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Morning Shorts

Friday, Jun 27, 2008

* Former Chicago TV anchor dies

Former news anchor Ron Hunter, who worked at Chicago’s WMAQ-Ch. 5 in the 1970s and at TV and radio stations in several other major cities, died this week in Las Vegas, his daughter said. He was 70.

* Stroger keeps his promises?

* Unusual jump in Illinois unemployment causes worry

* Midwestern downpours keep residents out of homes

* What to do with all the sandbags?

* Flood victims receive aid with recovery centers

* Lake County IL Ballot Update: Mark Beaubien Prevails Over Rich Garling

* McAsey fouls her 1st pitch

McAsey has acknowledged that her position was developed after she received an infamous “talking points” memo from House Speaker Michael Madigan, the man she will have to answer to in Springfield, and the current chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.

* Governor asked to raze raises before cutting other programs

“How can we possibly allow the salaries of public officials to increase when families all across Illinois struggle to make ends meet?” the lawmakers said in a letter sent to the governor.

* Hynes: No budget may lead to no pay

* Law repeal benefiting state youth

* State may force Harvey to reopen shuttered parks

* Press Association praises AG for her support of a national shield law

* AG’s office advises home buyers to review their Countrywide loans

* Radogno mulls run for governor

A post on a popular political blog Thursday compared her to 2002 gubernatorial candidate Corinne Wood “but with cheaper clothes.”

* State scrapes up jobs for kids

* Blagojevich plans summer jobs program

* Harrisburg to get IDOT jobs

* Friday Beer Blogging: Acquisition Edition

- Posted by Kevin Fanning        

  1. - Shelbyville - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 8:53 am:

    I used to work for the Dept. of Traffic Safety. My region was Joliet, Channahon, and north to Libertyville. That was quite a drive from Springfield. I imagine that it might be further from Harrisburg.

    I don’t see how it is going to save any money with the increased transportation fees. How many hours is it from Harrisburg to Rockford?

    Also, the grant applicators need to come in, to present their case. So, now they have to drive to Harrisburg. That will go over well with the Fire Chief from Aurora (for example.)

    Does the governor even know what DTS, even does?

  2. - Ghost - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 8:58 am:

    Shelby you miss the bigger chunk; several State legislators found lots of free space in CMS or State owned building in springfield that could be used rent free. How is paying rent goin to save money over rent free space the State already owns? tack in moving expenses, relocation re-imbursment (yes the State has to pay those 150 people moving expenses!!) etc it will be a huge financial loss for the State.

  3. - Cassandra - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 9:02 am:

    Didn’t Hynes cry wolf last year on the budget, leading thousands of state employees and others dependent on government checks to believe they wouldn’t get paid, or would get paid late.

    Of course, that didn’t happen, as we all knew at the time. A fix was found and the checks were not delayed, or only minimally delayed for a few. The state is awash in billions. It’s all a matter of tapping it, not a supply problem. A fix will be found this year, if needed. Hynes needs to find another crusade.

    As to the grant applicators, why can’t they present over a videoconferencing network. The state has videoconferencing capacity statewide. But they don’t use it much. Too lucrative (travel reimbursement, you know) to drive and fly around the state, even with rising gas prices,
    on the taxpayer dime. Helps bring up that state salary a bit. And in this economy, every bit counts. While the rest of us try to figure out how to walk or bike to work.

  4. - Ghost - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 9:06 am:

    Yep Hynes made the same complaint last year.

    They would need to put a video conference facility into the new place; more money down the drain. Then you would have to open regional faicilites for public use; you would then need employees to scheudle times and operate the equipment for the public. With CMS and other agnecies short staffed on jobs like these that means hiring more people. Add in the cost of a couple new employees plus benefits and paying for travel is still cheaper.

  5. - Cassandra - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 9:20 am:

    Assuming there isn’t already a videoconferencing facility in some other state office. I don’t know if there is, of course, but if there isn’t, or if there isn’t a nearby state office, that kind of makes the point about a disproportionate distribution of state offices across Illinois. And I certainly hope state offices are sharing facilities regardless of which agency they represent. We’re not paying for each government agency to operate like an independent entity.

  6. - Anonymous45 - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 9:20 am:

    I’d keep the sandbags handy cuz this type of flooding happens more often with continued built up landscapes abutting rivers and the reality of more torrential rain events due to GLOBAL WARMING…

  7. - Hearing Voices - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 9:22 am:

    Kevin, don’t know when you find time to sleep, looking at all the news that you must be doing. But you are doing a great job finding intersting articles. Keep up the good work!

  8. - Kevin Fanning - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 9:24 am:

    Thanks. Rich has taught me that sleep is for the weak.

  9. - Ghost - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 10:01 am:

    CMS in theory should have facilities available for all.

  10. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 10:15 am:

    The IDOT move to Harrisburg is great news not only for Harrisburg but for all of Southern Illinois. Not only will there be new jobs for our part of the State but it will be a savings, because of the lower rent and upkeep,for all of Illinois. I hope to see more of this in the future.

  11. - ChampaignDweller - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 10:39 am:

    (618) Democrat–but the lower costs will be offset by the father drive that either the IDOT employees have to make, or that the grant applicators need to make. I’ve lived in Southern Illinois, and I agree that it needs some help, but not at the expense of others, punished because they live in a district that had the good sense not to support our idiot governor. Shame on him for playing with people’s lives like this. And remember that anyone this vindictive can turn on Phelps and Southern Illinois at the drop of a hat.

  12. - Princeville - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 10:45 am:

    Seriously, 618 Democrat, where’s the savings? State could have found cheaper or rent free rent in Springfield, I don’t believe a attempt was tried or even considered. Secondly, moving an office a stone’s free in town much cheaper than moving an office 200 plus miles and having to foot the move for the employee moving also.

    The only real possible saving might come from the employee positions themselves, and if so, it should be stated as such instead of this spin on how rent blah is cheaper. What may/will be cheaper for the state will be when the current employee in AFSCME does not move the move leaving an opening for a entry spot at lower wage or when the 30 or so non AFSCME and non top ten don’t make the cut and these positions are filled with lower paid starter outs. I’ll also be curious as to who might fill those 30 or so positions that get reinterviewed and filled. Will the newly hired have to be trained and at what cost? Will they be supervising the AFSCME staff with less knowledge than the workers on the job until trained. Questions not to ignore.

  13. - cermak_rd - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 12:04 pm:

    I think it’s a good idea to move the state employees around and use email, video conferencing, and shared groupware to keep people who need to be kept in synch in regional offices in synch. Many areas of our state are hurting and the economic development caused by having state offices in different places could be useful to them. Yes, it will be hard on the people relocating right now, but people face that choice all the time.

    Springfield is the capitol, but that only requires that the Leg meet there, not that all state jobs be located there.

  14. - NimROD - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 12:40 pm:

    “And remember that anyone this vindictive can turn on Phelps and Southern Illinois at the drop of a hat.”

    And most likely, will. Whose to say the the next governor - Democrat or Republican - won’t put an end to this decentralization nonsense and move to place operations back in the state capitol? Not one person who supports this move can honestly say that it benefits the state in any manner. But, of course, that was never the goal of the governor in the first place.

    Let’s face facts - the man needs some professional help. The political moves he makes are not what I would characterize as savvy. When he does manage to reap a political benefit it generally looks like plain dumb luck. Benefit to the state, its employees or its residents is NEVER a consideration.

  15. - Princeville - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 2:46 pm:

    cermak–Yes, it will be hard on the people relocating right now, but people face that choice all the time.

    what you don’t mention is that it is also hard on the area that loses it. Taking jobs long established in Springfield and a part of Springfield’s economy doesn’t seem to worry you. This announcemnt of jobs in S.IL would be great if it was a new business coming into the state and bringing new jobs to Illinois citizens instead of robbing jobs and economy from one area and moving it to another, meaning nothing new, nothing additional, just a different locale.

  16. - ChampaignDweller - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 3:17 pm:

    Well, if this is such a great idea in terms of moving jobs, then maybe the Governor would like to move some jobs from Chicago to replace those in Springfield. It would be for the good of the area, of course, and I’m sure those employees wouldn’t mind uprooting themselves and their families, if it benefits a crony of the governor.

  17. - Ghost - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 3:26 pm:

    cermak-rd has a point. Communication and effectiveness only improves with fragmentation and distance. The best way to run any operation is to keep the people who work together as far a part as possible so that they have to rely on e-mail or teleconferencing to get work done.

    I can see the knew State business model…. Fragmentation Works!!

  18. - anon - Friday, Jun 27, 08 @ 4:32 pm:

    Man, I sure hope somebody reads this. I just heard that IDOT will be buying 1/2 the Wal-mart building in Harrisburg to house IDOT’s Traffic Safety. The structure is in the floodplain. How does that square with Executive Order 2006-05?

  19. - DTS-what do they do - Sunday, Jun 29, 08 @ 9:46 am:

    DTs is the hardest working division in the state. IT takes every area within that division to work together. there is a statistics unit, a safety data unit, motorcycle unit, Motor carrier unit, Belts and alcohol program, not to mention all federal money is managed and distributed from that office. Under Mike Stout, the division has worked so hard that the state had it lowest fatality rate in 2007 since 1928 and take in to consideration the vehicle miles traveled in both time periods. That is amazing. they are also getting NATIONAL recognition for the Operation Teen Safe Driving Program. They were on the Today show. Every day some of the BEST people to come to work, not just for themselves, but to work as a whole to save lives. Some of these people are years from retirement and will have to move. Some have eldery parents they take care of, some single mothers and the fathers live here. Someone that is so heartless as to say this move is a good thing should hang out at DTS for a few days and see the tears and grief on peoples face. This division will fall apart, the state will suffer more fatalities on roadways, while training takes place. Could be several years until they have staff working at 100%. These are highly trained individuals.It is one of the worst decisions that could be made.

  20. - RichG - Sunday, Jun 29, 08 @ 10:55 am:

    Kevin, just so all are aware, the SBE hearing on July 8th is the next step in the process, and the opinion of one hearing officer does not end it. I’m on the ballot and running for office, presenting my side of the issues to the voters. Unlike my opponent, I’m willing to let the people decide who shall be their leader on November 4th and not win the race based on a mere technicality.

    Rich Garling
    Democratic Candidate
    State Rep 52nd Dist

  21. - Ghost - Monday, Jun 30, 08 @ 8:13 am:

    And the reign of Kevin comes to an end, not with a bang, but with a hearty well done.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* About 18 percent of public employee retirees move out of state
* Today's number: 30 years
* That is so Illinois
* AFSCME members ratify new state contract
* Everything you ever wanted to know about Kelly Cassidy
* A missed opportunity
* Yesterday's stories

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