School districts across Illinois are finally able to breathe a sigh of relief, as state aid is finally being sent out to schools.
The Illinois High School Association has released football schedules for member schools for the 2017-18 school year.
Thank you for joining us here in the historic Old State Capitol in Springfield.
It was here in Representative Hall that Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech that would change the course of history, where he proclaimed: “a House divided against itself cannot stand.”
Our history reminds us of our state’s great capacity for change – and for our limitless potential when those elected by the people put the people’s interests ahead of all else.
Right now, our state is in real crisis – and the actions we take in the days ahead will determine how history remembers us. We can all do better. We MUST all do better for the citizens of Illinois.
We’ve asked the General Assembly to come together in a special session for the next 10 days – not as Democrats and Republicans – but as leaders who share bipartisan concern for our state’s future.
We must agree on a balanced budget plan, and get it to my desk before the end of the state’s fiscal year – one week from Friday.
Last week, we reviewed a compromise budget plan that I can sign – one that we can all support. It moves us to middle ground on key issues. It is truly balanced. It funds schools, higher education, and human services. It provides a real path to property tax reduction.
The plan also stands tall for fundamentals. Spending reductions. Limits on expenses. Debt reduction. And term limits on legislative leaders and statewide officeholders, including the Governor.
If we can agree to pass it, this plan will send a message across our state and around the nation that we are serious about making Illinois a more attractive destination for investment, new businesses, and new jobs.
If we can agree to pass it, we will stop this unnecessary crisis.
Failure to act is not an option. Failure to act may cause permanent damage to our state that will take years to overcome.
Over the next 10 days, we have an opportunity to change the State of Illinois for the better. To give our people a future they can believe in. To give job creators a reason to come, and families a reason to stay.
We CAN reach an agreement. After all, we share a common mission. We seek to achieve a greater good, to create a better life for our children and grandchildren here in Illinois.
The proposals before us represent a common-sense compromise to put us on a better path.
So, on the eve of what may become one of the most important legislative sessions in Illinois history, we’re asking the General Assembly to do what those who came before us did that changed the course of history: have the courage to dare to do what is right … to act for the people.
And together, we will create a brighter future for every family across Illinois.
Thank you. God bless you. God bless our beloved State of Illinois. And God bless the United States of America.
Jennings issues call for volunteers to serve on newly-formed committees focusing on community parks, tourism, and government oversight.
The following is the prepared text of a statement by South Jacksonville Board of Trustees member Paula Stewart, as prepared for delivery tonight, regarding the removal of Village Clerk and Village President candidate Dani Glascock as South Jacksonville’s Freedom of Information Act Officer and the launch of an internal investigation into alleged misconduct within Village Hall.
My Social Jacksonville received an advance copy of this statement on Thursday afternoon.
A majority of the Village Trustees have called this Special Board meeting because it’s time to set the record straight.
Actions taken over the past couple of months do NOT reflect the feelings of most of us on this Board. Rather, we have been left out of the process and included when necessary. The only possible scenario for this exclusion would be that this was to further a personal agenda and trustees opinions were not needed. This is not the way a successful Board works for its residents. We have repeatedly asked to be included in everything and have been ignored. This Village is being run by two people and not the Board.
About the first action item on the agenda tonight, the numerous complaints filed with the Attorney General’s office, for both FOIA and OMA violations, warrant the removal of FOIA officer Dani Glascock.
We have valid concerns regarding the release of Executive Session items (in a personnel matter) which were entered into our meeting minutes-yet not voted upon-for release.
Equally disturbing was the public viewing of video which was part of an executive session. We do NOT condone or support the circus sideshow this issue has become. This public video viewing was unprecedented and, yet, we were totally unaware it was happening. Further, we can’t be certain that video shown to the public was the same as was shown to the Board. Disappointing, to say the least.
As to the second agenda item, it is our contention that pursuing the leak of an unredacted confidential memo from an executive session-dealing with personnel-is in the best interest of our employees as well as our residents. Employees deserve confidentiality in all personnel matters. Residents deserve to know which one of their appointed or elected officials blatantly disregarded the law. To charge an official with misconduct, we need to start with an investigation. Someone had something to gain here. We can’t let personal agendas supersede the law.
We are taking the first step tonight.
While calling a meeting like this is very rare, it was the only option we had.
Continually being left out of Village matters, when we ARE TRUSTEES, is unacceptable and far from the transparency the public deserves and expects. We will continue to fight for what is best for the Village.
These are crucial times for our country, as a whole, and our community, on the local level. Now more than ever, citizens need to be able to look to their elected leaders, not as figureheads placed upon a pedestal of worship, but as neighbors who have stepped forward to faithfully serve the best interests of the community. Specific to South Jacksonville, residents need to move beyond the scandal of the final months of the Jumper administration and the continued distrust and uneasy feelings of the interim Waltrip administration.
South Jacksonville residents need to believe that their Village President is someone that they may approach with a problem, large or small as they may be, and walk away from the conversation knowing that their concerns have been taken to heart and will be addressed appropriately and promptly.
Members of South Jacksonville’s Board of Trustees need to have someone sitting in the Village President’s office and at the center of the group during meetings that they trust to always be forthcoming with information and work with them to lead the village, rather than working to serve the interests of themselves or close friends.
The community needs to know that their Village President fully understands all applicable laws, either on their own or with the ability to admit when they do not have an answer and the humility to be able to ask for help, rather than drive ahead blindly without the proper information.
South Jacksonville needs leaders, not heroes, in Village Hall. While it may be “heroic” to stand against blatant corruption and wrongdoing, it is not so to continue to have such a complex that one is always looking for ways to bring attention to themselves. An appropriate balance of commitment to service and respect for others must be found by a community’s top executive.
While we commend current Village Clerk Dani Glascock for her service since taking office, we do not feel that she possesses the right balance of qualities that the Village of South Jacksonville needs in a Village President. Certain actions over the past twelve months lead us to believe that she lusts for power for reasons of personal pride and perceived status, rather than wanting to lead the community out of the mess of the last two-plus years with grace, poise, modesty, and civility. There are certain concerns about Glascock’s ability to adhere to the guidelines of her position as Village Clerk and a seeming willingness to overstep boundaries and actively participate in duties and roles that do not – or, rather, should not – involve the Clerk’s office that give us questions about her political motives and ability to properly lead the community for the next four years. There are additional doubts as to her ability to not bring personal vendettas and hypocritical opinions of others to a potential term as Village President.
Harry Jennings brings law enforcement experience and a no-nonsense approach to the table, free of the emotional or mental baggage that plagued the Jumper and Waltrip administrations over the last four years. His willingness to serve both his country, as a member of the military, and his community, as a police officer and, most recently, a member of the South Jacksonville Ethics Commission and an elected Precinct Committeeman, shows that he has his community first in his heart.
Next – and this is by no means something that should be overlooked by any potential voter on April 4th – we believe that Harry Jennings as Village President is an absolute must for the community at the present time. It is, in our view, vital that South Jacksonville fully separate itself from the prior administration that put the village into such a constant and, often, negative spotlight in the press. At one time, South Jacksonville was viewed by outsiders as a “jewel of Morgan County”, but, at the present time, it does not feel that the description is the same. It is time that a leader be chosen to return the village to that status. It is time to approach the next four years with eyes that are not clouded by rage and vengeful views over wrongs, real and perceived, of the previous four years.
It is for these reasons that My Social Jacksonville is proud to endorse Harry Jennings in the April 4th election for South Jacksonville Village President.
The following is the schedule and format for the upcoming South Jacksonville Candidate Forum, being held in the Village Hall Board Room on Monday, February 27th at 6:30PM. The public is encouraged to attend and participate.