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…

DeKalb planning to ignore existing policies to sideline the clerk’s office once again

City council will take up a proposal tomorrow to appoint the executive assistant as permanent recorder of the meeting minutes. They can’t bar the city clerk from attending meetings and taking minutes, so here’s what they’ve come up with: The follow-on ordinance…will not prevent the Clerk from taking minutes and presenting them, but the Council…

DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing: How staff retention issues helped lead to its financial problems

In the first post of this series, we looked at nursing home census as a measure of the financial health of a facility like DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing (DCRNC). In fact, DCRNC gave great census, its occupancy mostly in the 170s and even 180s from 2015 until 2019. Consistently high census numbers kept revenues…

City Barbs’ sweet sixteen

Yep, City Barbs Blog turns sixteen today. The first post is here. Occasionally, in years past, I’ve done small fundraising appeals on this anniversary to help cover website expenses, and the responses have been lovely and encouraging. Now I’m back with another appeal, and this time it’s more ambitious: I love bringing the blog to…

DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing’s budget woes started before 2020

This is first of a series. DeKalb County Board voted recently to continue to help cover expenses for DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center (DCRNC) in the face of a worsening revenue picture. The board had approved a loan of $2 million last spring to improve cash flow issues resulting from a $2.8 million revenue…

Elements of a sound policy for automated license plate readers

The Daily Chronicle covered the October 11 city council discussion that led to approval of the purchase of 12 automated license plate readers. The newspaper purports to know how DeKalb PD plans to use the ALPRs, but that is not entirely true. They talked about some aspects, but as yet DeKalb has no formal policy…

Water is the new TIF

This is second of a series. First one is here. For years, DeKalb bailed out its general operating budget with tax increment financing (TIF) funds. TIF administrative fees helped soften the blows following the 2008 market crashes and assisted the hiring spree after that. Now the enormous “TIF 1” district is gone, replaced by the…