Being a person who loves to play games, I am wondering if there are individuals or families in the area that would like to support a “game time”?
If there is enough interest, it could be held at a public building once a month on either a Friday evening or sometime Saturday.
Several board games would be available or people could bring their own. NO COST INVOLVED!
Call me at 815-273-4156
Thanks for your consideration,
Hidden Treasure in Mount Carroll
What a gem we have in the Mt. Carroll Farmer’s Market. Every Saturday morning from 8:00 - 12:00, there is a gathering of local vendors offering a wide variety of products for sale. So let’s wander down the streets and see what we find.
Your first stop is a produce stand that not only has a great selection, but also has some of the sweetest onions you ever want to taste. If unique is what you are looking for, check out the handcrafted jewelry our next vendor offers. Then move on to a spot Winnie the Pooh would wait in line for hours just to purchase a jar of honey. When you walk by the next booth you will smell the gentle fragrance of soap that carries you to a world of relaxation.
Say hello to our “gentleman farmer” who has some of the biggest tomatoes you want to see, then with fork in hand visit the Cottage Bakers who’re becoming famous for their fresh baked pies. If you want something a little different, pick up one of the miniature rock gardens for your table, but that is only after you have purchased a tablecloth or crocheted towel and washcloth set from our next two vendors. We change up what we offer each week so you never know what kind of surprise you may find.
There are more than goods to be had at our market. Driving by reminds you of days gone by when you’d see the locals just hanging out telling stories, discussing the weather, sharing local lore, or just giving advice on life in general. In the air you feel the camaraderie between the vendors with their warm conversations and an almost family like quality that they share. And don’t forget to take a minute to scratch behind the ears of our Farmer’s Market mascot.
Next time you are driving the winding roads of Carroll County, stop in to see us and be prepared to share a smile and walk away with some of the finest goods in town. After you have finished with the market, head down to one of the local shops for a cup of coffee, a sandwich, or a taste of wine and enjoy the beauty of Mount Carroll.
Mount Carroll, IL
Vote Based on Facts, Not Emotion
“Who cares about our kids and our grandkids! As long as I get mine, that’s all that counts,” the progressives cry. I myself am willing to have mine cut, if we could get the politicians and public workers on the upper end to take a cut.
The liberals don’t want to hear the facts about Obama, and will vote for him, no matter what. They should see the movie “2016” on Obama. The facts are very well documented.
Have you noticed the mindset of all our municipal boards? No matter how bad the economy is, they keep giving pay raises. Sentier Research shows that the Median household income has dropped from $54,983 in Jan. of 09 to $50,964 in June of 2012 or minus $4019. When is the last time you heard of a public worker quitting his job to work in the private sector?
Your home value keeps going down, so they must raise the rate! When are they going to get wise and base pay and benefits on the real estate tax and sales tax levy - without the rate increase? That is our true barometer for the economic health of our area. Like Margaret Thatcher said, “Socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money.”
Now our federal debt is $16 trillion. With the unfunded liabilities, the debt is really $120 trillion, or $1 million debt per tax payer - twice what the U.S.A. is worth - and going up $4 billion per day! Forty-two cents of dollar the government spends, is either borrowed or printed.
Even our overlapping Stephenson County debt (every taxing body included) has gone from $44 million in 2002 to $83,500,000 in 2011.
Social Security cost of living increase (COLA) was O.O% in 2009 and 2010 and 3.6% in 2011. Part of the reason for the small increase is that food and fuel are not included in the formula.
At D.C. on August 19, former Transit Union Boss Mike Golash said , “Our progressive movement is to eliminate Capitalism and install Communism.” (U-tube) Speaks Volumes!
One of ObamaCare’s goals is to get health care employees unionized. Every million new union members translates into $1 billion in dues which will go to elect Democrats and a few RINO Republicans.
If you want to learn what is inside the 2,000 plus pages of ObamaCare, come to the next “Stephenson County Tea Party” meeting. We will have guest speaker Stephen Tucker to educate us on this topic. Due to last month’s large crowd (100 plus), we will hold our next meeting at the Rock Hollow Conservation Club, 1931 Route 75 East, Freeport on Thursday, September 13th at 6:30 PM.
I Want Liberty
Liberty isn’t about politicians, or political parties, or political ideologies. Liberty transcends all of it. I want the government people to get the hell out of my life.
I want them out of my school, out of my church and out of my workplace. I want them off my property and off my back. I want them to stay out of my doctor’s office, out of my bank account and out of my bedroom.
I want the American people to wake up and realize that they have all the liberty they want. It was given to them by God. It was codified in our Constitution.
All they need do is take it – take it back from the government people.
The government people do not get to say what liberty is or who is entitled to it.
The government people have taken it from us but all we have to do is take it back.
We hire the government people to look after our needs. Like many employees, they will steal from us if we let them. They will use the power we give them to destroy us and take what we have worked for, if we let them.
If enough of us show up at our churches, or our schools, or our doctor’s office, if enough of us show up and say “hell no” you won’t, you won’t because we say so. We can do that because we employ you, not the other way around!
The thing is, we have to show up, we have to stand up. We have to stand up with courage. God gave us our liberty. Our forefathers and mothers fought and died for it. It is up to us to defend it and keep it. Everyone, say it together now. . . I Want Liberty.
I stepped outside this morning to see a Praying Mantis perched on a purple yard ornament next to my patio. In foliage, the mantis is a master of camouflage, nearly impossible to spot. It can’t hide quite so well when perched on a purple wire.
Like the mantis, President Obama is attempting to hide behind the so-called “failed economic policies” of President Bush. There’s a slight problem with this; Bush’s major policies were enacted over a decade ago, and are getting a bit dim. To refresh ourselves, remember W was inaugurated during a recession, and by the end of his first term, economic growth was 4.4%, and unemployment was 5.5% and falling!
President Bush and Senator McCain had started warning Congress of the dangers in the banking industry as early as 2001, but they were viewed as fear mongers, and ignored by politicians of both parties who didn’t want to upset bankers and/or constituents, both of whom were benefiting from the boom. By 2006 some voters were fed up with federal spending, others with war(s), and control of both the Senate and House were given to Democrats. These Democrats presented no legislation to rein in Fannie and Freddie, even though the looming fiscal crisis was becoming more visible with each passing month.
With current economic growth less than 2%, and unemployment 8.3% and rising, the President may try to camouflage his record, but he’s like the mantis on a purple wire; he’s actually spotlighting his failure.
We’re spotlighting more camouflage; you’re invited to hear a nationally recognized health insurance subject matter expert, C. Steven Tucker, at the next Stephenson County Tea Party meeting. Due to expected high attendance, this meeting is at the Rock Hollow Conservation Club, 1931 Route 75 East, Freeport on Thursday, September 13th at 6:30 PM.
First and foremost, I would like to thank all the Morrison residents who have contacted me about issues in Morrison. Many of you have stated that you are glad I am there and questioning things that happen with the finances of Morrison. I appreciate all the support, feedback, the interest you have shown in “your city” and its functions. I look forward to all calls from residents. Besides being a council member, I am a Morrison Taxpayer and I am concerned as to where our hard-earned money is being spent!!
City Council met on August 27, 2012 with aldermen Hayenga, Blean, Thorndike, Sullivan, Zuidema, Wood and Rose present. CA Wise, Mayor Drey, Attorney Zollinger, Clerk Schroeder, Teasurer Huling, Public Works Director Tresenriter, Engineer Groenwold, Chief Melton and Sports Complex Director DeBois were in attendance. It was great to see another full house of residents and others showing their interest.
A very short agenda was presented. It seems that the council is either bombarded with a very long agenda or a very short agenda - sometimes it is like “the calm before a storm”. After all the controversy at the August 13 meeting, it makes one feel “on edge” when the agenda is so brief – What Next!?!?
Public Comment: Nancy Riggen questioned the oversight of things going on at the Sports Complex. Are people paying attention? CA Wise said he would respond to her questions via email on the Aug. 28.
Consent Agenda. Treasurer Ernie Huling stated that there was a transfer out of the General fund of $109,044. This was divided-$94,192 to the Sports complex. The Water and Sewer Fund received $14,852 for health insurance premiums.
Bills payable included a $10,500 purchase of a Kromer Field Groomer for the Sports Complex. Jim Dubois explained that the Sports Complex had to purchase a new groomer on short notice in July. He stated in a paper he presented aldermen just before the meeting that he verbally reported this at the July 23, 2012 meeting – I don’t know how he stated that, since according to the city council minutes he wasn’t at either July meeting. I didn’t know anything of the purchase ahead of the bills payable. This purchase was at a cost of $18,450. He also showed how much was being transferred from each line item within the Sports Complex budget to cover $10,500 out of 2012-13 budget. The Central Distributing Company deferred the other $8,450 until next year to be put in the budget along with the cost of repair of the old groomer. Isn’t this another instance of “putting the cart BEFORE the horse”? (We are only 4 months into the 2012-13 Fiscal Year budget and we are spending 2013-14 budget monies???) Shouldn’t this have been discussed by the council? Just saying!
Well #5 is about down to 1200 feet – should be down to 1600 feet in a week and should be able to clean and develop the well. Smoke testing will be done soon to find where storm water is getting into the sanitary sewer system (which has to be treated and is a waste of money). Make sure you pour water down your floor drains so smoke won’t be able to come up your floor drains while this study is being done.
There was no appointment for an Alderman Ward 4 by the Mayor. Ordinance 12-28 Amending the Morrison City Code Chapter 6, Article III, Section 6-73 and Adding article III, Section 74 (Video Gaming) was approved by entire council. This should bring in revenue for the city. It is ironic that the city is counting on extra revenue to be brought in by the very people (taverns/bars) they did not allow to be open on Sundays—Just saying . . .
Next meeting will have the 2012 Audit Review with the Auditors, WipFli. There will be a vote on the Yard waste Disposal Ordinance. It is suggested by the Ad Hoc Committee to shorten the burning hours from presently - 9 am to dusk. The change would change the time you can burn to 3 pm to sunset on Tuesdays and Thursdays….9 to sunset on Saturdays. Also suggested was no burning of noxious weeds, grass clippings or wet leaves AND no burning on Halloween/Trick or Treating day. If you have comments or opinions about any of the proposed changes, be sure to contact your Aldermen, City Hall. My number is 815-590-2378. For other aldermen phone numbers call city hall at 815-772-7657. See you on September 10, 2012 at the County Board Room at 7:00 pm. Come and see your government at work personally!!
A Morrison Taxpayer,
Shannon Lions Club/American Legion 2012 Labor Day Raffle Winners
The Shannon Lions Club and American Legion Post thank everyone for their support of the 2012 Shannon Homecoming Celebration. Winners of the raffles are:
IHC Pedal Tractor won by John Schryver of Shannon (donated by Birkey’s Farm Store), DVD Player won by Nathan Erbsen of Lanark (donated by The Bocker Group), $100 Gas Card won by Andrew Chesney of Freeport (donated by Al’s Quality Service), Gift Cert. Engraved Stone won by Rod Witmer of Pearl City (donated by JLB Stone Heath Lessman), JD Pedal Tractor won by Scott Clark of Shannon (donated by Barkau & Sons), and Wing Back Chair won by Marilyn Phelps of Shannon (donated by LeBaron & Miller Interiors).
Gas Grill won by Laura Koser of Lanark (donated by Meador Ag), $100 Gift Cert. CC Locker won by Ted Perkins of Forreston (donated by The Artman Agency), Kreug Coffee Maker & coffee won by David Shaulis of Lanark (donated by Process Screw), JD Bean Bag Game won by John Schryver of Shannon (donated by Holland & Sons), Digital camera won by Dickie Schultz of Campobello, SC (donated by Shannon Bank/Polo/LC), 1:16” Die Case Semi Truck won by John Schryver of Shannon (donated by Anderson Trucking), 1:16” Die Case Semi Truck won by Steven Fellows of Freeport (donated by Anderson Trucking), 1:24” Die Cast Race Car won by Andrew Chesmey of Freeport (donated by Moring Disposal), and 1:24” Die Cast Race Car won by K Rothermel of Durand (donated by Moring Disposal).
GPS System won by Sandy Schryver of Shannon (donated by Shannon Fire Dept.), Bean Bag Chair won by Jim Schryver of Shannon (donated by Rite-Way Furniture), $50 Gift Cert. Brothers Rest. Won by Ryan Fransen of Downers Grove (donated by Custom Home Builders), Gas Weed Eater won by Jim Schryver of Shannon (donated by Polo Co-Op), 32” LED LCD HDTV won by Zach Henkel of Sublette (donated by Bryans Repair), $50 Gift Dert. Won by Matt Zumdahl of Lanark (donated by Carroll Service), Queen Size Comforter Set won by Norma Meier of Shannon (donated by Slumberland Furniture), and Work Site Radio won by Jeff Kromm of Freeport (donated by The Headquarters).
Congratulations to all the winners and those of you that purchased tickets to make our raffle a huge success.
Shannon Lions Club Raffle Chairman
To the ‘Itinerant Local Newsraker’
Now Mick, there you go again. You’ve returned to the Prairie Advocate to inflict what you call journalism on the local population who devour each and every syllable as gospel truth.
‘Cmon, ‘fess up. You are really dishing up pseudo journalism. You call yourself an ‘…itinerant local newsraker….’ (http://open.salon.com/blog/mick_parsons/2012/08/06/southern_jaunt_more_of_the_name_game_of_anachronistic_cartography). We both know that your purpose is not journalism – you know, all that annoying need to produce fair, balanced and objective information. A wordsmith and traveling philosopher such as yourself is more concerned with entertainment and dissection, like a young boy poking pins in his insect collection.
Writing for the PA is merely a gig for you to earn a few bucks before you move on. Hang around and crash with your buddies Julie and Dave Cuckler, knock back the brews and shots and sleep it off, discuss politics and soak up the music. And needle the locals who actually have a stake in the financial health of the community.
Bunking in the Cuckler household has no doubt provided you with an earful or two. How does that affect your theoretical role as a ‘journalist?’ Must be indelicate to have to step back and attempt to be objective when your host is part of the story at hand. You’ve always been ready to embroider your accounts of public meetings and spin your language with snap judgments, generally with no sign of having done the leg work to turn up factual information. Writing for a newspaper is not like writing a blog or a novel. Your itinerant months on the road do not appear to have changed anything.
Let’s deal with facts: In your report of the August 14, Mount Carroll City Council meeting (appearing in the August 22, 2012 edition of the Prairie Advocate,) you wrote that
1) Fact. You wrote “…outright accusations of malfeasance and embezzlement…” prompted Clerk Cuckler to mention a supposed issue of $7,000. To whose “…outright accusations…” are you referring? And when and where did you witness them? If you did not hear such strong words uttered yourself, your report is hearsay at best, gossip more likely.
2) Fact. In your opinion sidebar, you allege that city funds have been spent to inspect the payroll records which “…prove that there’s nothing wrong with employee time cards….”
Fact. To date the Council has not seen the alleged payroll audit report, nor has an invoice for such work been found. Alderman Bork’s Freedom of Information Act request for this document has not produced the document. Where is it? Does it exist? Who says this is ‘proof?’
3) Fact. At the time of the August 14th council meeting, Alderman Bork was in Springfield, attending a dinner held at the Governor’s home. You state “…The $7,000 alluded to in this week’s Mount Carroll City Council report is the amount Sisler and Bork have decided that the Mayor has stolen….” Didn’t happen. Alderman Bork wasn’t there and at the most recent Council meeting, in response to a question from Alderman Bork, the Mayor stated “…(the amount) was not addressed in the meeting.” Mick, that denial is on tape. What is the basis for your version?
4) Fact. While it is true that that the Council finally recognized the need for two signatures on city check disbursements, the long-held practice of having a single signer was criticized in annual audits:
In the Winkel Parker Foster letter dated December 11, 2011, accompanying the annual audit, “…it was noted that the Mayor signed his own paycheck. This is a breakdown of one of the City’s most significant controls….We recommend that the city ensures the Mayor and Council members are not signing checks to themselves.” Fact. Each year the city’s weak financial controls are criticized but no changes are implemented. The Clerk continues to control all financial matters.
5) Fact. You socialize with Clerk Cuckler and her husband to the extent that you are now residing in their house. You wrote this fact on your blog – link below – which places you in an awkward position to deliver ‘fair, balanced and objective reporting.’ Those are critieria stated by the Illinois Press Association. Do you measure up?
6) Fact. Although you may have persuaded the Prairie Advocate publisher to grant you permission to write an editorial item, the Illinois Press Association states that accepted practice is for all op-ed pieces to appear on the editorial page, not embedded in news pages. Oops. Guess you missed that fact. Or you have other intentions.
Face it Mick, you are not writing the news. Oh sure, you jot a few factual items but the fun is in the editorializing and spinning the fiction to help your friends. In the example of your accusation of Alderman Bork who was absent from the meeting question, the Mayor denied that what you wrote happened, and then went on to state that he’d “…heard several people say….” What is that if not gossip?
More egregiously, you printed an accusation directed at Aldermen Bork and Sisler which was hearsay, heck, downright fiction, and you dressed it up as fact. To make it very clear, some little bird must have whispered a lie to you, which you turned around and printed. Oh, Mick. Printing lies about people, even elected officials, isn’t nice. Jabbing at the independent minds on the Council is one thing; upsetting the whole community is irresponsible. They call that “yellow journalism.”
Lastly, the Mayor and Clerk go out of their way to whine about Aldermen needing permission to sneeze, go to the lavatory, examine records, or write letters to the editor. These self-serving control efforts are baseless. No legal requirement to seek permission exists in the city of Mount Carroll or the state, either informally or by ordinance. The Illinois Municipal Code expressly permits elected officials to examine records without hindrance. It’s their job.
The more the Mayor and Clerk bleat about these supposed infractions, the more it looks like they are attempting to cover up something. Strangely the Mayor, Clerk and City Attorney seem to forget that Aldermen are not benchwarmers but representatives of the taxpayers in their wards and accountable to their constituents. Not the Mayor. Or Clerk. Elected officials are supposed to oversee the responsible use of our tax dollars. Not protect vested interests or maintain the status quo. Checks and balances, remember?
More importantly, all of the above are distractions, aimed at changing the subject. Why don’t the City’s financial reports reconcile? Why doesn’t the Clerk collect water bills as required under the City Code - costing the City tens of thousands of lost revenue? Why are there duplicate, unreconciled sets of pay cards? And on and on.
Oh, and by the way, did you notice that Clerk Cuckler was quoted in the Sauk Valley News article as acknowledging that she knows there are discrepancies in the payroll records? How does that square with the regular assurances from the mayor and supposedly the auditors – the unseen report - that everything is just fine?
Former Alderman and concerned Mount Carroll citizen
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
“Politician” - it’s a word I strongly dislike, but as long as I have the privilege of serving as your State Representative, I must accept it.
My good friend and predecessor Ron Lawfer, also not a fan of the word politician, shares many insights and information with me. Some of it is valuable, some of it is useless. I treasure it all. Among the most valuable is a subscription he and Pat obtained for me to a weekly newspaper out of Billings, Montana “The Western Ag Reporter” with a byline of ”The Only Weekly A Busy Rancher Needs To Read”. I think the reason Ron and I both enjoy it so much is it’s obviously written by “good honest country folks”. We could say the same of our weeklies in Northwest Illinois.
Good honest country folks don’t always do all things right but I do believe that they always try to do the right thing regardless of the consequences. Good honest people are human – they make mistakes. They might even poke fun at themselves. That’s something a self respecting politician would never do. Case in point, this very morning while rushing to get to the German Valley Fire Station to attend a meeting, I was taking some medication. My habit is to toss the pill in my mouth with my right hand and drink some orange juice with my left hand. How this happened I have no idea. The orange juice was in my right hand – I opened my mouth and I threw it in my face. The shock was such that I stepped back and tripped over Farley, one of our Jack Russells, and fell to the kitchen floor with my elbow in the mushy dog food. Jenny isn’t prone to laughing out loud at 6:00 A.M. but seeing me in my underwear sprawled on the kitchen floor covered with orange juice and dog food brought her nearly to tears.
As I cleaned myself up and got about my day I found myself wondering how the editorialists writing in the Western Ag Reporter would see my predicament. They might draw an analogy as follows – Me sprawled on the kitchen floor would appear the way Illinois must to the rest of the nation “laughable”. The sixth wealthiest state in the union running dead last in everything! I didn’t intend to throw orange juice in my face anymore than our state intended to become a laughing stock. A series of events got us here and with hindsight none of the events were very bright. Unlike self respecting politicians we need to expose the events, accept responsibility for them and fix them.
My good friend Jimmy Theulen, the former sheriff of Carroll County, would say, “Hang your laundry for all to see, don’t hide nothin”. I couldn’t have said it better Jim.