Everyone Grab your Wheelbarrow!


cscandidateposterIt’s time to renovate the management in our town!  That’s right my fellow Carpentersville residents, businesses and interested people, it’s time to start collecting nominating signatures in our Fair Village for the open positions on the Village Board!

For a little over a year now, we at Save Carpentersville have been exposing the inadequacies of our Village Board and Village Management, and now that election season is upon us, it’s time to change our format to showcase what our candidates need to focus on in order to restore and renovate our town.

Every good full renovation starts with a complete gutting of the interior of the structure, and renovating our Village will be no different.  This means it’s time to change our village from the top down, and elect new trustees who are willing to make decisions based upon the needs of the residents, not the needs of the Management.  New trustees who aren’t afraid to discharge Bully Managers and a management team that lacks the intestinal fortitude to ensure that Public Safety departments are able to give the residents what they deserve, able to stop the rising tide of desertion – both residents and businesses alike, and able to ensure that employees are treated with respect in order to get the best out of them.

Now, we don’t just start gutting our homes for no reason, we get the facts about why it’s necessary, and with that thought, so that the residents are able to understand why it’s time to rid ourselves of the incumbents – let’s recap what this board has allowed to happen over the last few years:

  • In 2007, the property tax levy was 1.0239, in 2012 it was 2.2993 (data taken from Village’s 2013 audited financial statements).  That’s an extra 1.2754, which amounts to a 124% increase in our taxes!  What did we get for our increase?
    • Some new streets and underground utilities (including Maple ave, which took over a year to complete and partially funded by federal grants)
    • a 12 MILLION dollar public works facility.  Yes, it’s nice, but really, the Village cries broke at every turn, and yet, WE afforded this for the village.
    • A Nicer park, which is once again being redone with a matching 400k grant from the Feds.
    • Lots of pretty new trees!  (Residents, please remember to water the trees!)
    • A reduction in the public works staff – all around: streets, underground, water – less people to do the work that needs to get done, greater times to: turn on your water (or off if you have an emergency,) fix water/sewer breaks and issues, repair roads – I think you get the idea.
    • A reduction in police staff.  Wasn’t it great that about 5 years ago, the Cville PD in conjunction with other agencies worked so hard to clean up the gang elements on the east side of town!  Well, 5 years later, with 12 fewer police officers and HALF the number of officers on duty during the busiest time of the day, those gangbangers are getting out of prison.  Except now we don’t have the police to deal with the problem once it gets going again.  YAY?  The good news in all this for us – as the police will tell people when they actually ask why tickets don’t get written for things like parking – there aren’t enough officers on patrol to run the calls for service AND write “lower priority” tickets.
    • A reduction in firefighters.  I’ve written about this extensively, but the simple honest truth is that with the reduction in daily on-duty firefighters, (total daily duty spots – this includes both full time and part time for those that might think i’m talking about “union” issues) the fire department’s response times have dramatically increased.  Despite what our sometimes clueless board members will tell people, increased response times means it takes longer to get to emergencies – YOUR emergencies.  Yes, someone will always show up – eventually – which is the problem.  You pay for someone to show up quickly in an emergency, you only actually get the “show up” part, not the “quickly” too.  Please feel free to browse this site to see what the trustee’s staff reductions have done to the safety of you and your loved ones.  The good news – that our Village President, Trustee Burroway, Trustee Teeter and Trustee Stephens all live in the area that was significantly reduced, meaning their access to an ambulance and/or fire engine is seriously compromised.  While Trustee Humpher and Trustee Rehberg live in an area that has historically been the longest of response times.  Only Trustee Schultz enjoys the best response times in our Village, while the Village Manager and our Public Safety Director enjoy the services of another Village’s public safety departments and aren’t subject to their decisions.
    • In 2007, our village’s total general obligation bonds were $13,054,696, according to the audited 2013 financial statements, in 2013: $35,194,158.  That’s right my fellow citizens, not only have we significantly reduced our ability to provide public safety services for our residents and businesses, our 124% increase in our taxes is funding, in large part, the village’s decision to borrow an extra 22.1 MILLION dollars in what the Village describes repeatedly as a time of budgetary crisis due to the recession.  I’m sure we all went out and did the same thing during the recession – knowing someone else would be paying for it -right?
  • Hired Manager Rooney.  Let’s examine this – he was #2 on the list of potential candidates in 2010.  But he had been let go from Wheeling – I’m sure that something that important wasn’t overlooked.  How did someone who got fired as a Village Manager in a town less than 20 miles away and of similar demographics get to the #2 position on our list?  Seriously, if none of the other candidates had been fired from their previous job, why weren’t they ahead of him?  Our Trustees knew who they were hiring, and they chose a person who is a branded bully – not just in our town, but in every other town he’s worked in since the early 2000’s.  He needs to be fired, sooner rather than later.  A bullying and dysfunctional Village Manager will lead to a dysfunctional village – which is exactly where our village is right now, Either our Trustees don’t want to admit it OR are too blind to see it.  (Oh, and as a side note – there is no way to “leash” a bully – especially one who has been at it for so long, there is only one solution.)  In case anyone really needs an explanation on this, I refer you to: Investigation.pdf.
    • Here is point number 10 from that document, which is part of a complaint filed by former HR Director Linda Mogren: Manager Rooney practices a style of “Management by Crisis” that is corrosive and undermines the ability, even willingness, of capable employees to perform their jobs because they fear his irrational, unpredictable and frequently hostile and threatening responses to their professional and reasonable actions.  Manager Rooney prefers to work in an atmosphere of fear, hostility, unpredictability, intimidation, and manipulation that makes employees less effective in their jobs, especially if doing their jobs might require disagreeing with the manager.  He motivates employees through fear rather than effective leadership.
    • Even more interestingly, is what the Wheeling trustees had to say: from DailyHerald.com, written by Madhu Krishnamurthy, published 9/23/2009 – Trustees Pat Horcher and Dean Argiris said that in a poll taken Monday night among the six trustees and Abruscato, Rooney had lost support of five of them. and Horcher said some trustees complained Rooney did not keep them fully informed about village business.  and “It wasn’t about personality conflicts and it wasn’t about politics,” Argiris said.  “There were serious issues.  This was a business decision by a majority of the board.”  and “I believe it was hurting the village keeping him on and that’s why we need to move on,” Argiris said.  “His style … the way he would do business eventually it would hurt the village, if it hadn’t already.  And these were issues that never seemed to be going away.  They needed to be addressed.”  Seriously Trustees – Wheeling trustees got it – you know about it – and refuse to do anything about it.
    • The great thing for our Manager – his behavior and his decisions don’t mean anything to him – they don’t effect him – he doesn’t live here – he lives in Highwood, IL, which our Trustees have conveniently allowed him to violate a Carpentersville Ordinance mandating that he lives in town.  A point which our Trustees have recently remedied by making an ordinance change on September 2nd 2014, buried in a consent agenda, to give the Village Manager until September 1, 2018 to move into town.
    • His behavior has pushed out or intentionally gotten rid of excellent employees, and has destroyed morale in the village.  Why does this matter?  Because content employees function well, happy employees function extremely well and provide the best customer service (us), while unhappy employees function poorly and employees who hate their employer function extremely poorly.  Morale is the lowest it’s ever been in the village.  Our business leaders can see it, our residents can see it – too bad the Board is too blind to see what we all do!  Good job Manager!
    • Simply put, the Village Manager’s behavior would have gotten him fired in any other business, and HAS gotten him fired in at least 1 other town – isn’t it time we follow the lead of well, everyone else?
  • Increased Sales Tax!
    • The reality is though, that it isn’t the only thing that the board has allowed to pass that drives businesses away from us – our community development has years of bad press to undo, and it’s not happening fast enough.  A lack of marketing, the same employees causing the same confusion and issues, a general unfriendly atmosphere, oppressive fees to move in – variances, occupancy etc – all complaints that still resonate in the business community.  Our community development needs a complete renovation as well.  It’s long past time for that.
  • Increased Water & Sewer rates – it was recently explained to me that for the last 20 years there has been little to no increases, and that now the water and sewer system is to a point that it’s required to have such a drastic increase.  Well, that’s all well and good, and i’m really happy to be paying NOW what my predecessors didn’t want to pay for gradually.  However honest the explanation, it doesn’t make it right, especially considering that more, heftier increases are right around the corner.  The board should have considered other alternatives, however, given the utter lack of robust debate and suggestions within the Village Staff, it’s not exactly a surprise that nobody thought of another way.

To be fair, things like fixing our streets and underground utilities like water and sewer have been neglected for years by previous boards.  However, let’s examine that argument – Trustee Humpfer has been on that board for 12 years, he’s been part of those “previous” boards, as has Trustee Teeter and President Ritter.  And the reality is that, aside from some “lipstick” improvements, this board has been rather ineffective at bettering the lives of Carpentersville Residents like you and me.  Combined with allowing such a horrible excuse for a Manager to continue to spread his demeaning and bully ways throughout our village, the board members, every one of them have utterly failed to adhere to their sworn oaths as Trustees of our Money and Safety.  It’s time to get rid of Trustee Burroway, Trustee Teeter and Trustee Humpfer.  And in 2017 – we’ll be able to remove the remainder of the problem.

Now that we’ve had a chance to discuss some of the failures of our Current Board and why removing those that we can is important, it’s time to get this campaign season moving.  Every week, until the election, the authors of Save Carpentersville will be showcasing, each week, an area of the Village that needs improvement, and offering up suggestions on how to effect those improvements.  We will also be offering suggestions on how to cut the budget, allowing for more staff in the critical Public Safety departments that are tasked with keeping the residents and businesses/customers safe in our town.

With that said,  after long discussion with my family, we feel it’s important to get trustees that are willing to stand up to bullies, willing to listen to all sides of any issue and willing to make Village business transparent to the voting public.  Therefore, I am announcing that I will be running for one of the 3 open Trustee positions.  The “elections: 2015” section of the website is now open, along with my candidate profile.  I hope everyone will check it out – and I also hope that every candidate will be willing to share their information as well – even the incumbents are welcome to post!  Any interested candidates should send us an email so that one of the site admins can open a page for you and set you with a username/password so that you can create/edit your page.  I look forward to the upcoming election season, and hope that, if nothing else, all the readers of Save Carpentersville! are willing to learn about the issues and make an informed voting decision.

Any Residents who are interested in helping collect signatures, please feel free to contact me at 847-409-6774.