Is Oak Forest city admin's job in danger?

Apr 23, 2010 | Posted by: Colloquy | Full story: www.southtownstar.com

Is Oak Forest city admin's job in danger? Comments April 23, 2010 BY MICHAEL DRAKULICH Oak Forest Mayor Hank Kuspa came up with a surprising suggestion Thursday night to help the city save money: Eliminate the city administrator job.

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“I don't do sarcasm...but... ”

Since: Jan 08

sometimes I get provoked!

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#1
Apr 23, 2010
 
April 23, 2010
BY MICHAEL DRAKULICH

Oak Forest Mayor Hank Kuspa came up with a surprising suggestion Thursday night to help the city save money: Eliminate the city administrator job.

Kuspa painted a grim financial picture for the city at a meeting of the city council's finance committee and called for creative ways to help resolve its budget crisis.

Then he came up with one - abolishing the key post of city administrator, held now by John Marquart at a salary of $155,000.

In a prepared statement to aldermen, Kuspa called cutting the position, which oversees the daily operation of city government, "perhaps the hardest decision of all." He did not say how city operations would be managed if the position were eliminated.

At least one alderman couldn't disagree more with the idea. Ald. Nancy Hullinger (5th) said the city would be "laughed at" if it let Marquart go and that also would make it more difficult to attract talented professionals for city jobs.

Kuspa also proposed splitting the building department from the community development department but did not explain how that would save the city money. Under the plan, community development director Adam Dotson would be in charge of that department while someone else would head the building department.

Aldermen seemed noncommittal to that proposal, but they appeared to not agree with another Kuspa idea to cut the job of community development planner.

The council will have another finance committee meeting at 7 p.m. Monday. A special council meeting to approve the 2010-11 budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday. The city's fiscal year ends April 30.
Just Looking

Crystal Lake, IL

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#2
Apr 26, 2010
 
I cannot believe no one has a comment on this report!
resident21

AOL

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#3
Apr 26, 2010
 

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We are already laughed at!
Laughed at

Sun Prairie, WI

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#4
Apr 26, 2010
 

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Every other city, village, and town in America is looking for ways to curb expenses, but Hullinger would rather work harder to keep a political ally on the payroll then reduce city expenses. Are her priorities in line with the rest of OF's?
When the funds allow for restaffing the position, I'm sure there will be no shortage of qualified applicants. Marquart wasn't God's gift to the city, so get over it.
Reality Check

Sedalia, MO

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#5
Apr 26, 2010
 

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In an April 25th article in the Southtown Mayor Kuspa offered up proposals for bridging a $400,000 gap in the proposed budget for 2010 - 11.

1. Eliminate the City Administrator position and have department heads report to him. Kuspa has a full time job and shouldn't have time to manage the City on a day to day basis. That's why you have a professional City Mgr like Marquart. He's not a political ally of anyone on the Council. If Kuspa has all this spare time let's get rid of his Mayoral Secretary, that saves $50,000.

2. Kuspa wants to hire and spend $80,000 and create a new Department head for the Building Department which now falls under Community Development Director Adam Dotson. Huh? Rich Simon claims it will make things more efficient and professional? No just more expensive. Call me cynical but it sounds like Hank and Rich know someone who needs a job. There's not a lot of Building or Community Development going on in this economy. Adam can continue to handle both.

3. Like the idea of 10 furlough days for Mayoral appointees and non-union workers. But why not include the Police, Fire and Public works unions? We're all in this together, how about a little shared sacrifice.

Can't wait for the Finance meeting tonight at City Hall.
Richton Park Resident

Oak Forest, IL

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#6
Apr 26, 2010
 

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Your new building Commishner already has a job here that pays almost as much. I don't know why he is leaving. We have been very fortunate to have him for the past four years.
Interesting

Dyer, IN

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#7
Apr 26, 2010
 
Laughed at wrote:
Every other city, village, and town in America is looking for ways to curb expenses, but Hullinger would rather work harder to keep a political ally on the payroll then reduce city expenses. Are her priorities in line with the rest of OF's?
When the funds allow for restaffing the position, I'm sure there will be no shortage of qualified applicants. Marquart wasn't God's gift to the city, so get over it.
So are you saying the Hullinger is the only person that wants this not to happen? Or is she looking at this as an Adlerman should what might be best for the city as a whole? So you are saying taking away the $ 155,000 and then adding $ 80,000 in Public Works is the correct way to proceed?

Personally I am concerned with all of it, including the City Agenda for the regular meeting that posts names for executive session and after executive session. Has Hank Kuspa completely lost his mind to allow that to be posted like that? Something tells me maybe Mr. Kuspa does not even look at the agenda that is posted by his Administrative Assistant. Not a good move a the leader of the city, but it is really getting to look much more like the old Administration of a previous mayor and not the new one of a mayor that had talked about change.

I would also have to question where all the duties are going when you eliminate a professional Administration position? If they go to the Administrative Assistant then this mayor and these aldermen are crazier then we could all imagine!
Just Looking

Crystal Lake, IL

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#8
Apr 26, 2010
 
I am sure the Admin Assistant will have additional duties that will require "additional money" also, they will not need to hire anyone new for the Building Dept. just promote someone's wife who will also get "additional money" - there goes the savings for the City, but there will be a team at City Hall who are doing well
resident

Country Club Hills, IL

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#9
Apr 27, 2010
 
how about keeping everyone in there current positions but reduce there salary! come on 155,000 per year, should be 80,000. I don't know about you but i'm seeing businesses leaving not coming.
boycott

United States

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#10
Apr 27, 2010
 

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Regardless of your feeling on the staffing. Agendas need to post names if any possible action will be taken in open session at that meeting.
Interesting wrote:
<quoted text>
So are you saying the Hullinger is the only person that wants this not to happen? Or is she looking at this as an Adlerman should what might be best for the city as a whole? So you are saying taking away the $ 155,000 and then adding $ 80,000 in Public Works is the correct way to proceed?
Personally I am concerned with all of it, including the City Agenda for the regular meeting that posts names for executive session and after executive session. Has Hank Kuspa completely lost his mind to allow that to be posted like that? Something tells me maybe Mr. Kuspa does not even look at the agenda that is posted by his Administrative Assistant. Not a good move a the leader of the city, but it is really getting to look much more like the old Administration of a previous mayor and not the new one of a mayor that had talked about change.
I would also have to question where all the duties are going when you eliminate a professional Administration position? If they go to the Administrative Assistant then this mayor and these aldermen are crazier then we could all imagine!
Tired in Oak Forest

Harvey, IL

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#11
Apr 27, 2010
 

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Was Hullinger part of the council when JoAnn Kelly was in office and overspent leaving us in the position we're in now? Didn't she vote for most of the expenditures and large contracts for department heads that we never used to have? That would be laughable if we taxpayers didn't have to pay for their mistakes. We're overstaffed in Public Works. 5 people in administration for 17 employees? How does that ratio make sense? Make a list of all appointed personnel and compare that to what we had 6 years ago. Our city has not grown enough to make all these high priced personnel worth it.
As far as the unions go, what mayor and city council members voted to give them 4% raises for 3 years. Corporate America is not seeing raises like that, in fact, most of us had have our wages frozen.
Wake up Hullinger. You voted for most of this stuff. Now you can figure out how to pay for it and still try to get elected again. Criticizing Kuspa isn't going to get you off the hook for your decisions. You're the one that's laughable.

“JPR”

Since: Nov 09

Oak Forest

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#12
Apr 27, 2010
 

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Tired in Oak Forest wrote:
Was Hullinger part of the council when JoAnn Kelly was in office and overspent leaving us in the position we're in now? Didn't she vote for most of the expenditures and large contracts for department heads that we never used to have? That would be laughable if we taxpayers didn't have to pay for their mistakes. We're overstaffed in Public Works. 5 people in administration for 17 employees? How does that ratio make sense? Make a list of all appointed personnel and compare that to what we had 6 years ago. Our city has not grown enough to make all these high priced personnel worth it.
As far as the unions go, what mayor and city council members voted to give them 4% raises for 3 years. Corporate America is not seeing raises like that, in fact, most of us had have our wages frozen.
Wake up Hullinger. You voted for most of this stuff. Now you can figure out how to pay for it and still try to get elected again. Criticizing Kuspa isn't going to get you off the hook for your decisions. You're the one that's laughable.
Yes, Alderman Hullinger was in office during the entire Kelly administration.
I attended last night's finance meeting and it appears some of the Public Works administration numbers will be reduced.
Your point about the number of appointed personnel today vs. six years ago should be well taken.
About that time I worked at the city and we had at least five less FTE's working in administration.
Most of the current council approved all these additional positions.
Most of the current council is reluctant to get rid of any of these additional positions.
I'm sympathetic to anyone losing their job, but some of these never should have been created.
I'm also sympathetic to the current Mayor for trying to figure out how reduce some of these salaries that were added.
It's a tough decision to lay of someone who's a great worker.

Jim Rossi
jprinbox-topix@yahoo.com
04/27/10 15:00
Speaking of Nancy

Madison, WI

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#13
Apr 27, 2010
 
Does anyone think she's ever going to be voted out? She was more or less a lacky for the past two mayors and folks I talk to in her ward are pretty divided. Unless your in her click, your a piece of dirt. That "laughable" quote should be her downfall. I wonder how many times shes actually voted against spending taxpayor money.

“I don't do sarcasm...but... ”

Since: Jan 08

sometimes I get provoked!

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#14
Apr 27, 2010
 
Oak Forest city administrator post to stay

April 27, 2010
BY MICHAEL DRAKULICH

Oak Forest Mayor Hank Kuspa on Monday night backed off his proposal to eliminate the city administrator position as a way to save the city money.

Instead, the city will lay off a full-time building inspector and eliminate a managerial position in the public works department.

Kuspa said after Monday night's city council finance committee meeting that John Marquart would remain as city administrator, at the urging of the council.

The loudest critic of Kuspa's surprising proposal last week was Ald. Nancy Hullinger (5th), who said the city would be laughed at if Marquart were dismissed, and it would have trouble attracting qualified job candidates.

With the key administrator post staying, cuts have to come from elsewhere, especially if the city creates the position of building commissioner.

Finance director Colleen Julian said the salary for the building inspector will go toward the $80,000 salary of the yet-to-be-named building commissioner - who will oversee the building department, which is being split from the community development department. The salary for a vacant police dispatcher position will be shifted to help pay for the building commissioner, Julian said.

Kuspa said making the building department a separate department would allow community development director Adam Dotson more time to spend retaining businesses and recruiting new ones to Oak Forest.

Aldermen also seem determined to keep the post of city planner, which Kuspa wants to remove. The council is expected to vote on the 2010-11 budget at its meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“I don't do sarcasm...but... ”

Since: Jan 08

sometimes I get provoked!

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#15
Apr 27, 2010
 
Mayor praises fire dept. for contract concessions
By: Michael Drakulich
on April 23, 2010 4:58 PM

Oak Forest city officials are faced with trimming about $400,000 from an already lean budget.

Mayor Hank Kuspa, however, said the city received some unexpected help from its fire department.

Kuspa said the fire union is due a contractually stipulated salary increase of 4 percent May 1. But fire officials approached Kuspa and offered to take half of that for the upcoming fiscal year.

Kuspa called the offer a "huge help."

The city is currently negotiating new contracts for public works and police. He said asking the two departments for some contractual concessions isn't out of the realm of possibility. But he could not do so without having city staff make some tough cuts first.
boycott

United States

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#16
Apr 27, 2010
 

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Wake up, your dirt to Hullinger unless you can do something for her or her family that the benfit from financially. Remember dad who was embrolled in the gambling scandal as police chief. He was rewarded years later with a post as police commissioner, while mom also got a city job. YAnd we were rewarded with her dad leading us into another expensive public scandal when he changed scores on the police exam to get a family member on the police force. The there is Hullinger's brother, also on the police force.

Hullinger served on two school boards at the same time. while also getting paid as a crossing guard. She finally quit the school board so she could take a job at the school district planting flowers and dumbing garbage cans at the administration building. So she ran to get a check from the city as an alderman. But you can be an alderman and work for the city. No problem she got the school board president former fire chief Laycoax, who as alderman she was now his boss, to hire her away from the City and on to more school district dollars as a crossing guard, to go along with her school board job planting flowers. I thought education dollars were suppose to be for education?

Hullinger benefits Hullinger ...financially that is. She will do what she needs to in order to keep the workers happy and her in office so she can keep cashing checks from the City and School District.
boycott

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#17
Apr 27, 2010
 

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Also lets not forget last year when her husbands electrical work didnt pass inspection so Alderman Hullinger called yelling at the community developer until he said it was okay. We can get him to return calls, but Alderman Hullinger used her position to benefit herself
Wake up Folks

Chicago, IL

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#18
Apr 28, 2010
 

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boycott wrote:
Also lets not forget last year when her husbands electrical work didnt pass inspection so Alderman Hullinger called yelling at the community developer until he said it was okay. We can get him to return calls, but Alderman Hullinger used her position to benefit herself
Hey where are all the folks like "BEWARE" talking about posting all the libelous materials. Is there physical proof all this happened or are you just running this family name through the mud? I am sure there is at least one other Alderman on this current council that was receiving help from the Laycoax bandwagon. Also wasn't this current mayor on the school board that approved all the fore-mentioned goings on. Here we go Oak Forest politics is starting again to raise its little head. Let's see we have statements made against the 5th ward Alderman? You have connections to the former Fire Chief, but isn't the mayor a protege of that same person, in fact he was an Inspector for the same person. You have a mayor that in all the literature talks about change and being different, but in hearing about all the staff meetings and voice mails he leaves, he is no different than the previous mayor that all the aldermen and city workers that didn't like her called her the "Queen" on their website. Well now you don't have a queen running the government, but there sure are a couple of "JOKERS".

It must be getting close to mid-term Aldermanic elections, here comes all the potshots! Here is what I would suggest, vote all of them out! Which one of these politicians is relieving the tax burden on the citizens of our city? Where is all the growth of our fair city. Don't tell me we are surrounded by forest preserves and it is a tough economy. Then do like Mokena and other communities get rid of the Economic Development Department until the economy changes, that will save you a large some of money. Hey Guys here is the plan, get rid of the dissenting opinions and none of the citizens will ever question what we are doing.

Come on let's wake up this is just more of the same, folks at the Taxpayers Checkbook writing themselves checks at out expense! Let's take care of all the Cronies, jobs,benefits wow what else can we see they are doing.
Double WOW

Chicago, IL

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#19
Apr 28, 2010
 
In the Southtown this morning:

However, Kuspa and some aldermen said they would not approve any raises in fees or fines to bring in added revenue.

That might answer your question on how they are trying to relieve the tax burden on the citizens.
Boycotts a MOOCH

Saint Charles, MO

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#20
Apr 28, 2010
 

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boycott wrote:
Wake up, your dirt to Hullinger unless you can do something for her or her family that the benfit from financially. Remember dad who was embrolled in the gambling scandal as police chief. He was rewarded years later with a post as police commissioner, while mom also got a city job. YAnd we were rewarded with her dad leading us into another expensive public scandal when he changed scores on the police exam to get a family member on the police force. The there is Hullinger's brother, also on the police force.
Hullinger served on two school boards at the same time. while also getting paid as a crossing guard. She finally quit the school board so she could take a job at the school district planting flowers and dumbing garbage cans at the administration building. So she ran to get a check from the city as an alderman. But you can be an alderman and work for the city. No problem she got the school board president former fire chief Laycoax, who as alderman she was now his boss, to hire her away from the City and on to more school district dollars as a crossing guard, to go along with her school board job planting flowers. I thought education dollars were suppose to be for education?
Hullinger benefits Hullinger ...financially that is. She will do what she needs to in order to keep the workers happy and her in office so she can keep cashing checks from the City and School District.
Ok so boycott what you are putting her down for is actually working to make some money in this bad economy to put food on the table for her family. You are probably some jobless bum who mooches off un-employmet. Go get a life boycott!!! She has done nothing but help me in any problems I have had and you are going to put her down for WORKIG. Go get a job BUM!!

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