Double Standard in DuPage County

During the May 27th meeting of the DuPage County Board, I had asked if we could include the word air in our updated Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan mentions water quality and since our community was hit hard by Steriginics I thought it might be a good idea to reference air quality as well. The Chairman pointed out that I need to do my homework and come prepared to the meetings. I fired back that we received our packet late Friday afternoon, Monday was a holiday and there simply wasn’t enough time to get a hold of staff before the meeting.

Flash forward to the June 11th meeting of the DuPage County Board, as Chairwomen of the Environmental Committee I am giving the committee update and motion to approve an Intergovernmental Agreement between DuPage County and the City of Naperville, all hell breaks loose.  Member Jim Zay questions the procedure and asks questions about the intergovernmental agreement. He is allowed all the time he needed to loudly question and request additional information, information that was included in the board packet. Newly elected Board Member Julie Renehan rightly called out the double standard. It is true when some board members ask questions they are criticized and belittled while others get a free pass to ask questions and request more information.

During our last meeting on June 25th  Board Member Tim Elliott called on the Clerk Jean Kaczmarek to answer questions regarding the minutes. Board Member Elliott was allowed to question the clerk with no interruptions and there were no questions as to why he did not call the clerk before the meeting to discuss his concerns. During the same meeting board members were chastised for asking legitimate questions and asking for more information regarding a major structural change to county government which also included hefty increases in salaries.

I have always supported allowing more time for members to get the information they need and the time they need to do the necessary research. I may not be so accommodating anymore.

When I ran for the DuPage County Board I said I would challenge the status quo, ask questions and do my homework and that is what I am doing.

 

The Daily Herald reports the following

Cronin’s Restructuring Plan Draws Fire From Critics

DuPage holds off on $100K for hazardous waste facility in Naperville; board member says city benefits most in deal

DuPage renews support for hazardous waste facility in Naperville

Liz Chaplin, whose appointment ended last June, was ignored and even ridiculed by other Commissioners

#2020iscoming

#builabetterdupage

#demsindupage

 

DuPage County Creating Policy For Intergovernmental Agreements-Updated 7-3

For years the DuPage County Board has passed an Intergovernmental Agreement between DuPage County and the City of Naperville to provide funding in the amount of $100,000 for the continued operation of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

Two weeks ago the item was tabled in part because of procedural questions. The procedure used two weeks ago has been the same procedure the county has used for years. Two weeks ago there was a concern that the intergovernmental agreement went from the Environmental Committee to the County Board meeting without going through the Finance Committee. The intergovernmental agreement was tabled. Yesterday the Intergovernmental Agreement between DuPage County and the City of Naperville was brought before and passed out of both the Finance Committee and the County Board meeting.

I did a little research and it didn’t take long for me to determine that the DuPage County Board approved $610,920.00 in intergovernmental agreements that went from a standing committee to the board without going through the Finance Committee since January. In fact, the same day the Intergovernmental Agreement between DuPage County and the City of Naperville was pulled in part because of the concern it was not reviewed by the Finance Committee the board approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Department of Transportation and IDOT in the amount of $153,750.00 an increase of  891.30%  and total estimated costs of $171,000.00 that did not go to the Finance Committee. No concerns, no questions and no hoopla.

Yesterday I spoke about the inconsistency with regards to the practice of how intergovernmental agreements are processed. Staff confirmed my findings that in fact, many intergovernmental agreements had been approved without being reviewed by the Finance Committee. I am pleased to announce that county staff is in the process of creating a policy for intergovernmental agreements so in the future we don’t experience what took place a few weeks ago.

As a member of the board and in the minority party, it is my job to challenge, question and stand up when I know the playing field is not always level.  It’s important to insist that the same standards apply to all committees and board members. Consistency is the key.

You can read more about the Intergovernmental Agreement between DuPage and the City of Naperville here.

7-3 POST UPDATE:

Per discussion at the June 26th Board meeting, it has been communicated to DuPage County departments that all Intergovernmental Agreements that have a financial impact are required to go to Finance Committee, prior to County Board.

 

#buildabetterdupage

#demsindupage

 

 

DuPage County Board approves the Intergovernmental agreement with the City of Naperville for the operation of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility

For years the DuPage County Board has passed an Intergovernmental Agreement between DuPage County and the City of Naperville to provide funding in the amount of $100,000 for the continued operation of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

Two weeks ago the item was tabled because of procedural questions. The procedure used two weeks ago has been the same procedure the county has used for years. Concerns of lack of information arose even though the information was provided in the board packet. I supported the motion to table the intergovernmental because I believe in collaboration and even though the material was in the packet I wanted to give the board members more time to review the information and make sure all their questions and concerns were addressed.

Yesterday the County Board approved the Intergovernmental agreement with the City of Naperville for the operation of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility and will provide funding in the amount not to exceed $100,000 during the term of the agreement.

The Naperville household hazardous waste facility is one of four in the state and provides the residents of DuPage and the surrounding communities a much-needed place to safely dispose of hazardous household items. The facility is located at 156 Fort Hill Drive and is open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., excluding holidays.

Household hazardous materials, including oil, anti-freeze, cleaning products, flammables, fertilizers, paints, prescription medications, herbicides and more are accepted at the facility.

DuPage County is a recognized leader in addressing environmental concerns support of the HHW is part of the reason for this recognition.

You can learn more about the HHW here.