Thumbs-up: To Cubs manager Joe Maddon for taking the time to talk about respect with Crystal Lake students Thursday. Maddon spoke to fifth-graders, many wearing their Cubs gear, via Skype at Prairie Elementary School. He told students about his Respect 90 foundation, which focuses on respect on the baseball field. Thanks to Maddon for teaching the kids valuable lessons and taking notice of Crystal Lake.
Thumbs-down: To Andrew Gasser for not sharing a road report study conducted for Algonquin Township. Gasser hired the Rabine Group to gather information about the township’s roads after he was elected township Highway Commissioner, but before he took office. Gasser has denied the request saying that the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to a private citizen. Some trustees, including Dave Chapman, have called on Gasser to make the document public. We think because it is involving township business, the document should be public, too, and hope that Gasser shares it in the interest of transparency.
Thumbs-down: To insufficient independence. When something is rotten in Springfield – or at least reportedly so – it seems the General Assembly has not created a suitable procedure for getting to the bottom of the situation. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, who said House Speaker Michael Madigan retaliated against her for statements about rooting out sexual harassment in the Capitol, wants the process for investigating ethics complaints in the Legislature overhauled, according to The Associated Press. Cassidy said although there is a legislative inspector general tasked with investigations, an ethics commission made up of House and Senate members must grant permission to proceed. In other words, if powerful people in the General Assembly wanted to scuttle a claim, they’d be able to make it happen. Cassidy knows all about such powerful people, as she now claims her winter demands for a fully independent investigation of Madigan’s handling of sexual harassment prompted his allies to ultimately force her to resign her job with the Cook County Sheriff. Madigan denies any involvement and wants the inspector general to investigate, bringing the circle back around to Cassidy’s concerns about independence.