After a half year of asking and being ignored, the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DGACOCAI) Legislative Council met Monday with DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, looking to get a commitment that part of the $20 million in newly minted sales tax revenues ($40 million next year) could help move the Belmont Avenue underpass forward.
Mayor Sandack and Commissioner Waldack reported on funding efforts at the Council meeting, and several others verified what went on at the Monday meeting, mainly: it’s good to be King (Bob)…
Waldack painted a fairly grim assesment of DG’s prospects of getting any of those millions earmarked for transportation. Sandack put a game face on and vowed to keep pushing forward looking for money solutions, and DG business leaders and elected officials hung it out there trying to get an $8.5 million shortfall covered so the funding can be locked in for good and the project can finally, after 10 years, finally begin.
Schillerstrom pretty much said “I’m all for it, I’m all ears, cooperation is important.” But offered no concrete commitments for even Dollar One of the $40 million (each year) sales tax bonanza rigged up by Gov. Blag to bail out public transportation.
Why? Because DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom got three little words put into the transportation bill, “and public safety“, and that means he doesn’t have to use the tens of millions of dollars, earmarked for transportation projects, on actual transportation projects-like the Belmont underpass.
Now, he can spend it on his favorite pastime, making county government bigger.
Faced with an out of control budget due to so many facets of poor public policy and disgraceful public management that minds numb merely contemplating the scope, DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom did what any self respecting king would do: he changed the rules and looted the treasury for his own needs . The County Sheriff and the county Prosecutors office will be able to keep themselves fully staffed. No job cuts or budgets trimmed now that there’s all this money-supposedly for transportation-that they can now use to make government bigger and fatter.
This year, a $20 million windfall; next year $40 million. That is a lot of taxpayer cash to cover up some pretty big problems at County. But not a dollar, not a dime for a transportation project that is crying out for funding. So the Blemont Avenue underpass, after 10 years, in view of the finish line to get it locked in and get it going, is stopped short and is gasping for wind.
And DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, as he drove by, said he was all about cooperation, but hasn’t offered any real help to get it done.
But he waved as he drove by…