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Monday, October 11, 2010

Quinn Dishes Out Millions of Taxdollars for Aurora Park and U.S. Cellular to Create 59 Full-Time Jobs As School Districts Say They Are Owed Millions | Campaign Season or Good Public Policy?

For our Aurora area viewers, this is not a story about RiverEdge Park, the proposed $13 million park along Broadway (Rt. 25) in downtown Aurora.  This is also not about the pros/cons of the park idea, design, location, contractors or the question of "if you build it, will they come?"

This is also not about U.S. Cellular, one the region's larger cellular companies that has been saying they were considering moving their headquarters to Oklahoma and about 1,000 employees out of Illinois.

Instead, this is about public policy and how education is funded in Illinois.

Late last week, in a series of announcements, Illinois temp Gov. Pat Quinn announced grants and incentive packages in various communities with the state dishing out millions.

Those announcements included a grant for $8 million toward the park in Aurora and $7 million of tax credits and incentives for U.S. Cellular to keep their headquarters in Illinois.

Aside from temporary construction jobs, Quinn says these $15 million in taxdollars will create full-time jobs, specifically 34 in Aurora for the park and 25 for U.S. Cellular.  That's 59 total.

Meanwhile, local school districts are saying they are owed millions.  This has nothing to do with the park or a cellular company, but goes to the fundamental priority of education and how we fund it.

It's campaign and election season, so announcements of spending millions of taxdollars at this time can have a double-edge.  If you are a big fan of funding the park or keeping a cellular company in Illinois, you probably are glad to see these announcements.  If you a school district or one of the many small business owners waiting for payment from the State of Illinois, you are probably not-so-happy.

We say forget about politics and who's who.

Regardless of timing, is it a good public policy decision for the state to fund a local park or corporation to renew their office leases?  What grants or incentives are appropriate or too much?

What needs to happen to make sure education is properly funded, yet make sure it's an efficient and fiscally responsible system that produces the highest results for the lowest cost?

How should taxpayer dollars be prioritized?

Remember, it's your money.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about Foster he gave the East Aurora school 6.5 million. They never had a lay-off and no class-rooms to hire. The claim was this was a jobs bill. Meanwhile West Aurora only got 2.6 million and District 204 with 29,000 children and mass lay-offs only received 1.9 million. If shows government waste at its best. It also shows the dems need to go.

Anonymous said...

If there's any reason to get rid of this spend-thrift, this is it. Otherwise, it's more of the same with your money for another 4 years.

Anonymous said...

"if you build it, the mexicans will come"

Anonymous said...

Check the facts. This is money that MAY NOT BE USED TO PAY DEBTS.

Anonymous said...

The State should look into how D131 is spending the money. They have many classrooms with 35+ students. They might not of got rid teachers but they sure hired administration jobs and a helper for the PR person how is that for the good of the students.

Anonymous said...

What kind of puss post was this?

Anonymous said...

Whether or not the money should be used for debt is irrelevant. The city should not be taking it to build a park for the homeless to sleep in all day(they have the library) when the city needs to fork over 7 mil more to build it. No more pet projects for Weisner. Damn you, enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

What kind of pension benefits does Weisner get?

Anonymous said...

city

Mayor

and

department of toll road

Anonymous said...

City 75.000.00

Mayor 150.000.00

Tollway 200.000.00
______________________

400.000.00 Up per year. only a quess

Anonymous said...

Speaking of pensions & tax dollars, what kind of pension does "Serial Bully" Radakovich get? It's definitely more than $100,000.00 per year, ON TOP OF what he's getting coaching soccer and teaching courses like "School and Community Relations" at Aurora University.

He screwed District 131, then walked away with more than a million dollars (over the past 5 and next who-knows-how-many years) of OUR money.

Anonymous said...

Radocvich get $269,000

Anonymous said...

If that's the case, then he's already screwed the district for over a million since his retirement from 131.

He's a major example of why we need pension reform, NOW!

Anonymous said...

8:32

You're not kidding. We should call for the mayoe to set the example and sign over some of his pensions back to the city. Lets start a campaign. Openline, are you ready to jump on board?

Anonymous said...

Now seriously idiot, do you actually think anyone would take
a pay or pension cut or give anything back? Would you do that for others? Hell NO you wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

9:40 a.m., you're right that no one's likely to voluntarily give back anything--I know I wouldn't!

That's why we need pension reform legislation. Everyone should be forced to share the pain of our tough economic climate.

Anonymous said...

Sorry fellas, we need symbolic gestures from our politicians, The old days of do what I say, not what I do, are long gone. The mayor needs to lead by example and step up to the plate. Otherwise, no one will take him seriously. Think about it for a minute. "i need everyone to sacrifice and pitch in. part of this sacrifice will be in the form of major pension reform. Everyone will have to retire later and be eligible for only one pension during their lifetime. Also, the benefit will be greatly reduced. This of course will apply to everyone......ah hummm.....well except me"

Until he does, his words are empty, and he is a coward! Lead from the front and hold are leaders accountable for their actions and inaction!

Anonymous said...

Ever hear of "Rank has its privledges?" In other words, don't expect those at the top (elected politicians and school board members) to make any concessions. Concessions only apply to the little people (the powerless taxpayers).

Anonymous said...

11:15

Let's not except that type of corruption anymore. Everyone knows it's easy to tell someone to sacrifice or engage in a difficult task. But, a true leader is not afraid to engage in the same uncomfortable sacrifice as his subordinate.

My argument is logically and ethically based. Yours is realty based, for the moment. Lets demand more of our politicians! The time is now! Get the word out!

Anonymous said...

Most politicians are former lawyers and we know the reputation lawyers have? I think nowadays the prerequisite to being a politician is having to be dishonet, corrupt, a liar and a cheat. They tell you what you want to hear and after there elected they stick it up your you-know-what. The sad thing is people re-elect these same crooked politicians again and again.

Don't ever think things will get better. If you do, you're delusional.

Anonymous said...

2:50

Unforunately your right on.

Anonymous said...

pension reform should include,

increased employee contribution

increase the age of retirement

reduce percentage of income that can be collected capped at 50%

reduce the amount retirees receive and eliminate cost of living increase

no health care benefit for retirees


sorry boys and girls, but ya don't get on easy street after digging ditches and sweeping streets for 20years. Those days are over.

Anonymous said...

pension reform should include

The reform is give them the cash balance equivalent (finance it while rates are low) and from then on a 3% flat 401 K contribution, no medical in retirement like the rest of the country. End of story. No more pensions.

Anonymous said...

That what Pension reform is all about, Because a few take advantage of the system why take it way from all.

Only the highest Pension
(no double dipping)

No appointed Position Pension.

all Pension based on years of service and age.
(No one day in service and a pension for life)
etc, etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

Now we are getting somewhere.

and

pension benefits of existing recipients will have to be greatly reduced.

Anonymous said...

A pension should be like Social Security: if you get a job, your benefits (pension) will be reduced by whatever you're earning over a set amount.

In other words, since one of Radakovich's cronies was able to get him a gig at Aurora University, D131 should be able to reduce the amount of his pension--saving the taxpayers a lot of money that can actually be used for the kids.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Quinn is nothing more than a tax and spend (to his favorite friends) democrat or socialist.

Anonymous said...

Vote out all these incumbants so they all get to know we registered voters mean business.

Anonymous said...

That what Pension reform is all about, Because a few take advantage of the system why take it way from all.

The issue is defiend benefit pensions are not a viable option they never were. Take a look at corporate America one of the biggest companies IBM got rid of theirs years ago because it was not sustainable. And they had a fairly typical pension(although better than most) if you put in your 30 years with various factors you left with about 60% of final 5 years average pay. And that was simply not sustainable. Now compare to the public sector where after 30 years payout is a far greater portion of final salary and inflation adjusted (private sector ones seldom were).

IBM and other companies looked at that with the increase in longevity and said they could not afford it - and they could not.

We got a guy in town Varney an ex-gradeschool principal who got hi doctorate a few years before retiring to ratchet up his pension he is in good shape young and walking with a multi million dollar pension and health care package. We will be stuck paying for this nimrod for up to 50 years as he has lead a stress free life sucking at the public teat.

It is not pension reform we need so much as the total elimination of defined benefit plans and a total shift to defined contribution plans.

Anonymous said...

10:21 A.M.

You r right on sir. There r some benefits to the employee as well; regarding your proposal. A 401 K is portable, allowing an employee to move from job to job.

Anonymous said...

Quinn is coming to the East Aurora Schools. What a prefect place the Kane county richest school district with the worst test scores. A prefect dem haven give all the hard earned tax payer money to the poor well the other districts get none. At the end of the day if they paid those kids to pass the test they would not. The black superintendent with the Mexican kids prefect dem photo op.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY reason D131 was finally able to pass its referendum in '08 is because it was on the same ballot as Obama/McCain. Thousands of public housing residents came out to vote in the Presidential election (as is, of course, their right)--and also voted YES to helping themselves to our tax dollars, knowing full well they wouldn't have to pay a dime.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of education tax dollars how about that WOW WOW campus in Plano. When I first moved to Aurora there was no Wow Wow only a fictional need drummed up by the local pol and educators. It was located in a supposedly central area and was to be serviced by the Aurora bus line, for the poor children. Over the course of the years the educators have seen fit to ever expand their dominance over the taxpayer by adding more and more campuses. Why don't they just provide an instructor to come to every students home. That way they wouln't have to add all the bricks and morter. EVER EXPANDING GOVERNMENT ENTITIES are the reason I no longer live in the area....couldn't/wouldn't pay the high taxes. Education is important but not at the excessive expense of the taxpayer in an ever expanding system.