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

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Sears Appliance & Hardware Athlete of the Week: Congrats to Vashae Easley a senior girls basketball player at Downers South

read more: www.mysuburbanlife.com/2014/12/15/sears-appliance-hardware-athlete-of-the-week-vashae-easley/auyz...
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11 hours ago

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Weather for the Weekend

The last weekend before Christmas looks pretty seasonal with no precipitation in the forecast.

read: www.weather.com/weather/weekend/l/60516:4:US
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11 hours ago

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Please Support Small Businesses in Downers Grove this Holiday Season

Only 6 shopping days remain until Christmas! The merchants and restaurants in our village appreciate your patronage and support. (4 photos)
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12 hours ago

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This Pierce Downer student won the Learn Not to Burn contest and rode to school in a fire truck today!! ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

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Missing pet has anyone seen him? ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

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50% Off All Produce today at Lemon Tree Grocer Downtown Downers Grove as part of the Merry Madness fun! ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

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Shop late tonight on Main Street! ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

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Hornets coming to Downers South for Girls West Suburban Gold Key Basketball Contest Friday

The Girls Varsity Basketball Mustangs will host the Hinsdale Hornets Friday at DGS. Tip off in the main gym is set for 7:30 pm with the Sophomores getting underway at 6 pm. (2 photos)
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1 day ago

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Mustangs on road for back to back games!

The Mustangs will travel to neighboring Darien Friday evening to take on the Hornets of Hinsdale South for a key Varsity Boys Basketball West Suburban Gold Contest. Tip off is set for 7:30 pm with the Sophomores squaring off at 6 pm. The team travels to West Aurora on Saturday evening for a earlier 6 pm tip off with the Sophomore team tipping at 4:30 pm. (2 photos)
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1 day ago

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Downers Grove Dist.99 Holiday Concert: 6 photos

see more: www.mysuburbanlife.com/2014/12/16/downers-grove-dist-99-holiday-concert-6-photos/dnj10aa/

Glenn Williams conducts the Combined Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony as Community High School District 99 holds a holiday concert in the Downers Grove South large gym on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. (Bill Ackerman photo)
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1 day ago

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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.”

    Indeed.

    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

  2. http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/2014/08/30/letter-calling-for-greater-transparency-of-dupage-county-lobbyists/aarnzsd/

    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.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/downers-grove-darien-westmont-woodridge/ct-dupage-county-clerk-race-tl-1023-20141017-story.html

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