Over the weekend of December 17th, many Climco workers (Plant 1) in Morrison went through everyday life preparing for the holidays, working second jobs, preparing for the upcoming week. Monday, December 20th came and we resumed work as normal. One hour into our day a horrible rumor spread through the factory quickly. WE WERE LOSING OUR JOBS!
The owner of Climco Coils, Scott Selmon, sold the business (just Plant 1 located on Oakwood Drive, the building was not sold). We primarily make many ignition coils, sold to many different suppliers. We all knew the economy was bad and the ignition coil business was not making any money but the closing of our plant was a shock.
We asked many questions….when are we done? Do we have any insurance? What happens to our vacation time? Many of us had scheduled time off already for the holidays. We were told someone would be in at 1 p.m. to talk to us (5 hours after we heard the rumor). Scott Selmon arrived at 1 p.m. He stood before us to tell us we were done with Climco Coils as of December 17th, this was December 20th.
We learned that people carrying insurance no longer had it, also terminated on the 17th. Our last check from Climco would be issued to us on December 23rd, including any vacation time we had not used. Then we were told that we had worked the morning (6 hours) for a temp service and denying to sign with them would cost us our unemployment benefits. This temp service will handle paychecks and insurance until the jobs are moved out, 60-90 days. A lot to take in five days before Christmas. WOW.
Many of the employees at Plant 1 are what you would call “Veterans of Climco”, some working there when Bob Collins and Tina Klimstra owned the business. We have 27 employees, with 5% having less than 10 years, the rest of us 10, 20, 30 and 41 years. We have stuck through many tough times with Climco, especially since Scott Selman has owned it. Our work hours were reduced from 40 to 32 hours (affecting vacation time accrued), wages and benefits being taken as disciplinary measures (yes, disciplinary). This was our thanks for our dedication to the company.
Oh, but wait….Scott told us that if we would like to apply at Plant 2 (located at the Industrial Park), he would consider our application. We would be considered a new hire, no seniority transferred or wages. Many people at Plant 2 have less time than us or are still casual workers (workers with no benefits). Are you seeing the trend? Wouldn’t you move us in and them out?
Although we understand they can be good workers too, seniority should play a part. Are we losing out jobs because of our dedication to the company? Scott said, “Sorry, nothing personal”. We are only 27 people, not 270, could it not have been a little more personal? Could it have been handled a little differently? As stated above, letting us know before we all were terminated, families insurance cancelled or letting us know first thing Monday who we were working for.
We are a great group of people at Plant 1 and we will survive. We are not looking for sympathy, we just want our side of the story told. Thanks for reading.
Mindy Remmers-13 years of service
Melanie Weeks-19 years of service
Karen Johnson-23 years of service
Barb Giesler-11 years of service
Marty Rodriguez-17 years of service
Eleanor Voss 33 years of service
Darla Vandemyde-9 years of service
Penny Spangler-22 years of service
Beverly Betts-14 years of service
William Bollman-4 ½ years of service
Joyce Fowler- 33 years of service in April
David Lira-1 ½ years of service
Curt Jones-7 ½ months of service
Clif Cook-10+ years of service
Lori Smith-20 years of service
Ron Null-41 years of service
Rick Barr-31 years of service
Daina Audette-20 years of service
Jen Caldrone-17 years of service
Ron DeWitte-22 years of service
For Whom the Bells Toll
The annual March for Life will kick off at noon on Monday, January 24. Hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans from all corners of the country will converge on our nation’s capital, as they have for the past 38 years, to remember and mourn the countless victims who have been killed since 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion-on-demand.
I say “countless” because the exact number will be known only in the next life. There have been at least one million surgical killings every year since Roe v Wade, but there is no way to calculate the number of chemical abortions. These are mind-boggling numbers and should make everyone wonder what benefits they have produced. Has it made any of the mothers of those dead babies happier?
The March participants represent all faiths and walk shoulder to shoulder with agnostics and atheists. Many of them will visit their Senators and Representatives to urge them to put an end to this senseless and demoralizing destruction of innocent human life and instead help restore the culture of life.
Those who cannot go to Washington for the protest will participate in other ways in their own communities. Thousands of churches nationwide will toll their funeral bells to remind the public that the war on the unborn is not only continuing but getting worse, because our President has personally ordered a “surge” on all fronts, financed by our tax dollars.
Locally, Holy Cross Church in Stockton will toll its bells for 50 minutes beginning at noon, each minute representing one million unborn babies who died by “choice.” During that time, parishioners will pray to the Author of Life in reparation for those who promote and defend such barbaric acts, as well as for those who have been wounded by them, and for those whose apathy allows the practice to continue. Would that all churches join in this endeavor. Remember, none of these victims receive a burial. Their dismembered body parts are put in a zip-lock bag and thrown into a dumpster for rats to feed on.
Why would God bless any country that destroys his greatest gifts, made in his own image and likeness?
Pearl City, IL
Happy New Year to everyone! Let’s hope that 2011 will find “Morrison back on track and in the black”! It has been several weeks since I have written. On December 15, 2010 I sent a list of questions via EMAIL to Mayor Drey (since I have to put them in writing) so I would get some answers. After a few messages….I did get a meeting with the mayor….today, Jan. 10, 2011. At that meeting, I really didn’t get any answers. However, at the City Council Meeting tonight, the mayor told me that he EMAILED the answers this afternoon. Will fill you in soon!
Well, here I am after the Morrison City Council Meeting…which was a “full house”! Harvey Zuidema commented (according to the 2009-10 audit) that for every dollar of Revenue ($1,353,404) we had 2 dollars Expense ($2,681,241). At the beginning of year, the General Fund Balance was $812,746….Ending year balance was negative -$318,999. Last year Morrison missed budget by over 1.2 million dollars. Will this year ending balance be on the positive side?
Taa-Daa!! It was announced that the city of Morrison received a check from GE today for the amount of $650,000. In a case between the Attorney General/Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and General Electric, Attorney Lester Weinstine stated that Morrison filed a petition to intervene-that the complaint should not be settled without our intervention. So, somehow, Morrison received a settlement. Still parts of the agreement are confidential. (Maybe we can pay back the $550,000 Revolving Loan Fund (line item) so that Morrison businesses can utilize it.)
The bills for this month were again very high at $220,247.84. The Bank of New York Mellon was repaid $38,753.13 for Series 2008 interest payment and $115,000 for Series 2008 Principal Payment! (Which needs to be paid twice a year on the $1,000,000-yes, one million dollar-loan for the Sport Complex). Bluecross Blueshield needed $14,025.48 for Health, Dental, and Life Insurance; Baxter and Woodman, Inc. did more engineering for Well #5 and Well #4, SCADA System, water tower painting amounting to $1,577.50. ComEd was paid by Motor Fuel Tax $4,598.15 and Mid American Energy was paid $2,557.49 from Water/Sewer fund and General Fund. Nicor’s bill was $2,924.73 ( $1,043.57 of that bill was at the Community Room with Melanie Schroeder explaining a stove burner was left on-so the bill was higher). Last month it was only $358.25!!! Quite a difference for one burner being left on!
Discussion was held on the search for City Administrator position. Placing ads will be done soon.
Bids for garbage pick-up/recycling were out and the decision to keep Moring Disposal for a 5-year contract was made by the city council. Service and rates will stay the same at the $11.10 for the refuse portion of the water bill.
Quote for the day: The Lord gave us two ends-one to sit on the other to think with. Success depends on which one we use the most. (Ann Landers)
A Morrison Taxpayer
I would once again like to address the county’s spay/neuter fund that totals $10,000.00. My thoughts are that you have a program that is aimed to help as few cats as possible, being restricted only to low income families that adopt. What about the 57 unneutered cats in a farmer’s barn in Mt. Carroll. What happens to them? What about all the cats who are dumped unneutered onto the street and then proceed to breed. With kittens adding to the number year after year? The county is focusing on a puddle and ignoring the ocean. The pet welfare groups don’t get enough support from Carroll County or it’s residents to deal with these numbers.
Most of our cats are adopted by people who do not live in this county. As you know, people in this county don’t need to adopt cats as they are everywhere for the taking....and THAT is what you should be addressing even if you have to change an ordinance. There is something very wrong with a program that has accumulated so much money while the problem of unwanted animals continues. Just one cat and her unaltered offspring can produce 420,000 cats in 7 years. Yet Kevin Vandendooren tells us, “We don’t do cats!”
There is a program in Clinton, Iowa called Animal Birth Control, Inc. They assist with spay/neuter no matter where you live or how much money you make. Call Judy May at 563-243-6276 to set up an appointment. You will get faster results.
Adrianne’s Angels - St. George Pet Rescue
Wounded Veterans Say ‘Thank You’
Once again the good people in Carroll County came through in grand style to help the wounded Veterans in Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington.
In addition to the gifts donated, we were able to purchase $790 worth of clothing from the monies received. It took $197 to ship 14 boxes. Clothing cost more this year as prices were up, so we were down slightly in the number of boxes sent.
When I spoke with Terri Ridley at Walter Reed Hospital, she remarked that our gifts were right on target for what they needed. She also said that by next Christmas they will be in their new quarters adjacent to Bethesda Naval Hospital.
A big thank you to our local newspapers and radio for the outstanding publicity. And it goes without saying, a big heart-felt thanks to all of you who donated to help the wounded Veterans.
John H. McConnel Sr.
First Baptist Church of Mount Carroll
WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?
Looking for a Motive
By Bob Herman, LCSW
One day, about 25 years ago, as I exited a Chicago cafeteria into the hot noonday sun, I heard a man yelling somewhere out in the street. I’d taken just a few steps when I spotted a well-dressed, tall, handsome middle-aged man with an expensive camera dangling from his neck. His eyes were intense and piercing …. and they were focused on me. I began to take in his words, which made no sense to me: “You’d better stop saying those things about my mama.” As far as I knew, I’d never before met this man (or his mother); his words was incongruous. Had he mistaken me for someone else? What happened next caught me completely by surprise. The man charged at me, swinging a powerful, hefty arm, connecting his fist with my jaw. The force of that swing sent both of us spinning to the pavement.
Things only got stranger after that. A small crowd formed when they heard the commotion, several members of which had witnessed the whole seven seconds of the drama. During those few seconds, a uniformed police officer, less than ten feet away, was preoccupied with something else and had missed the whole show. When he finally turned around, he found two men sprawled on the pavement. I was stunned, still trying to regain my composure, but my attacker was more aggressive than ever. His vocal indignation somehow elevated him to the status of victim, and the cop bought that picture ….until the crowd shouted “No, no, the angry guy was the attacker. The other guy didn’t do anything!” My assailant – let’s call him Jake – was handcuffed, still ranting, and, two minutes later, a squad car unceremoniously hauled him away.
The next day, I got a call from the local community organization explaining that Jake was a well-known resident in the community. He was regularly picked up by the police for a variety of minor incidents. He suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had previously been hospitalized many times. He rejected medication to control his psychosis (the inability to distinguish between one’s internal fantasies and what is generally recognized as “reality”), as was his right by law. The caller asked if I’d be willing to go to court to testify, which would help them get Jake back into the hospital, and I agreed. The hearing arrived …..but Jake did not. He was an old hand at this and knew how to play the system: the day before any scheduled court appearance, he’d show up at the state psychiatric hospital and voluntarily admit himself for a few days, thereby avoiding legal consequences.
For days, this incident replayed in my head. My jaw was still hurting, my knee was still bruised and my dignity was still….indignant. I was angry when I realized that there would be no consequences for Jake, and I was angry that the system allowed people like Jake to freely roam the streets doing harm to others, over and over. But gradually another, more daunting thought infiltrated my brain – a thought that dominated everything: what if Jake had had a gun in his pocket? That thought left me feeling not outraged, but damn lucky! There, but for a pistol, could I have been dispatched that day.
It will not be surprise you that the events of January 9 – the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others by “undefined” Jared Loughner – brought back the above incident vividly. As the news story slowly developed, I found myself irritated by what I regarded as a ridiculous statement repeated by the newscasters: “Police are still looking for a motive.” Those words tell me only that our nation still hasn’t a clue about dealing with the many potential time bombs within our society; we can’t deal with them because we don’t understand them. To speak of a “motive” for an act committed while in a psychotic mental state is analogous to asking what motivated your two-year-old to wake up the whole family during a nightmare or why your four-year-old burned down the house after discovering a lovely red box of matches. The word motive (as we usually understand it) simply doesn’t apply when a human act arises from an incomplete or very confused mind. I was very angry at Jake for slugging me, but, as a therapist who has had to understand what happens in a psychotic state, I also knew that, in his mind, I posed a very real threat to him (or, at least, to the mama he loved). Without exception, every acquaintance of 22-year-old “undefined” Jared Loughner interviewed by the media gave the same account of him: He was a very troubled man with poor impulse control, whose thoughts seemed disordered and disconnected from reality. The bits and pieces of his writing revealed by the media left little doubt that his thinking was seriously disordered and that he was most probably psychotic. In a psychotic state he could no longer question the frightening paranoid fantasies growing in his mind. His instincts would tell him that he needed to act to defend himself – no different from the impulse healthy people feel when threatened. When the mind can’t differentiate fantasy from reality, anything can be “real”. In the instant that Jake attacked me, he knew he’d found his demon (me) – a demon who wished to hurt or kill him. Doubt, so critical to our thinking processes, was nowhere to be found in Jake’s mind at that moment. All he needed was an object to which he could attach his paranoid fears …. and that’s when I appeared. What followed, in the context of psychosis, was just “logical”.
The tragic events of January 9 are a wake-up call. There’s no shortage of people troubled enough to do terrible violence, driven only on the confused and irrational thoughts swirling in their heads, whether by blowing up federal buildings or shooting up a high school or slaughtering co-workers, but they are not the ones who can stop this senseless violence. It is the healthy portion of the population which must accept responsibility for stopping such tragedies. [Before you recoil at this assignment of responsibility to you for someone else’s limitations, stop and think about the many ways in which we already accept responsibility for others, simply because there is no other option if we want to be safe and want our loved ones to be safe!] Punishing violence-prone troubled people may allow society a moment of “revenge” or the fleeting illusion of safety, but it isn’t a solution. While we gain some protection by incarcerating those who’ve shown their dangerousness by an act of violence, convictions do nothing to stop all the would-be violent people waiting in the wings. The threat of punishment may be a deterrent to sane people, but, for minds that have disconnected from reality, the threat of imprisonment works no magic and may even exacerbate the problem. It is the rest of us who must accept responsibility for keeping dangerous weapons and materials out of the hands of people who cannot discriminate right from wrong, fantasy from reality. A parent knows that chastising or punishing a four-year old for playing with matches is pointless. The child can’t grasp the consequences of making lovely fire magic, can’t exert the self-control needed to just leave the box of matches alone. It is the parent who must take responsibility for the safety of the family by hiding the matches. We accept this because we can know that a young child’s mind isn’t ready to manage something as dangerous as a match. Yet we continue to leave guns and explosives “lying around”, easily available to the immature and to people whose minds are confused and filled with irrational fear.
There is no way to achieve absolute freedom from these violent, meaningless tragedies, but if we don’t want our world to be defined by the terror of psychotic minds (as it is increasingly: I wonder how many public officials will decide to stop meeting in public with their constituents after this last tragedy) – don’t want to wake up every day to yet another senseless massacre – we’ll need to stop wringing our hands and get busy “childproofing” our home. Times have changed. The greatest damage a disturbed mind would be likely to do a century ago was to throw a punch (like Jake) or hurl a rock or, maybe, set a fire. Today, the internet offers chemical formulas for mass murder while its political messages encourage action. Automatic weapons can be purchased by seriously mentally ill people like “undefined” Jared Loughner) by just walking into a gun shop or a gun show. Will we see the writing on the wall and be able to get beyond the polarized struggle over gun rights? Will we begin to forge a rational, effective way to protect our children and grandchildren from the most disturbed members of our society? To those who think any laws that restrict access to guns and other destructive materials is an infringement of rights, I’d like to suggest that the senseless violence becoming a part of our landscape has already constricted your life and is already limiting your rights (you may soon be unable to talk publicly with your representatives!), and I suggest that it is an act of caring and compassion to lock up the “matches” and protect not only the general public but also those who commit violence, who cannot discern right from wrong, fantasy from reality.
Many tell me it is absolutely time for a tax increase. They say the state cannot survive without a major injection of cash. Certainly our survivability is at stake. I simply and fundamentally disagree that a tax increase without a decrease in spending and a debt pay down provision is the way to go. That concept seems almost mystical to some. One of the great organizations out there that shares volumes of information with us is the Illinois Policy Institute.
A recent article by J. Scott Moody, a Senior Fellow for Budget and Tax Policy at the Institute, dated December 15, 2010, captioned “How to lose jobs and alienate people”, hits the nail right on the head. Moody notes that “fundamentally personal income comes from two sources: The private sector and the public sector. The distinction between the two sectors is important because only the private sector creates new income. The public sector, in contrast, can only redistribute income through taxes and spending. More specifically, public sector spending consists of personal current transfer receipts (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.) and government employee compensation (federal, state, and local).”
Mr. Moody does a nice job of sharing what the Governor proposed, a 33-1/3% tax increase (from 3% to 4%) for personal income. Budget Director David Vaught proposed a tax increase to 5% for both personal and corporate taxpayers (up from 3% personal and 4.8% corporate). The Governor’s proposal will raise $2.8 billion per year, while Mr. Vaught’s will generate $5.7 billion per year. Let me bring it to your pocketbook - $596.00 per year for the Governor’s plan and $1,205.00 per year for Mr. Vaught’s. The Illinois economy will suffer a drop in personal income over the next three to five years of $6.5 billion to $13.2 billion depending on which increase moves forward.
Ok Sacia, what do we propose as an alternative? Again my admiration for the work of the Illinois Policy Institute goes to the heart of the problem. Kristina Rasmussen, the organization’s Executive Vice President, is proposing the “Pension Funding and Fairness Act”, which is an amendment to SB 2874. The proposal, highly synopsized, states that state spending cannot exceed the inflation and population adjustment. The pension payment must be made first every year. Revenues above the spending limit go to pay down past due debt.
Every credible study shows that to create jobs you have to lower taxes. Take a nationwide look at states rebounding from the recession. The ten lowest taxed states have staggering increases in population and job growth over the ten highest taxed states. Why do we try so hard to avoid learning from others when the answer is so clear?
As always, you can reach me, Sally or Barb at 815/232-0774 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit my website at www.jimsacia.com. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.