The opinions expressed on the Rants and Raves of Mac McIntyre are solely those of its author and are shared for the purpose of encouraging dialogue about life and issues in DeKalb County, Illinois.

Monday September 11, 2006

Our Readers' Write...

Maybe you don't want to know the real story.

Date: Monday January 31, 2005
Time: 07:59 AM

Dear Editor:

Mac, too bad you didn't see the forest though the tress and see the pure politics at play. How come the reorganization hinged on getting rid of one employee and when that failed, the plan was dropped. How come you did not ask me my opinion?

Maybe you did not want to know the real story or maybe you did. I never turn down a chance to discuss "good government."

Jim Connors,

Jim Connors is the former City Manager in DeKalb. His letter was written in response to a Rant & Rave published in May, 2004. A condensed version is provided below. For the full version, click here.

But the worst was saved for last.  New city manager, Mark Biernacki, made a bold proposal to reorganize city staff and privatize some of the city engineering services.  His proposal would have saved taxpayers more than $200,000 per year in wages and who knows how many new truck purchases over the years.

The City Council commended Biernacki for making such a bold proposal and then proceeded to rip the guts out of it on a motion made by alderman James Barr.

Sitting directly in front of me at the council meeting was former city manager, Jim Connors.  Directly to my right was former mayor Bessie Chronopolous.

Every time Mark Biernacki spoke, or an alderman spoke favorably to Biernacki, Connors would grumble his displeasure.  Every time current mayor, Greg Sparrow, spoke or received support, Chronopolous would grumble.

The city has enough problems without former employees and former elected officials working to undercut the current administration. And it was embarrassing for me to sit there and witness their lack of professionalism.

Editor's Response:

Mr. Connors, thank you for visiting DeKalb County Online and for your letter. I am also grateful for your service while serving as City Manager.

I thought I was witnessing pure politics at play. And I was disappointed by what I observed. I did not feel I needed to ask you for your opinion when it was offered for everyone within hearing distance from you during the City Council meeting.

I was not aware that the proposal to privatize some or all of the engineering review services offered by the City of DeKalb was aimed at one single employee. Discussions I was involved in with current city staff members indicated that the proposal was more in depth than that and less sinister in its intent. The stated intent was to shift the costs for engineering reviews more to the developers versus the city budget. If you have evidence to the contrary I encourage you to make it public.

I submit that I am interested and made an attempt to learn the real story. I attended meetings with city staff regarding the subject and was in attendance at the city council meeting when the item was discussed.

Mac McIntyre,
DeKalb County Online

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