Let’s catch up on a few of our previous stories!
Never accuse Kearns and West of competency
In my June 13 column, I surmised the proximate cause for Elgin’s Community Task Force on Policing Chairman LeJewell Crigler’s nuclear detonation at their June 30 meeting was the group’s moderators. My theory was that Kearns and West, finally realizing they had to move the process along, started applying the kind of pressure that rankled Crigler.
But apparently, no one should ascribe to competency that which can be adequately explained by ego and intolerance, because what really got the then-chairman’s goat was the task force officially adopting a proposal to increase the number of Elgin police officers.
And it was an excellent suggestion on two levels, too! First, new hires would take the pressure off those overworked officers who’d likely be less patient as a result of that persistent fatigue. And second, EPD overtime is always an expensive taxpayer proposition that would be greatly mitigated by an expanded officer pool.
But it would seem that Crigler embraces the “defund the police” movement and she took vast umbrage at the task force, particularly its white and Hispanic members, for not seeing things her way. It didn’t help that she persists in believing the task force was created solely to serve the black community and not all of Elgin.
Instead of lobbying the task force members to see things her way, and being gracious in the face potential defeat, something any experienced public body chairman would’ve understood, Crigler launched into an embarrassing tirade by which she accused task force members of “not listening.” Though ironically, had she “listened,” she would’ve understood that 81 percent of black Americans want more, and not less, police officers in their neighborhoods.
To be fair, Crigler was set up to fail from the start. When you add ineffectual moderators to city councilperson Tish Powell’s insistence on an inexperienced and overly progressive group concocted solely to generate a specific political result, failure is the only option.
Everybody rails against “career politicians” until they have to endure the result of rookies who don’t begin to understand Roberts Rules of Order. Remember, this task force originally wanted to have five or six chairpersons which is an utterly untenable proposition.
So, Crigler resigned, un-resigned, and then resigned again, essentially destroying her nascent political career. And that’s a truly sad ending when you consider that she had a lot to offer the people of Elgin.
In the end, we’re all responsible for our own actions, but, once again, I will lay this specific debacle squarely at the feet of Kearns and West who were either too lazy or too timid to educate the task force on how a government body really works.
Marcus! The Tower Building wasn’t built in a day.
One of task force member Marcus Banner’s longstanding proposals has been to create a citizen’s board to review EPD disciplinary actions. As long as that board truly represents the basic Elgin demographics and maintains members with some law enforcement background for that critical 360-degree perspective, I think it’s a great idea.
But my good friend Mr. Banner remains steadfast in his belief that, unless that board is granted more than advisory powers “nothing will change.”
Marcus! My public response to your contention is that the Elgin Tower Building wasn’t built in a day, or as the Zen folks like to say, “You can’t make the grass grow by pulling on it.” Before you pronounce that board DOA, why not give a shot first? I’ve covered all manner of local politics for more than a decade and, if done correctly, advisory boards can have a very positive effect.
Might I also suggest that if, over time, this new board demonstrates its mettle and competency, those potential powers might come in stage two, three, or four. A journey of a thousand steps never begins with the fifth one.
My only request would be that you apply your vast insights to setting up this new board to succeed and not fail.
A prediction retraction
Well, that lasted less than a week!
If you read my June 30 primary recap column, you would’ve noted that, as a result of lingering COVID mitigation anger, I predicted that State Senator Darren Bailey would beat incumbent Illinois governor J.B. Pritkzer in November.
And I did this despite my disdain for Bailey accepting Trump’s endorsement in a predominantly blue state when the polls indicated he really didn’t need it. But I figured that was a minor faux pas, and if his campaign team managed to keep him on track, Bailey could have a real shot.
But then he opened his mouth and inserted his rather large right foot directly therein with his abysmally absurd social media response to the Highland Park shooting:
Friends, let’s pray for the law enforcement and even the organizers of this parade. They’ve done an amazing job. There’s a lot of confusion and frustration that the parade’s been canceled but they did the right thing because peoples’ safety has got to come first. The shooter is still at large. So, let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation.
“Let’s move on?” Had he consulted a remedial sixth grade student before uttering those unfortunate words she would’ve told him just how bad that declaration really was. Worse yet, in an effort that makes him sound even more tone deaf than the Cheeto Supreme, Bailey used the shooting “opportunity” to promote his campaign.
And Bailey couldn’t afford that kind stupid because he desperately needs to develop a strong campaign dynamic to bring in the kind of dollars it will take to compete with gazillionaire Governor Pointless self-campaign funding. As a consequence of that beyond basic blunder, the Tribune reported that Bailey has all of $400,000 in his war chest when Pritzker spends that much on lunch.
Though he seems to have cleaned up his fourth-grade playground act, without a strong top-of-the-ticket candidate, Attorney General contender Tom DeVore’s chances are fading faster than Joe Biden’s Tour de France hopes.
Only in the Lane of Lincoln.
The Judge won’t Budge
We’re going to harken back to The First Ward’s July 8 column on Kane County Judge Susan Clancy Boles “butchering” her neighbors trees while that neighbor was on vacation.
Silly me! I was convinced the bad publicity my coverage would inevitably generate would encourage the Judge, who’s running for an open Second District Appellate Court seat, to agree to the beyond reasonable settlement my friend Joy and her husband had offered.
All Joy asked was for the Boles to remove the unsightly 12-foot stump and plant a row of arbor vitae to replace the missing tree. But despite the incontrovertible photographic evidence against her, Judge Boles won’t budge. Though it’s a blatant lie, she insists that she only trimmed those branches that were over her property.
So, now that settlement is off the table, this slam dunk case is headed to court, and Joy will likely sue for the full value of a 100-year elm as well as the obvious property value reduction. I wish I enjoyed the kind of fertile imagination that could actually make this kind of stuff up.
Judge Boles doesn’t seem to understand that her unbridled arrogance will dog her throughout that campaign because I’m going to make damn sure that it does!