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DuPage County Board approves pay raises – smokescreens improper benefits

The DuPage County Board held a meeting on May 10, 0216, and in a similar move we had previously witnessed in Edgar County (here), the DuPage County Board, with Dan Cronin as Chairman, passed an Ordinance purporting to “restate benefits” for county elected officials – benefits that had never previously been legally authorized even though they have been collected.

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DuPage County Ordinance FI-O-0011-16 – RESTATING BENEFITS AVAILABLE TO ELECTED OFICIALS

It looks like the are simply restating what they have been authorized to receive, however, none of the “restated benefits” were ever authorized as required by law.

They first talk about Article VII in the Constitution, but fail to define what the Illinois Supreme Court has placed as the definition of Salary when talking about elected official compensation and the fact is must be set by the County 180 days prior to their term of office, and includes all payments and benefits. “We also note that the terms “salary” and “compensation” are virtually synonymous (Cummings v. Smith (1937), 368 Ill. 94, 99, 13 N.E.2d 69) and are used interchangeably in these provisions of the constitution.”

The “benefits previously made available” were never placed in any previous resolution or ordinance setting compensation of DuPage County elected officials and therefore could not possibly have been previously authorized as this Ordinance states.

Next is the statement: “to the extent any of these employee benefits constitute “compensation,” such benefits were approved by the County Board more than 180 days prior to the commencement of the terms of any of the County’s Etlected Officials.” This statement is attempting to claim that all previous benefits, even though never placed into the resolution/ordinance setting their compensation, were approved by the board. The Board is attempting to back-date the receipt of Health, Life, Dental, IMRF, and Vehicle Allowance for the board members who are in midterm and not taking office this coming December. It violates law.

Next is: “this Ordinance is a restatement of various employee benefits previously provided to the County’s Elected Officials – the county board cannot “restate” something that has never been previously authorized. As we have stated previously, the only way to authorize any of these benefits is to place them in the salary/compensation setting ordinance..

Finally: “BE IT ORDAINED, that nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed as increasing, decreasing, or in any way altering any employee benefit or part of the compensation previously available to any of the County’s Elected Officials” – Wow. what a sentence. So they restate previous benefits that never legally existed, claim those nonexistent restated benefits were effective prior to “all” elected officials took office (even though that is not the case), and then claim they are not altering anything while trying to add benefits to current officeholders.

Basically, this Ordinance is trash.

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DuPage reviewing salaries of elected leaders

Several elected DuPage County officials could get pay bumps over the next two years to keep them in line with what other officials receive.

The county board next month is expected to set pay scales for the auditor, coroner, recorder, circuit court clerk and six county board members for the fiscal years 2017 through 2020. The key issue is whether those officials — all of whom are up for election in November — should get 2 percent pay raises for fiscal 2017, which starts Dec. 1, and for fiscal 2018.

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Supporters say the raises are appropriate because the board agreed two years ago to give 2 percent salary increases during each of those two years to the county’s other elected officials.

“The question is, do we keep everybody the same so that all the board members are making the same?” board member Brian Krajewski said during a Tuesday finance committee meeting.

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Downers Grove Village Council comes to consensus on facility renovation plan

A majority of the Downers Grove Village Council supports a facilities overhaul plan that will largely address the needs of the police station, while delaying long-term solutions for the village hall.

Village staff presented two more facility plans at the April 19 council meeting, after presenting three plans with cost estimatesduring the March 1 meeting.

“What we heard quite literally from the council last month is the options should address the needs of the police station and should remain entirely within the $16 million total project budget,” Deputy Village Manager Michael Baker said.

A majority of the council liked “Option 4,” which would include an addition and interior renovations to the police station and short-term maintenance to the village hall. The plan is estimated to cost $15.1 million.

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A 13,200-square-foot addition would be built to the south of the police station and address most of the department’s stated operational deficiencies, including more private interview areas, larger lockers, and more space for investigations and evidence storage.

Most of the commissioners said that they are willing to allow the village to further explore this plan, as long as the police department is happy with it.

“From the beginning of this, I’ve said that taking care of the police station is my top priority, and ‘Option 4’ gets that done,” Commissioner Greg Hose said.

Mayor Martin Tully said the plan does nothing to solve the village hall problems, but he believes it is best to treat the police station and village hall as separate projects so they can make progress on some of the renovations.

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Citizen Watchdog Training

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Downers Grove Commissioner Barnett selective in conflict concerns

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The Village of Downers Grove Commissioner Bob Barnett appears to be very selective in which conflicts of interest concern him.  We recently reported on his request to the DuPage County State’s Attorney for an opinion regarding David Olsen serving as both the Mayor Pro tem for Downers Grove and a College of DuPage Trustee.

The question we now have is why is he concerned with David Olsen’s appointment when he was silent on past Mayor Sandack serving in that capacity as well as taking Dan Cronin’s vacated Senate seat?

Clearly a sitting Mayor has a potential conflict being a State Senator, but not a peep  out of Barnett, who also happens to be Sandack’s committee treasurer.

 

You can review the State Board of Elections report for Sandack, which confirms Barnett is in fact the treasure of his committee, at this link.

Of additional interest is how not a single paper, that we could find, raised any issue of concern regarding Sandack’s conflict of serving as Mayor and State Senator.  We can only wonder why it’s now newsworthy for the Daily Herald.

We know Cronin did not want Olsen to be appointed as COD Trustee, but the next question is what on earth do these people have against David Olsen?  Is his leadership  as a young and upcoming political figure in DuPage County a threat to the King-Maker?

We will update when the Attorney General responds to the request for an opinion, which may take years.

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Question on College of DuPage trustee’s role goes to attorney general

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The inquiry into whether College of DuPage Trustee David S. Olsen can simultaneously serve as a Downers Grove commissioner came from one of his peers on the village council, the Daily Herald has learned.

“It just seemed like a question worth getting a straight answer to,” said Commissioner Bob Barnett, who sent the email to DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin on March 10 asking for a legal opinion.

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Has Lemon Tree broken the agreement with the Village

Good Morning Everyone!

Watch with interest last Tuesday Council Meeting and the dialogue of the Council with Mr. Black. 

It is obvious that the Lemon Tree has broken the agreement with the Village by “closing their operation” completely and not offering any service to their customers (?).

When the Village heard the cry for a Downtown Grocery Store years ago, the definition of a grocery store was different than what the Lemon Tree has offered its Downers Grove Neighbors. 

I could talk on for a page of two but will put my feeling in just a few words!

Mr Black and his partners should find a different business and open it someplace else other than Downers Grove. 

His business cannot compete with the current providers of groceries in our immediate area, just block away to the north, South, East and west.  A convenience market on the side a restaurant will not make it in our downtown area.  Has anyone heard of Peapod and similar on line delivery services and places like Cuputo’s will deliver to your place for parties, etc  

Please put Lemon Tree out of its misery!  Its competitors WILL!

Bill Wrobel

Interested Citizen of Downers Grove

Public Property Trash Concerns

Good Afternoon everyone!

A recent visit to the DG Library and parking my car opposite the Pine Cone Cottage revealed a site and storage of a Trash Container that I had not observed before and I thought it timely to share with you. 

I have already shared with you the abuse of the recycled container by overfilling waiting for collection by the realestate/realestate tenants.  It is obvious that they have no concern for the appearance of the 

Village Parking Lot, Downtown Downers Grove and the North Entrance to the DG Public Library.

Their overflowing recycle bin is available for all to see. 

I call your attention to the fact that Pine Cone Cottage, the Library, and other merchants store their containers on their property. only a few Business use the Village Parking Lot for their Container Storage.

Last week, November 3rd, I submitted a few E Mails establishing the abuses of the site used in the Village Parking lot with suggestions and views of Organized Trash Container Storage in St. Charles with various suggestions as to how to proceed with reorganizing the Container Storage as it exists in the Village Parking Lot. 

I am requesting that the Village Manager organize a meeting at his convenience with the addressee’s of this email to discuss this issue and to develop a plan of action moving forward. 

I will be available, Thursday and Friday of this week, November 12 and 13.  Will not be available November 16th to November 20th inclusive. 

We have made progress since last December and this spring.  The Village must insist upon Container sizes, frequency of pick up, and Common Trash Hauler for all concerned Businesses since one or two businesses/tenants ignore the requests and the appearance of the Village Downtown and Village Parking lot which is most often mistaken for the DG Library Parking Lot since their is no signage indicating otherwise.

I am trying to resolve this problem with the instituting of the Downtown Recycling Program.  The time is right to institute these changes.

Manager Fieldman your facilitating this effort is greatly appreciated. 

Bill Wrobel – Downers Grove Watch

 

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David S. Olsen’s Independence Day Celebration

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As a fellow resident of the western suburbs, David Olsen is dedicated to our communities. Currently, David serves on the Downers Grove Village Council and is a local Republican leader who tirelessly works with everyone to promote commonsense conservative solutions. David hopes to do more for our area and redouble his civic efforts. Please join us for this special event.

Tickets are $50.00 per person. Sponsorships available.

Checks payable to Friends of David Olsen, 5613 Dunham Road, Downers Grove, IL 60516. With questions, contact olsen4illinois@gmail.com.

CATOE Presents Theatre Organ Concerts in Downers Grove

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