Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Time to rebuild our democracy

Wake up America. This election period we are in is one of the most important times in our recent history. We are being governed by the most liberal, and may I say, socialistic-minded people I ever can remember.

And just so you know, I remember FDR very well.

We are losing our American freedoms piece by piece, and we are responsible for this because we have not paid close enough attention to those governing us.

A word, now, to those who do not vote in primaries. You are a big part of where we find ourselves. We have many really capable, creditable and skilled conservative candidates from which to choose to lead us.

My advice, start researching these candidates on the Internet. Find out what they have done in politics, how they have voted. Discover their business practices and how that might affect your vote.

I’m tired of hearing “I don’t like to declare my party.” Are you ashamed to declare? If you don’t declare in primaries, you get other people’s choices.

This election allows you the chance to take back your American freedoms. I have attended some very good political forums and have met some very accomplished candidates face to face. From there, you get a fresh picture of them instead of the sound bites found on their brochures. Take advantage of these free opportunities.

Do your homework, study the issues and vote on Feb. 2. We need to rebuild our democracy.

Richard H. Sharp
Geneva

Letter: Vote ‘Yes’ for the Sugar Grove Public Library

My wife Jan and I moved to Sugar Grove five years ago to be closer to our daughters and their families. We are both from small towns in Michigan and enjoy the small-town atmosphere of Sugar Grove. We have become active in many volunteer activities in and around our town.

We are volunteers at and very active users of the Sugar Grove Library, and have been dismayed at the repeated failures of referendums to increase the funding of its operations.

We now have a magnificent new facility in operation. The staff cannot be surpassed in their devotion or skills in helping patrons.
The programs being offered are very valuable. Jan and I attended the Super Couponing session recently, and have already saved many dollars from what was learned there. We are registered to attend the CUB session regarding our phone bills/usage, and expect to save money from that session. Where else can you get such knowledge at the sticker price of zero?

We are urging a “yes” vote on the referendum to increase the funding for operating the library on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The savings we will experience from the two sessions at the library will more than pay for the increase in our taxes.

Notice the number of cars at the library on any day. Many more than at the old location. We have heard that since opening, the library has gained many members. This is great, and if we all support the referendum, the library will greatly expand its services, benefiting the entire community.

Vote “yes” on Tuesday, Feb. 2, for the benefit of yourselves, your children and your grandchildren.

Bob Carroll
Sugar Grove

Letter: Sean Michels—the truth

I would like people to know that on Oct. 24, 2009, my husband asked me if it was all right if he ran for the Illinois State Senate. I was not shocked, because I knew he always had this idea in mind.

I want to make it clear that Sean was not asked by anyone to run. It was always an aspiration of his, and anyone who knows Sean well, knows that about him. Sean knew full and well that his being village president, and his dad’s firm being the village engineer, would come up. Did you think he wouldn’t?

The truth of the matter is, Engineering Enterprises Inc. (EEI) was the engineer of the town before Sean came into office. In no way did he steer or vote his board into keeping EEI as village engineers. He would not have been able to run for village president if the lawyers hadn’t done their job and saw that it was not a conflict of interest. Nor would he have been re-elected three times if the voters thought it was an issue.

On the Mallard Point issue, that subdivision was built before Sean became village president.

My husband is a good and honest man who has the people’s best interest at heart. He does his very best every day to make the people around him happy. That is why he works well with his constituents. He is the kind of man who says “hi” to everyone, asks how they are, and congratulates his kids’ classmates for a job well done at their sporting events; and he truly means it. Sean shares on similar issues with his opponent, but the difference is he works well with others.

As you can see in the papers, the only thing his opponent can find to make you question Sean’s integrity has no standing. It is not even an issue. If it was, he would have brought it up years ago. He knows Sean and his family and knows they are good people. Why else would he have taken campaign money from my father-in-law four years ago and send us an invitation to his Porky Pig fundraiser in August?

Would you vote for a man who uses intimidation to get votes? I won’t.

After 17 years in office, it is time for a new voice.

Every word I just wrote here is the truth; if it wasn’t, I would not be able to sleep at night.

Valerie Michels
Sugar Grove

Letter: Chris Lauzen is a true conservative

I am writing to encourage voters to remember who their real friend and champion has been in the Illinois State Senate, and to encourage them to be sure and get out to send their message of support by voting in the Feb. 2nd primary election for incumbent Chris Lauzen.

A true conservative, Sen. Lauzen has consistently and honorably represented the hardworking families of his district. He pushes for what is socially and fiscally conservative, even when it means his fellow Republicans become unhappy with him. He is in no one’s pocket, except the taxpaying citizens who want the greedy corruption and “good ol’ boy” games in Illinois politics to end.

The records show that Lauzen has remained true to the people, and his many years of experience combined with his common sense values make him the best candidate to achieve an honest, financially successful state in the future.

I implore the voters of Illinois to make a serious effort to determine the facts for themselves, then to get out to the polls and do the right thing: keep Chris.

Donna Richardson
Big Rock

Letter: Chris Lauzen works to help keep us safe

As the mother of a beautiful, vibrant and very active 23 year old daughter who could have easily become a fatality statistic on our roads this past summer, I appreciate that Sen. Chris Lauzen is actively pursuing ways to keep our roadways as safe as possible.

I experienced a phone call at work that no parent ever wants to get. It went something like this: “This is the ER. Your daughter was in a car accident and we need you to come.”

Several years ago, Sen. Chris Lauzen was instrumental in securing the state approval and funding for the traffic light at Route 38 and County Line Road in Maple Park. Prior to installation of the traffic light, it was a two-way stop where drivers had to cross or turn onto Route 38, where the speed limit is 55 mph. This was an extremely dangerous intersection, especially as children traveled to and from the Kaneland schools campus.

Within the past year, Sen. Lauzen again helped with the safety of the community with the four-way flashing stop sign at the corner of Route 38 and Meredith Road. Unfortunately, fatal accidents had occurred at this corner. Because of Senator Lauzen’s persistence, the intersection is safer for all drivers, especially the teenage drivers and school buses traveling to and from the Kaneland schools located on Meredith Road.

Improved safety on roadways is merely one example of how Sen. Chris Lauzen has continued to earn my vote.

Mary Gorecki
Maple Park

Letter: Sean Michels is an effective leader

I have had the opportunity of serving on the Sugar Grove Village Board with Sean Michels for more than 10 years.

Sean has been an effective leader of this community and moved Sugar Grove forward. Sean is willing to invest the time that is necessary to get the job done.

There have been times when we have not seen eye-to-eye on an issue, but Sean is always willing to listen and work with others to get the job done. Sean values teamwork and consensus building. The ability to work with others to accomplish the goals of this district is key to bringing the necessary tax dollars back to our communities.

Mr. Lauzen likes to stress that he is a principled man and not willing to compromise. He has alienated many in his own party. By doing so, our district has suffered.

I say that to be an effective legislator for this district, it may be necessary to compromise one’s own personal principles to do what is best for the district as a whole.

Sean also knows that to move Illinois forward, we must cut spending and focus on making Illinois a more business-friendly state, thus increasing jobs and lowering unemployment. Please cast your vote for Sean Michels.

Mari Johnson
Sugar Grove

Letter: Questions remain regarding Sean Michels

“Simply Honest in Sugar Grove” is an informal grassroots group of neighbors pursuing the facts regarding why some homes in the Mallard Point subdivision are floating in water. This fact was confirmed by an outside engineer hired by the village: “If you turn off the sump-pumps, the basements will flood.”

Simply Honest is trying to uncover the entire sequence of actions, to find out if the builder and/or the village did not control this building correctly. The group has already gathered a file drawer full of factual evidence, and is organizing it.

Simply Honest in Sugar Grove, or SHISG, is a local government watchdog group. Its only tool is freedom of speech, an essential mechanism of democracy, and the best means to hold officials accountable to the people.

SHISG believes that the truth must prevail always against those that would suppress it by design, inadvertence or the use of deceptive strategies. It is not the purpose of SHISG to assassinate anyone’s character or defame them. My father, a man of considerable honesty, integrity and character, told me never to try to destroy the reputation of others; they were perfectly capable of doing that themselves.

Four founding members of SHISG gave the village of Sugar Grove a Freedom of Information Act request on Dec. 4, 2009. The village compliance officer responded by giving SHISG a PDF file named paymentsEEI010197-thru113009.pdf that showed that $8,703,665.37 was paid to Engineering Enterprises, Inc., a corporate entity whose agent’s and president’s name is James K. Michels, and whose secretary’s name is Carole Michels.

Apparently, James and Carole are the father and mother of our Village President, P. Sean Michels. SHISG has issued a second FOIA, will soon be issuing more facts as they are uncovered and organized.

Recently in Massachusetts, furious voters chose to upend the un-American and unethical relationships between special interests and those who represent them.

The remarkable hypocrisy and shamelessness of these close and obviously unethical relationships are why American voters are in revolt: The society of friends is undermining our democracy. We serve and protect whom? The voices and needs of citizens have been drowned out on every level, local, county, state and federal, by the bigger voices and the insular thinking of politicians influenced by lobbyists, banks, real estate moguls, industrialists and big business. They and other voters all across this great nation are simply not going to take it any more. Neither are we.

Voters are tired of having to leave the room to say the Pledge of Allegiance, tired of being told not to say “Merry Christmas” at work, tired of taking our shoes off at the airport while kindly 85-year-old grandmas are roughhoused, and tired of being told that the people who run our governments are experts whose judgment cannot be questioned. We are especially tired of the shameless and unethical connections of our elected officials to the companies and industries they support with public purchases or govern with governmental laws.

In the process, SHISG members have been told to mind our own business, asked who we are voting for, if we are acting as proxies for State Sen. Chris Lauzen in the upcoming primary, and so on.

Simply and honestly the answer is no. Mallard Point is not the only neighborhood in Sugar Grove with issues with the village. In my neighborhood, many of us received liens against our properties, and a few of us lost their homes, and a few others awoke to find that our homes were being auctioned off at the Kane County Courthouse the next day.

Is it perfectly acceptable, meaning legally, morally and ethically, for our Village President, P. Sean Michels, to preside while the money of Sugar Grove residents is being spent on engineering fees to Engineering Enterprises, Inc., if that cash ends up indirectly in the coffers of his family? To answer this question, I pose the hypothetical: If I were to give my father’s business $8.7 million of taxpayer money, and my father were to die, who would benefit? If he were to live, would I not benefit by sitting at his sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner? Would that be a prima facie case of lack of ethics? Could I sleep at night knowing that I have shown questionable ethics to the people who elected me?

P. Sean Michels is the chief officer of our village, and the village has paid his father’s corporation $8.7 million dollars of our tax money.

We in Sugar Grove and other communities in Kane County pay some of the highest property taxes on the planet. Are we getting all that we should, including the complete, honest, above-board ethical conduct of our village president, P. Sean Michels, or not? Has the Republican Party properly vetted P. Sean Michels, or has it once again stomped all over us by selecting one of the “society of friends? You decide.

JR Mooney
Sugar Grove

Letter: Sean Michels gets my vote

I admire Chris Lauzen for his strong moral character, his unwavering ethical code and his ability to communicate effectively with his constituents. Unfortunately, that hasn’t gotten the job done.

I have known Sean since we were children. I have also had the pleasure of serving with him on the Sugar Grove Village Board for four years and know he also possesses a strong moral compass and a passion for serving the people to the best of his ability.

What makes the difference is Sean understands the importance of consensus building and compromise in bringing things forward. These are essential components to get the job done. Chris Lauzen, on the other hand, has earned the reputation as being inflexible.

It’s time for a change. Sean has been endorsed by The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun Times and has the support of seven local mayors and several County Board members. He’ll also get my vote Feb. 2 for 25th District Senate.

Mary Herra Heineman
Sugar Grove

Letter: Mark Kirk: Wrong for Illinois, wrong for America

Feb. 2 is an important day in Illinois politics. The impending primary elections are a chance for Illinoisans to do something right and try to prevent another horrible senator from being sent to Washington in our name.

Considering we’re the state responsible for Carol Mosley Braun, Dick Durbin and Barack Obama going to D.C., I’d say we have some significant penance to pay to the country.

We have a chance during primary season to take the first step toward fixing that problem by voting a real conservative as our Republican nominee. This is a contest between squishy political opportunist Mark Kirk and some lesser-known candidates, such as conservative businessman Patrick Hughes.

The political establishment will tell you the safe thing to do is pick Mark Kirk as the Republican nominee, because he has “the best chance to win.” We’ve been fed this line for years; vote for the moderate, as long as he has an “R” next to his name, because they have a better chance to win.

That’s what they said about presidential nominee John McCain. A year and a half later, we’ve lost millions of jobs and our national debt is piling up faster than a caviar bill at a Democrat fundraising party, because we have a radical president who is taking the country in a direction that anyone who understands it is completely against.

Why? Because we sacrificed convictions for political expediency and chose McCain as our nominee, as he had “the best chance to win.” I voted for someone else in the primary, in fact, but Illinois did overwhelmingly vote for McCain. Obviously, he lost handily to the Obama Machine.

Mark Kirk is no conservative and should be ashamed to claim that title; he does not deserve our vote. Let me give you a few examples of Kirk’s travesties as a representative in Congress.

Kirk’s pro-life credentials are non-existent. He has a lifetime rating of 100 percent from NARAL, a radical pro-abortion organization. Kirk shares this rating with other prime examples of liberal politicians, including Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and, yes, Barack Obama. To give you some comparison, liberal Harry Reid, the Democrat Senate majority leader, is more pro-life than Mark Kirk. Kirk has twice voted “no” on making it a crime to harm an unborn child during another crime and voted no on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions.

When it comes to the economy, Kirk is similarly wrong with his votes. He voted to give more money to Obama’s useless stimulus package and the equally ineffective Cash for Clunkers program. He also was one of just eight Republicans to vote for the economy—destroying Cap and Trade bill, which will levy unprecedented taxes on businesses and massacre jobs, especially in manufacturing and agricultural industries that are the lifeblood of our state.

Kirk is also radically anti-second Amendment, proving repeatedly that he does not have any respect for gun owners or their rights. Kirk wants trigger locks and to enforce the restrictive Brady Bill, and the National Rifle Association gives him a lifetime rating of D, indicating a very anti-gun voting record. With gun control likely on the horizon for the Democrats in Washington (please Google “new gun bill” and read about H.R. 45), we need a conservative who will stand up for our rights.

On social issues, Kirk once again sides with Democrats. He voted with Democrats to override President Bush’s vetoes of the SCHIP program and an expansion to Medicare (both expansions of government control of healthcare and severely fiscally irresponsible bills). He also is a member of the global warming alarmist community and has voted repeatedly against bills that would improve our energy independence, including the Bush/Cheney energy policies and voting against drilling in ANWR. He also has stated his belief in supporting the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (which is complicated but suffice it to say, the UN is running it so it’s very bad for the USA).

Kirk is out of touch with Illinois and out of touch with Republicans. He does not understand who we are or what we need. His representation of the wishes of the 10th Congressional District has been bad enough; let’s not make the mistake of giving him a chance to represent the whole state.

We need to stop listening to the pundits who tell us certain races aren’t winnable. Patrick Hughes can absolutely beat whatever Democrat nominee is put forward. As I write this, the Democrats are still reeling from the defeat they suffered in the Massachusetts special election for Teddy Kennedy’s old seat, which was won in a stunning upset by Republican Scott Brown last week. If Massachusetts, the bluest of the blue states, can elect a conservative Republican, so can we.

When you vote for a Representative or a Senator, you expect them to carry out your wishes. Nothing is worse than watching someone you voted for doing the exact opposite of what you want to see them do.

That’s the problem with Kirk. He’ll take your vote, sure, but he’s not listening to you. He’s going to do whatever is politically expedient, because he’ll know he doesn’t have to answer for anything for six years.

We need principled leadership in Washington, leadership that will stand up to the Democrats’ radical agenda and not be another pawn in Harry Reid’s army. I want a Senator I can count on.

I cannot count on Mark Kirk, and neither should you. Please vote Patrick Hughes on Feb. 2. Show America Illinois still has some dignity; if Massachusetts can do it, we can do it.

Ian Essling
Elburn

Letter: Chris Lauzen deserves our thanks, and our vote

It really upset me when I heard Chris Lauzens’ opponents say that State Sen. Chris Lauzen has “done nothing for the community.”

My family and I moved to Maple Park seven years ago. I remember when the intersection on Route 38 and County Line Road was a two-way stop. At times I had hard times navigating that intersection. It’s a wonder there weren’t more tragic accidents with school buses, young and older drivers.

Chris Lauzen made it possible for our community to obtain that stop light. Chris Lauzen was also instrumental in getting a four-way stop at another dangerous intersection in our community, Route 38 and Meredith Road.

Over the years, there have been countless roadside memorials set up to honor people who have perished at that intersection. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a new roadside cross at Route 38 and Meredith.

My wife and I have children of driving age, and we feel our children are much safer with these improvement. I want to say “Thank You” to Chris Lauzen for doing so much to improve the safety of our small community.

Peter Filipos
Maple Park

Letter: KC Conservative Coalition announces endorsements

The Kane County Conservative Coalition was founded in 2002 to “support men and women for public office who best represent conservative social and fiscal values while conducting themselves ethically and responsibly.” We are filed current with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Next Tuesday, Feb. 2, voters in Kane County will be making important decisions. Do not be fooled by the rhetoric of candidates. You must research their political, business and personal records to make sure that they have the required credibility and integrity to represent you and your family in Geneva, Springfield and Washington DC.

With that in mind, the Kane County Conservative Coalition endorses Adam Andrzejewski for Illinois Governor, Jim Dodge for Illinois Comptroller, Patrick Hughes for U.S. Senate, Randy Hultgren for Congress 14th District, David Akemann for Kane Resident Judge, David J. Rickert, CPA for Kane County Treasurer, Chris Lauzen for State Senate District 25, Keith Wheeler for State Representative District 50, Melisa Taylor for Kane County Board District 5, T.R. Smith for Kane County Board District 25.

Jon A. Zahm
Kane County Conservative Coalition
Maple Park

Letter: Send someone to Springfield to represent you, not party leadership

As we head into the last few days of the primary campaign, the Illinois Department of Employment Security has released the December unemployment statistics, and Illinois is still heading the wrong way: unemployment ticked up to 11.1 percent—the highest level in more than two decades.

The current 50th District State Representative hasn’t offered any bill, solution or idea to address the loss of 475,000 Illinois jobs since she announced her candidacy in July of 2007.

Back in November, I offered a specific plan to create jobs in Illinois which has been well-received by business leaders. I’m the only candidate in this race to put forth a real plan to address what is hurting Illinois families.

I am confident that you’ll want to send someone to Springfield to represent you who isn’t beholden to party leadership, special interests or the lure of a lucrative state pension. Instead, you can send a proven leader who has a track record of delivering positive results in business and in the community.

We are all aware that state government in Springfield isn’t working. When your state is unable pay its bills, is best known for pay-to-play corruption, and is consistently near the bottom of most important economic rankings, we need to take a different course today.

My name is Keith Wheeler, and I will earn your trust to be your Republican candidate for the 50th State Representative District of Illinois.

I look forward to serving you.

Keith R. Wheeler
Republican Candidate
State Representative
50th District

Letter: Where’s Foster?

I called Congressman Foster’s office in Washington, D.C., and asked about the current health care reconciliation process.

Specifically, I wanted to know how involved my representative was in these negotiations. Eventually I was transferred to a staffer named Kyle. Kyle told me Foster was not involved in the meetings. Fair enough; there is only so much room.

I asked how he was kept in the loop by the Democratic leadership about what was going on. Kyle told me that while there are caucus calls, “Congressman Foster knows as much about what is happening as you or I do by reading the papers and watching TV.”

I want to know where my representative stands on the issues. I want a congressman that will fight for me and carry my views to congress. This is why I am supporting Ethan Hastert. Ethan understands that we can fix health care without a government takeover. Ethan’s plan to improve transparency, increase competition and curb junk lawsuits to stop the practice of defensive medicine will hold the line on cost and create options for Americans.

Still, regardless of what side of the debate you are on, is Bill Foster the type of representative the 14th District should have in Washington? Someone who apparently cares so little about health care that he doesn’t demand input into the process? I would expect my congressman to be spending a lot of time getting details, talking to other congressmen and committee heads, making sure the view of his constituents was heard.

Where’s Foster? I guess he doesn’t think this is important enough to get involved.

Kent Alcott
Batavia

Letter: Ethan Hastert is a clear choice

Ethan Hastert is the best candidate for congress in the 14th District. We need to get rid of Bill Foster, and Ethan is the only one who can do it.

He has established a large organization with the means and ability to win. Ethan is a strong conservative who will fight in Washington for lower taxes, less spending, and an economic environment that will foster growth in the private sector.

Hastert has been campaigning for nine months longer than anyone else in the race. Though I was skeptical at first as to whether he could get the job done, he has convinced me he is the only one who can clean up Washington.

We have a clear choice in this election cycle: change vs. more of the same. We need the new direction that Ethan Hastert can give us.

Kelly Flesch
St. Charles

Letter: Chris Lauzen is my choice

This primary election I have decided not to vote for any incumbent candidate except for state Sen. Chris Lauzen.

Senator Lauzen is the best choice based on his integrity, experience and job performance. Not a hint of scandal or malfeasance, just a great job as our representative in the Illinois State Senate.

Clearly, Chris Lauzen is my choice for State Senator, and he should be yours as well.

Ted Rotzoll
Huntley, Ill.

Editorial: Ensure your charitable contribution helps

By now, we have all seen the devastating impact of the recent earthquake in Haiti, and countless individuals and organizations are trying to do their part to send money and aid to those suffering.

Unfortunately, there are also those who see this tragedy as a way to take advantage of those kind-hearted people who wish to help.

Additionally, it is possible that legitimate efforts to assist the aid effort could cause logistical problems, given the sheer size of the need and the volume of aid making its way to the ravaged nation.

To that effect, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has urged residents who plan to donate to earthquake relief efforts to be on the lookout for scams and to avoid fundraising efforts that may prove counterproductive at this time.

“At this time when the people of Haiti desperately need help, I want to encourage wise giving to make sure that donations go toward legitimate causes that will directly contribute to relief efforts,” Madigan said in a recent statement. “Unfortunately, it’s common to hear of fraudulent charities taking advantage of people’s generosity in the wake of catastrophes. Before sending money, Illinoisans should ask questions, gather information about the organization and donate only when you’re satisfied that your money will be used in an appropriate manner.”

Donors who are seeking to give to the Haitian earthquake relief efforts should be wary of requests for clothing, food or other in-kind donations, which may not be appropriate. Unless the charitable organization has the staff and infrastructure to distribute such aid, the donations may be more of a burden than a help. Ask the charity about their transportation and distribution plans. Be wary of those who are not experienced in disaster relief assistance.

For example, in our page 1A story on the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church effort to raise funds, collect items and support its ongoing mission to Haiti, the church is partnered with the American Red Cross and the United Methodist Commitee on Relief. The Elburn Walgreens’ effort to collect items is part of a partnership with the Evanston, Ill.,-based Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, which has worked out a plan with a major airline to transport items in the relief effort. The Kaneland High School fundraising drive to send aid to Haiti is working with the American Red Cross.

For those considering a donation of money or items to the relief effort, Madigan’s office suggested the following tips to ensure your efforts do not go to waste:
• Ask how much of your donation will go to the charity and how much will be used to pay fundraising costs. Solicitors must give you this information if you ask.
• Pay close attention to the name of the charity. Some fraudulent charities use names that sound or look like those of legitimate organizations to mislead you.
• Ask questions about the charity. Donate only when your questions have been answered and you are certain your money will be used according to your wishes. Ask questions like whether the charity is registered with the Illinois Attorney General’s office and what percentage of the money the charity takes in goes to fundraising, administration and charitable programming.
• Do not pay in cash. For security and tax record purposes, pay by check. Be sure to write the full official name of the charity on your check—do not abbreviate.
• Request written information. A legitimate charity will provide you with information outlining its mission, how your donation will be distributed, and proof that your contribution is tax deductible.
• Do not donate if the solicitor uses high-pressure tactics, asks for cash payment or insists on sending someone to pick up your donation. These are all hallmarks of a scam.

Madigan encouraged donors to report suspicious solicitations to her office’s Charitable Trust Bureau by calling (312) 814-2595. The Attorney General recommended that, whenever possible, keep notes detailing the date and time of the call, the organization’s name, and the name of the solicitor. She also suggested trying to remember the “pitch” as well as any other pertinent information.

The tragedy in Haiti has pulled both the best and worst from people; let us make sure that those who are part of the worst do not take advantage of those who are part of the best.

Letter: Chris Lauzen is a good man

I met Senator Chris Lauzen and his family several years ago. As my state senator, he is very responsive and personally returns my telephone calls.

But more importantly, Chris Lauzen is a man of outstanding character. No matter how much our society and people change, the eternal verities never change. They are such things as truth, honesty, integrity, character and loyalty. This man lives the eternal verities.

Please vote to re-elect Chris Lauzen to be our Illinois State Senator. He is a good man.

Joe Newton
Huntley, Ill.

Letter: Reflecting on the Kaneland ‘winter break’

The Christmas season has come and gone. We have rung in a New Year, and many of us have forgotten our glorious two-week break and are back in school mode. But one thing sticks out in my head, and that is the Friday before break.

First of all, we are no longer allowed to call it “Christmas Break;” it must be referred to as “Winter Break.” Alright, no big deal.

But then, this year, we read “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.” Christmas music was ringing through the hallways during some passing periods. Carolers were going down the hallway sing Christmas carols—stress on the Christmas.

I understand if the administration doesn’t want us to refer to the much-needed two-week break from school as Christmas break. Because during the Christmas season, Christmas is not the only holiday being observed. There’s Kwanzaa and Hanukkah as well.

All I’m saying is, if we can’t call it Christmas break, why are we able to go gallivanting around the hallways reading Christmas stories, or singing Christmas songs?

Kourtni Bingley
Sophomore
Kaneland High School

Letter: The father-son relationship in Sugar Grove deserves more scrutiny

Sean Michels is the village president of Sugar Grove. Engineering Enterprises Inc. (EEI) is a very large vendor to the village of Sugar Grove—to the tune of more than $8 million over a decade. Engineering Enterprises is owned by Sean Michels’ father .

EEI holds the key to building permits, and access to construction all over the village.

That is a very strategic position with substantial influence over private projects.

The work being performed here is largely “consulting,” not bricks and mortar type stuff, thousands of dollars to review a building permit.

This work and the payments are non competitive bid work.

A conflict of interest is formed when a party either has or has the potential perception of having positioned oneself in a position to influence decisions of their employer (the village of Sugar Grove) for “their” benefit. “Their” benefit certainly need not be constrained to direct benefit, a family relationship to the beneficiary is certainly enough to qualify.

In fact, let me paint you a picture of how one might interpret this.

Very rich men buy up land and make a deal with the village in the form of an annexation agreement.

The terms of the annexation agreement discount the permit cost to the developers, costing existing taxpayers many tens of millions of dollars.

By law and agreement, the village administration controls the deals, but also every step of compliance and permitting.

Influence is partitioned and transferred by the third party review of EEI; thus EEI exercises a considerable influence on the developers.

Those same developers may well have done business directly with Engineering Enterprises, in which case they are making direct payments to the oversight process in a form which is not subject to public examination and review.

Whether or not the developers have paid additional sums of money directly to EEI is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a conflict of interest occurred, but it is relevant to the extent to which the breach of moral trust has gone. It has already been irrefutably established that the family of the village administration has directly benefited by payments of vast sums of money from the organization with whom its members control.

Now building has slowed to a crawl. Sean Michels now seeks to become state Senator. OK, we have seen how he operates at the local level. Now he would “move up” to the next stage of political progression.

What benefits would be served to the “very rich men” who prospered by their local affiliation with the family; and how might the family, in its new-found position, organize itself? The moral pattern of behavior having already been established at the local level, an ordinary citizen still paying for the unfunded liabilities of the last deal (several thousand dollars per year per homeowner) might have a reasonable concern.

Conflict of interest is a nice term. It almost sounds like it could be an oversight or a trivial infraction, while in fact it is the only evidence the public will ever get to a massive fraud of this kind. If a man walks into a bank with a gun, the crime is clear.

If the family of a powerful politician is in the position to bag vast sums of money from the organization its members control, that position alone is a crime. Actually doing it—selling influence or somehow profiting from the position of conflict—is another crime.

The “potential of fraud” is all we can prove, because measuring “intent and influence” is impossible. “The potential for fraud” is the anatomy of political corruption. This is my personal opinion, not a legal opinion, but I don’t see how the public is going to get any closer to finding a smoking gun.

This is when my children say, “Mom said it was OK.” I expect Sugar Grove will say it was OK too. Both responses share the same twist on truth, first it can’t be OK, and second, when mom gets in the picture, the children have not been entirely forthcoming in their interpretation of the facts. Mom was not fully in the loop, the whole story was never told, no understanding was reached. I attempted to contact Mr. Michels and the city to discuss this, with no reply.

Jeff L. MacKenzie
Maple Park

Letter: In support of Barb Wojnicki, Jim Mitchell

As a member of the Kane County Board, I am writing to voice my support for two fellow board members who are up for re-election in the Feb. 2 Republican Primary.

Both of these board member’s districts abut my District 26, and I work with them on many issues.

Barb Wojnicki, District 15 (Campton Hills), and Jim Mitchell, District 9 (North Aurora), are both seasoned members of the board who work hard for their constituents and put in a tremendous amount of time in doing so. Both are independent of outside influence and are not afraid to take a stand on an issue.

I encourage voters to support them both for re-election.

Andrew Frasz, Elburn
Kane County Board—District 26

Letter: Keep an honest man in Springfield, vote for Chris Lauzen

On Feb. 2, voters have a rare opportunity to keep an honest man in Springfield. Illinois Senator Chris Lauzen (R-25th) is running for re-election.

Chris has always placed his constituents’ interests over his own. He has a proven track record. He will not sell us out to special interests. Nor will he lie to us—even when the truth hurts—to curry favor. And I can personally attest to his responsiveness to voters. He has promptly and personally responded each time I have contacted his office.

Unlike many others who falsely proclaim themselves to be “reformers” (remember Blagojevich’s campaign promises?), Chris Lauzen’s indisputable voting record demonstrates his genuine commitment to containing taxes, reducing spending and protecting the rights of Illinois consumers.

Examples abound. Long ago, Chris floated the “radical” notion that our state budget should use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to truthfully disclose the state’s financial condition. Two years ago, he voted against legislation that would further enrich wealthy liquor distributors at the expense of consumers.

And during all his time in public office, Chris has refused to compromise his integrity in the face of political pressure and threats from the power-brokers in his own party organization—the same ones who run the Chicago-Springfield “political combine” and have driven the state nearly into bankruptcy.

Our best investment for the future is to keep Senator Lauzen working for us in Springfield.

Al Buchanan
Elburn

Letter: In support of Sean Michels

I look at an elected official as a business development officer for a company. If the elected official brings money back, is visible in the community and works with others, that official should be re-elected.

However, if an elected official cannot produce a list of any significant accomplishments in 17 years, has not become a part of the leadership in his own party and does not work with local officials, I believe we should elect someone else.

That’s why I am not voting for Mr. Lauzen. He lists no significant accomplishments on his campaign material. What has he been doing for 17 years?

I will vote, and ask you to vote, for Sean Michels, state Senator.

Joel and Lisa Eaves
Sugar Grove

Letter: Court system needs experience, compassion of Robert Janes

As a life-long dog owner, I am always outraged when I read in the paper or hear on the news of someone abusing a dog. I am even more appalled when I find out the offender receives only a slap on the hand as punishment.

Judge Robert Janes, who is running for the 16th Circuit, is not a judge who takes this type of behavior lightly. A few years ago when a case of this nature was brought before him, he sentenced the offender to jail. Not a fine. Not probation—but actual jail time.

This ruling shows that Judge Janes has compassion for all living things. His ruling ensured that a lawbreaker was punished and hopefully will teach others that this type of behavior is wrong.

Please vote for Judge Robert Janes on Feb. 2. Both his experience and his compassion are needed in our court system.

Debbie Draus
Geneva

Letter: Vote for John Dalton, an honest man

Imagine that you’re in court, and the judge has just thrown out your case on a technicality. Afterward, in the hallway, you notice the lawyer who argued against your case chatting and laughing with the judge

“Old friends,” someone says, passing by.

John G. Dalton is a friend of mine. He’s running for the Democratic nomination for Kane County Resident Judge. He’s promised me that, if I ever come before him in court, he will excuse himself from the case. All I have to gain by endorsing him is an honest judge. That’s good enough for me.

John won’t take campaign contributions from lawyers, so neither your lawyer nor the lawyer arguing against your case will ever have that edge.

Don’t you want an honest judge on the bench? Then join me in voting for John G. Dalton for Kane County Resident Judge.

Frank Imhoff
Elgin, Ill.

Letter: David Rickert has served with distinction

As County Auditor, my office works closely with the County Treasurer in the county’s bill payment process. David Rickert, CPA, has served with distinction as County Treasurer since 1998.

His accomplishments are many and include:
• Consistent operation of his office under budget
• Established an investment bond fund that yielded over $400,000 during the first year of operation
• Reduced the risk of check fraud by implementing positive pay check disbursement
• Facilitated property tax payments by installing a 24-hour drive-up drop box and implementing a credit card/e-check online payment system
• Assisted with transparency in the property tax cycle by participation in the development of property tax guide and tax exemption information.

David Rickert has been honored by his peers as Illinois Zone IV County Treasurer of the Year. I have known Mr. Rickert to be an ethical professional and deserving of another term in office. Please join me in support of David Rickert as Treasurer in the Republican Primary on Feb. 2.

William F. Keck, CPA
Sugar Grove
Kane County Auditor

Letter: David Rickert has combination of necessary abilities

The Feb. 2 election day is fast approaching and I want to urge the electorate to make every effort to vote. My endorsement for the position of Kane County Treasurer is for David J. Rickert.

He has a unique combination of ability in finance, accounting and computers that is a real asset for our county.

Dave’s hard work and dedication have earned him my vote for re-election and I respectfully ask you to consider him highly when you cast your ballot.

John Barsanti
St. Charles
Kane County State’s Attorney

Letter: Kay Hatcher is most qualified for state Rep.

As the mayor of Montgomery, I join the mayors and village presidents of Batavia, Big Rock, Campton Hills, Elburn, Geneva, Maple Park, Millbrook, Minooka, Newark, North Aurora, Plano, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, Virgil and Yorkville supporting state Rep. Kay Hatcher.

I have had the opportunity to work with Kay as a business professional, community volunteer, local elected official and state representative.

As a spokesperson for Illinois Bell and Senior Services, she consistently proved her word is her bond. As an elected official, Kay has always spoken her mind and worked diligently for her constituents.

Kay has grown with the Fox Valley. As elected officials, we all have learned that difficult decisions must be made with the facts you have at the time. When decisions work well, she gives others the credit. When decisions prove other measures should be taken, she’s the first to shoulder the responsibility. That’s the real definition of a leader.

Kay Hatcher is, by far, the most qualified candidate to represent the interests of our communities in Springfield. She brings an experienced and needed voice of calm to the chaos that exists there today. There’s a reason she was named Legislator of the Year. She values results over rhetoric.

I’ll be voting to re-elect state Rep. Kay Hatcher Feb. 2. Please join me.

Marilyn Michelini
Mayor
Village of Montgomery

Letter: Sean Michels will make a difference

I was excited to hear that Sean Michels, candidate for state senator, is supported by my village president, Dave Anderson.

I found out that Sean has the support of a number of mayors: Jeff Schielke of Batavia, Kevin Burns of Geneva, Don DeWitte of St. Charles, Marilyn Michelini of Montgomery, Debbie Washburn of Virgil, and Valerie Burd of Yorkville.

Sean also has the support of retired state Rep. Patricia Reid Lindner, retired County Board Chairman John Church and retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice John Nickels. They are all tired of the same old talk and no action. Each of them want a state senator that will be a voice for our area.

Vote for Sean Michels for state senator, he will work with elected officials to make a difference in the area.

Chuck Liss
Elburn

Letter: D. J. Tegeler will make an excellent Circuit Court Judge

I am writing this letter on behalf of my boss, D.J. Tegeler. During the time I have known and worked with Mr. Tegeler, I believe he would be an excellent Circuit Judge in Kane County.

As an employee for Mr. Tegeler, I have seen the passion he puts into his work, whether he be at court on trial or at the office reviewing his client’s files. He is able to view any case with an open mind and be able to give a fair and just trial for anyone that walks through his courtroom door.

Again, it is my opinion that Mr. Tegeler would make an excellent Circuit Judge of Kane County.
Amber Steinke
Sycamore, Ill.

Letter: Keith Wheeler is the new type of leader we need

Recently I heard mentioned by Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels and 50th District State Rep. Kay Hatcher that they were instrumental in acquiring funds for the infrastructure leading into Sugar Grove hosting the professional women’s golf tournament, the Solheim Cup.

Don’t tell me that the only reason we got our roads repaired was because a major golf event came to the area. All of us taxpayers living in the western part of Kane County have had to drive on horrendously pot-holed roads for 20 years, and now all of a sudden they are fixed just in time for this event.

I am looking for new leadership to represent the average Joe Taxpayer. I am convinced that Keith Wheeler is that leader for those of us who live in the 50th District.

He is a successful small-business owner who knows how to make tough financial decisions. He has traditional values and common sense, which we rarely see in politicians. He is the right leader and the time to put him to work for us is now. I wholeheartedly endorse Keith Wheeler to be my next State Representative in the 50th District.

R.F. Winckler
Big Rock

Letter: D.J. Tegeler is a true professional

My name is Elsa Reinke, I am a resident in Geneva. I must say I have never written a letter taking a political position. However, I feel strongly compelled to do so at this time.

I am voting and supporting D.J. Tegeler in his race for Circuit Judge. I am writing this letter in hopes that this will reach the many wonderful people of Kane County who may not know Mr. Tegeler.

Mr. Tegeler is an outstanding attorney and has represented all branches of my family, from nephews, nieces, sister, brother-in-law, and of course myself, as well as my children. I have known many attorneys in my career and life, and Mr. Tegeler is one of a kind.

We have turned to Mr. Tegeler for our legal needs for more than 10 years. Mr. Tegeler goes above and beyond his duty as an attorney, and is a true professional. He is extremely honest and forthright in all he does. Mr. Tegeler gives his all to anyone who knows him. Mr. Tegeler’s legal knowledge goes well beyond my comprehension; he is well versed in all areas and has represented us in traffic court, divorce court and criminal court.

My entire family has always recommended Mr. Tegeler to anyone in need of a fair, honest, intelligent, well-liked attorney who knows the law and his business.

Elsa Reinke
Geneva