While the City of Marengo approved a balanced budget, we remain under threat from the State of Illinois. Recently, Governor Quinn proposed eliminating state-shared income tax revenue in an effort to balance the state’s budget. I do not understand why the governor would punish the municipalities of Illinois as though they had anything to do with creating the State’s financial woes. But we hear from Quinn’s budget director that cities must, “share in the sacrifice.”

I’d like to inform Governor Quinn that Marengo has already shared in the sacrifice. Over the last three years, the city has reduced the number of full-time employees by over 30 percent through layoffs and outsourcing of some services. Any further reduction to the number of employees would be to the detriment of the city. We have already “sacrificed” and are not prepared to lose income tax revenue that we are entitled to. This money is collected specifically for the cities and counties of Illinois and amounts to roughly $72 per person for Marengo. I encourage you to tell your local legislators to support our city and ask that state-shared revenue not be reduced.

On May 31, 2011, the City’s Superintendant of Public Works, Jim Craney, retired after 32 years of service with the city. I personally thank Mr. Craney for his years of dedicated service to the City of Marengo, and wish him well in his retirement.

Finally, the Gus Macker Tournament is this month. I would encourage all to attend. This is a great opportunity for the city to showcase itself to the region. For more information, go to www.macker.com.

As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact me either at Marengo City Hall at 815-568-7112, or at my home at 815-568-6559.

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