Saturday, March 2, 2013
In the wake of Chris Lauzen's attempt to hire political ally Robert Sauceda, a Kane County committee considers including penalties for officials who attempt to sidestep its hiring freeze.
The fallout from Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen's attempt to hire political ally Robert Sauceda as a billing manager continued this week as a county committee started looking at strengthening the rules for hiring during a freeze, according to a number of area media reports. The Daily Herald reported Thursday that the county's Finance Committee basically agreed with the notion that the County Board should sign off on all future hires for new positions. The freeze has been around a long time—since 2008, according to an article in the Kane County Chronicle—but county department heads have been allowed to fill vacancies or hire in emergency situations virtually at will. In practice, department supervisors have been able to hire …
Sunday, February 24, 2013
A Kane County committee is looking into the hiring practices after Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen hired political ally Robert Sauceda, according to reports in the Kane County Chronicle and Daily Herald.
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen came under some fire this week after he hired political ally Robert Sauceda as a billing manager for the Kane County Animal Control Department, according to multiple media reports. Articles in the Daily Herald and the Kane County Chronicle said Lauzen initialy had nominated Sauceda as the new director of the Animal Control Department, but the Kane County Board rejected the nomination in closed session. A week later, Lauzen hired Sauceda as a temporary employee in charge of collecting debts owed the department. Sauceda ran alongside Lauzen in the "Reform Kane" ticket of the 2012 primary, the Daily Herald said. Sauceda had run for a County Board seat in the South Elgin 16th District. The Chicago …
Monday, January 28, 2013
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen's efforts to create a deputy chairman fall flat, but its vice chairman, GHS grad Drew Frasz, is going strong in his new role.
Just so there's no confusion, the recent effort to create a deputy chairman position for Kane County government had nothing to do with Drew Frasz' position as the county's new vice chairman. County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen had sought to create the deputy chairman role in county government, which would function a little like the state's version of a legislative whip, although the Daily Herald said Lauzen pictured it more as a county goodwill ambassador. The deputy chairman would have attended area events and represented the county when needed. It also was an effort to foster a little bipartisanship, with the idea that the deputy chair would be represented by a Democrat one year and a Republican the next, Lauzen told the Daily Herald. The…
Thursday, January 24, 2013
The three-year program ends with mixed results, but Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns says the experiment was worthwhile.
Geneva's three-year experiment with red-light cameras at two dangerous intersections will come to an end in early March. Geneva police Cmdr. Julie Nash said by e-mail this week that the contract is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. March 8, 2013. That "fade to black" marks the end of a sometimes controversial police enforcement technology that was hailed by some as the wave of the future and condemned by others as too much "Big Brother" oversight by local government. Red-light cameras also came into play as a political issue in the 2012 Republican primary race for Kane County Board chairman, when then-candidate Chris Lauzen held a press conference decrying the cameras in the hometown of his opponent, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns. Burns said Thursday…
Friday, December 28, 2012
Part 5 of a series: Geneva Patch takes a look at 10 fascinating people who played roles in the top stories of 2012, culminating with the announcement of Geneva Patch's 2012 "Person of the Year."
"Honestly," you're saying to yourself, "Kevin Burns is only fifth on Patch's list of top Geneva newsmakers in 2012? He doesn't even make the top five?" And to be equally honest, Geneva's mayor could be No. 1 on the newsmaker list every year. He is a fascinating guy, and whether you love him or hate him, he keeps the conversation lively, to say the least. 2012 was no exception. One of Geneva Patch's top stories of 2012 was the GOP primary battle between Burns and former state Sen. Chris Lauzen for the chance to become the next Kane County Board chairman. Burns came out swinging in the early rounds, making an announcement in front of the Kane County Government Center that didn't name Lauzen specifically, but might as well called him out …
Thursday, December 27, 2012
On the Kane County website, new Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen sets his priorities in writing.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen has set his priorities and started a process to rearrange the structure of county government, including the creation of a "deputy chairperson" position. According to the Kane County website, Lauzen reviewed with the County Board and the public his initial priorities for Kane County, which are basically the same as his campaign promises: 1. Freeze property tax levies 2. End cronyism 3. Introduce management best practices through innovation and austerity Lauzen noted that Kane County's tax levy has increased 50 percent from 2003 to 2010 with Kane County Government growing at more than twice the rate of taxpayer income. That's why the first of his top priorities was to freeze the levies. Lauzen said …
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Rob Russell wins the race with 56 percent of the vote. Here are some quotes and a recap of other Kane County races.
Republican Rob Russell won a contentious race Tuesday for Kane County coroner, according to unofficial election results. With 291 precincts reporting, Russell captured about 56 percent of the total vote. His opponent, Democratic candidate Tao Martinez, came in with 43 percent. "I’m very happy, very humbled for this opportunity," Russell told Patch. "I look forward to serving the citizens of Kane County for the next four years." Martinez said the campaign, his first time running for public office, was a challenging one. He congratulated all of tonight's winners on both sides of the political spectrum. "I have no regrets in how I ran my campaign," Martinez said. "I tried to set an example. I was not your typical candidate. Everyone noticed …
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Former St. Charles Mayor Sue Klinkhamer and state Sen. Chris Lauzen spell out why they should be elected in November.
The two candidates vying for Kane County Board chairman met Thursday in a forum where they laid out their cases to local business leaders to vote for them on Nov. 6. Former St. Charles Mayor Sue Klinkhamer and state Sen. Chris Lauzen skipped the partisan rancor that seems all to common in politics today, focusing on responding to the questions presented at the forum, reserving their criticism primarily for the existing Kane County Board leadership. The forum was in a question and answer format. Q: What are three things that you would specifically do to help businesses to make a better business environment in Kane County? Lauzen: “I’ll use the financial management and personal lessons that small business owners have taught me my entire life…
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Letter to the Editor: "It breaks my heart that years of executive mismanagement of the budget ... have led us to such dire choices."
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Senate Bill 1313 requires state employees, both current and retired, to contribute to their healthcare insurance. Although this mandate seems practically necessary to those who are employed in private industry and to those who are unemployed, among state government workers it is controversial. Many state employees are naturally upset by my vote in favor of SB1313. I cut my own pay, as well as all members of the General Assembly, by 5 percent two years ago and have sponsored legislation toeliminate pensions for senators and representatives before we even considered asking other state employees to contribute to their healthcare insurance benefit. It's cold comfort to those employees affected that politicians are covered under this same law. …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Though it's difficult to lose an election by a 70-30 vote, here's how you do it.
The late great Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson said something that’s always stuck with me. He said a baseball team wins one-third of their games and loses one-third – it’s what they do with the rest that makes a winner. Replace the word “baseball” with “elections,” and “games” with “votes,” and it still works because it’s those on-the-fence third of voters who always decide an election. So on the rare occasion a high profile candidate doesn’t manage pick up that minimum in a hotly contested incumbent-less primary battle, it begs the question as to how Anderson’s axiom broke down. To that end, in ascending order of importance, here are the 10 factors that played a role in the Kane County Republican Chairman race turning into a 70-30 …