Everything you need to know is in the details

DuPage County requires all vendors to complete a Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement exceed the amount of $25,000. The Disclosure reads:  Every contractor, union, or vendor that is seeking or has previously obtained a contract, change orders to one (1) or more contracts, or two (2) or more individual contracts with the county resulting in an aggregate amount at or in excess $25,000, shall provide to Procurement Services Division a written disclosure of all political campaign contributions made by such contractor, union, or vendor within the current and previous calendar year to any incumbent county board member, county board chairman, or countywide elected official whose office the contract to be awarded will benefit. The contractor, union or vendor shall update such disclosure annually during the term of a multi-year contract and prior to any change order or renewal requiring approval by the county board. For purposes of this disclosure requirement, “contractor or vendor” includes owners, officers, managers, lobbyists, agents, consultants, bond counsel and underwriters counsel, subcontractors and corporate entities under the control of the contracting person, and political action committees to which the contracting person has made contributions.

 At the February 23rd Finance Committee of the DuPage County Board I mentioned concerns I had with Mackie Consultants, LLC and their failure to properly complete the Required Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement. I stated that the Vendor Ethics Disclosure is no good if sections are left blank. I also informed the board that this was the second time I have found a Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement missing important information. 

Earlier in that day I called the county to speak with the procurement department about the failure of Mackie Consultants, LLC to properly complete the Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement.  Mackie Consultants had skipped over the two sections. The Vendor Ethics Disclosure Statement clearly states: A contractor or vendor that knowingly violates these disclosure requirements is subject to penalties which may include, but are not limited to  the immediate cancellation of the contract and possible disbandment from future county contracts. 

The first section reads as follows:

I have made the following campaign contributions within the current and previous calendar year: If no contributions have been made enter “NONE” below:

The second section reads as follows:

All contracts and vendors who have obtained or are seeking contracts with the county all disclose the names and contact information of their lobbyists, agents and representatives and all individuals who are or will be having contact with county officers or employees in relation to the contract or bid and shall update such disclosure with any changes.

Procurement was able to contact Mackie Consultants, LLC and have them complete a revised Ethics Disclosure with all the necessary information prior to the meeting. 

Original Disclosure With Missing Data

Revised Disclosure with all information

Flint Water Crisis Parallels Unincorporated Downers Grove Water Contamination of 2001

I had the privilege of participating in the discussion about the Flint water crisis.  What’s happening in Flint Michigan is a travesty and was completely avoidable. Running the state like a business lead to the poisoning of an estimated 9000 children.  In 1989 The EPA, DuPage County and The Village of Downers Grove knew the community well water was contaminated.  The Village of Downers Grove switched to Lake Michigan.  I discovered the contamination in  our water in 2001 after a private tests confirmed 3 times the legal limit of  trichloroethylene (TCE). It took two and a half years to secure a safe water supply. The people of Flint will spend the rest of their lives worrying about the health and well being of their families. I know this from my own experience of living with a contaminated water supply. 

Flint Water Crisis Indicative Of Larger Problem Facing Low-Income Communities

Michael Joyce
Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI,5) was in Chicago this weekend, where he held an open discussion about the Flint water crisis, leading to a very spirited debate on the accountability of government and the risks facing under-served communities in America.
The town of Flint, Michigan, made national headlines when high levels of lead were found in its water supply. It is estimated that up to 9,000 children could have been exposed to the contaminated water. Exposure to lead at a young age is known to result in developmental problems for children. The town is also dealing with an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease, which could possibly be linked to the lead-laden water pipes.
Rep. Kildee attributed the crisis in Flint to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) businesslike approach to government, drawing parallels with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Kildee said blame also lays with officials at the Midwest region of the Environmental Protection Agency, many of whom knew about the crisis for six months prior to the information going public. EPA officials say they did not publicize the information because the state insisted that the law didn’t require the agency to do so.
Kildee says the EPA should have exceeded its authority on this matter, and notified the public.
Illinois has wrangled with water contamination issues in the past. DuPage County Board member Elizabeth Chaplin attended Saturday’s discussion and explained how suburban Lisle’s water systems were found to be contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE, back in 2001.
“We were 800 homes, so it’s not a lot compared to Flint,” said Chaplin. “But there are a lot of parallels.”
One such parallel was with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which knew about the issue for some time but, as seen in the Flint incident, failed to notify the public due to the lack of a federal requirement.

You can read the full story by using the provided link: