Category: Mount Vernon

Home Rule Revocation – It Begins

So, there was a petition turned in to the City Clerk this past Tuesday to put the question of whether Mount Vernon, IL should revoke Home Rule according to the Register-News. In that article I noticed something that struck me as peculiar:

The petition was presented to the City Clerk’s office Tuesday. Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said the petition will be reviewed by the city council to make sure it met all legal requirements before it will can put on the ballot for a vote by Mt. Vernon residents.

Now, I may be very mistaken, but I believe that the City Clerk certifies the petition, not the City Council.

However, I have been wrong before, and likely will be again. To that end I sent the following email to Mayor Chesley and all of City Council:

Mayor and Council,

I was reading about the guy who submitted the ‘revoke home rule’ petition and something caught my eye. As I understand it, the question should go on the ballot when certified by the city clerk. Why is council reviewing it?

If it’s just a cursory review I understand, but the city clerk is the one who certifies the petition.

I’d appreciate your help in understanding.

Please know I am not associated with this guy, nor do I know him to my knowledge. I am only trying to gain a correct perspective in this matter and would appreciate your guidance.

Thank you for your time!

I am anxious for their reply as I really would like to know if my understanding is correct about how this process works. Whether or not the petition works, governmental bureaucratic red-tape intrigues me.

An observation about downtown Mount Vernon, TIF, and The Rex

“Consequently, he has no conflict of interest so he will be voting on these this evening.” – David Wood in 2011

Right, because I have no interest in properties/partnerships my wife is involved in either. Keep enjoying that TIF money and the benefits of it while you complain about how downtown looks (over 3/4 of the way down). In fairness, I am not sure the TIF is still active for The Rex, but wouldn’t it be ironic if the tax funds that could pay for downtown upkeep were being repaid to the current owner or providing other services? Seems to me that it would be ironic, but since Councilman Wood won’t answer my emails I can’t be sure.

Also, thanks for not answering my simple, polite email asking who owns the building where your office is – “The Rex”. Always good to know that a (future) mayoral candidate is responsive to the public. I believe I ticked you off with our previous exchange regarding the afternoon meetings and passing of taxes at those meetings, but there were no hard feelings on my part. I can only guess that there were/are on your part due to your lack of reply.

Yeah, I know, I’m standing behind the Internet posting stuff on my blog, blah, blah, blah… If you want to comment, feel free. Hell, I’ll even help you start your own or let you make a guest post in retort if you desire. Ignoring emails after you claim to be available is kind of bogus though.

Jefferson County Board Resolution June 25, 2012 Regarding (gay) Marriage

It has been brought to my attention that the Jefferson County (IL) Board will be voting at their regular meeting on June 25, 2012 regarding an item which is entitled “SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN (2012)”. This is proposed as a resolution that will have no bearing on anything. The Board has no power to recognize nor to define marriage, however they feel that it will benefit them politically with the churches (my opinion).

Here is the text of the proposed resolution:

WHEREAS American society historically has recognized the sanctity of marriage
between man and woman as central to the stability of our nation and its moral
posture; and

WHEREAS this rational moral view is now threatened by current trends that seek
to distort this view toward acceptance of unions that stand directly opposed to the
sanctity of marriage; and

WHEREAS many state and national leaders presently are seeking to reaffirm
through legislative decrees and public statements our historic stand on the sanctity
of marriage between man and woman; and

WHEREAS from the beginning it has been understood that the traditional model of
marriage is to be a sacred union between man and woman; and

WHEREAS the Jefferson County Board further affirms the sanctity of marriage
between man and woman through a practical commitment addressing family
responsibility by declaring, “Marriage is a spiritual union in which man and
woman are joined by God to live together as one”; and

WHEREAS it is imperative that the Jefferson County Board now enter the arena of
public debate concerning this ever-increasing threat to the sanctity of marriage
between man and woman;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we, the Jefferson County Board, do
reaffirm our commitment to the families of Jefferson County and its ever-present
defense of marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we encourage our fellow elected bodies to help
preserve marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman.

Wow. That’s a lot to read. There is a lot to pick apart here and think about. I question the morals of any country that engages in torture continually and helps the rich get richer – including with government funds (bailouts). Hey, the county brought up morality in the text above, not me.

The sanctity of marriage can be debated considering the exceptionally high divorce rates in society. If the Board wanted to help in that regard, perhaps they should pass a resolution against divorce. Since they saw fit to throw religious tones into this proclamation, it might be fair to bring up that divorce was only an exception in the bible in reference to a wife fornicating with another man. ‘Irreconcilable differences’ is pretty weak if you want to be biblical about things. I would wager that divorces have done more to foul up kids’ lives than two men or two women getting their rocks off together.

I am assuming that the overtly religious tones the Board asserts are culled from the bible. Specifically I’m guessing that they are pulling their stance from the oft-quoted passage in Leviticus here:

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. ~ Leviticus 20:13

Now, I am definitely not attacking religion with this post, however I feel that I should point out a few other passages from Leviticus as well for comparison:

Keep my decrees. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. ~ Leviticus 19:19

But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales–whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water–you are to detest. ~ Leviticus 11:10

Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD. ~ Leviticus 19:28

So now we cannot breed mules nor different cattle (depending on your translation). We cannot have fields used for multiple crops. We cannot wear blended clothing (say goodbye to Spandex). We cannot eat shrimp or any other aquatic creatures save for fish. Finally, we should not have tattoos.

Wow. That kind of puts a crimp in a lot of things taken for granted today. Semantics can be argued ad-nauseum, however if one scripture is good then they all are good. Assuming the passage is not specifically repealed somewhere else in your particular holy book. What I mean by this is that either the chosen holy book is enforced or not. Don’t be a hypocrite.

If you want to say tattoos are cool because the Old Law (old testament) does not apply because we are governed under the New Law (new testament) then that is good enough to eliminate the other passages as well. I’m fine with that. Keep wearing your cotton/poly blend shirts too. While you’re at it go ahead and have some shrimp and lobster for dinner.

Another facet of this argument is that these people are ‘living in sin’. Okay, if you want to pick and choose what to enforce then how about these choice bits:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. ~ John 13:34-35

So then, we are to love everyone, no? Even if those people are in sin we are to love them yet avoid the sin they might engage in behind closed doors. I’m good with that. So quit writing meaningless proclamations and be loving toward everyone.

I’m tired of writing about this subject and trying to point out flaws in arguments because I know in the end that people will argue with me. People will defriend me on Facebook. Most of all I may have people who won’t speak to me because they refuse to think and are happy being ignorant. In their closed little minds I will be evil. If that is how you want to be, so be it. Individuals have to think for themselves and act how they believe. Who is the Jefferson County Board to attempt to decide that for them?

One final thought you should draw from very hard no matter your religion:

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. ~ Matthew 7:1

Have a great day, and I hope to see you at the next Jefferson County Board meeting on June 25th!

City Council Releases Seem More Abundant

So, I’ve made a few posts about how disappointed I am that the Mount Vernon City Council sneakily (in my opinion) passed a new tax to the citizens and shoppers of this city. This was done at a meeting during the day which I believe many residents would have had a very hard time attending due to work commitments.

With that being said, I have seen quite a bit of detailed information in the local papers regarding City Council and even County Board actions and plans. I cannot determine whether this is due to better reporting by the newspapers or due to the Council/Board providing better information. Either way, this new found wealth of information is a great surprise to me given the recent lack of information provided to the public by accessible means.

So, to whomever is responsible – thank you!

Repealing Home Rule is Hard

You know, for as simple as they make placing a referendum on general election ballots sound in civics class, it’s not always that easy. I spent the better part of an afternoon one Sunday searching and googling (yes, it’s a verb) every combination of ‘repeal home rule Illinois referendum’ that I could think of at the time. Most of the results returned were pro-Home Rule pamphlets that stated ‘No municipality has attempted to repeal Home Rule in xx years…’

I’m not surprised at this fact given how difficult the information is to find online. I’m generally quite talented when it comes to putting together a query that coaxes needed information from Google. Not this time. Thankfully I came across some information in the state constitution, general election code, and some failed attempts by other ticked citizens in other towns.

With the information gleaned from these resources I was able to cobble together my referendum question. Thankfully, I have a couple of lawyer types who gave it the once-over a couple of times and feel that it meets the requirements set forth to be placed on the ballot. Now I just have to go get the needed signatures and get it filed. Have to be sure to get plenty of signatures since this will surely be contested.