King Bob’s budget indulgences

Malfeasance: Misconduct or wrongdoing, especially by a public official.

The County Board met Wednesday in a special session to divy up the goodies provided by Gov. Blago’s sales tax kick to the groin of Illinois retail commerce. That swift kick that punishes us all for an incompetently run RTA supposedly adds millions for transportation purposes. Since King Bob was right by Blago’s side whispering in his ear for the now famous “and public safety” clause, DuPage County will not be spending any of that newly minted money on transportation projects.

Where will King Bob and his yes men legions will spend $20 million this year, and $40 million starting next year?

Payroll. DuPage County has such a bloated payroll it needs at least an additrional $10.5 million of those transportation dollars so King Bob can stop any layoffs, saving “hundreds” of high-paying excess public payroll padders from having to go find honest work. Now they can be forever grateful to King Bob.

That was 200 jobs back in December that a county press releases said would be lost. That averages $52,500 per job. And that does not include health and pension benefits.

That left $9.5 million in transportation funds. The county board, in sync with the times of taxpayers being hammered and having to tighten their belts, came up with an additional $20 million in spending requests. Not one dime for an actual transportation project, like repaving crumbling county roads or closing the gap on a Belmont underpass funding shortfall, a one time expense.

Pay raises. Hey, being a public servant means never having to do with less. 4% pay raises during this economic downturn makes for a great transportation project. Poor babies, they have had to deal with small raises or no raises as the County drove off a financial cliff of fiscal malfeasance. Now, with transportation money, pay raises that require permanent future funding are front and center, making it a certainty there will be an even bigger payroll crisis in 5-10 years. No piper need be paid today!

County Sherriff John Zaruba wants to raise starting salaries for county cops to the same level as Downers Grove, which he said is at $48,546. And he wants to pay more so Jail guards quit leaving and going to work in Kendall County, where they have a better run jail, where it costs less to live, and where they still can tap into their DuPage County pension benefits: yes, we are on the hook for them, and Kendall gets virtually pension free fully trained guards in return. How is that a well run department when we cannot keep trained personnel, but we will still pay for their retirement? Malfeasance again.

“Critical need, I think, is for the sheriff’s office,” said board member Patrick O’Shea, R-2nd District, of Lombard. “He’s losing people all the time.”

The main activity of the Sheriff’s Department at this point are guarding the jail, and buying donuts. The unincorporated areas of the county have shrunk over the past 20 years as cities and villages in DuPage have expanded, yet the Department has not.

Saturday March 29 the Board will meet again to finalize the pork. It is expected that Schillerstrom may throw a bone, a sop to the masses-the taxpayers of DuPage County-in the form of $2.1 million in property tax relief, which will amount to a tax bill for an average homeowner plummeting almost $5, after tax increases that will only cost each family about $100 dollars more each year starting now.

Let’s see, take hundreds of dollars from us, give a couple bucks back. Wow, King Bob, we are in awe of your beneficence. Mere mortals quake at your generosity.

“I’m going to come back with a balanced budget,” King Bob vowed, shown here looking over where he will spend the new tax money he and Gov. Blago shoved taxpayers in front of the RTA bus for. For him, that means he will spend every penny of the $20 million windfall of transportation project funds. And not one penny on transportation projects.

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