New board to provide financial guidance to East St. Louis
St. Louis' historic waterfront glitters as hundreds of residents and visitors wander its quaint streets and shop or dine at any number of restaurants and boutiques. Across the Mississippi River, however, there are few people on the streets and there most definitely is no glitter. East St. Louis, for years on the verge of recovery, is now nearly bankrupt. City workers aren't paid for months at a time. Residents do without city services. The city's tax base has eroded to an abyssmal level.
Last October Gov. James R. Thompson, in an attempt to help resolve the city's financial woes, appointed a Task Force on Municipal Bankruptcy to formulate both short- and long-range solutions to East St. Louis' fiscal crisis. One result of that task force was the establishment of an East St. Louis Financial Advisory Board. Thompson appointed the board's seven members at the end of January. These individuals are to work with officials of East St. Louis to develop a plan to extricate the city from its financial troubles, including the appointment of a fiscal officer and possibly a short-term emergency loan.
Chairman of the new board is Rev. John Rouse, pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in East St. Louis. Rouse also chaired the financial distress task force. Other members include James Banovetz, a professor of public administration at Northern Illinois University-DeKalb; Ronald Bean of Olympia Fields, executive director of the Illinois Development Finance Authority; Joy Howard of St. Louis, vice president of Stifel Nicolaus; Earl Lazerson, president of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville; Neil Nielsen, city manager of Oak Park; and Ron Thompson of St. Louis, president of General Railroad.
Although Gov. Thompson does not foresee an easy remedy to the city's problems, he is "confident that a board with members who represent the area and with those who provide financial expertise is an important step in the right direction." The difficulty of the task was echoed by board member Banovetz: "In my view, there's going to need to be specific changes made to restore solvency to East St. Louis."
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Thompson keeps cabinet intact; honored for appointments of women
Despite rumors that some members of Gov. Thompson's cabinet may be considering a move to Washington, D.C., for a place in the Bush administration, there were no new faces among the 29 administrators whom Thompson named to head his executive agencies and departments on March 1. The reappointments, which carry two-year terms, must be confirmed by the Senate.
Eight of Thompson's cabinet reappointments were women. The governor's record of appointing women to such high level positions was recognized for the third time by the National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC) on February 24. The NWPC report, The Appointment of Women: A Survey of the Governors' Cabinets, 1985-1989, ranked Thompson sixth, with a 32 percent ratio, among 40 governors who make cabinet-level appointments. In terms of numbers, the governor ranked among the top three. Thompson, the top Republican governor to appoint women to high level cabinet posts, also ranked sixth in the 1985 and 1987 NWPC surveys.
LaBelle new general manager of North Point Marina
North Point Marina, the new $50 million state-owned recreational boating complex located at Winthrop Harbor north of Zion, has its first general manager. Jim LaBelle of Zion was appointed to the post by Gov. Thompson. The appointment, which was effective February 1, carries an annual salary of $67,900.
LaBelle has served as Thompson's assistant for economic development since 1987. Prior to that he spent two years (1973-75) as administrative assistant for the village of Carol Stream and three years (1975-78) as executive director of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference. A member of the Lake County Board since 1980, he served as its chairman from 1984-87.
According to LaBelle, the marina was created under a unique state-private sector partnership. The state has provided $36 million in the form of a loan from the general and boating and fishing funds of Build Illinois money. The loan is to be repaid over a 14-year period. Private development of the site is in the form of lease agreements and include a marina service center, a resort hotel and restaurant, a yacht club and a retail shopping center. Private funding of the project totals $14 million. Approximately $10 million is expected to be spent annually by visitors and boaters at the complex which is already being touted as the finest example of
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marina development on the Great Lakes by both boating and business experts.
Other Thompson appointments
The governor's new assistant for natural resources is John Schmitt. He replaces Karen Witter who was appointed director of the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) last October. As the governor's liaison to eight state agencies, Schmitt helps develop policies, budgets and legislation related to natural resources.
Schmitt began his public service career in 1978 as a legislative staff consultant to the Illinois Senate Republicans. In 1982 he became DENR's legislative liaison and a year later moved to the post of assistant to the DENR director. Schmitt moved to the Department of Conservation in 1984 as that agency's director of governmental affairs, a post he held until 1987 when he was appointed Thompson's legislative liaison to the Illinois House of Representatives.
The appointment, which was welcomed by both environmental and business groups, was effective February 1. Schmitt's annual salary is $55,000.
Taking Schmitt's place in Thompson's legislative affairs office was Jim Stumpf. The appointment was effective March 1.
Stumpf came to the governor's office from the Department of Public Aid where he had served in a number of positions since 1970. He was most recently the agency's chief of legislation and intergovernmental affairs. In his new post, Stumpf will receive an annual salary of $52,500.
Bennett new legal counsel for DASA
Nancy J. Bennett of Chicago was appointed chief legal counsel for the Department of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) by agency director William T. Atkins in January. She replaced Ronald Nelson who left government service for the private sector.
Before joining DASA in September 1988 as associate legal counsel, Bennett had been chief of prosecution for the Department of Professional Regulation since 1985. Prior to that she spent nearly eight years in the Illinois Attorney General's Office, first as a clerk while at The John Marshall Law School and then as an assistant attorney general
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in the environmental division.
In her new post, Bennett is in charge of investigating licensee/contractor irregularities and violations. She will also work closely with the governor's office and the General Assembly in drafting legislation concerning drug and alcohol abuse.
Fermilab reorganizes in wake of Texas SSC coup
The head of Fermilab's accelerator division and its director of administration both headed south to work on the superconducting super collider that is to be constructed in Texas. Helen T. Edwards, a high energy physicist, had been head of the accelerator division since 1987. A recent recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, Edwards was instrumental in the design and development of Fermilab's Tevatron, the first superconducting proton accelerator ever built. She had been with the federal facility in Batavia since 1970. Also leaving was Bruce Chrisman, director of administration. Chrisman is assuming a senior management role with the SSC project. He too had been with Fermilab since 1970.
In the wake of these departures Fermilab has made several appointments and reassignments. Taking over as head of the accelerator division was Gerald Dugan of Wheaton. He has been with Fermilab since 1982 and was formerly head of the antiproton source department. Assisting Dugan as deputy head of the division is Michael Harrison of Batavia. He joined the Fermilab staff in 1977 and was most recently head of the facility's main accelerator. Rounding out the division leadership is Dixon Bogert of St. Charles, who continues as associate head for support departments. He has been with Fermilab since 1971 and has held his current post since 1987.
Taking over on an acting basis for Chrisman is Richard Lundy of Downers Grove, associate director for technology. Lundy has been with Fermilab since 1971 and has served in a number of positions, including business manager and head of technical support services.
While not losing anyone to the SSC, Fermilab's research division has been reorganized. Robert Kephart of Elburn was recently appointed head of the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF). A major detector used by physicists to measure the results of high energy collisions between protons and antiprotons, the CDF has been operational since 1985. Kephart has been with Fermilab since 1977 and was involved with the facility's cryogenics (low temperature) group prior to accepting his new post. Assuming leadership of the research division's cryogenics department was Richard Stanek of Naperville. He has been with the department since coming to Fermilab in 1977.
Six appointed to Human Rights Authority
The Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, chaired by state Rep. Karen Hasara (R-100, Springfield), appointed six persons to the Human Rights Authority (HRA) during its January meeting.
In the HRA's Chicago region, new appointees include Brooke R. Whitted, a Chicago attorney and president of Whitted & Spain P.C., who is a noted expert in the area of special education law; and James A. Wolter of Winnetka, a professor of special education at Chicago State University.
Frank J. Ertl of Homewood was appointed in Region 2 South (Tinley Park). He is state president of the American Association of Retired Persons.
Appointed in Region 3B (Champaign) were Marsha L. Combs of Charleston, a business owner; Phyllis G. Hunt of Decatur, a registered nurse; and Cornelia Lively, an assistant professor in the special education department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The authority, which is the commission's investigative arm, seeks to improve conditions in public and private facilities for the disabled. There are nine statewide regions, each with a panel of nine appointed volunteers. Members serve three-year terms.
The Illinois Supreme Court recently announced the following appointments and assignments:
1st Judicial Circuit
3rd Judicial Circuit
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Court. Ferguson replaces Philip Rarick who was elected to the 5th District Appellate Court. Kardis fills the vacancy created by the election of Charles Chapman to the 5th District Appellate Court. Byron's and Ferguson's appointments were effective January 17; Kardis' on February 17.
7th Judicial Circuit
20th Judicial Circuit
O'Neill tapped as reporter for high court's jury instruction panel
The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Timothy P. O'Neill, associate professor of law at The John Marshall Law School, as reporter to its Committee on Pattern Jury Instruction in Criminal Cases. It is the first such appointment by the high court and will provide much-needed technical and research support as the 16-member standing committee prepares the 3rd edition of the instructions, scheduled for publication in 1990.
Two new staff officers at Illinois State Chamber of Commerce
Raymond J. Bodnar was named senior vice president and James H. Beaumont vice president of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce (ISCC) by Lester W. Brann Jr., ISCC president, in January.
Bodnar has been with the ISCC for 18 years and has served in a number of positions, including director of the chamber's energy, environment and economic development programs. Most recently he served as vice president for legislative affairs. In his new post, Bodnar is responsible for coordinating the programs of the chamber's 14 departments. A charter member of the American Institute of Certified Urban Planners, Bodnar resides in South Holland.
Beaumont joined the chamber in 1972 as research director. In his new post he will supervise the ISCC's Springfield office where he has previously served as government regulations manager, as executive director of the Illinois chamber Political Action Committee and as liaison to local chambers. The Decatur native now resides in Springfield.
Kretschmer to advise Gas Research Institute
Ruth K. Kretschmer of the Illinois Commerce Commission was appointed to the Advisory Council of the Gas Research Institute (GRI) in January. The appointment, which was made by Henry G. Yonce, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), fills a vacancy on the council. She will serve until 1992.
The nine-member council is comprised of state utility commissioners appointed by NARUC's president. According to Kretschmer, it monitors and advises funding for research and product development that will benefit both the natural gas industry and its ratepayers. GRI's $180 million budget proposal is currently before Congress.
Kretschmer has served on the Illinois Commerce Commission since 1983. Recently reappointed by Gov. Thompson to a second five-year term, she is chairman of the commission's Gas Policy Committee and is a member of NARUC's gas committee. Before her appointment to the commission, Kretschmer served on the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission and was a member of the DuPage County Board.
Whitney elected NACSC regional president
Illinois Comptroller Merit Commission chairman John F. Whitney was elected central region president of the National Association of Civil Service Commissioners (NACSC) by its members in December. The first Illinois commissioner to be elected to an NACSC post, he will serve a one-year term.
Whitney was first appointed commissioner of the Illinois Comptroller Merit Commission in 1981 to fill an existing vacancy on the three-member board. He was appointed commission chairman in 1982. Whitney was reappointed to a full six-year term in 1984 and was reappointed chairman in January 1988. Established in 1979 to provide a bipartisan overview of professional employee standards for the office, the commission investigates personnel policies to insure compliance with the Merit Employment Code. A Chatham resident, Whitney is also a political science professor at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield.
NACSC, an affiliate of the International Personnel Management Association, is composed of civil service system commissioners from throughout the U.S. It meets annually to review and analyze practices and policies within merit compensation and civil service systems.
Pettit new president of NASH
Lawrence K. Pettit, chancellor of Southern Illinois University since 1986, was elected to a one-year term as president of the National Association of System Heads (NASH) by its members in January. He succeeded James H. McCormick, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, in the post.
Pettit came to SIU from Texas where he had been chancellor of the University System of South Texas. From 1973-79 he served as commissioner of higher education for the six-campus University of Montana system.
NASH, founded as the National Council of Heads of Public Higher Education Systems in 1979, is an organization of chancellors and presidents of public multi-campus university systems. The group meets annually to discuss such pertinent issues as tuition policies and student aid, ethics for top level administrators, organization and governance and staff development.
Revenue's Sweet named to national tax committee
The governing board of the National Tax Association-Tax Institute of America (NTA-TIA) appointed Illinois revenue director Roger D. Sweet to its state income and business taxation committee in January. Sweet will serve on the committee through 1991. The NTA-TIA publishes The National Tax Journal and sponsors conferences, symposia and study committees to advance the understanding of the theory and practice of taxation at all levels of government. Sweet has served as director of the Department of Revenue since February 1987.
Prairie Farm's Gourley honored as Dairyman of the Year
Fletcher Gourley, co-op executive for Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. since the firm began as Producers Dairy Company in 1938, was named Dairyman of the Year by the Illinois Milk Producers Association in December.
The award recognizes an individual who has made a great contribution to the state dairy industry. Gourley is the fifth Illinoisan to be honored for his work which includes the merger of several Illinois co-ops into what has become a $500 million-a-year venture. Prairie Farms Dairy is located in Carlinville.
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