni said. “It’s just looking for an opportunity to show elevated expertise and elevated cultural experiences.”

Personally, I think it will lead to baked goods aisle brawls, but perhaps I’m being a bit too cynical. Specialty grocers like Caputo’s, Mariano’s, and Whole Foods have already embraced this notion and they seem to have no problem with “shopping under the influence.”

So, why not! Perhaps if I get my wife sloshed enough, she’ll finally let me ride in the cart!

5 thoughts on “Quick Hits – February 1, 2019

  1. I understand your position about the quality/quantity of candidates for some positions but who gets the appointment power when a district covers several municipalities?

  2. Randy Hopp is running again? Oh dear God.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Hopp get banned from the library before he was elected to the board? IOW, he ran as an act of revenge. Board meetings were the only time he was allowed on the library grounds; the cops had to escort him into the library for the meetings and out again afterward.

    In my experience as in yours, the more obscure the board, the loonier the candidates (and the better the chance that the loons will be elected.) I agree that they should be appointed.

    • Pan,

      Wow! We finally agree on something!

      But Randy did get banned after he was elected to the Elgin Library Board. And Yes! The EPD had to escort him in and out of board meetings.

      Jeff

  3. Libraries, Park Districts, Fire Districts, mosquitoe abatement. TB Districts and all the other money bleeding government agencies you see at the bottom of your tax bill should be handled county wide either under county board or just one agency for the county. Townships in counties over 500000 in population should be eliminated

    And anyone in a checkout line that doesn’t have money out or credit out and ready to pay should be shot. Some people act surprised that they have to pay

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