Five Year Blue Island Comprehensive 2013 Economic Master Plan
Posted in the Palos Heights Forum
#1 Jan 23, 2013
Lip syncing again.
#2 Jan 23, 2013
The New and Improved Friends and Family Plan.
#3 Jan 23, 2013
BIIP will execute the previous Five Year Comprehensive Blue Island Economic Master Plan.
#4 Jan 23, 2013
One master disaster after another; with none of the streets repaired or replaced in the 7th ward for the entire time candidate for mayor Vargas has been in office. Why?
#5 Jan 23, 2013
We will attract new business by selling Bonds.
#6 Jan 24, 2013
What's the difference? The empty promises alderman Vargas made over the last. 22 years. This new plan is designed to get him elected mayor. And to ensure the continuance of the friends and family plan.
#7 Jan 24, 2013
This sounds like another one of those center for neighborhood technology political action committee just in.time for election plans.
#8 Jan 24, 2013
This time we will use long term bonds to pay short term debt.
#9 Jan 25, 2013
We will issue more utility taxes and long term bonds to address unfunded pensions.
#10 Jan 25, 2013
We will serve cake.
#11 Jan 25, 2013
Pyrotechnics, jobs for familyfriends, smoke, no bid contracts, empty wells, rain barrels, debt, karaoke, cob webs, lip syncing, dust, after dinner mints, utility taxes, cake, jawa, and root beer barrels in the hope no one will notice the elephant in the room.
#12 Jan 25, 2013
We will use the water bill payments to make payroll.
#13 Jan 25, 2013
Pappas emails politicians, reporters images of their tax bills
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas highlighted the new features of property tax bills by emailing politicians and journalists images of their forthcoming bills.
By John Byrne, Tribune Reporter
January 26, 2013
Quirky Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas has adopted a bit of a Big Brother approach as she tries to attract attention to new government financial information that will appear on soon-to-be-mailed property tax bills.
The four-term keeper of the county checkbook sent emails to hundreds of politicians and journalists with copies of their individual tax bills, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago aldermen, county commissioners and several Tribune editors.
The effect of seeing personal information in an email from the government proved a bit jarring to some, but Pappas pointed out that property taxes are public information available to anybody who asks for it.
"I sent it exclusively to each person. No one else sees it," Pappas said. "I just want people to know that when they ask,'Why are my taxes going up?' they will be able to see that now."
For the first time, property tax bills will show what Pappas' office says is the debt, pension obligations, budget and other financial particulars of the school districts, cities and libraries their taxes support.
The treasurer brushed off questions about the seemingly labor-intensive process of having staff members track down the email addresses and property tax information for each journalist and public official, then attach an image of a bill to each message.
"It took less than two hours," she said.
Pappas, 63, may be known most for her for her baton-twirling routine while marching in local parades. She's been treasurer since 1998 and finished fourth to then-state Sen. Barack Obama in the 2004 Democratic U.S. Senate primary.
She said she's excited about the new information at taxpayers' fingertips. "I wanted to draw some attention to this, to the fact people will be able to easily see where their money's going," Pappas said. "This is going to make me really unpopular with some elected officials in this county."
Tax bills are scheduled to be mailed out Saturday. The first installment is due March 1.
#14 Jan 25, 2013
Illinois credit rating sinks to worst in nation
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois fell to the bottom of all 50 states in the rankings of a major credit ratings agency Friday following the failure of Gov. Pat Quinn and lawmakers to fix the state’s hemorrhaging pension system during this month’s lame-duck session.
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service downgraded Illinois in what is the latest fallout over the $96.8 billion debt to five state pension systems. The New York rating firm’s ranking signaled taxpayers may pay tens of millions of dollars more in interest when the state borrows money for roads and other projects.
“It’s absolutely bad news for taxpayers,” said Dan Rutherford, the Republican state treasurer.
Illinois received its bottom-of-the-pack ranking when it fell from an “A” rating to “A-minus.”
That’s the same rating as California, but California has a positive outlook. Illinois’ fragile overall financial status netted it a negative outlook, putting it behind California overall. The ratings came out now because Illinois plans to issue $500 million in bonds within days.
Exactly how much Illinois’ credit-rating slide ultimately will cost taxpayers is unknown until the demand for the state’s bonds is measured in the markets. But Rutherford estimated the state will pay $95 million more in interest than if Illinois had a AAA rating, which is much higher.
Even before the downgrade was revealed, Quinn said in Chicago the “pressure is higher than ever” to solve the pension problem because “credit rating agencies are screaming at the top of their voice” for final action.
The Democratic governor and lawmakers couldn’t cut a pension deal despite his deadline forthe outgoing legislature to act before the new General Assembly was sworn in Jan. 9.
On Friday, Quinn called for lawmakers to take up legislation sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, that combines two rival pension plans emerging from the House and Senate. Both rein in costs by reducing benefits, an action unions have argued is unconstitutional.
Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said the rating agencies are “confirming what we all recognize. It’s time for action on pensions.”
House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego maintained Friday’s downgrade underscores the “gravity of Illinois’ fiscal crisis.” Moody’s already ranks Illinois 50th among the states, and Fitch ranks the state 49th but warns of a negative watch, Rutherford said.
One other ominous point in the Standard & Poor’s report is that inaction could lead to downgrading Illinois to “BBB,” an “unusual” low rating for any state. The agency noted a “lack of action on pension reform and upcoming budget challenges could result in further credit deterioration.”
“Most states will build reserves when the economy is performing well, and that typically provides a cushion when the revenues deteriorate,” said Robin Prunty, the S&P analyst who heads the agency’s state ratings group.“But Illinois has never really carried or accumulated any kind of budgetary reserves.”
On top of the pension meltdown, Illinois faces more grim budget duties. The state already has made major cuts in school funding in two straight budgets, and the Quinn administration predicted more cuts are on the way. In addition, a 67 percent increase in the income tax rate lawmakers imposed in 2011 starts to decline in 2015. And the state has billions of dollars in unpaid bills.
#16 Jan 28, 2013
Illinois sets $500M bond sale for Jan. 30
1:05 pm, January 22, 2013
Illinois will sell $500 million of general obligation bonds on Jan. 30 in its first deal since a state legislative session ended this month without any resolution to a huge unfunded public pension liability, a state official said on Tuesday.
John Sinsheimer, the state's capital markets director, said the 25-year bonds to fund capital projects should benefit from the light supply of deals so far in 2013. However, he added the new bonds could be hurt by inaction on pension reform.
Governor Pat Quinn, who has pushed for action on pensions, has warned that the state could pay higher borrowing costs for its ongoing multibillion-dollar capital program if rating agencies continue to pound Illinois' credit rating lower.
Lawmakers adjourned their lame-duck session on Jan. 8 without voting on a fix to the state's $96.8 billion unfunded pension liability.
Legislative inaction led Fitch Ratings on Jan. 11 to warn it could downgrade the state's A rating. Moody's Investors in December said it could also cut Illinois' A2 rating, which is the lowest among states it rates. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services dropped Illinois to A with a negative outlook in August due in part to the pension problem.
Investors continue to demand hefty yields for Illinois debt although the state's so-called credit spread over Municipal Market Data's benchmark triple-A scale for 10-year bonds narrowed slightly to 135 basis points in the week ended Jan. 18 from 137 basis points in the prior week. It stood at around 136 basis points in mid-January 2012. In contrast, the spread for California bonds was just 42 basis points in the latest week, down from around 74 basis points one year ago.
Sinsheimer said investment banks looking for inventory and that are aware Illinois sets aside money for principal and interest payments on its outstanding bonds every month should be bidders for next week's competitive sale.
He added that new bond sales for Illinois could reach the $2 billion to $2.5 billion range in 2013.
The state was the sixth-biggest issuer of debt in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market in 2012 at $5.1 billion in seven deals, according to Thomson Reuters data.
#17 Jan 28, 2013
We noticed the 58 MILLION Dollar Elephant in the room.
#18 Jan 29, 2013
Thirty years of unpaid bills and bonds resulting in the $58 million dollar debt the mayor and the council are responsible for creating.
#19 Jan 30, 2013
Maria Papas is trying to make sure taxpayers to know the unfunded pensions must be fully funded during the term of the upcoming election cycle. Dispersements will not be made to municipalities with underfunded pensions.
The chickens are coming home to roost.
#20 Jan 30, 2013
Election shocker: Mokena mayor drops out of race
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY [email protected] January 29, 2013 5:14PM
Updated: January 30, 2013 2:18AM
Mokena Mayor Joe Werner announced Tuesday he will not seek a third term as mayor and will withdraw from the race Wednesday.
Challenger Frank Fleischer will be the only mayoral candidate on the ballot for the April 9 election.
Werner said he must focus on his family, his plumbing business and his full-time job as water department superintendent and plumbing inspector for the city of Blue Island.
“It has recently become quite apparent to me that I can no longer commit the amount of time that I believe is necessary to responsibly fulfill the obligations as mayor for four more years,” he said.
“It is the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make but one that is logical and practical for my family,” he said.“I would love to have ended my career in a different way.”
Werner said there are no known or impending health or family issues, and that his decision to step down is based solely on personal priorities.
“I’m not running from anything. I don’t want to risk another day of where I need to be,” he said, stressing that his family, his business (Werner-Nugent Plumbing) and his job must come first.
“I’m being proactive about my family and my future,” he said.
In the election four years ago, Werner ran unopposed for his second term. But three years ago, he said he had to scale back his plumbing business to survive, and he stopped paying himself. He took on a full-time position in Blue Island, but maintains two-thirds ownership in the plumbing business.
“I didn’t know how it would all work by adding a full-time job. I wanted to make it work. But in recent weeks, I became aware that it is much tougher to do,” Werner said.
In arriving at his decision, Werner said he did not look at the politics “at all.” He did not want to continue in the race and then later resign later if he won. That, he said, would have been “lying” to the voters.
Voters will still decide the future direction of the village with the election of three trustees, he said. Werner supports all the incumbents: trustees John Mazzorana, Joe Siwinski and George Metanias, and Village Clerk Pat Patt.
Mazzorana and Siwinski previously served on the board with Fleischer, who was a trustee for 16 years. Fleischer is running with his own slate of trustee and clerk candidates.
They tried to get Werner, Mazzorana, Siwinski and Metanias thrown off the ballot earlier this month, when they filed nominating petition objections, but they were overruled.
Werner said he made the decision not to seek re-election just before the objections were filed, but felt he had to prove the signatures on his petitions were valid. Otherwise, he said, it would have been “an insult to the people who signed them.”
In a brief prepared statement, Fleischer said,“On behalf of the Mokena Friends and Neighbors and our many supporters, we would like to thank Mayor Joe Werner for his many years of service to the residents of Mokena. We look forward to a smooth transition.”
Thursday is the last day for candidates to withdraw from the April 9 ballot. Feb. 7 is the last day to file as a write-in candidate.
#21 Jan 30, 2013
The Progressive Party really put the screws to every residents in Blue Island. And now they are trying to fool the Voters again, by changing the name of their political party to the Blue Island Independent Party.
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