Downers Grove News – Dupage County and the “STATE” of Illinois

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DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

The Village is looking for seasonal snow plow drivers. ... See MoreSee Less

6 hours ago

DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

Only 4 weeks away! Sign up for the Bonfield Express 5K Downtown Downers Grove today!! ... See MoreSee Less

6 hours ago

DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

DGN Girls Volleyball Update The Trojans will play for the Argo Regional Championship this evening against Sandburg after defeating host Argo on Tuesday evening. Tonight's match with Sandburg for the Regional Championship is scheduled for 6 pm in Summit. ... See MoreSee Less

11 hours ago

DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

Stacy Peterson's sister continues search Cassandra Cales on Tuesday searched for clues at a Will County Forest Preserve near Bolingbrook, seven years to the day that her sister Stacy Peterson disappeared. Cales said she has conducted 10 to 15 volunteer searches this year and more than 100 since her older sister's disappearance. read more: ... See MoreSee Less

12 hours ago

DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

BOO! Halloween Weather Forecast Is Scary. ... See MoreSee Less

12 hours ago

DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

From the community: Downers Grove Music Club to host 'A Notable Celebration of the Arts' The event is set for 7 p.m., Saturday, November 1 at First Congregational Church, 1047 Curtiss St., Downers Grove. Proceeds from the fundraiser, which also includes a silent auction and reception, will support student music scholarships awarded by the club, which has been active in Downers Grove since 1927. In 2014, the Downers Grove Music Club awarded four $1,000 college scholarships to graduating seniors at North and South high schools who demonstrated a high level of accomplishment as musicians and plan to continue their musical studies. more info: ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

HONORING OUR HEROES EXHIBIT OPENS NOV 1 A new exhibit at the Downers Grove Museum featuring photos, uniforms and other memorabilia & artifacts from a range of military conflicts including the Civil War, WWI, WWII and Vietnam. read more: ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

Mustangs' shift focus to postseason "Absolutely you're frustrated when you don't put any points on the board against a team you fell you're physically on the same level with," Baker said. "As as senior, I told my teammates that regardless of who we play or what momentum we have going into the playoffs, I'm going to play 100 percent. I'm going to give 100 percent in practice and in everything I do because this could be my last week of high school football. read more: ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

DG Gabber - Downers Grove Community Website

5 DAY WEATHER FORECAST FOR DOWNERS GROVE A chilly Halloween is in store for the trick or treat crowd! Here's the forecast: ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

8 thoughts on “Downers Grove News – Dupage County and the “STATE” of Illinois

  1. In every county in Illinois, the electoral process is carried out by the county clerk’s office, with one exception – DuPage. We are the only county with an independent county-wide electoral process. I’ve been critical of this structure while witnessing years of conflicts of interest, patronage appointments, and massive overspending.

    A conspicuous and strangely overlooked chunk of this overspending has been the bloated salaries at the top.

    I’ve compiled the clerk salaries of the top 10 most populated counties in Illinois aside from DuPage; they range from $81,500 to $121,700. The average salary is $99,700. If you ask any of these county clerks what their number one responsibility is, he or she would say administering elections.

    Our county clerk has nothing to do with elections, yet he receives $143,000. That’s 43 percent above the average, with the least amount of responsibility. Our election commission director makes $135,561.

    The Lake County county clerk told a local newspaper, “I’ve always joked that it takes two highly-compensated men in DuPage to do what I do.”

    Our county clerk was quoted in the media last year, “I’m glad I don’t have to worry about elections.”


    If our county clerk doesn’t want the headaches and workload of the other 101 county clerks in Illinois, then he shouldn’t be paid so well. He shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways.

    This month, the DuPage County Board will be voting on the salaries of elected officials. If there is no willingness for the office of DuPage County Clerk to conduct the electoral process, then the salary should be cut in half. If the board disagrees, they must justify to taxpayers why they should pay more for the same services other counties receive for a lot less.

    Half the job, half the salary.

    Jean Kaczmarek

    Candidate, DuPage County Clerk

    Glen Ellyn


    Or, just reprint it here:

    Calling for greater transparency of DuPage County lobbyists

    Recently before the DuPage County Board, I advocated for greater transparency of lobbying activities by broadening reporting requirements and making that information available online at the County Clerk’s office. A public portal would allow us to search names of lobbyists A to Z, find out who they’re lobbying, what they’re lobbying about, dates of contact and total compensation.

    “Lobbyists Online” has been a proven success at Cook County since 2010 as part of their Lobbyist Sunshine Initiative introduced by Cook County Clerk David Orr. The initiative was swiftly passed by unanimous decision. We need this public service in DuPage.

    As Orr predicted, Lobbyists Online gave taxpayers, elected officials and the media unprecedented access to track lobbying.

    The percentage of lobbyists and firms reporting compensation in Cook County lept from 15 to 48 percent immediately after the reporting switched to online. Government watchdogs, including myself, applaud it.

    Placing more lobbying information online diminishes speculation of what’s going on behind closed doors. It aligns perfectly with DuPage County’s ACT Initiative promoting accountability and transparency. And, it’s so easy to achieve.

    Jean Kaczmarek, 2014 candidate for DuPage County Clerk

  3. Today I gave public comment before the DuPage County Forest Preserve. Afterward, the Board decided to schedule another vote on the hiring in one week. Here’s what I said:

    Good morning. My name is Jean Kaczmarek. I’m a candidate for County Clerk.

    I’m stood here before this board, and the previous board, about overlapping issues regarding government entities I follow closely.

    Today I’m here regarding another overlapping issue. I read in the news about the hiring of a new executive director and his proposed salary. Because it was so sudden, I was interested in the procedure. I have concerns that a potential Open Meetings Act violation took place on August 19th.

    The OMA reads: At least 6 days before an employer participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund approves an employee’s total compensation package that is equal to or in excess of $150,000 per year, the employer must post on its website the total compensation package for that employee.

    The spirit of the OMA is all about open government. The specific intent of this section of the law is to prevent pension abuse; this includes government employees and officials who are about to receive significant pay increases and ultimately pension bumps. I’m not an attorney, so I cannot determine if the letter of the law was followed. I do know that the Illinois AG’s office takes spirit and intent seriously when it comes to open government.

    In May, I brought this same matter to the attention of the DuPage County Board when they were about to vote for raises for elected officials receiving compensation packages of $150,000 or more. The County Board halted the vote on the agenda and held a special board meeting one week later.

    It’s a matter of debate whether board members should be aware of every detail in the statute. It ISN’T a matter of debate regarding those who advise you.

    The public isn’t allowed in executive session, so I can only speculate if your board secretary, was there. If he was, did he bring this OMA issue to your attention? After all, he was at the County Board meeting last May. If there’s any advantage to having the County Clerk having duo positions, this would have been such a time.

    If an OMA violation took place when you approved the salary of your new executive director, does this invalidate his contract? Or, did your new executive director, who is an attorney working for the chief judge, clear any legal questions before you hired him?

    Jean Kaczmarek, 2014 Democratic Candidate for DuPage County Clerk

  4. Here’s a Trib Local story on the DuPage County Clerk race. My opponent keeps repeating that a state law needs to be changed, but that’s a myth. Yes, there was a state law *allowing* a county to create its own election commission. So far, DuPage is the only county who ever wanted it. The Election Commission exists only by a DuPage County Board ORDINANCE.

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