OPEB: DeKalb’s unfunded liability you’ve probably never heard of

I don’t generally gush over DeKalb’s choices of consultants, but I believe EPI was worth every penny – both times – because of their plain talk about our financial situation and the state of city operations. Too bad DeKalb didn’t take some important advice. One of the harsh realities was and is the OPEB, which…

The other problem with DeKalb’s new “FOIA Center”

Besides DeKalb’s difficulties in following the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (and basic principles of customer service in the 21st Century) there’s another serious problem: failure of its online “FOIA Center” to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules. Mac McIntyre of DeKalb County Online, who has also written about the misuse of…

Daily Chronicle Still on Top of NIU Resignation Story

In “NIU hired outside firm to investigate employees” we learn that NIU paid about $25,000 for investigations into what have previously been described as serious allegations of misconduct. A contract between the university and Sycamore law firm Foster & Buick Law Group shows that attorney John Countryman was hired June 4 to investigate “named individuals…

City Payments to Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins

DeKalb city manager Mark Biernacki entered into a contract agreement last fall with the firm Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, using his ordinance-given spending authority (PDF p. 55). A professional services contract had been entered into by the City Manager, on behalf of the City Council, with the firm Klein, Thorpe, and Jenkins to conduct research…

Reaction to the New Planters

[Update 6/21: Here’s another reaction to the new planters. The person who took this photo says at least four of the planters had been toppled as of Wednesday.] There’s already been a lot of discussion about the new City of DeKalb/NIU ashtrays urinals planters at the City Barbs Facebook Page. I don’t want to duplicate…

DeKalb’s City Manager’s Spending Authoritah

[Updated significantly about 7:55 a.m.] Municipal Code, Chapter 54, Financial Administration (my emphasis): The City Manager or his designee shall have the authority to enter into contracts for the purchase of goods and materials, the provision of contractual or professional services, and the construction of public improvements authorized by the approved annual budget in the…

Naylor Disputing City Paid for Ellwood House Ward Meeting

[Update: Please read the Big Fat Correction I’ve made to this story.] Well, I just had an interesting phone conversation. It seems an online comment I made about Ron Naylor’s letter to the Daily Chronicle about his upcoming ward meeting at Ellwood House — specifically, that he should pay the room rental this time! —…