2 Blue Island brothers in line for 6 government pensions

Nov 3, 2013 Full story: Chicago Sun-Times 56

Since taking office in May, new Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas has given two newly created city jobs to campaign supporters and handed no-bid contracts to political allies.

Full Story
Stanley

Detroit, MI

#21 Nov 8, 2013
People get the government they deserve. This is chump change in democratic circles. Check out the clinton's and the socialist obama's.

Disgusting but should have seen this train coming.
Give Back

Chicago, IL

#23 Nov 17, 2013
Patronage Island wrote:
November 4, 2013 09:57 AM
Patronage Island
The new mayor of cash-strapped Blue Island pledged reform, so why are politically connected companies and campaign supporters landing contracts and jobs?
By Andrew Schroedter/BGA
Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas / Credit: Brett Roseman, Sun-Times Media
Commentary
A version of this article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Related Articles
Two Brothers, Six Pensions
Lessons From Cheeseland
Are Taxpayers Getting Burned?
The green has been flowing in Blue Island under new Mayor Domingo Vargas.
Ever since taking office in May amid a pledge of reform and stabilizing government finances, Vargas and his political allies have steered municipal jobs and no-bid contracts to campaign supporters and other insiders – some with ties to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and other state lawmakers, the Better Government Association has found.
Vargas says the decisions were based on merit, not clout or political gain, as he works to improve the city’s gloomy financial picture. What’s more, he says he doesn’t mind if his choices come under fire.
"I’m not here to win a popularity contest," says Vargas, formerly a Blue Island alderman. "I’m here to bring change to this town."
Among the "changes" the BGA has found, Vargas and city officials:
•Named John Rita Jr. director of public safety, a newly created post that pays $90,000 a year and oversees the police and fire departments. Rita, a former official with the Cook County sheriff’s office, donated $1,000 last March to a Vargas-linked political committee. Rita and his brother, state Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island), worked as unpaid advisors on Vargas’ mayoral campaign.
•Hired Mesirow Financial to procure new health insurance coverage for its employees. The Chicago firm employs Madigan’s son, Andrew Madigan, who was involved in securing the business from Blue Island. The Mesirow deal was not competitively bid. Robert Rita and the elder Madigan are political allies.
•Hired Vargas campaign volunteer Don Marchbanks as director of the Blue Island Emergency Management Agency, which handles traffic and crowd control at public events. Until Vargas took office it was an unpaid position; Marchbanks was given a $12,000-a-year salary.
•Awarded a no-bid contract to a Chicago law firm that employs a legislative colleague of Robert Rita, state Rep. Chris Welch (D-Westchester). Welch’s wife, ShawnTe Raines, also is an attorney at the firm, and she was named Blue Island’s city attorney after Vargas won office.
Vargas, City Clerk Randy Heuser and eight other candidates formed a political slate, called the Blue Island Independent Party, that ran in last April’s election with the backing of the Rita brothers. All but one prevailed.
Vargas says the candidates inherited a prickly financial situation. The city, already saddled with unfunded pension liabilities of $40.3 million, has seen annual expenses soar 22 percent to $26.3 million since 2010. Meanwhile, revenues have remained relatively flat, putting pressure on city officials to cut costs. Saving money was the reason the city recently picked a new health insurance plan for 183 current and former municipal employees and their families, Heuser says.
But the BGA found the new deal, which took effect Oct. 1, may not deliver immediate savings.
Change of Staus will assist with paying down Blue Island bills through the "Give Back" program.
Bobs blight

United States

#24 Nov 18, 2013
Cujo wrote:
As a legislator, Robert Rita, 44, made $74,569 last year. He is also Calumet Township supervisor, making $67,000 a year after a 23 percent pay raise he got in June.
How can these public servant jobs warrant full time salaries, if one person can do both jobs? And I am a union supporter, for the most part.
wheres the investigative reporters when you need them?
City Jerk

Chicago, IL

#25 Nov 18, 2013
Public safety Rita failed to inspect all the old warning sirens the pole and siren fell during the storm . Good work. Now there is no future warnings for 12700 Sacramento.
Bob

Girard, OH

#26 Nov 18, 2013
City Jerk wrote:
Public safety Rita failed to inspect all the old warning sirens the pole and siren fell during the storm . Good work. Now there is no future warnings for 12700 Sacramento.
what about Marcia stone? She has been useless her whole tenure!
Rubber Stampers

Chicago, IL

#27 Nov 18, 2013
The most useless granted themselves a promotion with support from Bob.
And Then

Chicago, IL

#28 Nov 18, 2013
They Lie cheat steal and go to church......on Sunday.
Test

La Grange, IL

#29 Nov 18, 2013
test
City Jerk

Chicago, IL

#30 Nov 18, 2013
Rita submitted FEMA request this morning for funds to help with the storm.
More Vargas Failure

Chicago, IL

#31 Nov 18, 2013
City Jerk wrote:
Public safety Rita failed to inspect all the old warning sirens the pole and siren fell during the storm . Good work. Now there is no future warnings for 12700 Sacramento.
When you put people in THESE APPOINTED Positions; they need a job description and SKILLS to do the JOB.
And Now

Oak Lawn, IL

#32 Nov 18, 2013
And Then wrote:
They Lie cheat steal and go to church......on Sunday.
Their yearly carnival isn't that good anymore either.
More Failure

Chicago, IL

#33 Nov 18, 2013
City Jerk wrote:
Public safety Rita failed to inspect all the old warning sirens the pole and siren fell during the storm . Good work. Now there is no future warnings for 12700 Sacramento.
What has been done about this?
Why

Chicago, IL

#34 Mar 9, 2014
Patronage Island wrote:
November 4, 2013 09:57 AM
Patronage Island
The new mayor of cash-strapped Blue Island pledged reform, so why are politically connected companies and campaign supporters landing contracts and jobs?
By Andrew Schroedter/BGA
Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas / Credit: Brett Roseman, Sun-Times Media
Commentary
A version of this article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Related Articles
Two Brothers, Six Pensions
Lessons From Cheeseland
Are Taxpayers Getting Burned?
The green has been flowing in Blue Island under new Mayor Domingo Vargas.
Ever since taking office in May amid a pledge of reform and stabilizing government finances, Vargas and his political allies have steered municipal jobs and no-bid contracts to campaign supporters and other insiders – some with ties to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and other state lawmakers, the Better Government Association has found.
Vargas says the decisions were based on merit, not clout or political gain, as he works to improve the city’s gloomy financial picture. What’s more, he says he doesn’t mind if his choices come under fire.
"I’m not here to win a popularity contest," says Vargas, formerly a Blue Island alderman. "I’m here to bring change to this town."
Among the "changes" the BGA has found, Vargas and city officials:
•Named John Rita Jr. director of public safety, a newly created post that pays $90,000 a year and oversees the police and fire departments. Rita, a former official with the Cook County sheriff’s office, donated $1,000 last March to a Vargas-linked political committee. Rita and his brother, state Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island), worked as unpaid advisors on Vargas’ mayoral campaign.
•Hired Mesirow Financial to procure new health insurance coverage for its employees. The Chicago firm employs Madigan’s son, Andrew Madigan, who was involved in securing the business from Blue Island. The Mesirow deal was not competitively bid. Robert Rita and the elder Madigan are political allies.
•Hired Vargas campaign volunteer Don Marchbanks as director of the Blue Island Emergency Management Agency, which handles traffic and crowd control at public events. Until Vargas took office it was an unpaid position; Marchbanks was given a $12,000-a-year salary.
•Awarded a no-bid contract to a Chicago law firm that employs a legislative colleague of Robert Rita, state Rep. Chris Welch (D-Westchester). Welch’s wife, ShawnTe Raines, also is an attorney at the firm, and she was named Blue Island’s city attorney after Vargas won office.
Vargas, City Clerk Randy Heuser and eight other candidates formed a political slate, called the Blue Island Independent Party, that ran in last April’s election with the backing of the Rita brothers. All but one prevailed.
Vargas says the candidates inherited a prickly financial situation. The city, already saddled with unfunded pension liabilities of $40.3 million, has seen annual expenses soar 22 percent to $26.3 million since 2010. Meanwhile, revenues have remained relatively flat, putting pressure on city officials to cut costs. Saving money was the reason the city recently picked a new health insurance plan for 183 current and former municipal employees and their families, Heuser says.
But the BGA found the new deal, which took effect Oct. 1, may not deliver immediate savings.
Why wouldn't they serve the public instead of themselves?
Danny

Blue Island, IL

#35 Aug 23, 2014
They have no shame

Since: May 11

Location hidden

#36 Aug 23, 2014
Danny wrote:
They have no shame
None, it's $$$$ in heir pockets
All Invited

Blue Island, IL

#37 Oct 10, 2014
The Governor of the State of Illinois

Pat Quinn

will be in Blue Island to make an announcement about the

Blue Island Clean Water Initiative and the Cal-Sag Trail

Saturday, October 11, 2014

4:45 pm

at

Blue Island City Hall

13051 Greenwood Ave.

Blue Island, IL
Andy

Orland Park, IL

#38 Oct 10, 2014
All Invited wrote:
The Governor of the State of Illinois
Pat Quinn
will be in Blue Island to make an announcement about the
Blue Island Clean Water Initiative and the Cal-Sag Trail
Saturday, October 11, 2014
4:45 pm
at
Blue Island City Hall
13051 Greenwood Ave.
Blue Island, IL
Get a photo with him while he's still the gov. Ha Ha Ha...
Andy

Orland Park, IL

#39 Oct 10, 2014
All Invited wrote:
The Governor of the State of Illinois
Pat Quinn
will be in Blue Island to make an announcement about the
Blue Island Clean Water Initiative and the Cal-Sag Trail
Saturday, October 11, 2014
4:45 pm
at
Blue Island City Hall
13051 Greenwood Ave.
Blue Island, IL
Oh yeah, give him Phil or Lantechs parking spot on the sidewalk for his visit then show him around town for some fine food and drink.
Stand Up for Your Rights

Chicago, IL

#40 Oct 10, 2014
All Invited wrote:
The Governor of the State of Illinois
Pat Quinn
will be in Blue Island to make an announcement about the
Blue Island Clean Water Initiative and the Cal-Sag Trail
Saturday, October 11, 2014
4:45 pm
at
Blue Island City Hall
13051 Greenwood Ave.
Blue Island, IL
Quinn needs to make an announcement about the FLOODING, Brownsfield, No Bid Contracts, and ignored pothole ridden streets.

Water in CalSag is CONTAMINATED by runoff from Blur Island combined sewers.
Not intimidated

Midlothian, IL

#41 Oct 11, 2014
All Invited wrote:
The Governor of the State of Illinois
Pat Quinn
will be in Blue Island to make an announcement about the
Blue Island Clean Water Initiative and the Cal-Sag Trail
Saturday, October 11, 2014
4:45 pm
at
Blue Island City Hall
13051 Greenwood Ave.
Blue Island, IL
I'd rather get a tooth extracted. Who wants to go see a bunch of crooked, pay for pay politicians stroke each others egos on such a beautiful autumn day? Vote Rauner! Get these thugs all out of office in Illinois. We know how horrible the Rita Democrats destroyed Blue Island this past year. Vote out pay for play politicians.

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