1. The Resolution 08-03 by the City of Morrison was adopted the 11th day of February 2008, and approved February 12, 2008. The RT/DOC-5 Certification Statement was acted upon by the City of Morrison, IL. on February 11, 2008, and signed by Mayor Roger K. Drey and attested by Melanie T. Schroeder on 2/12/08.
The Public Hearing was then held on February 14, 2008. This would not be the legal way to do this (to have the Public Hearing AFTER the signing of these documents).
2. There are two different RT/DOC-5 Certification Statements signed by Mayor Roger K. Drey and attested by Melanie T. Schroeder (one adopted on 2/11/08 and attested the 12th day of February 2008 and one attested on 3/17/08 but no Certification Statement day, month or year filled in) then put in the Grant applications to IDNR. This is totally wrong. Has the City previously passed a Resolution and Certification Statement that required a Public Hearing BEFORE having the Public Hearing?
3. Tim Slavin wrote the 2 grants and 2 of the 3 easements. All 3 easements state asphalt, but his 2 grants state aggregate surface (crushed rock). This is totally not acceptable with Harvey and Karen Zuidema’s easement.
On September 20, 2012, Willett Hofmann & Associates Inc. stated to James Wise, Morrison’s City Administrator, “The use of a snowmobile trail requires that the trail have a aggregate surface, instead of a bituminous surface.”
4. Next there is the matter of In-Kind Cost Reduction of $107,500. The Friends of the Park have not shown how this will happen and have changed their mind more than once. Jim Wise told the IDNR Grant Administrator the In-Kind Cost Reduction will happen with Whiteside County donating $6,000. Mt. Pleasant Township will donate the grass seed and the labor to sow it. He also told the IDNR Grant Administrator on November 28, 2012, that the Morrison Public Works Department would be donating material and labor.
Jim Wise never told the City Council about the Morrison Public Works Department donating material or donating labor BEFORE the City Council voted “to approve the construction of the Phase 1 Bike Path Extension to Rockwood State Park in accordance with IDNR Grant SNOW 10-8 ($11,085 / 100% reimbursable) and RTP 10-79 ($256,500 / 80% reimbursable).” This motion was passed on December 10, 2012.
The Memorandum to the City Council states, “This project will be completed at no cost to the City itself.” This is not possible with the City of Morrison Public Works Department furnishing material and labor.
On February 8, We met with Ann Slavin, Stan Mitick, Michael Blean, Noah Carmichael, and Marti Wood about the In-Kind Cost Reduction. Ann Slavin told us that some of the work would be done by people who were given court ordered community service. Ann Slavin also thinks the trail will be part aggregate and part asphalt. There is nothing in the Grants or easements or engineering reports about this.
Then on February 21, 2013, Karen and I met with Ann Slavin, Stan Mitick, and Michael Blean. We were told then that Ann Slavin had gotten the 4 line items (1. erosion control - $10,000; 2. clearing/tree brush removal - $52,500; 3. corrugated metal pipe culvert installation - $25,000; 4. restoration/seeding - $20,000) for a total of $107,500 put back into the Grant from IDNR. However, the City of Morrison has not taken action on this. The City of Morrison working with Friends of the Park have gone from $390,700 to $256,500 then back to $390,700* (*if action is taken on this) all since November 28,2012. There have also been a total of three engineering firms connected to this trail in the last 5 years. The City of Morrison is no longer working with Baxter & Woodman, so the estimated costs are over five years old.
There are two separate easements for the same right-of-way on land belonging to Harvey & Karen Zuidema and Ken Kophamer. One is dated 1987 for a buried fiber optic cable and one in 2008 for the Bike Trail.
This is showing us that Jim Wise, Mayor Drey, Friends of the Park, IDNR, and the City Council do not have the answers to what is happening with the Grants, Easements, and cost of this Trail.
Harvey D. Zuidema
Karen A. Zuidema
Vote for Pannier
As we set our sights on electing a new mayor, I am reminded that we have reached an important time in our city’s politics. Our budget is challenging and important infrastructure projects are mounting. But most importantly, our citizens seem to be divided. Failure is not an option and there is only one person that I firmly believe gives us the best opportunity for success. We need to elect Everett Pannier, a candidate who has the wisdom and foresight to lead us into the future.
There certainly will always be issues that we just can’t agree upon, but you can count on the fact that any disagreements will be handled with respect….sometimes we must simply agree to disagree and move on. He is a man of experienced leadership as supported by his 42 years with GE. He will bring with him the communication skills and budgeting experience that contributed to his business successes and will be necessary to get the job accomplished in our hometown. Everett is a family man, married for 50 years this year, who possesses so many positive characteristics to offer OUR community. He offers a good face for our community as he will bring a no-nonsense approach tempered with wisdom and will be in communication with administrators and politicians outside our community. Most importantly, he will project a positive attitude to all of us locally, as well as to those looking at Morrison from the outside.
So as you make your decision, I am in hopes that you will consider all of these important traits. We all do things differently and lead in our own way but the position of mayor is where superior leadership begins and ends.
Get out to vote on April 9th and vote for EVERETT PANNIER for our next mayor! Thank you for listening.
I am very frustrated after attending the West Carroll school board meeting last week, and also confused at some people’s reaction to our support for Mr. Bressler. First of all, my frustration is with the school board for cutting a very important and integral part of the very successful music program that we have at West Carroll. After only hearing about this possible cut one week prior to the meeting, there was a pretty good crowd there in support of Mr. Bressler. Many people spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and gave statistical facts about the importance of music and brain development, but even more people gave testimony to how Mr. Bressler had changed their son’s or daughter’s life by his encouragement and dedication! He goes way above and beyond what is expected of an instructor and the kids feel his passion and strive to meet his standards of excellence. Many people respectfully addressed the board and begged them to consider all other options before cutting Mr. Bressler’s position, or ANY teacher’s position, for that matter. Many community members who spoke asked the board what we could do to help them not make these cuts, and people started offering up their help to increase fund raising and forming committees to put pressure on legislatures, and basically do WHATEVER it took to not take away a very important part of our children’s education. By the time the audience was done talking, we felt like we were coming together as a community with ideas and working toward a common goal to put the children first. And then the positive energy just disappeared when one board member took the microphone and chastised us all for never coming to a board meeting until there is a problem and saying that we don’t show them enough respect! Excuse me?!? First of all, every single person in that audience could not have been more respectful. And personally, I don’t believe that we need to be present at a board meeting and listen as they go over the details of changes to the student handbook, or how many days of spring break we will get next year, because they certainly do not cover the important topics of staff reduction out of closed session. The local newspapers cover the meetings pretty well and we can get just as much information from reading them as we can from attending a meeting. When the board came out of closed session, they reported that they cut Mr. Bressler’s position, along with 11 other teaching & staff positions.
The other reason for my writing this letter is to express my confusion at some people’s negative reaction to our support of Mr. Bressler. I truly don’t understand why people feel that by us standing up for our wonderfully talented music instructor, they think we are against other teachers’ positions or other programs. We would expect them to support their most valued part of their child’s education, whether it’s sports, FACS, FFA, or whatever, if they were in our situation! And I would support them. I’m disappointed that some people haven’t been more supportive of our efforts, and I’m hurt by some of the negative things people have said. Mr. Bressler does so much more than just offer the kids “private lessons” as I’ve seen reported in the paper and on people’s facebook posts. Maybe it’s just that they don’t understand how important our music program is to the success and growth of this community; however, I bet in a few years they will be seeing the unfortunate repercussions of this decision. Mr. Bressler will not have a hard time finding a new job, but our loss will be some other school’s gain. And that may mean losing Mrs. Bressler, as well ... another huge loss for West Carroll. I whole-heartedly thank John Brigham and Dawn Rath for being the only two board members with the guts to vote against cutting Mr. Bressler.
I’m concerned with the direction that our school and community is going. Cutting Mr. Bressler and the other teachers and staff should have been the very last resort. If the reason they were cut is because the State of Illinois is not paying their bills to rural schools, everyone in our community should be doing whatever they can to get our legislatures to listen to us. And Julie Bickelhaupt has already made it easier for us to take that first step; she has arranged a special meeting with Senator Bivins and Representative Sacia and possibly Senator Jacobs and Representative Smiddy, if they are able to clear their schedules. It is on Thursday, April 4th @ 5:30 at the West Carroll middle school in Mt. Carroll. If we can fill that gymnasium and voice our concerns and ask them what we have to do to save our schools, then maybe we have a shot at saving these teacher’s positions and also eliminate the need to cut your favorite teacher or program in the future.
I hope that we can band together as a community and fight for what we believe in, not break it down further by fighting with each other. Our country is already so divided ... it is important that our local communities become more unified!
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
It’s March 19th. I’m watching Speaker Madigan as he walks the Floor of the House as we debate House Bill 1155. Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is in the chair presiding. Watching Speaker Madigan reminds me of a mother hen keeping her chicks in order. We don’t see the Speaker on the Floor often. You see HB1155 is an anti-gun bill and we are currently discussing amendment 48 which requires you to receive training on the gun you plan to carry. The entire day will deal with gun issues.
For those of you who follow Illinois politics you certainly recognize that Michael Madigan is the most powerful and arguably the brightest politician in Illinois. You also know that 48 amendments to a bill is nearly unprecedented if not completely so. This is a show and at best a cruel joke and a slap to concealed carry.
Here is what is so unfortunate - Speaker Madigan has his Chicago area Democrats completely under his wing. One of them, who shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons, came over to me and thanked me for voting no on the amendment which he introduced. He wants concealed carry. His amendment failed which he wanted. Chicago area Democrats fear Speaker Mike Madigan. They choose not to go against his wishes. Anyone who has been here a while understands why. On gun issues most of his downstate democrats are solidly with the republicans.
They’ll be with Speaker Madigan on most issues, but gun issues, never.
Here is the paradox: many from Chicago who vote on this issue secretly, sometimes openly, support concealed carry. They fear the consequences of a no vote. I always find it amazing, especially because so many of their constituents support it as well. Chicago leadership is unified against any loosening of their tight anti-gun laws. Yet last year, thanks to a runaway gang problem, Chicago had 506 murders. Gangbangers, with no regard whatsoever for gun laws, rule that city. Chicago wants a warm fuzzy. Therefore, in Chicago leadership’s infinite wisdom, they will ram their highly invasive anti-gun laws down the throats of the rest of us. Let’s see, if I’m a gangbanger I’m going to pay attention to laws that regulate the size of magazines, I’m going to register my stolen firearm, I’m going to stay away from “gun free zones” and I’m going to get ten hours training that I need to shoot up a rival gang.
Do you see the stupidity?
By contrast, Houston, Texas, is approximately the same size and population as Chicago. The cities have very similar demographics, similar numbers of Caucasians, Hispanics, African Americans, and other ethnicities, similar work environments and salaries - the similarities are amazing. Texas has concealed carry. Last year Houston had 207 murders. Houston has 84 gun stores and 1,500 gun outlets such as Wal-Mart and other box stores. Maybe it’s Chicago’s cold weather.
Do you see the hypocrisy of the Chicago philosophy?