Unauthorized compensation of city commissioners: the fix should be simple

City of DeKalb has been paying compensation to at least two of its advisory commissions without proper authorization. Members of the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) and the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners both receive what look like meeting per diems in the expenditure records. But it turns out the payments aren’t properly authorized…

DeKalb Township is getting things done

With the election shenanigans and rough start of the new township board last year, I didn’t expect much from this public body at first. But eight months into it and they deserve credit for pro-public policies and practices. Meetings This week, for example, the board reversed an earlier decision to remove agenda background material from…

We could strengthen open meetings laws by plugging the ‘walking quorum’ loophole

I decided to find out more about Sycamore’s new city manager (who comes to us from Wisconsin) and ended up adding to my vocabulary. A ‘walking quorum’ is a series of gatherings among separate groups of members of a governmental body, each less than quorum size, who agree, tacitly or explicitly, to act uniformly in…

Housing authority roundup

Last summer, City of DeKalb did a favor for the Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb (HACD) by approving a plan to make a segment of North Sixth Street one-way to relieve the housing authority’s parking problem. Mind you, there’s no evidence of any parking issue. Meeting minutes and requests for information turned up…

Letter informs DeKalb County of an illegal stipend paid to a housing authority commissioner

Derek Van Buer has been filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the housing authority since last summer, and now is summarizing concerns he’s found for the DeKalb County Board (and where applicable, HUD officials). The first letter to the county, which alleges the housing authority has failed to follow travel reimbursement policies, is…

Letter requests oversight of housing authority’s business travel

DeKalb resident Derek Van Buer sent me a copy of a letter he is sharing with members of the DeKalb County Board and officials of the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) regarding the Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb (HACD) and work-related travel restrictions. DeKalb County Board is the appointive body for…

Addressing DeKalb Public Library’s proposed 14%-plus levy increase

During DeKalb’s public hearing on its property tax levy, which includes the library’s levy, several people spoke out about the library’s plan to increase its take by more than 14%. They requested the city council hold library trustees accountable for the request, which they view as irresponsible. DeKalb claims that it must approve any levy…

Water reservations in DeKalb

Third in a series. First one is here. Second is here. Water conflicts continue to develop in the Joliet area. A small but vocal group of protesters gathered on the steps of Joliet city hall on Monday night to rail against Mayor Robert O’Dekirk’s controversial plan to solve a looming water crisis by tripling rates…

Another source of revenue loss for DeKalb County Nursing & Rehab is confirmed

The latest on the DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center (DCRNC) financial situation comes from a 35-minute discussion during DeKalb County Board’s Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting November 10. I’ve written about revenue losses due to low census, and increased expenses because of the facility’s dependence on outside agencies for staffing. Now county staff…

DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing’s management agreement

This is the third post in a series about DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center (DCRNC) and its financial issues. First post is here and the second, here. In the second post, I said we’d take a look at the budgeteers for DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center (DCRNC). While the DCRNC Operating Board, the…