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Naperville's food and beverage tax -- is it fair?

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The City Council has decided to do nothing for now about the controversial Special Events and Cultural Amenities Fund and its revenue source--some $3 million in taxes on food and beverages sold in the city.

The city gives this money to charitable organizations, groups that do things like put on festivals or put up art works around town.

This concept of benevolent generosity is not unique to Naperville. In happier times, the city of Joliet used to give a share of its revenues from casino gambling to schools and nonprofit organizations.

Not any more. Casino revenues are way down, thanks to the indoor smoking ban and the overall sluggish economy. This year, Joliet pulled the plug on handouts.

In theory, the $3 million that Naperville gives away to do-good organizations is $3 million more that you, your neighbor and the guy down the street and the gal across town have to pay out of your own pockets to fund those essential services like police and fire protection.

Now, Naperville's a generous town, and time and time again the community responds when the call goes out for help. The thing is, it's one thing to voluntarily open your hearts and wallets and lend a hand. It's another when the city taxes you and forces you to give money to charity.

What say you? Is it time to abolish the Special Events and Cultural Amenities Fund, and return those food and beverage tax revenues into the general fund to offset the budget deficit and reduce the number of layoffs of public safety and other personnel?

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63 Comments

Reginald Denny,

I think one can be serious and try to lighten things up with some dry wit, humor and sarcasm. It makes for exciting reading.

To some extent you seemed to be offended by Melissa's humor. I think her humor was perfectly appropriate.

It is nice to know that the Napergatians are a peaceful group that uses their pens as their swords.

They try to accomplish their goals by lobbying the city council as in Spring Green, endorsing candidates for office as in the Napergate Ads, distributing literature in city hall and voting in the election booth.

No Napergatians has ever been arrested for violence in the 2 decades the movement has been active. I am glad Melissa kiddingly said what she said so we can assure the new residents we are a peaceful group who seeks less government waste and less taxes.....nothing more nothing less.

We all work voluntarily and have never even collected a single penny in contributions for anything.

Our only enemies are those benefitting from the corrupt system that enriches them.

The Napergatians critics have never devised a plan to deal with thee $61.4 million pension defict that just increased $9.7 million dollars in the last year. They simply expect the taxpayers to make up this deficit and the Napergatians are drawing a line in the sand to make sure the taxpayers never have to pay for this huge deficit

Obviously, they don't know how to deal with it or want to deal with it. Their solution is to mock the Napergatians so no one would believe them. It does not work.

The Napergate Man was mocked while he ran his 44 full page Napergate ads in the Naperville Sun. Fortunatley, he obtained positive verdicts from the Illinois Appellant Court and the 7th Federal Cirucit Court of Appeals who ruled in his favor and the mocking was hushed. In both cases the city chose not to appeal to the respective Supreme Courts thanks to the leadership of Mayor George Pradel who was just recently elected and stopped the shenanigans that had gone on for so long in this city against the Napergate Man.

People were describing the NM as crazy at the time. He was just determined to expose corruption in City Hall and with his long perseverence he succeeded. He exposed the establishment naked and pi$$ed a lot of their folks off. He never towed the establishment line. They tried to punish him by revoking his liquor licenses despite his impeccable credentials and national awards in his battle against minors.

I see the Napergatians experiencing the same mocking their leader once experienced. I think the Napergatians have nothing to worry about. The truth is surfacing and their noble cause will be vindicated....time will expose and defeat the establishment which refuses to read the handwriting on the wall. We just need to be a little more patient while CM Bob feeds us the true story behind City Hall.

Anonymous on November 25, 2008 7:25 PM
I think Melissa's humor and wit went right over your head. She was kidding around.

But in reality these blogs sites are good for communication, exchanging ideas and venting out steam.

So she was making some very good points while being sarcastic.

I am sorry it all flew right over your head.

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Anonymous: Ah that witty and wonderful Napergatian humor? Right in the middle of Melissa's serious rantings she makes a joke about the L.A. Riots? Right, I can hardly wait for her next comedy central routine: Perhaps Famine, genocide, war will all be additional comedy routine topics??? I await her humor.

And as for something going right over my head? Look up the moniker: Reginald Denny and then tell me again about how something has gone over MY head!

Oh Melissa –

This one is just too much! Are you for real? Are you sane?

First of all, you didn’t do your job as a good Napergatian and do your research. Go back to the thread with the IRS discussion and you’ll see the discussion STARTED with a discussion of the criminal code and a person’s 5th Amendment rights. It turned to other (civil) code sections when others wanted to muddy the waters.

Also, it’s obvious from your statements about defense attorneys, plea agreements, and trials that you’ve never spent any time in a courtroom. Your assumptions about how the system works are completely wrong. Real life is nothing like Law and Order.

As you said…back on topic. So you agree with 99% of your fellow members, you continue to excuse the blatantly wrong conduct in the past, yet your group expects everyone to “move forward”? And you wonder why Ken thinks you all hate the NPD?

If there was much effort exerted off the thread to put a stop to this conduct, doesn’t that imply that the conduct was wrong? Why not just say so instead of making excuses for the conduct?

And the Rodney King comparison! Oh, how laughable. Yes, being arrested for a crime is the same as being beaten with night sticks for no good reason.

Using your own example…. While every Democrat is not responsible for what another one says, other Dems will rebuke their fellow party members if they say something stupid or inflammatory. Other Dems spoke out when Sen Durbin compared our troops to Pol Pot or Nazis (similar to the Napergatians comparing the NPD to fascists). Rather than rebuke some reprehensible Napergatian conduct, you’re making excuses for it. You even seem to condone it.

If there was so much effort behind the scenes to calm down Napergatian Nation, then how could the posts have been submitted by Ken and me? Ah, we have another unsupported Napergatian conspiracy theory!

And you’re amazed at how easily I traced the old posts? Are you that dense? Just go to the archives and read, woman! You can’t miss the original post by Elizabeth as she capitalized “scum” and other words used to describe the NPD. It’s not my fault you’re too lazy or uninformed to go back and read past threads.

I strive to keep my posts on issues only, but I’ve found that if I (heaven forbid) disagree with the Napergatians I get attacked. JQP has attested to this. On the other (city manager) thread, I posted a sincere and simple question and you attacked me. How was that my fault? What did I write that you found so insulting?

And your reading comprehension must be lacking because I did address the pension issue when I said I agree with (Original) Joe. Keep the current pension for the current employees and have a second tier for new employees. The goal is two-fold, save money and still honor the commitments made to the current employees. Its something called “c-o-m-p-r-o-m-i-s-e”. You may want to look that word up. Your group obviously doesn't know the meaning.

My brother does not work for the city and you know it. By stating there’s a conflict on this issue, you’re simply being misleading.
I’ve now learned (the hard way) not to disclose anything about myself any more. You don’t, so why should I? Someone once questioned my education and I made the mistake of admitting that I had an MBA. Even you mock that accomplishment solely because you disagree with me. Is that fair? Is that right? Were you brought up this way?

I could say I was a Nobel winning economist and the Napergatians wouldn’t listen to a thing I said. Instead, they’d say I was the dumbest person ever to win the award. Nothing matters to Napergatians except being right and the end appears to justify the means.

Now you want to question my moral character?!? If you want to question my position or opinion, have at it. But questioning my moral character based on disagreeing with my opinions takes the cake. You’ve now stooped lower than most on these threads in my mind and these comments speak volumes about you. I have a few words for you, but I doubt they’d get published. I'm sure you can figure out what I mean. Oh, wait...maybe you can't.

Good day.

T.B.

Reginald Denny,

I think Melissa's humor and wit went right over your head. She was kidding around.

But in reality these blogs sites are good for communication, exchanging ideas and venting out steam.

So she was making some very good points while being sarcastic.

I am sorry it all flew right over your head.

The Napergatians are not a violent group and never were.

Before the internet age, the Napergate Man led a very large contingent of Napergatians to City Hall in order to distribute his Napergate ads at city when the Naperville Sun was not publishing them for some reason or another.

The police came by and told them to stop. They did not riot. They obeyed the police even though it was a public building they owned along with all the other taxpayers in town. The police were looking for a confrontation but the Napergatians wanted nothing to do with it even though they were within their rights. Only distributing literature on public property. Think about that for second!

That should tell you something about the Napergatians. They are not trouble makers. All they do is try to control government cost and reduce the tax burden on the taxpayers.

You should be appreciative of their efforts. You beneifit while they do all the work! Without the Napergatians and their efforts, your tax bill would be twice as high, Reginald Denny!

Lighten up...there will be no riots in Naperville. We wil try to reduce the taxes. If we can't we will either pay them or give our homes to the city council if we are upside down as Melissa plans on doing....again she was being sarcastic! Fasten your bearings back on!

Melissa on November 25, 2008 10:22 AM

When Rodney King was abused by the police, the residents almost burned the city down. Did you forget, TB? Would it not be better if the LA folks just had an internet riot like the Napergatians did instead of burning the town down. I think this blog site gave us an avenue to let us vent out our pent up steam of frustrations. I hope you understand the jist of my argument.

_____________________________________________________

Ok Melissa now I get your jist. The Napergatians are slightly better than the hooligans in L.A. who rioted and burned their own city down - many of your previous posts now make more sense to me given some additional context. We are grateful to the Napergatians for not rioting in the streets of Naperville - although I suspect that 3 bicycle cops (and one animal control officer for Abby) could probably stop your riot if you did.

Too bad there weren't more blog sites, if any, back when the Rodney King case was ongoing because that whole mess would have been prevented!! No wonder no one takes your group seriously. I don't mean to paint all Napergatians with such a broad brush, but according to your post, 99% of what the Napergatians say is believed by other Napergatians. Now I'm waiting for someone else in your group to take credit for preventing riots throughout the city.

TB,
It seemed to me when you werer losing the IRS debate you stated you were only talking about the criminal code. By the way I also think the criminal code is very complex and confusing. There is nothing black and white about anything the IRS does in my personal opinion. I think the one point that AA smacked you with real good is why have these specialized criminal IRS defense attorney who command 350-700 dollars an hour if the criminal code is all black and white. Why these lengthy trials interpreting the code in different ways. They get the charges reduced one after another if they don't want a trial due to technicalities and gray areas in the code. This simply could not happen if the code was as black and white as you state. The government would never budge and the prisons would be overflowing with alleged tax violators.

Back on topic. Why do you want us to continue repudiating comments made by our fellow Napergatians? We agree with better than 99% of them. If a Napergatian cussed on a police officer during the heat of the debate, only that one Napergatian is responsible for her cuss words....not the entire Napergate Nation. I think Sergeant Greg Bell needs to be repudiated for the way he treated the Napergate Man, his friend and puppy Abby. If he was disclipined in any way for his heavy handedness there would have never been any cussing on him. He was the root cause of all the cussing. Cussing is wrong but when the man in charge of Internal Affairs acts so inappropriately and there is no way to appeal since he is the APPEAL JUDGE, where does one go. That could have been what led to all the cussing. If there was a civilain body overseeing the police dept. instead of the police dept overseeing itself there would be naturally less cussing as people would have rights. IN THIS CASE THE NAPERGATE MAN HAD NO RIGHTS AS HE WAS ABUSED BY THE APPEALS OFFICER WHO JUST HAPPENDED TO BE THE ARRESTING OFFICER. You should at least have an understanding, TB, to the root cause that led to that barrage of cussing that leaders in the Napergate Nation finally managed to stop. Much effort was exerted off this blog site to try to stop it and it was no easy task as people had boiled over. It was like an internet demonstration or even a riot but thankfully no one gets hurt in a riot on the internet. Maybe this will be how residents riot in the future and if that is the case it beats street rioting where you have to face police batons, tear gas and rubber bullets. Once in a while you have to think positive, TB, and think how much worse the situation could have been.

When Rodney King was abused by the police, the residents almost burned the city down. Did you forget, TB? Would it not be better if the LA folks just had an internet riot like the Napergatians did instead of burning the town down. I think this blog site gave us an avenue to let us vent out our pent up steam of frustrations. I hope you understand the jist of my argument.

Back on topic again....Do you feel every Democrat in the country is responsible for what every other Democrat in the nation thinks or says. That is how immature you are with your comments, TB, regarding Napergatians being responsible for what other Napergatians say on an anonymous blog site. And it is not far fetched that you and Ken were cussing on the police using different handles to further inflame the situation at the time while the leadership was trying to calm the situation down. It amazes me how easily you track all those old posts and post them again. It almost seems like you had to plant them to be so on top of them. It is very amazing how you are constantly using these quotes that you or Ken may have planted to damage the reputation of the NAPERGATIANS.

You really seem to be on this blog site to attack the Napergatians instead of attack the issues at hard. Most Napergatians come on from time to time to discuss the issues the editors post in a thread. After discussing the issues, we find ourselves being attacked by you and Ken. Thankfully, the origninal Joe who use to BE worse than you and Ken combined matured and now comes on and debates the issues instead of attacking the Napergatians.

I never thought I would see the day when Original Joe would change. I thought his rises would last for eternity. I was wrong. I admit that. I thought he was hopeless. I will apologize to the Origninal Joe for unfairly believing he was a hopeless basket case at one point in time.

I am hoping I am wrong about you and Ken and the day is around the corner when you guys mature and discuss the issues instead of the personalities.

I think there is one difference between you and Ken. Ken is a very evil person. His bones are contaminated with the evil germ. He is hostile and seems to have some personal issues.

I think in your case you are not evil down to the bone. You are a nice guy like the old Joe trying to get your rises and maybe not realizing you are attacking Napergatians instead of the message we present. I do see the day coming when your daily rises will take a back seat to the important issues facing our city and residents.

You claim you are as anti-government waste as any of us. BUT yet I have not heard you address the incease in the pension fund deficit by 9.7 million dollars this last year alone. We were suppose to decrease it after receiving a warning from the state but we increased it. Almost 10 million bucks and you are talking about NAPERGATIANS. Why are you not holding former City Manager BOB MARSHALL responsible since it happened on his clock while he was double dipping into the same pension he was suppose to be fixing?
How sad when a public official feels his 86k pension is more important than the taxpayers being out an additional 9.7 million dollars because he does not want to fix the pension system that enriches him. Just mindboggling how the city council ever put him in that position to watch the pension. It is like putting the fox in charge of the hen pen!

It seems to me you are simply putting up a smokescreen and trying to divert the attention away from your brother who is a fireman and in this nutty 75% pension system that is not only bankrupting Naperville but many other towns in Illinois. More so the towns with higher starting and average salaries for public safety employees since there obviously is a correlation between salary and pension.

If you have any moral character and fibers of conscience, you would refrain discussing the pension system due to your conflict of interest and bias. It took a long time of the Napergatians calling you out because of your nonsensical arguments before you finally admitted your brother was a fireman and we began to understand your very biased and distorted logic. Why did you wait several months to tell us, TB? I think you were on here debating without FULL DISCLOSURE. That is a BIG NO NO!

Connie, what's up with the obvious lies? The only time I have mentioned the criminal status of the Napergate man is when his cult followers try to deny it. It has only been a few times, and certainly not daily.

If you and your cult friends are of such high moral fiber, why do you have to continuously lie about other posters? Why the constant attacks on other posters? If you don't want me to respond, don't attack, or post your falsehoods. I would much rather debate the issues than respond to a bunch of keyboard rambos like you and your friends, but I certainly am not going to let you tell lies about my posts, or let you get away with your personal attacks.

You tell me to get a life, but it seems like a hate filled bitter person such as yourself needs to get a life more than me, as I am mostly happy with mine. Good luck on turning the corner into a rich, fullfilling, adult life.

Connie –

AA and I were writing about one specific part of the IRS code—the criminal code. It was the others involved, I assume Napergatians, who wanted to bring in the entire code (and laws not part of the IRS code) and say it was all gray. For your info (as you seem uninformed), I admitted the civil code could be gray but said the criminal code was not (which was the topic oif our discussion). If you want to discuss the IRS criminal code, I suggest you go back to the original posts and research the topic, as I’m told all good Napergatians do, because I listed the specific statutes involved. Get back to me then, Connie.

As for Ken’s posts, I have stated repeatedly that Ken has painted the Napergatians too broadly when he said that all Napergatians hate the police. What more do you want? Clearly, some of you do--just not all of you.

I don’t have to apologize for Ken as he and I are not part of any group. Regardless of what you believe, we are both very independent. Your group, on the other hand, continues to NOT repudiate the comments made by your fellow members. You just had a chance to do it today at 1:24 PM, but didn’t. Why was that?!?

T.B.

TB,

Your best friend Ken repeatedly calls the Napergate Man a criminal almost daily. If you are such the high moral individual you want us to believe you are, why have you not condemned your friend for his libelous remarks that I am sure you have seen posted.

As far as the IRS code both Bush and Obama have been on record stating that it is too complicated and want it simplified. They have many advisors who probably reviewed it before they made that statement. Of course Another Anonymous was right when he said it was very gray. It was almost like you were arguing the ocean is black instead of blue and began believing your hallucinations. I don't know why AA wasted so much time arguing with you. But at least I found his information very practical and educational. Your arguments were more theoritical and not applicable to the real world in most cases.

Most Napergatians write about the issues. You and Ken seem to want to write about yourselves instead of the issues. It seems like you are both here to get your highs! I say it is time you guys got a life and went out for a drink or dinner.

Anon –

I’ll try to keep this short.

I strive not to attack anyone. I will, however, defend myself when attacked.

I don’t give a rat’s ass about your respect and it’s abundantly clear that what you really mean is I should fall in line and capitulate to your opinions and give up my own point of view. The Napergatian’s tolerate no dissent.

As for the IRS issue, you never responded to my last post in which I showed why your example made no sense from an accounting or tax point of view. Quite simply, you think something is gray because you don’t understand it. It would be like me arguing that auto mechanics is a gray area simply because I know nothing of how a combustion engine works.

“Five people cussing does not represent the Napergate Nation”. While I mostly agree with this statement and stated long ago that Ken painted the Napergatians too broadly, you still haven’t addressed the topic of why nobody spoke out against the language and attacks. Maryann said that there were "many efforts" to do so, but now we see that’s false.

Your attacks against me seem like nothing more than an effort to cover the fact that your group did something wrong (or at least failed to do soemthing right). Your attacks are merely a distraction from the real issue.

Why not just come out and explicitly state that what happened was wrong, it does not reflect the views of the Napergatians as a whole, and that some efforts should have been made to stop the conduct and language? Isn’t it the right thing to do?

T.B.

That's too funny, Anonymous 11/21/08 11:32am. You imply that TB has to gain respect by getting along with everybody, and then attack me. Guess that getting along with everybody does not apply to you.

TB,

I agree with you that the Napergate Nation respects John Q. Public even though they disagree with him many times. There is no hostility between the Napergatians and John Q. Public.

The Napergate Nation has always respected Mayor Pradel even though they disagree with most of his votes on the city council.

Why do Napergatians respect Mr. Public?

Simple! Mr Public debates the issues at hand. He discusses with respect. He does not attack characters and reputations. He attacks the issues and many time helps solve them. He has an inquriing mind and brings up points many bloggers overlook. He is not arrogant or cocky. As polite and calm as they come! Not a man looking for trouble!

You will not gain credibility by trying to lump yourself with John Q. Public instead of Ken. You need to earn your respect as the rest of us have including Mr. Public with your words, views, opinions and deeds. In other words, how you come on...............

Mr. Public should be a good role model for you, TB. You have got a long ways to go. But at least you picked a very good role model to look up to and learn from. And maybe try to mold yourself around a litte.

I recall you going on one of your stubborm missions when you were debating Another Anonymous and decided the IRS code was black and white. You spent so much time trying to make a point that defied common sense and basic logic. You were splitting hairs just to be right. In reality the whole nation thinks the IRS code is too complicated and gray.

Even the government thinks it is too complicated and has been trying to simplify it but has failed miserably. Personally, I think you made a fool of yourself in that debate. I am glad AA finally walked away and let you bang your head against the blog wall! Speaking about being irrational and stubborn that was as classic as an example I can think of. The Napergatians don't come close to your stubborness and close mindedness.

You can see they are very open minded and disagreed amongst themselves in how to properly hold the police accountable for the fateful arrest of the NAPERGATE MAN that evening. Five people cussing does not represent the Napergate Nation that may be able to deliver up to 10,000 votes in the next election and hopefully have an impact in getting our city on the right tracks to success.

Anon –

The bottom line is that you can’t “move forward” without addressing the past. Stick your head in the sand all you want, but the incident still happened.

A rant? I merely pointed out that Maryann was incorrect when she stated that there were “many efforts” to calm the Napergatians regarding this conduct and that this was an “isolated incident from over a year ago”. Maybe if you would tell her she was in error, I wouldn't have to.

I failed to see where any efforts were made to calm anyone. In fact, most comments seem to have been encouraging, not calming. The closest to calming was Bob saying the name calling was “counterproductive”, but he didn’t say it was wrong. And all Marybeth did was try to excuse the conduct as over-emotional behavior, but again there was no condemnation.

Anon, if the Napergatians want to put this issue in the past and “move forward”, the best way to accomplish this would be to publically repudiate the comments and perhaps apologize to the NPD for the remarks. Is there some reason Napergatian Nation can’t do this?

I believe it was Shakespeare who wrote that “silence is mute consent”. Absent some Napergatian repudiation of the comments, is there any doubt why Ken believes that Napergatian nation hates the NPD?

T.B.

P.S. Thanks, Fred.

By T.B. on November 20, 2008 8:03 AM
Maryann –

Regarding the issue of cutting waste in government spending, what you seem to miss is that I’m also for cutting waste. I just think it should be done in a responsible manner and not done by some computer nomads who think they know all.

The city made a commitment to them. I simply believe that you, I, and the city should honor any commitments we make. It’s the right thing to do.

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TB,
We don't have a life time committment to the police and fire fighters. We entered into a contract with them. Once the contract expires we can negotiate salaries up or down. It is really that simple. We can give or take away health benefits if we the taxpayers want as long as the city council side with the taxpayers and not the powerful union who milked us to the point of a dry cow.

The current contract witht the P and F unions is simply not reasonable, sustainable or attainable. It must be renegotiated. Since we can not change the 75% pension because it is state mandated, we have no choice but to chop all salaries and not only starting salaries of PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES.

What you seem to fail to understand TB, is the pension fund deficit in the P and F pension fund was not created by other municipal emplpoyees. It was not created by the taxpayers. It was not created by the state. It was created by a union contract negotiated by and between the council members and the union bosses. Apparently, the union bosses took the council to the cleaners and the council never knew what hit them until the Napergatians exposed the massive deficts, with the Councilman Bob finally admitting and verifying what the Napergatians believed was happening based on their rough calculations.

You need to address this issue of the pension deficit that increased 7 million this year despite an ultimatum by the STATE that it be reduced and elminated by the year 2003. As I stated on another thread today, the council took us in the wrong direction. They are digging the hole deeper instead of trying to plug it!

If we can't get out of a 60 million pension deficit now, how can we get out of a 235 million pension deficit in 2033 assuming the pension deficit continues to grow by 7 million each year for the next 25 years as took place this year.

Keep in mind TB, the taxpayers were very generious and donated 21.16% to the pension fund in matching contributions in addition to the contributions of the police and fire fighters which were about 9.5% of their earnings. Yes, 7 million more in the hole despite these massive contributions by both parties. This should indicate that the current bankrupt systems is not sustainable or attainable.

Decreasing OT while always desirable will not decrease the huge pension deficit. Do you not realize that one day we will be supporting 401 public safety employees who are in retirement instead of only 60 which I believe is the current number. If we can not support 60, how can we support 401 retirees. Please think and analyze TB before you answer! Ranting against Napergatians will not solve any of our very serious city problems including 3 major deficts. Try to be a mature debator instead of an irresponsible one like Ken.

Please address my points, TB. It seems you avoid the issues and you resort to looking up old derogatory comments by individuals who may or may not be Napergatians. Some establishment bloggers could have "planted phony people" to attack the credibility and reputation of the Napergate Nation. Who knows! It was 9 months ago. Let us get on point, TB, instead of always dancing around the dead horse.

Please address how we are going to balance the P @ F pension fund deficit under our current union contract. That is the issue at hand. I honestly don't see how. Please tell me and your fellow bloggers, how, without resorting to attacks on individuals and feeding us rhetoric. Please, if you know how!

My only solution is to renegotiate the contract so that it is affordable. If the unions will not renegotiate in good faith, I say let us bankrupt the city, get out of all our liabilities, and start a new chapter where the city council negotiates contracts while they are fully sober and awake. No more sleeping behind the wheel!

Anonymous 11/20/08 3:17pm, as Fred pointed out, you just proved TB and everyone else, including me, right about napergatian tactics. I think you are the one who has indulged in a little too much kool- aid. I haven't even participated in the commentary about your tactics, and you still had to attack me. It's very ironic that you call TB the sick puppy...

Anonymous, thank you so much for proving TB's point. Great job! You go girl!.

TB,

You proved you are a sick puppy.

The Napergate Nation is trying to move forward,

Maryann estimates the remarks were a year ago and you detect some were a little less than a year ago and go on a rant. Big Deal!

Then you use that pretext to reopen the subject everyone is trying to close.

I think you proved you are the trouble maker many people thought you were. You have lowered yourself to the level of Blgger Ken.

You and Ken ought to meet sometime for a drink. I suspect you would get along just fine. Not sure for any restuarants downtown serve cult kool-aid! You may have to make your own.

Maryann –

Regarding the Napergatians/NPD issue, you wrote that “…many efforts were made to calm the Napergatians that got overemotional for a few days. That was an isolated incident from over a year ago not tolerated by the Napergatian Nation.”

I fail to see what efforts were made to calm the situation and your statement is the closest I’ve seen to date which states that what was written was actually wrong. I have yet to see any kind of apology. Your time line is off, too. These were not comments from “over a year ago”, but comments from February and March 2008 on the Napergate Man Unmasked thread.

Victoria wrote on February 28 (7:58 PM) that "Every time I hear Joe talk, he makes me hate police officers." And Elizabeth wrote on March 5th (@ 7:12 PM) that the cops were “scum” and much worse (which I won’t repeat because it probably wouldn’t be published).

Susan quickly followed (@ 8:16 PM) with “Pretty strong post, Elizabeth. I may not like your choice of words but I agree with your message. Those cops were nasty and ruthless that evening. They were the devil in disguise. They were evil doers!” and “I hope my words were a little softer than yours. But you did a great job and made your POINTS!”

And also from Roger (@ 8:28 PM) “Kudos to you girl! I agree with you 100%”; Lucas (@ 8:33 PM) “Great Post, Elizabeth!”; and Melissa (@ 8:55 pm) “Of course the police officers involved were P****S and SCUM BAGs that fateful evening. We should never show them respect.” [redacted by TB]

And what was the rebuke from the Napergatian Nation? Bob (@ 9:44 PM) said the name calling was “counterproductive” and Marybeth on March 7, 2008 (@ 10:38 PM) started out by saying some Napergatians were too emotional, but then went on to state “Greg Bell deserves to be criticized, condemned and punished.” These are the “many efforts” to calm the Napergatian Nation?

But what really bothers me about the Napergatian Nation is not just the attacks on the NPD, but attacks on anyone who dares to voice a contrary opinion. John Q. Public, who I think most Napergatians respect, wrote on the Napergate Open Forum Continued (04/16/08 @ 5:19 PM) that “T.B.'s comments about the Brenda situation were spot on. She was the only person to post in favor of the parking deck. Rather than engage in respectful debate with her on the issue, several Napergatians chose to assault her character. When T.B., who AGREED with the Napergatians on the parking deck, rose to Brenda's defense, the Napergatians turned on him, accused him of attacking the Napergate Man, and spoke in support of those who attacked Brenda.”

This is the type of conduct that costs the Napergatians some support. As JQP went on to state, “T.B. and I both have points of agreement with you Napergatians on at least some of your issues. But I think I speak for both us when I say that neither of us is encouraged to make common cause with you when you are so quick to attack anyone who dares to disagree.”

Now do you see where I’m coming from?

T.B.

Maryann –

Regarding the issue of cutting waste in government spending, what you seem to miss is that I’m also for cutting waste. I just think it should be done in a responsible manner and not done by some computer nomads who think they know all.

I’ve called for a reduction in NPD OT and even suggested a few solutions. I’ve agreed with Joe’s idea for a two-tiered retirement plan. The reason I say two-tiered and not a draconian switch for all employees is because the city hired fire and police employees with the promise of their retirement plan. The city made a commitment to them. I simply believe that you, I, and the city should honor any commitments we make. It’s the right thing to do.

My brother does not work for the city and you know it. Including him in this discussion is a red herring and is misleading, at best, to those who may not know all the facts.

Prioritizing whether you want things such as curbside leaf pick-up or adequate fire and police protection is a no-brainer. Everyone has to prioritize in tough economic times—and that includes the city budget.

T.B.

Why is it ok for homeless people to blog about issues they really can't vote on?

I for one find it very interesting. How do you even know that the people blogging on here are really residents and not others from the outside trying to mess with your minds?

TB,
I don't understand why cuts to the public safety sector of the city budget should be a last resort, when almost all the deficit can be traced to them.

I don't understand why other city depts. should subsidize the pensions of police and firemen when they did not cause it? Why should they suffer so the police and firemen can retire at age 51 with 75% pensions? Muncipal employees excluding P @ F have a separate and distinct Municipal Pension System that is much more reasonable and not showing huge pension deficit to the best of my knowledge. They are not responsible for the P and F pension fund and if you had a bone of fairness in you, TB, you would say the non-public safety employees should be held accountable as a LAST RESORT. The P and F should be held accountable for their own mess as a FIRST RESORT.

Most other city employees have to work till 65 like the civilian poplulation. Their pensions are dismal compared to the P and F pensions.

I just think you are wrong in expecting other city employees to pay dearly and heavily so the P and F can live so comfortably in retirement as such young ages.

WE taxpayers have contributed 21.16% annually in matching funds to the fire fighters as revealed by Councilman Bob in his determination to help the bloggers get the truthful facts and keep the discussion on a straight and honest path. That is more than twice what the FFs contributed to their own pension which is 9.46% of each of their paychecks. No private employer contributes that insane an amount of money to any employee. And despite all this TB, they FF's are $26.9 milion in the hole with only 30 firemen retired.

Don't you think TB that firemen should pay their own way to a larger extent? Why should new firemen pay the price for the finacial mess older firemen created?

Let us face it....despite these joint 31% contributions by the taxpayers and FFs, our firemen pension deficit increased about $3.5 million last year. At this rate, by 2033, the year the state is demanding we balance the budget, our fire fighters will have accumulated another 87.5 million in deficts and have a grand total of $114.4 million in pension deficits....and that assumes no pay increases, no cost of living increases, and no increases in retired personnel numbers from the current 30 or so!

I am puzzled why you don't see the magnitude of the problem, TB! It seems like you want the newcomers to pay the price so your brother can be exempt from paying any price....how objective TB! You would make a great TV Judge. Maybe you ought to apply for Judge Judy's position on the phoney balony bench. I heard that bit$h is finally retiring!


--------------------------------------------------------------------

PS. And TB you know many efforts were made to calm the Napergatians that got overemotional for a few days. That was an isolated incident from over a year ago not tolerated by the Napergatian Nation. I believe it is repeatedly brought back up to attack our credibility. Let us debate the issues at hand that are very important and move forward as Blogger Jeanne suggested. Ken said he will stop the Napergate "Cult" Attacks if we stop. As far as I am concerned Napergatains are not attacking anyone at the moment or in the recent few months.

They are simply and exclusively concerned about government waste and are attacking "government waste" which is not defined as a "person" by Webster's Dictionary the last time I checked. We are simply trying to reduce taxes for every Naperville Resident including yourself TB and even Ken. I don't think that is criminal and I believe our message will be voted for at the toll booth come April.

I do hope someone can get Home Rule on the ballot so we can have a chance to vote and abolish it. I hope someone can advise how we can start a referenda. This could solve most of our problems. This is the best way to control our current City Council and our future City Councils. As one blogger stated, the days of the drunken spending sailers in the Municipal Builing on the West Branch of the Dupage River are over!

The numbers tell the truth,we've been scammed or WORSE,how can any sane person defend these starting wages,overtime options,pension set-ups? Maybe this is a huge reason the police always seem to circle the wagons and heck with the truth!Look at the numbers of police who lied in the CM vs.npd police fed case. Why no follow up on these policemen who lied. Why no follow up on any of the 11 cases filed by complaining citizens? Imagine what a person MAY have experinced to be so UPSET as to file {on paper}against one of our "finest".The citizen have had about enough,D.Dial take CHARGE, resign,retire,fake injury,anything but do SOMETHING,we are catching up with Aurora in crime stats!!!People hate the ACTIONS of crooked cops,not the crooked cops.

To “A Napergatian” –

Though you may want to move forward, you can’t erase the past. I seem to recall the worst conduct was after Ameena stopped posting here and I don’t recall any Napergatian condemnation, just a desire to move forward and pretend it never happened. Given the lack of public rebuke, you can see how Ken may have come to his conclusions.

Whether it relates to the NPD or anyone else who posts here, Napergatians never call out their own for attacks or inappropriate conduct (and language) but they sure are quick to accuse others of such things.

Surely, you won’t try to say Brenda on the library parking deck thread was engaged with well-meaning Napergatian debate and treated with respect, will you? I was the only one to defend her and I agreed with YOU on that issue.

The bottom line is that if you want to have any credibility with regard to appropriate language and attacks, it’s time to start self-policing your “wannabee Napergatians” better and scold them publically (not just in private, if at all).

As to the fire and police issues, you’re wrong when you state that I’m on record “calling [for] cuts for everywhere but police and fire fighters”. What I’ve stated was that cuts to the public safety sector of the city budget should be the last resort, not the first. It doesn’t take a genius to prioritize and say that we need police and fire protection more than we need luxuries like curbside leaf pick-up, city council magazine subscriptions, test-driving tracks, or a Carillon.

Short-term NPD and NFD budget solutions include solving the OT problem and I agree with (original) Joe’s two-tiered retirement system. That could save the city millions of dollars while still honoring the commitments we made to the current NPD and NFD staff.

T.B.

When will The Potluck have new moderator? People do not hate the NPD, people hate the actions of corrupt individuals,who commit crimes while employed by city of Naperville.The Npd has NO functioning internal affairs division.Do you think each of these events happened in a vacumn?Do you really believe these events are not related? Crime committed by police is still crime. Let's move forward in bring'n the crooks to justice,whatever dept. they work!!

TB,

When a few wannabee Napergatians used negative words against the police many of us spoke up and asked them to mind their manners both privately and publicly. I remember Ameena was scolding them right on this blog site along with Host Ted and Moderator Jim.

No one can conrol all members of a large group. If we were under a joint command, we would all sound the same. I am glad we don't all agree on all issues. I am glad the majority of us don't agree with the minority that called the police despicable names. But we were able to influence them to stop. Apparently, as you may recall some were over emotional about the arrest of the Napergate Man. He had some rough time fighting city hall who tried to revoke his licenses so no one wanted to see him go through another battle....but that is no excuse for name calling.

I agree with Jeanne that we need to move forward. I think this name calling stopped and bringing it back up does not serve Napergatians or our fine police dept.

The issue really is affordability of our police and fire services. The bottom line is we know they are not affordable. As you know we provided matching contributions last year in excess of 20% and their pension deficit increased from 53 million to probably 60 million. To me this is an indication that are current system of compensation is simply too high and not sustainable.

I know you are on record TB of calling cuts for everywhere but police and fire fighters. That is an easy call to make. But may I ask you how you expect to solve the current financial crisis by not making cuts. The 60 million pension deficit is strictly created by the police and fire. Why should other city employees suffer and lose their jobs when this huge deficit is outside of their departments? Why should the taxpayers have to make up this deficit when they are already giving P and F twice in matching contributions as in relation to their personal contributions.

Keep in mind TB, we only have about 50 retired police and firemen. We can not afford their pensions. It is in black and white. One day we will have 389 retired police and firemen as long as we don't hire 12 new fire fighters for the new fire station. If we do, we will have 401 to deal with at some point in the future.

If the taxpayers can't afford 60 retirees currently, how can they afford 401 retirees in the near future. It is simply impossible. Yes, state officials have to be blamed for the 75% payout and they are about as dumb as they come. I was reading somewhere this morning that they owe purveyers 4 billion dollars and the purveyors have threatened to stop bringing food to the prisoners if they are not paid soon. I mean common TB are we going to give public safety empoyees 75% pensions and let prisoners starve to death. I would rather see the pensions reduced to 50% so we could at least feed the prisoners. I know they are criminals but it is inhumane not to feed them.

But the city made the pensions unbearable with their starting salary of nearly 60k. Pensions have a correlation with pay as we all know. Reducing the starting salary by 20k can reduce pensions costs by 33%. If the state would reduce pensions from 75% to 50%, the pension system may be solvent and have a chance to survive again.

I know your brother is a fire fighter and you want the best for him. We also want the best for him, too. We think it is better he accept a 50% pension that we may be able to afford instead of demand a 75% pension that we obviously can not afford. The latter is not affordable as the data from CM Bob indicates and will eventually lead our city to bankrupty.

I know your brother does not work in Naperville and is not directly effected but I was just using him as an example to try to make the picture a little more clear since you have been on record many times saying you approve of cuts everywhere but in public safety positions.

Again, I don't know how you can reconcile that with non-public safety employees who have nothing to do with the 60 million deficit that is the sole responsibility of the public safety employees?

Are you suggesting a Federal Government type bail out for the public safety employees? It is not like they can not afford a little cut in pay and pension and still survive. They absolutely can! Worse scenario, they have to work a couple of years extra like the rest of us from ages 51 to 66. We are not asking anything of them that we are not willing to do ourselves such as working to an older age!

Have a nice day, TB! The Napergatians really are not as stubborn as you paint us. We are negotiable on reaching a solution that is affordable to both parties. You seem to be the stubborn by being on record as saying NO NO and NO cuts of any sort in the police and fire departments. Now, if that is not stubborness, what is!!!

Jeanne,

In a previous thread long ago about the pensions I stated we should be duty bound to fulfill whatever payouts we are obligated to but need to stop adding more people to the broke system. Halt it going forward, pay out what is owed and take existing people and any future new hires and offer a 401K style plan like every other normal employer does.

As for making up the funding; red light cameras can generate a bunch of cash. Set them up (with a decent company this time that knows what they are doing and can deliver) and have the revenue ONLY go to making up the pension deficit and then remove the cameras when it is trued up. That way only the law breakers get to be penalized for the problem and the problem will be taken care of. If that doesn't make it up fast enough then start patrolling neighborhoods around schools and bust people left and right who blow through stop signs or speed around school kids. Again, divert the revenue to the pension deficit.

Hmmm…does Ken think the Napergatians hate the police more than the Napergatians seem to hate Ken? This is interesting.

Personally, I think Ken painted the Napergatians too broadly in stating that they hate the police (implying all of them do); however, he is correct in some respect because some (repeat, SOME) Napergatians have said despicable things about the police on other threads.

It was nice to see Jeanne acknowledge as much; however, it’s easy to say the Napergatians are moving forward without ever having addressed the past. How very Bill Ayers of you. The problem is that none of you spoke up at the time and you continue your silence on the subject by saying you’re “trying to move forward”.

The Napergatians are quick to pounce on any perceived attack against them on these threads. Perhaps if they were as quick to call out their own members for attacks and otherwise inappropriate language, Ken wouldn’t have any ammunition to use against your group.

T.B.

Marilyn –

It does matter what line item the revenue is on. The reason for this is that the SECA money cannot be used by the city for non-”cultural” reasons—not all the city’s funds are in one big indistinguishable “pot”.

This is why the city goes through the motions of giving the SECA funds to the charities, only to have the money come right back to the city’s general fund. By not placing the reimbursements into the police and fire OT funds, it becomes apparent that this is a sham to divert SECA funds to non-SECA uses. In essence, the city is looting the SECA fund of “culture” money and using it for the city’s general fund, a use I assume was not specified in the SECA tax law.

T.B.

Host Ted,

I just want to join my fellow Napergatians in wishing you well and thank you for all you have done for us. Many of us have not been bloggin not because we don't enjoy your blog site, but because city officials have not responded and the situation got much worse as you can see.

I think and believe the effect of your blog site will be visible in the next election. I know many thousands of Napergatians read your blog site and depend on it for the facts and truth. You can learn much more reading your blog site than you can from the print edition of your newspaper. The bloggers are much more informed than you reporters. They dig much deeper than your reporters.

It is amazing how much accurate analysis we can do once someone reputable like CM BOB comes on your blog site and feeds us simple facts and reliable data. My many thanks to him. He really has been wonderful! It is too bad his fellow council members don't follow his lead. They wait for their phones to ring and they never ring. This is the internet age and people would rather correspond in this manner. That way a question can be asked and 5000 people can see the answer. Why would a CM want 5000 calls. Why not communicate with the masses at one time instead of one to one and waste precious time?

Back on subject, this tax should be eliminated. It is forcing many of us who are trying to make ends meet make contributions we can not afford to make. That is if you want to call a contribution to police OT a contribution. That is just ridiculous. What a sham of enrichment and entitlement?

True charity should be voluntary. If a private museum can not make ends meet even though it charges an entrance fee it has 2 options. Either increase the cover charge or reduces expenses. If neither is attainable, shut the place down and build a parking deck for the train station that is guaranteed to be profitable. Handing them 450k of our money is insane. I have never been there but now I am dying to go there to see where and how my tax money is being squandered. I plan on having a few words with the Director of the Museum.

I could not believe the list put up by Mr. Higgins. It was like the who's who of who can milk the taxpayers just a little more. What is the point of putting up an event to raise money, if it can't make money without a city BAIL-OUT? City of Naperville is acting like the Treasury Dept. bailing out all these incompetent event organizers. There is no need for them to work hard and try to ask for philanthropic contributions. All they have to do is put up an event and then put out their hands for a city pay-out. Getting contributions was never so easy.

The more we read Ted's Threads, the more the picture becomes clear, how our officials got us in these huge deficits, now in the tens of millions and rising.

Anyway, as many before me said, please do all you can to keep Editor Tim West away from this site. You gave him an opportuity to run his own site with lots of visibility and he and it failed miserably. No one wants to go there. I think people have sent him a message that he is not popular...not liked....and not respected. He has always been a biased man who catered to the establishment. He has promoted Establishment positions while censuring Napergatian positions.

How in the world could the Naperville Sun have expected him to be objective when his wife works for the law firm that controlled 99% of the development in this town. I am sure he is going to challenge this developer friendly law firm that employes his wife. If Tim West criticised them, they would hand walking papers to his wife. What a compromising position to be in? What a major conflict of interest? No wonder this guy censured Napergate Ads that did attack the Brestal Law Firm repeatedly for making large contributions to the city council members in order that their clients get favorable treatment. Well, at least the Napergate Man was able to stop all these contributions by exposing them. If they were not improper, I assume they would have continued. They may have even been border line illegal for all I know!

Sorry to post again so quickly, Host Ted.

But I forgot to thank you for all your service to our community and the respect you have shown the opposition forces in town known as the Napergatians.

You seem to be a great counter balance to Mr. Tim West who we all know is very Establishment. His wife working at the Brestal Law Firm could be the root of his extreme bias for the Establishment.

I would like to add my voice to those who are asking that he not take over your blog site. I agree with the blogger that said he would flush it down a toilet quicker than you can blink an eye!

I hope you have some input into the matter.

I regret the Naperville Sun could not make you a counter offer and keep you. They are really make a monstrous mistake. I hope there newspaper does not collapse upon your departure. Yes, Mr. West, if given your positon will run it into the sewar in no time!

We will miss you, Host Ted! You have shown you can be a fair, classy and an objective publisher/editor. May God Bless You in your new assignment at NCC!

By Original Joe on November 13, 2008 2:59 PM
People can search the previous blogs about downtown tows and an arrest for a DWS to find comments about the police that are far below any normal person's standard for 'constructive criticism'.


__________________________________________________________________

Original Joe,

You are right....but we are trying to move forward and not backwards. Many have complemented you for your new personality of not slicing and dicing. We think, you, the New Original Joe is a fine person.

So what is the point of digging up some nasty remarks of a couple of Napergatian wannabees who went off the deep handle. True Napergatians would never call the police those names you refer to that I recall. I will not mention them but I recall one began with a "p"and ended with "ks."

The problem here is Ken gets upset at Napergatians because they want the police to live within their budget.

I would like to hear your thoughts on the 30 million police pension deficit. This is only an estimate since the number is not out yet. Councilman Bob stated it would be greater than the 26.9 million fire fighter pension deficit. That is all we have to go on for now until CM Bob issues his next helpful report.

Does it bother you, Original Joe, that despite paying 21.16% of matching contributions into the pension fund, that the deficit increased possibly up to 7 million for both funds? Where is the end of this cycle? Do you expect us to give them 50% matching contributions, Original Joe, while our employers cut out our 3% matching contributions and cancelled all raises for this year.

Keep in mind, you may be a retired multi-millionaire willing to give the police anything and everything they demand. But when you respond, please be considerate to the fact that most of us are not mult-millionaires. We barely have any savings after paying our mortgage, health insurance and our kids expenses. Both my spouse and I work! We have day care expenses to that are 325 per week and that is inexpensive for 2 chidren. And my 401k which was tied to the S/P index decreased 44.5% from last year. This indicates my retirement money decreased in nearly half. Yet, you and Ken want me to guarantee that the P and F receive 75% when they retire at age 51. For this to happen you want me to cover all their stock market losses while no one covers mine. And like someone said the pension system could not keep up with them when the stock market and the economy was at its peak. The city council and state promised them a pension benefit we simply can't afford. Does that make sense, Orignal Joe?

When you or someone else say they deserve these 75% pensions, what you are saying is I do not deserve to have any savings. That I should be happy to give away the few hundred bucks we save each month so the firemen and police men can retire at age 51 while I continue to work my a$$ off till I die! Is that fair, Original Joe? I would like to hear your critically thought out opinion! Please try not to mention Napergate in your response if at all possible. Unlike Ken, I believe you are capable. Than you!

People can search the previous blogs about downtown tows and an arrest for a DWS to find comments about the police that are far below any normal person's standard for 'constructive criticism'.

Anonymouse 11/13/08 9:46am:

The napergatians hatred of the police department is well known, well documented, and comment on by many. Marilyn's hatred of me was also obvious, because she, and now you, are trying to make this thread about me with personal attacks and keyboard rambo tactics.

In answer to your question, I would be willing to meet Marylin, you, or any other of the keyboard rambo types at any time and place of their choosing. When do you want to meet me and question my inner instability in person, Anonymouse?

Back to the topic of the thread, I have already posted my comments stating my belief that the tax should be done away with. How hard is that to understand?

Anonymous, I think Ken can be excused if he has trouble discerning how the comments you make about Mr. Marshall and him are an example of constructive criticism.

Ken,

I think the problem is you do not understand the difference between constructive criticism and pure hatred. You believe they are the same and identical.

In truth they are very different. The Napergatians are constructively criticising the police dept. which got itself in a 30 million pension deficit. You are preaching hatred towards Napergatians simply because they want the police to get their act together and work within the constraints of a budget.

Why bash the Napergatians, Ken! Why not give your solution to the police and fire pension funds that are nearly 60 million in the hole on this thread? For once write something helpful to society!

The Napergatians have criticized the firemen also. They criticised the streets and sanitation when they used 5 employees to pick up branches....one private garabage man works harder than all 5 combined and probably will never get a pension. Do the Napergatians hate these branch pickers because they only work one fifth as hard as the garbage man who is a private contractor? I don't believe so. They just want to push them to a higher standard of performance, since City Manager Marshall only cares about his paycheck and pension and being vested in a second pension.

The Napergate Man in his Era was focused like a radar on the legal department's 900,000 dollar budget at the time. Does that means he hated the legal department? I think not!

It semms like the only one full of hatred on this blog site is you.
If Marilyn considers herself a Napergatian and you attack all Napergatians, you are directly attacking her for no reason. She simply questioned police waste....what is wrong or illegal with that.

I really think you have inner instability that leads you to lash out at any Napergatians like a pit bull who does not know his ear from his tail. I am just glad your loud bark is all you have going for you. I doubt you know how to bite. All you are is a pit bull with lipstick....not even Sarah Palin would be afraid of you! When do you want to meet her face to face, Ken? She will bite your head right off while your looking at her lipstick!

Marty –

Just FYI, but people already pay for admission to the children’s museum.

Even with the $450K the children’s museum gets from the SECA fund, they still charge $7.50 for anyone between 1 and 59, and $6.50 for those 60 and over. Also, their web site reports that they get 64% of their budget from “earned income”, which I would assume includes paid admissions.

T.B.

Marilyn, the very first post brought up the hatred for the police, the napergateman, and many other conspiracy theories that the napergatians are fond of. I responded to that without mentioning myself at all. Now you have posted the typical napergate cult attack post against me. So, who is making it about me? Why, that would be you. Your post is nothing but a hate mongering post. The fact that many of your "solutions" are against the law doesn't seem to sink in even though many have pointed that out. It would be nice if you could just debate without the hate content, but I realize that is impossible for you.

Wow those numbers published by Mr. Thom are shocking but enlightening!

I wonder if any of those private groups receiving taxpayer money are held accountable for how they spend it. They could be giving it all as salary to all their organizers for all we know.

We know in one case this culture money is given to the Naperville Police in a sham transaction to help them make OT and average $109,000 in average annual salaries including OT which results in retirement pensions a little short of the 100k mark at taxpayer expense for umpteen years and then some.

Anyway Host Ted, thanks for allowing bloggers like Mr. Higgin and all those Napergatians expose all they know on your blog site about government waste and high taxation. You are definetely the first editor of the Naperville Sun in its 100 year history who was not afraid to tell it as it is. You were not afraid of the establishment....that is for sure! You are a very brave man...no different than the Napergate Man!

Mr. Higgins,

Those numbers you published are very frightening. It seems like the waste of 2.5 million dollars in hard earned taxpayer money at a time when we are struggling to pay our taxes and other bills is ludicrous. Ridiculous may be a better word.

These numbers really highlight what the Napergatians are trying to tell us. You really highlighted what their battle is about, Mr. Higgins, better than they could have ever done themselves. Facts speak very loud and much louder than words.!

One thing for sure is that the Napergatians are right when they say our city council is wasteful with our money.

Finally, I would like to wish farewell to Host Ted and ask the Naperville Sun to make a counter offer and try to keep him. His loss would be great to the Naperville Sun and its subscription base. Under Host Ted both readership of the print edition and the Sun Blog Site increased substantially with the latter increasing exponentially. Let us keep the man...he is very worthy!

Exchange Club of Naperville
Ribfest $154,000

Naperville Jaycees
Last Fling $111,275

___________________________________________________________________

Thanks for the post, Mr. Higgins.

I guess one realizes that the Napergatians are not exaggerating when they say the city is wasting our taxpayer hard earned money. My recollection is that the Napergatians only stated the above 2 private groups received a 100k. Now it appears they received almost 3 times that amount.

And giving a private Museum 450k of taxpayer money. Why don't they just charge a cover charge for those who visit? If no one is willing to pay a cover charge than apparently they have nothing to offer and it should be demolished and a parking deck should be built for the train commuters which will be a smashing success with huge revenues.

I also want to thank Host Ted for all he has done for Naperville and urge him to do what he can to keep Tim West away from this blog site. He can destroy Ted's legacy in a nanosecond with his bias, censorship and pro establishment leanings! We deserve better and Host Ted deserves someone brighter to continue his good works!

Mr. West has failed miserably on his own Blog Site. Let us not give him an opportunity to fail twice! Please, Host Ted! And FAREWELL!
We will certainly miss you!


Very well written, Marilyn!

I agree with you 100%. You make so much sense.

Since I am on here, I would like to wish Host Ted well and let him know we will all miss him.

He certainly will be leaving a large legacy just like the Napergate Man did.

We will remember him many years later for his efforts to straighten our corrupt city in the same way we remember the Napergate Man, a decade later.

Good deeds by good citizens and dedicated reporters are never forgotten!

Thanks a million, Host Ted. You have truly been a great Host!

I wish you could make one last attempt to get an interview with the Napergate Man. Many of us Napergatians would like to hear how he is doing and what he is up to these days!

By Ken on November 12, 2008 12:11 AM

By the way, I wish you napergatians would get past your hatred of the NPD and realize that the city is running and benefiting from the scam, not the police department. It is pretty simple to understand:

_________________________________________________________________

Ken,

I guess what you seem to fail to understand is that the police dept. is the city and the city is the police dept. I think that is the main point you are missing here.

The city owns the police dept. 100%. We the taxpayers own the city 100%. It really does not matter what budget line a number is put on. If it is revenue to the city it is revenue. If it is an expense to the city it is an expense to the city.

The bottom line is the city/police dept. used our taxpayer money to pay for police OT at a private charity. The private charities did not pay for this police OT from their funds which exceeded 800,000 dollars. They used our taxpayer money to pay for their police OT. They took our taxpayer money, used our police and returned our own taxpayer money, never truly paying for the police services they utilized. That is a sham, Ken! Everyone on here seems to be able to comprehend it but you. You are using the OLD JOE tactics of slicing, splitting, dicing and distorting to try to confuse the sitiuation. Or maybe you simply can not comprehend.

I have watched the Old Joe mature and become a respectable blogger who gives his opinions. He does not attack Napergatians for a hobby anymore and seems to be well respected on the blog site. He attacks their opinions or simply writes about the topic. He gets his highs elsewhere these days as it should be.

Ken, you are like a spolied brat that needs to insert yourself in every blog and attempt to be the center of attention. Did even one Napergatians even mention you on this thread....again this thread since your comprehension is low and you would probably go search the Napergate Archives to detail all your mentions. The fact is not one Napergatian mentioned you but you are attempting to start with us.

We discussed the topic, said farewell to Host Ted, and pleaded with him to do all he can to not pass the baton to Mr. Tim West. That is what we talked about. Ken was not mentioned.

Your flat out attack that the Napergatians hate the police dept is flat out false. The Napergatians do not hate the police dept. We don't like certain things they do but to translate that into hatred is an outright lie and slander.

The Napergatians want the city to reduce expenses everywhere including the fire dept. that for the most part are invisible and no one knows any members unless they had a fire, accident or heart attack. It is really hard to hate people that are invisible to you. Do we also hate the fire dept. because we want them to cut expenses? Do we hate Mr. Marshall because we think the system should not allow him to receive a retirement pension while fully employed? No, we don't hate Mr. Marshall but we are trying to change a system that is bankrupting the city and taxpayes.

Are you so dense, Ken, that you are not able to comprehend that the pension defict fund for the firemen and police officers has approached 60 million dollars? Are you so dense, Ken, to comprhend that despite being the wealthiest town in the USA with other 100,000 human beings, we have this MAJOR DEFICIT? Are you so dense to understand that most towns can not tax McMansions valued at 2 million to 5 million dollars to the tune of 40k to 100k, respectively based on 2%, and somehow find a way to make ends meet or have minor defict budges.

A McMansion needs less police attention than a 50,000 apartment or 100,000 home on the south side of Chicago or a very poor suburb where gangbangers may exist in large numbers. Most subdivisions with McMansions are lucky to see a police officer roll through once a month and sometimes once a year if no one calls for help. And despite all this money coming from McMansions who need little police and fire service compared to poor towns, we have an 11 million budget deficit combined with another 60 million pension deficit.

What we are trying to figure out is how and where is the city squandering all this money? That is the 64,000 dollar question. How are we in so much trouble in this town? And blaming the current economy which collapsed in Oct is not the solution. Our deficts existed when the Dow and S@P hit records high and the economy was booming.

Host Ted has kindly provided us with many threads to try to figure out how our city officials got us in such a deep hole. We are all trying to figure out how we got in this mess since our city officials refuse to communicate with us on this thread except for Councilman Bob who provides us with great facts but no solutions. He has not explained to us how we got in this mess. He apparently does not know how we got in this mess since he has been a council man for several years and if he knew he may have been able to prevent it. Maybe he knew and was in the minority with Councimembers Furstenau and Senger and could not do anything to control the other 5 or 6 big time spenders on the council. I do not know where Councilman Krause stands on spending. He is probably in the middle as he can succumb to pressure by either side. He votes in the best way he knows to advance his career as opposed to voting his conscience for the taxpayers.

That is it in a summary, Ken! Stop bashing the Napergatians and accusing us of being hate mongers. We love our city and would like to fix it. We are trying to come up with solutions so we don't file for bankrupty. We are trying to abolish HOME RULE so we can force our Council Members to live with 5% tax increases even though our raises are at most 3% these days if we are lucky enough to get one.

What don't you get, Ken? Simple mathematics indicate that taxpayers receiving average raises of 3% can not afford 20% annual increases. Something has to give here. We are suggesting that the pension system give! That is the solution! Simple!

I’ve always felt that the SECA Fund (better know as the “Culture Tax”) was a bad idea. First and foremost, I don’t believe that any governing body should raise a tax unless absolutely necessary. This wasn’t a “need”; this was a “want”. Next, the city did everyone a disservice by instituting the tax without defining what they believe to be culture. This leaves the fund open to being raided by anyone and everyone—just another government slush fund.

The council compounded the problem by agreeing to use the fund’s resources to take over the Carillon, a supposedly private contribution to the city which was a boondoggle from the start. All the do-gooders did was present the city with an ugly bell tower and years of debt payments. Thanks, a lot.

A look at the FY08 funding (thanks for the link, Thom) reveals that over $300K was used for the Carillon, $116K was used to administer the SECA fund, $145K was used for Ribfest (plus an additional $25K kicked in by the fund for the fireworks and 4th of July shuttles), $111K was used for Last Fling, $450K was given to the DuPage Children’s Museum, $75K to NCTV, $40K for Jazz Fest, and $100K used for a restaurant marketing program.

Why does the children’s museum need $450K of city support? Their web site states that individual and corporate donations account for only 16% of their budget (11% individual and 5% corporate). Perhaps they need to beef up their fundraising efforts and wean themselves off of the taxpayers.

Much has been made about the money given to Ribfest and Last Fling. While I support the NPD and NFD OT to protect the fest goers, I think any SECA money given to the fests should go to the departments’ OT accounts and not be just a conduit to funnel “culture” money to the city’s general fund. Better yet, if the costs of the fests are so high, perhaps they should stop advertising far and wide and revert back to the small city fests they used to be to contain costs and be more enjoyable to everyone.

And $40K for a jazz fest that is held in a public park yet costs between $16 and $33 to get into? If we donate $40K and a park for the jazz fest, why is it the “Lexus of Naperville Jazz Fest”? How much was their sponsorship?

T.B.

Here is the list of the FY2007 SECA fund recipients.Another question is how much in economic benefit does funding these activities create as many of the grants involve funding activities that bring people who live outside Naperville to attend various activities.


FY 2007 SECA FUND GRANT RECIPIENTS
175th Central Committee
Unity/Vision Marketing and Promotions $125,000
October Vision Event $23,000

City of Naperville
Special Tax Administrative Costs, Finance Department $42,885
Half salary and benefits, SECA Grant and Event Coordinators $70,909
Millennium Carillon Tower Completion $237,738
4th of July Fireworks $10,000
4th of July Shuttle Bus Service $17,000
Century Walk Corporation
Historical Public Art Project $360,000
Downtown Naperville Alliance
Hometown Holidays $22,000

DuPage Children’s Museum
General Operating/Challenge Grant $250,000
Animals in Artland Exhibit $27,000

DuPage Symphony Orchestra
Family Summer Concert Series $3,000
General Operating $7,500

Riverwalk Art Fair $2,750

Exchange Club of Naperville
5K Race Against Child Abuse $7,500
Ribfest $154,000

Fair Lady Productions, Inc
Kidz Kabaret $24,000

Firefighters Highland Guard
Uniform, Instrument, Instructions $19,000

Green Earth Institute
Green Earth Fair $5,000

Heritage YMCA
Singing for Seniors $7,500
175th Celebration “Follies” $20,000

India Association of Naperville/Aurora
India Independence and Diwali Celebration $5,000

Indian Prairie Educational Foundation
Fine Arts Festival $20,000


Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for Literacy
Run for Reading $6,000

Midwest SOARRING Foundation
Native American Pow Wow $32,000

Millennium Carillon Foundation
2006-07 Concerts $6,026

Naperville Art League
Riverwalk Fine Art Fair $10,000
Gallery Renovation $7,000
Tent/Display System $7,500

Naperville Chorus
2006-07 Performance Season $4,375

Naperville Development Partnership
Restaurant Marketing Program $100,000

Naperville Education Foundation
Born to Read $5,000

Naperville Heritage Society
History Speaks Performance/Workshop Series $35,300
Early Nichols Library Book Conservation $32,500
WPA Mural Preservation $6,152
Naper Days 2006 $30,000

Naperville Jaycees
Last Fling $111,275

Naperville Men’s Glee Club
General Operating $18,000
Marketing $4,500

Naperville Municipal Band
Civic Celebration of Music $5,000
Contracted Band Concerts, Parades $119,615

Naperville Noon Lions Club
5K Turkey Trot $7,400

Naperville Reads
Cultural/Diversity Efforts $9,930

Naperville Sister City Foundation
Mirror Image Photographic Exhibit $20,000
175th Celebration, Nitra Delegation Visit $7,000

Naperville United Way
Summer Outdoor Art Project $4,500

Naperville Woman’s Club
Young Adult Art Contest $793
Annual Art Fair $20,000

NCO Youth and Family Services
Annual Chocolate Fest $5,400
Annual Garden Party and Auction $5,000
Spring Ahead 5K/10K $9,400

NCTV
Riverwalk Documentary $10,000
Capital Improvement Project $30,000

Orchestra Parents/Patrons’ United Support Assoc
Sunshine Strings $13,800

Ray Chinese School
Chinese New Year Festival $23,700
Golden Fall Moon Festival $15,300

Riverwalk Commission
Riverwalk Maintenance $86,843

Rotary Club of Naperville
Oktoberfest $7,800

Samskriti Foundation
Community Enrichment Program $21,170

Sapphyre Strings
Spring Concert $469

The Grounded Theatre, Inc
2006-07 Performance Season $22,680

The Summer Place, Inc
Human Resources $23,300
SFX Software, Laptop $3,696
Sight and Sound Enhancements $5,956
Theatre for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired $2,440

VFW Post 3873
Memorial Day Parade $12,622

Western DuPage Special Recreation Association
Visiting Artist’s Program $3,300

West Suburban Irish, Inc
St. Patrick’s Day Parade $6,000

Xilin Association
Asian Pacific American Heritage Performance $4,000
Lantern Festival $27,500
Tropical Island Luau $16,000
Chinese Calligraphy Lessons $3,000

Young Naperville Singers
General Operating $30,000

TOTAL $2,460,524

To Host Ted... Best wishes, Godspeed, good luck, and a sincere thank you for your many contributions.

To Tim West... I'm not sure why so many subscribers openly dislike you, but it is something you might want to consider and to also consider taking steps to improve your customer satisfaction score which seems to be hovering about as low as Blagoyevich's approval rating. Maybe you could start with writing something cerebral that addresses any one of the many serious issues in our local government instead of blathering on about your cat or other aspects of your personal life? Maybe it is time to demonstrate that your higher education wasn't a total waste.

To the Food and Beverage Tax... At best this was a terribly bad idea. From there it has been straight down hill with the implementation and distribution. At present it could best be described as a personal slush fund that is subject to the arbitrary and capricious whims of the city council on a year-to-year basis. Stand back and watch this fund get raided this year as one city tax pocket that is oh so easy to pick to make up for the growing deficit. Collect tax for one purpose, turn around and spend it on something else. Don't you just love the integrity of elected officials? It is time for the city council to do the right thing. It is time for the city council to do the smart thing. Dump this tax once and for all.

Ted,

Good luck with everything in the future and especially your duties at NCC.

Your fairness has been appreciated.

That said... The 'fairness' of the tax is in the eye of the beholder.

Do I mind it? No. Do I wish it wasn't there? Yes. Does it stop me from throwing business towards the select few downtown merchants whom I like? No.

If it raises $3 million and even 1/3 of it goes to a good cause, then that means places got $1million more than they normally would have. Don't give me the garbage that people would have donated to those organizations otherwise had the tax not been in place. You would only be lying to yourself on that one.

Lots of lives are impacted in a positive ways with the things put on around the city. Do some people take more advantage of those times than others by charging $4 for a small sliver of cheesecake (for instance)... Yes.. But you don't have to buy their cheesecake if you don't like the price.

Enjoy the fact that you live in a decent city with some culture. There are worst places you could be living; and for some reason, you're not. Think about it.

-Joe

The tax should have never been enacted, therefore it should be done away with. As I have stated before, one person's idea of culture is another person's boondoggle.

By the way, I wish you napergatians would get past your hatred of the NPD and realize that the city is running and benefiting from the scam, not the police department. It is pretty simple to understand:

-The city enacts a "Special Events and Cultural Amenities" tax.
-The city requires special events such as Ribfest and the Last Fling to have a certain amount of NPD officers on hand, and to pay for their services.
-The city "donates" part of the SEaCA tax to the event organizers to help pay for the costs of the event.
-The event pays the city for said services.
-The city puts the money in the general fund instead of the police budget to reimburse that budget for the overtime.
-People who can't figure out the city's transparent sleight of hand with public monies try to blame it on the NPD at the same time that the city tells the NPD that they have to cut down overtime.

Host Ted,
I guess your post makes it clear we have to try to proceed without you. We will but I hope they get a progressive liberal like yourself to take over the thread....otherwise it will fail.

I would politely like to ask you to write an opinion in your print edition asking that HOME RULE be abolished before you leave us. That is the only way we have a chance of contollling city waste if and once your blog site is taken over by an establishment friendly reporter or editor as is expected.

Our city officials really seem dense. Imagine they increased taxes 20% last year and the pension costs still went up from 53 million to about 60 million or roughly 13% since that corresponding time. Plus our budget deficit which is completely separate rose to a negative 11 million dollars despite all those tax increases. Obviously something is seriously wrong with the ins and outs of our finances. How many times Host Ted did the Napergatians warn City Hall Officials right on your threads? I would say thousands! Did anyone listen? I think not!

What do you suggest we do, Host Ted? Give us some departing words of wisdom, guidance and hope, as to how we can deal with officials in our city who either are not qualified or simply don't listen. As another blogger said they are guiding the ship right into the Rock of Gibralter like drunken sailers. They spend money like there is no tomorrow.....or maybe again the appropriate word is drunken sailers!

City Officials want us to believe that they are not overpaying the police and fire fighters by starting them off right out of college for a shade under 60k combined with a promise of a 75% pension at a very young retirement age. Yet, they can not explain how and why we have an 11 milion budget decifit combined with a 60 million pension fund deficit. I just don't think they understand that there is a correlation between the former and latter. I think they are making false promises to our new recruits since the chance of affordability is nil to nothing of these pension funds to deliver by the time they retire. The city will go into bankruptcy eventually and they will never be able to deliver on their fantasy and false promises being made to new recruits.

With your departure, it becomes crucial that the Napergate Man returns and shines the light again with his Napergagte Ads. If not, we would have lost our only remaining watchdog(yourself Host Ted) and city officials will have a free pass to lead us to bankruptcy.

Even if the Napergate Man comes back, with your departure there is no assurance the next Editor will allow him to take full page ads to blast the city. We know many years later former Editor Tim West stopped the publications of Napergate V and Napergatge VI until someone must have put some counter pressure on him!

My mind is blown away that City Officials could have sunk us to this level under the watchful eyes of the Napergate Man, publisher Jim Lynch and now yourself. With the deparature of all 3 of you, there is no one looming on the horizon to fill any of your big shoes and bigger feats! It is really a desperate situation we find ourselves in and let us hope something good comes out of all your respective and sudden departures...I will be honest though...I am not optimistic!

I'm as much a supporter of culture and arts as the next guy, but this looks like more of a slush fund than anything else. I prefer having control over what charities receive my money. Can someone point to an example of anything we have now that we wouldn't have had without the SECA fund?

Ah yes, whatever the ill, it's always the fault of those dastardly liberals, or so says Joe Taxpayer (AKA Mike Davitt bitter ex 203 school board member) But I have a question. What does the Sun Times difficulties have to do with this topic? Does anyone buy his silliness?

Anyway, regarding the topic at hand, I have one question/observation, does anyone know the percentage of the food and beverage tax paid by non Naperville residents? I suspect it's a fairly large percentage, but don't know definitively. To the extent that others are coming here and helping pay for Naperville charities, I don't feel as bad.

Here's the cities page on the seca funds

http://www.naperville.il.us/seca.aspx


Ted,

How do we know Mr. West won't take over the management of the Naperville Sun upon your departure. He has done it before. The Naperville Sun is not looking to hire anyone due to budget constraints so he may unfortuately be the heir apparent to you.

Let us hope your boss knows, what kind of damage Mr. West can bring to the Naperville Sun with his establishment and reactionary one sided opinions. He would certainly damage your blog site as he damaged his own. Do all you can to prevent any devastation in your aftermath.

Good luck, Ted, and we will miss your threads!

Host Ted,
I think you should allow us to say good-bye to you or at least set up a special thread where we can say good-bye to you. We have developed a lot of respect for you over the last 2 years and I am sure most of us will miss you.

As far as Tim West, with all due respect I disagree with you.

His blog site indicates after 35 years his popularity is almost 0 with both Napergatians and Establishment Folks. You can try Host Ted, but you can't dispute those 0's and 1's found on most of his threads. I also once tried to post and he censured my letter.

You need to have a chat with him before you leave about censorship. It backfired on him and his thread. Maybe in Syria or Iran you can control content...but in the USA if you try you will fail. He tried and failed.

I think in the early days you tried a little censorship yourself Host Ted and you saw it backfire. I think you learned quickly that censorship is despicable. Opinion Editor Tim West never learned in 35 years. I would not waste time defending him. Maybe he will learn from constructive criticism. He is certainly not going to learn if he is not exposed~!

By Joe Taxpayer on November 11, 2008 8:26 PM
In just five short years, the Sun Times stock price has gone from $20 to virtually nil.

__________________________________________________________________

Well if you read this thread, you can see why. The Sun-Times carries a lot of dead wood. Imagine for example Tim West. He has no popularity or readership and the Naperville Sun @ Sun-Times have paid him for 35 years. Let us hope they don't give him a Naperville Size Pension.

They even gave him a blog site that no blogger cares to visit. Or maybe he rejects all visitors that don't agree with him as is being suggested on this thread. I would like to see Host Ted investigate the situation before he leaves. And please, please please don't give your thread to Tim West. It will fall flat in less than a week.

Let me just jump in here and say thanks for the well-wishes. Readers of the print edition will know I'm leaving The Sun because I wrote a column about it--one more reason to subscribe to your local paper. Sure, you can read articles online at no cost, but you can't put a web page of that historic Obama front page in your scrapbook. Without subscriptions, newspapers won't be able to continue exposing corruption and steering debate about public policy. And there's no plans for Tim West to take over this forum. Some other colleagues of mine will be handling that. Tim's a fine man, and you don't stay in this business for 35 years without knowing a thing or two. It's really not my place to say who will be assuming my duties, because I don't know, other than on an interim basis. But I have faith The Sun will continue its local focus and that it will continue serving the community for many years to come. I put a lot of heart and soul into the Naperville Sun and I'll miss the people and the work, but I'm also very excited about the new opportunity with North Central College. So, please, one last request--let's keep the discussion on this thread about the food and beverage tax, and not about me.

Moderator Ted,

I agree with what Anonymous said on the first post on this thread. He made a lot of sense. I think the culture fund should be outlawed. What a waste of 3 million dollars?

The 3 million should not be used to save city jobs. It should be used to reduce our residential real estate taxes which are burdensome and reaching the point of unbearable.

Giving the city more money than it needs leads to wasteful spending and corruption. Look at how they funneled money to the police dept to be used for OT through a sham transaction. If this money was not available to the event organizers, they would get off their lazy butts and shop for reasonably priced security for their events.

Anyway, Moderator Ted, I really came on to bid you good-bye. I will miss you. I wish you nothing but the best of health and prosperity! Good luck in your new career at North Central College!

I just wanted to join Maryann in saying Good Bye to you Host Ted. I was shocked by the news and as Maryann, I am extremely worried that Opinion Editor Tim West will take over your blog site and newspaper.

I know you have to respect your colleague, Host Ted, but let us face it, he can't get the job done. After 35 years with the Naperville Sun only his buddy from California or somewhere posts to give him a hit or two a month. It is a real sad situation there. He is the least popular columnist in the history of the newspaper business coast to coast!

I once tried to post and he denied me. I guess he knows us Napergatians from your threads and all 300 of us are blacklisted from his blog site. Well, that is OK with us. We came to you Host Ted, you welcomed us, and together we had a very successful blog site.

No one wants to get near Mr. West's blog site even with a 10 foot pole....it stinks!

I wish nothing but the best and success in your future job with NCC.
Moderator Jim said he would peak on us once in a while and say hello on the blog site. He never kept his promise. I hope you will come on and say hello once in a while. I guess his roots are from the East Coast while your roots are more local. Farewell and good luck Host Ted!

In just five short years, the Sun Times stock price has gone from $20 to virtually nil. Of course the Sun Times will blame Bush. Interesting how states under control of liberals (e.g., IL, CA, and MI) have ended up exactly in the same place as the Sun Times under the control of liberals - in the toilet. You think the U.S. economy is bad? It's even worse in IL. Liberals have a proven track record of choking on the bone of responsibility.

Farewell Mr. Ted,

I guess I finally saw that column in the Sun indicating you are leaving us. I was saddened to read that.

The first thing that came to my mind is the Naperville Sun may go back to Mr. Tim West and in the gutter. We saw the decline in readership under Mr. West from 22,000 down to 15,000. We saw you take the readership back up to 16,200.

If Mr. West takes over I expect readership to dip to about 8100 in the next year. He will destroy the Naperville Sun. He is not resident friendly. He is developer friendly.

His wife works for the Brestal Law Firm. Once he takes over your blog site it will end up like his blog site....a BIG ZERO!

Maryann,
Where did you hear Host Ted is leaving us? You sure it is not a rumor. I hope it is not true.

I have never seen so many good threads the last few months that we can write about. Ted has been vigilant in his duty to keep an eye on city government waste. As one blogger said a while back, he finally began driving the bus. I wish he would ram it into city hall before he resigns just like a Judge pounds his gavel to put on exclamation point on his verdicts

Do you know why he is resigning, Maryann? I hope the Naperville Sun is not cutting him for budgetary reasons as they cut Mr. Jim Lynch! How much can the Naperville Sun cut before they get down to the bone. I sense they are already down to the bone since they can't even send a reporter down to Dupage Courtroom to watch the cops milk us taxpayers for triple over time making token and unnecessary appearances under the pretext that the Chief Judge is requiring these visits.

Hi Ted,

I have not blogged for a while but I heard the sad news through the grapevine that you are leaving us. I never thought you would leave us so suddenly after Moderator Jim.

Anyway I wanted to thank you for changing your newspaper from reactionary to progressive and taking on the watchdog role the Napergatians pushed for and asked for, right here on your threads.

Your departure comes at the worse time possible for our city. With elections on the horizon we needed someone just like you to tell the voters the truth.

As another poster on another blog said, who is going to tell us the truth with the departure of the Napergate Man, Mr. Jim Lynch and now yourself. Who is going to head the Naperville Sun after you leave us? I hope you do us a favor and make sure the transition goes as smooth as White House transition is going.

It is too bad the Naperville Sun could not give you a decent wage and keep you on board. I think the Sun is shooting itself in the leg by letting someone with your caliber depart.

Best of luck to you, Host Ted! I will miss your threads. They are trully a success!

Good-bye Host Ted,

I just wanted to wish you farewell. I just read on another thread that you are leaving us and possibly turning the reigns over to Mr. West.

You have been very fair to us Napergatians Host Ted despite our initial disagreements and misunderstandings.

If you have any say in your replacement, please don't appoint Mr. West. He is worse than Fox News...very establishment and biased...naughty as they come in the newspaper business.

Yes, I also heard he does not publish letters that attack the establishment. If he replaces you, the Naperville Sun will be set back 20 years.

Anyway, I loved all the threads you gave us to comment on in the last year. You have been wonderful. We will all miss you!

No, it is not. It is an elitist tax that the council passed for one reason: Because they could!

My personal protest has been to cut my dining/drinking in Naperville by about 95% since the tax passed. I can safely say that about all of my friends have done the same.

Why? It is as liberal of a tax as I/we have ever seen.

Host Ted,

I think this tax should be abolished to stimulate the Naperville economy. It is well known if Naperville Residents have 3 million more to spend, it can stimulate the economy. With 5 storefronts vacant on Jefferson between Washington and Main, it is obvious we need a stimulous right here in Naperville. I heard the Little Friends storefront is also closing down soon as its lease is expiring and the landlord is tripling the rent and attempting to sign a national chain tenant. This will give us 6 shuttered stores with more to come. And the city wants to destroy the scenic library with a high rise garage deck to provide parking for all these vacant stores and their non-existent customers. At a cost of mind you, 19.9 million dollars to TAXPAYERS not including the value of the land. At your expense, my fellow TAXPAYER. They passed it 6-3. Let us vote them out of office since they are not representing us anymore. Let us not forget the posts were 100-1 against this library parking deck right here on Ted's Threads.

What you fail though to mention in the above introduction, Host Ted, is the 100,000 dollars that is siphoned from this fund and given to police in OT through a SHAM TRANSACTION. This is not charity or cultural money. This is to enrich senior Naperville Police Officers at taxpayer expense. It is shameful! It is disgusing! It is unacceptable and must stop IMMEDIATELY!

This issue alone will get the Establishment Party out of power if the Napergate Man came back and decided to publicise it in the print edition where you have 16,200 readers instead of less than a few hundred bloggers on Ted's Threads.

Let us not take this 3 million and put it in the General Fund. That would defeat the measures we are taking to reduce unnecessary OT in the city and cut out all the excess fat.

In the downtown area, taxation is becoming like Cook County...a quarter short of 10%. Between this high tax and the bad economy, downtown Naperville retailers are suffering. Immensely, may I add!

The burden of taxation is unfairly applied on the downtown retailers and their customers instead of the very wealthy landlords. These landlords are establishment folks taken care of by the City Council and the infamous Brestal Law Firm. They erect buildings covering entire blocks without underground or overground parking or adjoining parking. The parking is paid for by the downtown retailers and their customers. The rest is paid by the Naperville Homeowner through increased annual real estate taxes that were up 20% in prior years and will be increased 9.68% this year despite all the lay-offs we are hearing about. And despite all these tax increases will still have an 11 million budget deficit in addition to a 60 million police and firemen pension fund deficit. Our city council in their infinite wisdom don't see anything wrong with paying a new police officer or fire fighter 60k plus massive benefits including a 75% pension staring at age 51 after only 30 years of employment. They don't see anything wrong but have no clue where to get this 71 million dollars from! Oh, just tax you and me! That is always the solution of the incompetent high paid officials runing our city.

Giving all these benefits to the downtown landlords, has allowed them to charge 50 bucks a square foot and pocket most of that money. That extraordinary rental income should be the money taxed to pay for the parking decks and the land they sit on. That money should be paid to clean the sidewalks and streets in the downtown and not the taxpayers. How unfair that non-downtown landlords have to clean their own sidewalks and parkng lots while downtown landlords who charge 3 times as much have the city doing everything for them. At TAXPAYER EXPENSE as USUAL! How nice it is to be CONNECTED to CITY HALL and the BRESTAL LAW FIRM! They will get OMNIA over our dead bodies....enough abuse of taxpayer hard earned dollars!

Anyway, I hope you all vote whether the Napergate Man comes back or does not. Just pass this information on to your neighbors. Ask everyone to e-mail 10 other residents and get an e-mail chain going. The Napergate Man had a great grass roots organization in his time. We should learn his methods and get the ball rolling. He did his share for Naperville. We need to stop calling on him and find a wasy to do our share. If there is a way, there should be a will!

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This page contains a single entry by Naperville Sun editors published on November 11, 2008 5:00 AM.

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