Village coordinator receives award for blood drive efforts
By Jane Charmelo LOMBARDIAN/VILLA PARK REVIEW STAFF REPORTER
As the Thursday, June 15, Lombard Board of Trustees meeting got under way, there was one item that did not appear on the agenda, to one individual’s surprise. Village Executive Coordinator Carol Bauer, nestled in front of her computer—ready to document the events of the board meeting—seemed a bit taken aback when she heard the name Alessandro Vazquez being announced as a speaker during public participation. Upon arriving at the podium, Vazquez, a Heartland Blood Centers blood drive consultant, acknowledged, “It’s a little bit of a surprise because I’m here to say some kind words about Carol.” He related how Bauer had been nominated for an award earlier this year—of which she was aware—“and surprise, she actually won the award.” The award, Vazquez continued, is the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from Heartland Blood Centers. He earlier explained that the Heartland blood drive consultants nominated five drive coordinators in various categories, adding, “Carol was my nomination for the Civic category, and the winner was chosen, from the pool of nominees, by the HBC management team based on her dedication, drive performance, and going above and beyond in her efforts.” The consultant outlined how the Village of Lombard began holding blood drives in 1988—two a year. Bauer, he noted, took over as blood drive coordinator in 1993, and by 1995 had added Yorktown mall as a blood drive partner. He emphasized how Bauer “has increased the frequency of the blood drives to five drives per year at each of the different locations.” Vazquez highlighted that since 1988, the village has hosted 154 blood drives (not including the most recent in April), yielding 13,755 units of blood “and saving countless lives.” “Carol works tirelessly to promote each and every blood drive via every avenue possible to continue on her quest to help save lives and collect more units than the last drive,” the consultant said, thanking both Bauer and the Village of Lombard “for all you do to support Heartland Blood Centers and blood donation.” After receiving her award, Bauer was set to get back to her recording duties, but was stopped short by President Keith Giagnorio: “Carol, did you want to say a couple of words?” “OK, well, I definitely was surprised,” Bauer said modestly, then shifted the focus onto the next blood drive, held on Wednesday, June 21. She thanked the village board and staff, and the donors, because “that’s what makes it happen. It’s not Carol Bauer. It’s those donors [who] come out all the time.” “Carol, congratulations on behalf of the entire village,” Giagnorio commented. “You do such a great job.”
In other business The village board voted in favor of amending the Lombard Village Code regarding water and sanitary sewer billing and services. According to the village, updates “are proposed in order to accurately reflect the current billing and delinquent notice schedule.” The code sections fall under Title V, Chapter 50. One states that the code should be amended to read that billing is not once per month but bi-monthly. While the code states that bills are to be paid within 21 days of the date of the bill, the ordinance is revised to 30 days “in order to reduce the number of delinquent bills.” Changes to another section of the code state that: •Bills deemed delinquent if not paid on or before the due date will result in a reminder notice issued five days after the due date, and if the balance remains unpaid as of seven days from the date of the reminder notice, another notice will be mailed to the user, as well as a copy to the taxpayer whose name is listed as the property owner. •Users who wish to dispute or discuss a bill will have a hearing on the 10th day following mailing of the notice. •If the user neither pays the bill nor shows up for the hearing, water and sanitary sewer service will be disconnected on the sixth day following the hearing date. •A lien may be placed against the property owner in the event of unpaid water or sanitary sewer charges. Because the police station will be closed during nighttime hours, public works will not be dispatched after closing time to turn on service that was shut off for non-payment. Shut-off is typically set for Wednesdays, according to the village. •Water service will be turned back on between 8 a.m. and the end of the business day of village hall hours, Monday through Friday, and only on days when the village hall is open, provided the bill is current and paid in full. •Additionally, if the village reconnects service between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., a fee of $50 will be charged. After 3:30 p.m. but before the end of the business day, the fee will be $90. •If a property owner requests voluntary water shut-off (between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only)—through no fault of the village—he or she will incur a $50 fee. Likewise, once the water has been shut off, if the property owner requests reconnection—occurring between 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday—a reconnection fee of $50 will be charged.
Dist. 44 interim superintendent, Robey successor named
At the June 13 meeting, members of the Lombard Elementary School District 44 Board of Education discussed an overall transition plan for Lombard District 44 that will result in new leadership and significant cost savings. “The overall goal of the plan is to ensure a seamless transition that allows the district to continue moving forward in a direction that is rooted in what is best for students while maintaining fiscal responsibility,” said board of education President Courtney Long. Most notably, the board approved two significant personnel changes: Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Ted Stec being named chief executive officer and the hiring of Dr. Patricia Wernet. Both of these hires are effective immediately. As chief executive officer, Stec will assume many of the responsibilities of superintendent and eventually transition into the role. Dr. Wernet, who previously served as interim superintendent in District 44, will provide assistance and guidance. “Stec has clearly demonstrated the ability to lead our district, and we feel confident this plan will allow him to diligently, strategically and successfully support the needs of District 44,” said Long. “With that said, within the first year of any superintendency, there is a learning curve in terms of adjusting to the priorities of the role and district. By bringing Dr. Wernet on board, there will be better opportunity to meet the needs of our schools to the level in which our community expects and deserves. We are confident Ted will officially assume the role prior to the end of the upcoming school year.” In addition to these changes, the board concluded that it will not be filling the vacancies in Human Resources or Technology and, instead, shift the responsibilities of these roles to other positions. The reduction of these positions, along with a decrease in construction costs for the Early Childhood Center, will result in nearly $1 million in long-term cost savings for the district. “As we have previously mentioned, this is not a year of status quo; it is about moving forward. This transition plan allows us to do more with less. We will be better positioned to meet the needs of our students without creating an additional financial burden,” said Long.
Former employee accused of stealing from Clerk of the Circuit Court
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced last week that Ronald Marcelin, 30, of North Aurora, has been charged with stealing $375 from the DuPage County Clerk of the Circuit Court. On June 12, a $1,000 arrest warrant was issued for Marcelin. Marcelin later turned himself in to DuPage County authorities and was released after posting the necessary $100, or 10 percent of his bond. As an employee of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Marcelin had access to cash within the Clerk of the Circuit Court. It is alleged that on May 9, Marcelin stole $375 cash of posted bail money received by the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. Marcelin has been charged with one count of theft not exceeding $500 from a government institution, Class 4 felony and one count of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony. “What Mr. Marcelin is accused of doing is, in essence, stealing from the citizens of DuPage County,” Berlin said. “When viewed through this lens, the allegations become particularly troubling and will not be tolerated. I would like to thank officials at the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office for their complete cooperation and assistance in helping us uncover this alleged theft.” “As Clerk of the Court of DuPage County, I take very seriously the stewardship of the taxpayer’s money,” Chris Kachiroubas, Clerk of the Circuit Court said. “When I was informed of possible lost funds after our internal audit, I asked for a comprehensive investigation, taking it wherever it leads. Sadly, the investigation ended with a Circuit Clerk employee as the central target. In light of this unfortunate incident we have taken necessary steps to ensure this situation will not be repeated.”
Nybo urges lawmaker support of introduced ‘Capitol Compromise’ budget proposal
Following a press conference hosted by Republican lawmakers last week introducing their “Capitol Compromise”—a package of bills that composes a bipartisan-compromise balanced budget with newly-added structural reforms—Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) publicly voiced his support for the proposal and is urging all state lawmakers to return to Springfield to review the bills and end Illinois’ ongoing budget impasse. The comprehensive proposal includes a truly balanced budget, a four-year hard spending cap, lasting property tax relief, and changes to Illinois’ regulatory system that will create jobs and grow the economy. The bills also include a $250 million increase for the new school funding formula and fulfilling commitments to restore child care eligibility to 185 percent of the federal poverty level and a wage increase to Direct Support Professionals. It also includes term limits on legislative leaders and constitutional officers. “The ‘Capitol Compromise’ my Republican colleagues presented is a truly balanced, comprehensive, full-year budget that incorporates the critical budgetary and structural reforms the State Senate was negotiating during the spring legislative session, which were unfortunately missing from the Senate Democrats’ go-it-alone budget,” said Nybo. “This proposal is by name a genuine bipartisan compromise. It includes President Cullerton’s pension reform legislation, many of the priorities in the Senate Democrats’ school funding legislation, and now provides lasting property tax relief for Illinois residents and substantial workers’ comp reform to incentivize businesses to grow in Illinois. We’re nearing the finish line. It’s time we return to Springfield to finish the job our constituents elected us to do.”
The summary of the bills are as follows: • Budget bill: Comprehensive budget proposal that includes real spending cuts and a four-year spending cap, while providing funding to state agencies like the Department of Human Services to care for our state’s most vulnerable and the Department of Transportation to continue important infrastructure projects. • Property tax relief: Four-year freeze for all taxing districts, but would allow residents, through voter referendum, to lower or increase their taxes. Allows for an exemption on existing debt service payments as requested by Senate Democrats. • Local government consolidation: Strengthens and improves the already passed SB 3, and will allow for citizens-initiated consolidation on units of local government. • Education funding: Changes to the K-12 education funding formula that treats every district equitably that is consistent with the bipartisan framework of the Governor’s School Funding Commission. Funding for early childhood education, K-12 education, community colleges and universities. • Workers’ comp: Uses previously negotiated language between Senate GOP and Senate Democrats, like changes to the medical fee schedule, but does not reduce benefits to workers or include a causation standard. • Pension reform: Accepts SB 16, which has previously passed the Senate, including President Cullerton’s consideration model and the state’s pickup of Chicago Public School’s pension payments. • Term limits: Constitutional amendment to impose 10-year term limits on legislative leaders in the General Assembly and eight-year limit on Constitutional Officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State). For the “Capitol Compromise” or any budget proposal to pass through the House of Representatives, it will need a three-fifths majority vote—which would require the support of both parties. The General Assembly is expected to return to Springfield in late June to continue budget negotiations and legislative action.
Church accepting applications for ‘Love Your Neighbor Day’
The Christian Church of Villa Park, along with Calvary United Methodist Church in Villa Park and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lombard, are hosting the third annual Love Your Neighbor Day on Saturday, Sept. 23. They are now accepting applications from homeowners in the Villa Park/Lombard area who are having difficulty keeping up with repairs or work around their homes because of financial or physical limitations and who could benefit from a group of people volunteering at their home for a day. Work to be done may include minor home repairs, clean-up and yard work. The work will be done by volunteers from the churches and the community. Each of the past two years 50 volunteers came together to provide assistance to 10 area homeowners. The number of applicants accepted will depend on the number of volunteers. Applications and more information can be obtained on the church Web site at www.ccvponline.net, by sending an e-mail to email@example.com, or by leaving a message at 630-833-7262. A video of Love Your Neighbor Day 2016 can be seen on the Love Your Neighbor Day Facebook page. The deadline for submitting homeowner applications is Aug. 12. Individuals interested in volunteering for Love Your Neighbor Day can also obtain volunteer sign-up sheets on the Web site or by e-mailing the above address.
West Chicago man charged with multiple gun/drug offenses
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced last week that multiple charges have been filed against a West Chicago man allegedly opening fire on an occupied vehicle. Jose Cardenas, 26, appeared in bond court where Judge Joseph Bugos set bond at $200,000 with 10 percent to apply. In all, Cardenas faces one count of aggravated discharge of a weapon (Class 1 felony), one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance-cocaine (Class 1 felony), one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance-heroin (Class 4 felony), one count of possession of cannabis (Class 4 felony), two counts of possession of a weapon by a felon (Class 3 felony) and one count of possession of ammunition by a felon (Class 3 felony). Detectives with the West Chicago Police Department began an investigation into allegations that at approximately 3:48 a.m., on June 10, an unknown vehicle approached a vehicle with several occupants and shot at the vehicle several times. Through the course of their investigation, detectives identified Cardenas as a suspect in the shooting. Cardenas was taken into custody last week from his place of work without incident. The aggravated discharge of a weapon charges stems from the allegations of the shooting on June 10. All other charges stem from Cardenas’ arrest on June 15. “The allegations against this defendant are very serious and will be met with the full force of the law,” Berlin said. “Thankfully, no one in the vehicle or any innocent bystanders were injured by the brazen behavior alleged against Mr. Cardenas. I would like to thank the West Chicago Police Department for the apprehension of the suspect in this case.” Cardenas’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 26 in front of Judge Brian Telander.
Cullerton to Rauner: Sign Senate Bill 3
State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) urges Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign Senate 3, bipartisan government consolidation, into law. Senate Bill 3 is based on Cullerton’s DuPage County government consolidation model that is expected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years. “The time to act is now,” Cullerton said. “This is a no brainer. I ask Gov. Rauner to sign this legislation to empower local bodies to eliminate and combine services. The best way for local government to lower property taxes is find efficiencies. This one step will improve government services and lower property taxes without sacrificing the needs of residents.” Cullerton acknowledges Illinois has more than 7,000 governments that are often duplicative and outdated. His initiative will allow those units to be consolidated and eliminated. This legislation would enable Illinois to consolidate more units of government than any other state in the nation. “This is monumental legislation,” Cullerton said. “The sooner we empower local bodies to eliminate and reduce redundant government services the faster we will see savings. Illinois cannot afford to wait.” Cullerton agrees the best way to prompt action is to pass legislation with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 49-3 and the House 75-34-1. “There is clear support in the General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 3,” Cullerton said. “Governor, let’s get it done. I look forward to the governor signing this legislation to empower local control for local government to help our residents lower their property tax bills. Government works best when it evolves with the needs of the people.” Senate Bill 3 is awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.
Sobecki named election commission director
The Board of Election Commissioners of DuPage County has announced that Joseph H. Sobecki has been named executive director of the Election Commission, effective June 14. Sobecki has been serving as the interim executive director since Jan. 1. “We are committed to ensuring that DuPage County elections will be conducted with the highest level of integrity, and Joe is an integral part of our plan. We are pleased with the efficiencies he’s achieved in a short time, and we look forward to exploring shared services and innovations that provide additional improvements,” said Election Commission Chair Cathy Ficker Terrill. Sobecki has more than 18 years’ experience at the commission, including five years as assistant executive director. Focused on promoting efficiency and transparency by balancing procedure with the proper application of technology, he developed the first Early Voting voter verification software and Election Day Help Desk system used in DuPage County. As assistant executive director, Sobecki has overseen 11 elections while implementing additional transparency and efficiencies through personnel, procurement and process standardization.