Monthly Archives: May 2014

Another Year of Farmers Markets in Northwest Illinois – Enjoy Them Because the Summer Goes Fast!

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Stephenson County Farmers Market, Tuesday (12 – 4 pm) and Saturday (8 am to 1 pm) until October 28, 1805 S. West Avenue (Logan’s Bar & Grill Parking Lot), Freeport.

Freeport Farmers Market, Saturdays 7 to 11 am until October 4, 721 W. South Street (CVS Parking Lot), Freeport.

Highland Farmers Market, Wednesdays 3 to 6 pm, June 4 – October 1, Highland Community College, Parking Lot C, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport.

Lena Farmers Market, Saturdays 8 to 11 am, June 7 – October 4, 100 W. Main, Lena.

Lest We Forget Memorial Day – Monday May 26

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The Flower of Remembrance

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Freeport Mayor Praises Governor Quinn in Recent Column – How Soon We Forget! Freeport’s New Slogan – Give Us A Crumb and We Will Support You Forever!

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Mayor Jim Gitz of Freeport in his weekly column in the Journal Standard thanked Governor Quinn for repairs to West Street and Park Boulevard. Mr. Gitz must have a short memory. This Governor has done little for Freeport and Northwest Illinois west of Rockford. Thank the Governor for a 67% income tax increase, thank the Governor for doing nothing on a four lane US 20, thank the Governor for the train from Rockford to Chicago (If you live in Freeport, you can take the bike path to Rockford to catch the train.), thank the Governor for creating a business environment in this state that drives existing businesses out of the state such as MetLife, thank the Governor for destroying existing businesses in this state that cannot afford to leave, and thank the Governor for destroying the lives of many citizens of this state who have lost jobs, homes, and families as a result of his destructive policies. Yes, this Governor has created quite a legacy!

More TIF’s, New City Attorney, New Finance Director, and Public Transit for Stephenson County on Freeport Council Agenda for May 19!

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Freeport City Council Meeting Monday, May 19, 2014, 6:00 pm
City Council Chambers at 524 West Stephenson Street, 3rd Floor
If you have Comcast Cable, go to channel 17 to watch live.

Some items of interest on the agenda:

There will be a Public Hearing on Expansion of Public Transit to Stephenson County. The new service will start on July 1, 2014 with the Stephenson County Senior Resource Center becoming the provider for county-wide service. The fares will be as follows: regular fare $3.00, children’s fare $2.00 (7-11), and no fare for seniors. Read the full memo at http://www.cityoffreeport.org/OrdRes/Council%20Memo_Transit%20Agenda%2020140519.pdf

Resolution for Retiring City Attorney John Mitchell – a city attorney who prosecuted seat belt violations and minor traffic tickets like murder cases!

Appointment of Cynthia Haggard as Finance Director effective June 5.

1st reading of Ordinance for Meadows TIF. This TIF must cover Meadows Shopping Center with the former Kmart store on the south side of Freeport. See previous comments on the excessive use of TIF’s in Freeport and the shifting of the real estate tax burden to homeowners and small businesses.

Resolution to approve Tony Coon as City Attorney with compensation of $2,500.00 per month. The agreement with Mr. Coon states that he will provide traffic, code, and ordinance prosecution for the City of Freeport. The Agreement does not specify how much he will be working each week. It could be less than an hour a week or maybe an hour a month!
Don’t forget that Freeport already has a full time corporation counsel.  40 years ago when Freeport was larger than it is today, the job of corporation counsel was a part time job!
For the Agreement with Mr. Coon go to http://www.cityoffreeport.org/OrdRes/Council%20Memo_Transit%20Agenda%2020140519.pdf

The complete agenda is available at http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/citygovernment/Agendas/A20140519.pdf

Real Estate Tax Bills Are Out – Freeport Rate Pushing 12%!

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Freeport does have one big disadvantage when it comes to economic growth. It is located in Illinois! Illinois is known as anti-business state and high tax state (they go together). Although it may not be totally justified, that is the perception. To make matters worse, the reckless spending and high taxes at a state level must be contagious. Look at the Freeport School District! A tax rate of 6.5% in 2012 and for 2013 it is 7%, and this District had enough nerve to want 1% sales tax increase. While many states such as Texas have no state income taxes, Illinois raised its tax 67% a few years ago. It was supposed to be a temporary increase – what a joke. Taking the revenue away from the bureaucrats in Illinois is like taking sugar away from rats. Once the rat gets used to the sugar, it will do anything to get more. Same for the politicians in Springfield. Illinois, instead of looking for ways to cut spending, looks instead for new sources of revenue which is another way of saying more tax increases are coming!

If You Like to Eat – Read This! Some Day Not in the Too Distant Future!

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You go to a restaurant and have a good dinner. After you have finished your entre you start thinking about dessert. The waiter does not mention dessert to you, and in fact just brings you the check. Finally, you ask the waiter if you could have a dessert menu, and the waiter replies that the City where you are having dinner has an ordinance called “Healthy Eating Habits for All – A Program to Reduce Obesity.” You ask the waiter how he decided that you could have no dessert. He says that the ordinance has ten criteria which the wait staff must use in determining whether dessert should be denied to the patron. One of the criteria being that your shirt is too tight in which case you will not get dessert. He tells the patron that he met the too tight shirt requirement and therefore no dessert. As a consolation, the waiter does offer the patron a complimentary salad in place of dessert.

See the future – first they will take away our desserts and next will be our french fries and cheeseburgers. America will become a healthy nation – but at what expense!

Oh, by the way, for lunch treat yourself to a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese at McDonalds – it’s only 750 calories and the rumor is it will soon be banned in New York City!

More TIF’s in Freeport’s Future!

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Freeport City Council Meeting Monday, May 6, 2014, 6:00 pm
City Council Chambers at 524 West Stephenson Street, 3rd Floor
If you have Comcast Cable, go to channel 17 to watch live.

Some items of interest on the agenda:

Appointment of Todd Barkalow as Chief of Police.

Another new TIF (Tax Increment Financing District)? An ordinance authorizing study to determine eligibility of property for a TIF. What a joke! Why waste money on a study. All of Freeport would quality as TIF according to the rules! By the way, must be a secret area since location not included in ordinance (at least not online). In any event, remember each TIF just shifts tax burden to homeowners and small businesses.

Resolution to co-sponsor music at Debate Square with Lincoln-Douglas Society on July 3, 17, 24, and 31 from 7: 30 to 9:00 pm.

For the full agenda go to:
http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/citygovernment/Agendas/A20140505.pdf