Post-Meeting Open Thread

So, what did we learn from the latest Council meeting? We learned that, even though Fairview Drive residents have spoken at three meetings, made phone calls and sent letters and e-mail to them, one or more Council members perceived little opposition to forced annexation because the residents failed to arrive as an angry mob last night.

After talking with a few — they are my neighbors and some of them are my friends — my take is that they know a done deal when they see one. This was confirmed in fact by their new alderman, who remarked that the annexation’s been in the works for six months.

Gallagher Despairs of ‘Appeasing’ the Fairview 29

Two e-mails were forwarded to me today. The first is an appeal from one of the Fairview homeowners to be excluded from forced annexation. The second is 4th Ward Alderman Brendon Gallagher’s response.

To: [City of DeKalb Council Members]
Subject: Involuntary annexation

11 June 2010

Mr. Gallagher, Council and Mayor;

I am writing to inform you of our opposition to the city’s intent to involuntarily annex the property at 1912 S. Fourth St. I am asking that you consider this property excluded from the annexation. The Lothsons purchased this lot in 1951 and built this home. They still own and live there today.

In 1993 when homes where built on Lucerne there was a meeting between then Mayor Sparrow, Mr. Monas, Mr. Naylor ( Public Works) Mr. Zima from the Sanitary District, my mother Mrs. Lothson, and myself. It was determined at that time that in order for this property to be connected to city water and sewer that a lift station needed to be installed and maintained by us. Continue reading Gallagher Despairs of ‘Appeasing’ the Fairview 29

Involuntary Annexation Info: Utilities

Questions have arisen about whether the owners of involuntarily-annexed properties would be obligated to hook up to city utilities. Here is a sampling of the applicable provisions of DeKalb’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), Chapter 23, Article 10.

10.02.02 Private Sewage Disposal Systems Limited

At such time as the sanitary sewer system becomes available within one hundred (100) feet of a property served by an existing private sewage disposal facilities, a direct connection shall be made to the public sanitary sewer system within ninety (90) days after date of official notice to do so, and any septic tanks, cesspools, and similar private sewage disposal facilities shall be abandoned, cleaned of sludge, and filled with clean bank-run gravel or dirt.

10.02.03 Sanitary Sewer Recovery Cost Continue reading Involuntary Annexation Info: Utilities

Fairview Annexation Map

When the letter about a “discussion” of involuntary annexation of unincorporated property along Fairview Drive went out to the property owners, it was marked “enclosure” but there was no enclosure. However, the city remembered to include it with the latest correspondence, a letter of intent to annex. It’s the map, below. Click on it to view a larger image.

Fairview Annexation Map

The public hearing on the involuntary annexations will be held next Monday, during the regular City Council meeting.

City Committees & the Culture of Mediocrity

Fourth Ward Alderman Brendon Gallagher has been guiding a BYOB license proposal through the city’s legislative process. Here is what he reported at his website about last Tuesday’s Liquor Commission meeting.

One member of the Commission asked the GM of the Haru of Japan sushi restaurant (who was at the meeting for liquor license approval) and I am not kidding on this question, “What ethnicity of waitstaff are your [sic] going to hire?”

This is 2010!!! Is Archie Bunker on this commission? What type of question is that to ask?

The General Manager of Haru of Japan asked a simple “What?” for his response.

Now you would think that the commission member would have taken the hint not to ask this again. But oh no he swung for the fences with “What ethnicity of your waitstaff are you going to hire?”

Wow! I could not believe he asked it a second time.

The GM of Haru of Japan looked shocked. He gave a great answer, “We are going to hire responsible people who want to work and be over 21 if they serve alcohol.”

From Gallagher’s description, it sounds like much of the meeting was a professionalism FAIL.

Brendon Gallagher is My Alderman

The 4th Ward has gone for so long without honest, effective representation that it took me awhile to recognize — trust? — the change; but it’s becoming apparent now we have a winner in Brendon Gallagher. He does his homework, is loyal to his Ward, obviously learns something every meeting, and shows little sign of getting sucked into the ethically-challenged culture at city hall. Last night Gallagher showed true leadership in the discussion and vote on the question of rescinding the Target tax abatement agreement. He deserves our support. He has mine. Two thumbs up.

Highlights and lowlights after the jump. Continue reading Brendon Gallagher is My Alderman

Notes & More from 8/10/2009 Council Meeting

When people say, “I am not making this up,” as the public works director did last night in explaining the lack of competitive bids for waste pickup, I begin to wonder about the occasions when they don’t say it. You?


Mayor Povlsen is still calling comments he disagrees with “misinformation” based on a continued presumption of residents’ ignorance of Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Here is a challenge. I’ll put together a quiz team of eight citizens from last night’s audience to compete with City Council in an exercise to test TIF knowledge. We could call it the TIF Olympics. Let’s hold it on Halloween — I think the results would be pretty scary from the residents’ point of view, if Mr. Baker’s confession is any indication. Continue reading Notes & More from 8/10/2009 Council Meeting

Dear Citizen

An e-mail exchange between a resident of the 4th Ward and Alderman Gallagher was forwarded to me.

From: mark cxxx []
Sent: Tue 8/4/2009 3:13 AM
To: Gallagher, Brendon
Subject: RE: Southside fire station


When you get a chance I would like to discuss something that I recently came across.

Fire Station No. 2 (South 7th Street) no longer has a fire engine housed there, only an ambulance. According to the new blog Save DeKalb, the reduction was effective August 1. I am going to visit this location and confirm these findings and highly suggest you do the same.

What is your take on the the fact that the 4th ward and south side no longer has adequate fire protection? Is this a permanent condition or can you speak with Ald Naylor and bring forth an agenda item to be voted on by the city council to force the FD to keep an Engine on the South side?

Might be worth bringing up at the next Council meeting.



Dear Citizen: Thank you for your email regarding Fire Station #2. Given the current staffing levels for our fire department, Chief Harrison has had to make some changes as it relates to fire protection.

It is my understanding that Fire Station #2 is now an EMT only station based on our current staffing.

When revenues return to our city, be it through retail sales tax, cost cutting, etc…, I hope we can return Station #2 to its past staffing levels.


Brendon Gallagher
4th Ward Alderman
City of DeKalb
200 S Fourth Street
DeKalb, IL 60115

815.787.7727 voice

Thus the quality of representation in the 4th Ward becomes clearer.

Almost-Live Blog for Council Meeting

Alderman Teresinski has been reporting on happenings in his ward and did so again tonight. What a novel and refreshing use of Agenda Item L, Reports & Communications. He gets points for that.

I was disappointed that my own alderman, Mr. Gallagher, had nothing to say about last week’s Economic Development Committee meeting since almost half of it was about the deterioration of South 4th Street. IMO he is too much the Re:New DeKalb cheerleader and not hooked enough into his own ward. A ward committee would be just the ticket, don’t you think?

Three months after it is issued, the EPI report finally makes an agenda! Having meetings devoted to its recommendations is a good start, though trying to pretend that public input has been valued in the past is bogus. “Squeaky wheel.” “Only complainers come to meetings.” But I am open to a new start. Put an EPI forum on the city’s website and you can color me impressed. Continue reading Almost-Live Blog for Council Meeting