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Sharply divided Illinois Supreme Court keeps redistricting question off fall ballot

I am deeply disappointed by today’s ruling. The people of Illinois overwhelmingly support independent redistricting, but the decision came in favor of the corrupt Chicago Machine who fear that having an independent body draw district maps will erode their power.
Politics shouldn’t be about maintaining power, it should be about making government work for the people. That’s why I am proud to support political reforms like term limits and fair maps, reforms that will get Springfield working for us again.

-Rep. David Olsen, 81st District



Vattimo Resigns

Commissioner Gina Vattimo announced today that she will resign her seat on the Village Council effective immediately. In a letter to the Village Council, Vattimo expressed her gratitude for having the opportunity to serve the community.

“It’s been my privilege to serve the Downers Grove community and to work with the highly skilled and dedicated members of the Village Council and staff. I would especially like to thank Mayor Tully for being a great mentor as well as someone who cares deeply about Downers Grove and its future,” Vattimo stated.

Mayor Martin Tully said, “While her time on the Village Council was short, her contributions were many and meaningful. Her service to the community is very much appreciated.”

The Village Council will work expeditiously to fill the vacancy created by her resignation.

Olsen Launches Official Web Site


My staff is working hard to make my transition into the Illinois General Assembly as seamless as possible. To that end, I already have a website that will be populated with useful information for the people I represent. Please visit www.repolsen.com frequently to learn about upcoming community events, and about issues of importance coming out of Springfield.

As your voice in Springfield, I will work tirelessly to make our state and our local communities a great place to live, work and raise a family. I am interested in speaking to community groups, so if you would like me to speak to an organization within the 81st District, please contact my office at (630) 737-0504, or contact me through the web form located on my web site.

David Olsen Chosen As New District 81Representative


David S. Olsen was sworn in Wednesday and will replace Ron Sandack as the State Representative for the 81st District.  He will face off against Democratic candidate Greg Hose’ in November.  Both candidates serve as Commissioners on the Downers Grove Village Council with Mr. Olsen relinquishing that position in favor of his appointment.

We wish David well.

DuPage GOP and Will GOP appoint David Olsen to fill vacant state representative seat

Downers Grove, Ill.—The 81st Representative District Committee, comprised of DuPage GOP Chairman Brian Krajewski and Will GOP Chairman Kathy Havel, announced today the appointment of David Olsen to the Office of State Representative for the 81st Legislative District of Illinois.


“David is an exceptional public servant and he’ll be a great State Representative for us,” said DuPage GOP Chairman Brian Krajewski. “As Downers Grove Commissioner and recently as COD Trustee, David fights for taxpayers and brings people together for commonsense solutions.”

After interviewing about a half dozen candidates this morning and early afternoon, Chairman Krajewski and Will GOP Chairman Kathy Havel agreed that David Olsen is the most qualified person to serve the remainder of the term. The Chairmen also appointed Olsen to take the 81st District Republican ballot position for the upcoming election.

“We interviewed many outstanding candidates who applied to fill this vacancy,” said Chairman Havel. “David’s record in support of respectful, responsible, representative government and his commitment to the communities in the district was unrivaled.”

Since 2013, Olsen has served on the Downers Grove Village Council where he promotes economic development, neighborhood engagement, and municipal transparency and accountability. And as a newly-appointed trustee of the College of DuPage, Olsen brought order to a dysfunctional board, passed a balanced budget, and enacted significant reforms for the benefit of both students and taxpayers. Olsen is expected to be sworn in on Wednesday, August 3, 2016.

The 81st Legislative District is in DuPage and Will Counties. The municipalities included are all or parts of Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville, Woodridge, Darien, Westmont, Bolingbrook, and unincorporated areas. Incumbent State Representative Ron Sandack unexpectedly resigned last Sunday.

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.



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.


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.


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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Downers Grove Commissioner Barnett selective in conflict concerns

DuPage Co. (ECWd)-

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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