To head off these layoffs and showing a great amount of responsibility, the State’s Attorney, Joe Birkett, and County Sherriff, John Zaruba, and a few other County officials reached out to Sen. Dan Cronin in Springfield to help find a new revenue stream for those critical departments. Even though it meant supporting a fare increase, Dan Cronin felt that the one-cent-on-four-dollars on public transportation tax (a sizeable portion of which is paid by residents NOT living in DuPage County) being debated in Springfield as part of the RTA Act would provide those critical public safety departments with the additional revenue that would allow them to continue funding those departments so they could most effectively serve the residents of DuPage County.
While Debra Olson was sitting on her hands doing nothing, Dan Cronin answered the call.
Cronin agonized over his vote since he was acting against his fundamental principles of low taxes and small government that he’s always followed during his time as a legislator in Springfield. Up until the County he loves was faced with increasing property taxes or cutting services, Dan was and remains a reliable vote against the outrageous spending and taxes we’ve grown to expect from the corrupt politicians in Springfield. Cronin obviously felt that the best interests of the County’s residents would be best served if he voted for the RTA Act, a consumption-type tax (if you don’t want to pay it, don’t ride the RTA). He listened to the arguments of the State’s Attorney and DuPage Sherriff, and looked at Debbie’s and the County Board’s inability to fill its impending deficit and took action.
Dan Cronin, along with his State Senate colleagues Kirk Dillard and John Millner, braved enormous political pressure and helped secure passage of the RTA bill in Springfield. Not every one of our DuPage legislators had the courage to make this tough choice. After Dan made the tough choice, Debbie and the County Board gratefully accepted the additional revenue provided by the RTA plugging a $20,000,000 budget shortfall they had no way to address other than drastic spending cuts or massive tax increases.
Not only was DuPage County able to avoid layoffs in the State’s Attorney Office and the Sheriff’s Department, the additional revenue stream provided by the miniscule fare increase, much of which was paid by non-residents, allowed the DuPage County Board to abate the property tax levy by $1,000,000, providing the residents of DuPage County with much needed tax relief while lowering the reliance on property tax to fund our critical programs and services. Without the revenue increase provided by the RTA, the DuPage County Board would have either had to raise taxes, cut critical services including those involved in public safety, or some combination of both.
Debbie takes all the credit for these rebates, while slamming Dan Cronin, the man who made them possible. What say you, Mrs. Olson? Aren’t you being a touch hypocritical?
It’s easy for a legislator to collapse under political pressure and other legislators in DuPage County did. Some County Board members, like Debbie Olson just stood by and watched, and now those same County Board members criticize Cronin for his vote. Why hasn’t Debra Olson ever been called on the carpet to explain why Cronin had to make this vote? Simply because she wouldn’t look to good if everyone knew Cronin had to cover her butt and she has worked hard covering up these facts.
It’s easy for weak local officials like Debra Olson to snipe about Cronin voting for tax increases when they themselves had no ideas on how to balance their budgets and maintain public safety in DuPage County. Cronin’s tough choice on the RTA Act was courageous and the right thing to do for the citizens of DuPage County.
I hate taxes, and I hate politicians like Debbie Olson who overspend in their areas of responsibility and go crying up the chain, in this case Springfield, for help. Dan Cronin made a tough choice. He was right.