My husband is a farm boy, but I was born a city kid – actually an “Air force brat”. I don’t regret a minute of my “growing up”, but there were some things I missed. My own children had an advantage in their youth that I did not; it’s called 4H.
Through this local organization, which is readily available to any youth, kids can experience the world – with or without leaving home. They can learn:
· to speak in front of a group without fear
· to formulate and voice opinions, but also to listen to the opinions of others. In their adult life, these things are called parliamentary procedure and the democratic process
· to try new and different things, and perhaps spark an interest in things previously untried
· the value of community service
· the value of their own hard work and commitment to a project
· to be leaders and mentors
My kids have made friendships that will last their lifetime. One of the reasons I have stayed involved with 4H is the camaraderie I see on a daily basis – all of these kids cheer for each other and support each other - simply because they want to.
My kids “grew up”, both literally and figuratively, in 4H, and continue to use they skills they learned. I know what a difference it has made in their lives, and I consider it extremely important that those advantages be available to the generations coming behind them.
In today’s world, it is easy to get on the wrong track – to expect someone else to fix it, or to think you deserve something just for being there. 4H is an excellent way for kids to learn what talents they possess, how to set goals, and how to use their abilities to achieve, and even surpass, their goals. 4H teaches children they can achieve.
Unfortunately, 4H is largely state funded; in these financial times, it is easy for programs like 4H to be severely curtailed, or to vanish altogether for lack of funding. In response to this, I’ve joined a group of community leaders to create the Carroll County 4-H Foundation. During our last meeting, we created a short survey to ask community members for their input as we develop our mission, values and strategic plan.
Visit this website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WVRS3HC or call the Extension office to request a paper copy of the survey. Please let us know what you value about 4-H! The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and your input is greatly appreciated. Visit the “University of Illinois Extension-Carroll County 4-H” Facebook page too, for a link to the survey or request a copy from the Extension office by calling 815-244-9444. Thanks in advance for your support!
4-H Project Leaders
Steve and Bryan Hollewell,
Morrison Mayoral Candidate
My name is Everett Pannier and I am a candidate for Mayor of Morrison. My wife and I are lifelong residents of the Morrison area. We, and our entire family, are graduates of the Morrison School system, after which I spent a 42 year career at GE working my way up from hourly apprentice to Plant Manager. I decided to run for the office of mayor after learning that our current mayor and four of our council members were not seeking re-election. Such a turnover requires that there be a person with strong leadership skills in the office of Mayor. I believe that I have the skills and qualifications necessary to assume the duties of that office.
My background at GE afforded me the opportunity to become a good listener and communicator. In addition, I was responsible for millions of dollars in sales, material, and equipment. I have demonstrated good people skills with hundreds of employees under my supervision. I am familiar in working with budgets and measurements and providing detailed reports to employees and upper management. I have learned that to be an effective leader, one must communicate openly, be up front with everyone, and give people the opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns. If you treat people in that manner, they will respect you and the office, even though they might not have always gotten the answer that they were hoping for. These are also the skills required to be an effective Mayor.
In addition to my time at GE, I have served 8 years on the Unit 6 school board, 4 years on the board at the Morrison Institute of Technology and 4 years on the Unit 6 finance committee. Currently, I serve on the Whiteside-Carroll Enterprise Zone Board, the Morrison Area Development Board and I am an active Rotarian.
We live in a great community, but like all small cities, we have fiscal issues, infrastructure needs, and are constantly seeking ways to encourage growth and economic development. Morrison has many choices on the ballot this year for the council and mayoral positions. That is a good thing. I encourage everyone to learn about the candidates, and make an informed choice. I hope that on April 9th, one of those choices will include voting for me.
Candidate for Mayor of Morrison
Pannier for Mayor
I have been a resident of Morrison, Illinois for over thirty-five years and in that time I have gained a great respect for the office of Mayor in this city. The individual who fills that seat, even though it is not a full-time position, has great responsibility and authority as granted by the people through the laws governing that office. Morrison is a fine city with residents who care about their quality of life and seek to maintain that quality for generations to come. The individual who will be mayor after the upcoming elections will play a significant role in continuing that high quality of life for the community.
I have been fortunate to have known Everett Pannier since I arrived in Morrison in 1976. He was on the School Board at the time that I started as the Junior High Guidance Counselor and I had my first opportunity to observe his abilities as a team player and an effective voice for the community. The Board had many tough decisions to make at that time and Everett was committed in making the right decisions so that the District could provide a strong education for the children. Subsequently I worked with Everett for a number of years as a fellow Rotarian and again had an opportunity to see a man committed to the organization and to serving the community. As I retired from the School District and began my next career at Morrison Institute of Technology I was pleased to see that he was a member of the College Board of Directors. For five years I had the opportunity to work with him in my role as an administrator and to observe the leadership that he gave to the College. He is a man of character, ethical convictions and extensive professional managerial experience.
I am most appreciative of Everett Pannier’s service to the people of Morrison throughout the years and I enthusiastically support his candidacy for Mayor of Morrison. He will serve the People of this community with dedication, fairness and enthusiasm and we can know that the future of Morrison is in the hands of a strong leader.
I am endorsing Sarah (Fell) Thorndike for mayor of Morrison, IL in our upcoming election. I believe that all or most of the candidates come with city council experience and want to maintain a fiscally responsible approach to city government; I commend them for their efforts. Sarah, however, has the advantages of being a life-long Morrison resident, she is well-educated and intelligent, and has a family tradition of service to our community. She understands what needs to be done to maintain and improve the quality of life for the citizens of Morrison and those who visit here as well as what will attract future citizens and businesses. Her creativity and ability to work with a contentious, though hard-working, city council should tip the scale on her behalf. It is time to elect our first female mayor of Morrison!
Jindrich for Mayor of Morrison
This is my message to the voters of Morrison. Do not vote for me. That’s right, do not vote for me if you like the direction Morrison is going. Do not vote for me if you like the City Administration holding $5.5 million in debt from bonding and loans. Voters are facing the largest capital improvement project the City has ever initiated with the proposed building of a Waste Water Treatment Plant with an estimated expenditure of 18 million dollars while the Sports Complex operates in the red at $191,000.00 in 2012.
If on the other hand you believe that government should work for you and not the other way around then I’m your guy. If you believe that the taxes you pay should take care of needs first and wants second, then I’m your candidate. If you think that rules should apply to everyone fairly, then tick the box for David J. Jindrich.
Don’t look for my ads, campaign buttons, or yard signs because I’m no politician and I’m not about to waste money that could be better spent elsewhere. I’m not a politician but I certainly know what it means to be a public servant. That’s what I do for a living. I’ve been employed by the Iowa State Dept. of Corrections for 35 years. I’m a parole officer and my clients come from every walk of life. I work in the court system with attorneys, judges, and advocates. Sometimes I’m that advocate myself. Sometimes for victim and other times for my clients. I treat everyone the same way; the way I want to be treated – with respect.
My wife and I moved to Morrison almost 7 years ago because we like the community. It was attractive, clean, safe, and affordable. City administration has forgotten that property values, low taxes, and low user fees attract families, increase the tax base, and promote business. I plan to steer it that direction.
Come walk with the Mayoral candidate on the walking trail at Waterworks Park on Saturday, March 16th, and 30th, at 9:00 am. I’ll give you a bottle of water and we can walk and talk. I can be reached at 772-7270 or at email@example.com
Don’t forget the Candidates Forum on March 21, 2013, at 6:00 pm, in the Community Room at Odell Public Library.
Candidate for Mayor
City of Morrison
Mount Carroll Losing Out on Garbage
Earlier this winter the Mount Carroll City Council renegotiated the garbage hauling contract with Moring Disposal who held the contract since 2007. That contract permitted yearly hauling increases and by 2012 the city was charged $11.18 per household per month. In 2007 the city collected $6.00 per month from users and then raised the rate to the current $7.00 per month. The difference between these two monthly rates has been paid by garbage sticker sales and property taxes.
But the City doesn’t get all of the user fees it should. The garbage fee is billed as part of the monthly water bill. Because the city fails to collect many thousands of dollars in water bills each year, there is a bigger than normal shortfall in garbage fees. That gap has to be covered by property taxes.
Even worse than not receiving fees for services used, the city has been overpaying Moring. The 2007 contract states the Clerk is supposed to call Moring by the 10th of the month with an actual count of households so the Moring invoice is accurate. That has not been the case. Instead the Clerk has paid each month using 760, the estimate used in the request for proposal in 2007. The actual number of households is a lot lower, so Moring has been overpaid each month for the past five years. City financial reports show the overpayment in December 2012 was $726.70. (695 users versus 760) This amount may understate the overpayment amount because of uncollected water bills.
In the Finance Committee meeting discussion on January 8th, the Clerk stated that ‘…Moring would never take it [being paid by the accurate count]…’ and that ‘…she’s been doing this for ten years.’ If true, that means that the city has wasted many thousands of tax dollars. Based on the December 2012 overpayment of $726, the city paid an extra $8720 last year.
The new five year contract with Moring starts at $10.60 for three years. In years four and five the rate rises by no more than three percent, or $10.92 in year four and $11.24 in year five. The estimated household count dropped to 730 but this is still higher than the actual count. Even the Clerk admitted the figure is closer to 700. Non-paying users makes it even lower. Two months into the new contract, Moring is being paid for 730 users. The bottom line is that Mount Carroll is still under collecting and overpaying.
Our city has so many other needs for those tax dollars, it is a shame that our money is being needlessly wasted. All documents are available to the public at City Hall. It’s worth noting that the City of Savanna just signed a four year contract with Moring at $9.15 per month per user.
Republicans: Do they really want to preserve Medicare and bring down cost?
By Arthur C. Donart, Ph. D.
TIME magazine ran a spectacular article by Steven Brill titled: WHY MEDICAL BILLS ARE KILLING US in its March 4, 2013 edition. In fact, that was the only article in the magazine. It is an excellent piece of research journalism as well as a service to the nation. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and read it. It deals with real pocket book issues and real people, one of which just might be you. It also provides us with the facts that ruin Republican arguments in Congress about “entitlements” and getting the deficit under control, especially by controlling government spending.
Did you realize that it cost Medicare only 84 cents to process a hospital bill and it cost them $3.80 in administrative expense per claim whereas Aetna Insurance will spend on average $30.00 per claim for administrative expense? So how can Republican budget guru Paul Ryan look at us with a straight face and say privatizing Medicare is the way to save it? Does he think we are a bunch of idiots! Private, for profit insurance companies can get discounts from 30% to maybe 50% which we can’t get by ourselves; but Medicare pays the average cost (cost not charge) plus 6%. So who is getting the better deal? You guessed it, Medicare. There is absolutely no way privatizing Medicare will save Medicare or the government money. So what is Congressman Ryan smoking?
According to Brill’s article, “We spend two or three times . . . on durable medical devices like canes and wheelchairs (than other industrialized countries) in part because a heavily lobbied Congress forces Medicare to pay 25% to 75% more than it would cost at Walmart.” This is a crime; it is legalized theft. It is a Congressionally sanctioned theft of the taxpayer’s money. The questions is WHY?
Would it have anything to do with our members in Congress being bought off? Brill points out that “According to the Center for Responsible Politics, the pharmaceutical and health care product industries, combined with organizations representing doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, health services and HMOs have spent $5.36 billion since 1998 on lobbying Washington.” He compares that with the defense and aerospace’s $1.53 billion and Big Oil’s $1.3 billion spending to influence legislation. Is it any wonder that our deficit is enormous and that the cost of an election campaign leaves the vast majority of people unable to seek office. Who is there to lobby for us? Yet we are the ones who vote these people into office. We should hold ourselves accountable and if they don’t start representing our best interest, vote them out of office. The money from these industries can buy them a lot of t. v. time and newspaper ads and slick PR advisors; but that doesn’t mean we have to listen to them.
In his article, Steven Brill gives many examples of inflated hospital charges. The CBC (complete blood count) that a hospital charged $157.00 but cost only $10.58 and was reimbursed by Medicare cost plus 6% or in this case about $11.20 is but one of many examples. Outrageous pricing is normal in health care, such as $24.00 for a five cent niacin tablet and $1.50 for one acetaminophen when you can buy a bottle of 100 325 mg acetaminophen through Amazon for $1.49.
Brill offers some excellent ideas for reducing government spending on health care and at the same time improving health care. Easy to do, repeal that portion of the law that keeps Medicare from negotiating the price of prescription drugs and medical equipment. This alone would save billions. Another easy step, tax so called non-profit health care providers at a rate of 90% of revenue that exceeds actual cost. Brill suggest taxing them only 75% but I’m not so generous. Also, limit health care executives compensation packages to not exceed ten times the average nurses salary. Actually, this would be a good idea for all tax exempt non-profits. Finally, end conflicts of interest in the health care industry.
I’ll make you a bet, if we can find a Democrat to introduce legislation to correct the abuse in the health care industry, that alone is a big if, the Republicans will block passage of such legislation. Indeed, it is unlikely to even come to a vote. However, don’t buy their crap that they have to cut “entitlements.” The truth is, they don’t. They just have to start turning down the campaign money offered by the health care rip off artists.
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
I’ve always bitten my lip, but enough is enough. “Their basic view is nothing is important enough to raise taxes on rich individuals or corporations and that’s what binds them together.” That comment was made by someone who sees himself as “the great unifier”. You got it - President Barack Obama. He made it on the Al Sharpton Radio Show as a call in on February 21, 2013, referring to republicans.
No, I don’t listen to the Al Sharpton Show but the comment made the circuit immediately. Yes, I am among the many who are totally repulsed by it.
I know the President personally having worked with him when he was an Illinois State Senator. No, I’m not on his speed dial and I doubt he remembers me. What I remember about him was his 129 “present votes” which his friends in the media assured the nation that, “Oh, that’s what they do in Illinois”. Are you kidding me? In ten plus years I don’t have five present votes.
My good friend, and your State Treasurer, Dan Rutherford refers to the present button on our voting panel as the “chicken” button. Let’s see - I don’t want to anger those in favor of the bill and I don’t want to anger those opposed, I’ll just vote present. I think Dan sums it up quite well.
The point is if you are the Chief Executive of this great nation, wouldn’t you want to be working on bringing us all together not taking cheap shots while stepping off the golf course with Tiger Woods to make your phone in campaign speech?
All of this was just two days after he spent twelve minutes slamming the opposition on how horrific, no - apocalyptic, the sequester would be if “they” allowed it to happen. Oh, it was scary. Meat would not be inspected, air traffic would be in shambles, border agents would not be able to do their jobs. My God, the world would be on the verge of collapse - all of this from a President who has increased the national debt by over 6 trillion dollars since his first election in 2008. That is a full one third of our national debt. It can’t adequately sink in because none of us can get our arms around such an unbelievable financial number.
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani put it best by stating he (Barack Obama) is fiscally the least disciplined president in history.
Well, sequester has kicked in. WOW, finally some restraint in spending. The experts tell us what it means is a cut of 2.4%. I think most of us could get by on about 97-1/2 cents compared to $1.00 if that will help steer us to financial soundness. The stock market has shot into record territory. Coincidence? Perhaps! There is an old military saying that has never left me, “Either lead, follow, or get out of the way”. We have you for four more years Mr. President. We prefer that you lead.