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Rants and Raves

SPRINGFIELD – As part of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s attempt to balance the state budget, the new gas tax increase begins July 1, 2019 and will put Illinois in the top five for the highest total gasoline taxes. All taxes combined will be 73 cents per gallon. The price...
If Tracy Williams children attended Cortland Elementary School would he be content to wait 30 days to find out what caused them to get sick and transported to the hospital? I don't really know Williams. But if I was in an affected parent's shoes, I wouldn't. I'd be upset and...
City Hall Sign

Who Do You Trust?

Is it possible that public trust and confidence in local government has hit an all-time low for the City of DeKalb? Many remember a time when most people had a healthy distrust of national government, but local government usually got the benefit of the doubt. Over the last few years,...
DeKalb County State's Attorney, Rick Amato, has written another letter to DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith expressing concerns about the way the City Council is addressing the accusations of TIF fund irregularities over the years. While acknowledging some progress in the City Council's discussion of the issues brought up in his...
DeKalb County Taxpayers began with my own property tax appeal. I received notice of an assessment change with no details to support it and since I had made no changes to my property, I began to do some digging, beginning with gathering the data I would need. I would...
CORRECTED: DeKalb City Manager, Anne Maria Gaura's contract was renewed and amended to an indefinite term with 6 months severance package. It was a 5-3 vote. Bill Finucane, Kate Noreiko, Mike Marquardt, Tony Faivre, and Jerry Smith voted yes. Dave Jacobson, Mike Verbic, and Pat Fagan voted no. The...
Ninety-three people attended the Oct 29 FOCUS DeKalb Town Hall meeting at the Red Roof Inn. At issue is the City of DeKalb proposed commercial property inspection ordinances and the frustrations of an unfriendly business climate accentuated by a soft economy with a declining population, market and EAV. It was...
Over the past few years when problems arise with City of DeKalb or Northern Illinois University staff, it seems the best way to resolve these issues is to offer them money and make them and the problem go away. Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised now, as it has...
The City of DeKalb or NIU weren't ever really part of College Town Partners named in unsigned documents obtained through FOIA requests by District 7 County Board member Misty Haji-Sheikh and the Daily Chronicle. According to Mayor John Rey, “informal conversations have been held and that's it." NIU officials said...
The DeKalb County Board is trying to cover a shortfall of over $1 million to balance the budget for 2018 without going into reserves and to make up for the lost fuel tax windfall from an agreement set-up by airline companies to avoid paying taxes to Cook County. A proposal to...
“Today, you have a chance to do what is right, to follow the law and to regain the trust of students, parents, faculty, staff, and citizens of DeKalb.” -- Misty Haji-Sheikh; 5th ward DeKalb resident, DeKalb County Board member (District 7) and unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of DeKalb Haji-Sheikh’s attorney, Charles...
The resignation of NIU President Doug Baker is yet another setback for the university. Enrollment is on a steady decline and while some attribution can go to high tuition fees arising from its dependency on shaky (at best) state funding NIU suffers most from its word-of-mouth advertising. That word...