Remove Manager J Mark Rooney.
Manager Rooney has, during his tenure, been responsible for or recommended as Village Manager the following, which we believe has done significant damage to the Village of Carpentersville, It's Residents, It's Businesses and It's employees.
Raised property taxes nearly every year during his tenure. We all know that our Trustees ultimately vote on it, but they vote based upon recommendations by staff - by the Village Manager. This was done as an apparent attempt to keep the revenue streams coming into the Village stable throughout the recession, which was successful. As a result, every taxpayer in the Village, Resident and Business owner alike has paid increasingly higher taxes to the Village of Carpentersville.
Presided over and recommended increase to the Sales Tax in the Village. The 2 largest forms of revenue for the Village are Sales Tax and Property Tax. Both have been increased now under his watch. Our residents pay more to live in the village and spend more to buy goods in the village. Regardless of the fact that it was offset by elimination of the Vehicle Stickers and decrease in the Motor Fuel Tax, ultimately, we pay more.
Has recommended and gotten his way in the significant reductions in the Police Department staffing, Fire Department Staffing and Public Works Staffing - all the public safety departments in the village, while giving hefty raises - far above Cost of Living increases to Non-Union employees and Department Heads. So we pay more to live here, and we get less public safety services for it.
* Public Street conditions in the Village have continued to deteriorate, due in no small part to a lack of personnel and funding needed to repair what has been allowed to deteriorate over many years. This isn't for a lack of equipment - the Public Works department hailed the purchase of its road surfacing machines a few years ago. It's a result of not ensuring adequate funding, the streets that are long overdue for repairs continue to get worse, and those coming due are getting as bad as the ones that have needed replacement for years. Eventually, this will catch up with the village residents in the form of increased personnel vehicle repairs AND increased taxes to cover repairs to the roads.
* The cuts to the Fire Department have resulted in significantly increased response times compared to what it used to be. Despite what the Trustees and Manager have stated publicly, increased response times = increased chances of excessive fire-related damage AND increased potential that fire and ambulance crews cannot reach its residents in time to help them. What will we think when our loved one is the one in need and our Manager says firefighters and paramedics are NOT needed in the village at the level they have been to maintain service that we have had for almost 2 decades?
* Cuts to the Police Department have reduced the number of patrol officers available on the streets to deal with emergency needs of the residents and businesses here in the Village. Although the village claims that crime is down, the reality is that if someone is breaking into our house, having less police officers means it takes them longer to get to us, and we take little solace in the fact that overall crime in the village is down at that moment.
Has recommended to the Village Board to increase Water rates significantly over the last 5 years. Not only do we pay more property taxes than we ever have, spend more in sales tax than we ever have, but we also pay more for our water than we ever have.
Built a 12 million dollar facility for Public Works during the biggest recession in US History (excluding the great depression) and paid for the loan for it by eliminating public safety staff and shifting funds. In the worst economic times that most of us have seen or will ever see, taking on extreme amounts of debt in order to build a building which could have been put off until after the crisis (as we all did with our personal budgets) just isn't good fiscal policy of a village. Regardless of whether his administration initiated the plans, his administration should have done what it could to stop the project for the best fiscal interest of the village.
Has seen fit to put in place in nearly every department: directors, department heads or assistant department heads that he has worked closely with in the past to ensure that there is no debate or question within the village. Some might call that cronyism, we call it bad for the village.
Has overseen the replacement of several Department Heads in Community Development. During the tenure of the Manager's personal selections, the Community Development department has managed to alienate businesses in town through inconsistent application of the building codes and enforcement of those codes, as well as not being able to stop the rising tide of business and store departures in the village. Has ensured that the mission of Community Development is geared towards code enforcement, not community development, which is evident when taking even a cursory look at vacant buildings, store fronts and residential homes, and the increasing revenue streams from code enforcement violations.
Has ensured a continuously contentious relationship with every Union in the Village. This has harmed the village, because instead of honest and open negotiations, the Manager has created an atmosphere in which spending money for potential arbitration and attorney's fees have dominated the landscape instead of calm and rationale goal oriented negotiations. The Manager's behavior towards employees and the unions that represent them have caused the village to spend money that it wouldn't have needed to, which in turn, contributes to the rise in tax rates and misappropriation of our tax payer funds. This year’s budget alone called for more than any other budget has called for during negotiation years - 400,000.00 combined between legal fees and arbitration.
Has made blatantly false statements to reporters about employees, negotiations, and about Village affairs and finances.
In 2013, under his leadership, the Fire Department applied for the Staffing Adequate Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from FEMA. This grant is designed to increase the Fire Department staffing. This application requires a commitment by the Village Board to accept the terms and conditions of the grant process, and that they agree that the Village needs what it requests. This year's application was for 1 replacement of a position lost through attrition and 3 new positions to be compliant with response times. The Director of Public Safety and the Village Manager have given 2 full time firefighters a 30 day lay-off notice, and it was done shortly before the grant might be awarded. So, instead of using the grant (if awarded) for what the Village Board and Manager said it was needed for, it appears as though they intend to use it to pay for 2 employees that they are laying off and using the money for something they didn't say the needed. More importantly though, our board, and our Manager said when it filed the application that our Fire Department needs more people to meet basic service standards. Because the Village has a healthy contingency fund and enough money to be able to pay off bond debts 2 years early, and won't be able to prove a “bonefide economic hardship”, if the layoffs go through, it'll cost the village legal fees for arbitration, and when the Village loses, it'll have cost the village those legal and arbitration fees, as well as an excessive amount of over time paid out, plus back pay for the employees, plus their jobs back. And who pays for this ultimately? WE DO! As a result of the Manager's decision, our village will pay more in overtime and unemployment than they would by just keeping the 2 employees, and incur fees which the residents will be forced to offset.
Was separated from his previous employers for undisclosed reasons. What we do know is that he was called into a performance review without much public notice, and left the executive session no longer employed by Wheeling and with a Non-Disclosure Separation Agreement - His current behavior certainly calls into question WHY he was so quickly removed from Wheeling, a question that has never been, and probably never will be answered - but could Wheeling's reasons have anything to do with some of the very things happening in our Village? More importantly, did our Trustees know the real reason and chose to hire him anyway?
Despite an ordinance requiring him to live in town and be subject to his own decisions, he still lives in Highwood, IL, an upscale north shore community. His own standard of living and community are in no way similar to ours, and he lacks the basic understanding of our financial situation, our issues or our culture.
Ultimately, as taxpayers, we have been forced to pay higher property taxes, higher sales taxes, higher water rates, all while getting LESS services and MORE potential liability that we used to at lower rates.
For the aforementioned reasons, all of which is based upon publicly available information, we hereby deliver a Vote of No Confidence and call for the immediate removal of the Village Manager.
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