Last year legislators from both sides of the aisle came together to approve a “smart streamlining” bill (Senate Bill 3) that would enable all 102 Illinois counties to begin merging or eliminating overlapping, and arguably, unnecessary units of government, including many of our 1,400 antiquated townships.
Illinois has 7,000 units of government, more than any other state in the nation. In fact, there are more governing bodies in Illinois than in New York and Florida combined, even though both states far outpace Illinois’ population. Partly due to all those governments, Illinois has the second-highest property taxes nationwide.
SB 3 gives local governments the flexibility they need to make the most out of limited resources by, when appropriate, consolidating or dissolving districts and townships into more efficient governing bodies.
The Better Government Association supports SB3, along with other non-partisan organizations and advocacy groups across the state, including Transform Illinois, of which the BGA is a member.
SB 3 gives Illinois an opportunity to become a national leader in government efficiency.
In a democracy it is especially important that citizens have access to information so they can actively participate in government and make good choices on Election Day; at Leyden School District 212, transparency is the best way to promote #leydenpride
As Thomas Jefferson said, “An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.”
Elected officials should stop making excuses on why they can’t be more transparent.
Leyden SD 212 regularly affirms their commitment to transparency in their governance.
But are their actions implementing their statement supporting “transparency” ?
An intense review of Leyden SD 212 website calls their commitment for “transparency” into question. when you cannot even find the “Board of Education policies” on their website.
The policies are basic to school district governance and the only way that you can get a copy of the Leyden High School SD 212 Board Policies is to file a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the school district.
So as a taxpayer of Leyden SD 212, and for many as a parent or student of Leyden SD212 to review the governance documents of the District you have to file a FOIA .
Yet numerous adjacent grammar and high school districts have their policies on line.
So why, as the District that continuously articulates its desire to provide transparency in its governance, SD212 does not publish its governing documents on their own website ?
I had to file a FOIA to get a copy of the governance boards policies.
I am posting a link to a copy of Leyden High School District 212 Policies.
Please go to this link to review Leyden High School District 212 policies:
I hope that my Blog article will encourage SD 212 to pursue their stated goal of transparency more aggressively to provide access to the governing policies of Leyden High Schools for the students, parents and taxpayers of the District.
Until the SD 212 decides to portray their words of transparency in action by posting their governing Board policies you can refer to my blog page to review the policies.
I will have more to say about transparency at Leyden School District 212 in the future; I am hoping to provoke a conversation as to how the Leyden Board of Education should implement their commitment to “transparency” .
True “transparency” at Leyden School District 212 will promote #leyden pride.
Let’s all encourage the Leyden High School Board Of Education SD 212 to post their Board policies !
Schiller Park Village Board is Considering The Exempting of Private Employers from Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance
At the June 1, regular meeting, the Schiller Park Board of Trustees will vote on an ordinance that would effectively exempt private employers in the village from ordinances passed last October by the Cook County Board of Commissioners that would increase the minimum wage and establish earned sick leave for employees.
I raised this issue in February, 2017, in my article at https://royfmc.com/2017/02/09/should-leyden-and-norwood-park-township-villages-opt-out-of-cook-county-minimum-wage-ordinance/ , when I encouraged the Village Board of Schiller Park to opt out of the Cook County ordinance.
Under the county’s minimum wage law, private employers would be required to pay employees $10 an hour starting July 1, 2017. The current minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 an hour.
The minimum wage in Cook County would then increase by $1 each year through 2020. On July 1, 2021 and each July afterwards, the minimum wage will increase by the rate of inflation up to 2.5 percent. If unemployment is over 8.5 percent, however, there will be no increase.
As I noted in my earlier article that the county’s minimum wage ordinance creates an “uneven playing field for employers and employees inside and outside of Cook County.”
Many home rule municipalities have opted-out of the county’s minimum wage law, creating an uneven patchwork of wage levels across the county. In addition, the wage law also creates an uneven playing field between counties.
The communities that are opting out want the state to address this in order to create an even playing field.
When a community opts out, it creates an uneven playing field not only for employers but for employees. You can have people in neighboring communities working the same job and getting different wages. That’s in Cook County. If you’re next to, say, DuPage County, you can have a scenario with three different sets of rules.
Cook County took a step forward and raised the bar and I applaud them for that, but they’ve created now a patchwork of communities opting out, which those communities have a constitutional right to do.
So far at least 13 other villages in Cook County have opted out, including Bellwood (which opted out in March), River Forest, Rosemont, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, and Elmwood Park. The county’s minimum wage law doesn’t apply to public employers like municipalities.
Currently, Springfield is working on a proposed minimum wage law, called HB 198, which would raise the minimum wage for both private and public employers across the state from its current level to $9 on January 1, 2018. The minimum wage would then increase to $10, $11.25, $13 and $15 each subsequent year until 2022.
If House Bill 198 is enacted, it would provide a uniform minimum wage applicable to all Illinois employers and employees, as opposed to the Cook County Ordinance, which only applies to private employers within Cook County, and not public employers, like the Village.
An Office of Executive Inspector General investigation into Northern Illinois University’s hiring and spending practices has found that President Doug Baker routinely circumvented state laws and regulations to reward friends and associates.
The report, commissioned after watchdog groups and whistleblowers questioned Baker’s use of the so-called “affiliate employee” classification for hires in key university positions, shows what investigators call a pattern of dodging procurement code requirements.
“As a result of (Baker’s) actions, since 2013 NIU has paid over $1 million in public funds to consultants who were not selected through a competitive procurement process,” the report released Wednesday said.
In addition, the school, facing millions of dollars in cuts due to a $35 million funding gap, has paid nearly $200,000 in legal fees to outside counsel for Baker during the course of the OEIG investigation.
The report also found numerous support staff to Baker had assisted in the practices, and some had further used their positions to gain extra payments over and above their salaries.
Another Baker hire, Ron Walters, received $463,125 in compensation as an affiliate employee from June 2013 to Dec. 2014. According to the report, Baker described Walters as a friend and explained to then NIU Dir. of Human Resources Steve Cunningham that Walters was a “turnaround consultant.”
The OEIG report says that when Cunningham informed Baker that the school could not pay Walters more than $20,000 for his services, “Baker showed a ‘high degree’ of dissatisfaction with the Procurement Code,” and that Baker instructed Cunningham to “find a way” to onboard Walters.
The report identified five employees: Ron Walters, who was paid $463,125; Nancy Suttenfield, who was paid $425,041; Ken Wilson, who was paid $135,963; Magaly Rodriguez, who was paid $85,031; and William Pfeiffer, who was paid $23,516. […]
Although Baker agreed with the report’s findings that there were no violations of the state’s Ethics Act, he disagreed with any implications that there was intent to circumvent NIU’s guidelines or state regulations.
April 23, 1914………Weeghman Park (Wrigley Field), opens for the first time, with the Chicago Federals as the first tenants. The Federals are part of the upstart Federal League, the 3rd Major League. The Federals will remain in Weeghman Park for 2 years, winning the championship in 1915, before the league dissolves, and the Cubs move in, in 1916. The Cubs had been playing in West Side Park. Charley Weeghman owns the Cubs that first year, with William Wrigley also owning a small percentage, and the park remains Weeghman Park until 1920, when it becomes Cubs Park. It remains Cubs Park until 1926, when William Wrigley, the sole owner of the Cubs then, officially names it Wrigley Field. Why was this park built in a more residential section of Chicago and not near a major road? Well because the park, built in 1914, was situated near the Milwaukee Railroad. This is the only remaining Federal League park that still stands. The photos are Weeghman Park, April 23, 1914.
Have you seen parakeets in Chicago? Some time in the 1970s, somebody’s pet parakeets escaped. These weren’t tropical parakeets, but ones that evolved in the relatively cold climate of southern South America, called Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus). Their cold-tolerance and huge apartment building-like stick nests, along with food from backyard bird feeders, allows them to survive Chicago winters. There are still populations on Chicago’s south side, where they have been since the 70s, and there are other colonies in the suburbs.