The Northwest Herald offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To the state’s Legislative Audit Commission for deciding to stand down and not get in the way of the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation into Gov. Pat Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program. The $54 million program was supposed to reduce violence in some of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. Instead, Republicans have labeled it nothing more than a slush fund to buy votes before the 2010 gubernatorial election. The feds had requested Illinois lawmakers delay questioning witnesses for 90 days while the Department of Justice continued its investigation. The commission made the right decision by delaying its investigation and not hindering the federal investigation.
Thumbs up: To Restorations Unlimited 2 in Cary. The staff spent more than six years restoring a 1911 Alpena Flyer, without the original blueprints. They went off a few old brochures and copies of original drawings. That’s dedication and hard work at its finest, and worth checking out, too.
Thumbs down: To Illinois policy that doesn’t allow state legislators to opt out of their pension once they’ve been in office for more than two years. Legislative pensions are barely a scratch on the surface when it comes to the state’s pension woes, but when legislators who don’t even want pensions can’t opt out it illustrates just how much work must be done. It’s not much more than a symbolic gesture, but it’s an important political one if those same legislators want to get serious about full-time state employee pensions. While they’re at it, they can fix this glitch.
Thumbs up: To the Huntley Village Board for voting to join the MCRide Dial-a-Ride Service despite getting only $10,000 in assistance for the bus service, which is estimated to cost $48,582 annually. The board was upset it didn’t get contributions from Rutland Township or the Sun City Huntley Community Association, which sent a letter stating the areas its residents visit are not in the bus proposal. Sun City did not elaborate on what areas that would be.