Sunday, June 7, 2009

Help Wanted, No Experience Necessary

Despite what the Lake County Republicans & Democrats are saying about their prospects, one thing is certain about the Lake County Board of Commissioners: the Board in 2010 will not look like the Board today.

That's because, within the last two months, 3 Commissioners have resigned from the Board. Another has announced a bid for a State Senate seat.

As reported in the Daily Herald and the NewsSun (and in chronological order):
  1. Robert Sabonjian (District 8) resigned in April when he was elected Waukegan Mayor.

  2. Suzi Schmidt (District 3) announced early May that she will be a candidate for State Senate District 31.

  3. Pamela Newton (District 18) announced in mid-May her forthcoming resignation, to take an administrative job with the Village of Hawthorn Woods.

  4. Michael Talbett (District 19) accepted an administrative job with the Village of Kildeer and is expected to resign shortly.

This means, at minimum, there will be three new Commissioners seated in 2010. Schmidt is not up for re-election in 2010. But if she wins in Senate 31 that will necessitate a fourth turnover. Plotting Schmidt's senatorial chances against a normal distribution, your LakeCountyEye calculates there will be at least 3½ new Lake County Board Commissioners in 2010.

An abrupt exodus of this sort no doubt is a measure of the political malaise that pervades the County Board. But it is not your LakeCountyEye's job to offer psychoanalytical advice. Instead it is the job of your LakeCountyEye is to peer into the magic crystal ball and handicap County Board winners & losers going into 2010.

Suzi Schmidt, as Chair, is responsible for nominating replacements. The full board votes on the nominees. Given circumstances like these, it is difficult to predict the future, but not impossible. Again, in chronological order:

  1. Democratic party boss Terry Link wants Waukegan ex-Mayor Bill Durkin. Robert Sabonjian has endorsed a campaign worker, Keith Turner. This puts Schmidt in a bind because Link & Schmidt have long-standing social ties. Expect a compromise nominee. Who not to expect:

    • Pat Jones, Waukegan Township Supervisor ...
      A seat on the County board would mean a pay cut.

    • Sam Cunningham, Waukegan Alderman ...
      Cunningham's mother, Mary Ross Cunningham, is already on the Board.

    • Dan Drew, Waukegan ex-Mayor ...
      1948-2002

    • Pete Couvall, ex-Lake County Democrats Vice-Chair ...
      Dan Drew has a better chance.

    By process of elimination alone, your LakeCountyEye intuits sentimental favorite, and Waukegan ex-Mayor, Dick Hyde. Hyde is in his 80s, will probably miss a lot of meetings, and would not be expected to run for re-election in 2012. Problem solved!

  2. This one's been wired from the git-go. Republican party boss Dan Venturi agrees not to be a candidate for Senate 31. In return, Venturi is nominated to fill out Suzi Schmidt's term after she reclaims 31 for the GOP in a cake-walk.

  3. The crystal ball is cloudy. Who does Pamela Newton represent? (District 18) Where is District 18? (some or all of Hawthorn Woods, Mundelein, Indian Creek, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills) Who lives in Mundelein? (pop. 32,774) Your LakeCountyEye had to look these up. The sad fact of the matter is there's no one to be found in District 18 to replace Newton. That means the nod will go to everyone's choice of last resort, Ed Sullivan Jr. Sullivan already holds down two elected positions, State Representative for District 51 and Fremont Township Assessor. So Sullivan is no stranger to the demands of multi-tasking. Another part-time government gig is not likely to add any additional burden to Sullivan's responsibilities.

  4. Michael Talbett is hired to be Kildeer administrator by Village President, Nandia Black. Talbett and Black work at the same law firm. Talbett's wife, Mimi Black, sits on the Ela Area Public Library board -- and is Nandia Black's sister. Well here's a no-brainer. Mimi Black will be nominated to replace her husband. Nuff said.

Like it or not, come 2010 this is what our County Board will look like. Take it on the full faith and credit of the magic crystal ball c/o your LakeCountyEye. At least until the next Commissioner jumps ship.

39 comments:

Nicki said...

Very interesting. I'm also looking forward to seeing what will happen in District 13, where a number of Republicans are reportedly busy jockeying for position.

edsullivanjr said...

B-squared you crack me up sometimes. But alas I cannot go for the three-peat as I do not live in Newtons District. Keep up the good work that you do though, I certainly enjoy a good chuckle.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

P.S. In your spare time you might want to read the various AG opinions on office capatibility. Might help when you post your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

1. What is office capatibility?

2. How do people who are serving in two tax-payer supported positions have the time to post to a blog like this when the State's work is not done and the Township's work is never really done?
3. How is it that a person like this and his colleagues will be expected to solve the State's pension problems - most likely by taking it out on new rank and file State workers - when doubling down on the pension(s) himself?

At the least, when serving in two capacities, one should mind their spell-check, especially when scolding others on what to be aware of, and should mind their comments and appearances when holding two positions when many a Northern Illinois resident can't seem to find one and may become in need of a State service, if its available after July.

barney baxter said...

Hi Ed,

It's nice to know I have some fans -- they seem to come few & far between. Also, belated congratulations on the new addition to your family.

The word on the street is you don't live at the address posted on your website any longer. Whether or not you now live in Newton's District was an open question. Thanks for the fyi.

-BB-

Anonymous said...

Also, regarding Mr. Sullivan, I recall being at a non-partisan event not long ago, in Grayslake, about the property assessment process where Mr. Sullivan was the ONLY ONE who laced in to the Party to the Left at least 2-3 times when his colleagues didn't come close to doing so even once.

One might want to consider the Party to the Right's most recent Governor (the one sitting in jail despite the efforts of a previous Republican Governor - Jim Thompson. A country of laws and don't do the crime if you can't do the time and all).

One might also want to consider the brand-spanking new (at the time) airport terminal that Mr. Pate Phillip (R) brought about in that thriving metropolis of West Chicago, Illinois.
Money well spent, wouldn't you agree?

I wonder what the terminal is worth. I understand DHS and IDPH may need money soon as well as the STATE POLICE.

Anonymous said...

I remember that event also, and I remember Ed saying that he didn't have the time to perform his job as assessor and asked the people if he should spend more money and hire another assistant. Yikes!

barney baxter said...

Hi Nicki,

Thanks, keep us updated on the latest developments in 13!

-BB-

edsullivanjr said...

To all:

The event I spoke at was a CAP forum at the Colby Barn regarding assessments. At no time did I say I needed more help nor did I say I do not have the time to do my job. I serve as the assessor for one of the fastest growing townships and have REDUCED headcount through computerization of the office. The township I represent consistently receives high marks for efficiency and quality of assessments. Please do not take my word for it though. Call the Illinois Department of Revenue and ask for fifteen years worth of COD’s, sales ratio studies and township multipliers. I have a great staff that has been given all the tools to succeed and serve the Township.

As for me attacking the four newly elected Democrat county board candidates, you bet I did. They ran on a platform of “Forcing the County Assessor to reduce taxes”. What did they do to honor their promise? Did anyone’s taxes go down? Empty promise, enough said.

BB- Thanks for the congratulations regarding the new addition. He is steadily becoming a little tank. I still live in my little house in Mundelein. We move this Sunday to the North end of Mundelein. Need a little more space.

Re. Ed Sullivan

Blue Prairie said...

Um, Ed? Last I checked, Suzi Schmidt, the mother of all tax-and-spend republicans, sets the agenda for the Lake County Board. She was the one who killed consideration of the tax cap before the full Board so that the GOP majority could not be called on their votes. You, Junior, are in the Illinois House of Representatives. So I guess you can be called to task for failing to reduce our income taxes, failing to produce a comprehensive set of campaign reforms, and failing to provide the people of Illinois with the ability to recall their Governor, when he or she is as crooked as George Ryan was. Never mind that you don't belong to the agenda setting majority; neither do the members that you cite. It's a double-edged sword you're using there, Junior. So be careful. You could put someone's eye out!

Blue Prairie said...

And by the way, Junior, your last two posts were during weekday business hours. We're paying you TWO taxpayer financed salaries and you're on the FREAKIN computer responding to blog posts?! Get to WORK! What your constituents would hear from their bosses under similar circumstances is.........YOUR FIRED! So apologize for wasting two sets of taxpayer funds, be quiet and get back to work!

barney baxter said...

OK children let's play nice.
-BB-

edsullivanjr said...

Blue Prairie,

I highly encourage you to switch to decaf.

For someone that seems to know what the current issues are in state government you really do not know what has transpired in Springfield regarding those very issues. First, I voted against the income tax hike that Sen. Cullerton pushed through the Senate. I could sponsor a bill to do away with the income tax and Speaker Madigan would never let it get a vote. Second, I have co-sponsored every item proposed by the Quinn commission chaired by Patrick Collins. Speaker Madigan once again has not let many of these items come to a vote. Those that did get a vote were completely ineffective. Third, I voted for recall last year. I believe there are 26 Senators that killed recall. I believe the vast majority of those Senators if not every one of them were Democrats. As for my attack on the four new county board members, my problem is they knew they needed to work with the State Legislature to enact property tax relief. I was extremely disappointed when they did not propose one item when they had the chance. The County Board meets every year with the Lake County Caucus to push their agenda in Springfield. These new members were silent.

I am not sure what you think my job description is. I would think you would want me to be exposed to local interests. The internet, specifically issue blogs, are a terrific source of information. I believe one of my main job descriptions is keeping in tune with the pulse of my constituents. Hey, by reading your post I would think you are a fairly conservative Republican (against taxes, for recall, for ethics reform). See I am learning something new every day!

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sullivan,
1. The event was non-partisan. I would recommend Wikipedia or the Merriam-Webster dictionary if you would like an objective definition.
If partisan attacks are made, why have non-partisan events? It does a dis-service to the fine work of the sponsoring organization of the event, wouldn't you agree?

2. You did not limit your critique to the duly elected Democratic County Board members who, I might add, are not serving in other tax-payer supported endeavors.
You also spoke about other Dem's and failed to critique the lack of alternatives being offered by your GOP peers (delay the budget vote, pursue a costly special session, and demand budget cuts that disproportionately affect some of the hardest working people in our state. Compassionate Conservative? I think not. Its becoming an oxymoron.)
If one is going to attack Dem's at a non-partisan event, at the least one should be somewhat objective and critique both those on sides of the aisle.
To me, it is a measure of your character that you cannot avoid partisan politics at an educational forum.

3. How long have GOP'ers run rough-shod over all elements of government in our area, including those elected to State and Federal office? Are we better off? I don't think a conclusive argument can be made to support that.

4. The GOP, who put forth Alan Keyes, Dr. Sauerberg, and Mr. Greenberg, should recognize that electoral choice is important and that one should not critique those elected if inferior candidates are put forth, including ineffective candidates where some didn't even show up to Board meetings (are you defending this too Mr. Sullivan?)

I am not of the opinion that the newly elected, dedicated Board Members were solely elected on the pipe-dream that our taxes will be reduced any time soon. I believe that my fellow residents are smarter than that and it is too bad you have such a low opinion of the people who pay your salarIES. If you don't like the people who pay your salaRIES, you could always put out a shingle and leave government 'service.'
The people spoke, and if you disagree, that's your right but don't demonstrate disdain toward the people's decision and don't do so at a non-partisan event.

Anonymous said...

Ed, sorry but you did say that at the Colby Barn. You asked how much should we raise taxes so that I can hire another assistant. I guess I gathered from the statement that you couldn't do your job-why else would you have made that remark.
BTW, I remember you defending Dishman also, still care to defend your fellow Republican?

edsullivanjr said...

ANON 10:03 pm:

How do you get from people voting for these four new members for other reasons than the tax issue to me having a low opinion of these same people? If I follow you, and it is late, you are saying that because I criticized these board members I therefore have a low opinion of the people that supported them? I give up.

Good night.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

edsullivanjr said...

ANON:

No I will not defend Dishman in the matter regarding the PROVAL conference. He should send Bruce Carus.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

McLovin said...

Or maybe even Bryce Carus.

Anonymous said...

Ed:

Thank you on that.
While I have my differences with you, at least you appear to be an ethical person, any political differences aside.

Lincoln Wept said...

Rep. Sullivan - Had you been visiting this blog to take the temperature of the public sentiment in your district or to solicit input from the people in your district or the surrounding area regarding the issues of the day, there would be no cause to question your posts. It would show that you recognize that those people truly are the only voice that matters. That was not, unfortunately, what you were doing. I invite the readers to take a moment now and re-visit the post and the comments to understand the sequence of events.

Representative Sullivan used this post to launch a purely partisan attack on the four newest members of the Lake County Board, to wit :

"As for me attacking the four newly elected Democrat county board candidates, you bet I did. They ran on a platform of “Forcing the County Assessor to reduce taxes”. What did they do to honor their promise? Did anyone’s taxes go down? Empty promise, enough said."

Blue Prairie then called his bluff, suggesting that, to ascribe the failure to enact legislation to minority party members can be applied with equal force to the legislative body to which he belongs. But apparently his duties as the dreaded assessor do in fact limit his bandwidth, because Sullivan then launched into another purely partisan attack and defense of his record, missing the point altogether.

You used this blog to conduct partisan attacks and NOT to advance the interests of either group of taxpayers that pay your bills, Representative Sullivan. As the concerned citizens in your district fan out and spread the call for good, responsive, and responsible government, its nice to know that you so willingly provide them with a case study on the responsible use of taxpayer financed time and resources.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sullivan,
If you read my comments - that do not require membership in MENSA to understand, at any hour - I stated that if you believe that the SOLE reason people voted for the new county board members (including a former Mayor) was the pipe-dream that taxes would decrease, you must have a low opinion of the electorate. We have heard it all before. The lottery will help education. Blah Blah Blah and thereby - by extension - would mean few or no tax increases.

The FACT of the matter is that at least one former board member failed to show up for Board meetings on a consistent basis (also, a current GOP board member also fails to show up for meetings). This is almost as bad as expecting someone receiving two government salaries to solve the pension crisis!
You seemed to have conveniently glossed over this fact.

You also failed to answer to your comments at a non-partisan event meaning either there is no defense or you ran out of energy dodging and weaving.

Also, I work full time and 10:00pm is not 'late.' If you have difficulty at such an hour, you should cut down on your tax-payer supported activities.

Anonymous said...

Why all the attacks on Rep. Sullivan here? Where are all the adults to contradict the childishness statements I'm reading?

The four newly elected Democrats campaigned on a promise to jump all over the "county assessor" to reduce property taxes. OK, so they didn't quite understand the process, have jumped all over nobody on this issue since being elected, and were sloganeering and misrepresenting themselves. Or perhaps, their Democratic campaign advisors thought they were in Cook County where the "county assessor" is directly responsible for assessments of property taxes, instead of Lake, which has a different and more local system. The truth clearly has baffled them all!

That sloganeering reminds me of the Democrats in Springfield who now claim to have passed "ground breaking" ethics legislation, instead of nibbling around the issues and ducking the big ones or refusing to vote on them. They think we are stupid enough to believe them?

Reminds me also of Todd Stroger, who promised to reduce payroll and then jacked up sales taxes and hired more bodies. When the majority of the County Board in Cook County voted to eliminate that record breaking tax, Todd cast a veto, which was upheld by a minority of board members. Democracy in the way Democrats govern? Never!

I like Democrats who take "public be damned" positions, like Todd Stroger, Richard "Sell All Of The City Assets to Screw Chicagoans" Daley, Rod "This Is @*$# Golden" Blagojevich, Michael "The Dictator" Madigan, Dick "Flip Flop" Durbin, and others. I just wonder why Democrats who claim to be intelligent, ethical, smart and in favor of good government continue to support these types of jokers and legions of others?

Is Lake County up to its eyeballs in debt like Cook County? Or Springfield? City of Chicago? Is Lake County managing its revenues and expenses like adults should, and not the way Democrats elsewhere have "managed" them? The answer is yes. Good job Suzie! You show them how to do this when you get elected Senator in the 31st District.

In the meantime, the party that is claiming that "we got rid of da bum" after supporting him and enabling him for six years to destroy the State of Illinois and humiliate us in the process is on the attack?

Too FUNNY!

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Neither Party is close to perfect.
What with George Ryan, Judy -loan forgiveness- Topinka, and the 'candidates' the GOP has recently put forth, the GOP is hardly blameless regarding the condition of local and State government:
-Steve Greenberg (invest social
security dollars in the stock
market?! - OOPS).
-Dr. Sauerberg (Stay in Iraq as
long as it takes and for as much
as it costs! I guess he's not a
true fiscal conservative, huh?
Get rid of group-purchased
healthcare? How does that help
the average American?
That's right, the GOP is not
concerned about the average
American, just the people with so
many homes they can't remember if
its 5 or 6)
-Alan Keyes (I guess he put his
campaign against carpet-bagging
candidates on hold for a few
months.)

(The name Al -ambulance chaser- Salvi rings a bell as well).

Regarding Cook County, while not necessarily under the purview of this blog, part of the problem is that no one of a decent caliber runs against the Cook County Machine! Tony Peraica, who went down to the County Building to try to muscle a win for himself in a recent election? Give me a break. He's gonna be State's Attorney? He's gonna be any better than Todd?

The fact remains that if the GOP gave us electoral choice, we'd have a better life in Illinois.
Try doing that and then we can talk.
If I had to do it all over again, I'd vote for a 3rd Party candidate before I'd vote for Topinka. Period.

What separates Dem's from Repub's.
Dem's believe in a safety net for those who due to illness, financial difficulty, (multiple tours in the military over-seas), and other reasonable factors, need assistance returning to economic stability.

Dem's can admit when we are wrong.
Kirk and Bush cannot and will not.

Dem's are concerned about what the people think.
Bush did not believe in polls, what people thought, knowing how much gas cost, or that it was necessary to capture Public Enemy #1 - Bin Laden. ("Where are those WMD's? Ha Ha Ha" George Bush, White House Correspondents dinner.)

Dem's are not necessarily quick to label, condemn, or critique others. Its just that given the 8 years of the Bush Reign, the lack of substantive alternatives coming from Cross and Murphy (or Sullivan, I might add) and the inadequate candidates being put forth by the GOP, there is a lot to comment on coming from the Right.

Finally, in answer to your question about Assessor and State Legislator Sullivan.

1. Someone who has two government jobs should not have a lot of time to puruse blogs and to use them as a venue to spread divisiveness and disdain.

2. Someone with two government jobs should not be charged with the mission of resolving the State's pension problems, especially if the solution comes at the expense of future State rank and file workers.

3. Someone who attends a NON-PARTISAN event and is 'proud' of his partisan, irrelevant attacks ("YOU BET"), may benefit from being reminded of the meaning of grass-roots, non-partisan events.

Unless we should go back to the Bush mantra of if you don't like something you are not patriotic, an unAmerican approach, wouldn't you agree?

redtail said...

Louis,

Good question! Barney posts one of his snark-filled rants about what's been going on in Lake County politics over the last week. And in the rant there is buried a joke about Eddie Sullivan's double dipping. And all hell breaks loose in the comment section about Eddie Sullivan. What is it about Eddie Sullivan that drives people so crazy?

Anonymous said...

RedTail,
See the comments above:

Double-dipping when many in our County don't have -one- job.

Not taking a substantive stand on the State's fiscal crisis.

Not adhering to widely-accepted non-partisan event behavior and being proud of it!

This is not a peer reviewed journal that must meet stringent criteria. This is a blog where people express their feelings.

To me, for a public official to believe that two positions can be held at the same time while devoting sufficient time and effort to both and not appearing to conflict with each other is unique, at best.

No one forced Mr. Sullivan to attack fellow public officials at a non-partisan event. Doing so is divisive, can be seen as preventing future compromise in the name of good government, and is not relevant to the topic of the event.

No one forced Mr. Sullivan to admit he was proud of doing so.

No one I know would have used the excuse of the 'late hour of 10pm' for why a post was not understood or not seen in anything more than a self-serving, narrow perspective.

Again, if 10pm is too late to understand a post to something other than a MENSA society journal, it calls into question one's contention that they are capable of holding down two public positions.

Anonymous said...

Redtail, I can't answer that one. I can't figure out if "Anonymous" is one, two or three people. Perhaps he/she/them will emerge from the cowardly shadows of anonymity and post their names or make up a few monikers so we can debate them more intelligently.

Why does Rep. Ed Sullivan fire them up so? Good question! Reminds me of the Rep. Kirk attackers in the 10th! Those attackers have now been reduced to "I hate Mark Kirk! I hate Mark Kirk! I hate him! I hate him! I hate him!" And they can't really say why! Pretty pathetic behavior to be sure, but they persist in hating everything he does, even the stuff they like!

And the comment that Dems admit to making mistakes is priceless! Yeah! After your Governor got himself arrested!

Before you played along with him and continued to do so when the subpoenas were flying around and the complaints and hinky behavior were escalating. Just like you are playing along with "Senator" Roland Burris. And like you play along with the Democratic controlled governments of Springfield, Cook County and Chicago.

Why do Democrats only become embarrassed after the handcuffs come out? You make Alan Keyes look statesmanlike by comparison! : -)

Louis G. Atsaves
(Still snickering!)

redtail said...

Louis, you must be a pretzel, you've twisted yourself up so much to defend the indefensible.

You are burlesquing what the blogosphere has been saying about mark kirk. From what I've seen, most are saying it was unbelievably stupid for kirk to have gone to China under state sanction and tell them the US govt numbers cannot be trusted.

On a lighter note, I think in the case of our blog's readers, it's less a matter of emerging from the cowardly shadows and more a matter of lacking the computer-chops needed to figure out how to create a google account for themselves.

edsullivanjr said...

ANON,6/13:

Been moving, no computer access so I have not been able to follow the line here.

You really are disturbed by my two jobs but it seems you are disturbed only because I have TWO jobs. Please provide proof that I cannot handle the positions. Have I missed work? In seven years I have missed two regular session days, (Second child broke my streak). I have missed a few more overtime session days because of my wife's difficult pregnancies and when Speaker Madigan advised us not to show to prove a point to the former governor. Are you saying the work in the assessor's office has suffered. As I posted before you could grade me by the stats produced by the Illinois Dept. of Revenue.

I still do not understand your issue with me reading and commenting on blogs during "business hours", which I take to mean 9-5. Does that mean I do not have to go to any breakfast meeting before 9 or any dinners or speaches after 5? I guess I do not need to work on the weekends according to your hard and fast rules. Hopefully you see my point, the job of a state legislator is not a 9-5 job. It is to some extent is a job where you need to be available 24/7/365.

If a republican ran the campaign like those four county board members, and then did not try to push one idea, I would have called them out the same way I have called these commissioners out. They know what they did and now will have to live with it.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Blue Velocity said...

Dear Representative Sullivan,
I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate that you venture into the waters here. But you had better bring your A-game each and every time... there are clearly some pretty sharp wits swimming around in these parts.

I won't extend what has already been discussed, but can't help to consider a particular comment. You stated that legislators such as yourself have a job that is "to an extent 24/7/365". Did you really mean to say that? I hope not.

BTW, how is Chairwoman Schmidt? If you are wondering, you might ask you father about that. It would be one eery and lotto winning coincidence if he just happened to show during public comment of the board meeting in February to bloviate about campaign mailers... the very same day the Chairwoman announced that Waller wrapped up the "investigation" into those mailers.

One thing is for sure, Dad (your father yes?) is great at grand standing and knows just how to work an "open mic". His was clearly political discourse which is in opposition to board policy. Could it be that Suzi and Dad had an arrangement before hand? mmmmmmm.....

Anonymous said...

Rep. Sullivan,
First, you continue to avoid my inquiry as to how someone who is double-dipping should be in charge of State pension plan reform.
The people deserve officials that dedicate their UNDIVIDED attention to governmental affairs.
Also, it is not that I'm frustrated by your having two jobs. It is that you have two tax-payer funded jobs while trying to 'reform' a troubled culture in our State.
(Please cite your complaints about Pate Phillip's airport, Judy Topinka's loan forgiveness, Peter Roskam's extremely conservative views, and George Ryan's actions as Secretary of State which didn't prevent your GOP from having him run for Governor. Its almost like how Bush, Sr. allowed a dictator to remain in power and Bush, Jr. claimed said dictator needed to be removed for actions that occurred before Sr. initiated the Persian Gulf War.)

Second, did you not say that 'the hour of 10pm was late and could have negatively impacted your ability to read a blog post?'
If you have trouble with a blog post at 10pm, I have to wonder how you will be able to read legislation during the special session.
You see, I don't make unfounded comments. As noted above, I've based it on quoting you!

Third, please tell me the last Republican you called out? How about Stollman and Powers who failed to show up at meetings. Could THAT be one reason Powers wasn't re-elected? (Give the people some credit. Try to be somewhat objective?)
No, I don't think I heard a peep out of you on that. (There again, my critique is not theoretical and is mostly based on what you've said and what you haven't said.)

The idea that Stollman, Powers, and you expect officials to fail to show up for meetings and still get elected is very telling and is unfortunate. It also appears that there was an expectation that incumbents will always get elected.
Fortunately, in a neighboring township, this did not occur.
And the people now have a voice, a group of people working on behalf of the people and not looking for a meal ticket, a plane ticket, or other perks.

edsullivanjr said...

Blue V:
Yes that was my father. Yes he was continuing to turn up the heat on those county board members. Yes he is pretty good on the stump, as you must have witnessed. As for being in cahoots with Schmidt I would say no. There is no doubt people in government know how ridiculous those campaign mailers were. I have even had an off the record discussion in Springfield with the people that put the strategy together. Many people know that there is going to come a time that these board members will have to answer for their deceit. I am sure Schmidt knew there were going to be some people coming to the board meetings, and will continue to come, but I am certain my father did not know of the investigation. I did not know of it either.

There certainly are some sharp people here. That is why I enjoy blogging here. We can disagree but even I can learn from what is being said!

Legislators really are on call 24/7/365. There are times that my time commitment is less and times when it is more. As the assessor I have been in someone’s home most hours and most holidays. As a legislator bad things happen and we get the call. Usually starts at the local level and works upward. Should I talk about breakfast meetings, dinners, and speeches? I certainly am not complaining, you asked the question. I do enjoy the job as it is different every day.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

edsullivanjr said...

ANON, 6/18:

Pates airport is a waste of money, Judy should not have given the loan (Alexi G. did a great job getting the state out of the mess), I ran against Ryan and his problems in 2002. As for Roskam, those are his views; I do not need to apologize for him nor do I need to apologize for Obama’s liberal views.

Would you rather have a less qualified Fremont Township Assessor to prove your point about two jobs? What happened to the best person for the job? I have donated over 25K to charity for the days I am in Springfield. If there was someone else there they would probably have full health insurance. I do not, for a savings of nearly 30K a year in taxpayer funds. As for your comment about two-taxpayer jobs and my ability to negotiate pensions, please be more specific.

My comment about 10pm was snark, as in the conversation was going EREWHON fast. :)

I have called out Republicans on this blog. Including just now.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Blue Velocity said...

Dear Rep. Sullivan,
I appreciate your being here and the exchange. I wish more elected officials would engage in open discourse and speaking with candor.

I think there is some serious tail chasing about the mailers. I doubt the content of the mailers even registered with most voters and as pointed out, the reason voters supported the new board members goes beyond mailers. More importantly, we residents want property tax relief, not partisan mudslinging over some mailbox spam sent out last year. I expressed this to Commissioner Stollman but doubt he got the message.

Your response regarding Dad's performance at public comment was tactfully put. I really have no way of knowing if Dad knew that Waller was concluding his "investigation" of the mailers and will take your word for it. He and Suzi both should've bought themselves lotto tickets that day. Quite an amazing conicidence, no?

As far as your job in the State Assembly being 24/7/365, in my opinion you are conflating quite a bit. No doubt serving is something you should be proud of. However, cops serve 24/7/365. Eating an early breakfast in a climate controlled environment is not quite the same as putting your life on the line and eating out of a paper bag. Surely you get my drift. The "24/7/365" idea is also principally contradicted by your having multiple government paid jobs. I think most voters would balk.

You could make the argument that you have been duly elected to both posts multiple times, which on the surface is a compelling one to make... if the voters were not ok with it, how could you occupy both? However, things are rarely so clear cut.

My guess is that you are benefitting from timing and voter in-attention to detail. At no time does your name appear twice on the same ballot (different elections separated by years). Its also true that most voters cannot identify their state elected officials. Quite likely is that many do not realize they are voting you for State Representative and years later, voting for you again as assessor.

I also highly doubt many voters realize the amount of combined salaries, paid for with their tax dollars. Let me make some guesses. As state representative, you are probably bringing in a base of $70,000. Chuck in various bonuses, per diem, etc, does 80k sound right? Township assessor probably brings in 50k. Combined that is over 130k per year, this while many in Lake County are struggling to keep a roof over their head and of course paying taxes.

I could be totally wrong in my theorizing. It could be the voters are fully aware and perfectly ok with it, as you must believe they are. I also made some guesses as to your income from having two tax payer funded jobs. You could correct that by citing the exact amount. That would not only speak to your confidence in your positions, it would also be consistent with transparency (something that has been sorely lacking in Illinois as of late).

If I don't get the chance before Sunday, I hope you and your family have a happy father's day.

Blue Velocity

edsullivanjr said...

Blue V.:

People do realize I have two taxpayer funded jobs. I have run in seven elections where this was one of the main attacks by my opponent (sorry, two were unopposed as assessor). Most of the people I talk to do not have a problem as long as the job is getting done. Certainly there are people that will be opposed to the jobs no matter what. In all the attacks, in all the elections, none of my opponents could say the jobs have suffered because I have two of them. I have challenged anyone to look at the stats produced by my assessor’s office. Assessors are about the only elected officials that get graded on their work product. Now there are folks that may not like my voting record. Somewhere around 40% voice their opinion at the polls (which means 60% agree with me).

As to my salary, which can be attained via FIOA, I make 149,568 minus about 4K to 6K after tax that I donate to charity every year as a promise to my constituents for having the two jobs. Call it 145K.

If there were two people elected there would be an increase to the taxpayers of 4-6K as I donate this amount. The other person probably would have insurance which is a cost of about 30K. As the assessor I have access to a car and a cell phone, neither of which I take. Lastly there are pensions. I do not anticipate staying in the state legislature for 20 years nor do I necessarily plan on being the assessor for another term. This means that I will probably combine my pension time into one or the other of the pensions. What that means is that for the years I held dual roles I lose the time for one of them. So if I retired tomorrow and rolled my pension time into one pension I would lose 7 years of service time from one of the plans. If there were another person in one of the jobs this would not be the case.

Is my compensation high? That is for my constituents to judge. They will always ask how I am performing in the roles. I certainly realize this and respect people’s opinions regarding the matter. If they think it is too high I will not be elected and then go do something else. Probably defend taxpayers on the other side of the tax equation. As I stated, I do not miss days of work and am highly visible in the district, (I know that is always the attack that I am never around) and very few people in the state produce the numbers I do out of the assessor’s office. I enjoy my job not for the compensation but for the things I can do to help people in my district. If I was about money only I would not donate to my salary to charity, would protect my family with duel insurance programs, and would take the car offered to me. More importantly, I would have started a firm dealing in tax work as I probably could be compensated at a higher level.

Have a good father’s day yourself. I plan on going golfing with my father on Sunday. For those that want to attack me for golfing, this will be the second time on the course this year!

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

State Legislators are always on call? Members of both parties allowed the regular session to end without a decent budget and will be 'getting around to' trying to put a decent budget together next week!
This is not exactly like being on call at a Level I Trauma Center (which North Central Lake County will not have until next year, where those injured are flown to Lutheran General and Froedert, at significant cost, and a significant lack of inpatient psych beds comes to mind, but I digress), to this tax-payer.

The idea about health insurance is possibly the one way that both governments save some money. Speaking of insurance, I am hopeful that the General Assembly will put together an adequately funded budget as insurance is not just important for public officials, its important for children, the elderly, and those having difficulty in the current economic environment.
Related to this, I am disappointed in Ms. Radogno who alleges that the dooms-day budget is manufactured.
Unless DHS and IDPH will be provided 100% of their funding and the Secretary of State and the State Police get nothing, the '50% budget' will lead to significant service reductions, little or no safety net, and more economic instability which will delay when the State will come out of the economic duldrums.

While I am appreciative that some Republicans can acknowledge that other Republicans were not necessarily acting in an upstanding manner, I point out that this only occurred after one was called out due, in part, to unnecessary partisan attacks at a non-partisan event (for which I still have not seen an adequate rationale AND the idea that most voters use one issue as the sole basis to elect people for office, ignoring the partisanship that consumes county government and the failure to appear at Board meetings by Mr. Stollman and Mr. Powers does not give the voters sufficient credit for being able to make rational decisions.

edsullivanjr said...

To all:

When I say legislators are on call 24/7/365 I am NOT comparing us to emergency personal. Whoever manufactured this thought in this blog line is the one on the attack. I was mearly pointing out that the hours of a legislator are non-traditional! We could be at an event from 7:00am to 11:00pm or called to an emergency at all hours. That is not the same as the fine men and women that protect us or help put us back togather.

Sheesh!!

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

Rep. Sullivan,

I think it is commendable that you donate a portion of your government salary to charity. But one thing you said has me confused. You said here you make about $150K from the government. And a portion of your Fremont Assessor paycheck, $4K to $6K, goes to charity. Assuming your Assessor paycheck is $60K, then about 10% of that goes to charity.

Your rationale for deducting a portion of your Assessor's paycheck is to make up for time lost while in Springfield as a Legislator. The Legislative session is normally 6 months, January thru June, or half a year. If you were really compensating the people for time lost, I would think that 50% of your Assessor's pay would be taken out. And given the fact that special overtime sessions have been the norm the past few years, even a figure like 50% seems low.

I'm no mathematician, but to say a 10% deduction from one of your paychecks squares away your debt to the people of Illinois doesn't quite add up for me.

Anonymous said...

Rep. and Assessor Sullivan,
Let's take a look at your comment and my reaction to it.
YOU stated:
"Legislators really are on call 24/7/365" (6/18/09 - 9:05pm)

You actually used the term 'on call.'

Do you really think it is a stretch to come away from such a comment with the idea that there is a subtle comparison to OTHERS who are on-call 24/7/365? Could
better verbiage been used, if
the continued defense of holding
two tax-payer funded positions is really needed, given your previous contention that the conversation was going nowhere? Also, thanks for admitting that you were being snarky. That's the first quality I look for in a public official running for office ):

As I've said before, one should be careful about what is said and if what is said is not what someone meant, it is not the fault of the reader or that the reader is going to the lengths of 'manufacturing' theories (aka itching for a fight). I have simply taken what has been stated by you and indicated that I am not in agreement with it. Hence, the '
'sheesh' is also not required or appreciated.

One would think that someone who serves in two government organizations would be better able to express themselves, so as to not provide the need to re-state what has been said or to open one's self up for unnecessary scrutiny and to be better able to respond to reactions to what they have said. (And, at times, one would be wrong to think this.)

A few points:
-Given the usage of 'smart-phones'
and the Internet in our global
economy, I don't think it is all
that rare for many people in the
private sector to be available
for work at what may have been
considered non-traditional hours
in a prior era. That you appear
to believe public officials doing
so is of merit makes me wonder
about how connected you are to
the average citizen.
As an aside, many of us who
choose to be poltiically
active attend some of the same
functions, meetings, etc. that
are held at these non-traditional
hours in addition to our regular
jobs and we don't expect a gold
star or other appreciation.

-No one is perfect. We cannot
always control what happens to
us. However, when one of our
comments or actions are
called into question
(i.e. being proud of value-less
Partisan attacks at a non-
partisan event), we can own up
to our actions or comments,
consider the fact that they
may not have been the best
approach for the situation in
question and learn from the
experience.
Also, we can make sure our ducks
are in a row, as when one
cites how they save the govern-
ment money out of selflessness,
they may want to ensure they
are not required to do so
by law when it comes to holding
two positions, that their
contention of possible after-tax
donations truly benefits the
government, and one may not want
to imply that out of both the
districts that are represented,
they are the sole person who is
uniquely qualified for the
positions. (Honestly, given your
aforementioned appearance at the
event and related ability and
willingness to stay
on task, and your ability to
interact with others in an in-
kind [i.e.
without 'sheesh's and incredulity
that something you say can
create anything but widely-
accepted approval or
agreement], I'm just not convinced
and am somewhat pleased I am
not represented by you.

edsullivanjr said...

There was a comment by Blue Velocity that there are some intelligent people on this blog. I would agree with that comment. Unfortunately there are some folks that may be to intelligent for their own good. This “on call” line of thought is hilarious. Let us review the facts here. Someone attacked me for being on the blog during business hours which I take to mean as 9-5. I responded that legislators have non-traditional hours and really could be considered “on call” 24/7/365. From there people wanted to say I was comparing myself to various emergency personal and first responders. Folks, this is simple so please do not over think this one to fit your attack. At no time have I compared myself to anyone that is in a traditional “on call” field. Could I have used better wording? Well in light of the comments clearly distorting what I said then yes I will be more careful of my audience. Sorry Blue V., while there is intelligence in this circle, the intelligence is not being used properly. Some may say somewhat in a negative manner! :)

While I look forward to the posts that are sure to follow, I apologize in advance if I do not answer in a timely fashion. Tomorrow is a computer free day as ordered by my children (via my wife). From there we have this little problem called a budget crisis that requires my attendance in Springfield. (Yes that was sarcasm; I realize the magnitude of the situation)

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

Rep. Sullivan:

1. Just because someone makes (what I consider to be) an astute comment about what you -may- be doing 9-5 does not -require- you to use the phrase 'on call
24/7/365.' This is not the dichotomous situation that you'd like us to believe it is.
No one forced you into the use of such verbiage and to suggest that you were meekly trying to defend yourself suggests this defense could have been better.

2. When one uses 'on call
24/7/365,' despite the fact that Legislators are -rarely- needed urgently at 3am (as evidenced by the unfinished business left at the end of last month and the half a week provided to return to Springfield), it opens themselves up to having others wonder what they are saying.
Hmm, who else is on call 24/7/365 besides public safety officers and some in the healthcare field?:
Baseball players?
Lawyers in the private sector? Automobile manufacturing workers?

As I previously stated, I do not believe there was any distortion or manufacturing. If being held to your word is not something you like, it is not the fault of those in ear-shot.
(Any good attorney will tell you to answer what's asked, no more and no less and to use the words you mean to use, no more, no less).

3. At no time did I 'distort' your comments and I am not pleased by the allegation, where I believe this allegation should be retracted at the least (Maybe public officials should not be held to a higher standard, afterall!)
If you did not want to be referred to as someone 'on call 24/7/365,' you should not have SAID so.

As someone involved with verbiage for ordinances and legislation, where the incorrect or the incomplete expression of the will or intent of a governing body can open the government up to significant liability, is it not reasonable of me to expect you to understand, and demonstrate your cognizance of, the importance of word choice? Or is this my resorting to more 'distortion and manufacturing? ):

If a question is asked and it is not responded to adequately, people have a right to be displeased.
If a person admits to being down-right partisan when it is out of order or not typically germaine to a situation or environment, this is not looked upon with congeniality.
If someone admits to being snarky, they should not wonder why people are not as pleased as punch to being treated in such a manner.

Hence, the allegations of distortion, the suggestions of negativity, and the 'mis-used' intelligence comments are not reflections of the rational, comprehensive, and cordial comments made here by the people you are corresponding with.

Finally, with regard to an expensive return to Springfield, the state has a statutory and moral obligation to provide for a minimum level of services. Hence, it is of vital importance that those in the Legislative branch put aside their differences and ensure the adequate funding of education, public safety, and healthcare. How this can be done with a 50% budget and no increase in revenue is not clear to me. It occurs to me that some in our State do not believe certain cuts can be made while others believe that even if any and all cuts are made, a temporary income tax increase is not outside the realm of what should be considered.
Hence, if those in Springfield were truly about saving the state money, they would have agreed to a decent budget during their regular session. Many in the private sector are not allowed to work over-time and neither should the Legislature if it can be avoided.
Press conferences and empty alternatives put forth by Radogno, Murphy, and Cross have not brought about substantive progress and may have stood in the way of a timely, adequate budget, but what do I know, I just 'distort' and 'mis-use' intelligence. (FYI - when quotes are used, that indicates that what is inside them are being attributed to you. No distortion or manufacturing.)