Saturday, December 11, 2010

Is there only One who is getting it right in Lake County?

This is a Press Release issued by Sam Yingling, Avon Township Supervisor on December 10th.

Other Say Tax Hikes, Avon Township Says Cut Fat

The Avon Township Board will be considering a reduction in the Township’s tax levy at this Monday night’s (December 13,2010) monthly board meeting. Being considered will be an overall Township tax levy reduction of approximately 7.2%.

“When seeking office, we made a commitment to the taxpayers to reduce the levy by 8.7% over the course of the 4 year term of office. In just these past two levy cycles we will achieve a total tax reduction of 7.9% and I am confident we will well exceed the 8.7% reduction we promised the taxpayers”, stated Supervisor Sam Yingling, “The culture of unnecessary taxation and bloated bureaucracy must come to an immediate end.”

The largest levy reduction will be from the Township’s Road and Bridge levy in the amount of 41%. Additional levy reductions being considered will be in the Town of Avon levy in the amount of 3.7% and the Permanent Hard Road levy in the amount of 1.7%. This is the most aggressive local attempt to cut costs, streamline budgets, and provide taxpayers with the greatest tax relief during these challenging economic times.

“The State keeps talking about tax increases and service reductions," Supervisor Yingling said, "But it's time to discuss how to make government more efficient, eliminate waste and duplication. We must recognize that Illinois has one of the highest numbers of taxing entities in the country. We must consolidate these taxing entities and reduce costs. We must look at overall Township reform."


LCTruth said...

This is a start. Maybe the solution is to elect young people to right the wrongs of the good old gang.

edsullivanjr said...

Any time a unit of government asks for less money than the year before that is a good thing. In today's enviornment if Avon reduced their levy by a greater percentage than the overall drop in Township EAV, thereby lowering the tax rate, then we are talking about something impressive.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

Avon Township is reducing their levy, while Lake Villa Township is giving a free office to Suzi Schmidt. The old gang keeps helping themselves to the taxpayers' resources while Yingling steps up for the taxpayers.

edsullivanjr said...

Anon 3:54,

I am going to make the assumption that the office you speak of is Schmidt’s future senate office. Based on that assumption what you said makes very little sense on many levels. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you do not know how these offices are funded. Schmidt will receive an allotment to run an in-district office. This allotment is funded by taxes paid to the State of Illinois. So the comment, “the old gang keeps helping themselves to the Taxpayers’ resources…” is not something based on reality.

Let’s take taxes out of the discussion and just ask the simple question, Should the Township allow a State Senator to use part of Township property as a District office? I believe the answer is yes. The people of Lake Villa Township will be able to go to the township for their needs and then if they have any business with the state they can just walk down the hall instead of having to get in a car and drive to wherever the next office is. One stop shopping should be the norm not the exception.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

31st Eye said... make some good points, but we also know there is an old alliance between Schmidt and Venturi. Lake Villa is not in the heart of the district. I am sure the Senator-Elect could have found the same deal in one of the other more centrally located municipal buildings. From a district perspective, Lake Villa is out of the way.

edsullivanjr said...

Anon 10:37,

I quite frankly do not know what Schmidt has done to look for an office. It is certainly none of my business. I do know that the Lake Villa Assessors office moved some years ago to a different Township location. So if the Schmidt office is at the main Township building on Fairfield then the old Assessor office would be great. The Schmidt office could be in the building that houses the new Assessor office for all I know. Just because there is a Municipal building elsewhere does not necessarily mean there is room or the will to work together. The bottom line here is that it is great to have two units of government working together for the betterment of their respective constituencies, no matter what the “political alliances” are.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

Ed: Suzi has already stated on her Facebook page that she is getting the office in the Lake Villa Township free of charge. Hence, the people of Lake Villa are paying for this office twice: first because she already receives an allotment from the state, as you said, and second because she is using the township facility. There are always costs associated with the use of a facility.

Your one-stop-shopping concept is bogus. First, the township is supposed to be non-partisan. But this is tantamount to the township endorsing a partisan office-holder. Every individual coming to the township will now encounter their Republican State Senator as well. Venturi did not offer this service to the previous state senator. Moreover, Venturi and Schmidt have already blurred the ethical line between State employees and political campaigns. Venturi freely admitted that it was he who directed the RSVP for Schmidt's first fundraiser to Linda Pederson and the official State Legislative phone number of State Representative JoAnn Osmond.

It seems as though the party with the stanglehold on elected offices in Lake County is willing to turn it's back on small injustices and small indiscretions on a regular basis. But the end result is a long list of abuse of taxpayer resources.
Venturi does not own the Lake Villa Township center; he is merely the steward on behalf of the taxpayers. He should have asked the people that pay the bills first.

edsullivanjr said...

Anon 12:37,

So I take it you subscribe to the “cut of your nose to spite your face” way of governing? Listen I am trying to be as diplomatic as I can here but you obviously have a very partisan thought process. First, the people have spoken in our “representative democracy.” They chose Venturi to lead the Township based on what he said he would do AND they trusted him to make prudent decisions on their behalf in the future. This decision is one that is in the best interests of his constituents. These constituents happen to also be located wholly in the 31st district. If they disagree with him I am sure they will tell him.

I give you the example of a single mother with say two kids struggling to make ends meet. She suddenly loses her job and with that healthcare benefits. This woman can receive assistance from the Township with rent, food, utilities. She can also go to her State Senator for among other things, medical assistance. Both offices have to work in tandem to help this lady. There is nothing bogus about her having the convenience of going to one location to get help as opposed to two locations on top of the logistical issues of the two offices working together on her behalf. Under your way of doing things you would force this lady to schlep her two kids in the cold to another location because you don’t like the fact that two elected officials that have a very good working relationship also happen to be from the same political party.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

If Venturi's motivation was to offer help to his constituents, why didn't he offer this service to the previous State Senator? You speak as though we are children, Representative. Venturi served as chairman of the Lake County Republican party. He clearly violated the ethical proscription against conducting political activities by a state employee. Osmond has her political and legislative office in the same location in Antioch. Why didn't Venturi offer the same service to other GOP state office-holders like Cole or Osmond?

Venturi was elected to conduct township business. Utilizing township assets to further a state senator is outside the scope of his mandate.

You recently posted a comment on another issue utilizing the slippery-slope concept. I think this is a prime example of a dangerous blurring of the line between governmental and political activity.

Venturi was perfectly happy to make that mother of two travel in the cold to a different office for the past four years. And this benefit is only derived from a Lake Villa mom, and only if her business is with the senator. She would still have to go thru Osmond's political office to get to her legislative office in Antioch. Antioch moms are on their own in you example, as are Newport, Avon and Warren moms. Why not have a state government office in every township facility? I'm sure Governor Quinn could house a staffer in your Fremont Township center, free of charge, couldn't they, Ed? That way, it would be real one-stop-shopping.

edsullivanjr said...

Anon 2:39,

I doubt Sen. Bond would have wanted to have his office located in the township hall. Clearly there has to be a willing buyer and a willing seller in this transaction. Last I checked the issue of Osmond, Peterson and Venturi was vetted by the appropriate authorities.

Why don’t you go ask the other Township folks why they did not offer space to Schmidt? Are you saying that you would be fine with Schmidt having an office in Warren? Why don’t we just increase the income tax rate to say 6%, raise 9 billion and change, and put an office in every town so we don’t have anyone worrying about being under represented. As for Fremont I would love a state satellite office or be able put my office there. The problem is I am not the Supervisor or on the Town Board so have zero say in the matter. Plus, Fremont just does not have the room.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

The transaction requires an offer and an acceptance and consideration. Venturi never made an offer to anyone other than Schmidt. But there is certainly consideration. Even your convoluted logic seems to accept that there is value to Schmidt in the grant of a free office. That is not Venturi's to give. Post facto benefit to a limited number of constituents does not render the deal between Venturi and Schmidt any less political nor any more appropriate.

Note should also be taken that Avon seems to be accomplishing much more with a smaller budget than Lake Villa. Perhaps Venturi should devote a little more time to managing the affairs of the township than furthering the political careers of the Lake County GOP.

And in the mean time, Ed, get off the computer and get out there and raise somebody's property taxes!

Anonymous said...

He doesn't raise taxes, just assessments. You can thank District 46 and the Village of Grayslake for raising taxes!

Anonymous said...

Well, he's in Fremont, so that wouldn't apply. It was really a bit of a joke anyway, but, whatever.

edsullivanjr said...

Anon 4:29,

Eloquent writing with a smudge of legal theory mixed into your post doesn’t make you seem any less of a partisan hack. Funny thing is I had an old opponent that used to always make sure people knew she had a bunch of letters after her name. When she was losing a debate she became more and more condescending to all before her. When things really went south she would finish up with an offhand quip about how I should go raise someone’s taxes. Interesting.

You seem to have a vast understanding of the role of an assessor so here is a brain teaser. Please explain whether the following statement is true or false. “ A duly elected township assessor has no control of a tax bill or an assessment going up or down if they are following the law.“

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...

Junior, your question is both irrelevant and betrays that hypersensitivity we've all come to love about you. You best read over your responses here. You failed to address the fact that Venturi IS giving away something of value, with its attendant costs to the taxpayers, to Suzi Schmidt, without the prior approval of those taxpayers. You failed to address the fact that these same two individuals, Schmidt and Venturi, partnered together to circumvent the ethical rules that are supposed to keep state employees from engaging in political activity. We have every right to fear the slippery ethical slope of putting them together again. And finally, given the original article that began this exchange, you fail to address the fact that while Yingling endeavors to give more value to the Avon Township residents for their tax dollar, Venturi appears to be trying to bring more value to the Lake County GOP from the Lake Villa Township residents' tax dollars.

I once had an opponent who continuously referred to cross-examination questions and objections raised as loser's tactics right up until the jury rendered an award in excess of his client's policy limits. Like him, you also tend to get snarky and sensitive when you feel an issue slipping from your grasp. I'm fully aware of the function of an assessor. The unanswered question, however, is whether Venturi understands the limits of a Township Supervisor's authority. He's the partisan hack. The problem is that he's draped in a non-partisan cloak.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else here get an icky feeling reading a guy who has TWO taxpayer funded jobs defending another guy with a taxpayer funded job giving away the right to use a taxpayer funded asset to a woman who has never had anything but a taxpayer funded job?

DMAC57 said...

So I am scouring the papers this morning looking to see if the press picked up the news of a government body taking less taxes from the people. I see nothing anywhere. Considering the original post stated this was a press release, and last night the levy reduction was discussed and I assumed voted on at the Board Meeting, I have to say the press doesn't care about good news. They only want to report on scandal, bad news and rumors. It is a shame our local papers are nothing more than a supermarket tabloids anymore.

edsullivanjr said...

Anon 9:34,

For once we agree on something, my question does not add to the debate as does your initial personal attack.

Having spent the better part of three days reading proposed educational reform legislation my eyes are getting blurry so I thought I would indeed go back and re-read my posts to see if I missed something. My guess is you probably are knee deep in legal briefs so to help both of us I put my answers to your previous asked questions or issues below.

Prior approval:
“First, the people have spoken in our “representative democracy.” They chose Venturi to lead the Township based on what he said he would do AND they trusted him to make prudent decisions on their behalf in the future.”…” If they disagree with him I am sure they will tell him.”

Partnered together:
“Last I checked the issue of Osmond, Peterson and Venturi was vetted by the appropriate authorities.”

“Any time a unit of government asks for less money than the year before that is a good thing. In today's environment if Avon reduced their levy by a greater percentage than the overall drop in Township EAV, thereby lowering the tax rate, then we are talking about something impressive.”

I realize you do not like Venturi or Schmidt. That is the issue. I would guess most if not all township supervisors in Lake County would love to have a state rep or senator quartered in their Town Hall. In the city of Chicago various alderman and legislators share office space because they know it is a convenience to their constituents. Finally, you can never get around the basic fact that good constituent service is inherently good politics. Elected officials get re-elected because they do their job and help people. You can look for all the evil motives you want but in the end I believe this is a great decision by Venturi and Schmidt.

Rep. Ed Sullivan

Anonymous said...


You can't win an argument with an "anonymous". It's like trying to box the invisible man (or woman).

Keep up the good work.

Joe Mancino

Anonymous said...

I happen to agree with the anonymous poster who has challenged Mr. Sullivan here. Sullivan has responded only indirectly to the points raised in typical political-speak. Moreover, Sullivan began the discussion by minimizing Yingling's efforts to reduce the tax burden in Avon Township. Yingling's efforts are an encouraging step toward fiscal responsibility and Sullivan's attempt at marginalizing this effort is contemptible, yet typical Lake County GOP tactics.

Venturi was elected to manage the business of the Township of Lake Villa. Giving those assets to a state senator who has been granted an office allotment by the state is either beyond the scope of his authority or a mismanagement of those assets. It appears, however, that he does intend to 'rent' the office to Schmidt, as that is how the item on tonight's meeting agenda is identified. But granting the office to Schmidt for free, which is what the poster objected to in the first place, and what Schmidt claimed, would certainly not be appropriate management of the township's assets. Perhaps Venturi's been reading this blog. But Mr. Sullivan claimed that the poster's objection made "very little sense on many levels." In that, he was clearly wrong. It makes good fiscal sense to charge Schmidt, as she is already granted an allotment, and Venturi is responsible for those assets. And it makes good sense on an ethical basis as well. The 'authorities' Sullivan refers to only reviewed Representative Osmond's conduct (and found it unethical, by the way), not Venturi's.

I have been a resident of Lake Villa township for 20 years. I hope that Mr. Venturi understands his duty when it comes to the assets our taxes support. I worked on the Bond for Senate campaign, and, if the November results had been different and Venturi offered an office to Bond free of charge, I still would have thought it inappropriate. To do so would make the people of Lake Villa pay for this twice and that is wrong no matter what political party sits in the office. My friends and neighbors are Lake Villa residents and I don't think it's asking too much to treat us fairly. Now, if Venturi would start doing some of the things Yingling is doing, we'd be even happier.

Edward C. Erwin

Team America said...

=== You can't win an argument with an "anonymous". It's like trying to box the invisible man (or woman).

Keep up the good work.

Agreed. Ed, you can't convince everyone. Some people will never agree with you no matter how correct your position. You have a lot better things to do with your time and talents than to get sucked into a farcial debate on this blog.

Ed said...

... and here I was thinking I could re-visit this entry about Mr. Yingling and actually read some comments about him and what was covered in the press release.

Talk about topic drift!