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Home rule disenfranchises Rockford taxpayers

Government is supposed to be of, by and for the people. Home rule is government “despite” the people. If home rule is approved, putting aside for the moment both sides marketing campaigns, Rockford taxpayers will effectively be giving up their vote for or against any future referendums on tax issues, debt or sunset clauses that provide the checks and balance to hold city officials financially accountable. Illinois’ Home Rule is a one-size-fits-all statute, unlike surrounding states, which allow local officials and the community to create a...

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Inmate lockdown lawsuits influence sheriff’s budget dispute

The number of lawsuits filed by the inmates against Winnebago County Sheriff Caruana currently stand at twenty-one with undoubtedly more on the way. This is the inmate’s response to an unanticipated upsurge in the number of lockdown hours triggered by the sheriff in the months immediately following the layoff of 10 correction officers. The lawsuits are identical except for the name of the inmate, suggesting an organized campaign to reduce the lockdowns. How did the county get into this position? First, county spending has exceeded revenues....

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Madigan had to pass budget to find out what’s in it

Recalling Illinois’ past record, everyone must know that Madigan and company’s new budget will not solve the state’s financial crisis. Springfield will continue to spend the additional $5 billion a year, just as they squandered most of the $32 billion extra tax dollars collected during the last temporary income tax hike. Madigan’s budget permanently increases the income tax rate to 4.95% from 3.75% and corporate income tax increases to 7% from 5.25%. No, the personal income tax increase is not 1.2% as some local proponents suggest; it’s a...

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Winnebago county-wide officials bypass county board budget statutes

In last month’s article, “Local taxpayers affected by unfunded state mandates,” it was determined to be a challenge for local taxing districts to balance their budget with additional expenditures being continuously imposed upon them from Springfield. It is no less challenging having some of our county-wide independently elected officials and department heads adding additional taxpayer dollars to their departmental budget allocations, while bypassing county board approval, which is required by state law. This year, Winnebago County faces a...

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The “Basket of Deplorables” election revolution

The so-called Basket of Deplorables and the millions of forgotten people, who were either left behind or unemployed during the “economic recovery,” led Tuesday’s election day revolution. The deplorables voted for Donald Trump for president because: Trump led the revolution against the Establishment Republican and Democratic parties, who continued to maintain the status quo with respect to globalization, regardless of the unlevel playing field in trade, jobs and lack of international respect for America, which was in sharp...

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County sets priority for law enforcement despite deficits

Two representatives of SAFE – Secure Active Family Environment – Joe Castrogiovanni and Mike Tulley, in a Public Safety Op-ed last Sunday accused the Winnebago County board and administration of diverting $1.1M dollars of the Public Safety Sales Tax – PSST – using the money for purposes other than public safety based on evidence “found” by Sheriff Caruana’s in the first year of his term. The sheriff has also alleged that the county has cut the sheriff’s budget for the past 15 years, yet the sheriff’s budget has increased...

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