In the Quarterly Report filed with the State Board of Elections by the “Vote Yes for Freeport” group one of the contributions to this group stands out. A Washington, DC lobbying group, International City/County Management Association contributed $7,500 to the “Vote Yes” group. It’s hard to believe this Association cares about what is best for Freeport. A better name for this Association would be “Association for Full Employment of City Managers.” The “Vote Yes” group should disclose the fact that almost half of its funding is from an outside lobbying group. As I have stated before, maybe the time has come for a city manager in Freeport, but I don’t like being told by a Washington, DC lobbying group that I should vote “Yes.”
It really is depressing living in this state. Hillary Clinton could be in jail, and she would carry Illinois in the Presidential election. Now the FBI is reopening its investigation into her emails, and private server. In Illinois Madigan and his fellow Democrats could care less. Illinois is bankrupt, and our nation is fiscally and morally bankrupt. Hillary fits right in. She should have run for Governor of Illinois!
What I do not understand is where the members of the “Vote YES for Freeport Committee” have been for the last 20 years. I guess everything was great in Freeport until the last year. The streets were perfect, the deer only took over the City in the last year, the quality of the housing stock was great, crime was not a problem, and our homes and businesses were not over assessed. No problems until the last year or two. At least no problems this group was able to see. Now they propose that Freeport adopt a managerial form of municipal government which I assume they think will be the savior of Freeport. What a simplistic approach! Freeport needs new sources of revenue. Money will help solve Freeport’s problems. A city manager with no money to address the issues will be no better than a mayor with no money. Anyone looks good when you have plenty of money to do whatever is necessary. Maybe the time has come for Freeport to have a city manager, but don’t expect it to solve the problems this City is facing. Just another bureaucrat to pay, and pay, and pay.
The Freeport Public Library conducts a “community read” program during January and February of “odd” years. The program started in 2011, and 2017 will be the fourth time for the program. The mission of this program is to encourage a shared-reading experience, foster a sense of community, and promote literacy to people of all ethnic backgrounds, economic levels, and ages. Based on similar programs in communities across the country, One Book, One Freeport provides free copies of a selected book and coordinates educational programs and events to explore topics related to the book. Plans are to tie the book in with the current 100-year anniversary of the National Parks.
The book title will be announced in early January of 2017. Books will be distributed in February with programs scheduled in March and April. Donations for the program can be sent to One Book, One Freeport Committee, Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport, IL 61032.
Every resident of the City of Freeport, Illinois should take a look at the “2015-2016 Total Compensation Report for City Employees over $75,000.” If you read this report, it will give you an idea of the cost each additional employee hired by the City. Of course, it does not factor in the future pension costs that will be incurred by the City to support many of these employees such as those of the police department who retire after 20 years and move to Florida. How many officers in the police department make over $125,000 – count them? Almost half the officers on the Freeport police department make over $125,000. If you think the Mayor is the highest paid official, you are wrong. The police chief is the highest paid at almost $167,000, and he does not even live in Freeport. Of course, this is true of many other highly compensated employees of the City who do not live in Freeport. When you do not live here, or plan on leaving after 20 years, you have no stake in the future of the community.
Read the full report at http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/departments/FY2016%20compensation%20report-FINAL.pdf
If you want to hear more about City employee compensation, go to the Freeport City Council meeting on Monday October 3 at 6:00 pm at the temporary City Hall at 524 W. Stephenson Street, 3rd Floor, or watch it live on Comcast Channel 17. The complete meeting agenda is available at http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/citygovernment/Agendas/A20161003.pdf