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October 2009 Newsletter

Cook County ROE

A little known office serving suburban Cook County schools has gained notoriety over the last several months as the elected official leading that office, the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education (ROE), has come under fire.  Dr. Charles Flowers is under investigation for misuse of public funds along with other misdeeds.

Unfortunately, it is deja vu all over again.  In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, this office (which then served all of Cook County including Chicago) was replete with patronage and there were allegations of taxpayer dollars being squandered.  At the urging of then Cook County Board President Dick Phalen, the state legislature abolished the office.  But it reestablished a few years later for suburban Cook.

Following these most recent allegations of misconduct, I filed House Bill 4588 to once again abolish the office: http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=35494.

And while Dr. Flowers has had serious charges leveled against him, my goal in pursuing this legislation is first and foremost to assure that our suburban schools get the services they need in an efficient and effective manner.

Those services include teacher certifications, life/safety inspections of schools and financial oversight – all of which are critically important for our education system.

With numerous stakeholders at the table, we are developing what I hope will be a non-political and fiscally responsible method of delivering those services.  It will take a few months to work out the details but I am excited about the possibility of transforming the ROE into something that will work for both schools and taxpayers.

ICC Public Hearing

The Illinois Commerce Commission will conduct a series of public hearings on Illinois American Water Company’s proposal to increase annual revenue by about $61 million.  Those who attend the hearings will be offer comments and a stenographic record of the comments will be recorded.  The meetings will take place at 7 p.m. as follows:

-Thursday, October 8th, Mt. Prospect City Council Chambers, 50 S. Emerson, Mt. Prospect; and

-Monday, October 19th, Homer Glen Junior High School, 15711 S. Bell Rd., Homer Glen.

A final decision from the ICC is expected by April 25th, 2010.

Comments from each public hearing will be submitted to the Commission for consideration.  Customers of the Illinois American Water Company who would like to offer written comments can submit then through “File a Comment” option on the ICC website at icc.illinois.gov/customers or by calling 1-800-524-0795.

Flu Shots

It is flu shot season once again and the American Lung Association in the Upper Midwest provided me with a great resource to find locate closest place for a flu shot.

If you click on the link below it will take you to the American Lung Association website.  You can type in your zip code, and how many miles you are willing to travel to get your flu shot (5 miles, 10 miles, etc) and what dates you are interested in getting your shot. Every available clinic in the area on the dates requested will be listed.

Visit the Flu Clinic Locator to find a location convenient to you: http://www.flucliniclocator.org/.

State healthy!

 

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