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Patterson inserts zinger

Thursday, Dec 23, 2004

Every now and then, a reporter will insert a paragraph into a story that explains the context without overtly editorializing. John Patterson, of the Daily Herald, did so today in a piece about layoffs at the Department of Natural Resources:

Several environmental groups and the state’s largest employees union say it’s an example of how everyone is losing under Blagojevich’s latest layoffs, which will cut 87 jobs in the state’s conservation agency. Another 37 layoffs at the agency occurred last month.

“The closures and service cuts caused by these latest layoffs will be felt by anyone who hunts, fishes, hikes or bikes in our great outdoors, and they will hurt local economies that depend so heavily on tourism,” said Anne Irving, spokeswoman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.

Department of Natural Resources spokesman Joe Bauer said it’s a matter of working within the $188.8 million budget the agency was given. Lawmakers and Blagojevich set the amount. The agency is under Blagojevich’s control.

“And to get down to that number we had to cut costs,” said Bauer, who joined the state in August and makes $75,000 a year. “Unfortunately, that has involved these layoffs.”

I almost never begrudge anyone’s state salary if they actually work. But this story highlights what many see as the real priority of the Blagojevich administration: Communication over governance. Patterson’s story is ostensibly about the site supervisor of Volo Bog State Natural Area, who made $56,000 a year until he was laid off.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

4 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 23, 04 @ 2:01 pm:

    Rich, The other point of interest is it took the Volo Bog site superintendent 30 years to get to his $56K salary….where as the mouth piece for the DNR making $75K started in August…


  2. - Anonymous - Sunday, Dec 26, 04 @ 4:28 pm:

    Yeah, Bauer came from WAND-TV in Decatur, where he probably made about $20,000 per year. Nice jump in salary.


  3. - GoodGovt - Sunday, Jan 2, 05 @ 10:18 am:

    IDNR having problems Mr. Patterson. It’s not the lay-offs. The Nature Conservancy is doing a wonderful job. Please check on their efforts to restore Thompson Lake.

    The Director Extrordinaire of IDNR is pursuing $35 million for a shooting complex. Check their website.


  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 5, 05 @ 1:26 pm:

    a friend of mine, who is a senior in high school, is working for the DNR publishing their monthly magazine. she started there in the fall for a work for school-credit thing, but they rely on her so much now because of their limited reasources that she’s going to continue working there in the spring, for free.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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