Category Archives: Letters to the Editor

Letter: Vote for Fred Dornback in the April 9 election

This letter is to endorse Fred Dornback for the position of Blackberry Township Supervisor in the April 9 election. He is experienced, responsive, resourceful and committed.

Fred has chosen to run as an independent for the position of township supervisor. He is no stranger to Blackberry Township, as he has lived here for almost 40 years, has served as moderator at the annual town meeting for many years, and has served as the superintendent of the cemetery ever since it was acquired by the township from the Blackberry Cemetery Association in 2007.

In addition, Fred has a significant track record of achievement with other organizations. After a successful career as a school psychologist, Fred has served as a volunteer at Delnor Community Hospital, is a founding board member (and current board member) of the Living Well Cancer Resource Center, and was the “Volunteer of the Year” of the Chicago Land’s American Red Cross.

Fred has performed many good deeds for other people. Fred is generally nonpolitical, and is always there to give a helping hand. Please lend your support to elect Fred Dornback on April 9, 2013.

Jim Michels, Blackberry Township trustee

Letter: Support Sean Michels on April 9

In reading the candidate profile in last week’s Elburn Herald I noticed that they published all of the school’s that Sean has attended, but did not include the degrees that Sean has worked so hard to earn.

Sean received a finance and an economic degree from Illinois State University. He then went on to Aurora University and earned a Masters in Business Administration.

These degrees, along with the 20 years Sean spent in the banking industry, have helped him manage the multi-million dollar budget of the village. Compare this to his opponent, who has taken course work at the College of DuPage and real estate classes at Waubonsee.

The fact that the village managed to earn an A+ rating by Standard & Poor’s in 2008 is a testament to the financial leadership that Sean has been able to provide with his strong finance background. This leadership included cutting staff by 20 percent and reducing expenses by 25 percent since 2008.

This type of leadership is needed for Sugar Grove. Please vote for Sean on April 9.

Monty Jahns
Sugar Grove

Letter: In support of Pat Schuberg for Elburn village trustee

Why vote for Pat Schuberg?

In my opinion, it’s not a question of “Why should we vote for Patricia Schuberg?” but “Why would we not?”

In my 20 years of village service, I only have once before endorsed any candidate for village office. In this election, however, I must offer my endorsement of Patricia Schuberg, as I know she would be a superlative village trustee.

I have known Pat and her family for over 20 years. She has served with me on the Elburn Planning Commission. Our families have worshipped together, and she and I have worked together at Lazarus House.

She is a woman who, without ego or search for praise, has worked to keep Elburn as that special place to live, as well as serving our larger community.

She is a woman who, selflessly, has worked to shepherd her sons and many of our other young men to achieve the highest of ethical goals through our Scout programs.

As a woman of faith, she has helped those less fortunate through Hesed House, Lazarus House and Feed My Starving Children.

If you want a trustee who understands the complexity of careful management of village revenues and services, her MBA will well serve all of us.

If you want a trustee who understands the need and benefits of retail growth, having been a small business owner herself, she will work to strengthen Elburn’s business community.

If you want a trustee who intimately understands growth and land development, her 15 years on the village Planning Commission—six years of which she led that body as its chairperson—then you should cast your vote for Pat.

Please join me on April 9 and elect Pat Schuberg to the Village Board.

Bill Grabarek
Elburn Village Board trustee

Letter: Facts regarding Michels speak for themselves

Come April 9, my vote will go to Sean Michels for Sugar Grove village president. The facts speak for themselves.

Today, under the leadership of Sean Michels, the village of Sugar Grove is on sound financial ground despite several years of tough
economic challenges.

Under Sean Michels:

• The village proactively reduced the budget as a result of the economic downturn without significant reductions in village services. The village budgeted $6,487,934 for fiscal year 2006–07. The budget for fiscal year 2012-13 is $4,183,664. The village reduced the budget in a time when we all have to do the same.

• Disciplined, balanced budget management has led to a steady increase in surplus vs. deficit. The village had a net increase in its general fund balance of $314,000 under Sean’s leadership. The village projects another surplus in fiscal year 2012-13

• The surplus has helped drive the improvement and maintenance of infrastructure. The village transferred over $1 million of additional surplus over the same 10 years to the Infrastructure Capital Projects Fund for road maintenance projects.

• Success in acquiring grants is driving even more infrastructure improvement at no cost to village residents. Since fiscal year 2008-09, the village obtained and utilized $5.6 million in grants to complete over $10 million in road projects. This year, the village is planning to utilize over $1 million in grants. These are state and federal funds that help to build the village of Sugar Grove’s infrastructure. These improvements directly benefit residents and this community without further taxing our pocketbook.

• Under Sean, residents are shouldering less of the tax burden. Non-residential equalized assessed value (EAV) has increased from $16.8 million in fiscal year 2006-07 to $32.2 million in fiscal year 2012–13. This 100 percent increase in EAV comes from new businesses and growing businesses within the village, and provides the village with a tax source other than residential.

• Commercial tax revenue is up 636 percent in 10 years. In addition to providing new non-residential property taxes in the village, commercial development has also been the impetus to increased sales tax revenue. The village received $172,851 in state sales tax in fiscal year 2002-03, and is projecting state sales tax of over $1,100,000 in fiscal year 2012–13. This is a compounded average growth rate of almost 20 percent annually.

• Objective third-party ratings amplify the progress. The village obtained its first bond rating of an A in May 2006 from Standard & Poor’s. The rating was increased to an A+ in June 2008. This rating validates the village’s strong financial picture and provides the village with a better borrowing rate, if necessary.

This information is readily available to all interested. The village’s website is informative; the village staff helpful.

Further, as a village trustee for four years; I’ve seen much. I’ve seen Sean’s leadership and work ethic, and am living the outcomes of that leadership. At the same time, I sat next to Kevin Geary and saw him deliver little, show no leadership or even take a productive role in decision making. It was shameful to think that he was voting on behalf of the village on many issues that he hadn’t taken the time to understand, rather reaching rash judgment based on his gut. I do not want that person as the leader of our community or to give him an opportunity to undo the progress we have made as a village.

Sean has a vision of the village of responsible growth, assessing the needs of the residents today and the residents of tomorrow seriously with a strong leaning toward fiscal responsibility. This vision and his core values have served us well in both good economic times and bad, and they will continue to serve us well into the future. Just look at the facts

This is an election where voter turnout will be extremely low with no national or state selections. Every vote will count. Please cast yours for Sean Michels on Tuesday, April 9.

Mary Heineman
Sugar Grove

Letter: Supporting Pat Schuberg for Elburn village trustee on April 9

I am writing this letter of endorsement for the Elburn Village Board for Patricia Schuberg. I have worked with Patricia for many years and many projects, including Metra, Jewel, Blackberry Creek and Walgreen’s, just to mention a few.

Patricia’s service to the Elburn Planning Commission over 12 years has been outstanding. This is a woman who truly cares deeply about Elburn and its future. She will bring years of experience and wisdom to the Village Board. Her ability to work with and to build consensus is second to none.

Elburn would be well served to have Pat on its Village Board. I encourage you to vote for Pat Schuberg for Elburn Village Board on Tuesday, April 9.

Jeffrey Metcalf
Chair, Elburn Planning Commission

Letter: A comment on the conduct of the present Sugar Grove Township administration

At last year’s Nov. 5 Sugar Grove Township meeting, I stood before the administration, stating how incredible I thought their actions (calling in the Sugar Grove Police Department) were toward the past supervisor, Dan Nagel, who had resigned his post. Here we are today, April 2013, and they have continued with their incredible behavior.

The very people who have contributed their time and dedication to this community are the very targets of this administration.

Mr. Nagel dedicated over 38 years of service to the township, recently upgraded the township building and office to its new location, assisted the new Public Library financially by buying the building, relocated our assessor’s office to a larger location, remodeled and rented the old assessor office, put in a new senior citizen meeting room, purchased and updated the old bus barn for storage to the Scouts and others, and assisted the Mental Health Department to relocate to a central location. Nagel and Jerry Murphy were ahead of their time by providing mental health locally. What does this administration do? They try to put Mr. Nagel in jail.That is really special.

Then there is Marlene Wagner (in her late 70s) who for seven years worked as the township bookkeeper. She recently put in an up-to-date township authorized bookkeeping software and running simultaneous old and new systems to avoid any loss of data. She passed six state audits with excellent rating. What does this administration do? They accused her of being untrustworthy, soiled her personal reputation, and are now in the process of removing the very accounting system that achieved such high ratings. She is so damaged that every time I discuss this matter with her, she breaks down in tears.

I can’t forget poor Lil Adams. She has spent her entire adult 80-plus years attending to the Sugar Grove Community House. Many of her hours worked were voluntary, rearranging her personal time, to provide for people’s events at the Community House. She was recognized as Honoraria by the community for her great service. What does this administration do? They gave her a tongue lashing that put her in bed for two weeks. She is still not over it.

Betty Jo, the township bookeeper after Marlene, watches the behavior of this administration and resigns. Smart girl. She was replaced by a male bookkeeper.

In summary, it is very apparent to me that this administration is divisive toward women, and especially senior women. Their actions are a poor representation of our community, and it appears they intend to take no prisoners as they ransack what others have built for this township government.
Jerry Elliott
Sugar Grove Township

Letter: Supporting Sean Michels for SG village president

I’m supporting Sean Michels for village president of Sugar Grove because he has proven himself as a leader. Sean and the Village Board have brought in commercial and industrial business—just look at Route 47 and all of the new businesses that have opened in the past four years.

The board and Sean cut expenses when the economy was at its worst, allowing the village to balance its budget even in tough times. Sean and the board have also done a very good job of getting grants to help our tax dollars go farther. With your support, Sean, as village president, will continue to work to make Sugar Grove a great place.

Lisa Eaves
Sugar Grove

Letter: In support of Michels, Bohler and Montalto this spring

I am writing in support of Sean Michels, Bob Bohler and Rick Montalto for re-election to their respective positions on the Sugar Grove Village Board.

Having served 18 years on the Village Board, I believe that Sean Michels will be best candidate to serve as Village President. Sean exhibits strong leadership skills, great communication skills and works hard to put Sugar Grove in the best position.

Under Sean’s leadership, the village has seen growth in the commercial/retail and industrial areas, even in a down economy. The village has recently seen an increased interest in residential housing with the sale of 67 lots in the Prairie Glen subdivision. Sean has also used his local, state and federal contacts to push for funding for the Route 47 and I-88 interchange. This project will benefit not just Sugar Grove, but the region as a whole.

Trustees Bohler and Montalto are both strong candidates and will continue to serve the residents well. They both have strong backgrounds in their respective fields of safety and security for Bohler, and law enforcement and teaching for Montalto. They are both well versed in the village’s budget and understand the need for fiscal responsibility.

The leadership of Michels with the strong board behind him has led to the village having received numerous budget awards and a credit rating of A+.

Also, I am asking residents to support Pat Graceffa as a write-in candidate for the Sugar Grove Library Board. There is not a more dedicated, qualified individual to fill this vacancy. Pat will work hard to put the library’s needs first and foremost on the table. She will not put personal agendas before the public good. Please cast your votes for these very qualified, dedicated candidates.

Mari Johnson
Sugar Grove

Letter: In support of Schuberg for Elburn village trustee

I am writing to express my full support for Pat Schuberg’s candidacy for Elburn Village Trustee.

I believe that Pat would bring important leadership and experience to the Village Board. She has been a member of the Elburn Planning Commission since 1997, and the Chairperson for six of those years. As a result of her many years on the board, Pat would be well-positioned to deal with such critical issues as the Elburn Station development. I also share her view that Elburn is at an important juncture as it struggles with issues like the state of the village economy, housing and the need to grow our local businesses.

In addition, Pat has generously donated her time and talent to a number of local organizations. I first met her over 10 years ago through Elburn Baseball and Softball, and then Elburn Boy Scout Troop 7. With the latter, she was responsible for a number of years with helping Boy Scouts, including my son, with their rank advancements.

A woman of faith, and active in her church, Pat is articulate, sincere and committed to making Elburn a better place to live. She will make an excellent addition to the Village Board, and I hope others will join me in voting for her on April 9.

Phillip Albano
Elburn

Letter: In support of Bruhl as School Board write-in candidate

I support Veronica Bruhl as she runs for the Kaneland School District 302 School Board seat as a write-in candidate. There are three seats available, and only two people decided to run. She needs 50 write-in votes.

I have known Veronica for some time. We have served on various committees together. She is chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee, the Kaneland Foundation, and a member of the Kaneland Finance Committee. We also co-hosted the candidates forum two years ago.

I have known Veronica to be well informed on the issues, fair minded, fiscally responsible and always looking out for the children. I believe she will make a wonderful School Board member for Kaneland at a time when we need wonderful school board members.

Please join me as I write in “Veronica Bruhl” on April 9 for a better School Board.

Patrick J. Crimmins
Elburn

Letter: Vote to fix Sugar Grove Library Board

The long awaited opportunity to correct the dysfunctional and inept Sugar Grove Library Board is at hand on Tuesday, April 9. I am proud to endorse and encourage support for Louise Coffman, Anthony Oliver and Pat Graceffa for Library Board trustees. All three have demonstrated they are truly committed to the welfare and future of the library, and their presence on the board will finally give a majority to professionalism and an end to the worst of petty small-town politics. I also support a new candidate, Ed DeBartolo.

Coffman and Oliver are on the ballot and are unopposed. DeBartolo is one candidate for the two spots available for a six-year term. Graceffa should be elected for the other six-year term.
However, she will require your going an extra step. Due to a paperwork dispute, she must run as a write-in candidate. Of anyone I have ever been associated with regarding the library, Pat Graceffa more than deserves a seat at the table. The unquestioned force behind the Friends of the Library and honored as Citizen of the Year, she has always shown a rare degree of dedication to the community.

For the six-year term, after voting for Ed DeBartolo, please take the effort to put the name “Pat Graceffa” on the write-in section of your ballot. Instructions can be found at www.patgraceffa.info. Basically, you select “write-in” and then spell her name using the wheel. An election judge can be asked to assist you.

Douglas Hartman
Past President, Sugar Grove Library Board

Letter: A letter to the voters of Sugar Grove

As a resident of Sugar Grove, I find the upcoming election to have great relevance. The race for village president will be very tight; however, I feel that the the best candidate for this position is Kevin Geary.

Kevin has been an honest and trustworthy individual that has stood by his word. He works hard for his friends and neighbors and wants to make Sugar Grove a community we can all be proud of. He wants to bring the community together and make it not only a place to live, but a hometown.

Under the current regime the village has become disjointed and is no longer seen as a whole community. There is no sense of “village” or “hometown”; for many, this is merely a place to rest their head.

Kevin Geary plans to bring back that sense of community and make this, once again, our hometown.

April Carvelli
Sugar Grove

Letter: Backing Schuberg for village trustee

I am writing to endorse Pat Schulberg for Elburn village trustee. I have worked alongside Pat for several years on the Planning Commission as it worked through the Elburn Station development. Pat is a patient listener, asks insightful questions and adds thoughtful input. I admire her for her already lengthy service to Elburn, and her desire to continue to serve in another capacity.

Pat truly wants to make Elburn better and deserves your vote.

Mary Gustafson
Planning commissioner

Letter: Michels’ website a vote clincher

As an avid cyclist, I was impressed while looking at Sean Michels’ website. Mr. Michels wants to improve the bike trail system throughout the community and improve the pedestrian paths, as well. This is good news for the citizens of Sugar Grove, and it appears that his goal is to do this without raising taxes, and instead searching for and applying for grants.

On his website, Mr. Michels talks about applying for grants to construct a bridge over Blackberry Creek so that residents can access the Virgil Gilman trail without having to ride along Bliss Road. This is very encouraging to me. I have ridden my bike all over Kane County. It’s great that our village president is thinking about the safety of his constituents, as well as visitors that want to visit Sugar Grove.

I know I will be voting for Sean Michels to continue all of the great things he has in store for Sugar Grove. I urge my friends and family to do the same.

Jeff Carlson
Sugar Grove

Letter: Michels’ accomplishments speak for themselves

Sean Michels has accomplished a number of achievements as village president. He worked to lower our electric rates, passed an ordinance to ban synthetic marijuana, brought in new businesses, and on and on.

One of Sean’s proudest moments has been to establish the Sugar Grove Economic Development Corporation, a public/private corporation to attract and retain businesses in our community. Sean was also instrumental in securing over $5 million in grants and low-interest loans for roads and infrastructure improvements.

Some people think it is time for a change in leadership. Why change when things are going so well. His opponent has not showed any achievements in his 13 years as a trustee.

I am voting for Sean Michels to continue his service to the citizens of Sugar Grove, and urge you to join me on April 9.

Julie R. Rutter
Sugar Grove

Letter: It’s time to stop the misstatements and misdirection

Illinois faces a pension liability conservatively placed at $95 billion.

Governor Pat Quinn and his legislative leaders have finally recognized the problems caused by years of offering too many pension sweeteners without meeting state funding obligations. It is unfortunate that their rhetoric has—so far—not been accompanied by action. Quinn has neither produced his own plan nor rounded up votes for other plans, and quite frankly, I’m getting fed up.

Further clouding the issue are claims by House Speaker Michael Madigan that suburban and downstate school districts are receiving a “free lunch” from the state in terms of paying teachers’ pensions costs. The Speaker and other Chicago leaders are pushing a proposal to shift those pension payments from the state to K-12 school districts outside of Chicago, community colleges and state universities.

That could be a reasonable solution, under the right conditions. But at a March 13 press conference, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno refuted the Speaker’s “free lunch”
claims. An in-depth analysis of state funding for education shows that Chicago Public Schools account for roughly 18 percent of Illinois’ public schoolchildren, but receive about $772 million additional state funding each year through special considerations and grant lines. Meanwhile, suburban and downstate schools receive $104 million in special consideration and grant funding to educate 82 percent of Illinois’ students.

It’s time to stop the misstatements and misdirection. If Governor Quinn, Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton can’t fix this problem, then it is time to let the rest of us come to the table with our ideas. I think it is time we follow private industry’s lead, and move government pensions to a defined contribution plan from the current defined benefit plan system, which has gotten us into so much trouble. The Illinois Policy Institute has just proposed such a plan. Their plan is the best solution to our unfunded liability that I have seen.

Jim Oberweis
Illinois state senator, 25th District

Letter: Frasz endorses Elburn residents for Village Board

I am writing to endorse four dedicated Elburn residents in the upcoming Village Board election.

I have been privileged to work with the entire current Village Board on several issues over the years, especially the recent consideration of the Elburn Station development. Village President Dave Anderson did an exemplary job of guiding the board through the many challenging and detailed negotiations and reviews of this project.

Trustees Ken Anderson and Jeff Walter have stepped up in their first terms to the many challenges and have used their knowledge and skills for the benefit of Elburn’s residents.

Pat Schuberg has served on the Elburn Plan Commission for 15 years—six as chairman—and her experience and success in that role will serve Elburn well as she seeks a seat on the Village Board.

Drew Frasz
Kane County Board representative, District 18

Letter: In support of Geary for Sugar Grove village president

I’m writing in support of Kevin Geary for village president of Sugar Grove. I’ve known Kevin for many years. He’s a fine person—a good family man, a good citizen and a person who truly cares about people.

I’ve also known Kevin’s opponent for many years. Like Kevin, Sean Michels is a good person. In fact, I actively supported Sean in the April 2009 election; given his opponent, Sean was clearly the better candidate. My support of Kevin Geary, and my disagreements with Sean, have to do with different positions taken by these men on various issues, particularly in recent years. I certainly don’t intend anything I have to say to be a personal attack on Sean Michels.

Among Kevin Geary’s strengths is his service to our village. In my 22 years in Sugar Grove, few people have devoted as much time to the betterment of our community as Kevin Geary. For the past 13 years, he has served us as one of our village trustees. He has also served us for many years on the Board of Directors of the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce, with the Sugar Grove Corn Boil, and in numerous other ways—many of which don’t show up on campaign materials. Kevin’s greatest strength is his deep, abiding concern for all of us—individually—who are lucky enough to live in this wonderful community.

Kevin is a creative thinker about local issues and has tried to improve our village government. One situation that he has tried to rectify involves a well-known local engineering firm with close family connections to our current village president.

Renowned Chicago investigative reporter Andy Shaw, now president and CEO of Chicago’s Better Government Assocation (BGA), described this situation recently. For the details—and they are quite enlightening and disturbing—locate Andy’s interview with WLS Radio’s Don and Roma on the Internet. Briefly, according to Andy, this engineering firm has been granted millions of dollars worth of business by our village over the past decade or so, entirely free of competition—receiving nearly 100 percent of our engineering dollars during that time.

I’m not suggesting that this is illegal; that’s not the point. Also, I assume that this engineering firm does good work at a fair price, but that’s also not the point. The point is that other fine engineering firms who do good work at fair prices are not being given the chance to earn any village money—monies which are, after all, tax dollars—not private funds that can be doled out at the whim of the person holding the checkbook.

Kevin Geary has suggested that we contact and approve several other engineering firms and put out for bid at least our larger engineering projects. This would be a substantial improvement over our present way of doing things for two reasons: first, it would eliminate the very strong appearance of impropriety—the look to the outside world (particularly other engineering firms) of cronyism and the like; second, competition breeds lower prices, and if our village government had taken Kevin Geary’s advice, we would have saved some tax dollars.

I am absolutely flummoxed that our current way of operating has existed in our fine community for so many years with apparently no one at the highest levels of our government other than Kevin Geary raising any objection whatsoever. Perhaps I am naive, or not smart enough to recognize that this unseemly situation is actually somehow good for us, but I simply can’t understand this. I really can’t.

This unfortunate situation highlights two other strengths of Kevin Geary: his belief that his only number-one priority at all times must be our best interests, particularly when clearly expressed by us, and his courage to stand alone at times in the face of overwhelming and fierce opposition from the powers-that-be in our community. One recent local issue of great importance to us further highlights these qualities in this good man.

For the first time, we now have a TIF district, on Route 30 west of town. The idea of a TIF district is that you have in your community an area – referred to as “blighted” in our laws—that is going to be difficult to develop if the village doesn’t step in with some tax dollars to encourage developers in that particular geographic area. The village borrows money and uses that money to assist developers, and as the blighted area is developed, the increased future tax dollars are used to repay the money that the village borrowed. So those tax dollars are not flowing to the school district or other governmental entities in our community. This can go on for over 20 years where the local governmental entities are not getting any of the increased tax dollars.

When this TIF district was first proposed by Sean Michels and others at the highest level of our village government, there was a tremendous uproar of protest from us citizens. The attendance at the board meeting on this issue was so large that the meeting had to be moved from village hall to our community building. Everyone expressed vehement opposition, and the uproar was so great that the supporters of this TIF district had no choice but to back down. But those supporters did not give up; they were determined to have this TIF district. They reduced the size, waited a little while, and then, as quietly as they could, put the TIF district on the agenda for a cold, winter January board meeting. Even though there was still overwhelming opposition at that meeting, our village board approved the TIF district.

The notion that we have a blighted area anywhere in, or near, Sugar Grove is ludicrous. But under the law, you can force a square peg into a round hole if enough people in positions of power are determined to get their way. And the notion that we need to spend future tax dollars to get development going in any part of our village is also ludicrous. The reason that we haven’t had development in the TIF district on Route 30 is the same reason we haven’t had development in a lot of other places in this country: the Great Recession. Once the economy picks up, as it appears to be doing now, development will pick up everywhere, as well.

Sadly and unfortunately, all this TIF district is going to do for us is take precious tax dollars out of the backpacks of our school children—and out of the badly depleted coffers of our fire, park, and library districts—and put those tax dollars in the pockets of wealthy developers who would have made perfectly acceptable profits without the stupidity of this insane folly. Kevin Geary was the only trustee to vote “no” on this matter. Kevin Geary was the only person at the highest level of our village government to put our best interests and clearly expressed wishes at the top of his priority list. Kevin Geary was the only person with the courage to object—as a lone voice of reason on behalf of the people—to this monumental mistake that our local districts will be burdened with for many years to come.

In any election, we are not picking the perfect candidate, because that candidate doesn’t exist. Rather, we have to choose between the two individuals who have decided to run for the office. We compare their strengths and weaknesses, their motivations, priorities, views on issues and the like.

We have in Kevin Geary a good man who is willing and able to be president of our village, well trained and experienced in village governmental matters, willing to spend great amounts of his time in our service, and, most important, a person whose No. 1 priority has always been what is best for each and every one of us—individually—as we determine our best interests to be.

Sean Michels is another good man, but he has been our village president for 13 years—an awfully long time for one person to hold a position of power. He seems to have lost touch with our wishes. There is a reason why we have a term limit for our country’s president. Also, I think that Sean would truthfully rather be doing something else at this point in his political career. Remember that as soon as he won re-election in April of 2009, he almost immediately began his unsuccessful campaign to unseat then-Illinois State Senator Chris Lauzen. This is not a criticism of Sean—he is a politician, he has his ambitions, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. My point is simply that Sean Michels is currently running for a position that I believe he really doesn’t want. I can’t help but wonder what other plans he may have in the event he wins re-election as our village president.

In contrast, Kevin Geary has, in a sense, been in training for village president for 13 years, and his time has now come to step into that important role. He truly wants to take on this task of helping us at this crucial time, and he has no hidden agenda to do something else soon after winning election.

I urge all of my neighbors, friends and fellow residents of this wonderful community to join me in voting for Kevin Geary for village president of Sugar Grove.

Bill Durrenberger
Sugar Grove

Letter: In support of Schuberg for Elburn village trustee

I wanted to take just a minute to endorse Pat Schuberg for Elburn village trustee in the upcoming election.

I have worked with Pat on the Elburn Planning Commission for the last six years. Pat has always been informed, involved, and asked the pertinent questions in order to protect the quality of life in our community. She is honest and straightforward in her evaluations of local issues, and I am positive she would continue to be fair and progressive as a village trustee.

Pat is one of those unique individuals that has been successful as a professional, a mother, a community activist and a planning commissioner. I sincerely believe that our community would benefit greatly from her active participation in guiding our village through the next decade. Her priorities include fiscal responsibility, growth of our commercial tax base, and enhancing our quality of life through the promotion of trails and community recreational opportunities.

A vote for Pat Schuberg is a vote for our children’s future.

John D. Krukoff
Elburn planning commissioner

Letter: SG Library candidates open house

Sugar Grove Library Trustee candidate Ed DeBartollo and write-in candidate Pat Graceffa invite voters to a candidates open house on Sunday, March 24, at the Sugar Grove Community House, 151 Main St. in Sugar Grove, between 1 and 3 p.m.

All local candidates are invited to attend and bring their campaign materials. This is an opportunity for voters to meet the people they are voting for and ask the questions they have regarding their community.

If you cannot attend but wish to find out about Ed and Pat, visit www.patgraceffa.com for information and a demonstration that shows how to write in a candidate’s name on your ballot.

Remember, you can vote for two candidates in this race.

Ed DeBartollo
Montgomery
Pat Graceffa
Sugar Grove

Letter: A thank you to those who made ‘Knight of Fun’ a success

On Saturday, March 9, the Kaneland Sports Boosters hosted our annual spring fundraiser, “Knight of Fun” Trivia Night and Silent Auction. I am extremely humbled to write that over 60 companies, businesses and individuals contributed to the fundraiser, and over 150 supporters attended to help raise over $9,000 to help support the Kaneland sports programs.

The purpose of the Kaneland Sports Boosters is to provide our athletes and coaches with the “extras” that the school budget cannot fund. Each year, the Boosters provide tens of thousands of dollars of raised funds to enhance our sports programs at Kaneland High School and Kaneland Harter Middle School. Over the past year, we have purchased: new bench shelters for Kaneland soccer; new goal posts at Peterson Field; a new sound system in the KHS gym; ImPact Concussion Assessment software for all high school athletes; a new pole vault pit; standards and mat system; new wall mats for the main gym; new basketball backboards for the main gym; lodging and transportation for our State-qualifying athletes and teams; and many other important equipment needs.

Additionally, we make an annual $1,000 donation to Special Olympics and award four $1,000 scholarships awarded to graduating Kaneland seniors.

None of these funding needs would be met without the generous support of our “Knight of Fun” supporters. We would like to thank the following supporters for their contributions and help at the “Knight of Fun” Trivia Night and Silent Auction: Anderson Fitness Studio, Aquaviva Winery and Market, Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Big Bob’s Flooring, Bliss Creek Golf Club, Bootlegger’s, Calamity Jane’s, Carolyn and Mike Komel, Casey Crosby, Cathy and Mike Peters, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cindy Miller, Crown Community Development, Debbie Clinton and Shaklee, Debbie Richards and Big Fat Soap, Delnor Health and Wellness, Division One Fitness, Doug and Jeanette Jorgensen, Dr. Harry and Cheryl Krauspe, Elburn Car Wash, Elburn Liquors, Goodenough & Sons, Harner’s Bakery, Harris Golf Cars, Hughes Creek, Kane County Cougars, Kaneland High School sports teams and coaches, Kaneland Harter Middle School sports teams and coaches, Laurie Hannula, Leyden Electric, Linda Kelley with the KHS Athletic Office, Mardi Gras Lanes, Mari Johnson, Mark Bushnell with Trotter and Associates, Massage Envy, Matt Hernandez/Waste Management, Nora Fleming Company, Old Second Bank, Out’n About Dog Care, Paisano’s Pizza, Papa G’s, Pat and Dan Graceffa, Pepsi Co., Prairie Farm, Ream’s Elburn Market, Renee Rodriguez and “Let’s Talk Cafe,” Scott and Melanie Kuhar, Shanne Kuipers, Sign FX, Slamans Construction, Snap Fitness, State Representative Kay Hatcher, Sugar Grove Park District, Sweet Treats, Synergy Kettlebell, Village Liquors, Willie and Donna Bishop, Wiltse’s Landscape and Lawn Care, and the many Sports Booster members who committed long hours to making this event a success.

On behalf of the Kaneland Sports Boosters and the Kaneland High School and Middle School athletes and coaches who receive the funding for their sports programs, we would like to say thank you. We could not have done this without your generous support.

Ryan Delahanty
President, Kaneland Sports Boosters

Letter: In support of Graceffa for SG Library Board trustee

I am writing in support of Pat Graceffa for a six-year trustee position on the Sugar Grove Public Library Board of Trustees.

For most people reading this letter, Pat Graceffa will need no introduction or endorsement. She is the past president and the long-time driving force behind our Sugar Grove Library Friends group, a group that has provided tens of thousands of dollars of assistance to our library in recent years.

Other than the library director, and perhaps a few long-time members of the library’s board of trustees, no one has attended as many library board meetings over the past decade as Pat. She truly loves our library, and has continually worked to make it the best it can be.

Pat’s volunteer work in Sugar Grove extends well beyond her long-time, unusually active involvement with the library. She devotes much time to making our Corn Boil festival and our Farmers Market successful.

She is the unofficial Sugar Grove “Town Crier,” periodically sending her email community news blast to hundreds of folks who are interested in hearing what is going on in our wonderful community. Much of the news in her email blast promotes library events and information.

In recognition of Pat’s remarkable contributions to our Sugar Grove community, she was named the Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year in 2009—an extremely well-deserved honor.

Although I am writing this letter strictly as a private citizen, for the past several years I have had the honor of serving as a library trustee, and consequently I have been able to observe Pat Graceffa’s contributions to our library from that perspective as well. I have made the statement many times that there is no one on this planet that is more qualified for, or deserving of, a position on the Sugar Grove Public Library Board of Trustees than Pat Graceffa.

Due to an unfortunate turn of events, you will not find Pat Graceffa’s name listed on the ballot for the six-year trustee term. Rather, you will have to vote for her as a write-in candidate.

I urge all of my friends, neighbors and fellow residents of the Sugar Grove Public Library District to vote for Pat Graceffa for six-year trustee. For more information about Pat Graceffa and her write-in candidacy, please visit her website at www.patgraceffa.info.

Bill Durrenberger
Sugar Grove

Letter: A thank you from the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters and Knight of Performances Planning Committee

On behalf of the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters and the Knight of Performances Planning Committee, I want to express our gratitude to the many individuals and businesses that made our recent Knight of Performances Barbecue fundraising a success.

Thank you to many parents, family members and neighbors who attended our first, and hopefully annual, event; our caterer, BBQ Express of Somonauk; the many spectacular middle and high school student performers; Kaneland Harter Middle School for the use of the cafe for the event; Brian Kowalski, Lori Grant, Rebecca Andersen and Dan Zielinski for their ongoing support; all of the parents and students who volunteered to help at the event with their time and/or baking abilities; Joan Rule for her assistance; Aaron Puckett, Bryan Kunstman, April Rames and the administration for their support; and the Harter Middle School custodial staff.

In addition, Kaneland is fortunate for the generosity of the following businesses and individuals who donated items for our basket raffle: Bootleggers, Calamity Jane’s, Castle Bank, Chicago Bears, Bryan Kunstman, Chicago White Sox, Curves, Da Capo Music, Delnor Wellness Center, Andersen Plumbing & Heating, Dr. Harry Krauspe, All Things Art by Erin Livermore, Fireside Grille Restaurant, Lynfred Winery, A Salon, Hill’s Purple Store, Don Beebe House of Speed, Imperial School of Music, Jewel (Elburn and Sugar Grove), Kane County Cougars, Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, Lori Grant, Sara Mitchinson, Mitch and Carol Kida, Ninah Herrero of Bakeries Most Wanted, Old Second Bank, Jewelry by Paige, Paisano’s, Paramount Theatre, More Polish Pottery, Ream’s Elburn Market, RichWrap, Snap Fitness, St. Charles Gymnastics Academy, Stage Coach Theatre, Starbucks, Hair Director’s, A Nailology, The Art Box, 101.9 FM The Mix WTMX/Chicago, Thirty-One and Estrellita Uzagarra, Tom and Eddie, Trillium Health & Wellness, Walgreen’s (Elburn and Sugar Grove), Harris Golf Carts, Cheryl Krauspe, Bath & Body Works, and P&M Sewer and Water, Inc.

Last but certainly not least, we thank the parents and family members for supporting the band, choir and theatre programs at Kaneland. To quote Plato, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

Letter: A thank you to those who donated blood

We sent out an S.O.S. because someone urgently needed each of you. We deeply appreciated your response.

A thank you for the success of our blood drive goes to the Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, the Sugar Grove Fire Department, Heartland Blood Center staff and of our other volunteers who work so hard.

To our special donors goes a big thank you: Clayton Akey, Jane Alabastro, David Barnhard, Brian Carpenter, Paul Carter, Charles Crisci, Matt Curtin, Jon Diaz, Susan Diaz, Lee Drendel, Nancy Felella, Elise Fichtel, Kevin Filip, Mary Filip, John Girolamo, Carrie Guerra, George Hannemann, Dustin Hawkins, Louis Jaeger, Laura Keske, Tiffany Larsen, Ed Malert, Bonnie Mateas, Robert Matthews, Jacqueline McClellan, Sally McClellan, Nick Michels, Sean Michels, Pat Morey, Raymond Navarro, Patrick Perez, Bill Perkins, Jenny Perkins, Nika Plattos, Julie Scherer, Brian Schiber, Jen Schmidt, Dawn Simmons, Don Sommerville, Andrea Strobert, Chris Steenwyk, Jeff Steenwyk, Renee Tonioni, Michael Wilger, Julie Wilson and Annette Wood.

We deeply appreciate those who attempted but were unable to donate blood. The next Sugar Grove blood drive is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 9.
Joy Rubo
Blood drive coordinator, Sugar Grove

Letter: A message from Rev. Mark Harkness

This past Sunday during church, the announcement was made that I have been appointed to serve Walnut United Methodist Church beginning July 1.

Although I have a hopeful excitement for what this new appointment will bring, I will miss those of you in the Kaneville church and the Kaneville community. I look forward to our next few months together and the ministry that is still to be done.

As part of the appointment process, the district superintendent, during the next few weeks, will meet and converse with the Staff-Parish Relations Committee as she and the rest of the cabinet work with our bishop to prayerfully discern and appoint your next pastor.

Please pray for SPRC, Rev. Facemeyer and Bishop Dyck, as they do this work to which they’ve been called.

Rev. Mark Harkness, OSL

Letter: Concerns with the present day actions of the Kaneland School Board and administration

I could not help being disappointed to read the Kaneland School Board minutes of Jan. 14, 2013. I see administration recommended no significant cost containment measures would be needed in the 2013-14 budget development. Also was stated, no large scale manpower reductions were needed. Basis for both the above statements are in guidance of the PMA Financial Plan presentation of Dec. 10, 2012.

As the above statements are true, I really see little need for the FAC group to spend time making budget recommendations to the board. Looks like they have total confidence in PMA financial planning process. My concern with this position by the board is variations that exist from the PMA plan and the existing financial environment within our community.

Some variations from the PMA plan generating additional costs to the district:
1. Manpower: PMA projection 326.1 certified staff vs. actual 347. Manpower not presented in the plan is an additional 274-plus employees.
2. General State Aid foundation level currently $6,119 and funded at 85 percent allocation. The Aurora Beacon News on Feb. 13 reported 2012-13 GSA funding loss to Kaneland School District of $231,661 and $427,810 loss for 2013-14.
3. Salaries: PMA Assumption of FY14-18 at no annual salary increases except for teachers and retirement employees. KEA contract states teachers salary increase of 2.7% for 2013-14 plus open negotiations for 2014-15 are not presented in the PMA Plan.
4. Teachers Retirement System obligation is not included in the plan. ($223,000 per 1 percent). Michael Frances stated 1 to 9 percent could be transferred from a state responsibility to the School District’s responsibility. The School District is at 9 percent risk for $2,007,000 and unaccounted for in the PMA budget process. The state of Illinois could allocate the entire $22.3 million per year District 302 obligation to this local districts budget as rating agency pressures mount on politicians.
5. Kaneland School District cash reserves were not published by PMA Plan. Year-ending of fund balance of $8,820,167 for 2013 was presented. If this total fund balance or cash reserve is actual, why did the School Board raise our District 302 property taxes 3.83 percent when “no significant cost containment measures would be needed in the 2013-14 budget development”? Taxation-to-the-maximum culture is alive and well at our School District.

Existing financial environment within our community:
1. State of Illinois enacted General Fund Budget Plan for July 12, 2013, is appropriating $5.1 billion to Pension Contribution toward the $93 billion needed and $1.6 billion to Pension Obligation Bond Debt Service. The fiscal year ending plan is for the state to end with $3.97 billion overall budget deficit.
2. General Obligation Bond Credit Rating agencies downgraded state of Illinois to A- (one level above junk bonds). According to FITCH, “There is an irrevocable and continuing appropriation for all General Obligation debt service, and continuing authority and direction to the state treasurer and conptroller to make all necessary transfers from any and all revenues and funds of the state.” According to S & P, “The downgrade reflects what we view as the state’s weakened pension funded ratios and lack of action on reform measures intended to improve funding levels and diminish cost pressures associated with annual contributions.” According to MOODY’S, “Any meaningful pension reforms enacted in coming months are likely to be challenged in court, given the state constitution’s pension clause. This litigation threat and accompanying political pressures may once again deter action altogether or lead to reforms with little effect.”
3. Personal Savings Rate. State of Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability Edward Boss, Jr., Chief Economist January 2013. Mr. Boss states, “Savings as a percent of disposable household income, that is money that households have available for spending and saving after income tax payments, has reached the lowest levels in the past 60 years with no improvement expected in the next few years.”

Now that I have shared my concerns with the present day actions of the Kaneland School Board and administration, I find myself searching for some logical and participative path to make some positive difference toward reducing financial risks. It is becoming more clear, the School District will not attempt cost containment programs as an example of fiduciary responsibility. On the contrary, please interpret the act of forced taxation investment into the School District is at least equal to the resultant lack of savings for tax payers who are scraping for disposable income.

Jerry Elliott
Aurora

Letter: Sugar Grove to host blood drive

Winter is here, and what a reflection it is on blood supply shortages. We need your help SOS. Please strongly consider donating blood on Monday, March 4. Each day, the shortage of every given blood type changes. Someone urgently needs each of you.

The Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, along with the Sugar Grove Fire Department, will host a blood drive at the Fire Department, 25 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove. You may donate from 3 to 7:30 p.m.

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Call Joy at (630) 466-7190 or Kathy at (630) 466-4634 for further information or to make an appointment.

You are donating the “gift of life.” We thank you for making a difference, and deeply appreciate your much-needed blood donation.

Joy Rubo
Blood drive coordinator,
SG Firefighters Auxiliary

Letter: SG Library heads down path of change

Change is hard, but it is also good. The two newest elected Sugar Grove Library Board members have started our local library down the path of change, which was needed on this library board for some time.

Dan Herkes is a numbers guy, and without him grabbing hold of the finances, the library would never have made it through the last two years. Bill Durrenberger has embraced the Open Meetings Act and has brought order, transparency and fairness to board meetings.

The newest appointment of Anthony Oliver has brought an architectural background and contract negotiator to this team. Anthony has helped reduce costs and has kept on top of the maintenance of our building. We thank them all for their generous contributions of time and knowledge.

Hopefully the public chooses to elect Louise Coffman and Ed DeBartollo to join the board in the April 9, 2013, election. Their backgrounds in accounting and marketing, respectively, will round out this new board’s circle of expertise. Ed is a Montgomery resident who lives in the part of Montgomery served by our library.

Over the last several years, there has been some controversy regarding the Sugar Grove Library and its leadership. The library was put through unnecessary turmoil and a terrific waste of tax dollars. Hundreds of Sugar Grove Library District residents came to meetings and made their feelings known.

Thank you to all of the library supporters who came to those meetings. Never, ever let anyone tell you that speaking out at any board meeting is not good for our town image. Boards think that people don’t care because very few taxpayers show up at meetings. It is really just the opposite. Residents trust local boards when they are doing the taxpayer’s business fairly, but cross the line, and believe me—you will see people at your meeting.

As a resident, never be afraid to voice your opinion to any of our elected leaders. It is your right and, more importantly, your obligation to do so whenever you think local governed boards are not doing the job they were elected to do for our districts.

Pat Graceffa
Write-in candidate,
Sugar Grove Library Board

Letter: Hultgren, Durbin need to help with Kaneville Post Office issue

I am writing this letter to inform you that the USPS has succeeded in reducing our little country town of Kaneville’s post office hours to four hours a day. Effective Feb. 23, the new hours will be 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The USPS is giving no consideration to the man who runs our post office now. He is highly efficient; he knows everyone, and makes sure everyone gets their mail correctly, even with the crazy Kaneville/Elburn addresses that confuse everyone.

Just recently, it was announced that the USPS will not have Saturday delivery at all, effective this August. Well, you might say, “What’s wrong with this? You still have your post office open.” This is the USPS’ first step in their plan to close our post office indefinitely. We lose our post office; we lose our identity; we lose Kaneville.

The post office is an important business center in our community. Many businesses rely on it being there. Our revenues are good. We have very little overhead unlike other post offices.

We called and repeatedly wrote letters to our congressman Randy Hultgren and Senator Dick Durbin, asking them for their help and guidance. Hultgren’s office said he has bigger things to worry about other than Kaneville’s little post office. Senator Durbin said he’s done his part; now it is time for the House of Representatives to act. Come on, gentlemen, let’s remember who put you both into office—the people. And those same people live right here in Kaneville, anxiously awaiting your help. Do something for the people of Kaneville. Help us. Give us a full-time postmaster. Do not cut our postal hours.

Please write or call congressman Hultgren and Senator Durbin and ask them to be accountable. Keep our small town alive.

Pat Hill
Kaneville

Letter: Where is the accountability regarding Kaneville Post Office hour reduction?

In an infinite display of their arrogance the U.S. Post Office has announced their first round of post office closings and service reductions here in Illinois, and Kaneville’s post office hours are scheduled to be cut by 50 percent in the USPS’ very first round of cuts.

Where is the accountability? Apparently, they have ignored our logical, polite and well-documented reasons and requests for delay or reconsideration of the Kaneville Post Office service cuts. They are doing this because they can, because there is no watchdog, no path for citizen appeal. That fact can be demonstrated: Kaneville’s questionnaire response was overwhelmingly high and in opposition to the service cuts (the USPS found our response remarkable. It made no impact).

We wrote letters to the regional postmaster. We received form letters in reply. Form letters that did not address our specific concerns and our unique situation.

We called, wrote letters to and visited the office of our U.S. Congressman, Randy Hultgren. Our letters went unanswered. Some of our visitors and callers were met with rude responses. “Is this about the post office? Again?” “He has more important things to work on” (they said that).

We wrote letters to Senator Durbin. He replied, and we thank you, senator, for your efforts to keep good-paying jobs from leaving Illinois. In his letter to me, Senator Durbin said the Senate passed a bill to save U.S. Post Office jobs, and “now it’s time for the House of Representatives to act and pass legislation allowing the USPS reforms to begin” (This is why it’s still important to continue to lobby Congressman Hultgren).

Where is the accountability?

Here are some facts, which we shared with the above people.
1. We asked all of the above people, “If you cannot reconsider Kaneville’s 50 percent hours cut, how about only 20 percent hours cut. And at the informational meeting, The Postmaster of Huntley stated, “These cuts will begin in February, but not every office will be cut right away. The cuts will continue over the 2013 year.” So why are we first?
2. We explained that our community has provided substantial financial support to maintain the office: very low rent, and building improvements. The overhead in the Kaneville Post Office is enviably low. Kaneville’s Post Office is profitable. Keep it open full time. Otherwise, Kaneville business will be done in other branch offices at a higher cost.
3. Our revenues in Kaneville are good. We are not the problem. If we are allowed to remain open full time, our Kaneville Post Office will be part of the solution.

Speaking of revenues: The U.S. Postal Service is not crediting Kaneville’s Post Office with all of the revenue that is serviced in Kaneville. They have decided that Kaneville’s Post Office is expendable, and they are now fudging the numbers—inaccurately—to fulfill that self-prophecy. This is incompetency.

Here are some facts: I spend more than $500 every month on online postage, which is tied to Kaneville’s Post Office, where it is dropped off daily. Only 10 percent of this postage is counted toward Kaneville’s revenue. This information was given to me by Janemarie Hoekstra when she was the postmaster in our town. Because of the post office’s pricing structure, online discounts “force” us, the large-volume package mailers in our town, to use online postage. It will be devastating to our small businesses if we are forced to go to another post office to drop packages that need to go out “today.”

In the same way that the Postal Service designed the community review process with only three unacceptable choices, they have now designed the methods for counting our revenues in a way that does not reflect the full utilization of our office.

Where is the accountability?

What can we do? We can do something. We must continue to speak up. The Kaneville address exists only if we have our Post Office, and it is an important business center in our community.

Once again, please write letters. Let’s make it a postcard campaign. Tell them, “We are appealing your decision to cut the Kaneville Post Office Hours by 50 percent on Feb. 23. Please reconsider. Delay (or cancel) these service cuts until later in the year, after a second review of our revenues and profitability. Give Kaneville a full-time postmaster, as our revenues and our service warrants this. If you must cut hours, give us seven hours a day.”

Send your postcard to: Derek Strissel, The Postmaster of Huntley, 11013 N Woodstock St., Huntley, IL 60142. Send postcards or letters to Congressman Hultgren and Senator Durbin, as well.

We can make a difference.

Joann Murdock
Kaneville

Letter: Fine Arts Festival’s 14th season rolls on

KANELAND—After a spectacular start with the fourth annual Lee Murdock Hometown Concert, featuring guest star Anne Hills, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival’s 14th season will continue to be an outstanding one.

This year, we invite you to participate in a fine arts activity within the Kaneland School District as we support the spectacular music, art and drama programs throughout the district. In addition, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival (KCFAF) will institute what we hope to be the first annual KCFAF Artist in Residence program. Funded by a grant from the Kaneland Foundation, the KCFAF Artist in Residence program brings an artist into the schools to partner with art teachers and students to inspire creation at every level. This year’s artist in residence is Eric Nye, a visual artist from Chicago.

Mr. Nye will be an artist presenting at the 14th Annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, April 21, where schools will show the progress that they are making working with Mr. Nye in their classrooms.

Tickets are still available for the Cavern Beat concert, which will take place at the Kaneland Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. The Cavern Beat is often compared to the jukebox for sounding so much like the real thing. Performing the music of The Beatles true to their records, every performance is as outstanding as the next, with vintage instruments, amplifiers and authentic suits in the famous Fab Four style for full effect. It is the band’s mission to replicate and bring back to life the excitement of the original recordings and live performances from the Cavern Club era onward.

This year, the Cavern Beat will be joined by choir members from the Kaneland Harter Middle School’s Midknight Special. Tickets are currently on sale at www.kanelandartsfestival.org. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens. There is no charge for preschool-age children.

Adults should mark their calendars for the fourth annual Fine Arts Feast and Silent Auction, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Fine Arts Feast raises money for the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival’s events and programs, including the second annual KCFAF Fine Arts Scholarship, given to a graduating senior going into the fine arts. The fourth annual Kaneland Summer Theatre Production will be announced at the feast. Open Range Southwest Grill Restaurant in Sugar Grove generously sponsors this event by providing the delicious food and lovely Pine Room for the evening.

The cost to attend the feast is free; however, throughout the evening, there will be an opportunity to hear from the committee members of the KCFAF and donate to the Fine Arts Festival through a free-will offering. A silent auction will also take place. This event is only for adults. RSVPs can be sent to maria.drippspaulson@kaneland.org.

Lastly, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival is always looking for volunteers. Consider signing up for one of our upcoming events through our festival sign-up program, www.signupgenius.com. Laura McPhee, volunteer coordinator for the KCFAF, will post events on the Sign Up Genius website. You’ll also find events to sign up for, including ushering, working in the box office, serving refreshments and many more jobs that make the Festival’s events a success.

Harter Middle School and Kaneland High School students can receive CORT and GIVE hours for their time working with the Festival. Questions should be emailed to laura.mcphee@kaneland.org.

Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival

Letter: Thank you to the Elburn Lions Club

I had one of the surprises of my life on Saturday, Jan. 19, when I was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellow Award by the Elburn Lions Club. This letter is to say thank you to the Elburn Lions Club for this recognition and also all that they have done for me, my family and the extended Elburn community over the years.

I have tried to extend the principles of Lionism that I have learned in Elburn to the other activities that I have been fortunate enough to be involved in. It was back in 1975 that I became a member of the club, and I was sponsored by Bill Callaghan. Then, as now, the club has had great leadership. Thank you, Lions, for this recognition and for the opportunity to serve.

Jim Michels
Elburn