* It’s the morning, so I’m hesitant to declare this the best tweet of the day, but it’s clearly the frontrunner…
* Why is it so good? I didn’t get to this topic yesterday, but we talked a bit about the Senate Transportation Committee’s hearing about the Tollway before it happened. The hearing was called after Marni Pyke wrote a series of stories for the Daily Herald. From her committee coverage…
Amid a call for resignations, Illinois tollway executives fielded questions from state senators about potential nepotism and politically connected PR subcontracts Wednesday at a special hearing.
“You need to fight against conflicts of interest,” former tollway director and former Democratic Sen. Bill Morris of Grayslake testified. “You need to not have these conflicts of interest.”
And to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who appoints the tollway board, Morris said: “This tollway board needs to be asked to resign.”
But tollway officials said they’d “set the record straight.
“What was demonstrated is that the safeguards and mechanisms enacted to ensure transparency and protection against potential conflicts of interest work,” Executive Director Liz Gorman said.
In response to questions about why the Tollway would need a multimillion-dollar public relations contract when it already has an 11-member internal communications team that costs about $1.6 million a year, Tollway officials said additional communications work is needed to reach out to hundreds of homeowners who will be affected by the planned expansion of I-294.
The most critical and colorful statements at the hearing came not from current state senators but from former Democratic state Sen. Bill Morris, a former Tollway board member. Morris has frequently expressed criticism of the current board, appointed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Morris said Tuesday that board members were not doing their jobs in properly reviewing contracts and should resign.
“There’s never a ‘no’ vote on the Tollway board anymore,” Morris said.
Morris also recommended that the state end the $30,000 annual salaries for Tollway board members and replace them with a limited $150 per diem for attendance at each meeting, and require all board members, administrators and senior executives to regularly disclose to the public any contacts with firms seeking contracts with the Tollway.
Former Democratic state Sen. Bill Morris is also a former Tollway board member. He told the committee that board members weren’t properly reviewing contracts and should resign. Morris is a frequent critic of the current board, appointed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. […]
Morris said the state should require all board members, administrators and senior executives to regularly disclose to the public any contacts with firms seeking contracts with the Tollway.
So, yeah, I’m thinking Yvette is right.