Woodstock City Council Meeting on Rauner “Turnaround Agenda” Draws Union Members

Election night the Woodstock City Council had Governor Bruce Rauner’s “Turn Around” proposals.

Here’s what the agenda said:

Wdstk Rauner Agenda Item 4-7-15

(I could not find a board packet which would have contained the resolution.)

There were so many people in the audience that Mayor Brian Sager moved the meeting from the City Council Chambers to the Woodstock High School up the street.

My source estimates that 300 people attended the meeting.

Composed of Operating Engineers, teacher union members and others, all were allowed to speak.

The meeting went on until midnight.

The comments were generally civil until one man said,

“I would advise you to vote this down, send it back to the Governor and tell him to shove it up his ass.”

Wioodstock Opera House

Woodstock Opera House

Sager announced that the Governor would be in Woodstock at the Opera House the next morning and that it would be a public meeting.

That was on the Governor’s schedule, but not announced to the public, unless you read McHenry County Blog.

Invited were Woodstock City Council members and McHenry County Board members.

My source says Rauner “snuck in the back door.”

The public was not allowed in the meeting, even though there were people who wished to be included.

When it was over, the same source said the Governor “snuck out the side door.”

Rauner then spoke at Johnsburg High School.

Today the McHenry County Board is scheduled to consider the following “Turnaround” resolution:


WHEREAS, Illinois state law creates a “one size fits all” approach to collective bargaining for local units of governments. This approach creates added costs which are ultimately passed on to taxpayers; and

WHEREAS, voters and local officials should determine what is a subject of bargaining – not the State; and

WHEREAS, local control of bargaining would allow voters or local governments to determine if certain topics should be excluded from collective bargaining, including contracting, wages, provisions of health insurance, use of employee time, required levels of staffing, procedures and criteria for personal evaluations, academic performance, conduct, and discipline in school; and

WHEREAS, state law sets thresholds for workers on state and local construction projects increasing costs significantly; and

WHEREAS, state law has increased utilization of Project Labor Agreements for construction projects; and

WHEREAS, repealing the Illinois Prevailing Wage Law and the requirements for Project Labor Agreements would allow local governments more control over construction and project costs; and

WHEREAS, more than 280 unfunded mandates have been imposed in recent years in communities across Illinois, costing those communities billions. Rolling back mandates will create more flexibility in local government budgets; and

WHEREAS, Illinois’ workers compensation costs are the seventh highest in the nation – and more than double the costs in Indiana; and

WHEREAS, updating how injuries are apportioned to ensure employers pay for injuries that occur on the job, a clarification regarding the definition of “traveling employees” to ensure a reasonable standard that excludes risks that would impact the general public, and implementation of American Medical Association guidelines when determining impairment would result in major cost savings for local governments; and

WHEREAS, voters in our community should be allowed to decide via referendum whether or not employees should be forced to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment; and

WHEREAS, local employment zones will help attract jobs and make our community more attractive for businesses; and

WHEREAS, local governments face unfunded liabilities that threaten core services and functions of government; state action on pension reform for future work should provide local governments the ability to address pension reform for future work as well.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by this County Board of McHenry County, Illinois hereby endorses major reforms in state government that will encourage local control, reduce costs on local governments, empower local voters, and increase competitiveness in our community; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the County Clerk is hereby directed to distribute a certified copy of this Resolution to Governor Rauner; McHenry County State Representatives and Senators; members of the McHenry County Board; the County Administrator; and Department Heads/Elected Officials.


Woodstock City Council Meeting on Rauner “Turnaround Agenda” Draws Union Members — 22 Comments

  1. Could be called a clawback agenda as legislative hikes created the mess.

  2. By tabling this item, Brian Sager can forget about ever running for State Rep or any other office.

    If he does, I will be one who will work for anyone opposing him.

  3. Apparently the public sector unions were more organized and vocal than taxpayers who are not public sector union members.

    Local control in Illinois typically means control by public sector unions and special interest groups, not taxpayers at large.

  4. Here is some more information about the Turnaround Agenda.

    It’s a 38 page document on the State of Illinois website.


    The public sector unions are vocally opposing the agenda.

    For change the taxpayers not part of special interest groups, and taxpayers that are part of the special interest groups but supporting the agenda, need to vocally support the agenda.

    Not all public sector union members support their leadership in opposing the agenda.

  5. I am a 45 year resident of McHenry County and 60 year resident of IL.

    My grandchildren are what’s important to me.

    We have an opportunity Governor Rauner has put on the table. It’s time to take action NOW.

    We need to get the labor unions our of government at local, state and federal levels.

    I will give my full support to any elected official to take a stand against labor unions.

  6. And you wonder why the state is doomed financially; the public unions will sink us all.

  7. Bruce Rauner was elected with a promise to “Shake up Springfield”, and he’s not going to do it by having invitation-only events and creating the impression that he’s sneaking in and out of town to avoid talking about what it’s going to take to get that done.

    He needs to take his platform to the town square and run the risk of vocal and raucous opposition; if he believes so much in what he’s trying to do, he’s got to defend it against all comers.

    Those who would support him aren’t going to do so if they think he’s not going to stand and take the arrows with them.

    Giving his agenda to the City Council and expecting them to debate it in public is not leadership.

    I support the platform that Rauner wants to enact, because this State has sunk to a level where half measures will not work.

    But if he thinks that by merely proposing frameworks without a full public debate, a debate that he and he alone must spearhead, then he’s going to get nowhere.

    He needs to make his case directly to the public, to those who would stand with him and those who would try to shout him down.

    Bruce Rauner told us last November that Illinois stood at a crossroad, and if elected he’d take the State down the road toward recovery.

    We chose to take that risk with him, and it’s only by standing with him on that road that we’re going to succeed.

    But he needs to show that he’s willing to stand with us and fight that fight in public.

    Next time he comes to McHenry County, I hope it’s not through the back door.

  8. Oh good Lord Steve…

    What sort of fevered mind thinks an office, and the man who inhabits it, which shepherds 13 million people has the time for individual shouting matches with people in the public square?

    Whatever fantasy allows for this alternate universe, reality must win out.

    Rauner had about fifteen minutes with maybe five minutes leeway at each location.

    He is delegating.

    The proper role of a true leader with the personnel to do so.

    There is no “sneaking” when you’re governor.

    Merely egocentric individuals who believe they have the ” right” to have their voice heard above all others every time everywhere.

    This tour was not necessary from a practical standpoint.

    It was to persuasively show Rauner actually does care what The People have to say even if he wasn’t able to sit with you individually for a deep personal discussion.

    What arrogance….

  9. On the other hand, at least this Governor came to McHenry County.

    I am not aware that Pat Quinn ever stepped foot into the county.

  10. I don’t understand what purpose, other than self serving, would be served by ANY admission-controlled speaking engagement by a sitting Governor?

    As Steve R. stated, he could speak to ALL and make the impression that citizens’ opinions actually matter,


    As Priest said, it is to give the impression that what The People say matters.

    Delegating…to whom?

    To those who will be assured that they were always backed if they prevail and abandoned if they lose?

    But what a missed opportunity.

    When you get real people in a room together, people who each have a lot at stake and the ability to speak from the heart about real personal circumstances driving their opinions, there is a chance that understanding can be reached by both ‘sides’.

  11. Brian Sager was the head of the teachers’ union for McHenry County College.

    Besides cutting the union pay scale will not bring more businesses to McHenry County it will only bring less buying power to these same people who will spend less at local businesses like restaurants and stores and we will be in worse shape.

    Instead we need to attract businesses with better roads and less opposition from people who want the small town atmosphere but then question why when the tax base is small we pay such high taxes.

  12. The article after this one is Free Food Friday.

    Well lllhaviing an abundance of unions did not cause people to be so broke they have to stand in line for free food.

    The stores and businesses that left mostly to go overseas did.

    And we can never compete with 53 centes per hour Vietnamese wages.

    Instead of fighting unions be againt TPP which President Obama and The Republican Congress want or the prevailing wage will be 53 cents per hour.

  13. I talked to one public official who said that having to pay prevailing wage added 20% to the cost of a project.

    I think it was a roofing job.

  14. Hey Karma! Why did those businesses go overseas?

    Have you ever seen a drive by the unions to have members buy ONLY product made in the U.S.A.

    Unions apparently want the whole country to look like Detroit!

    Personally I am fed up with my tax dollar funding projects subject to the prevailing wage laws and project labor agreements which have been proven to increase project costs by twenty percent. That twenty percent cost increase in turn is used by union fat cats to elect Democrats AND some

    Republicans to KEEP Prevailing wage laws and project labor agreements in place.

    Hey Steve, why were not at the County Board meeting this morning?

  15. There may be more discretionary buying power created for a wider population segment if home values stop plummeting due to tax rates high continue to rise sharply.

    As it stands, the 4% property tax rate in Woodstock has killed all the trades and landscaping jobs.
    Homeowners have a vested interest in allowing property deterioration ( with the hope of lower assessment) .

    One contractor told me people are afraid of getting permits for remodels because it will red flag their assessor.

    Tax rates are correlated to costs of services paid for by tax dollars.

    Another solution for a community without funds to afford paying 120% of fair market value for a project is for the community to forego the project.

  16. Labor costs for the GAT Guns indoor range tripled because of prevailing wage.

    Most projects aren’t that bad, but PW nearly killed the project.

  17. “Why did those businesses go overseas?”

    This is the trillion dollar question indeed.

    Unions played a part. But unions had been around for years, when they accomplished some good things (2 day weekend, anybody a fan of that??).

    Unions overplayed their hand when they did not recognize the changing global landscape.

    Back when Jimmy Carter nominated Paul Volcker, a couple of things happened:

    1. Capital owners got the upper hand (they always do when effective interest rates are high, i.e., nominal rate minus inflation).

    2. Capital owners kept the upper hand
    a. Dollar was strengthened; this hit US manufacture and food exporters hard

  18. b. Reagan was elected and he cut taxes for capital – more of it was allowed to seek profits in China and elsewhere in the third world

    3. The unions were then fully and solidly destroyed

    4. …. except for the public unions. Public unions should not exist, should have never existed, even FDR did not want them to exist. Why should teachers have a union – they can vote too!! They are their own employer too. Public unions are a travesty.

  19. In summary, I do not think that it was the unions that sent US business overseas, but sure, unions are not loved by business, and sure, they were one factor.

  20. It’s ashame you didn’t quote the councilman who said …..when we pass the vote

    Check the minutes and print that instead of targeting a concerned citizen who in reality just spoke frankly the thoughts of many of the attendees….

    Union members

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