Housing authority’s dealings with Morning Star Media

A month ago Ryan Weckerly, president of Morning Star Media, Ltd., agreed to plead guilty in federal court to charges related to a $3 million-plus kickback scheme. Several units of local government have paid Morning Star over the past decade. City of Sycamore gave the company TIF money to help it settle in new digs…

DeKalb Township reports it’s inundated with FOIA requests

I’ve finished another section of video from last week’s regular meeting of DeKalb Township. This time, I watched the board moan its way through the latest report of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The township supervisor says they’re spending so much time responding to requests, there’s a possibility the township may have to hire…

Housing authority’s listing of payments to Sundog is not complete

Some readers have expressed interest in how much money Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb (HACD) has paid to Sundog IT over the past few years. My ballpark figure covering the calendar years 2015 through 2020 is $325,000. The rest of the post will be about why we can call it only a ballpark…

Looks like DeKalb Park District failed us too

The DeKalb Park District Code devotes 3-1/2 pages to protection of trees in the district. But when it comes to contracting IT services, the district can’t be bothered with boilerplate to protect the interests of its non-arboreal constituents. I decided to continue my comparison of the relationships the Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb…

Documents continue to suggest housing authority’s pattern of partiality toward its IT vendor

In June, the DeKalb Park District approved a contract with Sundog IT, the company owned by DeKalb’s mayor, Cohen Barnes. We opposed the deal for reasons of conflicts of interests, but the district did run a request for proposal (RFP) bidding process and the buck did stop with the park district board, as one would…

Attorney General determines NIU Foundation must respond to Freedom of Information Act requests

The determination resolves at least three requests for review of NIU Foundation’s refusals to release information on payments to vendors. It followed an examination of the relationship between NIU and NIU Foundation. Hover over the top of the PDF to enlarge it and turn pages. NIU has sometimes used NIU Foundation to hide purchases and/or…

Will DeKalb learn from the departure of Tinez Tacos?

Last weekend I found out that the owners of the Tinez Tacos food truck have worked out a parking spot in Malta, and will serve from 11am to 7pm weekdays this summer at Hickey’s Corner Store. If comments at the City Barbs Facebook group are any indication, residents of DeKalb wish them well in their…

City emails reveal tactics in the condemnation of Lord Stanley’s

Emails obtained by a member of the City Barbs Facebook Group indicate City of DeKalb worked the Lord Stanley’s and Stanley’s Annex condemnations of April 6 in a decidedly business-unfriendly manner, and then blamed social media for frightening residential tenants with impending forcible eviction. As indicated in last weekend’s post, the city failed to follow…

Cutting through DeKalb’s spin on the condemnation of Lord Stanley’s

***Update 4/17/2017: The Daily Chronicle published a related letter to the editor: “Social media uproar warranted regarding condemnation.” Thanks, DC.*** City of DeKalb is in spin cycle over actions taken to condemn Lord Stanley’s and Lord Stanley’s Annex earlier this month, defending its actions during the last council meeting and now on a blog hilariously…

DeKalb can become “business friendly” when this city manager is gone

DeKalb city council had another goal-setting session Tuesday evening. It was a good session, as was last month’s, but at one point I had to laugh, and it was during the perennial make-DeKalb-more-business-friendly discussion. I dearly wish more council members truly understood that friendliness is impossible under city manager Anne Marie Gaura. Unless you are…