City of DeKalb candidates for municipal offices in the spring elections are not all using the same ballot petition forms.
For example, of the four mayoral candidates, three of them are filing as “independents” and one of them filed a “nonpartisan” form. A similar pattern has occurred with the aldermanic candidates.
There are differences. “Independent” signals that a municipality has partisan elections, but the independent candidate has decided on the independent label instead of a party label, and the independent can’t “get primaried” like the party animals can. “Nonpartisan” means there’s always just one election, no primaries, and nobody in it has a formal association at all.
Nobody ever “gets primaried” in DeKalb. Does that mean DeKalb has nonpartisan elections? Continue reading What Kind of Municipal Elections Does City of DeKalb Have?
Déjà vu. DeKalb County Board is considering placing a proposed sales tax increase on the ballot next spring, for…an improved jail.
“What I plan to do is on the county board meeting on Dec. 17 is to review where we’re at with the jail expansion and some options for where we might go, one of those options being whether we go for referendum,” [County Administrator Gary] Hanson said.
Never mind that they’ve told us ad nauseam about how the tipping fees from the landfill expansion will pay for the jail expansion.
[The landfill tipping] fees are estimated to total about $2.2 million a year, with about $1.9 million being available for the jail expansion project.
But that also is what the county would lose if Sycamore’s sales tax agreements with two airline fuel-purchasing companies collapses under a legal challenge from the Regional Transportation Authority, which is arguing that the companies don’t actually buy the fuel in Sycamore.
When the airlines set up shop in Sycamore about 10 years ago, it doubled the county’s annual sales tax take from $2 million to $4 million.
Did you hear all the discussion back then about how to use the extra $2 million? Me neither. The jail expansion project was apparently not important enough to get a piece of the windfall.
And windfall it most certainly is: So much money was coming from just two companies, and they made it clear during the referendum discussion of 2006 that they would leave for cheaper pastures if the county tried to apply any sales tax increases to them. They have no loyalty to DeKalb County.
Nevertheless, instead of setting aside a stream that — clearly — could disappear at a moment’s notice, the county quietly absorbed the extra revenue into operations faster than a Bounty® brand towel.
Do we really want to reward this kind of shortsightedness?
The key word must be “verified,” though nothing in the story actually is.
“Over the years, the amount of dog-walking has increased, so we’ve been getting more complaints and more problems,” said Terry Hannan, DeKalb County Forest Preserve superintendent.
Although Hannan said more people have been bitten in DeKalb County’s forest preserves during the past few years, Greg Maurice, director of health protection at the DeKalb County Health Department, said he hasn’t received many reports. Maurice supervises DeKalb County Animal Control, which documents and follows cases of dog bites.
The health department has written a couple of off-leash tickets to people at the county’s 17 forest preserves during the past few years, but no verified dog bites at county forest preserves have ever come into the health department’s office, Maurice said.
I’m confused. Are dogs biting, or not? Are reports of dog bites passed on to the health department, or not? Seems like a couple more questions might have cleared this up.
Illinois Animal Control Act
Boone County Watchdog tipped me off about a new revenue source for the blog’s home county: transporting and housing federal prisoners. The full story comes from the Register Star:
BELVIDERE — A negotiating firm plans to generate tens of thousands of dollars in new revenue for the Boone County jail without changing day-to-day operations.
The Summerill Group, LLC will negotiate with the U.S. Marshals Service the amount that the Boone County Sheriff’s Office is paid for housing and transporting federal prisoners. Joseph Summerill, managing principal of the agency, said in a contract a preliminary analysis indicated that the county could increase its per diem from $65 per inmate per day to $79.12.
If the average daily federal prisoner count remains at 18, the new rate would generate an additional $92,000 in revenue annually, boosting the county’s total revenue from federal prisoner housing to $519,000.
Yes, and if that happens, Boone County will be able to hire a new public defender and buy a squad car or two. Continue reading Counties Generating Revenue from Housing Prisoners
Recently while doing some lookups in Chapter 3 of the Municipal Code, I came across this:
3.02-5 REDISTRICTING THE CITY.
The wards of the City of DeKalb as heretofore established and as may hereafter be established shall be reapportioned according to population. In the formation of the reapportioned wards the population of each shall be as nearly equal as possible, and the wards shall be of as compact and contiguous territory, as possible.
The method for reapportionment shall be as follows:
That whenever pursuant to Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, there shall be taken an actual Enumeration within every ten years in such manner as the Congress of the United States shall by law direct, the City Council shall, by using the census tracts derived from said Enumeration, apportion the population among the wards accordingly. Said reapportionment of population shall be completed within two years following the Federal decennial year and no later than October 1 of the current year (1972) and by that day and month every subsequent ten years hereafter.
Yesterday John Acardo, DeKalb County Clerk, confirmed that the city must have its redistricting done by October 2012. The Clerk’s office has a redistricting manual for municipalities available.
Let’s make this an open thread. Feel free to comment on yesterday’s elections, anything.
The following is a (very slightly edited) press release sent by the Stop the Mega-Dump group.
The Stop the Mega-Dump citizens’ group is asking the DeKalb County Board not to turn their backs on the citizens of Cortland again. Citizens of Cortland Township have petitioned the Cortland Township Board of Trustees for a special meeting to vote on a resolution that would prevent any landfill expansion in their township. The special meeting will be held on the evening of Tuesday May 18th, the day before the DeKalb County regularly scheduled board meeting. However, the county has added an earlier meeting of May 10th at 7:30 to vote on the landfill expansion application by Waste Management Inc. Continue reading Group Urges Postponement of County Landfill Vote So Cortland Twp. Can Weigh In
There’s now a “Stop the DeKalb County Mega-Dump” Group on Facebook.
The group needs officers. I’d apply if it were a sure thing that certain members of local media would somehow try to fit my involvement to the “vengeful losing mayoral candidate” frame that some folks love so much. Alas, it’s been almost a year so I’m bound to become just another citizen activist any minute now.