Monthly Archives: June 2013

Illinois State Bar Annual Meeting

The 15th Judicial District which includes Freeport, Galena, Mt. Carroll, and Oregon was represented by Heather McPherson at Illinois State Bar meeting this weekend at Lake Geneva. Heather is past chairperson of the Elder Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association, and this year is one of the Editors of the Elder Law Newsletter. Heather received additional training on providing legal education to lawyers in Illinois. She is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars throughout the state.

No Drought in Northwestern Illinois

Hot and humid today – a good day to go swimming.   Last night Freeport received almost 4 inches of rain, and with the rain from Friday, almost 5 inches of rain in 24 hours!   Last year it had stopped raining by now and the drought was in full swing.  Not this year!  Watch those crops grow!

Good News for Homeowners 65 or older!

Beginning with the 2013 tax year the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption is increased from $4,000 to $5,000. If you live in Freeport, Illinois, this means a tax saving of $110. Of course, with ever increasing tax rates in Stephenson County, there will probably be a much smaller savings.

Wow – what a beautiful day in Northwest Illinois!

Temperature perfect and humidity down.   Perfect day to golf or just a walk in one of our beautiful area parks! 

The Journal Standard had no reports on the Freeport City Council meeting, so it is up to Good Day Illinois to summarize the meeting on June 17!

 Brief summary of June 17 Freeport Council meeting:

 Public Comments:  Several people commented on the proposal to change Chicago Avenue from a one way street to a two way street.  One problem which was raised is that the boxes for depositing the mail next to the post office would no longer work since they would not be on the driver’s side.  

First reading of an Ordinance to make increased tax on electricity permanent:  No real discussion and certainly no objections.   Alderman Koester even suggested that the tax should be raised even more to pay for City Hall Improvements.    Laid over till next meeting.

First reading of ordinance to make Chicago Avenue two way street.  Laid over until next meeting on July 1.   No more discussion since discussed during public comment time.

First reading of appropriation ordinance:  No discussion at this time.  Mayor indicated it could be discussed at next meeting at public hearing on budget.   Hopefully, members of the public will look at it and forward questions to their alderman.   It is available online.  Just go to the meeting agenda for June 17 at city web site at

First reading of ordinance to expand enterprise zone to East Dubuque to assist Sunflower Enterprises in East Dubuque, Illlinois:  Since it would not really benefit Freeport, it was high priority with this council.  Waived requirement of laying it over and passed it immediately!

 Discussion of Fireworks:  Council authorized mayor to spend up to $15,000 on fire works.  Would not be on the 4th of July.  Mayor can determine date! 

Reports of Department Heads (if not listed nothing of interest):

Community Development:  no report – should have been present and spoke on the benefits to Freeport of the expansion of Sunflower Enterprises, a company headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa.

Finance Department:  Duane Price spoke earlier in the meeting.

 Public Works:   Nothing of interest from Tom Dole. 

Fire Department:  Special open house for council members.  Public open house at later date.

Water and Sewer:  New Burchard water tower ahead of schedule and should be done in September.

Freeport City Council Meeting Monday, June 17

Since the Journal Standard no longer reports on most of the actions of the Freeport City Council, you must either watch on your television or go to the meetings.   If you have Comcast cable, go to Channel 17 at 6:00 p.m. to watch the meeting live.  Get the agenda at the Freeport web site at

If you miss the meeting, check Good Day Illinois for comments and a summary.

-Malcolm C. McPherson.  Malcolm is an attorney in Freeport.  He practices in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration and agricultural real estate.  Malcolm enjoys discussing local politics.

Happy Father’s Day!

The good news – it is a beautiful day in Northwest Illinois.

The bad news – The first installment of your 2012 real estate tax bills are due (or were due) as follows:

Carroll County – July 5, 2013

Jo Daviess County – July 9, 2013 

Ogle County – June 14, 2013

Stephenson County –  June 28, 2013


            Winnebago County – June 14, 2013


Remember if you are late in paying your taxes, you will pay interest at the rate of 18% per annum!  The Illinois legislature increased the rate from 12% per annum years ago when interest rates were high.  Of course, they have not lowered the penalty rate.  Based on present interest rates at banks  of .1%, 4% would be excessive.  If an individual charge 18% it might be called criminal!    Another example of Illinois corruption.


Every time I go out in my yard and get bitten by a mosquito I think of our Illinois politicians.

There is an expression that the only thing that goes up in Illinois is your taxes.  Wrong – we do have one growth industry.  MOSQUITOS.  Last year with the drought you probably did not notice them.    This year the mosquitos are in attack mode.  You cannot work in your yard or sit on your deck without being attacked.    I am tired of excuses from local politicians.  Stop pretending – abolish the mosquito districts.   The only solution – stay in your house until the first frost.  Then you can enjoy your yard and prepare it for winter!  If you get West Nile Virus, it is your own fault.  You went outside in your yard for which you pay high taxes and forgot to douse yourself in deet. 

By the way there is a difference between mosquitos and Illinois politicians – mosquitos just suck a little blood at a time during the summer while our Illinois politicians suck money from us year around.  How Sad!