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Naperville County Board member John Zediker is among a group of county lawmakers that will be looking at spending _pay perks, hours etc _ over the coming weeks in an effort to reduce spending. They will be looking at the compensation of about 2,400 county employees, including themselves.
What are some things Zediker et al should look at?

We've talked about pensions a lot on this blog. Now let's focus on salaries, particularly on those for people who work for DuPage County. Did you know county board members get $50,000 per year? This is compared to a national average for legislators of $37,500. Or that attorneys for the county election commission command $225 per hour - $270 for court appearances?
County board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, who takes in $127,840 for his dual role as chairman and liquor commissioner says average compensation is fine for average places. DuPage is extraordinary and you get what you pay for.
Read the story. Check the figures. What do you think?

DuPage County Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom's plan to finance $70 million in capital improvement projects with federal stimulus money already is drawing heat. County Board member Jeff Redick already is likening the proposal to something former governor Rod Blagojevich would come up with. Many of the projects involve road work but other things like a convalescent center kitchen and jail fire alarm are on the list. Schillerstrom says the projects will create jobs and ease traffic congestion. Redick says the cost to taxpayers will come to $124 million
Look here for the story and a complete list of the projects Schillerstrom has in mind.
Are those things you would spend money on? Is the plan too costly over time?

Five years ago, "North America's most advanced business park," as it was called, was dedicated in West Chicago with the intention of bringing high-tech companies and thousands of jobs to DuPage County. Today, the campus consists of only two buildings, one not even occupied. In charge is former Napervile City Council member Jack Tenison, who critics claim is rarely at work and does not do enough to earn his $151,000 annual salary.
Now, the board that oversees the DuPage National Technology Park, where only one company has moved in during the past 10 years, has asked county officials that it be dissolved. This stems in a disagreement about the direction of the technology park.DuPage County has already sunk $34 million for roads and other improvements into what Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney called a 'wasteland' in West Chicago.
Now the future of the tech park is on the county radar with various interests at odds over how to proceed with the project. What direction do you think should be taken?

To get the full stories click here

and here technology.jpg

On Thursday the DuPage Water Commission approved issuing $40 million worth of bonds as part of a plan to eliminate $70 million in debt allegedly amassed due to mismanagement. This comes after two water rate increases, with the likelihood of more rate increases in the future.

Only $20 million of the bonds are intended to cover existing debt, with the rest intended to add to the commission's cash reserves. What do you think about this latest move and the situation in general?

In a few years, the DuPage County Water Commission went from a $190 million surplus to a $70 million deficit, and is now discussing raising water rates in the county.

Because of this situation, state senator and County Board chairman candidate Dan Cronin has introduced legislation to dissolve the Water Commission and allow the county to take over water management.

What do you think of the situation? Is county management the answer to the problem, or do you have a better suggestion?

With current Chairman Bob Schillerstrom running for governor, DuPage County will have a new County Board chairman for the first time since 1999. Four candidates are running in the Republican primary, with Aurora Democrat Carole Cheney running unopposed.

For the Republicans, the candidates are state Sen. Dan Cronin of Elmhurst, Gary Grasso, mayor of Burr Ridge, County Board member Debra Olson of Wheaton and state Sen. Carole Pankau of Itasca.

There's no particular question with this post, but feel free to discuss whatever you feel is relevant in this election.

Here is a link to the story the Sun did on the candidates:
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/1999933,6_1_NA20_COUNTYCHAIR_S1-100120.article

On Tuesday, the DuPage County Board declined to grant a conditional use permit to allow a Muslim worship facility and school to operate on 75th Street east of Naper Boulevard, between Naperville and Lisle.

Opponents have raised objections ranging from worries about the amount of parking and noise to concerns about the group's links to terrorism.

While the board voted 10-7 against it, all three of the board members representing Naperville supported it, and board member James Healy said he believed the board was legally required to approve it.

The group behind the measure will likely appeal.

What do you think? Is this a case of racism or anti-Muslim feeling, or were the objections legitimate and enough to deny the plans? Do you think this reflects poorly on Naperville and DuPage County?

Read the full story here:
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/1986971,Muslim-center-voted-down_NA011210.article

During a meeting Thursday, those for and against a new Muslim center in unincorporated DuPage County just east of Naperville learned about new conditions under which a county committee would agree to a permit. Neighbors to the facility have said the noise, parking and possible late nights would be a burden. However, applicants for the Irshad Learning Center agreed to changes, including an increase in parking, berms to shield the view of the center from neighbors and moving part or all of a septic field.

One member of Irshad did question "Why have we been singled out, as if our activity should be restricted?

What do you think? Are they being discriminated against? Are the rules fair? How about neighbors? What are your biggest concerns?

The DuPage County Board has been discussing a plan to create areas for workforce homes in unincorporated areas of the county. The homes would be targeted toward people like police officers, firefighters, teachers and others who may want to live near the community they work in, but not be able to afford homes in that area.

Those areas that would be affected near Naperville include Mill Street north of Bauer Road; homes northwest of Ogden Avenue from Wright Street to Charles Avenue; some of the streets south of Hillside Road around Julian Street; and the area around Old Plank Road and Naper Boulevard.

Opponents claim that the "workforce" includes everyone who brings home a paycheck, and all deserve equal protection through local zoning codes. Some have noted that the zoning amendment would eliminate the applications process that enables planners to scrutinize new building projects individually.

Also opposing aspects of the measure are the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference and some municipalities that take exception to a slackening of property dimension rules and setbacks, the additional use of septic systems and wells, the potentially undesirable mix of housing styles, and what William Heniff, Lombard's community development director, called "a de-facto rezoning of the neighborhoods."

The County Board has delayed a vote on the issue so residents can have a chance to learn more and offer comments.

Here is a link to the Sun's most recent article on the subject: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/1605167,affordable-housing-DuPage_na060309.article

What do you think? Does Naperville need affordable housing? Do you have a problem with this proposal? What would your concerns be if it is approved?

Naperville Potluck

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