Friday, June 19, 2015
CAROL BAY, a Port Byron Township trustee, had this in the June 19 Dispatch/Argus and June 20 Quad-City Times. "Port Byron Township trustees voted 3-1 against adopting the annual Prevailing Wage Ordinance at its June 11 meeting. The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act requires that all Illinois governmental bodies pay this so-called "prevailing wage" on all taxpayer-funded projects which adds 10 percent to 35 percent to the cost. All Illinois governmental bodies are supposed to adopt this ordinance every June. Across Illinois many trustees are balking at this fleecing of the taxpayers. Iowa and 18 other states have no "Prevailing Wage" law. Illinois can get more construction without raising taxes by eliminating "Prevailing Wage". ...... Illinois is broke, caused by overspending and by not using its tax revenue wisely. Eliminating the Prevailing Wage Act to allow for competition within the workforce would allow construction of needed facilities throughout the state for less money. For example, a new roof in the private sector on a school building would cost 20-30 percent less than in the public sector. A much-needed library expansion could be done less expensively. Roads could be repaired for less, taxes would not have to be constantly raised. ..... If the state of Illinois reformed or eliminated many unnecessary rules and regulations, perhaps businesses and residents would remain in Illinois. An inward migration of people and businesses could result in more jobs -- a people and business friendly state could turn around the economy in Illinois. ..... Port Byron Township trustees have made a first step. Other governmental bodies across the state have made a similar stand. Together we send a message to Springfield. ..... Carol (Bay)Morris, trustee, Port Byron Township NOTE: The Village of Port Byron also rejected the Prevailing Wage Ordinance on June 15.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
LAWRENCE BAY had this published in both the Dispatch/Argus and Quad-City Times on June 17.(..... indicates paragraph breaks.) " On June 9, 2015 the Rock Island-Milan School District hired an assistant superintendent of human resources at $!27,293.96 per year and a director of pupil personnel services at $113,902.95. Add pension, health insurance and other benefits and we are talking serious money. ..... How many jobs such as this are on the budgets of the ten school districts and Regional Office of Education in Rock Island County? How much money is spent on what appears to be a rather bloated bureaucracy? All this in a county with only 22,000 public school students? ..... Rock Island-Milan is failing to educate our children. In 2012 only 30.1 percent of students met or exceeded the No Child Left Behind standard for reading, only 25.9 for math, the lowest scores in any Scott or Rock Island County school district. Yet, they have the highest costs at $11,562 per student. Taxpayers are obviously not getting good results from all their tax dollars. ..... Yet the (Dispatch/Argus, Quad-City Times) constantly editorializes in support of ever higher taxes for our failing Rock Island County schools, with no tangible positive results. Perhaps the (Dispatch/Argus, Quad-City Times)should editorialize on how our tax money could be more wisely spent. ..... We should look at the bloated bureaucracy in all government agencies. Surely many could be eliminated. Illinois should eliminate the prevailing wage law so we can have more construction at lower cost. ..... We can have better services and lower taxes in our government.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The Village of Port Byron voted NO by a 4-2 vote to reject the "Prevailing Wage Ordinance" on June 15, 2015. The Village of Port Byron joins Port Byron Township and many other Illinois County Boards, municipalities, townships, schools and libraries where there has been an unprecedented number of NO votes against the "Prevailing Wage Ordinance" which Illinois law requires that every Illinois governmental body pass each June. The so-called "Prevailing Wage" adds 10-35 percent to the cost of every governmental construction project. They will still have to pay the "prevailing wage" but they are making it clear that it is the State of Illinois and not the local governments that is fleecing the taxpayers.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
BILL BLOOM had these opinions printed in the June 5, 2015 Dispatch/Argus. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) "What would you say if someone tried to convince you that gasoline can be used to put out fires? You would probably say "prove it" and watch in amusement while their experiment failed. The Democrats are doing that in Illinois by adding more spending to an already unbalanced budget. ...... The sweetheart deals between public unions and elected Democrats have resulted in higher costs of government and infrastructure than we see in neighboring states like Iowa. Recently our local school boards paid over half a million in penalties for over $4 million in salary increases in excess of the 6 percent legal maximum. Will penalties stop the school boards from lavishing money? Probably not. The people end up paying for the excessive increases and the penalties. This is only the most recent example. There are legions of others. ..... In 2014, 96,000 Illinoisans left to reside in other states. Since 1990 we have lost 1.4 million Illinoisans. The causes of this exodus are high property taxes, the inhospitable business environment and the absence of job opportunities. Last year, Scott County broke ground on 186 new houses. Rock Island County reported six new housing starts. Houses in Iowa sell much faster and command a higher selling price than houses here. We lead the Midwest in debt and have the worst credit rating in the nation. Illinois is hemorrhaging businesses, people and capital, and the flood is growing...... It is possible to turn Illinois around. First, we must question the Democrats' policies and politics which have led us to failure. Doubling down will lead to more failure. Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan calls for reining in excessive spending and helping Illinois businesses be more competitive. Not raising the gas tax and the sales tax is a start. Illinois is now within a nickel a gallon in the price of gas compared to Iowa. People are starting to buy gas here again. ..... Let's all prioritize restoring Illinois to greatness and have the courage to question what we know isn't working."
On June 11, 2015 the Port Byron Township trustees, on a 3-1 vote, REJECTED the Prevailing Wage Ordinance. There have also been NO votes in many other Illinois governmental bodies. The Prevailing Wage ordinance adds 10-35 percent to the cost of every governmental construction project in Illinois. It is bad enough that the Illinois Legislature requires this fleecing of the taxpayers but to add insult to injury every Illinois governmental body is required by state law to pass this Prevailing Wage Ordinance each June and then use taxpayer money to publish this statement in the newspapers. The Port Byron Township trustees refused to play this silly game. They will still have to pay the inflated "Prevailing Wage" on all construction projects but they are telling their taxpayers that they didn't voluntarily agree to such a waste of tax money. Illinois should join Iowa and 18 other states in not having a "Prevailing Wage Ordinance". Illinois could build and repair far more roads & bridges, schools, libraries, courthouses, park facilities, sewage treatment plants, and all other government funded projects for far less money if the "Prevailing Wage" law were repealed.
JON NOLAND had these excellent observations in the June 5 Quad-City Times.(..... marks paragraph breaks.) "Rock Island County voters are beginning to see the light. That's a good thing. After whining and complaining how the various school districts desperately need a one percent sales tax, voters saw through the smoke to reject the tax for the third time. ..... Now, these same destitute schools are being fined by the state for giving out excessive and illegal retirement benefits. These districts are guilty of violating state law and squandering your tax dollars by not only paying hefty fines, six-figure fines in some cases, but also obligating themselves to excessive retirement packages. ..... To add insult to injury, a special audit of the East Moline School District finances is being requested. And somehow the Rock Island School District was able to find enough additional money to give six percent salary increases, far in excess of the rate of inflation. ..... One of their employees is paid $106,000 annually, teaches one class, and is responsible for writing grants. ..... This lack of financial responsibility is the reason infrastructure improvements are needed. The only way to force improvement in government is to starve it of money. ..... Remember this simple truism when the fourth effort to raise taxes is made."
WILLIAM KIRKHAM made this interesting observation in the June 4 Dispatch/Argus. "Writing about the Rita A. Crundwell case is pretty much like beating a dead horse. Nonetheless, there is one extremely important point pertaining to the Crundwekk fiasco and the city government of Dixon which I have never seen mentioned in print or heard spoken of on broadcast news or its analysis. ..... This case demonstrates the fact that for 22 years the city government was able to operate with $53 million fewer dollars! What an excellent illustration that government is very capable of functioning with less money. ..... The City of Dixon did not collapse and the elected officials had a more difficult time making it work but they did make it work, This point brings to mind saying that our hardworking ancestors used to quote, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." ..... Perhaps we might do well to live by that creed rather than, "Spend more, raise taxes, spend more, raise taxes," ad infinitum. ..... I want people to think of this when our elected officials and others claim that it is a necessity that taxes be raised every other year or so. Logical solutions to operations and management needs or fixing problems which arise don't always mean asking the cash-strapped citizenry to open their wallets over and over again."