Thursday, May 26, 2016

Help us Kill The Route 53 extension Now and Forever

The currently projected 2.65 Billion Dollar Route 53 Extension into Lake County took a big hit when our Chairman Aaron Lawlor courageously reversed his decision to support this boondoggle. This Rt. 53, 45mph pipe dream that has the tollway authority currently scheduled to spend 10's of millions in studies over the next few years needs to be stopped right now.

With folks running from Illinois as fast as they can because of large debt, super high property taxes, and many dysfunctional politicians, some Lake County Board Members continue to push for this new costly roadway.

Now is the right time to get a full Lake County Board consensus on if we should continue to move forward on this Route 53 project or cut the line and Lake County Board support. Whether it is a resolution or a letter from our Chairman that gives direction to staff and the tollway authority on Route 53, we need to act now.  Let us put the project up for debate and get the consensus on the Lake County Board to shut this thing down for good.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Lake County Board Should Reform Redistricting to be Fair to Citizens

Five years ago a few Lake County Board Member Republicans sat around a table and put forward the Republican minded redistricting for the 2012 Elections. With the reduction of two seats on the Lake County Board the Republican Majority did what they could to make those Democratic Seat Losses. They were 50% successful by eliminating a Democratic seat in Deerfield, increasing the Republican majority.

These districts established for the 2012 elections were simply designed to give leverage and a unfair advantage to the Republicans Majority on the board. This is easily done by packing more Democrats in districts the Republicans can't win thus putting less Democrats in districts that might be competitive or democratic leaning.

While the Lake County Story is about the bully pen of the Republican Majority being unfair to all the residents of Lake County, I suggest all governments need follow a non-partisan process for redistricting in our future. We should immediately change our laws and rules to promote fairness and equality for a process that will begin again in just a few years.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Allow Public Online Access to our Committee Meetings! Now!

Do you think we should have a recorded feed to our Finance and other Lake County Board Committee Meetings? Yes, of course you do because in Lake County Government all the action takes place in Committee and the once a month full board meetings are Boooorrrrrinng! Yesterday at our Finance Committee meeting Sandy Hart of Lake Bluff spoke to the need for transparency and better public access to these meetings. While this issue had be discussed in the past in 2015, it was kind of... tabled at that time. At the begining of the meeting the conversation was cut short because the chairman thought this was a NEW MEMBER INITIATIVE that was outside our normal county function and should be discussed later on in the agenda under budget policies. The fine tuning of our budget policies is the normal beginning process of the yearly budget discussions. Because the State of Illinois has cut several grants and monies to local governments we have to look at ways we can futher restrain our spending and give all the departments and directors a clear message about cost reductions atributed to revenue cuts. On this issue I fully agree and keep pushing on living within our means. Now, the new initative section of the budget policies deals with a proceedure to create a new program whether it comes to our administrator from the staff or the board members. We have all decided that we should not allow those in 2017 because of fiscal restraints mostly attributed from State of Illinois uncertainies and I agree. The issue of giving public online access to our meetings has been pigeon holed in this catagory of New Initiatives by Chairman Lawlor and everybody else on the Committee but yours truley who strongly objected to this process.Being put into new intiatives would effectively kill online meeting access until 2018. To record meetings would take about 90k in capital unbudgeted money we already have in our telecommunications account. Communications is not a new program. Maybe for the communication crew to go out and tape an event might now require them to go through a new membership initiative process! Our Chairman has taped his Dirty Jobs Show for 3 years now at a cost of $$$$$ and it did not have to go through this process. We have had crews come to our district to tape us and it has not gone through new member initiatives! Come on Now. I thinking that maybe the "New Member Initiatives" is just a another way of making something hard to get done that the BIGWIGS just dont want to do... RIGHT?