Kathlene G. Porter

Kathlene G. Porter, 61, of Elburn, went to be with her Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ, on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, at Provena Mercy Hospital in Aurora, Ill. She was born on Jan. 22, 1948, in Chicago, to Richard and Shirland Groh.

Kathy’s passion was for God, her family and her students. She never missed an opportunity to share the message of God’s love with others. Her faith and dedication touched countless lives, including her many kindergarten students at Parkview Christian Academy in Yorkville and her church family at First Presbyterian in Aurora. She cherished the time she spent with her family and loved ones, and constantly nurtured and supported them.

She is survived by her loving husband, Robert Porter of Elburn; parents, Richard and Shirland Groh of Roselle, Ill.; children, Vicky (Gary) Spratt and their children, Kailey, Ryan, Aiden and Casey, of Yorkville, and Brian (Jamie) Porter and their children, Kyle and Allison, of Batavia; siblings, Carol Fitzpatrick of Roselle, Chris (Tonya) Groh of Lima, Ohio, Nancy (Arnie) Lamoso of Cary, Ill., and Janet (Howard) Rosenbach of Huntley, Ill.; Robert’s siblings, Dorothy (Dick) Barclay of Montgomery, Mary (Oscar) Sliva of Galesburg, Ill., Kathy (Tim) Borgstrom of West Bend, Wis., Margaret (Roy) Wackerlin of Oswego, and Ginger (Jeff) Ellis of Aurora; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her son, Daniel Porter; father and mother-in-law, Robert and Jeanette Porter; grandparents, Sarah Crawford, Fred and Emma Groh; and niece, Amy Berkeland.

Services were held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, at First Presbyterian Church, 325 E. Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60506. The family greeted guests on Sunday, Jan. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., also at First Presbyterian Church.

Arrangements were handled by The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60506. For information, please call (630) 897-9291 or visit www.healychapel.com to sign the online guestbook.

Activities, staff reductions targets of proposed cuts

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—School activities and reductions in staff were among the cuts Kaneland officials brought to the board on Monday to reduce the district’s $2.6 million budget deficit for the 2010-11 school year.

The administration recommended the elimination of at least 10 teaching positions, 10 non-teaching positions and two administrative positions, spread out across the elementary, middle and high schools. In addition, the elimination of a number of programs, including competitive athletics in middle school, fifth-grade band and a number of other clubs and activities was laid out to eliminate the $2.6 million deficit.

Board member Deborah Grant reacted to the proposed elimination of the competitive sports programs at the middle school, which will be replaced with intramural programs.

“Going from competitive sports to no competitive sports,” she said. “It’s really hard to take.”

Board member Cheryl Krauspe complimented the administration on the tough choices they made in the proposed cuts.

“All of these are tough to take,” she said. “As ugly as the truth is, the model is well laid out, and it appears there was a very thoughtful process that was unbiased.”

The vast majority of the proposed cuts, totaling $1.4 million, will affect staff workload, due to class size adjustments, alternative ways to deliver selected services and the reduction of instructional supplies and administrative services, Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. Efficiencies gained in operational services made up $697,000 of the cuts.

Proposed budget cuts totaling $509,000 were identified through direct reductions or eliminations of student programs.

The initial cost-reduction plan Schuler presented on Monday outlined the cuts at a general level. The administration will provide more specifics about the proposed cuts, including dollar amounts attached to each item, at the next board meeting on Monday, Jan. 25.

Schuler said that they did not propose deeper cuts than were absolutely necessary to eliminate the deficit, so if there was a decision not to implement one of the cuts, they would simply have to find somewhere else to cut.

“Whatever we pull out of this package, we would just have to redistribute the pain a little differently,” District Superintendent Charlie McCormick said.

Board member Dianne Piazza wanted to know what alternative might be put in place to minimize the impact felt by students who need the after-school homework help.

“I can see how those reductions can impact the core (of the academic curriculum)” she said.

Board member Bob Myers noted that there were no wage freezes identified in the recommendations.

Following the presentation at the Jan. 25 board meeting, members of the community will have several opportunities to provide feedback and suggestions, and ask questions, Schuler said.

The Citizens Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday, Jan. 28, to discuss the initial cost-reduction plan. Following a short board meeting on Monday, Feb. 8, the administration will host a community forum, moderated by former School Board president Steve Bauserman. The public comment period of the board meeting on Monday, Feb. 22, will provide a last chance for community feedback prior to personnel actions taken by the board.

The administration will give its final recommendations to the board in March.

Survey finds high percent of A’s and B’s at high school

Report says data suggests 7-point scale does not put students at disadvantage
by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—In a recent study, school administrators found that nearly 50 percent of the students at Kaneland High School have an A grade-point average. Add the B grades in, and nearly 75 percent of the students are above average.

The study was conducted as an initial step in response to feedback from a number of parents in the community who asked the administration to change the school’s grading scale to make it more in line with other schools in Kane County.

Some parents said that Kaneland’s 7-point grading scale put the Kaneland students at a disadvantage when they were compared with other students from schools with 10-point scales. This could hurt them when being considered for college admissions, scholarship awards and auto insurance discounts, parents said.

In a 10-point scale, students with a score of 92 receive an A; with Kaneland’s 7-point scale, students need a score of 93 to receive an A.

Administrators conducted an informal survey of other high schools in the Western Sun Conference and the soon-to-be Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference; five of the seven schools that responded used a 10-point scale. One school left it up to each department to use either a 7-point or a 10-point scale, and another used an 8-point scale.

The survey, which looked at grade-point averages during the 2008-09 school year, found that a greater percentage of Kaneland students had an A average than the overall average of 37 percent, even though a majority of the other schools used 10-point scales.

In addition, the survey also found that the schools with the higher average of A students did not necessarily correlate with the higher ACT scores.

Although Kaneland fell third on the list in terms of A averages, its average ACT score of 20.9 falls below the average of 22 when all seven schools are included.

“The data shows there is a disconnect between grades earned and results when compared to performance,” board member Dianne Piazza said.

Administrators told the board on Monday that the initial data do not seem to support the suggestion that Kaneland’s grading scale puts the students at an unfair disadvantage.

Kaneland Superintendent Charlie McCormick said that since the administration has not reviewed at the grading scale since it was changed 15 years ago, their recommendation was to take another look at it.He said that the study should take place in the context of the curriculum department’s original plan to study grading criteria, purposes and philosophy.

The School Board voted 5-2 in favor of this recommendation.

McCormick also recommended that it follow Kaneland’s current policy that establishing a grading system is the responsibility of the administration and professional staff, and not a board decision.

“That’s why we have our curriculum directors and professional teaching personnel,” he said.

While some board members agreed that decisions about the grading system were better left to the professionals, others felt that decisions made internally would leave members of the community nowhere to go if they were still unhappy about the grading scale.

“We had a petition that came to the board,” board member Deborah Grant said.

Parents brought a petition to the board in October 2009 with 703 signatures from parents that asked the board to evaluate the current grading system this school year. The petition asked the board to consider changing the grading scale to a 10-point system rather than the current 7-point scale.

“I want our students to have the same opportunities that every other student in Kane County has, and that is a 10-point scale,” Grant said.

Board member Cheryl Krauspe said that she did not feel it was the right time to change the scale.

Board members agreed to table the administration’s recommendation for a later time.

Rising above a down economy

Metrolift succeeds despite market
By Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove-based Metrolift, Inc. President Rick Dahl credits his company’s successful journey through troubled economic waters to some strategic moves he made several years ago.

“The Chicago commercial construction market was at record levels until recently,” he said. “Two-and-a-half years ago, there were clear markers that the construction industry was too white-hot.”

Dahl said he saw the signs that it would not last. He began to see more slow-payers. Then he noticed formerly successful construction companies, such as Kennedy Homes, filing bankruptcy.

Two years ago, he began implementing cost-cutting measures. He asked his vendors to respond, and he asked his employees to work smarter, doing more with fewer resources.

While the business’ former focus was the rental of aerial lift equipment, the new direction of the company includes purchasing used equipment through auctions and banks, then fixing it up and remarketing it.

“It was good planning,” he said. “We stopped buying new equipment at the right time.”

In addition, he expanded his customer base outside of the Midwest by selling to contractors in states such as Montana, Nebraska, Missouri and North and South Dakota, where the construction industry was not as hard-hit. And Dahl said that home construction sales have actually increased recently in San Antonio.

Dahl said that his profitability goal for the past year was to make at least $1. He said he beat this goal, although he said his company is currently in the shaded gray, rather than “in the black.”

He said that 2009 was a challenging year overall, but the company has several bright spots to focus on. He explained that the wholesale division is doing extremely well, and that the rental and service businesses remain profitable despite shrinking revenues and declining rental sales.

He compared the previous business environment to farming, and said the current environment is more like hunting. He enjoys being a hunter, he said.

“I’m trying to grow in a down market. I’m more alive than ever now,” he said. “I’m wired for this. There’s so much more at stake now.”

Last winter, he recognized the need for additional space for his business. He recently added 30,000 square-feet in shop space and two acres of yard space adjacent to his existing location on Heartland Drive.

The Elburn resident opened his business in 1991, and moved his operations to Sugar Grove eight years ago. He had eight employees at the time.

At the time, his business was in tough shape and he was facing a crisis in his personal life, as well. Dahl said he turned the wheel over to Jesus.

Currently, he employs 46 people, most who live in nearby towns, such as Kaneville, St. Charles, Maple Park, DeKalb and Big Rock. His faith remains a large part of his life, and he said that God’s word leads the way for him and his business.

He regularly meets with a group of about 25 “corporate Christians,” CEOs who get together to encourage and challenge each other. One of the books he likes to hand out to people is called, “Business by the Book: The Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace” by Larry Burkett.

He said it is the people in his organization that keep him going. He said he enjoys seeing them develop and improve. Through the recent downturn in the economy, he has managed to keep everyone on board.

“We’re all relieved that we made it through another year,” Metrolift employee Kara Sanders said. “Everybody recognizes that Rick’s investments are adding to the vision of our company for our long-term future.”

Photo: Metrolift, Inc. president Rick Dahl stands next to his inventory of aerial lift equipment in one of his lots in the Sugar Grove industrial park on Heartland Drive. Photo by Susan O’Neill

2 Republicans vie for Kane Treasurer seat

Incumbent runs on record: challenger calls for efficiency
Incumbent Kane County Treasurer David J. Rickert will face challenger Bob Kovanic in the primary election on Tuesday, Feb. 2. No one is running in the Democratic race.

Photo: David J. Ricket (right) and Bob Kovanic (left)

David J. Rickert
Rickert is a Certified Public Accountant and is currently serving as the Kane County Treasurer. Prior to his election as treasurer, Rickert worked as a senior auditor for a Fortune 500 company. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve.

He said that his decision to continue in his role as Kane County Treasurer was based on his desire to continue to serve.

“I enjoy serving the citizens of Kane County,” he said. “As a Certified Public Accountant with a master’s degree in accounting and extensive computer knowledge, my background enables me to take a hands-on approach to monitoring the investments, the tax process and the financial accounting of the office. If re-elected, I plan to continue to bring my expertise and energy to making the office the best it can be and a model for others to follow.”

Rickert said his track record demonstrates his abilities with managing the county’s funds.

“Under my leadership, a diversified portfolio of government bonds, certificates of deposits, and overnight bank deposits has been developed that consistently out-performs the State of Illinois Money Market Fund (MMF) funds,” he said. “The bond fund for the county yielded more than $400,000 in additional interest income in its first year of operation.”

In addition to his focus on managing the county funds, he also strives to continually improve the efficiency of his office.

“Some of the most beneficial initiatives that I’ve undertaken to date have been joint efforts to increase efficiency,” Rickert said. “For example, a unified tax system that integrates the tax information from the Clerk, Supervisor of Assessments, and Treasurer’s Offices was implemented. This has reduced expenses and streamlined the process between the three offices.”

The offices also worked together to provide information on all aspects of property taxes that he said would be helpful to citizens, including adding an insert into each tax bill that provides useful information.

“The combination of working together and informing taxpayers about their options has been extremely successful,” Rickert said. “My plan is to keep the information current and increase these initiatives if re-elected.”

He said it was this track record that led to his recognition as the 2009 County Treasurer of the Year (Zone IV) by the Illinois County Treasurer’s Association. If re-elected, he plans to continue to expand on that record of accomplishment, he said.

“One focus for my next term will be continuing to promote teamwork,” he said. “Expanding on efforts to inform the taxpayers will also be a priority. A third main initiative will be to encourage transparency in government.”

The combination of success with managing the county’s funds, improving the office’s efficiency and promoting teamwork will be vital to the future, he said, because the challenging economy will require continued improvement.

“With the economy faltering, a big challenge for the office will be doing more with less,” he said.

In every year Rickert has served as County Treasurer, his office has remained under budget, he said.

“Due to the cost-saving measures implemented during my tenure, the Treasurer’s Office was able to comply with both a mid-year budget reduction and an end-of-year budget reduction that was mandated by the County Board,” he said.

Bob Kovanic
For Kovanic, who has a 25-year career in the private financial sector, the impacts of the difficult economy led to his decision to run for office.

“During the summer of ’09, I read several times in the newspapers and Finance Committee minutes how the incumbent treasurer, Mr. Rickert, fought against his budget being cut by the County Board,” he said. “In my opinion, given the current economic environment, all governmental departments should cut their budgets without an argument. If the taxpayers of the county need to tighten their belts to make ends meet, then so should government.”

He said that, at the time, he realized that if he were in office, he would not need to be told to cut his budget.

“I also thought to myself, ‘Why would any fiscally responsible elected official have to be told to cut their budget?’ I would certainly always do my best to save the taxpayer’s money,” he said.

Kovanic said his real-world experience would help him accomplish that goal of saving taxpayer’s money.”

Kovanic’s experience follows a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Bradley University and an MBA from Keller Graduate School. He served as a CFO and partner at TriMark Marlinn from 1984-2001, a senior financial analysit at Parmalat Bakery in 2002-03, a controller at PLM International from 2003-05, CFO at ReView Video from 2005-08, and is currently the owner of Padgett Business Services.

“I have 25 years of proven real world business experience working for profitable companies and making them better,” Kovanic said. “I am always searching for ways to improve operating efficiencies, not only with my own ideas but tapping into the true experts, the employees actually performing the daily tasks.”

Kovanic said he would improve the office by upgrading the Treasurer Office’s use of the Internet, improving office efficiencies and investing taxpayer dollars inside the county.

“(I would) use Cook County’s website as an example of what Kane County should have,” Kovanic said. “The Kane County Treasurer’s website does not make it easy to find out where to pay your taxes or how to use the Internet; this must be updated.”

He said that while he does not have a working knowledge of the procedures currently used within the Treasurer’s Office, he feels confident he can improve its efficiency.

“If the website is so outdated, I can assume the procedures are as well,” he said. “This is where my years of experience improving office efficiency can be very beneficial to the Treasurer’s Office.”

Kovanic said if elected, he would end the practice of investing taxpayer dollars outside of Kane County.

“I believe all taxpayers funds should be wisely invested within Kane County,” he said.

The biggest challenge facing the office is collecting property taxes, Kovanic said. To overcome that challenge, Kovanic suggests modernizing the website so that taxpayers can research where and how to pay their property taxes.

“Let’s make it easy for taxpayers to pay their tax online either through EFT, credit card, debit card, etc.,” he said.

If elected, Kovanic said he will not allow politics to influence his decision making.

“Honesty and working hard for the people of Kane County is the quickest and easiest way to gain the public’s trust,” Kovanic said. “I will work for the people of the county, doing what is best for them and not make decisions based upon was it best for the next election”.

SG Library asks for increase to operate new building

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Public Library will go to voters for a tenth time to ask for an increase in the operating-tax rate to pay for the operation of the new building, which opened in August 2009.

Although voters approved the increase in funds in 2004 to build the building, they rejected a referendum nine times to increase funding for operating the new building. Library director Beverly Holmes Hughes said that the money from the building fund cannot be used for library operations.

The referendum, which will be on the ballot on Tuesday, Feb. 2, will ask library district residents for an increase in the tax rate of 10 cents per $100 of equalized assessed value. For a homeowner of a $300,000 home, this would mean an additional $105 per year in property taxes.

When the operating expenses referendum did not pass in November 2006, library hours were cut from 58 to 47 hours per week. Some of the children’s programs and all adult programs were suspended, due to staffing, scheduling and budget restraints.

According to a Kane County tax computation report from March 2009, the Sugar Grove Public Library’s operating rate is one of the lowest in Kane County. At 9 cents per $100 of assessed equalized value of a home, it is only higher than one library, Maple Park, which has a rate of 5 cents per $100. By contrast, Elburn’s Town and Country Publi Library’s operating rate is 21 cents per $100. (See below for more complete list)

When the new building opened, the library continued to offer programs for young children. Meeting rooms were available to the public in the new building, as well as the Book Nook Cafe with food and drinks from the owners of the Catering Gourmets. Additional computers, a gift from the Jerry Rich family, were made available for children and adults, as well as computer classes.

The lack of adequate staffing levels to run the new building led to the decision to cut hours back further, to 41 per week. The library was closed on Sundays and Mondays, as well as Friday and Saturday afternoons.

Board President Art Morrical said that if the referendum passes, the number of hours the library is open will be increased by at least 20 hours, the collection of books and magazines will be expanded, and more programs will be offered.

According to Library Board member Sabrina Malano, the increase in the hours would add a couple more evenings that the library would be open for students, as well as more weekend hours. The additional programs would target older children, such as middle-school students and teens, as well as adults.

“If the referendum passes this time, patrons will see the value of their ‘yes’ vote right away,” Malano said.

Malano said that, because of the timing of this election, the money from the increase in the rate would become available to the library in July of this year.

“They definitely would see an impact quickly,” she said.

Another failed referndum would mean that the library’s offerings remain the same.

“There’s so much more we want to offer,” Malano said. “But it’s really up to them (the district residents).”

Domestic battery reports rise in Elburn

Police chief said crime is serious but increase is not
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The annual number of reported domestic battery incidents in Elburn increased by 50 percent last year, from 10 in 2008 to 15 in 2009. Police Chief Steve Smith does not view the increase as serious for a town of more than 4,000 people, although the crime is, he said.

“From my years in law enforcement, it (the increase) is not a lot,” Smith said. “But is this a serious crime? Yes. It is not taken lightly by law enforcement.”

He said in Elburn, most of the reported cases of domestic battery did not involve injury; most often they were cases of arguments that escalated to a physical push or shove, and sometimes alcohol or drug abuse played a part in the incidents.

Domestic battery arrests occurred in only about 20 percent of the reported incidents in Elburn, Smith said.

When officers respond to a domestic violence report, they assess and take control of the situation, separating the people involved in the dispute.

“It is our responsibility first to protect everybody, including the officers,” Smith said.

Then, the officers talk with the parties to determine the facts.

“Was it simply a loud, verbal argument, was anyone battered, did tempers just get out of control and everybody’s calm now, or do we need to do more,” Smith said.

If police believe an arrest is warranted, they call the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office while they are at the scene, to ask whether they should make the arrest.

Police often urge people involved in the domestic incidents to separate for the evening, Smith said. The officers also offer them information on local social service agencies that could provide counseling or other assistance to those involved in the dispute.

Smith believes many reasons could account for the rise in reported domestic battery incidents, including economic stress on families and simply that more victims are reporting the occurrences instead of keeping them under wraps.

“People are becoming more willing to report these incidents,” Smith said. “There has been more education about the issue, and it’s being brought out in the open more.”

Historically, domestic battery cases are under-reported by victims.

“People are embarrassed about it and think it won’t happen again,” Smith said.

But in some cases, a cycle of violence occurs.

“After a period of remorse and quiet, it happens again,” Smith said.

For that reason, officers do a supplemental police report for cases of reported domestic battery that includes a history of all past similar incidents for the person involved so that they are more informed when responding to a call.

Senior tax rebates might be reinstated

New restrictions would apply
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The village of Elburn will consider reinstatement of its utility tax rebate program for seniors this year, but with additional restrictions.

The Elburn Finance Committee on Monday recommended that the village offer the program again this year, with the eligibility age for recipients raised from 61 to 65, and only households with incomes of $55,000 or less allowed to receive the rebates.

“We wanted to make it consistent with the state’s (eligibility requirements for the) freeze on seniors’ real estate taxes,” committee member Bill Grabarek said.

The Finance Committee also recommended that the senior rebates be capped at $150 annually per senior household.

The Finance Committee’s recommendation for the rebate program changes, drafted in a village ordinance, will go to the Village Board for its consideration.

The Village Board suspended the rebates for 2009 in September because of some residents’ abuse of the program, which reimbursed residents 61 and older for 75 percent of municipal taxes on their gas, electric and phone bills.

Two months later, after some residents complained about the program being suspended, the Finance Committee recommended that it be reinstated.

In addition to the age and income restriction, and the annual reimbursement cap, the committee also recommended allowing the rebates only for gas and electric bill taxes, not for telephone service.

When village officials suspended the rebates last fall, they said some individuals had abused the program in the past by requesting refunds for several different phones, and that people who could afford utility taxes obtained rebates.

With the stricter requirements, the village expects that the program will be less costly for the village. Trustee Grabarek estimated that the rebate program previously cost the village $11,000.

SG library serves as early voting site

Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove Public Library announced that it will make space in the new building available for early voting.

Library staff are not involved in the early voting process. Early voting at the library involves Kane County election judges with Kane County election equipment using the Board Meeting Room for 13 days in January. The location is one among many available to residents for early voting. The voting equipment can take votes from most Kane County residents, with the exception being the residents of the City of Aurora.

The early voting schedule at the Sugar Grove Library is Thursday, Jan. 14, 1 to 8 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 16, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 19, 1 to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1 to 8 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 21, 1 to 8 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 26, 1 to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday, Jan. 27, 1 to 8 p.m.

According to the Kane County Election website, “Early voting allows voters to cast a full ballot before the observed election day. Although voters can still go to their polling place on Election Day, this is intended to make voting easier for everyone. This cuts down on lines at the polling place as well as allowing voters to vote when it fits their schedule.”

Please contact the library with questions about using the meeting room facilities at (630) 466-1448. Please contact the county, (630) 232-5990, with questions about the election process.

The Sugar Grove Library is located in Sugar Grove at 125 S. Municipal Drive, at the corner of Municipal and Snow streets.

Budget talks begin in Elburn

Department heads must justify proposed expenses
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn village officials already have begun budget planning for the next fiscal year, with the goal of minimizing an expected revenue shortfall.

“We’re still looking at a deficit budget (for 2010-11),” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said during Monday’s Finance Committee meeting.

The first step in budget planning for the fiscal year, which begins in June, will be for village departments—administration, public works and police—to fill out detailed request forms for any new expenditures. They will be required to thoroughly explain each proposed project or purchase.

Willrett explained the forms Monday and said they will be useful to “get the conversation going” about the budget. She added that the budget requests will be only for expenditures that are absolutely necessary.

“We asked department heads not to submit wish lists this year—items we can live without,” Willrett said.

At trustee Bill Grabarek’s request, discussion about the budget proposals will not be limited to the Finance Committee; the requests also will be reviewed by the Committee of the Whole, which includes all trustees and the village president.

“I’d rather have all the trustees up here,” said Grabarek, a Finance Committee member.

The Village Board will vote on a final budget on May 3.

Last summer, the Village Board approved the current budget for 2009-10 with expenses up to $7.1 million, and expected revenues at $4.6 million. The village had to dip into its reserves to cover the shortfall.

The main reason for the budget deficit is that the depressed housing market has caused building permit fees and utility connection fees to decline, village officials said.

In addition to new-expense requests, Trustee Jeff Walter wants to see a breakdown of staff salaries and benefits so that the Village Board can decide whether or not to grant employee raises for 2010-11.

Jan. 14 village notes

Community supports 4-H raffle for charity
MAPLE PARK—Lincoln Highway 4-H club held a drawing for Ream’s Elburn Market gift certificates on Jan. 11. Wayne Parchert, employee of Elburn Co-Op and a Lincoln Highway 4-H club parent, did the honors of drawing the winners’ names.

The winner of a $250 Ream’s Meat Market gift certificate was Andy Lyons of Esmond, Ill. Winning a $100 Ream’s Elburn Market Gift Certificate was Elaine Doty of Sugar Grove. The recipients of the two $25 gas cards donated by Casey’s of Maple Park were Kelly Snyder of Elburn and Heidi Gilkey of Maple Park.

Lincoln Highway 4-H Club will donate the raffle proceeds to local, charitable organizations.

Technology upgrades at Village Hall
MAPLE PARK—The village of Maple Park will purchase new software allowing it to develop a server for storing information.

The Village Board approved the expenditure of $738 for the software at its Jan. 5 meeting.

The new software will complement other technology additions at Village Hall, including 12 computer monitors and four printers recently donated by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Parking permits available for residents near Metra
ELBURN—The village of Elburn has announced that residents of the neighborhood on the southeast side of Elburn near the Metra station should pick up their 2010 Resident Parking Protection District permits at Village Hall, 301 E. North St.

The village created the parking protection district three years ago to deter commuters from parking in the neighborhood near Metra to avoid the commuter lot fee.

The following streets comprise the parking protection district: Nebraska Street (First Street to Third Street); Kansas Street (First Street to the east end); South Street (First Street to Third Street); Third Street (Nebraska Street to South Street); Second Street (Nebraska Street to South Street); First Street (Union Pacific Right-Of-Way to Oak Drive); and Oak Drive (from First Street to the east end).

Police issue tickets to commuters who park on those streets but will not ticket vehicles bearing the parking protection stickers. Residents of the neighborhood also may obtain parking stickers for visitors, so that their vehicles are not ticketed.

Volunteers sought for Mental Health Board
VIRGIL TOWNSHIP—Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services Inc., the local mental health authority for seven townships in southern Kane County, is looking for a Virgil Township resident volunteer to serve on the township community mental health board.

This person must have an interest in the issues of mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse. Meetings are three times a year to review how the local mental health levy serves Virgil Township residents and to provide input on needed community services. No fundraising and no compensation is involved.

Contact Jerry Murphy or Marti Cross at (630) 892-5456 for more information.

Kaneville Library cancels meeting, announces appointments
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Public Library Board of Trustees canceled its scheduled meeting for Tuesday, Jan. 12. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kaneville Village Meeting Room.

The board also announced the appointments of Library Director, Ray Christiansen, as the district’s Freedom of Information Act Officer, and Board Vice-President Mary Niceley, as the district’s Open Meetings Act Compliance Officer. Both appointment became effective on Dec. 7, 2009.

Kaneville Classics hold Christmas party
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Classics 4-H met on Dec. 28 and held its Christmas party, played games and exchanged gifts. The group’s next meeting will be on Monday, Jan. 25, at the Kaneville Comminity Center at 5:30 p.m.

KHS boys hoops going through three-game skid

Knights see setbacks against Batavia, BC and Geneva
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland High School basketball was a Ryley Bailey three-point shot away from sneaking by Batavia on Friday and potentially riding that positive wave into Burlington Central on Saturday evening.

Instead, Bailey’s running attempt went in and out of the rim and the Knights lost 42-40 to the visiting Bulldogs. Saturday had the Knights lose 65-51 to the host Rockets. The Knights also dropped a 61-51 skirmish at Geneva.

The three-game skid has Kaneland sitting at 9-5 with a 3-3 record in Western Sun Conference play.

Going into the fourth quarter vs. the Bulldogs, Kaneland was down 31-30 and gave up a basket to Ricky Clopton 34 seconds into the frame.

Bailey’s first basket of the contest followed by two Dave Dudzinski foul shots gave KHS a 34-33 leads with 5:21 remaining.

Two baskets by Batavia put the Bulldogs ahead 38-34 with 4:20 remaining, but a Steve Colombe basket on a feed by Dudzinski and a Donovan Williams shot tied it with 3:02 to go.

Bailey missed a free throw but Dudzinski’s putback with 1:53 remaining gave KHS a 40-38 lead. Two foul shots by Batavia tied the score 11 seconds later. After Kaneland worked on a possession, the ball was lost and Batavia’s Clopton was fouled driving to the hoop with 7.9 ticks left. After hitting his free throws, Bailey got the ball on a pass and lifted the unsuccessful trey attempt.

“I thought we could bring it up the sideline, try to go middle and get a layup,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “Didn’t work out that way. Ryley had a nice shot, it just didn’t go in, and that happens. Those shots will fall eventually.”

Kaneland’s biggest leads of the entire night was two points.

Dudzinski’s 20 points resembled the only Knight line in double figures.

The Knights were also 8-for-12 from the charity stripe.

Against BC, Chaon Denlinger led the way with 20 points, followed by Colombe’s 13 and Dudzinski’s 11.

Kaneland led 15-14 after one quarter, but fell behind 29-20 at halftime. The Knights closed the deficit to 43-35 after three but could get no closer.

Against Geneva, KHS saw Ryley Bailey score 15 and Dudzinski score 11.

The Knights fell behind 12-9 to the Vikings after one frame and 37-21 after the second quarter. Kaneland closed within 49-34 at the end of three, but it was too late to gain any more momentum.

In sophomore action, the Knights beat the Rockets 50-35 behind eight points from Ray Barry.

KHS tries to earn a conference win at Glenbard South on Friday, Jan. 15.

Photo: Knight hoopster Ryley Bailey gets two of his team-high 15 points the hard way in Kaneland’s 61-51 loss at Geneva on Tuesday. Photo by Ben Draper

McNamara, Hand to wed

Arlette McNamara of Elburn announced the engagment of her daughter, Lynette, to Zachary Hand, the son of Timothy and Sandra Hand of Hillsboro, Ill.

The bride-to-be is a 2002 graduate of Kaneland High School and a graduate of the University of Illinois. She is employed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

The future groom is a 1999 graduate of Hillsboro High School and a graduate of the University of Illinois. He is employed by C.H. Robinson.

The wedding ceremony will be on June 5, 2010, at Holy Cross Catholic Church.

Bowlers beat Huntley in busy week

While the Lady Knights bowling team found itself on the wrong end of a conference loss to Sycamore on Tuesday, Kaneland (3-5, 1-4 Western Sun Conference) beat Huntley by a final of 2,340-2,023 in varsity play.

Holly Thomas continued her positive trajectory on Jan. 6 with a 610 series consisting of 237, 224 and 149 games.

Teammate Jessie McHenry bowled a 455 series, highlighted by a 190 game. Tierra Lee bowled a 428 series for third best on the team.

Against the Spartans at Mardi Gras Lanes, Thomas landed a 534 series (high game 197) and Molly Lambert bowled a 482 series (high game 187).

Coming up for bowling is a Tuesday, Jan. 26, matchup vs. DeKalb.

Lady Knights come back vs. BC, lose to Batavia, Geneva

Lady Knights basketball looked like it was headed for more of the same at Burlington Central, but came out with an extraordinary win.

Using the strength of defense, rebounding and a stingy fourth quarter on Saturday, Kaneland beat the Lady Rockets by a final of 42-38.

The result sat much better than Friday night’s 43-16 loss at Batavia.

KHS also lost vs. visiting Geneva on Tuesday evening by a final of 71-18.

KHS is now 5-14 with an 0-7 record in Western Sun Conference play.

Against BC, Kaneland had 10 points from Nicki Ott and seven points and seven assists from Andie Strang. Strang also had the tough defensive task of guarding Taylor Colby.

Mallory Carlson had five points and 10 boards.

KHS had a 6-3 lead after one quarter and 19-13 going into the halftime break. Burlington Central turned it into overdrive out of the locker room and outscored the Lady Knights 19-6 in the third to lead Kaneland 32-25. Kaneland came back with defense in the final frame and outscored BC 17-6 to get the four-point nod.

On Friday in Batavia, KHS fell victim to cold shooting and missed its first 15 shots en route to a 43-16 loss.

Against Geneva, the Lady Knights went just 4-for-30 from the field and 10-for-18 from the foul line. In the two most recent contests, Kaneland lost to Geneva 139-43.

Saturday also saw the sophomores lose a 34-21 battle to BC. Friday had the sophomores drop a 38-15 decision to Batavia.

Up next for the Lady Knights in varsity play is a road jaunt to Glen Ellyn, Ill. to face Glenbard South for the final time on their home floor as conference rivals. The game is set for Friday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m.

Photo: Kaneland’s Mallory Carlson is quickly enveloped by three Lady Vikings during Tuesday’s convincing loss to Geneva. Photo by Ben Draper

Wrestlers exhibit strong Sycamore Invite showing

by Mike Slodki
With the way Kaneland High School wrestling began the regular season, conventional wisdom would dictate that it would perform better in Saturday’s 34th Sycamore Invite than last year.

That line of thinking proved to be a winner.

Out of 17 teams present in Sycamore’s gym, the Knights finished sixth with 110 points as a team. It beats last year’s 13th place finish out of 16 teams (49.5) points.

While last year featured no top-three finishes, the Knights brought four of them out of Spartanland. Nick Michels took second place in the 171-pound category.

Jimmy Boyle (285), Devon Scholl (125) and Esai Ponce (103) all came away with third place finishes.

With the vastly improved finish, coach Monty Jahns didn’t put the reason soley at one more year’s experience for the squad, or the aggressiveness he wants Kaneland grapplers to employ.

“It’s a little of both,” Jahns said. “The technical skills they have gained over the last year is evident in the practice room and in competition. The coaches stress basic fundamental wrestling combined with high reps and an aggressive attack. When you have wrestlers willing to give the effort and buy into our coaching strategy, it makes coaching much easier and fun.

Lockport took the invite, as it did in 2009, with 193.5 points. Host Sycamore took second with 173 points and Grant had 158.5 for third place.

For the Knights, Michels went 3-1 on the day which began with a 4-minute, 26-second pinfall against Jacobs’ Kyle Cook.

Michels then beat Downers Grove South’s Adam Oakes with an 8-0 major decision. Michels then beat Moline’s Peter Mickiewicz with a 6-1 decision before losing to Lockport’s Matt Andre in the final, 6-2.

In the 285-pound grouping, Boyle pinned Crystal Lake South’s Sam McCole in 2:17 and then took a major decision over Genoa-Kingston’s Skyler Petracosta, 11-0. Moving to the semis, Boyle was defeated in a 3-2 squeaker by Moline’s Jeremy Howell. Boyle then clinched third place with a 9-1 major decision over Hononegah’s Max Geyer.

Scholl’s day started with a pin in 3:12 over Downers Grove South’s Travis Hill. Scholl then beat Harlem’s Mitchel Kennington 8-2. Lockport’s Jameson Oser of Lockport got the best of Scholl with a pin in 3:30 in the semis before the Kaneland asset won a 7-2 decision in the third place match over Sycamore’s Jeff Flanigan.

Ponce began his day with a 5-2 victory over Downers Grove South’s Frank Wenmouth, and then moved on to a 7-0 win over Harlem’s Jordan Northrup. The Kaneland grappler lost a 3-0 matchup with Crystal Lake South’s Nick Fontanetta before taking the third place match in a 3-2 result over Grant’s Cameron Kennedy.

Lying in wait for Kaneland wrestling is a Western Sun Conference battle at Geneva on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m.

Albert Lawrence ‘Larry’ Suggett, Jr.

Albert Lawrence “Larry” Suggett, Jr., 86, of Kaneville, passed peacefully from this life to eternal life on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, at his home in Kaneville, surrounded by the love of his family.

Larry was born on March 23, 1923, in Chicago, the son of Albert Lawrence Sr. and Nigel Naomi (Baer) Suggett.
He grew up in Evanston and attended local schools.

Larry was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Force Engineers only one day after his marriage to Elva Beck on Nov. 26, 1942, in the Maple Park Methodist Church. He served for three years, serving most of his time in the South Pacific Theater before being honorably discharged on Dec. 11, 1945.

Larry returned to his wife in Maple Park, and they began raising a family. Larry found work in the construction trade for 10 years, using the knowledge he gained in the service. In 1956, Larry began working in sales full time. He worked for many companies over the years, realizing his gift for sales.

His last job was for Equipto Electronics in Aurora, where his expertise increased and he became national sales manager. They began with 326 customers, and before he left 10 years later, they had served over 1,300 customers and increased their business by $1 million dollar a year. From “mom and pop” companies to fortune 500 companies and the government, Larry served them all faithfully, and upon his retirement in August of 1985, he had 105 sales persons under him throughout the United States and Canada. He was a man devoted to his work, but his family was his prized possession. Following his retirement, Larry loved to take many trips with his wife all around the U.S. and Canada.

He was a member and Past Master of the Maple Park Masonic Lodge for many years before becoming a member of the DeKalb Masonic Lodge when the two joined in the early 1950s.

A lifelong student, Larry was never content to rest on his high school diploma. In 1961, Larry gave of his time to disadvantaged youth at the Boys Home, helping them to read. In addition to taking 12 classes through the military, he continued to take more than 20 different courses throughout his life at Waubonsee Community College. He then turned from student into teacher from 1986 to 1988, when he taught an antique class at Waubonsee Community College for a time, where they sent him to various locations in the community including Elburn, the Tri-cities, the College of DuPage and on to Chicago.

In 1994, he made display cases for the Schingoethe Center to display the Schingoethe Indian artifacts, which is located at Dunham Hall at Aurora University. Another project that Larry volunteered to take on was the rehabilitation of a home in Aurora that became the original Hesed House. Later, he specialized in restoration of Victorian homes in the Fox Valley.

In his spare time, Larry enjoyed staying at his “second home” in Nigel’s Point in Land O’ Lakes, Wis., cooking every meal over an open fire in the summer and navigating the snowcapped peaks and valleys on his skis in the winter. Later, he made the local trip to Villa Olivia to satisfy his cravings. In his younger years, he indulged in his passion for speed by flying his Cessna ZO6 and driving his Jaguar K150 whenever he could. He also was a faithful Santa’s helper, dressed to the hilt in red and white, bringing the joy of Christmas to all he met. His hands crafted hundreds of letters to friends and family, and his eye for taking pictures produced priceless gifts for many.

He leaves now two daughters, Susan Joy (Charles) Gates of Campton, Teri Ann Suggett of Kaneville; seven grandchildren, Kimberly Skaper of Sycamore, Kelly (Mark) McCarney of Aurora, Carrie, Tanya and Chuck Gates of Campton, and Joscelyn and Chanel Suggett of Kaneville; five great-grandchildren, Andrew and Steven Skaper, Shawn, Sharon and Christine McCarney; one great-great grandson, Michael Skaper; one step-sister, Dorothy Anderson of Southern Illinois; and a community of friends.

He joins now his wife, Elva; one daughter, Sharon K. Orr; and his parents, who preceded him in death.

Visitation was from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010, at Kaneville United Methodist Church, 46W764 Main Street Road, Kaneville, IL 60144. A funeral to celebrate his life followed the visitation. The Rev. Jason Turner, pastor of the church, officiated, and private family interment followed at Kaneville Cemetery on Monday, Jan. 11.

A memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Albert Lawrence “Larry” Suggett Jr.” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.

Guest Editorial: Budget cuts are necessary to equalize services, funding

by Charlie McCormick
Kaneland Superintendent

Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, recently made the following observation: “The country faces a fundamental disconnect between the services the people expect the government to provide … and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services.”

While Mr. Elmendorf’s perspective is national, his observation is applicable to all levels of government and government-funded services.

The financial conditions Mr. Elmendorf mentions—less revenue than needed to support current services—are no stranger to our local communities. They are evident through job losses, underemployment, home foreclosures, homes for sale and difficulty getting loans. They are also apparent in the form of shrinking government budgets and services. The latter is the case for Kaneland.

For many years Kaneland has operated on a very conservative and efficient fiscal footing. The district has traditionally carried relatively small fund balances from year to year, believing that the community did not want the district holding significant sums of money in its accounts. In the face of the current perfect financial storm we all face, this means that Kaneland has practically no reserves for absorbing the loss of revenue. Perhaps in the future, the approach of operating with very limited fund balances needs to be reconsidered.

Kaneland has encountered tight financial circumstances in the past and has taken this situation to the community in the form of Education Fund referendums. No one assumes that this is a possibility now or that significant additional state or local revenue will magically appear in the near future. And so, these current financial challenges can only be addressed through budget cuts, just like in your homes or at the businesses where you work.

The administration has undertaken a line-by-line review of the School District’s budget. As we continue to work with staff to review the budget and set priorities for next year, it is becoming increasingly clear that the decisions that will be required to balance the budget will have undesirable effects on students, staff members and parents. These negative effects will come from the elimination of specific costs from the budget or in changes as to how school programs and services are provided.

The budget cannot be balanced without this being the case, given the magnitude of overall cost reduction that is required—$3,000,000 for the 2010-11 budget. And, this is the case with the district having already eliminated costs and positions from the budget of more than a million dollars from last year to this year.

What is being considered for possible cost reduction or elimination? The simple answer to this question is that everything that contributes to cost is being considered—programs, services, extra-curricular activities and athletics, support service positions, teaching positions, administrative positions, salaries, insurance costs, staff development, refreshments, travel, bussing, utility costs, books, equipment, supplies, etc. As we review the budget line-by-line, we are asking why every cost is essential to the core functions of the schools and School District.

We have reviewed specific budget cuts with an eye toward their impacts and their relationships with one another. The administration’s goal is to bring the board a general and preliminary recommendation as to how the budget for 2010-11 can be balanced in January. While we intend to be as open, transparent and caring in this process as possible, we recognize that the resulting budget cuts will be painful and frustrating for many people. Due to the legal requirements regarding staffing decisions, this process must be resolved by the end of February.

It is important for the community to be aware of pending budget cuts as they may have significant impacts on various aspects of the school’s operations, programs, services, students and staff. It is also important for you to know that we are resilient. And while things cannot and will not be the same in the short term as we make the decisions necessary to function within the resources available to the School District, our students will be OK.

Things go in cycles and this has occurred in the past. The district may in fact be a better organization for having had to engage in such a detailed cost analysis. Please know that all of us at Kaneland will keep our focus on continuing to offer the best we can for Kaneland students. The times will be tough, but so will we.

Letter: The current health care push is unconstitutional, and a disgrace

With the insistence of the president, Congress is attempting to authorize the government of these United States to insert itself between physicians and their patients, under the guise of “National Health Care.” Attempting to justify their actions, they point to the disastrous socialist medical plans of Canada, as well as Britain and other European countries as precedents for their action.

Talk of precedents, and precedents drawn from foreign countries? They don’t apply here. We have a written document, our Constitution, which is meant to constrain our national government from meddlesome actions just such as this. Its Fourth Amendment states the right of the people to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures, yet is not the government’s desire to interfere in a citizen’s right to choose, or not choose, his own health care an infringement upon this Amendment?

The 10th Amendment states that powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States or to the people. Nowhere in the Constitution can I find a clause delegating to the government of the United States the authority to meddle in the health concerns of an individual citizen.

As to the Democrat majority in Congress, I understand well those gentlemen are not free to vote otherwise. They are coerced by the power and authority of the Presidency. They attempt to ease their consciences by claiming this to be the will of the people, but we know that it has been done according to the dictate of the White House. President Obama himself, with that vast amount of political clout and media sycophancy he manipulates, and the many false expectations he is able to hold up, has obtained these votes despite public outcry, yet this is said to be “the voice of the people.”

The voice of the people? Can we ignore the voices, the thousands of meetings, the millions of letters, phone calls and e-mails in protest of this legislation? Is it any more constitutional simply because the president commands that it be done? How different is this from the conduct of kings, tyrants and dictators, such actions of which this nation was founded to escape?

And then, to perpetuate this action of the Senate, the passage of this “Health Care Bill,” in the gloom of night, and on Christmas Eve at that, when the very public they claim to serve is distracted by the celebration of the holiday, is the ultimate disgrace.

Dennis C. Ryan
Elburn

Letter: Thank you, Lions and Leos

My family has recently been greatly blessed by the Elburn Leos and Lions Clubs. This past fall, we contacted them to inquire if they could help us find a trainer and/or possibly help with funding to purchase a puppy to be used as a service dog for our son with special needs.

Pam Hall, of the Lions, went over and above this request by insisting Max deserved a “real” service dog. I had tried this route for two years with seven service dog organizations, but due to our son’s dual-diagnosis (cognitive and physical impairment plus hearing impairment), one company after another let us know they could not meet his needs.

It was a sad and disappointing time as we knew that a service dog would be a wonderful companion for our son, but more importantly would help keep him safe outdoors as he is prone to wandering off at times. We’d had some scary instances with him getting lost in the corn field, as well as finding him down at the pond on his own.

While my expectations were very low, Pam Hall was not deterred for one minute. She got to work, and in less than a week found an organization, 4 Paws for Ability. We got the wonderful news that they were more than able to train a dog for us and that it would be ready in about one year.

These dogs undergo extensive training (behavior interruption, search and rescue, ambulation stability, etc.) and therefore require a large donation to be made to the organization prior to a dog being trained for a family. Pam took care of that too, and went to the Leos Club on our behalf. After presenting what she called “The Facts About Max” to the Leos, they voted to make the $14,000 donation to 4 Paws in Max’s name. It is quite something to have a group of kids, who have worked very hard to raise every single dollar, decide your child’s independence, happiness and safety are so valuable that they want to donate their funds to help out.

But wait—their generosity did not stop there. Max spent some time with a dear man named Ron during the Leos meeting we attended, where the kids got to tell Max about his new dog. Max must have made quite an impression, as a few months later, Ron encouraged his fellow Lions to use their Candy Day funds to help our family with the hotel expenses when we travel to Ohio for two weeks this August for the mandatory training with the service dog prior to its placement with our family. We got the news of this just prior to Christmas … blessing on top of blessing.

We want to thank every Lion and every Leo. Your support means the world to us, and your generosity blows us away. We asked for a small amount of help and you gave and gave and gave some more. Wow. Thanks also to everyone who attends the Lions functions, such as Elburn Days, Holiday Meat Raffle, Bingo, Draw Downs, Candy Day and the dozens more that take place right in town each week all year long.

Not only are their events a great time, but the funds raised stay right here in the Kaneland area whenever possible.

Gene, Carrie, Riley, & Max Capes
Maple Park

Letter: In support of D.J. Tegeler

I’m writing this letter of recommendation on behalf of my attorney, D.J. Tegeler, as well as my friend for the past 12 years.

As a representative, he has handled all of my legal needs nonjudgmentally and with compassion.

In my opinion, he would make an outstanding candidate for the position of judge. He has handled numerous notable situations with great skill.

As a person, he has demonstrated high moral standards and he treats every individual with fairness and respect.

Lani Johnson
Aurora

Letter: Chris Lauzen leads in word and deed

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government … it is their Right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Illinois politics is in a state of upheaval. It is time to clean up this mess.

Senator Chris Lauzen is one of the very few we can trust with his extensive education and past and proven experience. My father taught me to judge people not by what they say—rather judge them by what they do. Chris Lauzen’s words match his actions, and that is why we need to re-elect such a leader.

John Carey
Sandwich

Letter: Chris Lauzen walks the walk

In this time of greatly reduced personal spending, we should think about some people who never seem to stop spending—namely our Illinois state legislators.

Despite a seemingly endless list of schemes to collect more money from you (lottery, cigarette and liquor taxes, casino taxes, sales of paid-for state assets) our state government never seems to have enough. And despite this year’s spending increase, which like all other years far outstrips the rate of inflation, we are basically bankrupt and shutting down state services.

Despite a mere 10 percent population increase, our state spending is up 236 percent since 1994. That’s an average annual spending increase of 5.9 percent, almost twice the inflation rate, which means that our inflation-adjusted spending has increased by 54 percent over the past 15 years. What would happen to your family if your personal spending was on this path? If our state government were a person, we’d have to sign it up for an “intervention,” and we’d have to sign ourselves up too, since we’re the “enablers”.

This Feb. 2, you have an opportunity to help stop this catastrophe. Every political candidate claims to oppose government “business as usual,” but Chris Lauzen, our state senator in the 25th Senate District, actually walks the walk. His pro-taxpayer voting record is simply astounding.

The big spenders in our legislature have amassed plenty of money to attack Chris this year. They would love nothing more than a clearer path to your wallet so that they can enrich themselves even more.

You can stop them with a vote for Chris Lauzen, State Senator for the 25th Senate District.

Dave Ziffer
Batavia

Letter: Chris Lauzen is a man of principle

I‘ve known Senator Chris Lauzen for many years. Never has he ever voted against his principles. He is one of those who cannot be controlled, so to speak.

This time, Sen. Lauzen has an opponent. Personally, I never could understand why anyone would run against an incumbent who was doing all the right things for his constituents. It would appear those type of opponents are only out for power.

Senator Lauzen has been in Springfield for all of us. Now, it’s time that we stand behind him.
I hope you’ll cast your vote for him on Feb. 2.

Eunice Conn
Polo, Ill.

Letter: In support of John Dalton

I take my right to vote seriously. I don’t recall missing an election since I became of voting age. That said, I am embarrassed to say that most years I have walked into the voting booth with little or no information about the individuals running for judge.

This is ironic, because I believe that judges occupy some of the most important roles in our society. If judges are not intelligent, impartial and thoughtful, then how can we have justice?

I believe that John Dalton has these qualities and that he will make a fine judge. He is a person of great integrity and—to my knowledge—is the only candidate who has refused to accept campaign contributions from lawyers or organizations that represent lawyers.

Most of us have the good fortune not to have to appear before a judge on matters of great seriousness. If I were to be in such position, I would want John Dalton on the bench.

Fran Cella
Elgin

Letter: John Dalton has been a benefit to community

The primary election is coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 2 and we are being asked to elect a new Resident Judge for Kane County.

This is not always an easy task, as we generally know much less about a judicial candidate then we do about a candidate for a state legislative position. So we stand in the voting booth trying to decide which judge would be the best, or we simply do not vote for the judicial candidates

However, this time there is a candidate that is well known in the Elgin community, John Dalton. John has been a resident of Elgin for the past 13 years, and in that time, he has made a real impact on the community, whether it is as a lawyer, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a business owner, an attorney or as a volunteer.

I have known John for 10 years and am still amazed by his kindness and generosity. There is no task too large or small that he will not undertake if asked. He has worked with the Elgin’s Heritage Commission, founded and worked with Elgin’s Speak Out Against Prejudice and was a board member of the YMCA. In addition to these public positions, John has been very active in the northeast neighborhood where he lives.

John has been an attorney for 23 years. He has worked for large law firms, major corporations, as a local attorney and as an arbitrator. John is by far the most qualified candidate I have seen for judge in a long, long time.

So when you stand in the voting booth on Feb. 2, please remember to vote, and look at the candidates for judge. Rest assured, voting for John Dalton will ensure that a fully qualified person will become a judge.

Susan Lovingood
Elgin

Letter: In support of Keith Wheeler

While it is easy to complain about our state government—and our current group in Springfield has given us just cause—it is much harder to identify a true leader who can provide solutions to the myriad of problems we all can recognize.

I am convinced that Keith Wheeler is that leader for those of us who live in the 50th District. Keith exemplifies the true spirit of our community with a combination of common sense and traditional values that is rarely seen in politicians. A successful small business owner, Keith knows how to make tough financial decisions.

Wheeler will put that experience to work for us in Springfield, to help develop a sound economic strategy for Illinois that won’t bankrupt our children’s futures. His plan is simple and straightforward. Create an economic climate that helps existing Illinois businesses to thrive and encourages new business to invest within our state, which will both save and create jobs—Illinois jobs. Taking our citizens off the unemployment roll and putting them on the payroll is the key, and it yields multi-level benefits.

The state spends less when unemployment is reduced. Workers earn wages, pay income taxes and generate sales tax revenues. We don’t need tax increases. We do need to put people back to work, and to develop a fiscally responsible, balanced budget. Keith Wheeler has the right solutions, he is the right leader, and the time to put him to work for us is right now. I enthusiastically endorse Keith Wheeler to be my next State Representative in the 50th District.

Terry Hunt
Big Rock

Letter: In support of Fred Morelli

I want to mention something people in your area might want to know. I recently became aware that a lawyer who has been helping our group pro-bono in our fight to save the Fox River Valley is running for judge there in Kendall, Kane and DeKalb counties. His name is Fred Morelli.

Leaving a meeting, I happened to see the sign on the side of his car and asked him about it. He told me he is running for a Circuit Court judgeship.

I personally know he has spent countless hours, including trips to Springfield and Chicago, on our behalf, and has charged us nothing. He cares about our cause very deeply, and is trying to help us prevent Ameren from running a large transmission line through the forests along the Fox River. I know he has done some late hours in the office making up for the time he spent on us. It is a worthy cause, but there are lots of them, and not everyone takes the time to help. He has a fine ability to focus and sort through the issues. Fred Morelli has represented us well, and his straightforward and honest approach to this struggle has been inspirational.

I think he would make a fine judge and would be fair and even-handed in his approach to administering justice. I wouldn’t write this if I didn’t think so. As I have gotten to know him over the last eight months of our battle, he has been at every single meeting and inspired us to keep going. We are winning, by the way, and a large part of the victory will be because of Fred.

I heartily endorse Fred Morelli’s candidacy, and thought I would let you folks up there know how he has helped us. I think he will make a good judge. Please consider Fred Morelli when you vote, and please do vote.

Twila L. Yednock
Ottawa, Ill.

Letter: In support of Chris Lauzen

Is there a representative who’s honest, approachable, responsive and willing to “face the giants” at personal cost?

He does exist, and his name is Chris Lauzen. We consider ourselves fortunate to have Senator Lauzen’s 25th District representation in Springfield.

We have needed his assistance several times; he has personally responded to those requests. Senator Lauzen continually fights to reduce taxes and works to maintain high ethical standards for elected officials of either party.

Craig and Mary Stough
Elburn

Letter: The 14th Congressional District race

My husband and I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with Ethan Hastert on a number of occasions.

Ethan has new and improved ideas for Illinois. He believes our existing infrastructure needs improving, and he would like to look into new ways to improve our transportation system. Ethan is not in favor of bringing the Guantanamo Bay detainees to Illinois or allowing non-citizens into the military just to gain citizenship.

I would suggest you take the time to meet and talk to Ethan Hastert yourself. I’m sure on Feb. 2, Ethan will have your vote as he has ours.

Wendy Kaczmarek
Montgomery

Letter: Ethan Hastert is the right choice

We need representatives who understand our concerns, and respect our values as residents of the Fox Valley community. That is why Ethan Hastert is the right choice for congress on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Ethan is a resident of our community; he and his family have put down roots here, he shares our values. He is extremely knowledgeable on the issues that matter most to the people of this area. He understands that a one size fits all big government approach does not meet the unique problems that the community and the country face. He listens, and has fresh solutions.

I believe that it is vital for representatives to know the people of their district to listen to their constituents, and to fight for their community. I can say without reservation that Ethan Hastert knows and understands that the people of this district are his first priority.

We need a fresh face with fresh ideas in congress. That is why I am voting for Ethan Hastert on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

David L. Anderson
Elburn

SG Chamber selects 2010 board members

Sugar Grove—At the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s annual luncheon, held on Dec. 14, at the Sugar Grove Fire District building, members elected two new board members. Dave Burroughs, Senior Vice President at EEI, and Sally McClellan, of Sally McClellan Attorney at Law, were elected to fill vacant positions.

After the election results were announced, the board met and selected its officers for the coming year. James White, of Law Offices of James F. White, P.C. will serve as the 2010 president; Lisa Lund, of Castle Bank, remains vice president; Beverly Holmes Hughes continues as secretary; and Bryce Carey of BMC Insurance Agency Inc. will serve as treasurer. Steve Ekker of Momkus McClusky, LLC was appointed director to fill a vacancy on the board.

The chamber thanks 2008-09 Board President George Silfugarian, of Financial Security Group, Inc. for his service. During his term as president, the chamber moved into its new office at 330 Division Drive, Suite A, and hired its first executive director, Shari Baum. The 2009 board and committees were pleased with the successful year, which also included the launching of its redesigned website, www.sugargrovechamber.org, a quarterly newsletter (Connect), and instituting the Chamber Cares Program. The new board has pledged to continue in the tradition of improving chamber offerings in its continuing effort to serve our members and the community.