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Turnock leaves Public Health

Citing a need for new challenges and the low salaries paid state agency directors, Dr. Bernard J. Turnock announced in late August that he would be leaving the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on September 16. He is now associate dean for public health practice and clinical professor of community health sciences with the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Public Health.

After taking over the reins of the agency in May 1985 during a statewide salmonella outbreak that killed six, Turnock went on to tackle other public health problems in the state. He added to the agency's professional staff. He worked to establish a network of local health departments to improve the delivery of services. He strove to address teenage pregnancy and infant mortality. And he helped formulate the state's response to AIDS.

This was not Turnock's first stint with IDPH. He was with the agency from 1978-82, first as chief of the emergency medical services division and then as chief of its family health division, before becoming deputy commissioner of Chicago's health department (1982-85). Prior to coming to Illinois, he held public health positions in New York and California.

Dr. John Lumpkin, associate director of IDPH's health care regulation office since 1985, was named acting director. Before joining the agency, Lumpkin was an emergency physician at several Chicago hospitals and, from 1978-84, was on the emergency medicine faculty of the University of Chicago. He is currently a member of the emergency medicine faculty at Northwestern University Medical School and also teaches at the University of Illinois School of Public Health.

Lumpkin's annual salary will continue to be $82,008. Turnock's salary as IDPH director was $71,321 annually.

Where to put an airport?

The push has been on for several years for a new regional airport to serve northern Illinois and Indiana. Girdled by the adjacent suburban growth and unable to expand, Chicago's O'Hare Airport — once touted as the country's best — increasingly has become known for its flight delays. Loss of its preeminence as the country's top aviation hub threatens the region's economic health. But a plum as sweet as a new regional airport with its jobs and other economic advantages has sparked a rivalry that held the selection process hostage for much of 1990.

An eight-member selection committee appointed in 1989 by the governors of Illinois and Indiana developed a short list of sites for review: a site near Kankakee, one between Peotone and Beecher, a site east of Beecher on the Illinois-Indiana border and an expanded Gary Regional Airport. The process ground to a halt in February when Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced that the city would build a new airport in the Lake Calumet area on Chicago's southeast side — regardless of the committee's decision. The stalemate continued until early July when U.S. Transportation Secy. Samuel Skinner intervened. His compromise called for a reconstituted selection committee and the addition of the Lake Calumet site to the short list of sites.

In late August both governors and the mayor agreed on the new committee's chairman: Frank W. Luerssen of Munster, Ind., board chairman and chief executive officer of Inland Steel Industries Inc. In early October the final members of the Bi-State Policy Committee were appointed:

•   The committee's four Indiana members, appointed by Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh, are Gary Mayor Thomas Barnes; David Bochnowski president of the Peoples Bank in Hammond; Tom Koutsoumpas, Gov. Bayh's executive assistant for federal affairs; and Indiana Lt. Gov. Frank O'Bannon. With the exception of Koutsoumpas, the members representing Indiana served on the first site selection committee.

•   The four members appointed by Gov. Thompson include former Illinois Transportation Secy. and Republican candidate for treasurer Greg Baise: Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, an attorney with Chicago's Lord, Bissell & Brook; candidate for Cook County board president, state Sen. Aldo DeAngelis (R-40, Olympia Fields); and candidate for secretary of state. Lt. Gov. George H. Ryan. All but Dillard served on the original selection committee.

•   Mayor Daley's appointees, announced on October 2, include James Compton, president of the Chicago Urban League; William Daley, president and chief executive officer of the Amalgamated Trust & Savings Bank and brother of the mayor; and Robert Healey of Homewood-Flossmoor, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

The committee is to decide on a single site by the fall of 1991.

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Thompson names financial oversight board for East St. Louis

The financially beleaguered city of East St. Louis was offered a state carrot — $34 million — but with it came a state stick in the form of an oversight board that has the power to approve or reject the city's financial plans, budgets and contracts.

The $34 million in loans was part of the Distressed Cities Act (H.B. 3024) signed by Gov. James R. Thompson on August 30. The loans had been recommended by the East St. Louis Advisory Board, which was created by the governor last year in response to the city's overarching debt. The first $4 million, in the form of a short-term emergency loan, was earmarked for re-establishing basic city services like fire and police protection and trash removal. The long-term loan of $30 million (through a bond issue) is meant to restructure city debt.

The legislation also established a five-member Financial Advisory Authority. Members, named the same day the governor signed the legislation, include Ron Bean of Olympia Fields, executive director of the Illinois Development Finance Authority; the Rev. Jerome Jackson of East St. Louis, the minister for Southern Mission Baptist Church; Earl Lazerson of Edwardsville, president of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville; retired school teacher Claudia Thomas of East St. Louis; and Ronald Thompson of St. Louis, president of the GR Group Inc. Lazerson is the authority's chairperson. Bean and Thomas will serve two-year terms; the others, three-year terms. All must be confirmed by the Senate and will receive expenses only.

From the beginning, the bailout of East St. Louis has been marked by sharp exchanges between city and state officials over questions of power and responsibility. The appointment of the new financial authority did not ease those tensions. The authority's first official action on September 8 halted all loan funds until the city submitted a budget and financial plan. Under terms of the legislation, the city had 30 days after the appointment of the authority in which to submit a budget and 45 days in which to submit its financial plan. Chairman Lazerson attributed the quickness of the action to the authority's desire " . . .to send a public message. A message that is short and easily understood, that this authority will not, until appropriate tests are passed, be approving distribution of short-term loans."

In order to help the Mississippi River city meet its deadlines, the authority hired a financial manager — one intimately familiar with East St. Louis's money woes. The Chicago firm, M.R. Beal & Co., which was tapped in September 1989 by Gov. Thompson's advisory board to assist in formulating a response to the city's crisis, was awarded a six-month contract (with a cap of approximately $80,000) on September 22. The firm's vice president, Lawrence Wilson, worked with the advisory board and will also handle this project. (For more information on Wilson and the East St. Louis crisis, see Illinois Issues, March 1990, pp. 12-15.)

If the city can prepare and operate under balanced budgets and if it meets the other conditions and deadlines detailed by the authority for 10 years, the authority will cease its operations. Today, 10 years looks like a mighty long time.

Johnson appointed to State Board of Elections

Champaign resident Lawrence Johnson is the newest member of the State Board of Elections. Gov. Thompson named Johnson, a hearing officer for the board since 1989, to the post on August 23. Johnson served as Champaign County state's attorney from 1968 to 1972 and has been engaged in the private practice of law since then. He replaced John Keith, who is currently an associate judge of the 7th Judicial Circuit.

Johnson's appointment, which was effective immediately, must be confirmed by the Senate. The term expires June 30, 1991. Johnson will receive an annual salary of $19,750.

Affordable housing projects get nod from IHDA

Housing for low-income individuals is a little less rare now than it was a year ago, thanks in part to the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Part of the Illinois Affordable Housing Act (P.A. 86-925), the fund uses dollars derived from the real estate transfer tax to provide grants and low-interest loans to organizations that will build, rehabilitate or otherwise retain housing units for low- and very low-income households. The program is administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA).

Applications for the program are screened quarterly by the Affordable Housing Advisory Commission, whose recommendations are forwarded to IHDA's board of directors for final action. In deciding which projects to fund, the most important factor, according to IHDA spokesperson Tom Laue, is the number of low- and very low-income persons to be served. Applicants must be qualified for-profit or nonprofit groups, not individuals; IHDA prefers that the groups have some experience in low-income housing. Trust fund dollars must be used for "bricks and mortar,'' not administrative costs. Laue sees growing interest in the program that currently has 80 to 90 applications pending.

Historical society's symposium to highlight Illinois history

The Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS) will present its 11th annual Illinois History Symposium on November 30 and December 1 at Springfield's Ramada Renaissance Hotel.

Sessions covering a variety of historical topics are scheduled throughout both days. Friday evening's banquet will feature John Mack Faragher of Mount Holyoke College. Faragher, author of Sugar Creek, will speak on "Communities and Frontiers."

Cost for the two-day symposium is $29 for ISHS members and $34 for non-members. The Friday evening banquet is $27. A block of rooms at a special rate of $62 has been reserved at the Ramada Renaissance. For registration and program information, contact Noreen O'Brien-Davis at the Illinois State Historical Society, Old State Capitol, Springfield 62701; or telephone (217) 785-7952.

Since the housing act became law in September 1989, the board has approved three rounds of projects. As of mid-September, the trust fund had helped finance 22 projects involving nearly 750 additional housing units. The fund's investment in these projects totals $7.5 million; the total value of the projects is estimated at more than $34 million.

During the latest round of approvals announced August 17, eight projects were awarded nearly $2.5 million. This will translate into 182 reasonably priced housing units. The projects include:

•  Bethel New Life. This nonprofit organization operating on Chicago's west side plans to build 33 townhouses over the next three years for very low-income families. The project's total cost will be $1,864,500; it received $415,000 in grants and loans from the trust fund.

•  Kankakee Neighborhood Housing Services. Low-income, first-time home buyers will benefit from this nonprofit group's project. The group is using its $310,100 loan to purchase and rehabilitate 18 single-family homes. Total project cost is $469,100.

•   Lawndale Christian Development Corporation. Three abandoned buildings on South Hamlin in Chicago will be purchased and restored by this nonprofit group with its $100,000 loan. The building will be converted into seven apartments that will rent for $325-$350 a month. Total project cost is $250,000.

•  Naper-Grove Community Living Partnership.

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Six scattered-site, two-bedroom condominiums will be built in Naperville and Downers Grove by this limited partnership. All units will be reserved for very low-income individuals with disabilities. Total project cost is $780,000; the trust fund will provide a $340,000 loan.

• Ridgeland Limited Partnership/Family Rescue. This nonprofit group will use its $500,000 loan to purchase and convert an abandoned building in Chicago's South Shore community to a shelter for domestic violence victims. The 24 units will range from one to three bedrooms and will rent for $210-$325. The Chicago Department of Housing is providing an additional loan of $446,400; total cost of the project is $1,452,300.

• City of Rockford. Rockford's $450,000 loan will be used to provide permanent financing for 20 single-family homes to be built on the city's northwest and southwest sides. Total project cost is $1.2 million.

• Voice of the People. This nonprofit group plans to use its $500,000 loan to rehabilitate two buildings in Chicago's Uptown area. The buildings, located on North Kenmore and West sunnyside, will be divided into 26 apartments, renting for $410-$600 a month. The project will cost $2,097,412.

• Voorhees Development Group. A 48-unit apartment complex will be built in Springfield by this far-profit limited partnership with its $200,000 loan. Total project cost is $2,362,755.

Chicago gets new revenue director

He's the 11th person to serve in the post in it last 10 years. On the surface it might appear Paul G. Vallas, the new director of Chicago's Revenue Department, had taken leave of his senses. If not, why take a job where his predecessors barely had time to warm up their chairs?

Vallas, who had been director of the Illinois Economic and Fiscal Commission for the past four years, says there were several reasons why he left Springfield. One was "the opportunity to occupy such an important management-level position." In his new post as the Windy City's top bill collector, he heads a staff of 256. Vallas also believes that "it's an interesting time to be working in city government in Chicago .... There's a lot of dynamic leadership in Chicago right now."

There's a touch of regret in his voice, though, when he talks about leaving the capital and the General Assembly. Prior to taking his job with the bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Commission, Vallas spent six years as a Senate Democratic staffer. "There are so many outstanding people on both sides of the aisle," Vallas says, "I had a lot of good experiences there."

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The Judiciary

The Illinois Supreme Court recently announced the following appointments and assignments:

2nd District Appellate Court
•  Assigned to duty: 2nd District Appellate Judge Marvin D. Dunn of Geneva, who is to retire on December 2, has been assigned to duty in that court, effective December 3.

Cook County Judicial Circuit
•  Appointed circuit judge: Julian J. Frazin and Samuel C. Maragos, both of Chicago, effective October 1. Both had been private attorneys. Maragos, a former state representative (D-30, Chicago; 1969-77) filled the vacancy created by the death of Harold Siegan. Frazin filled the vacancy created by the death of Alfred Walsh.

12th Judicial Circuit
•   Appointed circuit judge: Associate Judge Rodney B. Lechwar of Joliet, effective September 1. He filled the vacancy created by the resignation of Michael Orenic.
•  Appointed as associate judge by circuit judges: Kathleen G. Kallan of Joliet. She had been engaged in the private practice of law and was assistant Will County public defender.

13th Judicial Circuit
•  Appointed circuit judge: Private attorney George C. Hupp Sr. of Ottawa, effective September 15. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Thomas Flood.

14th Judicial Circuit
•  Appointed circuit judge: Associate Judge Jay M. Hanson of Geneseo, effective September 15. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Wilbur Johnson.

17th Judicial Circuit
•   Appointed circuit judge: Associate Judge Robert G. Coplan of Rockford, effective September 1. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of John Sype.

19th Judicial Circuit
•  Selected chief judge by fellow judges: Circuit Judge Charles F. Scott of Waukegan. He succeeds Bernard Drew.

Group working to improve image of public service

It was once an honorable calling, but public service has fallen on bad times that could get much worse before they improve. A group in Chicago would like to change this forecast. The Illinois Commission on the Future of Public Service was organized in June by the Chicago Community Trust's government assistance project, a pilot program that provides management training for government officials. It hopes to come up with effective strategies for changing the way most people view public service employment.

The 39-member commission met for the first time on July 30. Sifting through state reports detailing minority employment and listening to academic presentations, they found that public service in Illinois is in need of repair. Three major concerns emerged from the meeting: Minorities — particularly Hispanics — remain underrepresented in the upper levels of state government, Illinois' patronage system is worse than elsewhere, and the next 10 years will be marked by a lack of qualified applicants for professional government jobs.

Identifying the problems will be much easier than formulating a cure. Jean Franczyk, the commission's director, sees a major task in changing the image that permeates the public service sector. "There's been a lot of bureaucracy bashing since President Carter," Franczyk says. To alter the public's perception of public service, the commission is looking at ways to increase the public's understanding of what government is supposed to do and to point out the complexity of many public service jobs.

Another problem that Franczyk believes should be addressed is the government's poor recruiting record. Since the public sector is never going to be able to compete with private sector salaries, it must compete on other fronts, according to Franczyk. She suggests that government provide more professional development opportunities for its employees, that it recognize employee excellence and that it work out "exchange" programs between the public and private sectors. Overall, "government needs to convey a certain sense of excitement if it is to lure young, bright people into public service," Franczyk says.

The commission is being chaired by William J. McDonough, the recently retired chairman of Chicago's First National Bank. Vice chairman is Robert D. Stuart Jr., the former chief executive officer of Quaker Oats. Panel membership is comprised of representatives from academe, agriculture, business, government, labor and public interest groups. The candidates for governor and for president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners as well as the mayor of Chicago and the state's legislative leadership also nominated members to serve on the panel. It will complete its work in about 15 months. Interim reports will be issued in January to the newly elected constitutional officers and to the Cook County board.

Energy awards go to 11

Illinois' big energy award winners for 1990 included a national winner for energy innovation, the state program's first two-time winner, an electric car organization and the Loyal Order of the Moose. The winners were announced by Gov. Thompson on September 6; the awards were presented to the winners on October 30 in Chicago.

The statewide competition, administered by the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR), judges nominees on criteria including innovation, energy savings, economic impact and potential use by others. The awards, which were originally given out annually, became a biennial program in 1988.

In late September the state learned that one of the five award recipients it recommended to the U.S. Department of Energy for the National Awards Program for Energy Innovation was a winner, according to Carol Cavanaugh, assistant to the director of DENR's energy conservation/alternative energy office. The Chicago Tribune Freedom Center in Chicago changed the way its pressroom air was handled, and the consequent reduction in energy consumption at the center translated into annual savings of more than $270,000.

The other state award recipients included:

•   Aurora Sanitary District (ASD), Oswego. This is the second energy award for the ASD in this program — a noteworthy fact considering that subsequent projects cannot be mere outgrowths of previous winners. Cavanaugh calls the ASD "an outstanding organization that is really committed to energy savings." The sanitary district's latest project reduced energy costs by nearly $100,000. Microbes were injected into solid waste to break down the raw organic matter. The resulting waste gas was used to power an electrical generator.

•  University of Chicago Hospital, Chicago. By installing an energy-efficient central chilled water plant and incorporating the latest energy management technology, the hospital has cut its annual energy bill by more than $700,000.

•  Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield. The society used its "Perching Bird House" to demonstrate how energy conservation measures can be applied in maintaining specialized environments.

•  Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia. Fermilab received two awards. One went to a new system that uses excess cooling energy to reduce the energy needed for humidification. The other project that was honored coupled specially constructed water source heat pumps with computer room air conditioning condenser water, resulting in a more efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system.

•   Fox Valley Electric Auto Association, Wheaton. Electricity can do more than illuminate your favorite reading material and power your refrigerator. It can move you down the road. In order to illustrate this point, this Wheaton group converted 20 automobiles and three bicycles to electric power.

•  Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School, Flossmoor. The school decided to

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switch the light fixtures in its main gym, pool house and field house. The change from fluorescent to metal halide lighting cut energy costs for illumination by one-half.

•  Jewel Food Stores, Melrose Park. Jewel retrofitted 40,000 light fixtures in 104 of its Chicago area stores. The switch has saved 23.8 million kilowatt hours annually, which translates into $1.4 million in reduced costs.

•  Loyal Order of Moose, Mooseheart. Located along the Fox River between Aurora and Batavia, this 1,200-acre complex was established by the fraternal organization in the early 1900s to care for the wives and children of deceased members. Its 110 buildings — 67 of them centrally heated — include living quarters, a school and health care facilities. During its first year of operation, the Mooseheart Utilities Improvement Project completed a retrofit of the existing electric generating, steam production and distribution system. Energy savings totaled more than $500,000.

•  Rich Township High School, Park Forest. A year ago, the district installed motion sensors around the school — in hallways, in most classrooms and in the gym and locker room areas. The sensors pick up movement and respond by turning on lights. For example, when a class enters the locker room to get dressed for a physical education class, the lights come on. About eight minutes after they leave, the lights go off until the next group of students enter the room. By adjusting the mechanism's sensitivity and programming the on-off delay, the district has been able to reduce the high school's lighting bill by more than 30 percent, according to Ralph Hausser, Rich Township High School's director of buildings and grounds.

Farm chemicals collected in Macon County

The U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates that there are 10,000 species of insects, more than 1,500 diseases caused by microorganisms, 1,800 different weeds that cause serious economic losses and about 1,500 kinds of nematodes that damage our nation's food and fiber crops. Agricultural use of pesticides to control these pests has been a double-edged sword, however. On one hand, the use of chemicals has helped agriculture increase its yields while reducing its labor intensity. On the other hand, the use of pesticides has created serious pollution problems.

Getting rid of these chemicals can be costly and many farmers end up storing unwanted pesticides on their farms, creating mini hazardous storage sites. In 1989, the legislature directed the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA) and the state Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a pilot project that would help Illinois learn the extent of the pesticide disposal problem and how best to tackle it. Results of the project are to be reported to the General Assembly in January.

Last June Macon County's 839 farm operators were contacted about their pesticide use and storage practices. For the 110 farmers who responded, a one-day collection project was set for September 5. There was to be no charge to participants. Cost for the project — estimated to be $50,000 —was to be covered by a $25,000 grant from Monsanto Agricultural Co. with the balance coming from IDA'S Pesticide Control Fund. The actual collection and disposal of the pesticides was to be handled by a Wheeling firm, SET Environmental Inc. Eighty-seven farmers showed up on the appointed day with more than 13,000 pounds of unwanted pesticides.

According to IDA's Bill Anderson, the state learned several points about developing a statewide program for unwanted pesticide collection and disposal. Many of the chemicals that were received in Macon County were still useable. "One main thing we learned," Anderson said, "is that the state needs to develop some sort of exchange program so that "good" chemicals don't have to be disposed of."

Another startling aspect that emerged from the pilot project was the cost. The final tab was more than twice the original estimate of $50,000, according to Anderson. Part of the cost went to analyzing chemicals that lacked labels and those that had been adulterated. Many of these "had been inherited," Anderson says. The charge for identifying unmarked pesticides can run from $600-$800.

Who should be paying for all of this? While the pilot project was free to the Macon County farmers, legislation currently before the General Assembly could include a minimal fee for future participants in a statewide effort. Anderson was surprised to find some conditional support for such a charge from the Macon County farmers. Most said that if a farmer lets a pesticide sit around and get old, then the farmer should pay for its disposal. If, on the other hand, the government changes its regulations and a farmer is left with a pesticide he can no longer use, farmers believe that the government should pay the tab.

What would the tab be to disposed all the unwanted farm pesticides in Illinois? Anderson cautiously suggests a figure that hovers just over $5 million. He's quick to point out, however, that this figure could suffer the same fate as the Macon County estimate.

Otwell wins national OWL award for advocacy

She has consistently espoused the special problems and needs of older women and, in late August, these efforts won Janet S. Otwell the recognition of the National Older Women's League (OWL). Otwell, director of the state's Department on Aging since 1984, was one of three recipients of the league's Advocacy Award. The others honored at the group's 10th annual national convention were Gray Panthers founder Maggie Kuhn and journalist Phyllis Sanders, who specializes in reporting on aging. Otwell in 1986 initiated the Illinois Council on Aging's Task Force on the Status of Older Women. After 23 public hearings around the state, the task force issued both a comprehensive report and a videotape of its highlights. A second report on aging as a woman was released by Otwell during the OWL conference in August. Entitled "Older Women in Illinois: A Test of Courage," the report was sponsored by The Sophia Fund, a Chicago-based foundation that works to promote economic, social, political and cultural equity for women. The report provides an array of information on why it is different to grow older as a woman than as a man, including data on inequities in income, health and housing.

The report also includes a summary of the advocacy efforts that have been made on behalf of older women in Illinois during the past decade. One such advocacy effort has been Otwell's support — providing both staff and resources — of the Older Women's League in Illinois. The league has grown from three chapters in 1986 to 17 chapters.

Otwell currently serves as president of the National Association of State Units on Aging and chairs Illinois' Committee of Ninety for the '90s, a group of business, education, religious, media and advocacy representatives who are assessing the impact and the needs of the state's aging population. The Evanston resident is a past president and board member of the League of Women Voters of Illinois and has served as a member of the league's national board.

Patricia J. Burtle-McCredie

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