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Friday, December 17, 2010

The 2011 City of Aurora Budget | Commentary By Alderman Rick Lawrence

(Crossposted from the Chicago Tribune)


Aurora is at an economic crossroads.

If we follow the mayor’s plan, we address Aurora’s current fiscal crisis with no change to the unsustainable business model, increase taxes, kick the can down the road and hope the economy improves.

None of these solve the underlying problems and rising cost of our city government.

The other choice is to fund essential city services and functions, taking the appropriate time to zero-baseline the budget and restructure a viable and sustainable business model for the future.

The current fiscal crisis is not lower revenues, as defined by the mayor. Since 2005, revenue has actually increased significantly. Rather, the fiscal crisis is the culmination of years of excessive spending and growing the size and scope of an inefficient government.

After review of the proposed massive 1,457 page 2011 City of Aurora budget, the mayor is correct: public safety pension costs have increased by $1,032,947.00, but what he is not addressing is the total cost of all city employee pensions, which in 2011 will cost taxpayers $21,207,043.00. This does not include all other benefit costs, including the enormous health insurance we provide for both existing and retired employees in the tens of millions.

To illustrate the expanding cost of government, the proposed 2011 budget lists spending increases for many departments, including the mayor’s own office, law department, clerk, administrative services, central services, civil service commission, accounting, budgeting, water billing, animal control, computer supplies and consulting fees as just some examples.

Meanwhile, the city will reduce police, fire, street maintenance, water and sewer maintenance, equipment services, parking maintenance, customer service and community service.

Even with reductions in operations and services, the costs of administration, salaries, pensions and benefits continue to increase.

The current business model spends more to provide less. The need to fundamentally change the structure of our city government is critical.

Currently, there are some 47 departments and divisions and another half-dozen commissions and boards, all spending money within their own bureaucracies.

For example, the fire department consists of, a fire chief, deputy chief, 2 assistant chiefs, a fire marshall, 10 battalion chiefs, 13 captains and 32 lieutenants all receiving higher salary, pension and benefit packages than the 124 firefighters. Unfilled firefighter positions have been eliminated, while increasing the cost of administration.

The mayor recently announced he would layoff 8 police patrol officers, but at the same time, kept the same number of upper management and administrative staff.

We have an economic development department which costs taxpayers over a million dollars per year for salaries, pensions, benefits and administrative expenses, not including consultants, but does include the annual trip to Las Vegas. At the same time, we give hundred of thousands of additional tax dollars to the Seize the Future group for economic development services.

While we struggle to pay for important infrastructure, such as streets, sidewalks, bridges and sewers, we have collectively gone into debt, shifted money from TIF and casino funds to unwisely spend millions of tax dollars on projects such as the failed Shodeen Eastbank development, $7 million temporary YWCA parking lot, River’s Edge Park and others.

To address the bloated and increased cost of government for 2011, the mayor is proposing a tax rate increase to compensate for lower property values. Our tax rate with debt service and library will be about $1.96 per $100 of Equalized Assed Valuation (EAV). At the same time, Naperville’s is about 73 cents per $100 of EAV.

Making superficial cuts that do not increase efficiency or address actual waste is not responsible.

It will not be easy to restructure the business model and operations of this city. It will take the cooperation of everyone, including all our employee groups, but failing to take bold steps now will make the solutions even more difficult later.

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

how is it possible we have so many chiefs of this and that in the fire department?

Anonymous said...

the city's spending has been out of control and the city council needs to take responsibility. blaming the economy is just a lame excuse.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why people are surprised.

Anonymous said...

we taxpayers are fools for allowing these irresponsible elected official to keep spending our money.

I fully agree with Ald. Lawrence, but my concern is that there's no other city council currently who understands how this is headed off a financial cliff.

If the city approves a tax increase, I will move. I've had enough of Aurora's bad habits.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Lawrence did an outstanding job in outlining the problem.

Where is his solution.

Anonymous said...

hate to bust your bubble rick, as a city employee i have seen over the last couple of years a 15% reduction in pay as well as increased contributions to my own health care and pension. these benefits are hardly free as many assume. thousands of dollars come out of my checks to pay for these, and after taxes the money i take home is not nearly as much as the administration would like the taxpayers to believe
i am thankful to have a job, many don't. tho i must say it's really getting old listening to the lies as to why the city is having financial difficulties, and that the employees are the reason for a tax increase

Anonymous said...

another soap box speech by Lawrence with no solution. Pensions are governed by the State of Illinois -- run for State Rep Rick if you have all the answers. Your "speech" is worthless.

Anonymous said...

Rick, the city has 500 policemen and firefighters, and 400 for everything else that the city does. You need to look at the 60% of city employees that are public safety staff if you are serious about cutting costs, otherwise you are no different than any other politician, including the one you supposedly oppose.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Lawrence has the right idea and approach. He is saying the Fire and police departments need to be changed. It's not just a matter of making a bunch of cuts.

Anonymous said...

Step up to the plate Rick and refuse your salary, insurance benefits and IMRF.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ the others above who ask Lawrence where his specific solution is. Interesting that there IS one alderman who has proposed specific cuts. Maybe they don't totally fix the problem, but at least SOMEONE made some specific proposals to help, even if only a little. That's more than Lawrence has done. Now let's see, who was it that actually made some specific proposals? Hmmm, could that be Kifowit?

I've started my timer to see how long it takes Openline to remove this post.

Anonymous said...

How is it possible that the mayor's office needs to increase their spending? Get rid of all the assistants and spokespeople NOW! That should give you a couple of million dollars in savings.
The law department needs to increase spending? What for? Alayne doesn't do anything now. She seems to hire special attorneys to do her job. Fire her and get someone that can do the work without special attorneys.
All travel and memberships in any organizations should be cancelled immediately. If you are asking your creditors to rework the agreements, then you don't spend the money on extras.

Ralph said...

Mr. Mayor it just came across the TV, that there will be no layoffs in Aurora. Thank you

To all the alderman who worked in the background. Thank You


Sgt Ralph (retired).

Now lets work to get the other problems solved.

Anonymous said...

The alderman is sincere and intelligent in identifying the real problems of the City Budget.

Anonymous said...

let's see. 18 mil short a couple of years running. the city council passes a balanced budget, but come august, september there seems to be a deficit.
i'm no accountant, but isn't a balanced budget when revenues equal expenditures? if i didn't know better, i would think revenues were deliberately overstated so that pet projects could be funded, and the budget considered balanced. silly me

Anonymous said...

Two things... all you complainers about what the solutions are... 1.2 million submitted in cuts and they only cut 1500.00???? You ignorant fools could only cut 1500.00 bucks? Thats cause your stupid and frankly you are a bunch of a-holes! I see absolutely no point in submitting anything to these morons. They clearly are not interested! 2nd, Ralphy, what TV are you watching? They are LAYING OFF 8 (eight) police officers. Please share your info. Thanks buddy!

Anonymous said...

The other Alderman are on record as not wanting to make cuts in the Mayor's office. You know he put them up to it. The fact they they would follow makes them fools. They all need to go moon face Elmore, O'connor the wimp and Keith has some nerve pushing a budget through he will never be around to suffer with.

Anonymous said...

Before makiing a commentary shouldn't you make sure you know what you are talking about? What point is Slick Rick trying to make about the management of the fire department. There are standards for span of control and safety that are set by NFPA 1710: Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression. This standard calls for the rank structure that the fire department uses. Deviating from this standard puts civilians and firefighters at risk and opens the department and the city to liability. Maybe Rick should look into things before he runs his yapper, and maybe the knuckleheads on this blog should not put every word that comes out of his mouth onto tablets and hold them up as if they were the Ten Commandments.

Anonymous said...

Civilians and firefighters are NOT at risk because the Fire Dept. Union has come up with a clever plan of over-staffing Upper-Management at AFD. There is absolutely no reason for the Dept. to filled with so many over-priced positions.

Anonymous said...

Since when has the city of Aurora given a crap about Standards of Operation? Thats a foolish statement to say that if we did not have so many bosses working the citizens would be at risk.

Anonymous said...

10:37 - Do you know for a fact the Fire Dept is over staffed ? What do you know about their jobs? Honestly, Fire Department is a blanket title for : Hazardous Materials Response, Emergency Medical Services, Technical Rescue, Fire Prevention, Arson Investigation, Water Rescue, and Terrorist Attack Response (Oh yeah, lets not forget fire suppression). The Fire Dept is mandated by law to adhere to specific safety standards. If the standards are not followed, the city is subject to massive fines, and open to litigation.

Anonymous said...

Great point by the above commenter. When the city does get sued or fined. Or even worse, when a citizen is killed because the FD didn't adhere to certain standards, taxpayers will really have something to be angry about.

Ralph said...

The citizens of Aurora along with the mayor' office and alderman office are going to let 8 new Officer's go without giving them every change to stay. I had channel 9 News on the other night when the headlines were that there would be no layoff's in Aurora

You hire 8 new Officer's and send them to school for 16 weeks to learn the job bring them back to Aurora for 6 months with a training Officer and you want to lay off these Men/Women? I don't think so.

These Officer's are not gone yet and the Mayor and aldermen are not going to compromise your or your family,(their included), Safety to prove a point. To allow these 8 Officers to with all of their training to go to another department would be insane

As far as firemen go, they can run into any fire they want to I would rather take a gun away from the bad guy.(first person I arrested had a gun on him.)and I only had 4 weeks at school, no training Officer back then. just some great old guys to ride with.

I live , pay taxes and vote here in Aurora and will make my opinion on the layoff of these men/women known.

Anonymous said...

Why does the Fire Department need so many people earning $148,000??
Also the city says it is funding all it's pension funds-But a Tribune Article shows CURRENT Police and Fire pensions only about 48% funded!! What is up with that??
Remember in this census Aurora will become a majority minority City.

The joke is on those residents-they will be forced to pay the bills while elected officials laugh safe and secure-mostly in Florida.

Anonymous said...

I understand what Rick is stating-there is too many chiefs for the few indians in the fire department. In other words, get rid of the excess chiefs and keep the indians. Those indians will do just fine without all that overpaid, unnecessary overhead.

Anonymous said...

18 of the 21 million dollars spent are pensions for the police and fire departments.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Napervilles EAV is 2/3rds less than Auroras. The amount collected from property taxes should then be 2/3rds less. In 2010 the City of Aurora collected 64 million dollars in property taxes,with Naperville low tax rate they should have collected 21 million dollars in property taxes, Not! they collected $50 million.
mmmm.....

Anonymous said...

The total EAV (equalized assessed value) in Naperville is double that of Aurora. While Naperville has a lower tax rate it is applied against a much higher assessed value. The result is that most households in Naperville pay a higher real estate tax bill than households in Aurora.

The comparison of the real estate tax rate of one community to another shows nothing without understanding the impact of assessed value.

Anonymous said...

Police and Firemen both are worth twice what they are paid now. I pay taxes live and work for the city of Aurora I have made almost 100k answering your 911 calls. I have worked 16 hour shifts 4 and 5 days a week. I send our fire fighters and police out everyday into calls not a single one of you crying whining idiots would dream of driving to. I listen to them yelling for help on the radio's I hear the stress in their voices when they know their alone on a dangerous call while their back up is still trying to get there. I send them firefighters to help them when they get hurt by the bad guy or break their legs or hands or necks chasing the guy that beat up your son or daughter. I know each and everyone of those officers out there and I know many of the fireman. I challenge you to say that any one of the 155 police officers killed this year were not worth their money. What about the 82 firemen that have lost their lives in the line of duty? It is your job to take care of these men and women as tax payers. If you think you pay too much for someone who is not guaranteed to come home at night to their families every single night they put on a uniform then you are not worth the air you take in. Ill be sure and send you a squad to your parking complaint though and Im sure you will be pissed because its going to take him longer to get to that call but you go ahead and get used to it because with 8 less police officers your going to start waiting for your overpaid police officer.

Anonymous said...

When was the last time a member of APD didn't come home at the end of the shift? Again, you Union guys overstate your position. 120 million dollars for a new station.... $90,000 a year in salary after 10 years..... a way too rich pension plan thanks to a former Police Chief who became Mayor, talk about a conflict of interest....C'mon guys when will the raping of the taxpayer stop?

Anonymous said...

11:06

Lots of times ass. Most of the time as a result of serious injuries. Many of these injuries will alter the officer's quality of life for years. And don't give me that there are other professions wher people get hurt on the job. It it the totality of factors associated with the job that must be taken into account. It is one of the most dangerous stressful jobs out there. And, officers make about what a conductor on a railroad, a lineman for the power company, and other professions that are dangerous. Yes several officers have been shot through the years as well. It is well documented. Not to mention thers are people getting seriously injured every month. Just last week, two officers broke bones while in physical confrontations, protecting the public.

I know, you don't care, and will deflect the issure by pointing out some other job that is not comparable.....you are very predictable, cannot back up your information, and are a cop hater .....until, god forbid one of your relatives is kidnapped, or a victim of a violent crime. I bet you wont want a security guard working the case then hmmmmm?

You sir, are disgusting and a fraud. You are no different than the mayor. Stick to politics and shack down some mor money from contractors under the guise of campaign contributions. You're much better suited as a shake down artist, rather than the two bit blogger that you are.

Anonymous said...

You are a semi-professional bullshit artist who is probably part of the Union Propaganda team who's goal is to extract as much money from others as possible. You are a leech. You are correct in asserting that people get hurt on the job. Some people even die on the job but that doesn't happen in Aurora PD.... if it did you would be the first to use it to your advantage. I have never in my life needed the assistance of a police officer. I want nothing to do with you or your types. I have a childhood friend who is on APD. I know he has risked his life to try and save others. I don't not hate cops as you claim. I do hate lazy scammers like you you apparently make more than a decent living off the hard work of others and then can't stop bitching about.FU Union Prick

Anonymous said...

I guess we ticked that guy off huh? Like the other person said not worth the air you take in! Friend of an APD officer bullshit. If you were a friend you would agree their pay is not enough for this job. Let me ask you one question Mr. concerned tax payer. Do you think we should wait until one of our Police officers is killed for them to be worth the money?????

Anonymous said...

The police union is lashing out because they are beginning to realize that they are losing the support of the Aurora citizens.

When Aurorans learnedhow much a cop is paid, the cost of their pensions and the fact that most have moved out of town; their attitude towards the cops changed.

Then the cops refused concessions and expected pay raises when most people in the private sectors have seen their wages cut and their pensions decimated.

Suddenly Aurorans have come to the realization that Aurora cops think that they are "entitled" and should not be affected by what impacts every other Auroran.

Cops want taxpayers who are suffering in this economy to pay higher taxes so that they can continue their generous pension and high wages without concessions.

Anonymous said...

The attitude of Aurorans towards the Police is not changing, it has changed. There are many individual officers that enjoy a certain amount of respect, but the department as a whole is not all that popular in my neck of the woods. And it has nothing to do with the "Police Palace".

Anonymous said...

What about the low crime rate? No performance based rewards?

Oh, and why are the firemen more revered than the police? Have you seen their salaries? Not really a difference.....plus they have twice as many supervisors per line employee when compared to the police. In fact, Rick Lawrence points this out.

Anonymous said...

3:36-What Rick doesn't point out is that the Lts and Capts work on the trucks with the privates, so in reality, his logic is skewed. The nature of the jobs requires that police work alone most of the time and the firefighters work in teams all the time, that is why you need one supervisor per unit, not per area.
And to your other point, no one is more revered than anyone else, the firemen just chose to discuss concessions.

Anonymous said...

Span of Control mandates by the National Fire Protection Association are being followed. If Alderman Lawrence would bother to investigate a little further, he would get his answers. The sanctions the City of Aurora could face by going outside of the span of control mandate could be crippling !!!!!

Anonymous said...

4:43

Now when the firemen were giving concessions, did they enjoy a raise at the same time? In other words, did the firemen get a percentage raise that was simply deferred?

Over the past 4 years, in terms of percent, how much did the firemen's salary increase? I heard 9%, is this true?

Anonymous said...

One of bloggers states: "Friend of an APD officer bullshit. If you were a friend you would agree their pay is not enough for this job."........Such a statement shows a profound arrogance and sense of entitlement. In order to be friends with a Aurora Police Officer I need to acknowlege that they are under-paid?????With terms and conditions like this, I would be probably not be too interested in a friendship. Do any of Union guys ever take a course in public relations???

Anonymous said...

Did the firemen really support Weisner during his election run. If so, on what basis did they support him? What part or parts of his platform did they support; specifically. Do the firemen think he is doing a "good" job now. Specific examples would be great.

Anonymous said...

Morons!!!! The Solution is simple take the total income and subtract the cost. Then you reduce the cost until the income is greater than the cost and make that number the budget.

BUT THE MORONS IN CITY COUNCIL WILL TRY AND RAISE OUR TAXES IN ORDER TO COVER FOR THEIR WILD SPENDING.

Idiots everyone of them. Except Maybe Lawrence, most of the time.

Anonymous said...

I saw how the APPO members behaved when they attended a City Council meeting a few weeks ago. They were yelling and beating on their picket signs like a bunch of spoiled savages. APPO may stand for the Association of Professional Police Officers, but they were anything but professional.

quaddc said...

The following was in the Beacon News before they were totally drinking Leisners cool-aid----"Aurora Fudges development Numbers. We (Beacon) supported Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner when he implemented his Wildly Important Goals. We give the city a THUMBS DOWN for fudging the numbers last week and claiming $61 million in new development, THREE TIMES the actual number." Weisner was not playing straight then and he's has continued to do worse. Andre Salis could just never see through the attention that Carrie Ann Ergo has payed to him for him to do any real digging. Think of all the money that was thrown away on his Franklin Covey training that isn't even used. Thank Goodness his other money throw away of buying houses on Kane Street and fortifying them for cops to live in and be payed was put to sleep. He was a snake oil salesmen then and he's peddling it now. He ran when the going was tough in the water crisis and when times are tough that is when true charter comes out. Times are tough now and his priority is a RIVERFRONT PARK- while laying off 8 new cops that the city spent big money on to hire-go tho the academy-go through the rookie year-and now they are going to be mothballed! I hope the Beacon will pay close attention to how Weisner will attempt to "fudge" future numbers!

Anonymous said...

Weisner was busted by the Beacon for lying then-and he hasn't stopped. That is why no Union except the firemen endorsed him. A leopard doesn't change his spots. I hate to see the 8 cops get layed off-but you have to stand up to WRONG! They citizens who buy into his and Ergos propaganda are just not close enough to know the truth. Weisners will come and go-the Police will always be there! Stay strong!

Ralph said...

Change Pension laws to read.

#1, With the exception of Social Security and Military Pension the person retiring with two or more Government Pension will receive the highest Pensions.

(This will prevent someone retiring,or quiting one job, going on to the next or running for office and getting full pension from day one. or being appointed to a job.

Unless spending 5 Years paying for the position, anyone promoted to a position shall if less then 5 Years revert back to last civil service position held.

we have a city near us that wants to do away with the lieutenant and captains, under the reason that the Fire Chief or Police Chief needs to have own people in Commander roles. I fully agree with this idea, that a Police Chief needs to have people in command position that he trust.

The potential for abuse is great with the above Idea, and is why the five years is in place.

Lets here from alderman and citizen over the above changes.

Also change to city of Aurora Ordinance to read that as of 1-1-2011 all new employees will have to live in the city within so many months.

No changes will affect any employee other than new hires. No employee now working or retired will be effected by any changes only new people,

Sgt. Ralph (retired)

There is an old saying that if not part of the solution you are part of the problem

Anonymous said...

For those that hate the cops two have been injured in the past weeks protecting us. They have broken bones and won't be back for sometime. Take 8 more away and let crime run free!!!! yee haw

Anonymous said...

For those that hate the cops two have been injured in the past weeks protecting us. They have broken bones and won't be back for sometime. Take 8 more away and let crime run free!!!! yee haw

Anonymous said...

Don't firemen get to sleep 1/3 of the time they are at work?

Anonymous said...

Police radio failure: follow the link to see how Aurora bought a piece of crap radio system, like Milwaukee did. http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock-alert/hrs_police-radio-failure-enters-gubernatorial-fray-1220336.html

They experienced these problems and yet Aurora bought it anyway, with our money, and it doesn't work

Anonymous said...

People get hurt at work. A few people unfortunately die at work. When a welder breaks a toe because a heavy item fell on it does the welder get on a soapbox and starts yelling "All welders are under-paid". The answer is no. Because the welder has a work ethic and does not have a sense of entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Parts of Aurora have some crime issues. It has ALWAYS been that way. If 8 Police Officers are let go because the Union reuses to compromise on cost control, then there will be some parts in Aurora that will have some crime.

Anonymous said...

To 12/21 @ 10:00 Good for you-next time you hear a burglar go bump in the night or somebody steals your bike or you need a report for a car crash-----call a welder.

Anonymous said...

The cops aren't saying they're underpaid-they're saying they don't like and don't trust Liesner and Ergo. They're underhanded and the cops know the lies they are telling to the public-but the Beacon wont print the truth and the Department forbids the officers from releasing the information or they can be fired. So they are going to stand strong and rely on the law to protect what they have. I won't give up pay i've earned so he can buy votes and build parks. O Leisner and Ergo will tell how they're spending less and there are more Cops then ever protecting you, but it isn't true. They're robbing Peter & Paul to pay for their park! And spinning tales like North Korea- and as you can read here-some people buy it!

Anonymous said...

to 10:50: You sure as heck don't call 911 because they only hire moronic bitches to man those phones. Gave up on that a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

To 10:50 I cant help myself-although I know I'll regret it. Lets say your in a car crash with injuries and neither car can move and your pinned in with only your phone. What are you going to do?

Anonymous said...

The mayor sure showed his true colors in the article in the paper today. The mayor has not done a good job with the budget no matter what he says. Big deal about restaurant row and etc. Who has the money to go out to eat alot. I know I do not usually go to places in Aurora because of the extra tax. The people get an extra tax in Aurora and the mayor gives away our money to the new places. Works for the mayor, but not for me.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the GREEDY POLICE UNION OFFICERS get to keep their CADILAC benefits without bending. STICK IT TO THE TAXPAYER AND LET THEM EAT CAKE.

Anonymous said...

Next time you need help, street plowed, house burglary call Ergo and Moga, there are no special events planned right at this moment, but they're working!

Anonymous said...

Aurora, We can do better.

We should ask why we are forced to pass a budget that realize on Tax Hikes and cut to public safety. We need leaders, not people that just want to hold on to a position. We need fighters to help the people not tax the people more and more, with government spending out of control.

The powers too be a say there hike taxes will have no effect on the local home owner; do to the drop in value to the homes. Their taxes will stay the same.

I ask then why are we increasing a tax to home owners by 2.5 % When will we put a stop to this. With people losing their jobs and homes,families on the brink of calamity how can we do this to our friends and neighbors?

“THAT BARELY HAVE THEIR HEADS ABOVE WATER”

Aurora, We need “A Better Way” and that way starts today!

BACK MATT HARRINGTON, Aurora's Write-In Candidate for Alderman at Large in the April 5, 2011 Election


Aurora’s Write-In Candidate
Matt Harrington
Alderman at Large

Anonymous said...

Gee Matt, if you really wrote the above post, you don't have my vote. You're not even literate. Aurora CAN do better, but you're not it.

Ralph said...

Matt; go back to Chicago, and your manager to Naperville.

You could win in Aurora but I do not think so.

With the last post I know of three people who will not vote for you.

Anonymous said...

Yea Matt-start your own blog so we can choose not to go there

Ralph said...

Where are the aldermen, at that we voted for, both city wide and by district.

We hire Young men/Women, to be Police Officer's, some married some not.send them to school for 16 weeks to learn the law they will have to enforce. We bring them home to work with a training Officer to learn Aurora laws and ways after they graduate from school.

Mr. Mayor with two days till Christmas Please stop this non sense, we all know that you are not running again so please let these Officer's stay. To the Police Union, give this man any thing he wants to keep these eight Men/Women.

These Men/Women have done nothing to you sir, only taken the test, quit their jobs and accepted employment with the City with bad day's off bad shift picks.

Game time is over Mr Mayor and A.P.P.O.

Sgt.Ralph (retired)

Anonymous said...

So Matt, our ewe going two send out instructions on how two due a right in campaign? Eye don't no if ewe can even right it in write, because you're literature isn't even consistent witch wuld confuse people.

Anonymous said...

RALPH:
I DISAGREE WITH YOU. THIS IS ABOUT TOM'S EGO. APPO REFUSED TO SUPPORT HIM BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T TRUST. HE HATES BILES AND WAS PISSED THAT STOVER AND WENNMACHER WON'T/COULDN'T GET HIM APPO'S SUPPORT.
IT'S TIME SOMEONE STANDS UP TO HIM.
"THE FERRET II"

Ralph said...

To Ferret,As a citizen and tax payer in the City of Aurora. I also have the distinction of being a retired Officer and I really feel for the eight Officers caught in the middle of this fight.

I do not want to see any of these eight Officer's Men/Women, laid off after paying for them to attend school for 16 weeks, and putting them with a training Officer for 6 months. Don't get me wrong I do not care about the money only the Officer's and their families.

I am proud of the department and the way it is standing up to the Mayor on this issue, and I realize that the chief(and I like chief Thomas), is appointed by the Mayor.

Where are the aldermen, If not for the one running for Mayor you and I would never hear from them.

You have big shoes to fill taking on the name and ideals of the ferret, and I wish you all the luck in the world. I went out to dinner last week with some of the retired Officer's and I assure you they feel as I do. Good Luck

Sgt. Ralph (retired)

Anonymous said...

Ralph, just because the city investing in some training for these officers doesn't mean they can afford - or are obligated - to keep them. Happens all the time in the private sector. And it wouldn't hurt the Police Department to have a cold splash of economic reality flung its way now and again.

Ralph said...

A dose of reality.

Do we need the 85 Thousand Dollar a year People at City Hall or the spokesmen or the trained 8 Police Officer at the bottom.

Can we afford to send them to another City, and keep the people at City Hall who do nothing.

How long has it been sense we added Police Officer's to the department.

The time for games is over its getting to late for the Alderman, to step up to the plate and stand up for the People of Aurora.

Sgt Ralph (retired)

Anonymous said...

Policemen are big on exercising their freedom of expression on this blog. It's obvious that many of the posts are from policemen past and present. While their input is certainly interesting, it's staggering to see that all of them fail to see the collective responsibility that all segments of this City have in solving the City's current budget crisis.

The City Council has certainly done their part by virtually eliminating their ward fund accounts. Many other useful but non-essential programs have been either severely cut or wiped out entirely by their actions.

Other City Unions have either granted concessions or are willingly and soberly discussing them in an effort to get through this crisis while fully realizing the effects this will have on workers and their families.

The public has seen decreases in areas of service while City leaders make responsible decisions.

The only groups missing from the equation are the two police unions that represent not only regular patrolmen and detectives but sergeants, lieutenants and commanders at the top.

There is certainly freedom in this world and it includes the freedom to ignore economic reality and reject responsible approaches to problems.

So keep on continuing to demand that everybody but yourselves sacrifice in order to get through this problem. Keep that blue wall nice and solid during this economic downturn for the public is not with you.

Anonymous said...

Who's to blame for the APPO layoffs? Policemen, look in the mirror because it was your selfish and inflexible negotiation position. Other City worker unions granted concessions and also granted them last year. Look in the mirror again..........

Anonymous said...

10:22

Here's why they are missing.

1.) Both police unions had their salaries significantly reduced during 2010.

2.) Both unions offered various concession mechanisms that were flatly rejected by the city.

3.) Other unions gave concessions that equal about 4% of their salaries.

4.) The City is demanding a 10% reduction in pay from the police and will accept nothing less.

5.) Other unions, such as the fire department, took token concessions and will enjoy a 9% percent raise during the next three years. In case your confused, that is why they, the firemen are often mentioned; and, the fact that they supported Weisner during his election bids.

6.) Weisner talks about saving and cutting the budget out of one side of his mouth, while he takes care of his cronies and friends by way of pay raises and lucrative executive positions at City Hall.

7.) Weisner is distorting the facts and has a friend at the Beacon News who acts as his agent.

There are more facts that can be cited, but the above provides a window into what is happening in Aurora. In the end, we have a corrupt pay to play politician, who blatantly lies, plays games with the jobs of young people, and clearly values campaign contributions and his legacy over the citizens and employees of Aurora.

Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

10:22

You opine about nothing, and provide nor real numbers or facts. In light of this, nobody can take you seriously.

Anonymous said...

Things got tough and he ran away. Maybe he works for the water department?

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas 11:11, but are you on the fireman union board? How else would you know what they are going to get the next three years since they are currently in negotiations. And do you know exactly what they gave up that you consider "token"? APD gave up half of the "show up time" that they get paid for. This is the time they show up before shift change to exchange information with the offgoing shift. The firemen have always showed up for this time for free. Also, how good was it for you when Stover was Mayor? Did APD support him and reap HUGE benefits? Yes, so don't you think it is a little hypoctitical to rip someone else for allegedly doing the same thing? I support APD until they start gutting other people.

Anonymous said...

11:46

Ok what did the firmen get. Put your money where your mouth is.

Anonymous said...

Yes lets talk about the present Toby.

Did you support Weisner?

Why?

Do you still support hime?

Yes, give us a list of all the good things he has done for the city?

Anonymous said...

Yes Mr firemen, did you receive any raises in the last two years deferred or otherwise?

Did the firemen receive any raises going forward?

Has anything been agreed to?

Anonymous said...

Waiting..... Easy questions

Anonymous said...

I've been monitoring this. Firemen you deserve more pay. Don't let the Police intimidate you. Do not under any circumstances share your contract with them. Keep it to yourself! These cry babies from the police department will never learn!

Anonymous said...

How many structure fires are there a year? Not many.

These firemen should get pared down soon. Get rid of the paramedics and go with the private ones, much more professional anyway.

Look into privatization as much as possible. This Firemen union is holding the tax payers hostage.

Anonymous said...

11:46

Just facts please not opinions. Sounds like that guy got to you. Hmmmm, I wonder why......unless you have something to hide.

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:11 a.m.:

This country also affords you the freedom to shove your head up your butt and to keep it there for an extended period of time. Even with a law degree............

Anonymous said...

Hey, I know how to get to the bottom of this. I will FOIA all of the agreements, memorandums of understanding, contracts etc, and will post them on Openline for everyone to see. We can end this bickering and see who is telling the truth.

Does everyone think that is a good idea? or, am I missing something.

Anonymous said...

Great idea!

Anonymous said...

Great idea!

Anonymous said...

This is good news people. see below




Sun-Times Media Dec 23, 2010 06:39PM
For a third straight month, the unemployment rate dropped in Chicago and every other metropolitan area across Illinois in November compared with a year ago.

It’s the first time that’s happened in four years — “ further evidence that the Illinois economy is on the right path,” Maureen O’Donnell, director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security, said Thursday.

In Chicago, the rate fell from 10.3 precent in November 2009 to 8.9 percent last month. That was among the biggest drops in unemployment in the state.

Despite the good year-to-year news, the unemployment rate in the Chicago area in November was unchanged from October.

The metropolitan area that recorded the largest year-to-year decline: Rockford, where the unemployment rate dropped from 15.5 percent to 13.7 percent, still the highest in Illinois, though, followed by the Kankakee-Bradley area, which fell from 12.9 percent unemployed to 12.1 percent; and the Danville area, which fell from 11.7 percent to 11 percent.

The lowest unemployment rates were in Bloomington-Norma, at 7.1 percent, down from 7.7 percent a year ago; and Springfield, 7.5 percent, down from 7.9 percent.

Anonymous said...

12:16-Sorry but it is Christmas Eve and some of us have more to do than reply to you. So you admit that you posted info without knowing what you are talking about? Nice. Great for the credibility of anything you say from here on out. How can you just ignore the fact that APD got kissed from Stover and still demand answers? Quit dodging and admit that much. What do you not understand about being in negotiations? Until they are finished your questions can not be answered. I am 100% on board with 1:34, why isn't the APD payroll posted on here, that way we can see who really is making what? Maybe because APD has hitched thier wagon to Rick who seems to run this blog and chooses to bash firemen and support police? Post the top 30 APD salaries.

Anonymous said...

Failure to answer simple questions makes your response pointless. Step up to the plate while the chili is simmering.

What did this Stover do again?

Facts please.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Dennis, this isn't Toby.
Why do you think you can garner support for your cause by ripping on people who have not done anything to you?

Anonymous said...

Last time, until they are finished with negotiations, your questions can not be answered. FOIA the contracts for the Stover time period and find out for yourself. I'm not APD hating, but bully tactics only piss off people that otherwise might be able to help your cause. I hope and pray that something changes and those 8 cops do not get laid off. I'm out because I sincerely don't want to say anything more to drag down all the good, hardworking members of APD.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, I will wait until the contracts are inked and check it out. How long have the firmen and police been without a contract?

Anonymous said...

FDs is up in January. Don't know about APD. All issues aside, God bless our police officers and thanks for what you do. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Anonymous said...

APD has been without a contract since 03-05-10.

Anonymous said...

You can find salaries at the below link. Just search for the City of Aurora

http://www.bettergov.org/watchdog/payroll_database.aspx

Anonymous said...

I'll settle the feud. Both departments are top heavy. Captains, lieutenants, assistant chiefs, battalion chiefs and commanders in both the Police and Fire Departments make too much money.

But the Fire Department has it over the Police because no Police lieutenants or commanders work active duty on the weekends while the top guys in the Fire Department actually respond to the scenes of emergencies 24/7.

But then I forgot, there's a section in the Police contract that says that weekends shall be crime free in Aurora.

Ralph said...

No night duty or evening shifts or weekends.

The Chief of Police, Commander of say the shifts are the boss, 24/7 and when something happens during the night or weekends they receive a call.

It could be 2 A M. on Saturday with a shooting or any call that the Chief feels he should know about. Many times during my career,
I awoke the Chief. Commander to let them know of a incident, only to see them at the scene later. I'm, sure nothing has changed sense I retired.

I once heard the Chief tell a lieutenant that he was Chief 24/7,
and he was there for what ever happens.

Sgt Ralph (retired)

Anonymous said...

So the lieutenants and commanders at the APD make over $115,0000 a year yet never really work weekends? They get called out when there is a big problem? But 99% of the time on weekends they are off and sitting at home or shopping and relaxing? How many lieutenants are there at the APD?

Anonymous said...

11:11 on 12/24:

The firemen and all other City worker unions were willing to discuss concessions again this year. Maybe the APD needs more layoffs and demotions so you can understand the need. Pointing your fingers at other groups and people will not help. That's the difference.

Anonymous said...

All you people posting on this blog have no idea of what really goes on in this city. You all think all the cops and fireman do is sit around and collect a paycheck. If you guys actually knew the type of calls these guys get day in and day out you would appreciate them so much more. None of the newspapers put the stuff that actually happens in this city in their papers. I really wish they would so that people could get the real picture of what goes on in the City of Aurora. Maybe a ride along would be a good way to find out what they actually do. On top of that, their wages are comparable to all the cities in the area. Instead of ripping on these guys and having them get laid off maybe we as residents of this city, we should demand the mayor and alderman find a way to keep all these men and women on our streets. It's only in the best interest for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

C'mon. We all appreciate everything these two departments do and understand the dangers. It's not about lack of respect. We just don't think it's necessary to be shelling out over $110,000 to so many of the administration types, especially in the APD where so many do not work weekends . So what if they make a comparable salary in Joliet? They are overpaid there, too. Get to the table and make some concessions.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a great link to the salaries. Some APD and AFD guys make some pretty good money at the City, and that site shows just base salary, not the overtime most guys make. Pretty good chunk of change people, I can see why you are fighting pay cuts, especially since your pensions are based on final rate of pay.

Anonymous said...

And pensions are a whole 'nother deal that need to be discussed as well. Nobody else gets them anymore, why should taxpayers spring for government workers to get them?

Anonymous said...

We all have a choice in the career we choose. Just because they have a pension doesn't me we don't have other perks in our jobs. Like not working horrible hours, holidays, weekends, dealing with the worst people in Aurora or helping people at the worst times in their lives. If you wanted a pension maybe you should have chose a career that has one. But then you would have to deal with those things I just mentioned. That is why I didnt choose to do one of those careers. And I'm guessing you don't want to deal with them either. So don't blame the public servants. We all had the same chance as they did to apply for those jobs.

Anonymous said...

Sooooooooo....does anyone have a clue as to how to bring businesses to Aurora? I don't unless you give tax breaks to business owners.

Anonymous said...

If more tax breaks are given to new businesses, we, the common Joe, are going to really go broke because everything will raise for us again. Our taxes will go up and people will move.

Anonymous said...

thankyou pat stiles for the info on the firefighters and police.you once worked for the fire deptartment until you got caught stealin money.but you were wrongly convicted.i would also like to thank rick lawrence for employing all those high paying workers at the business he was given and then lost. and i'm sure the country club misses him.fire and police pay for their insurance and pension benefits,the amount on the city tax bill for their pension averages about $400 a year combined.get the facts first before you comment.