Cary School Board President Critiques New State Aid Bill

From Cary Grade School District 26 Board President Scott Coffey:

Critique of Senate Bill 1

As I see it, there are two main structural problems with SB-1.

First, its basic premise is that lower income districts should get more money and yet there is no recognition of how much is already being spent on a per pupil basis in some of these districts.

It fails to recognize the Law of Diminishing Returns.

That is, after a certain point of investment, the marginal return on that incremental investment approaches zero.

As an example, Chicago D-299 Instructional Spending per Pupil is $10,396 versus Cary D-26 of $5,494/pupil.

Given that Chicago is spending 90% more per pupil, just on instruction alone, does anyone believe that increasing that level any higher is going to yield positive results in Chicago?

The math holds true for almost all the big “winners” in this bill like: Waukegan, Elgin, Rockford, Cicero, Maywood, etc.

It does also create some winners downstate which is where the incremental funding truly would yield a favorable marginal return on investment.

For example, Decatur D-61 currently has an Instructional spending rate of only $5,147/Pupil.

Downstate districts like this are the ones that have felt the largest impact due to underfunding from the State.

So, given that the bulk of the incremental $350 million is allocated to districts where their Marginal Rate of Return on Investment has approached zero, one might conclude that the bulk of this money will yield virtually no favorable academic results.

Secondly, this new methodology sets up perfectly for the future to “redistribute the wealth” from the richer districts to the poorer districts.

If you’ll recall, the original SB-1 was written as a zero-sum game.

It took money from suburban districts and reallocated to the low-income districts.

By creating a lot of “Losers” in the collar counties, the bill went nowhere.

This revised bill sets up a need-based system that has a hold-harmless feature and then allocates an additional $350 million created by the tax increase.

It doesn’t create a long list of “Losers” like the old SB-1.

It creates a set of Tiers based on Funding Adequacy to funnel incremental dollars.

If you’re in Tier 1 or 2 you’ll receive an increase.

However, Tier 3 & 4 receive next to nothing.

I foresee this methodology being used in the future by the legislature to set up a tier structure to prorate funding.

In the past, when the State didn’t have the funds to make 100% of its General State Aid payments, it would prorate every district’s funding by 89%, for example.

The legislature’s only tool was to make every district suffer the pain at the same rate.

Now, under this new funding formula, its very easy to setup a tier structure to allocate cuts based on how a district’s Local Resources compare to its Adequacy Target.

Its easy to forecast that we’ll end up in exactly the same place as was projected under the original SB-1, with suburban districts as the “Losers” and low-income/downstate districts as the winners.

Flooding Seems to Have Peaked

I made a loop from Algonquin to Dundee and back to Algonquin this afternoon.

Here’s what the Algonquin dam looked like about 12:45 the afternoon of Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

The Fox River was pouring over the dam in Algonquin.

This is the view downstream of the Algonquin Dam from its eastern side on July 18, 2017.

The sluice gates of the dam are still wide open, but one can see that the water is closer to them than it was on Sunday.

Sluice gates of the Algonquin Dam are open all the way on this Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

The water seems to be about a foot below the footbridge in Cornish Park.

The footbridge on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in Algonquin’s Cornish Park.

Using the long lens, it seems that sandbags protecting the home on LaFox River Drive that Governor Bruce Rauner visited are working.

The home closest to Cornish Park on LaFox Drive in Algonquin on July 18m 2017.

Heading through West Dundee about two hours later, I saw this parking lot.

This picture of a parking lot west of Blueroot’s balcony shows water, but it also shows where water was and is no longer, although it is still wet.

Behind Bleuroot is a little plaza where State Senator Karen McConnaughay announced her candidacy.

The plaza behind Bleuroot is inundated.


Driving along that part of the road west of the Fox River, where it is open.

The river from the southern edge of West Dundee on July 18, 2017.

The street just south of the West Dundee village boundary was closed.

Looking in the direction of Carpentersville on July 18, 2017.

A boy was fishing in Carpentersville.

A view from Carpentersville west of the river to the east side of the Fox River catches a boy fishing.

A factory building has been sandblasted across the Fox River.

I’m guessing that Tom Roeser is renovating another facxory building on the east side of the Fox River.

Next stop was the dam in Carpentersville.

The Carpenter Dam from upstream, along with the observation deck.

I thought the flow of water rushing over the dam in Carpentersville was more interesting that that flowing over the Algonquin Dam.

A tire could not escape the current at the bottom of the Carpenter Dam in Carpentersville.

The smoothness of the Fox River above the dam contrasts with the roiling water below.

Another view of the Carpenter Dam.

An old tire was not the only thing floating below the Carpenter Dam.

Just in case one can’t figure out that the Fox River below the dam in Carpentersville is dangerous, this buoy provides the message–Danger – Dam.

On to Algonquin.

This Algonquin yard on the Fox River was covered with water four years ago.

Sandbags were containing the Fox River in backyards on LaFox River Drive in Algonquin.

The Fox River had not breached the sandbag barriers on this home on LaFox River Drive in Algonquin.

Three TV vans were parked on LaFox River Drive where Governor Rauner views the river Sunday afternoon.

At about 3:30 on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, television vans were on LaFox River Drive next to Cornish Park.

The home on LaFox River Drive seen from the east side of the Algonquin Day (above) is seen below with sandbags holding.

This is the riverfront home where Governor Rauner and legislators talked with its owners on Sunday.

The water did not seem as high on Tuesday afternoon as it was in 2013.

The end of LaFox River Drive.

Water, for example was in the driveway across LaFox River Drive from the Cornish Park bathroom four years ago.

This afternoon the asphalt was dry.

Here is the flood gage readings at the bridge in the photo of the mainly unflooded yard above:

Second Democratic Party Candidate for Governor Visiting McHenry County Friday

The Harvard Moose Hall is the location that Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Ameya Pawar has selected to hold a Town Hall Meeting.

It will be on Friday, July 21st, from 12-2:30.

He is scheduled to hold a Meet and Greet at Crystal Lake’s McHenry County College on Sunday, August 27th from 12:30 to 2 PM in room A240.

It is sponsored by Northwest Illinois Indivisible.

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The first candidate was JB Pritzker, who appeared at the Algonquin Library.

Feds Aim Resources at Health Care Fraud

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Before reading it, please know that I have tried to discover if there are still three FBI squads aimed at political corruption.

United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago Creates New Unit to Prosecute Criminal Health Care Fraud Violations

CHICAGO — Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, today announced the creation of a new unit dedicated to the prosecution of criminal health care fraud violations.

The newly created Health Care Fraud Unit will operate within the office’s Criminal Division.  The unit will be tasked with prosecuting defendants in all types of health care fraud, from providers who engage in fraudulent billing schemes to doctors who falsify patients’ diagnoses to justify expensive tests or procedures that aren’t medically necessary.

“Every year, health care fraud causes millions of dollars in losses to Medicare and private insurers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Levin.

“Health care fraud also often exploits patients through unnecessary or unsafe medical procedures.  Health care providers who cheat the system must be held accountable.  Our office has successfully prosecuted numerous health care fraud cases in recent years.  The new Health Care Fraud Unit will build on that success and bring even greater focus, efficiency and impact to our efforts in this important area.”

The unit will include five prosecutors, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather McShain.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Chahn Lee will serve as the unit’s Senior Counsel.

The office has a long history of prosecuting significant health care fraud cases, and the new unit is expected to expand on those efforts.  Last week the office participated in the largest health care fraud enforcement action in Department of Justice history.  The national takedown involved more than 400 defendants, including 15 individuals charged in the Northern District of Illinois.

Other significant health care fraud prosecutions include a north suburban chiropractor and his brother and father, each of whom was sentenced to prison in connection with a phony billing scheme that bilked insurance carriers out of more than $10.8 million.  DR. VLADIMIR GORDIN JR., VLADIMIR GORDIN SR. and ALEXSANDER GORDIN used their chiropractic clinic, Gordin Medical Center S.C., to falsely bill for medical services that were either not provided or weren’t medically necessary.  The Gordins were sentenced to prison terms earlier this year.  Vladimir Gordin Jr. was sentenced to seven years; Vladimir Gordin Sr. was sentenced to two and a half years; and Alexsander Gordin was sentenced to two years.

The office also recently secured ten criminal convictions as part of a multi-year investigation into Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago.  For more than a decade, Sacred Heart executives conspired to pay kickbacks and bribes to physicians to induce them to refer patients for services that would be reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid.  The fraud scheme earned Sacred Heart millions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid.  The convictions include EDWARD NOVAK, the hospital’s owner and chief executive officer; ROY PAYAWAL, the chief financial officer; CLARENCE NAGELVOORT and ANTHONY J. PUORRO, chief operating officers; DR. VENKATESWARA R. “V.R.” KUCHIPUDI, a physician; as well as four other physicians.  Sacred Heart closed in 2013.

Fraud in the home health care and hospice industries have also been the subject of prosecutions, and the Health Care Fraud Unit will continue those efforts.  The office’s investigation of home health care fraud has resulted in convictions of doctors, nurses, marketers, and executives at multiple companies, including DIKE AJIRI, the former owner of Chicago-based Mobile Doctors; BANIO KOROMA, a physician at Mobile Doctors; and DIANA JOCELYN GUMILA, the former clinical head of Schaumburg-based Doctor at Home.  An investigation of PASSAGES HOSPICE in Lisle recently resulted in prison sentences for multiple defendants, including owner SETH GILLMAN, who was sentenced earlier this year to six and a half years in prison; and ANGELA ARMENTA, Passages’ former director of certified nursing assistants, who was sentenced last month to 20 months in prison.

The Health Care Fraud Unit will also focus on prosecutions related to the diversion of controlled substances, which is an area of emphasis for the office as it continues to battle the opioid crisis.  The office has previously prosecuted significant diversion cases, including procuring the guilty plea of DR. SATHISH NARAYANAPPA BABU, who formerly owned Anik Life Sciences Medical Corp. in southwest suburban Darien.  Dr. Babuprescribed controlled substances, including OxyContin and Hydrocodone, to certain patients without having examined them.  Dr. Babu was sentenced in 2015 to 18 months in prison.

In announcing the new unit, Acting U.S. Attorney Levin acknowledged the cooperation and determination of the office’s investigative partners, including, among others, the Chicago offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The Three Rat Demonstration at the Algonquin Township Hall Last Wednesday

Here’s what drivers saw on their way home on Route 14 last Wednesday.

Before the Algonquin Township Board meeting last Wednesday Local 150 of the Operating Engineers conducted a protest along Route 14 in front of the Algonquin Village Hall.

The first meeting after Andrew Gasser was sworn in as Algonquin Township Road Commissioner, there were two balloon rats.

This time there were three.

The demonstration from the west.  There were three rat balloons.

The same signs showing Gasser in a space suit (undoubtedly a reference to his Tea Party in Space blog) were visible.

New this time, I think, were ones saying, “Algonquin Township Road District is a Scab Employer.”

Those on the east end of the Local 150 protest.

Ir was in all capital letters.

A curbside view of the Local 150 picket line.

Anna May Miller and her daughter-in-law Rebecca Lee were on the picket line.

A close-up of one of the three Local 150 balloon rats.

Miller worked for her husband Bob Miller when he was Road Commissioner.

The Local 150 balloon rat closest to Crystal Lake.

Lee’s husband worked for his father-in-law Bob Miller as well.

A tee shirt of one of the kids who tagged along to the demonstration.  The message is “Little Operating Engineer in Training.  One day I will be a big one.”

There seemed to be fewer supporters of Local 150 during the meeting and, at the end of the meeting, only Democratic Party activists seemed to have stuck around.

Finally, a bumper sticker on a car parked in the Algonquin Township parking lot denigrates Governor Bruce Rauner.

Summary of McHenry County Flooding Situation and Response

The most recent report from McHenry County re flooding.  Prepared by R. Ellsworth, it is dated Sunday, but has more recent information.

BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT:

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported between .50 inches – 4.0 inches of rainfall in
McHenry County on the early morning of July 12th, with continued rain fall throughout the day.
Additional rain fall during the evening hours into the morning of July 13th.
.
The Fox River near New Munster, WI has crested at a stage of 17.47 feet and is slowly falling.

This water level is over 2’ of the previous flood of record.

The current best estimate forecast shows the following peak river/lake stages sometime in the Sunday to Monday timeframe.

Flooding of this magnitude has not been seen before.

Flood Warning continues for the Fox River at the Algonquin Tail water until further notice.

Flood stage is 9.5 feet, Minor flooding is occurring and Major flooding is forecasted.

The National Weather Service is forecasting up to 1” of rain over the Fox River watershed next 5 days.

The Fox River near New Munster is forecasted to continue to fall, but it will be over one week before it falls below flood stage.

This flow is higher than we have seen on the Chain, so our lake and river stage estimates are interpolated from our known information.

There is some uncertainty because we have no historic record to compare.

The river will continue to rise at the Algonquin Tailwater to near 12.7 feet by Tuesday (July 18th)
morning then begin falling.

The Nippersink Creek near Spring Grove has fallen out of flood stage.

Current River Gauge levels at 6:00 am.

Site Name Gage Height (ft) Flood Stage (ft)

  • FOX RIVER NEAR NEW MUNSTER, WI, Gage height – 15.68, Flood stage – 11
  • NIPPERSINK CREEK NEAR SPRING GROVE, IL, Gage height – 6.54 Flood stage 8.3
  • FOX RIVER AT JOHNSBURG, IL, Gage height  – 7.27, Flood stage – 6.5
  • FOX RIVER NEAR MCHENRY, IL, Gage height –  5.66 , Flood stage – 5.5
  • FOX RIVER (TAILWATER) NEAR MCHENRY, IL,  Gage height – 7.17, Flood stage – 4
  • FOX RIVER AT ALGONQUIN, IL, Gage height – 3.48, Flood stage –  3
  • FOX RIVER (TAILWATER) AT ALGONQUIN, IL, Gage height –  12.07, Flood stage 9.5

None at this time.

CURRENT SITUATION:

Widespread rainfall has resulted in significant rises in the Fox River. Residential flooding
reported in Spring Grove, city of McHenry, Village of Algonquin, Nunda Township, Algonquin
Township, and the Village of Cary.

CRITICAL ISSUES:

Flooding along the Fox River and low lying areas in the county with continued rainfall.
Sandbagging may be ineffective due to current saturation of the ground.

INJURIES/FATALITIES:

None that we have been made aware of at this time.

LIFE SAFETY:

None at this time.

MASS CARE:

N/A

STATUS OF UTILITIES:

No problems reported that we have been made aware of at this time.

CURRENT OPERATIONAL STATUS:

We continue to monitor the river gage levels along the Fox River. We will also remain in contact with municipalities that could be affected

McHenry County DOT has transported 9,000 sandbags from the stock at the Klehm building, to
the Village of Algonquin.

Nunda Township has requested 50,000 sandbags for flood fighting efforts in Orchard Heights and
Bay View Beach. McHenry and Nunda Township are working together,

McHenry picked up 32,000 sandbags total 18,000 from DOT and 14,000 from the Klehm building.

Algonquin Sandbag Locations are:

  • La Fox River Drive @ Cornish Park,
  • Center Street @ IL Route 31,
  • Filip Road @ END,
  • Beach Drive @ Rattray Drive,
  • Oceola Drive @ Hubbard Street.

McHenry County DOT has transported 7,500 sandbags from the stock at the Klehm building to
the Village of Algonquin this morning. They have also requested an additional 12,500 sandbags
this morning. DOT will transport those as well.

Nunda Township requested 12,500 sandbags and will pick up from DOT.

Algonquin Township requested 18,000 sandbags and will pick up from DOT.

Johnsburg Police Department requested 3,000 sandbags and picked up at DOT.

Sand and sandbags may be acquired at the following locations:

Algonquin Township – Can be picked up behind Building 5 (long building) (3702 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake);

Burton Township – Contact Dan Sutton, Road Commissioner;

McHenry Township – Can be picked up at the Senior Center Parking Lot (3703 N Richmond Road, Johnsburg);

Nunda Township – Can be picked up at road district office (3518 Bay Road, Crystal Lake).
Nunda Township requested 12,500 sandbags and will pick up from DOT.

McHenry County DOT transported 12,500 sandbags to the Village of Algonquin this afternoon.

McHenry County EMA has requested 100,000 sandbags and plastic sheeting from IEMA along
with 2 sand baggers (1 Algonquin Township, 1 Village of Algonquin).

McHenry County has
distributed over 120,000 sandbags at this time. DuPage County will deliver both sandbagger
units to the county.

Sandbags requested from IEMA will be delivered to the Woodstock IDOT yard on Monday. EMA
has contacted DOT, they will pick them up when they arrive. DOT picked up sandbags from the
Woodstock IDOT facilities along with 15 rolls of plastic sheeting on Saturday afternoon.

Flood briefing has been scheduled for Monday July 17th at 9am in the Emergency Operations
Center.

Sandbaggers were delivered by 8pm on July 14th at Algonquin Township and the Village of
Algonquin.

Nunda Township requested 25,000 sandbags and will pick up from DOT this morning.

McHenry Township requested 12,500 sandbags and will pick up from DOT.

DOT delivered 7 rolls of plastic and 45,000 sandbags to McHenry Township

DOT delivered 7 rolls of plastic and 45,000 sandbags to Nunda Township

McHenry County has distributed over 247,500 sandbags at this time.

WEATHER CONDITIONS:

NWS Forecast for: Woodstock IL
Issued by: National Weather Service Chicago, IL
Last Update: 7:16 am CDT Jul 16, 2017

Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 74. Northeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Tonight: Mostly clear, with
a low around 55. North wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. North wind around 5 mph becoming east in the
afternoon. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 58. East wind around 5 mph becoming
calm in the evening.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming south southwest around 5 mph
in the morning. Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1am.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 69.

Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near
86. Wednesday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a
low around 70.

Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Thursday
Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Partly cloudy, with a low
around 66.

Friday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. Friday
Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 82.

STREETS/HIGHWAY/ INTERSTATE STATUS:

Algonquin

  • Fox River Dr. from Rattray Dr. to dead end is closed with water on the pavement from the river,
  • Town Park Closed, Cornish Park Closed. La Fox Dr. is closed at Washington. Half of River Front
  • Park on N. Harrison is now closed due to water

Nunda Township – Road Closures

  • Riverside Dr. West & Greening Rd,
  • Colby Dr.,
  • Dee Dr.,
  • Beechnut Dr. &
  • Park Terrace Holiday Hills,
  • South Riverview Dr. Holiday Hills,
  • Rawson Bridge Rd by the Broken Oar.

Johnsburg – Road Closures

  • 2500 block Riverview Dr.
  • McHenry County – Road Closures
  • In progress of closing South River Rd between W. Fernview and W. Dowell Rd.

McHenry Township – Road Closures

  • Hayden St, Shady Hollow Ln, Stafford Dr., Nippersink Estates, Bridge St, Short St, Circle Dr.,
  • Hilltop Dr., Riverdale Dr., Nippersink Dr., Vern Dr., Coolridge Ave, Lake St (Pistakee Highlands),
  • Memory Trl, Orchard Beach Rd, Shorewood Rd, Huemann Dr.

DECLARATIONS:

  • The Village of Algonquin Declared a Disaster at 10am due to flooding.
  • (Mutual Aid) reporting to Algonquin on Friday. IPWMAN Response. Kirkland, Crystal Lake, Lake
    in the Hills, Palatine, Huntley, Glen Ellen, Hoffman Estates.
  • (Mutual Aid) Nunda Township has also requested IPWMAN Response.
  • McHenry County has Declared a Disaster at 2:30 pm July 14th due to flooding

Gun Toting Woodstock Man Gets 70 Months in Federal Pen for Bank Robberies

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

McHENRY COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 70 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON ON ROBBERY CHARGES

Photo Distributed of Harvard Savings Bank robber.

ROCKFORD — A McHenry County man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala on four charges of robbery. SHAWN M. RANK, 48, of Woodstock, Ill., was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, for the 2016 robberies of

  • the Heartland Bank and Trust Company in Genoa, Ill.
  • the Cash Store in Belvidere, Ill.
  • the Harvard Savings Bank in Harvard, Ill.
  • the Alpine Bank in Belvidere, Ill.

Rank was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $6,972 to the banks and the Cash Store.

Rank had pleaded guilty to the robbery charges on March 10, 2017.

According to the written plea agreement, Rank admitted that on Jan. 15, 2016, he walked into the Heartland Bank and Trust Company located at 327 West Main Street in Genoa, pushed a blue zippered bank bag across the counter to a teller and told the teller to fill the bag with $50s and $100s.

Rank opened his jacket and showed a gun tucked in his waistband to the teller.

The teller put $1,250 in the bank bag. Rank took the bag and fled.

The sign on the door of the Harvard Savings Bank indicates that guns are not allowed.

In his plea agreement, Rank also admitted to robbing the Cash Store at 1479 North State St. in Belvidere, Ill., of $1,232 on April 1, 2016, and to the armed robbery of the Harvard Savings Bank at 58 North Ayer St. in Harvard, of $2,700 on May 6, 2016. Finally, Rank pled guilty and admitted to robbing the Alpine Bank located at 600 South State St. in Belvidere, of $1,790 on June 13, 2016.

The sentencing was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Michael Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, and the  Harvard, Genoa, and Belvidere Police Departments, assisted in the investigation.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret J. Schneider

Skillicorn Offers Staff to Help People Cope with Flooding

A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:

Skillicorn Opens Up Office Hotline Following Historic Flooding

CRYSTAL LAKE – In response to historic flooding along the Fox and Des Plaines Rivers, State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) is letting residents know that his office is ready and willing to be a much needed resource for those impacted.

The 66th House District includes areas in both McHenry and Kane counties along the Fox River.

“I want to encourage any residents impacted by these historic flood waters to reach out to me if I can be of assistance in any way,” said Skillicorn.

Allen Skillicorn speaks to the press at the Sunday Algonquin press conference.

“Things can be replaced, but the most important thing is that people remain smart and stay safe.”

The Governor issued a disaster proclamation on Friday for the effected counties to ensure the state can provide whatever assistance is needed now through sandbags, pumps and other means and in later recovery efforts through property tax breaks and other means.

Allen Skillicorn, Peter Roskam, Dan McConchie and David McSweeney helped fill sandbags Sunday afternoon.

“Illinois Emergency Management Agency has activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate any requests for assistance from flood-impacted communities. Individual residents are encouraged to contact Rep. Skillicorn’s Springfield office at (217) 782-0432.

“Thank you to all the volunteers and first responders keeping us safe. It has been inspiring to see the work being done by people coming together in this community and in surrounding counties. I want people to know that I’m here as a community resource during this unprecedented time. Please contact me if you need any assistance in receiving state aid or navigating state agencies,” Rep. Skillicorn continued.

Historic flooding has negatively impacted many homes, schools, businesses, and institutions in the area, coordinating recovery efforts could take significant time.

Allen Skillicorn’s district map.


A flood warning continues to be in effect until Thursday for Cook, Kane, Kendall, Lake, and McHenry Counties.

Water is expected to continue to rise along the Fox River until at least Tuesday.

Governor To Apply Amendatory Veto on Education Funding Bill

It takes a three-fifths majority to override and a simple majority to agree with the Governor.

[In original article, I mistakenly said it took only a simple majority to override an amendatory veto. Thanks to commenter Alabama Shake for the correction.]

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Governor Rauner calls on State Senate to send him education funding bill

-Governor plans to issue amendatory veto, which will result in more state funding for almost every school district in Illinois-

Mt. Zion, Ill. (July 17, 2017) – Today, Governor Bruce Rauner called on members of the Illinois Senate to send him Senate Bill 1, the education funding bill.

Democrats in the Illinois Senate are using a procedural quirk to keep the bill from advancing.

If the bill is not sent to Governor Rauner’s desk soon, public schools throughout the state may not open in time for the new school year.

In squatting on this bill, Democrats are taking away critical resources from school districts across the state.

When the bill does reach his desk, Governor Rauner plans to issue an amendatory veto that will result in higher state funding for almost every school district in Illinois.

The bill includes a bailout of Chicago’s broken teacher pension system, so Governor Rauner plans to amend SB 1 to remove this from the bill and instead provide adequate and equitable funding for students in Illinois no matter their zip code.

The governor’s amendatory veto also will adjust the bill so that it is more closely aligned with the to the original ideals proposed by the governor’s School Funding Reform Commission – which has bipartisan support. These reforms include mandating that the majority of all money in SB 1 will go to statewide school districts serving a majority of students from families with low income. This marks a historic change that will, over time, fix education inequity in Illinois.

Bruce Rauner

“We have a chance to make history and adopt a new school funding plan that, for the first time, ensures all school districts in Illinois are equitably and adequately funded. Unfortunately, Democrats want to turn this historic opportunity into a bailout for the CPS pension system,” said Governor Rauner. “The point of this school reform bill is to help low income students across the state, including those in Chicago, get the education they deserve – not to bailout CPS’s mismanaged teacher pension system.”

As written, SB 1 is a bailout for the decades of financial mismanagement at CPS. The bill directs millions of dollars to CPS and away from other deserving districts. Under SB 1, as compared to the Governor’s plan, the other 851 school districts in Illinois will receive less of the FY18 budget money while CPS receives credit for a $506 million historical pension payment. The CPS hold harmless includes both the $250 million block grant credit and $221 million for normal pension costs and retiree health care credit.

“The General Assembly under Speaker Madigan have failed to adequately or equitably fund our schools for decades. It has hurt generations of Illinois children who live in low income communities,” said Governor Rauner. “It’s not right to give CPS more than its equitable share at the expense of other struggling school districts. That’s not reform. It is the same old rigged politics that created this disgraceful system we are trying to fix. ”

A new webpage launched by the governor shows how much more money each school district will receive after the governor issues his amendatory veto: https://www.illinois.gov/gov/SitePages/SchoolDistrictFunding.aspx

Water Floods Johnsburg Area – Sandbags Still Available

Update from the Village of Johnsburg:

SAND AND SANDBAG AVAILABILITY

Sand and sandbags are still available in the parking lots at The Wave – 3309 N. Chapel Hill Road and Sunnyside Park (by the Village Hall) – Channel Beach Avenue.

Note, however, beginning tomorrow, July 18th, sand will no longer be available at The Wave as the remaining sand will be moved to Sunnyside Park.
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Here are photos from River Terrace Drive, which is on the east side of Fox River just off Chapel Hill Rd.

The Fox River laps into this Johnsburg garage.

These photos were take Saturday and Sunday, basically right at the Johnsburg bridge,

This alley had rising water.

A home on a new island in the Fox River.

Another Johnsburg home near the bridge over the Fox River.

The next two photos show Carl Kamienskis front yard:

When a car won’t do, a kayak will.

Carl Kamienskis front yard is under the Fox River.

When a car won’t do, a kayak will. This is Carl Kamienskis’ neighbor.

McHenry County Board member Craig Wilcox wades in the front yard.

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Share your flood photos with others by emailing them to [email protected] Please give their location and day and time they were taken.

Joe Tirio Running for McHenry County Clerk

Joe Tirio

Joe Tirio announced his candidacy for McHenry County Clerk at a well-attended d’Anddrea’s luncheon on Saturday.

Tirio is known for his successful, duel-messaged campaign for McHenry County Recorder last year:

He won a three-way Republican Party primary race and beat back a challenge by the Democrats in the fall.

And the McHenry County Board put a referendum to abolish the Recorder as an elected official on next March’s primary ballot, thus taking another step to implement Tirio’s idea to merge the Recorder’s Office into the County Clerk’s.

(In smaller counties, the County Clerk is the County Recorder.  It is only when a county reaches 60,000 that the Recorder’s duties are split into a separate office. )

June 25th, the Saturday fundraiser was announced on McHenry County Blog.

Although chronological events do not necessarily reflect causality,  County Clerk Mary McClellan announced she was not running for re-election shortly thereafter.  McLean, Peoria and Tazewell Counties had abolished their Recorders as elected officials when Tirio began his quest. McClellan did not attend the luncheon, but her opponent, appointed Judge Robert Willbrandt did, as did judicial candidate Tiffany Davis.)

On Saturday, Algonquin Township Road Commissioner and Republican Party Chairman–replete in his pink breast cancer pink tee shirt–started the business part of the event by saying,

“This guy keeps his promises.”

Andrew Gasser warms up the crowd before Joe Tirio’s announcement.

Gasser, coming from sandbagging at the Road District complex, then went on to introduce the other promise keeping public officials in the room:

  • Sheriff Bill Prim
  • State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally
  • County Treasurer Glenda Miller
  • State Rep. Allen Skillicorn
  • McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz
  • McHenry County Board member Jeff Thorsen
  • McHenry County Board Craig Wilcox
  • McHenry County College Board member Diane Evertsen
  • McHenry County College Board member Chris Jenner
  • McHenry County College Board member Karen Tirio
  • Algonquin Township Trustee Rachael Lawrence
  • Greenwood Township Trustee Kelly Liebman

He also pointed to District 6 McHenry County Board candidate Orville Brettman.

County Recorder Tirio Announces Run for Clerk

Joe Tirio announces he is running for McHenry County Clerk.

WOODSTOCK, IL – At a fundraiser celebrating the resolution that will likely end the role of Recorder in McHenry County, current County Recorder Joe Tirio announced his intent to run for County Clerk in 2018.

“So, today, I ask for your support as I announce my candidacy for McHenry County Clerk, to allow me to continue what I began as Recorder, and ask you to join me in my continued pursuit of honest, reliable, efficient government”, said Tirio as he concluded his speech.

In the eight months since Tirio took office he has

  • reduced cost
  • maintained levels of service for the core duties of the office
  • introduced LEAN concepts
  • designed and implemented One Place Knowledge Management and Performance Tools
  • established improved Management processes
  • improved staff and management communication and
  • implemented the Honor Rewards program that provides honorably discharged veterans with discounts at local businesses.

Joe says that when he wins the race (and assuming that the referendum passes to eliminate the Recorder role), he will continue the work to prepare the two offices for their eventual integration while targeting reduced operating costs, improved service and transparency.

“I look forward to working with the fine people of both the Recorder and Clerk’s offices as we turn a page in this County’s already remarkable history.”

### About Joe Tirio Born in Chicago and raised primarily in the western suburbs, Joe lives with his Wife, Karen in Woodstock where he has lived for 14 of the 17 years he has Lived in McHenry County. He and his wife own Monarch Senior Care, located in Woodstock. Joe is also the co-founder of Voters In Action (VotersInAction.com), a citizen activist group focused on increasing public involvement in government with an eye toward reducing taxes and corruption and increasing transparency.

Governor Rauner Views Sandbagging and Beginning of Flooding

Governor Bruce Rauner speaks to members of the media behind the Algonquin Public Works complex.

Starting behind the Algonquin Public Works Building, Governor Bruce Rauner thanked volunteers filling sandbags, announced that Cook County was being added to the list of counties declared disaster areas and, then, moved to the street next to the Fox River.

Locally elected public officials provide the backdrop for Governor Bruce Rauner’s press conference.

In his widely-covered press conference, the Governor said he “may be calling for evacuations,” but would be relying on local officials’ opinions.

A view of the reporters and the public officials at the Algonquin press conference on the Fox River’s flooding.

“There is potentially very serious flooding coming to communities in the Fox River Valley.”

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks thanked the volunteers who were filling sandbags behind the dignitaries lined up behind the microphones.

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks addresses the reporters and those wielding cameras.

Having been through the flooding in 2013, Algonquin Village President John Schmitt explained, “We’ve gotten better and better in managing the response.”

Algonquin Village President John Schmitt addresses the press.

He said that over 25,000 sandbags had been filled.

Volunteers who filled sandbags in Algonquin Sunday afternoon.

And that the Village had been “working around the clock the last five days.”

Congressman Peter Roskam expressed “incredible sense of gratitude for those folks who have come out to help their neighbors.

State Rep. David McSweeney thanked the Governor for his strong leadership.”

State Rep. David McSweeney filled a sandbag held by his wife Margaret.

State Senator Dan McConchie pointed out that “the water may have receded from your neighborhood, but there are plenty of [people] who need help.”

State Senator Dan McConchie gets his turn at the microphone.

Rep. Alan Skillicorn, whose district contains Fox River waterfront property in Kane County was the final elected officials to step to the microphones.

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn thanked the volunteers and first responders.

McHenry County Emergency Agency David Christensen told the reporters that the flood is expected to crest Tuesday.

In answer to a question about which part of the Fox would flood first, Christensen pointed to Holiday Hills.

The Fox River is already around this garage on LaFox River Drive. The river is predicted to crest on Tuesday.

He said that 818 homes were affected in 2013.

The press release the Governor released today is below:

County to State Disaster Proclamation for Flooding

State Emergency Operations Center Continues to Support Communities Battling Flood Waters

The water does not have far to drop over the Algonquin dam this July 17, 2017.

ALGONQUIN – Governor Bruce Rauner today added Cook County to the state disaster proclamation for widespread flooding. Governor Rauner announced this action while touring flood fighting efforts and impacted residential areas in Algonquin with community, state and federal elected officials.

The Fox River rushes under the fully open dam at Algonquin on July 16, 2017

On Friday, Governor Rauner issued a disaster proclamation for Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

Water flowing over the Algonquin dam on July 16, 2017, looks like rapids.

“With flood waters impacting communities in Cook County, I’m adding the county to the state disaster proclamation to ensure we provide responders the resources they need to continue protecting public health and safety,” Governor Rauner said.

Governor Bruce Rauner leads members of the media down LaFox River Drive.

A state disaster proclamation makes a wide variety of state resources available that can help communities respond and recover from flooding.

Governor Bruce Rauner came to LaFox River Drive and talked to residents.

Such resources include sandbags, sand, pumps, trucks and other heavy equipment, and other assistance to ensure public safety.

The building with bathrooms at the riverfront Cornish Park was already surrounded by water on Sunday, July 16, 2017.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield was activated Friday to coordinate requests for state resources to support communities battling flood waters. The SEOC will remain open until the threat has passed.

A photographer in knee boots got a shot of Governor Bruce Rauner and entourage looking at the flooding.

To date, the state has provided 350,000 sandbags to Lake County and 100,000 sandbags to McHenry County.

Water from the Fox River had already saturated the earth behind these sandbags at the waterfront home on LaFox River Drive nearest the Algonquin Dam.

On Monday, 50,000 sandbags will be delivered to Kane County.

One of the guardians for the home closest to the Algonquin Dam was wearing chest high boots while talking to his State Representative David McSweeney.

In addition, the state is staging 350,000 sandbags in northern Illinois for quick deployment to communities.

The only person stacking sandbags on LaFox River Driver was this young boy.

Agencies staffing the SEOC include the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of the State Fire Marshal, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois State Police, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Before he left LaFox River Drive, State Rep. David McSweeney took time to talk to some of his riverfront constituents.

For updates on the current situation, visit the Ready Illinois website at http://www.ready.illinois.gov.

Hope on Redistricting Reform

Before the 2010 U.S. Census and the Democratic Party’s re-map, there were 11 Republicans and 8 Democrats.

Changes in Illinois congressional delegation make-up from 2010 to 2012.  Credit Wikipedia.

Did Michael Madigan work his reapportionment magic to shift the delegation make-up to his party?

You betcha, as Sarah Palin would say.

A case coming from Democrats in Wisconsin will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Governor Scott Walker and two GOP-dominated legislative houses apportioned the districts to benefit Republicans.

It’s the nature of the beast for parties to see electoral advantage when in control.

Now, in my home state of Maryland, Republicans have won a similar case with regard to one congressional district.

To put in the words of one of the three Appellate Court Justices ( Paul V. Niemeyer), as reported in the Washington Post:

“It seems to me they were highly successful in getting exactly what they wanted,” he said of the Democrats who oversaw redistricting.

“These politicians had the power to make the map the way they wanted it.”

Might Illinois receive relief from out legislative dictator some day?

Political Observer Russ Stewart Concludes Advantage Rauner

Observer Russ Stewart write columns of insightful political commentary for Nadig Newspapers.

His latest is entitled, “‘Madigan’s tax increase’ boosts Rauner for 2018.”

Here are a couple of paragraphs:

Governor Bruce Rauner uses his income tax hike veto pen.

“Rauner emerged triumphant because he can now trumpet for the next 17 months four magic words: I KEPT MY PROMISE. He pledged in 2014 to oppose any raise in state income taxes, and he vetoed the Madigan/Democratic tax hike recently, which was narrowly overridden. Voters expect politicians to lie in order to get elected, and then “cave” to reality shortly thereafter. Had any Republican other than Rauner been elected governor in 2014, they would have caved long ago, worked out a “grand bargain” with the Democrats, and be on a trajectory to losing in 2018…

“Rauner played hardball by not capitulating to demands of “good government” entities, media and liberals that he be “responsible” and hike taxes, incurring their wrath. But he fully understood that his base, roughly 45 percent of the electorate, voted for him because they expected him to act like a Republican…and he has. Had Rauner caved, his base would have crumbled, discarding him as just another mealy-mouthed, untrustworthy politician. But he didn’t cave, he actually got the state budget slashed by $3 billion, and his base is rock-solid. He starts the 2018 campaign not with lame excuses, but with promises kept.

“…it is the Democrats who enter 2018 on the defensive.”