Monday, January 08, 2007

Little Chicago we are not.. .But with a little work??

Listening to WGN radio this morning, and being reminded by local bloger “Just Cruising”, a few local events in the world of Chicago politics should spread warning to our local councilman and county supervisors. Please read the entire post to see how it relates to our little part of the world:

According to the Chicago Tribune:

Alderman Troutman (20th Ward) has been arrested. Troutman's attorney, Sam Adam Jr., said his client has been charged with bribery related to the placement of a strip mall in her ward. He said federal officials will allege that Troutman accepted payment in order to get the development in her ward, and allegedly took a kickback in the form of a payment and an agreement for office space. (Please read it here)…


The son of a corrupt former Chicago alderman has received a major promotion into a $103,000-per-year job in the new administration of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Personally, this is a great story, so read it here.

So How Does This Relate?

Well first, understand I am never the person to buy into “appearance of conflicts”. It’s either a conflict or not. At the end of the day, I believe it’s the elected officials responsibility to decide. But they better be damn willing to take the heat.

So it’s typical of politicians to appoint friends, supporters of family members to commissions and such. Maybe in the past, a job or two! But present day realities of openness and transparency make this a really bad idea. So it should surprise many that the Quad City Times could have reported in the last three weeks that Mrs. (Bill) Fennelly has been appointed to a commission and Larry Minards wife’s nomination (for another) is pending.

Would it surprise you that the Compensation Board (that sets the pay scale for the commission and all county elected) comprises of Jay Ingram, Bill Wilke, Howard Harkins, Stephen Schalk, Patt Zamora, Gary Koos and Al Hite.

And we only need to look at the appointment of Mr. Howard (Jamie’s Husband) to Davenports Civil Service commission that created such a controversy. To have a spouse of an elected official sit in judgment of fired employee’s (Hello Phil), probably wasn’t worth the heat. And I am sure folks would quickly point to allegations of former alderman like Engelmann and McGivern.

So What’s my point?

The latest news out of Chicago reminds me how good natured our local government entities are. Allegations of self appointed raises, family members to non-paid commissions or even putting your good development buddy on the compensation board is nothing compared to bribery charges or getting your nephew a $105,000 job. Our local political blunders are typically of ignorance, stupidity or the inability to understand the difference between the two.

So breathe easy Davenport; Little Chicago we are not!!! But comparing ourselves to the Big City has never been the standard. And from my perspective, we are starting to get a little sloppy in the State of Scott.

Yours truly,



At January 08, 2007 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouchh, George woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

It would be great to have a Blogger focus on the hidden side of the County.

At January 08, 2007 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree- there needs to be more interest paid to these conflicts of interest. They happen far too often and do harm in far too many ways. For example, Donna Bushek accepted $$ from Shalk who often appears in front of the zoning board, Kate Ridge is on just about every commission in existance and also serves with her friend Mayellen on the RDA and gets money from them for JLCS. It is a tangled web weaved in Davenport. There are far too many to count - perhaps the rest of you bloggers have more examples of conflicts that effect us - perhaps you can share them



At January 08, 2007 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say that IMHO Mr. Howard seems to bring integrity to the civil service commision and seems to hear both sides of issues and make reasonable decisions.

At January 08, 2007 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - he decides the way the the chair does. That lady is such a rude b&%*#^.

I like Mr. Howard - it is a nice person, but spineless.

At January 12, 2007 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it intersting that the queen of favors (Moritz) expressed concerns for the appointment of family to commissions and board in the county. Maybe she has changed.

At January 12, 2007 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a follow up.

The bribery charges of one Chicago Alderman in the QCTimes should make some people a little worried...don't you think? Could we borrow their state prosecutor for a couple of weeks?

At January 13, 2007 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last summer, Jamie Howards son got a high paid position as assistant park director. He doesn't look much older than a high school senior. Did Jamie have anything to do with his hiring?

At January 13, 2007 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of the casualties of being an alderman is that your family should not get a job with the city. Period. This young man gets paid too much for his work. I am sure that there are better qualified people to fill the city posiiton.

At January 13, 2007 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Engelmann pushed the council to get his brother a nice incentive package to redo the KSTT building. Now that Tom is out of office, he has moved his accounting business into his brother's building, that was taxpayer subsidized.

At January 29, 2010 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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