DeKalb’s Freakishly High Sales Tax Rate Might Actually be Good for Something

**Update** 1/26. Related: “Sales tax coffers could get boost with new law”. Discusses the Marketplace Fairness Act and its impact (if it ever passes the U.S. House) on state revenues. **Update** 1 p.m. Related: “Now comes the Internet Sales Consultants”. It provides more food for thought on this scheme, as well as a description of…

Comment on City of DeKalb’s New Trend of Creating Homelessness

I hardly know where to begin. In response to a tenant complaint, at 10 a.m. Friday, city inspectors met building owner Pat Bragg at the Edgebrook Manor Apartments and within hours they had decided to condemn the property, requiring everyone living there to leave their homes within 24 hours. A few years ago, a friend…

A Closer Look at DeKalb’s Hotel/Motel Inspection Ordinance

As indicated a few days ago, I have concerns about DeKalb’s hotel/motel inspection and licensing ordinance. The good news is, the city does recognize that some people are permanent residents of hotels and motels. “Permanent resident” means any person who occupied or has the right to occupy any room or rooms in a hotel or…

Ethics “In a Nutshell”

Robert Wechsler, director of CityEthics.org, has just released a new intro to local government ethics called “Local Government Ethics Programs in a Nutshell”, in which he has distilled an 800-page digital book and years of blog posts into a 27-page resource for public officials, journalists and others interested in good government. Here’s a bit out…

Rockford Rejects Collection of Fee for Electrical Aggregation

Rockford Register Star asked the question: When it comes to municipal electrical aggregation, what’s in it for the city? City brokers deal with other municipalities, lands nearly $20 million in savings for area customers, hands over thousands of accounts and gets nothing in return? Rockford’s Central Services Manager Carrie Eklund says that’s exactly what the…

Roundup & Open Thread

The DeKalb Area Women’s Center will be hosting a DeKalb County-Wide Election debate beginning 6:30 p.m. Monday, October 18. The Stephenson Blumdoggle blog is reporting that it cannot verify a recent front-page story by Freeport’s The Journal Standard that the Pretzel City “came up just short” of landing 100 manufacturing jobs. The company, Norway’s Dokka…

Stroger Aide Arrested in Probe of Cook County No-Bid Contracts

In the Sun-Times this a.m.: A top aide to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was arrested Monday and charged in a criminal probe of county no-bid contracts, including one allegedly steered to the staffer’s privately owned public relations firm, authorities said. … “It’s in connection with the ongoing financial crimes investigation conducted by the…

Plan Commission Resignations

Joe Gastiger and Tom Specht both have sterling reputations, as their dignified resignations from the Plan Commission this week attest. It’s an old-school gesture of protest, and all too rare. The story is here, available for about a week. Keep an eye on Lunatic Fringe of DeKalb at FB, in case there’s some action.

Conflicts of Interest & the Tip of the Iceberg

Council’s affirmation of the mayor’s removal of John Guio from the Plan Commission for reasons of ethics comes as no surprise. I wonder, however, if any of the aldermen get that wife Sue Guio’s former position with the city presented more in the way of potential conflicts of interest than her place on the board…

Ethics in the City

City Council on Monday is set to decide whether the mayor’s removal of chair John Guio from the Plan Commission for an ethics violation is proper. You’ll have to excuse me for not believing the party line here. IMO this was a move based on politics, not ethics. Consider: — Another Plan Commission member, Vince…