Fazekas Launches Campaign for DeKalb City Clerk

Click here for the campaign Facebook page, new today.

Click here for my answers to the Daily Chronicle editorial board’s questions for DeKalb city clerk candidates.

Watch for my guest post at DeKalb County Online, coming soon.

I do not have plans for a campaign website, and of course I will not use City Barbs for campaigning. The FB page is it — along with the other sites listed above plus any other public forums all the candidates can use.

There is no “r” in Fazekas

I want to offer a few words on my write-in candidacy for DeKalb City Clerk so it doesn’t get weird between us. I filed last Thursday, aware by that point of one other person who might be running and found out later that we are four.

A public statement of candidacy and a Facebook page are planned, and I’ll let you know when they are available.

Outside of those things I am still working out what’s fair to post here during the campaign. Of course I have opinions, strong ones, on the so-called “neutering” of the city clerk’s position, on Kapitan’s candidacy and about the mayoral candidates, but I don’t know that City Barbs will cover any of these topics directly between now and April 9.

One matter we will explore soon for sure is the City of DeKalb’s improved website. You may be aware that the City of DeKalb recently passed, in the “B” range, the Illinois Policy Institute’s transparency test for its online postings even though it’s gotten an “F” from me on the same test in the past. The good folks at IPI are waiting for me to rate the site again; it will be a good test not only of the site but of the IPI scoring system as well. The matter is on my list in ink and I hope to get to it sometime this week.

Write-In Candidates in DeKalb County So Far

*Update: Final list of candidates is here.*

In the article, “DeKalb County Certifies Preliminary Ballot,” the county clerk stated that there are about six people who have filed as write-in candidates in April’s Consolidated Election so far. As of 9:30 a.m. today there were indeed exactly six:

  • Michael Franckowiak – Genoa Park Board
  • Veronica Bruhl – Kaneland Board of Education
  • Rick Goken – Shabbona Township Trustee
  • Virginia E. Toppe – Malta Library Trustee
  • Charles G. Rose – DeKalb Regional Board of Education
  • Antonio C. Amaya – Genoa Park Board
  • We could see additional declarations of write-in campaigns this week because the deadline is Thursday, after which the final list of candidates will be posted at dekalbclerk.com.

    While I’m at it I’d like to recognize John Acardo and the Office of the DeKalb County Clerk & Recorder for their high standards of professionalism and customer service. Nobody answers requests for information faster than they do, the communication is very good and I like how I am treated.

    The Real Reason There’s a “Skating Rink Lady” in This Municipal Election

    Last night I was lucky to attend the candidates’ night hosted by the DeKalb Area Rental Association. Candidates running for DeKalb mayor and aldermen participated.

    Some performances I liked real well, others I didn’t. Later, I realized the people who impressed me the least were the ones promising regular town hall meetings, ward coffee sessions, open-door policies, transparency!™ and citizen input up the wazoo. Continue reading The Real Reason There’s a “Skating Rink Lady” in This Municipal Election

    Mt. Vernon Residents to See Home Rule Question on November Ballot

    When last we left our Mt. Vernon heroes, they had just presented a petition to have the question of revoking Home Rule put on the ballot in November.

    I was a little alarmed that the Mt. Vernon city council had planned to vet the petition. In DeKalb this would probably constitute the kiss of death, but apparently democracy is still valued in some parts of Illinois.

    The ballot wording voters will see is: “Should the people of Mt. Vernon, IL return the power to raise local taxes only by a vote from the people approving said tax, stopping the City Council from raising taxes through their sole power of Home Rule without your vote? If so vote Yes to Revoke Home Rule powers from the City of Mt. Vernon, in the County of Jefferson, State of Illinois, 62864.”

    The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Past Presidents’ Council is reportedly launching a campaign to educate voters about Home Rule in Mt. Vernon, and what the consequences of repeal would be.

    Public Corruption Might Possibly Exist in DeKalb County, and if It Does, the State’s Attorney is On It

    Back when I first worked in developmental disabilities (DD) adult services, it was very well known that abuse and neglect of persons with disabilities occurred only in Chicago and just couldn’t, and didn’t, ever happen in DeKalb County.

    But of course abuse and neglect actually can happen anywhere; and when we finally got around to admitting it, we began doing something about it WHEN, not IF, it occurred.

    Same deal with public corruption. “We’re not Chicago” is not going to cut it anymore. State’s Attorney Clay Campbell must sense this, because he has begun a “proactive” anti-corruption initiative. It has arrived conveniently close to the date of the primary elections and he is trying to play both sides, but for the moment I care little about this because Campbell, with one presentation, has pulled the topic into mainstream public discourse.

    Lots more at DeKalb County Online.

    Candidates’ Night Thursday to be Televised

    DeKalb City Council Chambers will serve as the setting for a candidates’ night on Thursday evening involving some of the candidates City of DeKalb residents will vote on, and will include a telecast on Channel 14, the city’s public access channel.

    The newly reconstituted League of Women Voters of DeKalb County (LWVDC) is hosting. Participating candidates of non-contested races will provide short presentations about themselves and their platforms, while contested races will involve questions from the audience as well.

    Find more info at the Chronicle or e-mail leagueofdekalbcounty@gmail.com

    Full disclosure: I serve on the LWVDC board of directors.

    Political What?

    This morning I read Daily Chronicle Editor Jason Schaumburg’s weekend column. He supports term limits to fix what ails our governments.

    The line of reasoning goes like this:

    Term limits would curtail the influence of money and lobbyists in government. They would attract the right kind of candidate to seek office. If money and greed are out of the equation, political lifers make way for public servants.

    If we don’t allow candidates to stay in Washington or Springfield too long, then they can’t become puppets of the lobbyists pouring money into their coffers.

    The President has a term limit, yet he’s raised more money than anyone in history, and it easily could be argued he’s somewhat beholden to the big donors.

    The only way to take money out of the equation is to take money out of the equation.

    But how about term limits for the unelected? Appointed administrators wield real power locally and consolidate that power over time with favors borne of generous spending limits. In DeKalb, there’s not even an expiration date on the city manager’s contract to prompt a performance evaluation and open council vote on retention.

    Lastly, there’s this at the end of the column:

    Road to the White House can be found at Daily-Chronicle.com/whitehouse. On it, you’ll find stories about the presidential race, bios for the Republican candidates, Twitter feeds for the candidates, polling data and more.

    If you are a political junkie, you’ll want to bookmark this website.

    It bothers me — in general only, no particular reflection on Mr. Schaumburg — that if you’re interested in campaigns, politics and/or policy, you get labeled a “junkie” like there’s something deviant about you. It’s another symptom of what ails us, methinks.

    Public Library Accused of Promoting Tax Referendum

    From the Buffalo Grove Patch publication:

    [Activist and Buffalo Grove resident Rob] Sherman alleges that the [Indian Trails Public Library] illegally used tax revenue to promote the referendum. Voters on Tuesday will decide whether the library’s improvement plans warrant an increase in the district’s tax levy.

    Governing bodies such as library and school districts can disseminate factual information about elections, but are prohibited from telling voters how to cast their ballots.

    Library officials say that a successful referendum would not have a financial impact on taxpayers, as the increased levy would be adopted as bond debt is retired. Sherman said that the library’s recent mailing, which uses green text that proclaims “GROW YOUR LIBRARY … Not Your Tax Bill,” goes beyond providing the facts.

    I’ve heard questionable statements made by units of government locally in these cases. For example, one or two City of DeKalb aldermen goofed when they tried to request residents get out and vote on the District 428 construction referendum two years ago and actually said to vote FOR it.

    So maybe the only unit of government that should be disseminating information on ballot initiatives and other election issues is the Office of the County Clerk.

    Sherman himself is running for Village Clerk. Here is his home page.

    Here is the Indian Trails Public Library website.