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ReardenShrugged - IDOT broke hiring rules for years, ex-Congressman Hare mentioned in report - Quincy, IL News - Quinc
We will be paying out millions to each of these people in salary pensions and benefits over their lifetimes. The people who did the hiring need to point the finger at their boss or go to prison. Those who were hired need to be terminated, stripped of their pensions and be barred for life from holding a state or local government job.
1950Brutus - IDOT broke hiring rules for years, ex-Congressman Hare mentioned in report - Quincy, IL News - Quinc
"A bigger concern for me is whether these political hacks did any work for the big money they were making?" I believe this falls into the "rhetorical question" category. By definition a political hack can't do any meaningful work - if they could they would have already had a real job.
polkadot76 - Committee sends new garbage and recycle trucks plan to Quincy City Council - Quincy, IL News - Quinc
I am so sick and tired of the inefficiency of our City Council. This garbage "garbage" is a perfect example of business as usual at City Hall. It wasn't long ago that they actually thought it was a good idea to ship these same old trucks all the way across the State of Missouri to have tippers installed on them. Now, all of the sudden, those same trucks are beyond repair and at the end of their…
migraine_in_qcy - Committee sends new garbage and recycle trucks plan to Quincy City Council - Quincy, IL News - Quinc
Not to defend the council, because I think some of them are boneheads, but it's not uncommon for a final price to be lower than budgetary pricing. Often, budgetary pricing is based on an unknown quantity of items and therefore is priced at quantity 1 pricing. Vendors will often sweeten the deal for a larger overall sale or to get the sale made within a certain timeframe.
migraine_in_qcy - Committee sends new garbage and recycle trucks plan to Quincy City Council - Quincy, IL News - Quinc
If it can be contracted out that cheaply, one has to ask why oh why the City is so freaking inefficient at doing it themselves. One only has to drive by a crew of 8 city workers pouring a 8x6 foot concrete patch to understand.

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

1 year, 6 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


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