DISRICT 2 BOARD MEMBERS WILL BE ADDED TO RESOLUTION CB-R-0875-18 – STERIGENICS

Below is the original copy of Resolution CB-R-0875-18. Resolution CB-R-0875-18 is the resolution regarding the operation of the Sterigenics Willowbrook Facility.

Sterigenics Corporate Headquarters is located in Oak Brook, which is in District 2. The resolution will be amended, on my recommendation, to include District 2 County Board Members.

I believe that it is important to send a message to Sterigenics that the representatives in their home district do not approve of their past safety history and that the health and safety of the people in Dupage is our priority.

This is how we #buildabetterdupage

 

 

CHAPLIN CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR A BAN OF ETHYLENE OXIDE

Last week I called for the ban of use of  ethylene oxide in DuPage County. During yesterday’s meeting of the DuPage County Board a resolution was passed that included revoking Sterigenics operating permit and for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of ethylene oxide at the facility until further health and environmental studies are completed. While the resolution is a good first step, it doesn’t go far enough. Ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen, there is no safe use and it is dangerous to humans, that is why I continue to call for and support a full ban of the use of ethylene oxide.

You can watch the meeting here.

You can read more here.

 

What Are DuPage County Lobbyists Doing? Why Are We Paying Them?

The day after I cast the lone no vote to spend $260,000 to retain three lobbying firms, Jake Griffin, writer for the Daily Herald, published a study that finds for every dollar DuPage County taxpayers send to Springfield, the state returns 31 cents. That’s the lowest rate of return among all 102 counties in Illinois.

I believe that the best lobbyists for the people of DuPage County are the elected officials. Kane County proves my point. Kane County Board members act as their own lobbyists and 76 cents comes back for every dollar they send to Springfield.

Cook County uses lobbyists and they see a much better return on their investment. Cook County receives 80 cents for every dollar they send down to Springfield.

Cook County and DuPage County share a lobbying firm, All-Circo. I questioned how All-Circo could possible represent the interest of DuPage County and Cook County. Looks like Cook County is getting the better deal.

What are our lobbyists doing? What are we paying them for?

 

 

In 2015 I sent the below referenced questions to DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin:

The county has failed to seek Request for Qualifications for the lobbyists. Why has the county not sought RFQ’s? Is not seeking RFQ’s considered best practice?

All Circo is DuPage County’s lead lobbyists. All Circo is also Cook County’s lead lobbyists. How can All Circo represent both the interests of DuPage County and Cook County?

How much revenue have the lobbyists brought to DuPage County in the past two years? What projects have the lobbyists secured for DuPage County in the past two years? What direct benefit have the lobbyists brought to the residents of DuPage County in the past two years?

https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20180828/dupage-county-board-agrees-to-spend-260000-on-lobbyists

https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20180829/study-suburbs-pay-more-than-what-they-get-back-from-state

https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1059&context=ppi_papers

https://lobbyist.cookcountyclerk.com/PublicSearch/Firm/Detail/18

 

 

CHAPLIN CALLS FOR A BAN ON THE USE OF ETHYLENE OXIDE IN DUPAGE COUNTY

Earlier this year I worked with the Legislative Committee and earned their support for a ban of trichloroethylene (TCE) and other toxic chemicals. You can read more here.

I am pleased that the 2018 DuPage County Federal Legislative Priorities included Environmental Health and Water Quality Issues both of which were based on my recommendations. You can read more here.

I was alarmed to read about Sterigenics International, Inc. use of ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide could be harmful to people. A report released by the EPA on Aug. 21 states that elevated risks of ethylene oxide could  pose a public health hazard for people living in the area. Ethylene oxide is toxic chemical and exposure can cause increase risk for certain cancers including leukemia, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer and non hodgkin lymphoma.

After the  discovery in 2001 that our well water was contaminated with Trichloroethylene  (TCE) the EPA sent letters to 800 home owners in unincorporated Lisle Township telling us to immediately stop using our water. We could not drink or cook with our water. We could not bathe in our water. We were instructed to shower with a window open or exhaust fan on so we would breath in the toxic chemical. For two and a half years we lived in a home that had no value. We worried about the health of our children, our friends and neighbors. We attended meetings of all local government bodies, traveled to Springfield and worked with the U.S. EPA to find a safe water supply.

The residents of Willowbrook and the surrounding area should not have to wait two years for a solution. That is why I took action yesterday.

During yesterdays meeting of the DuPage County Environmental Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee I asked that each committee to support a ban on the use of ethylene oxide in DuPage County. I asked each committee to make a recommendation to the Legislative Committee to introduce legislation that would ban the use of ethylene oxide in DuPage County. I am hopeful that the committees will move forward with my recommendation.

You  can read more about Sterigenics here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUPAGE COUNTY ELECTION WATCHDOG JEAN KACZMAREK GIVES NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUE ELECTION COMMISSION FOR ILLEGALLY WITHHOLDING SERIAL NUMBERS OF DATED VOTING MACHINES CAST OFF BY OTHER COUNTIES NOW IN DUPAGE

 

I share Jean Kaczmarek‘s concerns with the lack of transparency and the circumstances surrounding the settlement between the DuPage County Election Commission and Liberty Systems. What was the rush to settle with Liberty Systems? Why would the Election Commission accept used machines as part of the settlement? How can the people of DuPage County have confidence on election day with old equipment that other counties tossed away?

ACTION ALERT! Today I filed notice of intent to sue the DuPage County Election Commission for illegally withholding serial numbers of dated voting machines now in their possession which were cast off by other counties. Please read the news release which follows below. Please contact the Election Commissioners TODAY to request them to RELEASE THE SERIAL NUMBERS. Here is the contact information:

Cathy Ficker Terrill, Chairperson cterrill@dupageco.org
James Lowe jlowe@dupageco.org
John Boske john.boske@dupageco.org

Leave phone messages at: (630) 407-5600

Date: Sept. 4, 2018

DUPAGE COUNTY ELECTION WATCHDOG JEAN KACZMAREK GIVES NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUE ELECTION COMMISSION FOR ILLEGALLY WITHHOLDING SERIAL NUMBERS OF DATED VOTING MACHINES CAST OFF BY OTHER COUNTIES NOW IN DUPAGE

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn resident and 13-year election watchdog Jean Kaczmarek gave notice to the DuPage County Board of Election Commissioners today of her intent to file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Commission for illegally withholding records about the 118 dated, cast-off voting machines acquired from the vendor they have “a lack of confidence” in – namely, Liberty Systems.

Kaczmarek’s June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, denied by the County and currently on appeal to the Illinois Attorney General Office’s Public Access Counselor, seeks bulk serial numbers found on the outside of vintage, out-of-warranty Diebold optical scan machines.

Kaczmarek plans to use these serial numbers to track the origin of the antiquated, cast-off machines. These 15-year-old machines were provided to DuPage County under a settlement agreement among the Election Commission, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and Liberty Systems, LLC, following DuPage’s nationally-publicized 2018 Primary Election snafu due to faulty ender cards provided by the vendor. A reported 167 machines were damaged when the ender cards printed on too-thick paper stock were fed into the machines during the closing out the polling places. Confusion and miscommunication followed. Consequently, election results in DuPage were delayed for hours.

The terms of the dubious settlement were not publicly discussed or voted on prior to the May 9th Election Commission Board meeting, yet the agreement had already been fully prepared. The agreement was omitted in the agenda packet. Contracted attorney, Pat Bond of Bond, Dickson & Assoc., who oversaw the settlement, said the Commission had a “lack of confidence” in Liberty Systems. In addition to all contracts with Liberty Systems ending, the vendor was to repair or replace the broken machines with “like kind” models. The Board also agreed to pay Liberty Systems $187,469.86 for supplying the Commission with ballots and paper poll books in the Primary.

“My radar signals whenever a government body handles a delicate situation too quickly and too quietly. This was no exception,” Kaczmarek explains. “What were they thinking accepting old equipment cast-off from other counties? Unacceptable. Surely, DuPage can do better.”

Some 57 machines were repaired by Liberty Systems, leaving roughly 110 machines purchased in 2001 broken beyond repair. In June, the vendor delivered 118 “like kind” machines to the Commission. Kaczmarek is seeking the serial numbers found on the outside of these 118 voting machines. It is unknown if the Commission plans to use the machines or any of their components in future elections.

“Where did these used voting machines come from?” asks Kaczmarek. “Were they purchased on eBay? From an e-cycling firm? Or were they cast off by other counties and traded in for new machines at Liberty Systems? Citizens deserve to know. It is clearly a matter of accountability.”

The Commission has denied Kaczmarek’s FOIA request, calling it a threat to election security and an impermissible disclosure of private information, but Kaczmarek’s lawyer, Daniel Massoglia, said that under the law, Kaczmarek — and ultimately the public — is entitled to the withheld records.

“FOIA stands for the principle that the people have a right to know what the government is doing in their name. There is no security threat in this information. If the Commission doesn’t reconsider its illegal denials, we will enforce the public’s right to know in court,” Massoglia stated.

“A lawsuit is a time-consuming and expensive exercise,” Massoglia adds. “Failing to honor the law now will leave DuPage County taxpayers on the hook.”

Kaczmarek, who has been scrutinizing the DuPage County Election Commission since 2005 and is the Democratic candidate for DuPage County Clerk, is taking action now because she sees it as her responsibility as a member of the public to shine light on whether the County plans to use dated, out-of-warranty machines in future elections.

“Why should citizens be expected to have confidence in old, used voting machines from a company the Commission says it has a lack of confidence in?” Kaczmarek questions.

 

DuPage County Referendum Questions-What You Need To Know

In an attempt to get Republican voters out to the polls for the November 6th General Election the DuPage County Board approved three non binding referendum questions to be place on the ballot.

Below are the questions that will appear on the ballot:

“Shall DuPage County oppose the General Assembly instituting a property tax increase equivalent to 1% of your home’s value to help retire state debt?”

“Shall DuPage County oppose the creation of a statewide Vehicle Mileage Tax (VMT) which would tax DuPage County citizens based upon the number of miles driven annually?”

“Shall DuPage County continue to dissolve and consolidate units of local government to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and increase accountability?”

I questioned the validity of the questions during the August 14th meeting of the DuPage County Board. While I agree with my colleagues that allowing our residents a voice via referendum is a good public policy and I voted yes, I would have rather had questions that pertained to DuPage County Government on the ballot. 

The 1% tax on 1% of your property value would be political suicide as reported by Rich Miller from Capital Fax, and it will almost certainly never come to fruition, why is it “important” to know whether DuPage County residents oppose it? You can read the story here.

House Resolution 766, introduced by Charles Meier, opposes the Vehicle Milage Tax. The DuPage County Board could take action right now and add it to our list of bills and resolutions we oppose. Why wait until November 6th to take action? You can read the Resolution here.

3. The final question is a no brainer “Do DuPage residents desire local government to be more accountable, efficient and cost-effective?” No harm in putting it on the ballot my only concern is that the question is very misleading. Have you seen a significant reduction in your property taxes?

If it were up to me I would put the below referenced questions on the ballot:

“DuPage County elected officials are the highest paid in the state. Should the residents of DuPage County support a 10 year salary freeze?”

“DuPage County residents pay for the pensions, health insurance and vehicles of the countywide elected officials. Should the countywide elected officials stop taking the taxpayer funded handouts and fund their own retirement via a 401k and pay their own healthcare and vehicle costs?”

“DuPage County Board routinely provides no-bid contracts to vendors who donate to their campaigns. Should the residents of DuPage County require that all county contracts be provided to the lowest bid offer via a multiple-vendor bidding procedure?”

A good friend of mine has a saying “one party rule serves the party not the people.”  I don’t think these questions will sway voters one way or the other. I believe the people of DuPage are smarter than that and understand when the wool is being pulled over their eyes.

NOTE: A NON BINDNG REFERENDUM means that the results are non binding, having no legal or binding force.

 

 

Craft Vendors Needed for DuPage Care Center’s 51st Annual Fall Festival

DUPAGE COUNTY
NEWS RELEASE

Wheaton – The DuPage Care Center is currently seeking craft vendors for the 51st annual Fall Festival to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Center’s west parking lot.

The Festival will have many features including a classic car show, a resident craft sale, children’s games, garage sale, book fair, live music, flea market as well as the popular craft sale. The family-friendly event benefits the Care Center’s Resident Recreation Fund, which helps to provide residents with quality of life programs and services.

If you are interested in making a creative contribution, please call the Care Center at (630) 784-4495 or email fallfestival@dupageco.org.

For more information, please visit http://www.dpccfoundation.org/.

Elmhurst Electronics Recycling Event

DuPage County is pleased to announce that they have been able to partner with the City of Elmhurst on a one-day electronics recycling event open to residents that will be the end of the month. The details are as follows:

Elmhurst Electronics Recycling Event August 25th, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

985 S Riverside Dr, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Fees for TVs & Monitors A coupon and 501c3 tax receipt provided upon payment at the site. Payment can be made in advance at http://recycle.eworksesi.org/ 

up to 21 inches $25

 21 inches and above $35.

All other electronics accepted at no charge (computer, laptop, DVD players, game consoles, mobile phones, VCRs, mice, scanners, fax machines, keyboards, satellite receivers, copiers, printers, digital converter boxes, cable receivers, servers). 

Supporting DuPage County Students Making A Difference In Our Community and Beyond

                         Where there is no vision, there is no hope. – George Washington Carver

A few months ago I met a lovely young women named Prevail Bonga. Prevail recently graduated from Downers Grove North High School.  Prevail has been an advocate for gun safety and she is standing up for immigrants. She participated in the March for Our Lives Tour held in Naperville and she also spoke eloquently about her families path to find a better life at the Immigration Rally in Downer Grove.

Prevail is a very articulate and bright young women who’s passion for helping others and wanting to make the world a better place evident by her vision and hope.

Prevail wanted to help the children in Chicago that attend the pubic schools. She had visited with some of the students from CPS and realized they were in need of so many things. Prevail and her friend Emily Gornik took action and with a few of their friends they organized a Back to School Drive for CPS students. The Back to School Drive will benefit two schools, an elementary school in West Englewood and a high school in Roseland.

I am happy to support these outstanding young women from DuPage County who are making a difference in our community and beyond. I hope you will come out and support this great cause.

Details:

Where: Downers Grove North High School Main Street Parking Lot

When:  August 11th 3:00 – 7:00 PM

Supplies needed:

Pens, Pencils, Markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils

Books, beginner to advanced, new and gently used

Backpacks, any size

Notebooks, Folders, Glue, Scissors, Tape

Paper, lined and for painting

Toiletries:

Deodorant

Toothbrush/Paste

Tampons/Pads

Laundry Detergent

Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash

Tissue, Disinfecting Wipes

All Toiletries Must Be New 

 

 

DuPage County: More Misused Funds

In May, I wrote about DuPage County using the RTA sales tax to balance the General Fund rather than being used for our roads and public transit.  In July it was brought to the attention of the Finance Committee members that the Coroner Fee Fund has been providing relief to the General Fund.  The law states that the General Fund is responsible for paying the fees associated with autopsies. Since 2007, the fees associated with autopsies have been paid from the Coroner Fee Fund. Richard Jorgensen, the DuPage County Coroner, has requested that the fees associated with autopsies be paid from the General Fund as stated in the Illinois Statute, and use the Coroner Fee Fund funds for the purpose that was initially passed.

It appears the Coroner Fee Fund can no longer bare the burden of providing relief to the General Fund. This is not sound budgeting. This is simply a diversion of funds, kicking the can down the road. Below are questions that I have asked. These are important questions that need to be answered:

Besides the RTA Tax and the Coroner Fee Fund how many other funds are being used in the General Fund that were appropriated for specific purpose other than the General Fund?
If we were to allocate the RTA funds to transportation what impact would that have on the General Fund?
If the General Fund were to pay for the fees associated with autopsies as required by Illinois State Statute what impact would that have on the General Fund? 

You can read more about the misused funds here.