Debbie Olson and the DuPage County Board blew though tens-of-millions of dollars they had pilfered from the DuPage County Water Commission. There has been no accounting of where that money went.
Debbie Olson has primary oversight of the Water Commission as head of the County Board Committee on Public Works.
While her opponents demand the dismissal the General Manager of the Water Commission, Debbie Olson wants to “study the issue.”
Debbie Olson promised to hold public hearings on the Water Commission before the end of 2009, no such meetings have occurred and none are scheduled.
DuPage County was required to borrow $30 million because of this “oversight” that occurred on Debbie Olson’s watch.
In 2007, the DuPage County Board “Doomsday” budget showed tens-of-millions of dollars of deficit.
Debbie Olson did not, could not, and would not identify any budget cuts. Instead of showing leadership, she and other county officials went hat-in-hand to Springfield begging for a new revenue stream into county coffers.
Springfield responded with a one-quarter cent tax increase, much of which was paid for by NON-DuPage residents.
Now, Debbie Olson is attacking Springfield for providing the money. “We’ve all seen too much of Springfield-style government – overspending, overtaxing, playing politics and ignoring the real issues.” – Debra Olson, Illinois Review, 1/15/2010.
You can’t have it both ways, Debbie. Your attacks are just more of the shift, shuffle and blame we are sick and tired of seeing from empty-suit politicians.
The 600-page 2010 budget, passed under the claimed leadership of Debbie Olson, is based on unrealistic budget assumptions. The current budget assumes sales tax revenues will significantly increase in 2010, in spite of the continued economic downturn and a state unemployment rate above the national average.
The 2010 budget assumes continued issuance of grants by Springfield despite the bloated and busted budget deficits in Springfield. There is no reason to believe these grants will be provided at levels equivalent to those from last year.
Even while knowing about the 2010 budget assumptions, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Debbie Olson said that she could probably find funds to spend more on human services in 2010, which would deplete any budget reserves that would be used in the event that revenue estimates are not achieved.
The budget contains no plan to find new or increased revenue streams.
The only budget cuts Debbie Olson has ever stated (again in the Chicago Tribune interview) has been for critical public safety employees like Jail Guards, Bailiffs, Sheriffs, Probation Officers and State’s Attorneys.
The budget contains no contingencies showing prioritized reductions that could be immediately implemented to achieve cost savings to cut spending if the revenue assumptions are not met.
Debbie Olson has never answered the simple question: “If you can’t or won’t identify any spending cuts, and you won’t vote for tax increases, how would YOU balance the budget.”
Any guesses why she won’t answer the question? Because she can’t.
Debbie Olson committed to posting all of her campaign contributions on her web site, saying in September 2009, “Because the reporting mechanisms are not yet in place, Olson is committing to putting all campaign contributions made to me [sic] since July 1, 2009 online on my [sic] campaign website within 5 business days of receipt.”
To date, neither Olson campaign web site lists any contributions whatsoever.
When challenged on her failure to live up to her self-imposed commitment, she is quoted as saying it is “too difficult” to do so.
For eight straight years and as of April 2009, as required by Illinois law, Olson filed a Statement of Economic Interest stating she had no business relationship with DuPage County. In October 2009, after declaring her intention to run for Chairman, she filed another statement saying she did actually do business with the County.
According to Illinois State Board of Election and DuPage County Board Records, Debbie Olson has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from vendors doing business with the county.
One of her campaign coordinators works for ARAMARK, a major vendor for DuPage County that is under the purview of a committee chaired by Olson. Olson claims to have returned all of the campaign contributions received from ARAMARK, however, the Illinois State Board of Elections shows un-returned campaign contributions from an ARAMARK vice president. ARAMARK was the recipient of a favorable ruling during the negotiations for a county food service contract.
For my analysis on the DuPage County Board Chairman candidates: