Thumbs up: To a BYOBag month designation for August by the McHenry County Board. The program, led by the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, encourages county residents to use reusable bags when shopping instead of disposable plastic ones. According to the Defenders, each year the U.S. consumes 30 billion plastic and 10 billion paper grocery bags, requiring 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil. Motivating a small change in our shopping habits is a worthwhile goal to make a difference in our communities and our world.
Thumbs up: To Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for signing House Bill 4715 into law. The law significantly increases fines that can be levied against local governments if they violate court orders or binding attorney general’s opinions that a Freedom of Information Act request that has been denied must be made public. The fine could be as high as $1,000 a day, and we applaud the law to encourage a more open and transparent government.
Thumbs up: To McHenry County College and the more than 40 vendors involved in Wednesday’s Children’s Health and Safety Fair at the college. The event was free and provided activities and information for families while encouraging them to get involved in outdoor activities. It also provided an important service for families preparing for school as physicals, dental screenings and immunizations were available to meet school health requirements. Volunteer dentists provided free screenings, physicals cost $20 and immunizations were administered for $15.
Thumbs up: To State Rep. David McSweeney’s legislation that should curtail extravagant expenses by government agencies. The new law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner requires local governments to draft ordinances that define acceptable expenses and set maximum limits. Governments also must create a standardized form to document travel, meal and lodging expenses, and the forms can be obtained by the public under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
Thumbs up: To Downtown Crystal Lake / Main Street Association for its hard work in helping to fill all storefronts downtown. There currently are no vacancies. Congratulations to all of the locally owned businesses as well. Most appear to be thriving. Vibrant downtowns help communities and their residents feel good about themselves and their hometowns.