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Proviso Probe

Thursday, February 09, 2006

GOV, 911 money [FP]

In 1999-2000 I served on the Village of Oak Park Citizen Involvement Committee. I was the liaison to the Emergency Telephone Service Board.

One of the things I learned attending these meetings was that 911 funds were flush because the tax on phone lines was enacted when each household had one line. As people installed data lines and acquired mobile phones the revenue for 911 increased. Oak Park bought laptops for their police cars or spend the money on other extravagences.

Forest Park Review (Seth Stern) has an article with the headline Yarbough secures grant for dispatch improvements. The article ends with the following sentence.
Village Administrator Michael Sturino said that the village had not yet determined precisely how the extra funds would be used.

The Village of Forest Park is blowing tens of thousands of dollars to fire Sgt. Dan Harder. It has started the process of doing the same thing with Lt. Steve Johnsen. The Harder case will almost assuredly result in a large court verdict against Forest Park. Forest Park's insurance rates will probably climb another $70-150,000 per year.

Yarbrough could save Forest Park more money by helping to enact a system of better detecting and resolving police brutality issues. (Have you read my proposal?)

But fixing problems around police brutality would require Yarbrough to take a somewhat adversarial position to those that support the status quo, like Mayor Tony Calderone and Chief James Ryan.

So Yarbrough gets a grant for 911 and gets a nice write-up in the newspaper. Does Forest Park need the money? It does seem like the village has money to burn when it wants to fire people that have crossed Calderone and Ryan.

How do we want our government optimized? Do we want it optimized around powerful public officials? Or optimized to provide the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost?


  • West Suburban Journal also has a headline:

    Bellwood paving project underway

    "Village receives $500,000 from Representative Yarbrough to fund badly needed ally paving project"

    Incumbents get to give away money during elections.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:52 PM, February 14, 2006  

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