Monday, May 11, 2009

Interested party steps forward for Dist. 11 County Board seat

Reader Don Mason dropped me a line today to acknowledge he's asking to be considered as Karen Elyea's (D-11) successor on the county board after Elyea was sworn in as a Rockford alderman last week.

Here's what he had to say:


I've submitted my name to both County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen and Democratic Central Committee Chairman Dan Lewandowski for consideration to fill the County Board District 11 vacancy created by the resignation of Karen Elyea.

Resumes have been sent to all of the Democratic Precinct Committeemen in District 11, to Chuck Sweeny at The Rockford Register Star, and to Frank Schier at The Rock River Times.

Some of my qualifications include:

1)Education (two Associate's degrees, a Bachelor's, a Doctorate, and post-Doctorate surgical training)

2)Entrepreneurial experience (including being awarded a United States patent)

3)Union experience (former member of Local 196 of the Musicians Union)

4)Community service (Steering Committee of Kishwaukee Corridor Weed and Seed; President of Northwest Midtown Neighborhood Association, also known as Now!Town)

5) Government experience: (Seven years on the Alden Township Planning Commission in McHenry County. Township planning commissions are extremely rare, but in my opinion lead to better land use planning - and Winnebago County could certainly use better land use planning. So I've written an article about how they work, and I've submitted it to The Rock River Times.)

My supporters for the District 11 appointment include Rockford Township Clerk Jeff Holt; 11th Ward Alderman Karen Elyea; and Deputy Director of Regional Planning and Economic Development, County of Winnebago, Jim Hughes.

Perhaps this new information will help to clear up some of the misunderstandings regarding the recent 11th Ward race.

Dr. Donald C. (Don) Mason

Cult of Puri cries foul

Behind a "gutless cloak of anonimity" [that's how they spell anonymity], the Cult of Puri has notified me of an alleged error in my speculation about Sunil Puri's involvement in an apparent feud between John Taphorn and Larry Morrissey.

According to online tax records, there is only one record for a 120 W. State St. (the address of Taphorn's downtown building) in Winnebago County, but the Cult of Puri begs to differ.

Because I noted the parcel is owned by "Winnebago Corners, LLC," Puri-ists are apparently assuming it literally refers to the "Winnebago Corners" at U.S. 20 [State Road, not State Street] and Winnebago Road west of town.

But according to county records, Winnebago Corners, LLC also owns 5 other properties.

Regardless, in fairness, I've passed along their claim to consider for yourselves.

By the way, if rumors of a Puri divorce are true, Sunil will be shopping the market for a new young trophy wife. Good luck, ladies!

Through a hail of insults, the Cult did manage to make a valid point of clarification. As it turns out, the building is listed as 124 S. Wyman instead of its actual address of 120 W. State, in the name of Amcore, not Puri.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pearson gone, Bonne charged with DUI, Syverson vs. Sweeny, another casino proposal

The bitch about vacation is that it isn't really a vacation. It's really more a matter of putting off the work, which compounds each day, until you return to pay the piper. This has been my life, for the most part, since my reluctant return from San Juan. I think I'm finally caught up now, though.

I apologize to readers who may have grown weary of infrequent posts for the last couple weeks, but I assure you we have much to talk about.

Where shall we begin?

How about the Metrocentre? When I last addressed this, it looked like the party was over for Corey Pearson, and that turned out to be the case. The way it appears, I'm willing to bet Corey was told to start looking for a job months ago so that he could resign instead of being fired. His house of cards has begun crumbling as questionable expenses have been discovered, but he's managed to sidestep the falling anvil.

He's someone else's problem now, so good riddance. Let us hope one or both of the mayor's new panels will take a good look at the Authority Board as well.
Mark Bonne, Republican turned independent, was arrested and charged Thursday night with DUI - his second. Based on his resemblance to W.C. Fields, I'm not surprised. Einar Forsman and Paul Logli, I've got my eye on you, too.

I wonder if Dave Syverson got a late-night phone call from a noisy holding cell early Friday morning, pleading to make Bonne's latest flub disappear.

Right now, a bill by Syverson aims to do away with the Cullerton ruling which resulted in so many recent candidacy objections, including one that backfired on Bonne when he applied the ruling to Democrat Bill Robertson's having voted in the previous GOP primary. In a comical twist, the same ruling knocked Bonne off the ballot after it was discovered he'd voted in the Democratic primary. Both ended up running as independents.

In an instance where justice prevailed, Robertson won the 14th Ward seat, and it looks as though Bonne may have been drowning his sorrows ever since.

By the way, Syverson's bill passed the Senate and is before the House.

Speaking of Syverson, I'll bet he wants to strangle Chuck Sweeny right about now. The Register Star stopped reporting on the controversy Sweeny started by painting Dave as a saboteur of W. State St.

As it turns out, Syverson agreed to a special meeting with residents on the west side who were pissed off by what Sweeny wrote. Of course, Dave said Sweeny used his comments out of context. All things considered, I think Syverson is right on this one. The weekly reported that Sweeny hightailed it out of the meeting early, and Sweeny hasn't uttered a word about it since.

My guess is that we'll see one or two apologetic pieces in the near future in the daily. Sweeny will latch on to some Syverson cause to make amends. Maybe it'll be the Bonne Bill.

Yesterday, RRStar editor Linda Grist-Cunningham broke the daily's silence by throwing stones at Democratic chairman Dan Lewandowski, who apparently - get this - sent text messages stating "brass" at the daily had killed the story about Syverson's appearance on the west side.

Because it didn't occur to editorial staff that a reporter should be sent to the meeting, Grist-Cunningham basically said Sweeny didn't report on it because he was a part of the story. Looks to me like they're too chicken to admit Sweeny was just plain wrong.

I've gone easy on Chuck in the past, especially considering he's made it particularly obvious he's getting many of his ideas from this blog, but I have little sympathy for him here. Aaron Chambers should have gotten Sweeny's job, but there can't always be justice.

Sweeny also wrote strongly in support of an additional subsidy for the Metrocentre this week. He pretended the city isn't already paying an annual subsidy of more than $900,000. That payment now goes toward paying down renovation bonds, but it is a subsidy nonetheless, based on lofty, undelivered promises made by the MC - that no other money would be required from the city. To date, no one has been held accountable for the broken promises.

The problem child wants another $1 million a year, and we'll be stuck paying it. The way Sweeny sees it, we have to take one for the team. But in professional sports, the owners aren't the ones who are asked to make the sacrifices.

If the shareholders aren't seeing a return on investment, management and coaching staff are the first to go, but that hasn't been the case in the Rockford fiefdom.

The taxpayers are the owners, city council is management and the Authority Board is the coaching staff. The shareholders think it's time for new leadership all around.

The situation begs another question: Would the Blackhawks organization pitch in on a bailout to keep the Metrocentre's doors open? Doubtful, but it makes one wonder what would happen if the Icehogs no longer had a facility to call home.

Back to likely 2013 mayoral candidate Dave Syverson.

Syverson's behind yet another bill that would bring a casino to Rockford. We've come to laugh at these over the years, but this is about the best chance a casino in Rockford has had yet.

All things considered in Springfield, I see more gaming licenses on the horizon. Republicans like this idea, because they can say they didn't raise your taxes to get at the extra loot.

A casino may cure what ails downtown, but if one happens, they're gonna wanna put it out by I-90. Under the circumstances, I guess I'd have to support the riverboat standard in Illinois to keep it downtown.

There will be a casino in Rockford, but it will undoubtedly be out by the tollway, because that's where all the private dollars are invested right now.

Mayor Morrissey oughta speak up on this issue now before his beloved downtown loses another golden opportunity.