Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Trending on the Journal

Recent Comments

WarCry - Baldwin School evacuated following smoke in building - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Aside from completely missing that Bob was joking, you're making the same fallacious argument I've already seen. Yes, a home may be older than the schools. But a 120 year old home MIGHT have a few hundred people go through it over the course of that lifespan. They also have owners that don't have to go to their neighbors and say "please, sir, may I have some more" in order to effect…
1950Brutus - Votes for Republicans switched to Democrats in Moline - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Why haven't we heard complaints from Democratic voters about votes being switched to Republicans. Because "There is nothing wrong in this office," Kinney, a Democrat, said afterward. Calibration errors are the new "hanging chads".
QuincyJournal - Baldwin School evacuated following smoke in building - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
From Joel Murphy, QPS Business Manager: The issue this morning was a simple overheating of some electrical components with in a heating unit. The components overheated, then melted causing smoke from the unit. Things were exasperated by the fact that the heater's blower was still operating and pushed the smoke out into the hallways. The staff and students did exactly what they have prepared…
1950Brutus - Amazon to open facility in Illinois, hire 1,000 - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
The point still stands that you do not know if he paid the tax and just doesn't know it.
ONCEMORE1 - Baldwin School evacuated following smoke in building - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Smokin' in the Boy's Room?

Most Popular

Adams Co. Divorces for 10/24

Motorcyclist dies from Saturday crash

Mid-America Port Authority pledged $1.3 million from Illinois Video

Man arrested for performing lewd acts near school

Quinn, Durbin to drop in Monday for Port Authority announcement

GREDF supports Quincy School Building Referendum Video

Everyone safe following plane crash near Quincy Regional Airport

Amazon to open facility in Illinois, hire 1,000

Transparency or distraction? Local Illinois governments laugh at state plan for more accountability

1 year, 8 months ago by Benjamin Yount, Illinois Watchdog

New legislation would add local government debt info to an online database

SPRINGFIELD —  It’s hutzpah with a capital H.

Two Illinois lawmakers want to require local governments — school districts, cities, counties, townships, water districts, fire protection districts and the like — to be more open with taxpayers about government debt.

But local governments say anyone in Springfield preaching debt management and transparency has, well, a lot of hutzpah.

“That’s hilarious,” said Decatur City Manager Ryan McCrady. “They want to distract from their problems by shifting focus to us? Fine. But make sure to put my bond rating next to the state’s.”

McCrady says Decatur has a far better bond rating than the state of Illinois, which just saw a credit downgrade because of inaction on its massive pension debt.

New legislation would add local government debt information to the state’s online information portal, force all new legislation to report debt impact and create a local debt review board.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross said he wants to “educate” voters.

“People have a right to know, and should know, what debt is out there,” Cross said Wednesday. “How’s their money spent? Is that tax working? How much are they raising from that tax, and how is it being spent?”

The Illinois Comptroller’s office already collects [3] much of that data.

McCrady said local voters can get that information by going to any meeting of the City Council.

“We have to vote on every expense, and those meetings are all on TV,” McCrady said. “I talk with local taxpayers every day. They know what is going on in their city.”

Jerry Crabtree is associate director of the Township Officials of Illinois, which represents the state’s 1,432 townships in Springfield. He said even tiny local governments stay in touch with taxpayers.

“Townships operate in the community,” Crabtree said. “And elected officials will hear from taxpayers almost 24 hours a day.”

Crabtree says townships, for the most part, are financially secure.

“I find it ironic that the state is picking on a unit of government that pays its bills and does plan for the future,” Crabtree said, noting Illinois’ unpaid bills and massive pension debt.

Since 2008, which marked the advent of tougher lending laws, few local governments have been able to spend wildly on borrowed money.

McCrady said the new lending requirements are the “financial equivalent of a proctology exam.”

Ron Sandack is the former Republican mayor of Downers Grove and the city’s current state representative. He said there may be some local governments with good finances and little debt, but there are hundreds of school districts, more than a thousand townships and countless park districts, fire districts and mosquito abatement districts.

“If you ask your neighbor, I think they distinguish less who levied the tax,” Sandack said. “They just look at the bottom line and say I’m paying more than I was the year before.”

The transparency proposals are, for now, ideas only;  lawmakers have not held a hearing on any of the plans.

Contact Benjamin Youtn at Ben@IllinoisWachdog.org


From the Newsroom

Bob Gough on Twitter

Bob Gough 33 minutes ago

RT @Phil LeBeau: Exposure like this has pushed value of #ChevyGuy to $3.84 Million. RT @KeithOlbermann: At 5:.. Chevy cashes in on "technology and stuff."
Bob Gough on Twitter

Bob Gough 6 hours, 2 minutes ago

RT @ILWDRadio: Pro-tip. When your boss is under fed investigation, don't ask "Is it a crime?" @ILWDRadio http://t.co/YlSa3Jzf52 #twill
Bob Gough on Twitter

Bob Gough 6 hours, 11 minutes ago

RT @Jason McIntyre: Video! What does Michael Jordan think of President @BarackObama's golf game? "Hack. Shitty golfer." http://t.co/0u3I8UETBf
Bob Gough on Twitter

Bob Gough 6 hours, 18 minutes ago

@JPosnanski @WhitlockJason You don't know that at all.