Blue Box Editorial on No Votes -...

Blue Box Editorial on No Votes - AGREED

Posted in the Litchfield Forum

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x ace

United States

#1 Feb 22, 2009
Those elected representatives of the people who have the courage to vote their convictions and vote in accord with their view of what is best for the people should be commended whether that vote is yes or No. If more No votes had been cast in the past, our country, our state, and this City would be better off.

Since: Oct 08

Litchfield

#2 Feb 23, 2009
x ace wrote:
Those elected representatives of the people who have the courage to vote their convictions and vote in accord with their view of what is best for the people should be commended whether that vote is yes or No.
And if they don't,then the only vote that matters,is the vote that you and I,and the rest of the voting populous puts in the ballot box in April.
fatboizs

Pana, IL

#3 Feb 23, 2009
Scully,have you noticed when taxpayers vote NO.The
finger pointers and the paid printers are silent?
The latest was the nort litchfield fire district,
who cryed foul on that one,maybe majority rules still has a place in litchfield. IF and i say IF in April NO,becomes the word of the taxpayer, lets see who calls them stupid and vengful.maybe
just maybe litchfields thinkers and shakers will
just break the tie and and go on business as usual? thank goodness for the ballot booth,to me
voting in the back room are the votes needing a
tiebreaker.your right scully wait till APRIL!!

Since: Oct 08

Mattoon, IL

#4 Feb 23, 2009
x ace wrote:
Those elected representatives of the people who have the courage to vote their convictions and vote in accord with their view of what is best for the people should be commended whether that vote is yes or No. If more No votes had been cast in the past, our country, our state, and this City would be better off.
I agree with your first statement and wish more of our alderman understood that as some want to make every issue a blood feud and attack their collegues and their mayor for having a different opinion (not wrong opinion, different opinion).

I disagree about the "no" votes, and I think any study in history would prove that wrong. I do concede voting no from time to time is however prudent. But you don't get better in anything by voting no all the time. The City of Litchfield has a history of never doing anything in a preventative manner. We don't fix the squeaky wheel, we wait till the whole cart falls apart then wonder how it could have happened. Prevention is not in our vocabulary, reaction is our way. We never want to spend $5 dollars now to save $50 in five years, we'll just wait till it's a crisis in five years and then point fingers about who could have done what and when (like the Walton Park dam, et. al.). We are masters in fixing the blame rather than fixing the problem. We're clanish too, we don't like outsiders. If you weren't born here, you're not our kind, and always subject to great suspicion. If you're educated you'll wear a moniker also, educated people can't be trusted (even if you're from here), just ask those without educations. Our 1800's maps (because God forbid we spend money for new ones) clearly shows Litchfield to be the center of the universe, much like Rome was, where all knowledge and enlightenment flows from....Long live Rome!
x ace

United States

#5 Feb 23, 2009
Native or outsider, formally educated or not, spender or saver, national or local, the presenter of a proposal to a legislative body should be held to strict standards of preparedness, transparency, fiscal responsibility, knowledge of the subject matter, documentation, and objectivity in presentation of the pros and cons of the proposal with the best interest of the citizens always at the forefront. If those standards are not met, the vote should always be No. If substandard proposals are repeatedly presented then personnel changes are mandated. The legislative body rules.

Since: Oct 08

Mattoon, IL

#6 Feb 24, 2009
Who decides what "substandard" is? The honest truth is many times the issue lies not with the presenter, but with the receiver. In many cases the receiver is not smart enough to understand what is being presented. That's what leads me to my argument about educated people. When the educated present a proposal the uneducated or under-educated cannot understand they tend to attack the presenter or the proposal because of their own shortcomings or ignorance, not because the issue itself is substandard. When the legislative body is not smart enough to know what's going on, that's when changes are mandated.

“G'Day Mate”

Since: Dec 08

Hornsby, Illinois

#7 Feb 26, 2009
Perhaps what is needed is someone who can present the hard to understand gobbledeegook of modern city running into easy to understand hick town language.

For instance.

Pay me money so you can work.

If you do not pay me you will starve.

the food bank is currently deposit only.

sure glad I live in Hornsby.

“G'Day Mate”

Since: Dec 08

Hornsby, Illinois

#8 Feb 26, 2009
We the people shall decide what "substandard" is.
x ace

United States

#9 Feb 27, 2009
" We the people" is right on target. The elitist and perhaps dictatorial contention that the common man must steadfastly defer to the more educated man was wisely rejected by our country's founders 230 or so years ago when they established a bifurcated legislature. The legislative body at all levels of government is the embodiment of "We the people". The legislative body makes the decisions.(if the "hired help" don't realize that, then they may be
"educated" but they ain't smart and "We the people" are getting a raw deal.)
who knows what

Saint Charles, MO

#10 Feb 27, 2009
That is why we the people are allowed to band together to decide who the hired help is. Unfortunately in small towns, it is based more on a popularity contest instead of whether or not the individual is qualified. The problem lies in the fact that politicians cannot keep every single person happy. Either way they vote, someone is upset. Once they upset enough people, they are no longer the most popular. But everyone complaining must remember you put them there. On the other side of that, you can remove them as well.
x ace

United States

#11 Feb 27, 2009
My use of "hired help" is directed to paid full time employees and not elected officials. The point being that the elected officials not the hired help should be in charge.
who knows what

Saint Charles, MO

#12 Feb 27, 2009
Absolutely agree. Sorry I misunderstood what you were saying.
Rocket Scientist

Charleston, IL

#13 Mar 5, 2009
If the people of Litchfield feel that there are problems now with the fire department, they haven't seen anything yet if they vote for Cailey, Bates, and Law!!!!! Please remember what has been written in the last year about what has gone on inside the paid department. Your "Chief" has done such a "wonderful" job of hiring paid staff on the department, but has given the entire paid staff less work to do with all of the new hires!!!! Can you see a problem here folks????? Now to vote for any of these 3 would be a vote for more of "the same" for another how many years. Is this what this city needs people???? A council that will basically write their own paychecks???????? PLEASE THINK BEFORE YOU PUNCH THAT TICKET!!!!!!!!!!
x ace

Juneau, WI

#14 Mar 7, 2009
Rocket is right, common sense says you can't be your own boss. So does the common law, and also the municipal code. Employees have political rights but that does not include being you own boss. It is a pure and simple conflict of interest.

Since: Oct 08

Mattoon, IL

#15 Mar 8, 2009
Actually, Illinois law says they CAN be their own boss. There was another disussion on here some time back where we had that conversation, I believe Skully actually posted the law verbatum. Evidently the fire fighters union has some good lobbyists, because they are the only government employees that can. So don't hate the players, hate the game. It wouldn't be the only conflict of interest that occurs there, and what's good for one is good for another. They would abstain from votes directly involving them anyway.

Good for them I say, who here wouldn't want to be their own boss given the chance? Everywhere I've ever worked the employees seem to know more about what's going on than the boss anyway. I've heard very few positive comments from our elected officials about employees, I'm sure it wears on the employees after a while. Look how many combined years of experience those 3 firemen have in observing city operations, I would think in that time you would get a pretty good feel for what's going on, which is probably exactly why they are running.
x ace

Cedar Rapids, IA

#16 Mar 9, 2009
The local government employee rights act is the law to which you appear to refer. It was a firefighter lobby promoted bill. It says what it says. But, please note it uses the term "any office". That is the position the firefighters advocate.

My contention is that "any" is wrong. A fireman can't run for State's Attorney or Attorney General just because he's a fireman. Also, a 25 year old fireman can't be president of the United States. Qualification and disqualification are always issues.

Litchfield's issue is conflict of interest pure and simple. Both the common law and the municipal code prohibitions on being your own boss should be applicable. A full time paid firefighter can not also be alderman of the same town. Disqualification by conflict of interest.

It is predicted that if the voter's don't derail the sham, the courts will. Again " any" is being misconstrued as I see it.

Since: Oct 08

Litchfield

#17 Mar 9, 2009
This is the law,however I do believe there is a strong argument that would pass muster in the court systems arguing "conflict of intrest".There have already been several cases brought before the courts already.I will let you all look that up yourselves.

The General Assembly approved House Bill 1338 by a large vote in the House (116 – 0), and a close vote in the Senate (33-20-1) allowing members of the fire department or fire protection district to run for, and if elected, serve in a public office. Governor Blagojevich approved the measure creating Public Act 94-316, effective July 25, 2005, which adds Section 12 to the Local Governmental Employees Political Rights Act.[1]

§ 12. Elective and appointed office. A member of any fire department or fire protection district may:

(1) be a candidate for elective public office and serve in that public office if elected;

(2) be appointed to any public office and serve in that public office if appointed; and

(3) as long as the member is not in uniform and not on duty, solicit votes and campaign funds and challenge voters for the public office for which the member is a candidate.(Emphasis added).

Since: Oct 08

Mattoon, IL

#18 Mar 9, 2009
Actually a fireman could run for States Attorney, Coroner, or even Sheriff. Nowhere does it say the State's Attorney has to be a licensed attorney, only that if elected they must have a "qualified staff". The coroner does not have to be a medical doctor, nor the Sheriff a police officer. It's not "Litchfield's Issue" as you call it, it is state law. Litchfield, and more importantly the Litchfield Fire Department, is not the center of the know universe no matter how much someone with their own website tries to make it. The vast majority of people really don't care.
If we want to talk conflict of interest, let's talk ALL conflicts of interest.

It's funny to me as it serves as a warning that the ass you kick today maybe the one you have to kiss tomorrow. Be careful how you treat people....
x ace

Cedar Rapids, IA

#19 Mar 9, 2009
A State' Attorney absolutely must be a licensed attorney. The Attorney General too.

The above quoted statute is just that, one statute. Others exist. For example, the Ill Mun Code Sec 5/3.1 - 15-15 states in part:
"Holding other office. A mayor, president, alderman, trustee, clerk or treasurer shall not hold any other office under the municipal government during the term of that office except when the officer is granted a leave of absence from that office....Moreover an officer may serve as a volunteer fireman and receive compensation for that service."

The law of the State is determined by the application of all relevant statutes, and controlling court cases to the specific facts of the situation. My contention remains that "any" does not mean that you can hold an office for which you are not qualified or for which you are disqualified by conflict.

"Litchfield issue" was used because that's where it here and now presents itself. However, conflict of interest is probably a universal issue. Ideally, all governmental conflicts of interest would be gone. Private ones too.

Not kicken, not kissen, not treaten nobody bad.

Since: Oct 08

Mattoon, IL

#20 Mar 10, 2009
Did some digging on the State's Attorney issue, and damn Ace if you weren't right. Article 6 Section 19 of the Illinois Constitution says the State's Attorney has to be a licensed attorney to hold office. My apology for making a statement when I didn't check the fact. I've heard for years and years that was a quirk in Illinois law, not true it would seem.

As for the other issue and the "conflict". It's not a conflict until the courts rule otherwise, so for the purposes of our election, it's a moot point. "We the people" shall decide for now.

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