Quick Hits – February 29, 2016

Quick Hits – February 29, 2016

If they were any more transparent, they be invisible!

I’m not saying Elgin City Councilman John Prigge isn’t prone to making some strange statements. It’s just that, when he does, there’s usually some sort of underlying logic to them. The implied theory may be peculiar to the councilman, but at least you understand why he made the point.

But his latest pronouncement kinda baffles me.

John asked the Elgin Police to issue a press report anytime shots are fired within the city limits. As he put it, “There’s too much anxiety in our neighborhoods.” So let’s tackle one contention at a time.

priggeFirst, the EPD is the most transparent police force on the planet. Aurora is great and St. Charles was excellent under Jim Lamkin, but Elgin is incredible. There have been times when I’ve called Chief Jeff Swoboda to check on a developing story only to find the information was already posted to the EPD’s Facebook page – while the phone was still ringing.

On the rare occasion I beat them to the punch, the Chief immediately picks up the phone, tells me what’s going on, and lets me know if I can run with, or if I need to wait until they tie up some loose ends.

I’ve never seen anything like it!

Meanwhile, trying to get information out of almost any other police department is a lot like pulling chicken teeth. Take the Geneva Police for example. The City forced me to FOIA data that the police had to make public and then they refused to answer the FOIA. Then I had to appeal it all the way to the Attorney General’s office to get them to comply with the law!

But Elgin? I’ve never had to file a FOIA for anything.

Perhaps the Councilman is simply trying to stir up fear which he does enjoy doing on occasion. But even that falls kind of flat here because, with the exception of gun violence, crime in Elgin – and most major U.S. cities (even Chicago) – is way down.

Anxiety in the neighborhoods? Please correct me if I’m wrong my esteemed Elginians, but I just don’t see it.


Single issue candidates rarely win and they can’t effectively govern when they do

And the 2016 iteration of this tired old tale will be no different.

SLMThough Larry and I love to give folks credit for throwing their hats into the County Board ring, none of the three Longmeadow Loon candidates will ever get more than 33 percent of the vote. And by “Longmeadow Loons” I means those folks who woke up 30 years too late to oppose a bridge that’s been a done deal for quite some time.

Of course, their first problem is that all three of ‘em are running for the same county board seat which guarantees at least two of them will lose. That certainly ain’t the best political planning.

Jarett Sanchez is running against Democratic incumbent Joe Haimann, while Roben Hall and Billita Jacobsen are running on the Republican side. Like most single-issue candidates, Sanchez will be lucky to get 30 percent of the vote, Jacobsen has all the personal appeal of a rabid hedgehog, and Hall simply doesn’t present well.

But for argument’s sake, let’s say all three win. It still wouldn’t change a bleepin’ thing. Three nay board votes aren’t nearly enough to derail this popular project and their peers will quickly tire of these one-trick ponies rendering them ineffective.

When these folks almost inevitably lose, they tend to fall back on some sort of conspiracy theory because they couldn’t possibly be wrong, could they? Government is all about give and take and single-issue candidates rarely catch on.

All that said, it’s immensely fun to sit back and watch the single-issue electoral process unfold!


Now he’s just makin’ it up!

C’mon! We all expect our local candidates to gild the lily to some degree, but Kane County Republican Chairman candidate Ken Shepro – an historian in his own right – has taken rewriting history to a whole new level.

kane countyI’m not sure how he avoided the lightning strike at the Elgin Area League of Women Voters forum when he said, “[Chris Lauzen] talks about freezing the levy, he wants to take credit for all the good things that happened because he took over a county with a credit rating of double A plus and $55 million in reserves.”

Say what?

Back in the day, I spoke with former Chairman Mike McCoy who noted that successor Karen McConnaughay blew through his $40 million surplus faster that a real housewife of Orange County on a three-day shopping bender.

When McConnaughay walked out that Building A front door, the surplus was no more than $1.4 million and the County contingency fund was well below that. So not only were there no surpluses during the McConnaughay years, but she raised taxes to the tune of 50 percent to cover the increasing expenses.

It’s only through the fine financial work of this County Board that we have any surplus whatsoever.

Keep trying Ken! Maybe someday even you will believe you!

Quick Hits

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