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He became one of the most important figures in Illinois politics through his prosecutions and convictions against two consecutive governors. But after a decade as U.S. Attorney in Chicago, Patrick Fitzgerald is stepping down.
A statement from Fitzgerald’s office did not give any reason why he has decided to leave the post on June 30, following an 11-year tenure that is the longest anyone has ever held that job in Chicago.
Fitzgerald says he will take the summer off before deciding on his next career move.
Mayors across Illinois… including Springfield’s Mike Houston… are calling on Illinois lawmakers not to pass any more pension problems on to local governments.
The mayors are trying to present a united front, amid reports that the state could divert revenues which ordinarily go to local governments to help pay for the state’s soaring pension costs.
Houston and the other mayors are demanding that the state leave local government revenues alone… and stop passing new sweeteners for police and fire pensions. The mayors also want changes to the current system… such as requiring public safety employees to pay more for their own pension and raising the retirement age for cops and firefighters.
With her candidacy in danger from a new state law, the prospective Democratic candidate for Sangamon County coroner says she’s the victim of an “ex post facto” rule that was rushed into effect.
Published reports say Rachel Ralston may be ineligible to appear on the fall ballot as a Democrat… because she voted in the Republican primary in March. Shortly after that vote, a bill which had been stalled in committee for months was quickly passed and signed into law, prohibiting a candidate who voted in one party’s primary from representing a different party in the general election.
Ralston says she voted in the Republican primary because there was not a full slate of Democratic candidates, and she wanted to have a voice in the primary. She says when she cast that vote, the new law had not been passed… and she had not yet been approached about running for coroner.
Yet another TIF district is in the works.
The Springfield City Council is moving ahead with plans for a second east-side TIF district, this one would include the land that will eventually house a new Schnuck’s store.
City officials say the TIF will help spur needed development in that area of town.
A study will be conducted to estimate how much money might be raised from the tax increment financing district, money that will go to pay for further development within the TIF zone.
The newly proposed TIF would join boundaries of an already existing TIF that expires in 2018. If the newly TIF passes as expected, the two districts can share in the deferred property tax money to update and beautify properties.
Final approval of the new east-side TIF could still be months away.
The Springfield Fire Department will be take over a lease for the Children’s Safety Village that's on the campus of the University of Illinois, Springfield, if an ordinance placed on the consent agenda passes.
The village currently houses members of the Springfield Fire Department, who have been using the facility for special training and fire safety demonstrations for children.
Glenna Mason, Chairman of the Children Safety Committee, says that the building is being donated to Springfield’s Fire Department so they can continue to work with children on fire safety.
Mason says it’s an estimated $450,000 donation to the fire department.
Assistant Fire Chief Greg Surbeck said that taking over the property won’t impact their budget as the SDpringfield Fire epartment already pays the utilities there. A nominal fee of $10 a year leased for the property will be paid to UIS for the property.