Health is better, let’s get back to work.

Thank you for being so forgiving while I went through my physical therapy.  Some of you know via e-mails we exchanged that I had some difficulties with my stroke and had to have physical therapy.  That process took some time and I was told I needed to remain stress free during that time period of rehabilitation.  Not so easy my friends in this town when every day someone annoys you with their stupidity.

Also it has been very hard for me to get online because so many people are still trying to figure out who I am and therefore I have had to deal with too many firewall invasions.  One would think there might be a community problem to solve.  Is someone getting paid to find out who I am and why I want to use my constitutional rights and speak out.

Thank you to all who encouraged me to continue the fight and come back on line.  I hope we find some common ground to combat this administration together.

So where shall we begin, why with your emails of course.  I hope you will e-mail me your opinions, concerns and anything else you would like to discuss.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Please check back very soon, I have received 3 e-mails from parents who attended the graduation ceremony of Belvidere North High School and they were not to happy with Fred Brereton giving what sounded like a political speech.  If anyone has that speech on tape I would be most grateful if you allowed me to upload it to my blog.

Its good to be back……………………………………………


Fart interrupts City Council, I wish it happened here.

I just couldn’t resist

Ok Ok I will keep going

And so the Saga continues….

If you’re really wondering about my posting yesterday I will add that I think this is what Terri Glass meant to say.  (Posted in Blue) I am just confused as to why she couldn’t just say it instead of asking a bunch of useless questions and beating around the bush.  That’s a politician for you and that’s why I don’t trust them.  Mostly I think the Republicans should be worried but we as citizens should be very concerned, concerned enough to get every person currently in office voted out of office.  I mean that for the City, County and Township.

The issue with Dini being on the review board in my opinion is to railroad assessment appeals.  Next year will be another record for assessment protest (wait and see) due to the declining economy.  Maybe even more so I think, because Diann Helnore will be taking over as Belvidere Township Assessor in 2010.  (Belvidere Township generates the most property tax revenues in the County)  Another opinion I have is; with Dini on the review board he will counter every effort Diann makes to accommodate property tax assessment protest.  Less revenue means less money for the Boone County Board’s pet projects and their friends.


If you read Sunday’s paper (July 5) you probably read through the Local & State section.  I am sure you didn’t miss the story, Belvidere closer to reclaiming contaminated sites. Cleanup could begin soon if the Illinois EPA accepts the City’s report.

Are you kidding me?  I am closer to winning the lottery without purchasing a ticket.  I had to chuckle when the paper writes A project to redevelop the land has inched along for more than a decade.

Furthermore Kim Ellingson (Director of Neighborhood Development) is quoted as saying, “They had a few additional points they needed us to clarify.” “Once these have been adequately addressed, then our report should be accepted.”   Not only that, she goes on to claim that the City could implement a clean up plan and find a prospective buyer for two sites it owns within 3 to 6 months after an IEPA response.

if the Illinois EPA accepts the City’s report (if, red flag)

should be accepted (should, why not it will)

the City could implement (could, why not will)

WOW, how exciting.  This has taken 10 years folks, and there are other smaller communities out there that have accomplished a hell of a lot more in less time.  One of the problems is that a key person working on getting this done (our Director of Neighborhood Development for the city) is no more qualified, in my opinion, to get the job done than our Mayor.  Do we have anyone working in City Hall that can write a grant without the help of the county?  Have we ever had anyone that knows how to write a grant?  Shouldn’t that have been a requirement for the Director of Development since most of the money for the projects the City wants done comes from grants?  Shouldn’t that have been a requirement for someone at sometime working on this project other then Vandewalle & Associates?

Unfortunately the bad news continues, or it could be good news depending on whether or not you have been waiting for Ron Wait to do something.  I am just wondering if it is taking so long to clean up a major part of the City (The Riverfront) so the Mayor can encourage urban sprawl (Irene Road Development).  The Mayor hopes he can develop the Riverfront into retail shops, restaurants and condos.  HA!  Now that’s funny, retail, restaurants, really?  Don’t we have 17 empty spaces now spread out through 6 different strip malls?  How about getting those filled first.  You might want to consider loosening up the restriction and becoming more business friendly in order for that to happen though.

Why did Ron Wait get $330,000 added to the State Capital Improvement Plan for the purchase of land by the City of Belvidere to locate a transportation center on it?  I would like to know if the land is located at the proposed Tollway Station Point (Irene Road) and owned by Darecloud.  I would also like to know why Distillery Road gets stop lights when there are several other intersections (Town Hall Road, Beaver Valley Road, Anderson Drive) that don’t have them.  And do not email me to say that is the responsibility of the Township or the County that has to take care of that.  I want them to work together to make Belvidere a better community.  Enough of the disconnection.  Back to why only Distillery Road.  Is it because several close friends of the Mayors who are members of the Hardeman Corporation and Debbie Carlson had a role in that development?  Just wondering.  I am also wondering if someone could tell me if anyone has conducted a traffic count at those intersections.  One last question for now, can the City please fix the pavement over the Main Street bridge?

Well I believe I have managed to put in all of the points I was asked to cover with the latest emails that came my way.

I will share the hate emails later.  I will let them build up a little more.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Since you asked………….

Ever since I posted a letter that was emailed to me I have been getting some mixed reviews form my readers and so I thought I would share them with you.

It’s funny sometimes reading my email because there are some who think I must be Satan for bringing these topics to light and discussing them out loud.  Shame on me, how dare I.  How dare I have a blog in America and exercise my freedom of speech yet not sign my name.  How dare I make public what most of you are thinking but too afraid to say publicly.

Here are just a few of the emails and I will respond to each one and my responses will be in red.

The first is from Jim Wise and he writes;

Interesting indeed, Silence.

This note or hoax may be telling of politics in Boone County/Belvidere.

It is very arrogant to assume that pressure from within the Board will persuade anyone to change their vote. Even more so, it is appalling to me that someone would engage in a misinformation campaign to gain the upper hand.

In addition; regarding the issue of BW re-nominating Mr. Mace for the vacant Board position, such a thought is ludicrous. It would be foolish and political suicide to attempt to force thru the appointment of Mr. Mace at this point. Regardless of the Boards’ position for BW to make such an attempt would be a show of contempt for the Board of which he may never recover from. With another year and half to go before the Board has the opportunity to select a Chairman. Such an effort would only cause the Board to be even more disruptive and divided than it is now.

What can I really add to this?  Mr. Wise, in the past, has been a contributor to this site and he will ask that I print something and I will.  Obviously he is more up to date on County Board issues than I or it might be that I could care less and just printed what an avid reader requested.  I personally could care less, in my opinion they are all lying, back stabbing hypocrites.  This is a prime example of why animals eat their young.  I have better things to do with my time than to analyze this political rhetoric.  I am however glad that Jim has the time.  We need people who make a point and make sense in their responses to my postings to weigh in every now and then.  On a lighter note I find this whole thing to be very funny and quite laughable, one would think we’re living in Chicago.

The next email I have chosen to share is from someone who sent it to me anonymously.  The irony.

you reveal not only your slanderous character but your allegiance to Ward’s gang when you promote the hoax concerning the Boone county board-(sic)

Ouch, now that hurts.  My slanderous character, do you even know what that means?  I have not said or done anything other than state my opinion, for which I am entitled.  So whoever you are that wrote me this email, you have a choice not to come to my blog if you don’t like what I say.  In fact that goes for anyone of you.  Stop coming to my blog if you don’t like it.  I could care less.  But you keep coming back don’t you?  You want to know what I will say next.  You want to know who I will say it about.  You want to know because you secretly say it and you’re glad someone is putting it out there.  The numbers don’t lie folks and I get a lot of visits to my site.

Now as for Ward, I have no allegiance for her.  I have yet to see anything good she has done for the County.  In fact I am very disappointed in both parties right now.  Very disappointed indeed.

Now this last email I have chosen is from Terry Glass.  Now I have not met her personally nor have I figured out what she contributes to the community, she is another one that I will use my favorite saying on; you don’t have to yell to be heard, you have to improve you argument.

Here are my questions

1. Why is Hursh mentioned? He doesn’t hold office anymore.

Who cares why Hursh is mentioned and I am happy as hell he doesn’t hold office anymore.  Aren’t you?

2. I love the fact that certain departments are specified; sheriff, county clerk, treasurer, circuit clerk, probation and other ignored- States Attorney, administration, etc.

Is there a question in there somewhere?

3. Hasn’t anyone asked why Dini is being pushed for the Board of Review?

No, who cares.  In my opinion, he can’t be trusted either.  None of them can.  That includes you.

4. Isn’t it pathetic that the Republicans are so desperate they are begging the Democrats for help?

It’s almost as pathetic as the Democrats not being able to find one person to run against Fred Brereton or Ron Wait and win.

5. I know there are many who will refuse to believe that such a memo could have been written in Boone County. But instead of asking WHY it was written or who would benefit, we are more focused on who wrote it.

Well duh, if we knew who wrote it then we would know why it was written and who would benefit.  Did you even read what you wrote to me?

Ask yourself the tough question…. Had this memo not been made public WHO would have benefited? WHY did someone feel the need to put this down on paper? Does this make certain people look bad… sure it does, but only if it’s really how people think. And if that is how some of our elected officials think maybe we need to make them look for a new job.

I’m sorry I thought you said tough and question as in one.  Oh well, what was I expecting anyway?

First question, who knows.  Second question, because people are stupid. Third statement, of course it is at least how one person thinks, they wrote it down.  Seriously……..

Yes I agree with you Terri, it is time for every elected official to find a new job.  In my opinion, they are not doing a very good job here in the County of Boone.

I am looking forward to finding out what the rest of you think so feel free to respond.  I will also be posting what I think of the redevelopment project on the river.

Your Faithful Servant

Silence Dogood

Hoax or Truth, You Decide

Good Evening Folks,

Here is a piece of information that was forwarded to me perhaps with the hope that I might be able to discover the truth. I ask my readers to decide if this is a hoax or what is going on here. This could be very serious if proven to be more than a hoax.

Let me know what you decide.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

6-22-2009_13234_PM bcboard

Well said Jennifer

Hello there Silence! I thought you may find this interesting. I feel Belvidere could benefit by considering some of these opinions…


Jennifer Riley


Thank you for the article it was great to read and I agree 100% with you and the article.

Your Faithful Servant,


Did you miss me?

While I was MIA I did take notice of a few things around town.  For example we have another tattoo parlor in our downtown.  That’s great, how many does that make now?  If I am not mistaken I think it makes FOUR.  So for those of you who have had to stand in line and wait, this should help.

I also noticed that the old Huddle location was turning into a used car lot.  Gee I am so glad we didn’t have Walgreen’s open up there, in my opinion it would have made the neighborhood look so much worse.  I am glad that we have a city council that nips capitalism in the bud.  Take a look for yourself.

huddle 2

Now here is what we could have had…. Take notice of the landscaping

Walgreens 3

Maybe this will open up across the street!!!!!

Doesn’t this mural look better without the banner hanging in front of it?

corner mural

Can anyone at the City from the planning department explain how this happened?

Style House 2

Just somethings to think about while I prepare my next post.  I really wish they wouldn’t make it so easy for me.  I would much rather be challenged but…….

Your Faithful Servant,


And introducing our newest Alderman, as always the entertainer….

Is this Puttin on the Ritz or The Mayor at City Council Monday night introducing our newest Alderman?

That is the long version of seven minutes, but if you don’t have that much time here is the shorter two minute version.

Read below for more information on Monday night’s Council meeting.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Morris does not disappoint


I went to the Council meeting on Monday night for pure entertainment and I was not disappointed.  I think we now have another person at the table who doesn’t have a clue about what is going on in our town.  Was there not a meeting with the Mayor and Department Heads prior to Monday night?  Do we need another person sitting blindly at the table making decisions for our future?

In my attempt to control my laughter I overheard some conversation back and forth between the Alderman over the issues at hand and I am amazed still that no one takes the time to read their packets and to keep informed.  That is what we pay them for right?  Do we have to pay them and spoon feed them too?  The salary for the Aldermen should be based on how many years you have been there and the effort you put forth.  That’s how most businesses run right.? How about creating value for your position.  You get paid for your worth.  In my opinion we would be paying very little then and should be able to save some money.

Just because it’s the City doesn’t mean anything.  It’s a business when you are trying to balance a budget, and Belvidere has a small budget.  Department stores have bigger budgets.   They get paid from the general fund and they need to work harder.  Hell they worked the hardest at writing letters to the paper asking for votes.

I am not the only one who feels this way.  I am sure that I am the most critical and rightly so, it annoys me so that there isn’t even so much as a dress code for alderman.  Watch them sitting in their chairs, you will see one of them nod off, others rocking back and forth and the rest looking in the air or at papers for the first time while someone is standing at the podium.  Watch and witness how disrespectful they are, I think, as a concerned citizen is talking to them, or when someone is giving a report.  They are reading their packets that they just picked up and scrambling to catch up.

Here is my solution to the problem; all chairs must be removed at once and the entire administration will  have to stand at the meetings.  Watch and see how fast things get done then.  Next, pay them based on performance from a city wide level, how well they keep informed and participate at council for the betterment of Belvidere.  Pay them based on what their constituents say about them and the work they have done for the ward they represent.  Lastly, for now, instill a dress code.  I will come up with more solutions.  If my tax dollars are paying for their salaries then I want them to work and dress in a professional manner.

Here is an email I received from a concerned citizens who was just as unhappy as I while attending the Council Meeting on Monday night.  I think her concerns are very valid and I hope that this administration shapes up quickly.  They made a lot of promises and we in Belvidere want some implementation of those promises.

Dear Silence,

I can’t begin to share my extreme disgust felt at the Monday night’s council meeting.  A faithful attendee of City Council meetings, I have been wondering when the new alderman would start attending- would he wait until he was on the payroll? Or attempt to be ready to work by being informed at his first meeting?

I shouldn’t be surprised by the answer- he waited until he was on the payroll-as I mention this, and now the election is over, so I am not mud slinging, those dedicated individuals that were asking for votes?  Most of them have yet to witness a council meeting!  Needless to say, the new alderman was essentially clueless to the matters at hand, and possibly to those matters being discussed-does he not even read the newspaper????

Furthermore, although I do not agree with the whole swine flu chaos- do you think somebody could’ve questioned whether swine flu had anything to do with potbellies before they gave their okay for them to live in town?  Belvidere, quite the comedy….. can post this-

Jennifer Riley

If anyone else feels the same I would love to hear from you.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Clever Name or Concerned Citizen

I have been walking around downtown and taking pictures for some time now.  I am fed up with the lack of enforcement from this administration and the fact that nothing is being done about certain things that clearly go against the ordinances.

If I am wrong tell me it’s ok, sometimes I am, put me in my place but fix the ordinance.  Take the time to put the correct ordinance on line.  Stop being lazy do your job.

I most recently took some pictures of a salon downtown to show that if our ordinance states that you can not use primary colors and red is a primary color, you can’t use black but we have a black awning then what message are you sending to people.

I received an email from ANNIE MOSSITY and she said to me that the canopy was put up without a permit, staff is reviewing the new canopy for compliance right now.  Due to a massive amendment of the downtown overlay district last year, those colors are now permitted.

If that is the case then why is the massive amendment for the downtown overlay district not out there for us to see?  Where is that amendment when you go to the City’s website and try to fumble through the code?

By definition massive means (huge, enormous, gigantic, colossal and so on) but don’t insult me or my readers by suggesting that the current administration has the ability to do anything on a scale of massive.  Are you kidding me?

I will give you props for a clever name but that’s it.

So this leads me to another point, the budget didn’t come in as expected so changes have to be made.  In reading on line from the Rockford Register Star I found this paragraph that helps me prove what my whole blog is about.

A decline in sales tax revenue and slowdown in growth helped contribute to the deficit. A lack of residential and commercial growth over the past year led to building department revenues falling about $346,800 under expectations budgeted for a year ago.

This administration makes you jump through so many hoops to open a business that no one wants to do it.  Everyone always talks about how they would love to have less “chains” and more of the smaller mom and pop stores open and especially in our downtown.  Unfortunately though, with all the crap you have to go through to open a business here it’s only the “chains” that can survive long enough to do that.  No one wants to open a business here, much less move here.  They are hassled too much.  We need less government and more free market here.

Permit, no permit, you can have that color but you can’t have that color.  We have too many restrictions and hoops.  We are not business friendly.  However, is it too much to ask for consistency since we can’t dictate good taste?  Is it too much to ask for to have the tobacco store follow the rules of the amount of coverage on their window?  Or does the new massive amendment allow for that now too.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Check out what the Rockford Register Star is reporting


Two Boone County candidates who lost by narrow margins have filed their official requests for a recount.

Belvidere mayoral candidate Karen Schrader and Belvidere Township Assessor Bob Falkenstein each turned in their petitions for a discovery recount Tuesday afternoon, Boone County Clerk Pam McCullough said.

Mayor Fred Brereton defeated Schrader by 13 votes. Falkenstein, the assessor for the past 16 years, lost by two votes to Democrat Diann Helnore.

The recount request does not change the official results of the election, but is a discovery tool for candidates to attempt to have a court overturn the election.

Candidates by law can request 25 percent of the precincts to be recounted. Belvidere has 18 total precincts and Belvidere Township 22.

Schrader requested that precincts 9, 12, 17 and Flora 1 be recounted.

Falkenstein asked for 8, 12, 15, 16 and 17 recounted.

The time and date of the recount has not yet been scheduled.

School Board candidate Cristina Gloria, who trailed by nine votes to Board President Dick Van Evera, said she will likely no longer seek a recount. Gloria originally said she would ask for a recount but since has decided to focus her time and energy on “something that is productive and what achieves my goals, which is to help out people,” she said.

Check back at for more.

Staff writer Kevin Haas can be reached at 815-544-3452 or

Is Steve Schabacker Blind?

Can someone please explain to me how this can be allowed?  You take down one awning to put up one that looks worse and still has all the colors that you are not suppose to use according to our sign ordinance.



I want to know what our newly re-elected Mayor is going to do about this.  I want to know what the Plan Commissions is going to do about this.  I want to know what our City Council is going to do about this since they care so much about us and our downtown.  If the City wants the North side of State Street to look like the South side of Chicago then re-write the sign ordinance, if not then enforce the ordinance we have now.    At the very least is it too much to ask to use a frame that fits the window.   Isn’t that the same awning they used on their old business.  I always thought that a sign or awning permit was not transferable.

I guess the Mayor is still recovering from that close election and that is why he hasn’t done anything about this or ask his code enforcer to do anything about it.  I would hate to think that I voted for the wrong person

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

I’m Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well Good Evening to all,

Please forgive my absence as I was having trouble and had to trade in my old computer for a new one.

Have no fear I am back and I have some more pictures to share with all of you.

I am so thrilled to see that the awning came down on the You and Me Beauty Salon.  I at one time showed this picture in hopes someone would do something about it, but also to show how there is a huge lack of enforcement down at city hall.

So, let us see if we can get the paid employees to continue to do their job.

First we shall review.



AFTER (oh how I love the power of the internet)



Can someone please let me know what is wrong with the next two pictures?  Does it really matter if the signs are on the inside or outside of the window?  I think not.  It doesn’t change the look of the window.  It still looks bad.  When is someone going to do something about this?


What about this picture?  How long is a banner allowed to stay up, or do we call this a temporary sign?  Maybe it is considered an off premise sign.  Who knows, who cares?  I care, it looks terrible and sends a bad message to potential customers to our downtown.  Do not park here, it is for me and my customers only. Is a banner needed for that?  I would think that the signs on the building might be enough.  Don’t misunderstand me, I think they look bad too, however it is less obtrusive to the eye.  The signs on the building in my opinion hurt the Mural.  Why don’t people work together downtown?

I think the banner adds so much to the Mural as well.


Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

I am not the only one who thought too close for comfort?

That was a very close race for several people.  How many people are in this town and how many took the time to vote? Are the citizens that dis-enchanted with our government that they just gave up and don’t care anymore?

I feel bad for the citizens of ward one.  But wait, who needs Obama we have Morris, he will be our Messiah!

If nothing else it will provide for more entertainment at council.  15 votes separated Brereton and Schrader.  My My, I bet the Mayor was sweating bullets last night.  However, I am glad he won, I stand by what I said.  I do not think Karen has the education or the experience  to help us in this times. I think she would have set us back at least 10 years.  It is comforting to know that she had one “ok”comment in this mornings paper.  “He knows now he’s got to shape up.”   Is that even English, but none the less I think he realizes that.

I am so relieved that Peterson did not get elected.

10 votes separated Chamberlain and Anderson and again that is really to close for comfort.  I received this email this morning how interesting is this.  I will let you decide.


Can you please post my email and you may use my name.  I visit your blog but stayed away from writing to you thus far.   Several people actually think I am you and they can continue to think that as far as I am concerned.  I am flattered that people think I am you and I hope you don’t mind either.  Keep up the good work, and I will continue to visit your site.

I had trouble at my polling station and I am curious to know if anyone else did either.  I sent a email to the Mayor, and the current Alderman of Ward 3 and 4 where the error was happening. I live in Ward 3 but was given a Ward 4 ballot.

(More for just you Silence) I was disappointed that you did not have a picture of the banner that hangs up in the parking lot downtown for the dental patients parking.  Isn’t there some kind of law that prevents that?  Or isn’t there a time limit?  That and the store downtown that sells the tobacco and supplies.  It looks horrible and I don’t understand the difference between a sign being on the inside or outside of a window.  Esthetically it changes nothing, still looks bad.

Good Afternoon,

This morning I went to vote at the Church on the corner of Main & East Lincoln.  I am in the 3rd Ward.  I have an Alderman, Mike Chamberlain, who is up for re-election.

When I went to my polling station I was given a Ward 4 Ballot.  When I reached the section of Alderman was when I noticed the error.  I knew I should have had 2 Choices.  Mike Chamberlain and Laurie Anderson.  Instead There were 3 choices, Jason Sewell, George Crawford and Jennifer Riley.

I took my form uncompleted to the table and informed the volunteers that I was given the wrong form.  I need to be voting for a ward 3 Alderman.  They all looked confused and I tried to explain that I lived on the river side of East Lincoln and I am in Ward 3 not 4.  (However there are a few ward 4 signs on my side of the street)

They explained to me that this was the first year they were given 2 different ballots but either way I was supposed to have form 5.  Upon further questioning one of the ladies came around the table took me back to my booth to explain to me that if I didn’t know any of the candidates in ward 4 then I just skip that section.  I explained to her that I know all of the people on the ballot for ward 4 but that I wanted to vote for the Alderman that covers the ward I lived in.  Another women then said since she didn’t know what to do there was nothing she could do.

I am not sure who I forward this information to and I realize that this only effects so many houses on that one block when that boundary was changed a few years back.  I just think it would be awful  for someone to win/lose in Ward 4 or someone to lose/win in Ward 3 because people are not getting the right ballot.  After a while they found the right ballot for me but if there is someone out there who doesn’t even know who their Alderman is and is voting the wrong ballot things might not turn out.

I very well could be the only one this happened too and I hope that to be the case.  It only covers that one block and who knows how many people will vote today but I thought it worth mentioning and if anyone knows where this email should really be sent then please forward it to me or provide me a number so that I might call to report the error.

Thanks so much,

Tami Brodnicki

PS –

I received an email back from Mayor Brereton saying that he would forward this to the correct person and I am sure he did, he has always done so in the past for me.  I heard nothing from Chamberlain nor Crawford which does not suprise me.  Why should they start to do anything now?

Thank you for the notice Ms. Brodnicki.   I have more photos that will soon be posted and I am glad other people are noticing as well.

It does not surprise me about Crawford or Chamberlain either.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Let your voice be heard by voting today

Afternoon reminder –

Please go and exercise your right to vote

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Some changes are needed and others are not

Good Morning all –

We have one day before we exercise one of our greatest constitutional rights. I say that because so many people choose not to vote and I truly don’t understand why.

One of the most vital ways that (we the people) can influence governmental decision making is through voting. Small community elections are just as essential to individual participation in government.

I encourage all of you to go out and let your voices be heard. Make a decision and stand by it, for better or worse. For myself, it will come down to several issues and I am going through all of the candidates to figure out who is doing the best at telling us what we want to hear or what they can do for us. I think the candidates get that mixed up.

For Mayor we have the incumbent Fred Brereton and his challenger Karen Schrader. I did not support either of these two candidates from the beginning, but now I must choose one of them. I have questioned both of their records as I have not been impressed by either and what they say they have or can accomplish.

For this race I am choosing who I believe is the lesser of two evils. I find myself in complete dis-belief that someone can even continue to show their face in public after suggesting the Police Department have a BAKE SALE for funding and then not show up for a debate. I am very disappointed in that. Should Karen receive any votes after those tactics ?  I don’t think so, but, you will have to make that decision for yourself when you enter the voting booth.

Karen has been saying for sometime we need change. That’s great, but she does not represent change.  I think she represents the same. Here’s the thing, how can Karen state that our current Mayor does things without the public knowing and that there is no transparency in his actions and he lets friends and developers guide him in his decision making process. I am asking that because it looks like she is doing the same, correct? When she has meetings with Rory Peterson, Clint Morris and Mark Sanderson isn’t she forming her alliances and getting her friends to be on council? How is that change? I think she is aligning herself with people who will vote the way she wants them to vote and again I ask if that is change.

She says Fred cares more about the developers than the citizens but isn’t she acting the same ?  Instead of developers, it’s the Fire Department? Is that change or is that the same? I’m confused. Did everyone get a chance to look at the debate that no one knew about, is that change?  If you’re so in favor of transparency wouldn’t there have been an ad for a few weeks about something as important as the Mayoral Debate? Shouldn’t the citizens of Belvidere (the ones you care so much about) have a chance to ask you questions? Maybe that is the change she is talking about.

Maybe someone can write to me and give me Karen’s definition of change because the way I see it at present, it is just a moronic statement.

Just try to remember this quote by Arnold Glasgow: One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. I don’t think Schrader has that ability. Do you?

Over the weekend I was given a paper from the Mayor himself that was refuting everything that Karen, Rory and Clint have been saying. Hmm, everyone has a sign, flyer, and paper, my goodness. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone running for office worked this hard the whole time they were in office? Imagine what our community would be if that were the case with the County, Township and City.

Fred has his own paper, Brereton Daily Republican; it’s almost as silly as Patrick Murphy driving around in his SUV with his name and title of Township Supervisor on it. Why doesn’t Murphy just wear a jumpsuit like NASCAR drivers so we can see who his corporate sponsors are?

Anyway the paper was very interesting though. Here are my concerns.

I don’t think that the council works as a team. He states that being an Alderman is not as easy as one might think. If that is the case then why aren’t their standards or some kind of evaluation for the Alderman position instead of just an election every 4 years? They are getting pay raises and it seems to me that they should be deserved, that they do things in order to get a raise just like the rest of us. When I go to council meetings and I overhear an Alderman telling another Alderman that they haven’t even looked at the weekly agenda packet yet, well that  is a big problem to me. Then I have seen time after time where they Alderman are getting some item placed, that night, in front of them and are expected to vote on it. I have heard Alderman say that practice has to stop and yet here we are. The chairs need to be removed from the Council Chambers so everyone on Council and the City Staff will have to stand during the entire meeting and then I bet that things will start to happen. Right now they lean back,  fall asleep and rock back and forth, unless that is working as a team.

I am still looking into the whole Mural process. The minutes from the BCAC state that there has been discussions between the Arts Council and the Mayors office to have the City take over the Murals to help with the Maintenance (cost and logistics). It also states that several months in a row  the City Manager is still looking into how to have the city take over the copyrights and not have new owners of buildings be able to just paint over them. So when the Mayors states that, (he inherited 10 murals), I am not sure about that. I will let you know how my investigation is going as I gather more information.

Lastly I think he should have mentioned in his paper the Buchanan Street project and everything good it has accomplished for the rest of the downtown.

At the end of the day I will be voting for Brereton. I don’t think Schrader has the experience nor the education for the job. We, as the voters, are the CEO’s of Belvidere and we need to hire the most qualified person for the job. We have two people to choose from and the choice is clear. This process shouldn’t be any different than hiring a person to run your company. If you were the Human Resources department you would be doing reference checks, background checks, credit checks and everything else to make sure you hire the correct person for the job. Voting for a Mayor should be no different.

On to the letters to the Boone County Journal and those lovely ads from those who want our vote.

As soon as you turn to page 2 there is a letter from Kim Larson saying that as a Republican Precinct Committee man of 20 years he is disappointed with Fred’s work? Does he really believe Schrader can do a better job though? Really? Really? Seriously? Really? WOW! Also on the same page is Re-Elect Mark Sanderson who has been a Alderman for 12 years. Isn’t that the same amount of time that Fred has been Mayor? How long has Andy Racz been in office? My point is that all the problems (no matter how little I personally care for Brereton) is not all one person’s fault.

The problem I have with the 19% unemployment rate is this: Aren’t these numbers skewed just a wee bit lad? I mean every time Chrysler has a lay off for even a week those numbers get counted in the over all picture of things. So is Brereton to blame for Chrysler making crap cars that no one wants to buy? Hardly, the cars are not what the public wants. Larson makes some great points about Brereton but at the end of the day Schrader, in my opinion, is still not qualified for the job.

So if you are one of those people who say/think that we need change then you wouldn’t be re-electing Sanderson who has been in office for 12 years. You would be electing Jessica Muellner if you lived in Ward 5. Now I have never met Jessica and I do not vote the democratic ticket. I wish there was a true Libertarian out there running. But if you look at what Jessica says she wants to hold developers accountable but not punish them before they get to the table. Basic economics teaches us that there is a way to do both. Something I don’t think Schrader or Sanderson know how to do. I think what I like the most is, she is the only one talking green and sustainability in her ads. That is important and we need to continue on that track.

Ward 1 has David Deckert running for re-election. Now I think David has put forth a great effort and was always on the rear of Brereton to get the hospital to come back to town. I think that has been his whole platform and good for him. He went after something and he got it. But I also think he needs to quit crying over the stolen signs, and writing letters about it. Stick to writing letters that are important to the whole community. If you want to write a letter complaining that your signs got stolen than you had better be prepared to write letters for every person in your ward that think they have something important to write about. It works both ways and if you are truly a public servant than why does it seem that the only time you get fired up, or work really hard is during the election process? The question applies to every person running for office. I don’t think that David really has too much to worry about. I think we can all agree that we do not want Clint back in office. He had his chance and was not re-elected once before. We are moving forward and there is no reason to all of a sudden take (well I would normally say 2 steps backward) but it would be more like 20 steps if he were to get back in office in my opinion.

Ward 2 has Rory Peterson challenging Robert Bowley. Should I continue? Of course I should. Is anyone out there now wishing that Wise had not resigned? Rory has been talking up a storm in the papers for two years and if I can say just one thing, you do not have to yell the loudest to be heard; you need to improve your argument. Something I don’t think he can do, because when it comes right down to it, it comes down to the firefighters for him and Schrader. Not the citizens.

If you live in Ward 3, well, I think I have been crystal clear about my opinion of Mike Chamberlain. I’m surprised he isn’t taking credit for the internet as well, I mean why not. I haven’t seen any ads about his opponent Laurie Anderson other than what the RR Star wrote, and that she works in Wisconsin at Lowes. I hope she wins that one.

Ward 4 I see that we have George Crawford running for another term and I don’t know why. I don’t think he has done anything in his first term let alone in his position as the Republican Chairman. Next you have Jennifer Riley and Jason Sewell. Well for me Jason is out because he supports Karen Schrader. That is sad because he has a good looking resume and seems to have a good business background. However that being said, it isn’t worth much if you have all of that business education and then support Schrader. Is that smart for Belvidere? I don’t think so. So we have to decide between Riley and Crawford. Riley stated in her ad that she volunteers on a regular basis for numerous things and goes to City Council on a regular basis. Well I am on the road 5 out of 7 days a week. I fly weekly on airplanes but it doesn’t mean I can be the pilot. I eat out 4 days a week at pretty good restaurants. That doesn’t make me capable of being Head Chef. I go to movies every weekend but I couldn’t be an Actor.

Why can’t anyone just say, this is what is wrong, this is why it is wrong, here’s the proof, and here are the consequences because of it. This is the correct way to fix it and I will tell you how to do it, along those lines. In the end though, George had his chance and basically I don’t think he did much, so I would have to give Riley the shot. I think he should have at least worked as hard as Deckert and I don’t think he has.

So if I was able to vote and have my way I would keep Brereton in office, re-elect Deckert for Ward 1, re-elect Bowley for Ward 2, elect newcomer Laurie Anderson for Ward 3, elect newcomer Jennifer Riley for Ward 4, and elect newcomer Jessica Muellner for Ward 5.

Remember an Alderman is just as good or just as bad as the leader over him.

I would not vote for Patrick Murphy for Township Supervisor and I would go with friend blogger Bill Pysson for his picks on School Board and County Board.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood



Public Servants of Belvidere — Reject Selfish Compensation

Hello Council Members

Cast those silly notions aside, and embrace a new and more open culture.

We’ve no politicians in Belvidere, Illinois.  We’ve no career bureaucrats, either.  They’re all public servants.  Ask them, and they’ll be happy to tell you as much.  I’ll take them at their word – they (like the Vulcans from Star Trek) have “come to serve.”  We are fortunate for it.

They have surely noticed what others have, too – that America sinks in recession, groans under increasing public expenditures, all with no end in sight.  Only a few miles away, Rockford sinks into something worse than mere recession; her number of unemployed grows each day.  Much was made of the benefits of being in her orbit in better times; in these difficult times, one might guess our prospects, like hers, are darker.

Let’s be clear, and set aside the euphemisms of well-fed, white-collar politicians and career bureaucrats, that we have ‘difficulties,’ ‘challenges,’ &c.  No we don’t.  We have jobless residents, destitute neighbors, and hungry and frightened fellow citizens.  Not far away, in some vulgar hovel, but here, in the ‘City of Murals of the Midwest.’  Here, in this city, of this state, of this beautiful republic.

All the preening, false humility, and showy processions change nothing of our fellow residents’ condition.   And yet, our City Council comes to serve.

I have a modest proposal, seemingly small, but principled:

Renounce compensation for service while holding elective office in Belvidere.  Take none of it for yourselves.  Confer it, completely and transparently, to those in need.

These are not times in which those who represent Belvidere should take even a penny in compensation from this community.  If it’s an honor to serve – and it is – and one hears it from our politicians often – then it should be a true, unpaid honor, under the increasing unemployment, hunger, and poverty of our city.

Lincoln was right, considering an even more sinister circumstance – one should not wring bread from the sweat of other men’s faces.

Service needs no compensation, no stipend, and no ersatz retirement check.  Reject it all – in doing so, our political class will have embraced a truly principled and fair service

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

‘Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace’

While most government watchdogs are watching Washington or the statehouse, who’s watching the courthouse and city hall? This site is intended to give you an example of just what sort of chicanery goes on with your local tax dollars.

The motto of the Cato Institute is composed of three principles: ‘Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace.’ I cannot think of a better set of political principles. The Cato website offers more, in explanation:

Today, those who subscribe to the principles of the American Revolution-individual liberty, limited government, the free market, and the rule of law-call themselves by a variety of terms, including conservative, libertarian, classical liberal, and liberal. We see problems with all of those terms. “Conservative” smacks of an unwillingness to change, of a desire to preserve the status quo. Only in America do people seem to refer to free-market capitalism-the most progressive, dynamic, and ever-changing system the world has ever known-as conservative. Additionally, many contemporary American conservatives favor state intervention in some areas, most notably in trade and into our private lives.

“Classical liberal” is a bit closer to the mark, but the word “classical” connotes a backward-looking philosophy.

Finally, “liberal” may well be the perfect word in most of the world-the liberals in societies from China to Iran to South Africa to Argentina are supporters of human rights and free markets-but its meaning has clearly been corrupted by contemporary American liberals.

The Jeffersonian philosophy that animates Cato’s work has increasingly come to be called “libertarianism” or “market liberalism.” It combines an appreciation for entrepreneurship, the market process, and lower taxes with strict respect for civil liberties and skepticism about the benefits of both the welfare state and foreign military adventurism.

The market-liberal vision brings the wisdom of the American Founders to bear on the problems of today. As did the Founders, it looks to the future with optimism and excitement, eager to discover what great things women and men will do in the coming century. Market liberals appreciate the complexity of a great society; they recognize that socialism and government planning are just too clumsy for the modern world. It is-or used to be-the conventional wisdom that a more complex society needs more government, but the truth is just the opposite. The simpler the society, the less damage government planning does. Planning is cumbersome in an agricultural society, costly in an industrial economy, and impossible in the information age. Today collectivism and planning are outmoded and backward, a drag on social progress.

Market liberals have a cosmopolitan, inclusive vision for society. We reject the bashing of gays, China, rich people, and immigrants that contemporary liberals and conservatives seem to think addresses society’s problems. We applaud the liberation of blacks and women from the statist restrictions that for so long kept them out of the economic mainstream. Our greatest challenge today is to extend the promise of political freedom and economic opportunity to those who are still denied it, in our own country and around the world.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood



Karen Schrader sends out a flyer that states People not Politics.

Front page is a CONTRACT WITH BELVIDERE My first year as Mayor.

My First question is why didn’t you bring any of these ideas to the table when you were an Alderman?  Not that I agree with you, I’m just curious. Do you really think we are stupid enough to believe that you can do all of this in your first year?  I think most of your first year, if by shear chance you’re elected, will consist of you learning how to be Mayor.

So you will lead the Council to end the utility tax.  I wonder what Mayoral candidate you heard that from.  If you stop the utility tax can you tell me how you will generate enough revenue to fix the roads?  Is it going to come from the developers that you are going to restrict and over charge so they won’t develop in Belvidere?  Oh, I have an idea.  Let’s have a BAKE SALE.  Oh goody, can we have a silent auction too?  Maybe everyone in the whole town should take a 25% decrease in pay.  After all we are the creators of our own problems are we not?  We all need to be accountable for our actions.  Instead of the decrease going to a charity we can throw a party to host the BAKE SALE and fund the projects that still need to be completed by the silent auction.  I think I am really on to something here.  Basically I think what Karen is saying is that Belvidere will have no taxes because the public will never approve taxes.  Wow!  A lot of promises are being made with no clear plan on how she will accomplish them.  Sunset clauses never work by the way.  Nice dream though.

Next you state that you will stop spending money we don’t have.  Of course you will have to do that.  I don’t think you will be generating any new monies coming in so you will have no choice but to do that.  A brownie at a BAKE SALE only brings in 50 cents these days.  Your contract says prudently and common sense is how you will do things.  I didn’t even see you answer any question in the secret debate on March 19.  You avoided more questions than Obama.  You certainly ducked a few questions when asked about layoffs and how you would balance the budget.  In my opinion, you looked like you had no idea what you were talking about.  I find it very odd that you are always talking about transparency and openness and yet there you stood in an elementary style secret debate that only a few in the city knew about.  Are you the kettle or the pot today?  I did enjoy watching you tell the community what you would like to see but you had no idea how to do it or how to pay for it.  Priceless.

I hope I am reading the next bullet point correctly but I don’t think I am.  You say you won’t jeopardize my trust by spending money that personally benefits you or your interest.  You lost my trust the morning I saw you, Rory, and Sanderson sitting together at the Steam Plant.  You lost my trust when you stated at a PROFESSIONAL DEBATE (questionable) that you didn’t know how the police department would raise money outside other than perhaps a BAKE SALE or something.  Remember the Health Department might charge a fee for that unless it is prepackaged. Can you get that fee waived?  Will I have to charge sales tax?  Can you get that waived?  I also can’t have peanuts or chocolate.

Against Home Rule – I did a search to find communities within a 25 mile radius of Belvidere that has home rule.  I suggest you (the reader) do the same.  That will be the only way you get the correct information on what Home Rule really is.  In my opinion I don’t think Karen can explain it to you.  Who wants to take the bet that if Karen is elected Mayor she will go to home rule.  I think she will because it will be the only way she can pay for anything that needs to be accomplished.  But my search online lead me to the town of Sycamore being the closest Home Rule community with Loves Park right behind.

Take a look at this website:

I agree about the separation of the PSB building, I do not agree on the location.  I think we need a Police and Fire Station right downtown.   But we all know all Karen feels about the downtown.  She has made that perfectly clear.  My next question to Karen is have you ever asked the merchants on Buchanan Street what they think of the improvements?  Have you asked the merchants what it has done for their business?   Walk across the street and ask the Boone County Journal if that improvement had anything to do with their decision to move downtown.  Then ask the Journal how much they invested in their current location.  Do you even know the meaning of Public Private Partnership?  The City invests money then the private sector money comes on board.  That’s what you call a win win Karen.  That’s a huge ROI.  Return on Investment.

Look for more on Karen Schrader, Fred Brereton and the March 19, 2009 Debate over the next few days.  I will upload the debate video later today.  If you would like to go to you can also see it.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Some much needed humor


Round 2

My opinion on the letters to the editor from the March 20, 2009 edition of the Boone County Journal…

Well said Mr. Ainley and I for one am glad that you are going door to door.  I am growing very tired of looking at all of these signs.  On the rest of his campaign letter I think that there is no need to mention how long you have lived here.  Twenty years, five years or two months makes no difference.  We all have a vested interest in our community and I think that the time is here to get over the stigma of where you were born and how long you have lived here.  I thought History was a required course.  Isn’t that the foundation of America, we are the melting pot of the world?  Isn’t that why we are the greatest nation on earth?

I would also like to see some of these candidates explain the slogan Unrestrained Growth.  Is that supposed to be the opposite of Smart Growth?  I want one of the candidates to give details on what they would do to generate money. It’s all fine and well to walk up and down the street, show up at city council and write letters to the newspaper complaining about the growth in town but when is someone going to enlighten us on how they (the complainers) would generate revenue for our community.  Where are the plans?  How do you think you can keep our taxes lower by imposing stricter restrictions on any kind of development?  Does anyone out there at all understand what I am saying?  If the developers stop coming here how are you going to generate money for our community?  Why is it that everyone is telling us what we don’t need more of but they won’t tell us their plan?  Oh just that their plan is to stop growth by having stricter rules.  Have you taken a look around town, do you live here, is there any enforcement of rules with the ordinances now?

The next letter I want to address is a letter written by Jennifer Riley asking for help with the upcoming Fourth of July celebration.  It is a very important holiday to celebrate and certainly the Mural Mile Association and Heritage Days need your funding and your volunteer support.

The letter states; last year due to the great efforts of the Mural Mile Association and the Heritage Days Committee and some very dedicated community and local business people, Heritage Days was expanded to a 3 day festival that offered a wide range of activities, which were well attended and enjoyed by all. The letter goes on to say that we feel that this year, more than ever before, our community deserves a family friendly, affordable weekend of fun and entertainment that is in their downtown area.

Now I bring this up not because I don’t feel that there is value in special events and volunteers, because in my opinion  that is the best way to market your community.  I bring this up because I received several emails from committee members and people who volunteered for a festival we used to have in our downtown called the Wheels Fest/Heritage Days.  The emails expressed a lot of anger at Ms. Riley’s lack of knowledge at attempts by other individuals who put years of volunteering into growing a festival that started in a parking lot, with a great car show, then elevated to Doty Park and became a 3 day festival several, several years ago.  One e-mail in particular noted that it was at the Mayor’s request that the two organizations (Wheels Fest Committee/Heritage Days)  merge.  Wheels Fest would be on Saturday (car show, beer tent, bands, free admission to Historic Museum with kids actives in front).  Heritage Days would remain on Sunday (fireworks show, kids activities and bands).  Another email explained to me that it was the Car Show organizers that ran the beer tent on Friday night when it became a three day event.  Lastly and most disturbing was an email from a young women that said she was going to vote for Ms. Riley until she wrote that letter.  The young women was terribly upset at the fact that Ms. Riley had just insulted all of those people (volunteers) and everything they tried to do for this community.  How dare she act like her group did something special after the foundation was laid, (I had to re-word that sentence, as I couldn’t possibly type all of those naughty words that she wrote).  She ended her letter with this comment; Jennifer should get her facts straight before she starts spouting off about something she knows nothing about and stop belittling the volunteers that worked for more than a week straight each year in the set up process alone to make a good time for all in the downtown.

Needless to say that my efforts to find out if there was a previous 3-day event in the downtown confirmed that there was a 3 day celebration downtown long before the Mural Mile Association was formed and that over 100 volunteers a year helped with that celebration.

For a fellow Blogger (Pill Pysson) whose blog I enjoy reading and even though we don’t agree on most things, I think he was given a raw deal and it reeks with favoritism so I quite enjoyed his letter.

Regarding the letter Ed Fabish wrote, well I agree with that one as well.  Yes, I know it’s surprising because it now makes two times that Ed and I agree.  I just wish that Ed had more people on his side for the whole Walgreen’s business coming to town.  But I guess we should all get used to just looking at the old Huddle because again this is what our whole town will look like if Schrader, Morris, and Peterson are elected.  Get ready folks, and be prepared to vote to save our town.

Last one for today, I promise.  Jason Sewell I will tell you the same thing I told Dave Deckert, SNAP OUT OF IT!!!!  So your signs got stolen, stop blaming your opponents.  Do you really think that blaming your opponents is more grown up than the actual stealing of the sign?  Start walking the beat buddy, signs don’t vote.  This isn’t high school and a popularity contest alright, people vote for you based on past achievements and your character.  So let me be the first to say thank you for showing all of us yours.

And this is who we have running for office.  (Brilliant, just bloody brilliant ) Oh my god we are in trouble.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

My opinion on Letters to the Editor in the March 13 edition of the Boone County Journal

This posting, some will find, to be rather long as I am angered by the continuous letters to the editor through the Boone County Journal.  Week after week Politicians and want to be Politicians, write in with all of their accomplishments and their promises.  However, in the last two papers we have even had a few crybabies because their signs have been stolen.

My first posting will be on the March 13, 2009 edition.  I will then give my opinion on the letters in the March 20, 2009 edition.  Finally I will end with the flyer I found on my front porch from Karen Schrader.  I am ending with Karen because I find it most amusing, and expected nothing less coming from someone I feel is  under educated and only looking out for her family and making promises she can’t keep.

And so it begins…………

I would like to give my opinion on Mike Chamberlain running for re-election of the 3rd Ward.  No thanks! But Chamberlain at least has the decency to throw in a tag word phrase, working as a team, however, it does not take away from the fact that for the most part he shouldn’t be able to be re-elected or take credit for a lot of those things.  Just because you come in on the back end of a project doesn’t mean you get to attach your name to it to further your own political career.  Chamberlain states that he helped prevent inappropriate uses of the old St. Joseph Hospital facility (a food pantry).  You sound like Karen Schrader now, so am I to take it that when you say you want to help people, it’s only as long as they don’t show up in your neighborhood.  That sounds hypocritical, it is very rough out there and people are losing their jobs by the thousands and they need help.  I am curious to know is that what you find inappropriate, a man who can no longer put food on his table because he lost his job and has to rely on the food pantry to help him until he can get back on his feet.  Or is it that you some how see that building being an open air neighborhood center with a little grocery store anchor.  Good luck with that, the longer the building sits it will be harder to restore and if Karen becomes Mayor there will not be a developer who will come within a mile of Belvidere to sit in an open meeting with the public and discuss their plans.  How ridiculous.

He goes on to mention the clean up of Logan Avenue, initiated by the Older Neighborhood Re-Development Committee.  Let me say that I commend those volunteers who took time out of their day to pick up garbage.  However my point is, the committee took a year and a half to get organized enough to do that.  This committee should be creating programs that enable neighborhoods to get grants to help lay sidewalks, write grants, get new lighting, creating the safe environment and walkway as you enter the downtown.  In my opinion since I covered that committee as a freelance writer for the first two years I don’t remember ever seeing Chamberlain at one meeting.

The funniest is the closing of Silver’s reclamation yard along the Kishwaukee River at Main and Meadow.  I nearly choked I was laughing so hard when I read this one.  The closing of that site has been going on for ten plus years, I don’t think Chamberlain had anything to do with it other than vote yes or no when at council.  I am appalled at the mere suggestion of that.  Are you kidding me?

My favorite and what I am most concerned about is the fact that you used your Public Position to Profit.  I am glad that the City of Belvidere believes in and exercises self-development as long as it benefits the tax payer.  You were hired as a consultant to co-create the U of I Institute of Government’s newest leadership curriculum for local government.   Regardless if you are creating more classes to educate other officials the point is that, we the taxpayers, paid for you to go to class and then you turn around and use your PUBLIC POSITION FOR PROFIT.  I would like to know if the city paid for those classes or did you pay for them out of your own pocket.  If that were the case then I would have nothing to write about.  (Before one writes that he will continue to work hard for all of us one must first start)

The next article is in favor of Mark Sanderson.  I remember one day seeing Mark Sanderson, Rory Peterson and Karen Schrader all eating breakfast together at the Steam Plant.  I wonder what they were talking about.  It says in the article that he has been fighting against new subdivision development but also says he has been fighting to keep our tax dollars low by initiating impact fees on builders.  So which is it, I mean how can you collect impact fees if you don’t have builders.  Is he talking about commercial, industrial, or residential development?  Let me see, if he is talking about imposing on just one, say for example commercial, then no development will occur, then there will be no need for residential and we won’t grow.  Hey that sounds great doesn’t it; we can all go back to the 1950’s with Mark, Karen, Clint and Rory in office.  Except our taxes will be more because there will be no development and we, the taxpayers will be stuck paying for everything, far worse than now.

So two alderman up and two alderman get a no vote.  Let’s continue and before I forget am I the only one wondering if Karen, Rory, Clint, Mark and all of the new Independents are meeting somewhere and going over who gets to say what this week.  I mean it’s nothing new; it’s the same ole thing week after week.  It’s kinda sad if you think about it.

The next letter to the editor comes from Dave Deckert, not that he can really tell you anything that he has done for the city.  No, he has been an Alderman for 4 years and this is the only thing he has written about, his missing campaign signs.  Big deal, get over it and start getting angry over things that really matter.  (Hmmmm) like crime, education, jobs or lack of in the area to just name a few.  I would like to thank the people taking the signs if that is the case.  Our community is starting to look a crap hole.  Signs, signs, everywhere a sign, as the song goes. It is beginning to show the tourists how divided we are as a community, that we have no common ground, we just like to fight.  Us against them; the born and raised against the implants.  It’s childish to say the least.  I think Deckert should suck it up, pull up his bootstraps and move on.  Signs don’t vote and it’s a very sad day when we are forced to recognize that the people vote for you based on just seeing your name more than on your record or character.

I was also reading another letter that goes on to say how wonderful it is that Karen, Rory and Clint have come to our rescue.  I wonder if they say a secret pledge at their secret meetings.  Oh my knights in shining armor, be still my beating heart.  Is there anyone else out there that remembers when Rory was Mayor and all of the fighting that went on at City Council.  I seem to recall that Morris took a punch at someone.  Or maybe someone can tell me if he did try to take a punch at Ed Fabish.  Why isn’t anyone talking about all of the fights that went on when Karen, Rory and Clint all sat at the same round table?  Is everyone afraid to bring that up?  Is it not true about the screaming, yelling, swearing, fist throwing fights?  Yeah that’s what we need again; I mean there is nothing like taking one step forward and two steps back.  I am so thrilled that our meetings are on tape now.  Can you image how we will become the laughing stock of the region if those three who I like to refer to as the three stooges are back in on the ice again?  Just one more reason to stay at home the night it comes out on TV.  Maybe we can make it a pay per view show to generate revenue.

As I turned another page I came across to more letters but I found myself in agreement with them.  It’s no big secret that I am not a Brereton fan but when one is left to choose between him and Schrader well then one must go for the lesser of the two evils.  I know what I am getting with Brereton, I don’t know with Schrader and I am too scared to find out.  She has surrounded herself with tools that are not sharpened.

As I read through Jessica Muellner’s ad for candidate for the 5th ward, I find that she is so close to sounding like she knows what she is talking about except for one thing.  There is so much talk about impact fees, this fee, and that fee and let’s punish anyone who wants to develop here.  Let’s make it as difficult as we can for businesses that want to open here.  Now if that is the case, we are in for big trouble.  Let’s just put a sign on highway 90 that says we don’t believe in capitalism here in Belvidere so keep driving down the road.  We will all be counting on all of this money from the developers, well guess what folks it won’t be coming.  We have to get the developers to the table first and when all of the restrictions start to be imposed than we can just say bye bye to all of the money you think the developers are going to bring to the table.  Sorry but they will be laughing at us as they develop in every other town but ours and then we will have to pay for everything and our taxes will continue to be raised.  It’s called balance folks and we don’t even have it now.   Any developers we might manage to drag here would soon see what hoops they would have to jump through.  They could probably solve world peace easier.   We don’t have developers and we don’t have new businesses because of what I have been saying all along.  Right now we are too restrictive and if Schrader takes over I see it being worse and we will be taxed more because she is not experienced enough to know how to do this job.

As indicated I will continue with more on the March 20 edition tomorrow.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

April 15 is just around the corner




Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Some Humor



Tell me why we have an Overlay District

In this section I am posting the beginning of the code I was looking at.  I saved this for last because I find it most amusing.

Since today, after all, is St. Patrick’s Day and if you otherwise had no justification to drink, you do now…

We have a Downtown Overlay District and it basically covers ONE street.  After several phone calls and a lot of run a round (why I do believe city hall is getting tired of my phone calls) I discovered that it was told to the City (planning department) by Vandewalle to not over extend ourselves, are you kidding me? Did we actually pay them to tell us that?

Rory Peterson, Clint Morris and Karen Schrader and all of their fans that (Block to Nowhere) that you keep crying over is the best looking block downtown and it isn’t even in the Overlay District.  None of this makes any sense.  We have built up all of these restrictions and have become so anti-business that we create rules we don’t follow.  How much sense does it make to have an Overlay District that allows you to enforce strict policy and then just over turn it with a conditional use permit?  Now you have a street that is supposed to look the best and set the example and follow the over comprehensive plan and that is the street that looks the worst.  You have allowed for every rule to be over turned.  So again I ask; why have the rules?  Not to mention you have a BEAUTIFUL Buchanan Street that is not in the Overlay and is following all of the rules.  Maybe when Dave Deckert stops crying about his missing Vote for me Signs, Boo Hoo, he can tell you why the council allowed Alpine Bank to get the sign that they currently have in the downtown (which isn’t allowed in the Overlay District) and I could be mistaken about this but then allowed Alpine Bank to opt out of being in the Overlay District.

Maybe Deckert should write about everything that gets stolen in his district, you know, things that really affect your constituents.  I am just guessing here but I am sure cars and house stereos are being stolen, and drugs being sold are just a little more important.  Why haven’t you written about those things?  Do you just take out ads when it is time for an election?

Sec. 150.106.  Overlay districts.

(A)   Purpose. Overlay districts are created for the purpose of imposing special regulations in given designated areas of the city to accomplish stated purposes that are set forth for each overlay district. Overlay districts shall be in addition to, and shall overlap and overlay all other zoning districts within which lands placed in each district also lie, so that any parcel of land lying in an overlay district shall also lie in one or more of the other zoning districts provided for in this chapter.

(B)   Establishment. Overlay zoning districts and amendments thereto shall be established in the same fashion and by the same procedures set forth in § 150.902 and § 150.903 for other zoning districts provided for by this chapter unless these procedures are qualified by the provisions of a particular overlay district as set forth herein.

(C)   Downtown overlay district. This district is intended to implement the urban design recommendations of the comprehensive plan, by preserving and enhancing the historical quality of the downtown, and by attaining a consistent visually pleasing image for the downtown area. All buildings located on either side of the street along North State Street between West Madison Avenue and the Kishwaukee River; South State Street between the Kishwaukee River and West 2nd Street; and Logan Avenue between South State Street and South Main Street are included in the Downtown Overlay District. These streets comprise the core downtown streets.

As emphasized by the comprehensive plan, this district is designed to forward both aesthetic and economic objectives of the city by controlling the site design and appearance of development within the district in a manner that is consistent with sound land use, urban design, and economic revitalization principles. The application of these standards will ensure long-term progress and broad participation toward these principles. Refer to § 150.908 for the procedures applicable to proposal review in this overlay district.

(1)   Definitions.

A.   Cornice: The topmost projecting portion of the entablature, or top portion of a building. This term also refers to any “crowning” projection of a building.

B.   Header: A brick laid so that the end only appears on the face of the wall, as opposed to a stretcher, which is a brick laid so that the side only appears.

C.   Kickplate: A horizontal area on the facade of a building located between the sidewalk/entrance pavement and the lowest storefront windows.

D.   Sign band: A horizontal area on the facade of a building located between the transom and the cornice, which is typically opaque and provides a location for signage indicating the name of the establishment.

E.   Sill: A horizontal, lower member or bottom of a door or window casing.

F.   Transom: A horizontal bar of stone, wood or glass across the opening of a door or window.

(2)   Urban design standards for the downtown design overlay zoning district overall design theme. The design theme for the downtown area is based on the historic character of the city’s settlement period characterized in the buildings and storefronts along the core downtown streets.

A.   Nonresidential development. The design theme varies by location.

1.   Street frontage. Along the core downtown streets, the nonresidential design theme is characterized by a variety of architectural styles popular at the time, including Italianate, Romanesque and Neoclassical, in a two-story format with office, storage or residential located over commercial. The facades of these buildings have a traditional main street storefront appearance, are relatively small in scale, have street-yard and side-yard setbacks of zero feet, have prominent horizontal and vertical patterns formed by regularly-spaced window and door openings, detailed cornice designs, rich detailing in masonry coursing, window detailing and ornamentation, and are predominantly of brick, stone or wood. Exterior building materials are of high-quality. Exterior appurtenances are minimal. Exterior colors are harmonious, simple and muted. Exterior signage blends, rather than contrasts with buildings in terms of coloring (complementary to building), location (onbuilding), size (small) and number (few).

2.   Remainder of downtown design overlay zoning district. In this area, the nonresidential design theme is characterized by a variety of architectural styles popular throughout the entire 20th Century. Building styles, heights, setbacks and details vary significantly. In the desired theme, exterior building materials are of high-quality. Exterior appurtenances are minimal. Exterior colors are harmonious, simple and muted. Exterior signage blends, rather than contrasts with buildings in terms of coloring (complementary to building), location (on-building), size (small) and number (few).

GRAPHIC LINK: Nonresidential Development

3.   Residential development. This theme is characterized by a variety of architectural styles popular at the time, including Queen Anne, Gothic, High Victorian, Georgian, and Prairie. These homes have generous street-yard, sideyard and rear-yard setbacks, and are well-landscaped with a mixture of canopy and understory yard trees, and foundation shrubs and/or flower beds. For illustrative purposes, examples of architectural styles which tend to have elements incompatible with downtown historic styles include (with no attempt to be inclusive) Spanish Mission, Scandinavian Modern, Bavarian, and California Contemporary.

B.   Nonresidential construction.

1.   General. Nonresidential construction, including new structures, building additions, building alterations, and restoration or rehabilitation shall correspond to the urban design guideline requirements for building setback; height; building mass; horizontal rhythms (created by the placement and design of facade openings and related elements such as piers, columns); vertical rhythms (created by the placement and design of facade details such as sills, transoms, cornices and sign bands); roof forms; exterior materials; exterior surface features and appurtenances; exterior colors; exterior signage; onsite landscaping; exterior lighting; parking and loading area design; and the use of screening.

GRAPHIC LINK: Nonresidential Construction

2.   Determination. Design guideline requirements shall be determined by either the zoning administrator or the planning and zoning commission, as specified in § 150.908(D).

3.   Building Setback. Throughout the district, the setback of buildings from street-yard and side-yard property lines shall be compatible with existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted above.

4.   Building height. Throughout the district, the height of buildings shall be compatible with existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted in §§ 150.106(D)(2)A., above. In no instance shall buildings be more than one story taller or shorter than the height of a building of similar use on one of the immediately adjoining properties, which conform to the general design theme above.

5.   Building mass. Throughout the district, the mass of buildings shall be compatible with existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted above. The characteristic proportion (relationship between facade height and width) of the general design theme shall be maintained. Building mass for large structures (with a facade area exceeding 5,000 square feet) shall be disguised through the use of facade articulations, or through the use of exterior treatments which give the impression of directly adjoining individual buildings.

6.   Horizontal rhythms. Along the core downtown streets, the horizontal pattern of exterior building elements formed by patterns of building openings for windows and doors, and related elements such as piers and columns shall be spaced at regular intervals across all visible facades of the building, and shall be compatible with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted above.

7.   Vertical rhythms. Along the core downtown streets, the floor heights on main facades shall appear visually in proportion to those of adjoining buildings. The rhythm of the ground floor shall harmonize with the rhythm of upper floors. The vertical pattern of exterior building elements formed by patterns of building openings for windows and doors, and related elements such as sills, headers, transoms, cornices and sign bands shall be compatible in design and elevation with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted above.

8.   Roof forms. Along the core downtown streets, flat or gently sloping roofs which are not visible from the street shall be used. Mansards or other exotic roof shapes not characteristic of the general design theme noted above, shall not be used. Throughout the district, roof shapes not characteristic of the general design theme noted above, shall not be used.


9.   Exterior materials. Selected building materials shall be compatible with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted above. In addition:

A.   Masonry. Along the core downtown streets, stone or brick facing should be of even coloration and consistent size. Cinder block, concrete block, concrete slab, or concrete panel shall not be permitted.

B.   Siding. Along the core downtown streets, wood or thin board textured vinyl or textured metal clapboard siding may be appropriate — particularly if the proposed nonmasonry exterior was used on a building which conforms to the general design theme noted above. In certain instances clapboard, board and batten may be in keeping with the general design theme. Asphalt shingles shall not be permitted.

C.   Glazing. Along the core downtown streets, clear, or slightly tinted glass or related glazing material shall be used. Mirrored glass, smoked glass, or heavily tinted glass shall not be permitted.

10.   Exterior surface appurtenances. Exterior surface appurtenances shall be compatible with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted above. In addition:

A.   Along the core downtown streets, the traditional storefront design theme (characterized by strong horizontal and vertical rhythms formed by building openings, storefront columns, storefront cornices, upper cornices, kickplates, signbands, large display windows, and transom windows) shall be employed for all new nonresidential buildings–including retail, office, professional service, personal service, maintenance, lodging, entertainment, and storage uses.

B.   Throughout the district, avoid cluttering building facades with brackets, wiring, meter boxes, antennae, gutters, downspouts and other appurtenances. Unnecessary signs shall also be avoided. Where necessary, such features shall be colored so as to blend in, rather than contrast, with the immediately adjacent building exterior. Extraneous ornamentation which is inconsistent with the general design theme noted above, is also prohibited.

C.   Throughout the district, awning size, color and placement should complement the architectural character of the building. Soft, weather-treated canvas or vinyl materials, which allow for flexible or fixed installation, shall be used. Aluminum or suspended metal canopies shall be prohibited. Signage applied to awnings shall be simple and durable. Backlit awnings are prohibited.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t

I will try to say this one more time, I am not Rory Peterson, nor am I Jim Wise.  That is an insult to me to suggest that.

I am publishing a few emails that I have received but I am leaving off the names because I write anonymously.  But I decided  to share some of the comments because some people do not like what I am doing at all and mostly by posting real pictures of some of the businesses downtown.  While others like what I am doing and applaud the efforts.

I write this blog because I legally can.  It is my right.  These are my opinions, my frustrations, my complaints, my issues and I am using this method to let it out.  I pay taxes in this town, I spend money in this town and if I don’t like what is going on I am going to write about it.  If you are offended by my site which based on a few of the emails I have received but can’t print might I suggest that you visit other sites.

I just finished reading the latest edition of the Boone County Journal and I can assure you that if you haven’t liked what I have written so far, you won’t like what I will be writing either.  I just need to get my oxygen tank back to its normal levels.  After I read all of those articles from and for the politicians I stopped breathing.

Here are some of the emails that people have sent me.

You must realy not have a life. Do you have a job? If you do i hope you get  caught doing your research on the company internet. But you probly dont have job do you Jim Wise.

Dear Mr./Mrs. Silence Dogood,

I have been watching your blog for a bit now and feel the need to inquire further.  First, let me say, don’t flatter yourself!  Posting under a pseudonym such as the likes of Franklin, Paine, and Madison DOES NOT bring you any closer to such a level of admiration or reverence.  Instead, you feel compelled to exercise your first amendment right anonymously, no differently than the fifteen year olds on Myspace that start a “Hello my name is Miley Cyrus” page.  What’s next?,  pictures of your imaginary self superimposed on Franklin’s physique.–get real.

If you are truly interested in “providing the citizens of Belvidere a fair politics blog…” in order to make a difference, might I suggest that you step out from behind your obnoxious pseudonym and do just that: provide a  FAIR politics blog.  The filth that spews from your mouth day in and day out  makes you sound like nothing more than a child talking big on his computer while mommy and daddy sit in the next room. Clearly, you lack anything that resembles a fair outlook on the politics of Belvidere.  Alternatively, you pick and choose those officials and candidates  (which you give your meaningless nod to) based on nothing more than the way a camera may have caught their head tilt…again, GET REAL!

So, while I might not be a treaty signing, document writing super-citizen like you, Silence Dogood, I do know that a way a person dresses, how they tilt their head, or how in depth their résumé may be is no measure of the good they have done (or are able to do) in our community.  I further implore you to exercise your 1st amendment rights in a matter different than the National Inquirer.  Future blog posts could include your actual ideas for improving the community we live in, instead of bashing the officials that have the drive and  ambition to make an actual difference beyond the world wide web.  Feel free to provide concepts that might help us all exercise our minds to new possibilities in Belvidere.  Feel free to be part of the solution, and not further the problem!  No one is perfect–just as our officials are not–but it takes a great person to continue to plug away at a solution even in the midst of naysayers that hide behind their computer and a fictitious pseudonym.

I think it is great what you are doing! Don’t let people stop you….ever…They will try. They’ll put fear into you so you stop………. don’t let them do it!
It is great that you actually published photos of the violations…AWESOME! violations are violations and this entire county has had a severe case of “so and so” getting away with things! You are right….this is a “if you are so and so” type of a place! So and so gets away with it and yet others get railroaded. WHY? I agree with you on so much….I’m proud of what you are doing…..I have so much I’d like to put on here….I think so many of us have our stories of living in the “Boonies”…it is the boonies and it shows when the higher government actually lets our local government officials get away with what they have. Its absurd. This place heavily lingers with conflicts of interest and sneaky anlawful actions. I Just want to say good job and really….take the criticism in, but don’t let them stop you. Honestly, by reading your posts, if someone is coming to you, like over the sign ordinances…then it must be someone with an unpaid unrecognized violation…because you are
right, any other one of us would be forced with permits and/or violation fines…why do some have to pay and others go free. AWESOME AND GREAT JOB MR. SILENCE DOGOOD! We need your voice and eventually, enough people could get fired up enough to start taking their own stances. It is hard to do that here, but we all need to remember…WE ARE THE PEOPLE! We need to make sure our government knows this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here in boone county, they seem to try and take down the people who care and yet, basically give “keys to the city/county” to the wrong people!

I can’t express enough to you that you are on a good thing here. We need all of these little injustices exposed. Maybe then they will stop!

I want to thank you for providing a refreshing view into the abysmal political situation that Belvidere is currently in.

I believe your insight to be right on the mark in most cases with our current politicians and a “clean slate” approach is the best idea at this point for the City was well as the county as a whole.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Does everyone have a conditional use permit or did we just stop following the rules.

I am continuing on my quest to hold the City accountable in treating business and property owners the same.  There has been enough favoritism in this City and changes have to be made.  I would also like to remind the readers that I don’t care how businesses promote their business; my whole reason for starting this is to remind everyone before the next election that this is what our council does.  They make up silly little ordinances and codes that they don’t follow.  If you’re going to have a rule just so it can be over ridden with a conditional use permit then why have the rule.  Does the plan board and city council just sit around and decide it is okay if they make a little extra money by allowing plans but they say oh well we will make an exception and we will make more money?  I really have no problem with how people want to advertiser my complaints are with the city on this.  The city should have to follow the rules and well.

For this post I will cover some awnings but mostly signs and the information I found on the City’s website in regard to them both.  I found the code section most interesting because of its lack of statements being true since the enforcement is not there.

Let me just mention again that this site is so difficult that I wonder if it is done on purpose.  If I wanted to open a business and I went to the city’s website to find my own answers I would choose another city to open a business in.  After I finish with signage I will move on to the Over Lay district, that is another subject I find laughable.

Primary Colors are either additive or subtractive: additives are Red, Green and Blue, subtractive are Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.  Whoever came up with the definition of primary colors didn’t take art in school.  Please read the information below and feel free to laugh as much as I did.  I have also taken the liberty to take some more photos to see how many things are not in compliance with this ordinance and yet again nothing is done about it.

11.   Exterior colors. Selected exterior colors for structures and appurtenances including fixtures and signs shall be compatible and harmonious with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted above. Specifically, throughout the district:

A.   Primary (red, blue, green, and yellow) colors, black, and fluorescent, “day glow,” and/or “neon” colors shall not be permitted. Earth tone colors are encouraged. Where such colors constitute a component of a standardized corporate theme or identity, muted versions of such colors shall be used.


This grocery store has a red awning and I have no idea what the name of this place is.  I can’t read the sign.  Aside from that, isn’t there an ordinance about the amount of space one can use in the window.  When I get my PHD I am sure by then I will be able to navigate my way through the city’s code book.


This building a good example of a facade restoration, looks very nice, but again why do we have in our books that we can’t use certain colors and you can have only so many signs in a window, especially hand written ones, if we are not going to enforce them.

B.   High gloss paints, lacquers, varnishes or other “shiny” non-glazing surfaces shall not be used.


I think this sign has everything that Letter B said it can’t have, perhaps I need new spectacles though.  I see high glossy paint, lacquer, varnish, or some other shiny non-glazing surface.

C.   Color combination schemes shall be limited to no more than three different colors for all the structures and appurtenances on a property (varying shades, tints or intensities of a color shall count as a different color for this purpose.)

D.   Color schemes shall be used consistently throughout the property, including on both the upper and lower portions of buildings, and on all facades of a building or structure.

12.   Exterior signage. All signage which is visible from any point outside of the building or structure shall be compatible and harmonious with the general design theme noted above. General signage regulations are provided in article 10. In addition:

A.   Sign location. Wall signs, canopy signs and projecting signs shall not be located on any portion of upper stories. The location of signs shall fit the building.

B.   Sign colors. Primary (red, blue, green, and yellow) colors and fluorescent, “day glow,” “neon” and other “loud” colors shall not be permitted. Where such colors constitute a component of a standardized corporate theme or identity, muted versions of such colors shall be used. Color combination schemes shall be limited to no more than three different colors for all the structures and appurtenances on a property. (Varying shades, tints or intensities of a color shall count as a different color for this purpose.) Color schemes and lettering styles shall be used consistently on all signage used throughout the property.

C.   Sign materials. Permitted sign materials include wood, brass, metal leaf, metal plates, canvass or related fabric, or etched glass, stone or concrete. Plastic signs are not permitted. High gloss paints, lacquers, varnishes or other “shiny” non-glazing surfaces, including smooth plastics and related materials, shall not be used.


I know that I have openly admitted that I am having trouble with the code section but even I can figure out that this sign is on the second floor and it’s yellow with red lettering.  Above this picture Letter A say that a wall sign can’t be placed on the upper level.  Plus the location of the sign will fit the building.  Is the third floor invisible so then the second floor doesn’t count as the upper level?   There is a movie poster in every window on the second floor as well.


Can someone please tell me what this is supposed to be.  They have been working on this sign for at least two years.  I thought we had a time limit too.  Is this supposed to be Uncle Sam’s hat?  Is this supposed to make me feel more comfortable about paying more taxes than I should in Belvidere.  Are we recruiting for the Military?  I am just not sure but either way I see the color blue.

D.   Sign illumination. Illumination of exterior signage shall be limited to shielded spotlight. The lighting element of such fixtures shall not be visible from public rights-of-way or adjoining properties. Internally illuminated and/or flashing signs (including illuminated awnings with or without messages) are not permitted, including neon and related illumination systems.

E.   Removal of signs. Illegal signs, nonconforming signs, poorly maintained signs, and obsolete signs pertaining to a closed business, shall be removed including all supports and hardware. The property owner shall be responsible for the removal of such signs.

13.   On-site landscaping and screening. On-site landscaping is not required within portions of the downtown design overlay zoning district located along the core downtown streets, except to provide vegetated ground cover for pervious (non-paved/roofed) surfaces, and to provide screening and shading of on-site paved areas.

A.   Groundcover. All areas which are not covered by impervious paving or structures shall be covered with vegetative groundcover. Appropriate groundcover includes grasses, forbs, and shrubs.

B.   On-site paved areas. On-site landscaping shall also be provided for on-site paved areas used for outdoor seating, vehicular parking, or loading, except for pedestrian and vehicle walks and drives which connect such areas to public rights-of-way (such as driveways and walks to building entrances).

Required screening. On-site paved areas, including parking lots, loading areas, circulation drives, and patios shall be partially screened from the view of public rights-of-way and adjoining properties by, at minimum, a continuous vegetated hedge with a minimum width of five feet, and a height of between 40 and 60 inches. This hedge may be supplemented by trees and/or compatible iron, masonry, and/or wood fencing.

Required shading. In addition, one canopy tree (with a minimum installed breast height caliper of 2 1/2 inches) shall be provided within, or within five feet of the edge of, on-site paved areas for every 2,000 square feet (or fraction thereof) of paved area.

C.   Exterior storage and utility areas. Trash storage areas, air conditioning units, and related storage and utility areas and components shall be fully screened from the view of adjoining properties, public rights-of-way, and customer areas.

D.   Freestanding signs. The base of freestanding signs shall be fully concealed by plants to a minimum height of twenty-four inches.

E.   Additional landscaping standards are found in article 6

14.   Exterior lighting. Throughout the district, on-site exterior lighting shall be compatible and harmonious with the general design theme noted above and city street lighting in the area.


A.   Pedestrian lighting. The design, color, height, location and light quality of on-site pedestrian lighting shall be consistent with the pedestrian lighting fixtures.

B.   Vehicular circulation lighting. The design, color, height, location and light quality of on-site vehicular circulation lighting shall be consistent with the lighting fixtures recommended by the planning and zoning commission.

C.   Additional lighting standards are found in § 150.707.

15.   Rehabilitation and restoration. New projects, building additions, and new appurtenances and features shall comply with the provisions of §§ 150.106(C)(2)B.1–14, above. The following standards shall apply where existing construction is proposed for rehabilitation and/or restoration:

A.   Buildings shall be restored relying on physical evidence (such as photographs, original drawings, and existing architectural details) as much as possible, in keeping with the general design theme noted above.

B.   Exterior materials and surface features. Materials and features identical to the original shall be used. Where such knowledge is lacking, materials and features in common use at the time of building erection, shall be used. Significant architectural features, including cornices, moldings and coursings shall be preserved or replaced with identical features and materials where possible.

C.   Windows and doors. The size, proportion and rhythm of original windows and doors shall not be altered. Original window and door openings shall not be blocked, except with a dark opaque panel placed behind the window or door to preserve the appearance of the opening. Where now blocked in another manner, blocked window and doors shall be restored using said method. Window and door features, including lintels, sills, architraves, shutters, pediments, hoods and hardware, shall be preserved where possible, or replaced with identical features and materials. Dark frames (i.e. anodized bronze) shall be used to replace storefront and upper story windows. Clear aluminum finishes and mill finish aluminum storm windows are prohibited. Wood shutters and awnings shall be used if there is evidence that they were a component of the original building design. Vinyl and plastic shutters and awnings shall be prohibited.

D.   Shop fronts. Shop fronts should fit inside the original shop front in terms of all three dimensions (vertical, horizontal and front to back articulation);

E.   Display windows. Display windows should be restored to their original appearance.

F.   Entrances and porches. Original porches and steps shall be retained, except as required to meet accessibility standards. Porches, steps and related enclosures that do not comply with the architectural design theme, shall be removed.

G.   Roofs. The original roof shape and character of visible materials shall be retained. Original architectural features which give the roof its essential character, including dormer windows, cupolas, cornices, brackets, chimneys and weathervanes, shall be preserved if in keeping with the architectural design theme.

H.   Painting and color. See §§ 150.106(C)(2)B.11., above.

I.   Signage. All signage, existing upon the adoption date of this ordinance, which does not comply with the standards of §§ 150.106(C)(2)B.12., above, may be continued so long as well maintained. However, the maintenance of such legal nonconforming signs shall be limited to repair of the sign structural or lighting elements, and to the repainting or replacement of the sign face with identical new material, message, and original appearance. Should a change in material, message, or original appearance be desired, the legal nonconforming sign shall be removed.

J.   Cleaning. Structural components and exterior materials shall be cleaned when necessary, and with only the gentlest possible methods. Low pressure water and soft natural bristle brushes are acceptable. Sandblasting is never acceptable. Other methods shall be pre-approved by the planning and zoning commission.

C.   Residential construction. Proposed residential construction, located on properties having frontage on the core downtown streets, including new structures, building additions, building alterations, and restoration or rehabilitation shall be reviewed per §§ 150.908(D) by the planning and zoning commission. The building setback, height, mass, roof form, exterior materials, exterior surface appurtenances, exterior colors, landscaping and lighting shall be compatible and harmonious with the general design theme noted above.

D.   Designated historic structures (Reserved).

(Ord. No. 801G, § 3, 3-6-06)

Maybe the Mayor can have Ms. Ellingson drive through the downtown and take pictures instead of the older neighborhoods.  I mean I have seen my neighbors letter where he was told to clean up his back yard and get rid of the scrap car.  That way, I believe,  Alderman Mike Chamberlain will have another bullet point for his resume and he can say he started that program as well.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood


A day in the life of Silence Dogood

This morning after I walked around taking pictures of all the inconsistencies within our sign ordinance, I started looking at other things as well.  If I didn’t need my cane to walk, I am after all over 200 years young; I would have thrown it through several windows to get the attention of the City.

I then tried to muddle through the City’s website to find codes and ordinances; I think it would just be easier if I joined the French Foreign Legion.  It’s no wonder we don’t have more businesses opening up in the downtown.  It takes FOREVER to get through the crap the city puts you through just to be able to have the privilege of paying sales/property tax and still get robbed by every permit fee ever made up.

Anyway as I was looking through the website I came across a Facade/Business grant program that is supposed to be administered through the City and the Belvidere Main Street Program.  I thought the City stopped being a Main Street Community.  Again, why should we hold businesses and property owners accountable when the city can’t even keep up on what they have available and what they don’t.  Everything is so backwards, and why do we keep re-inventing the wheel in this city?  Do we have a Facade Grant Program?  If not then why does it say we do?  If we do then why does it say Belvidere Main Street Center?

Am I the only one scratching my head and wondering hmmm no wonder nothing gets done?  (Yes your right, a lot of stuff doesn’t get done because of the 10 Alderman who do NOTHING but collect paychecks)

Wasn’t the Main Street program replaced by the Mural Mile Association and what have they got done?  Nothing!  How much money is wasted on that program?  Are they a 501 c 3?  I recently read an article where the Mayor had said that he inherited the murals and the cost of maintaining them.  I think inherited is Brereton’s new favorite word.  I hope it replaced Going Green and Sustainable.  Anyway, it is my understanding that the Mayor did not inherit those murals, I think that the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce owned a few copy rights, the Boone County Arts Council owned a few copy rights, and maybe the Wall Dogs or another individual.  I remember being at more than a few City Council meetings where the Arts Council and the Chamber wanted to turn over the Murals to the City and the Mayor wanted to have the City take on the Copy Rights.  I think I remember being at a meeting where the Mayor was asking the City Attorney how much longer it would take to talk to property owners and then to acquire the copy rights.  I wonder if anyone out there knows how that turned out.  I just think that for the Mayor to use the word inherit, and he has been using that word a lot lately, is wrong and is very mis-leading.  I wonder what else is mis-leading in the current administration.  Stop making excuses and get the work done.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Daily Laugh


Sign Ordinance Fairness

I have been receiving emails asking why I am attacking the city and the downtown businesses regarding the signs/awnings owners have up to promote their business.  People are also asking if I am over stepping my bounds and infringing on the business owners first amendment right.  I am also receiving mail in regards to color choices that people use on their businesses and properties and why we can’t make them change as it is hard for some people to look at.

First let me say that I for one do not mind the signage/awning on any building.  I don’t care how you want to advertise your business, I fully support any measure.  My problem, and why I  started this series, is again with the city having ordinances on the books which they do not enforce.  Small businesses spend a ton of money with permit fee after permit fee.  Then a few businesses come along and they get away with everything under the sun.  There is a lack of consistency in this administration.

It goes back to that old saying it is easier to say I am sorry rather than I didn’t know.  There is favoritism and either enforce on an equal basis or remove the ordinance.  However the several questions that have been asked of me need to be dealt with in a more legal answer and my answer might help explain why I take issues with the city and call them not so business friendly.  Too many restrictions for a mom and pop store to come to town with the current ordinances on our books and my hope is that someone take a look at them and change them to reflect the current conditions economically.

The questions I have been receiving are understandable, as First Amendment law includes aspects of expressive conduct.  The law’s ever-evolving, but the question about paint color is one that one can answer confidently.

First Amendment protections cover different forms of speech, and some types of expressive conduct.  I’ll describe a few different types.  The most obvious form of protected speech involves political speech, about public issues or topics.  There is no question that political speech is protected under the First Amendment.  Political debates, commentary on public issues, laws, policies, etc.  These protections are the core of First Amendment freedoms.

Although there are theorists who contend that the First Amendment was intended, and should cover no more than political speech, they are in a distinct minority in America.  (Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork would be a famous example of someone who holds this view.)

Even in cases of purely political topics, speech can be regulated to prevent content that is defamatory (an extremely hard standard to meet in political matters), or without regard to content to limit speech in time, place, or manner (a community can impose reasonable limit when marchers can march to prevent congestion, etc., but cannot do so based on the content of their message).

A second category of protected speech includes literary and other works that do not address political topics.  An example would be the right to publish a novel about life on farm, or at a carnival, that had no political content.  These topics would also be protected.

A third category involves expressive conduct, often meant to include a political message.  Flag burning would be an example.  Although flag burning can be regulated to prevent fires or injury to the public, flag burning is not unconstitutional.  There’s both a message and conduct involved, but neither is categorically unlawful.

The examples from the emails involve aesthetic expression that both conveys a taste or preference, and involves conduct.  Unfortunately, First Amendment law is clear that rights of free expression do not prevent communities from imposing design and color requirements on properties.  These requirements may be a matter of either (1) private agreement as in a subdivision or condominium association, or (2) politically imposed by a state or municipality, either has part of planning and zoning regulations, or from a special designation like that of an historical landmark).

Regulation is easiest in cases involving commercial properties.  Commercial expression has fewer protections that political or non-commercial speech, and commercial expression like the exterior of a building, in color or style, has almost no First Amendment implications.   (Please note that churches or synagogues are not considered commercial buildings for First Amendment analysis; a community would not be able to prevent any display of a cross or Star of David on a church or synagogue without multiple First Amendment challenges.)

That’s why even large commercial enterprises, like Wal-Mart, have to bow to aesthetic conditions from small towns.  If a municipality insisted on a set of aesthetic standards, and applied them fairly and consistently to all applicants, even a larger corporation would have to acceded or abandon the development.  (The corporation could threaten to abandon, or litigate, and either threat would likely produce a compromise.  Still, if the community insisted, they would likely prevail, if they were willing to defend a fairly imposed set of aesthetic standards.  Almost all communities come to a compromise with large merchants over aesthetic standards.)

Since some corporations dislike being told that they must modify traditional colors or styles that consumers easily recognize, there are corporate efforts to find federal laws on which they can rely to trump state or local regulations.  It’s telling that First Amendment law is not among those federal laws that aggrieved corporations will consider.  I have attached a link to an article about how desperate corporations are considering federal trademark law to prevent municipalities from mandating local alterations to the typical design of their buildings.

I do not think that this avenue is promising, but it shows how frustrated some corporations are, and that they are not looking at First Amendment options.  I will also not that not only is this avenue unpromising, but that it offers nothing for small shopkeepers or residences:  they do not have the vast multi-location presence even to consider this approach.

A community that imposes aesthetic and design regulations in a way (1) in violation of its own published guidelines, (2) inconsistently between applicants in a way that can be demonstrated as a frequent violation of its guidelines, or (3) with a demonstrable bias apart from aesthetics can find itself a target of litigation.  It is difficult, and expensive, to set forth this kind of case.

As you know as well as anyone in our whole community, most businesses have so many other pressures, that establishing bias is just too expensive, distracting, and uncertain.

I have also included an article from former Reason editor Virginia Postrel, where she notes how communities increasingly impose aesthetic standards that include color choice.

From my point of view, as I have posted, communities should not be so concerned about these aspects of design.  I would prefer in almost all cases that private parties choose as they wish.  Most will choose well to attract customers, and those businesses that chose poorly will suffer as a result.  I do not doubt, though, that communities have the power to impose basic requirements on color, for example, without running the risk of a First Amendment violation.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Daily Laugh


Daily Laugh



Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

A Little Gun History

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control.
From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
—- ————- ————-

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own Government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

List of 7 items:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent.
Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent.
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed
drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort, and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

You won’t see this data on the US evening news or hear politicians disseminating this information. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.

With guns, we are ‘citizens’. Without them, we are subjects’.

During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.



Why do some have to obey the law while others do not?

I stated in an earlier post that I was going to start taking photos of businesses downtown that seem to be exempt from having to follow the sign/awning ordnance.

Now it is my understanding that permits are not transferable.  So this business TU Y YO/You and Me Beauty Salon is on violation of the sign ordinance.  Take a look at this picture.  This awning is too big for this window and has been like this for over 3 years now.  The rest of us have to go to  City Hall and fill out a permit and pay money.  This business was allowed to move their awning over from their old business.  On top of that the entire awning is covered with lettering.  Is anyone going to go to this business and make them follow the same rules that the rest of us do?  Don’t we have someone on the city payroll that takes care of this?  Or do we need to transfer more money around from the budget to pay for salaries.

Why do we have ordinances in place when they are not enforced?  Or are they are only enforced when Schabacker wants to enforce them.  Check out the photo and let me know your thoughts.  You can clearly see that the awning extends past the length of the window by a good two feet.  Check back for the updates as I have several more coming.


Sec. 150.1001.  Purpose.

The purposes of these sign regulations are: to encourage the effective use of signs as a means of communication; to maintain and enhance the aesthetic environment and the city’s ability to attract sources of economic development; to encourage signs that are compatible with their surroundings; to minimize the possible adverse effect of signs on nearby public and private property; to improve pedestrian and traffic safety; to enable the fair and consistent enforcement of these sign restrictions.

(Ord. No. 801G, § 3, 3-6-06)

Sec. 150.1002.  Goals.

The standards, procedures, exemptions, and other requirements of this chapter are intended to establish a permit system to allow a variety of types of signs in commercial and industrial zones, and a limited variety of signs in all other zones, subject to the standards and permit procedures of this chapter; to allow certain signs that are small, unobtrusive, and incidental to the principal use of the respective lots on which they are located, subject to the substantive requirements of this chapter, but without permits; to provide for temporary signs in limited circumstances; to prohibit all signs not expressly permitted or provided for by this section; to provide for the enforcement of the provisions of this section.

(Ord. No. 801G, § 3, 3-6-06)

B.   Canopy sign. Any sign that is part of or attached to an awning, canopy, or other fabric, plastic, or structural protective cover over a door, entrance, window, or outdoor service area. Includes both fixed and movable awning signs. Content shall be limited to name and/or logo of the establishment utilizing the canopy. Letters and logos shall be permanently mounted and flush with the surface of the canopy, and shall not protrude above, below, or beyond the sides of the canopy. Canopy signs five inches or less in height s hall not be counted against total permitted area (or number).

The law doesn't apply to some

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

New Blog for Jim Wise

I received an e-mail from Mr. Wise to promote his new blog.  Please feel free to post comments on his site and every other site that allows you the chance to speak and open up.

His link is listed under Blogroll and is called Belvidere Politiks

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood,

Larry, Moe and Curly are at it again….

Well I opened the Boone County Shopper to look through the ads and boy did I find them. It’s unfortunate that I can’t believe them.

Political advertising is

Advertising whose central focus is the marketing of ideas, attitudes, and concerns about public issues, including political concepts and political candidates. The essential task of political advertising is to gain the confidence of the people for their acceptance of ideas and, in the case of political campaign advertising, to influence their vote. Political advertising differs from commercial advertising in that the product is a person or a philosophy rather than goods and services, and, in addition, the advertising objectives must be met within a specific time frame. Also, political advertising carries a moral implication, because the results have potentially far-reaching effects on the population at large. Political advertising raises many controversial social questions concerning the funding of political campaigns, the truth or reality of political claims, and the likelihood of slanderous or libelous claims made by political candidates.

Let’s start with Rory Peterson again. Clever idea putting your ad in a cut out form, I learned how to do that in kindergarten, along with everything else I needed to know for the rest of my life. I think the ad lacks substance and it’s the same old song and dance that he has been trying to sing for months now. The problem I have right now is listening to a guy try to tell us about how bad our current Mayor is doing, (as if we didn’t really know that) but if you look through the records while Rory was in office he couldn’t and didn’t do any better. Does that seriously escape Rory, what a mess he put this city into? And what, are we somehow supposed to forget that and just vote him back into the council.

Do you know what else I learned in Kindergarten? I learned that history repeats itself if you’re not careful. Why would we make that mistake again? Burned once shame on Rory, burned twice shame on us. The real kicker is how everyone keeps talking about this one block street to nowhere, its funny how that one block has probably seen more foot traffic, retail sales tax generated, and families than our own Boone County Historical Museum. That Museum sees more of my tax dollars than the Buchanan Street block and where is my ROI for the Museum Rory? Can anyone answer that question, or if you do, you know you will have to say something about how and who is running it as the problem and we wouldn’t want to do that. Let’s just allow it to suck up more of our tax dollars instead. God forbid the place be ran like a business and if it isn’t making a profit and making visible, tangible differences then changes have to be made. Including personnel.

Next I read the 2 page spread from Karen Schrader. It was impressive how she stated that she was born and raised here in Belvidere. As if that somehow makes up for lack of education in Public Administration. Did I miss something in that article or is it the fact that she is a mom, grandma and pet lover that makes her qualified for Mayor. I don’t like to be insulted and I hope the rest of you don’t either, but I am wondering how it is that Karen knows what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. She has a nice full time job, probably with benefits, but I am not positive about that.  Isn’t her husband a retired firefighter again with benefits? How is that even remotely close to knowing what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck? Tell that to a family who had to go on welfare and has no health insurance and who you don’t want coming to a food pantry in your neighborhood.  Are you embarrassed to have them in your neighborhood for fear of your property value going down?  Or what would you say to a  family that makes too much money to get help from the state to pay for medical health care but still can’t pay their gas bill?  Believe me, I don’t like Brereton any more than most but at least he doesn’t pretend to be poor and act like he knows what most families are going through. He’s wealthy but he doesn’t rub it in our face, that falls to the one wearing the full length mink coat during the winter parades. However Schrader please don’t insult us and pretend you know what it is like to wake up scared every morning not knowing how you will get through the day.

What are her qualifications to be Mayor?  By what the ad said and if you go by that principle, than I should be able to fly a plane.  I mean I fly in one all the time and I know what I want my flight to be like. So there you go. She is at many council meetings unpaid, and voicing many concerns that we all share so she is more than qualified than be Mayor, right? Wrong!

Let’s go over what Karen did that was for the betterment of us all. So she helped defeat the Mayors push to rezone the old St. Joseph Hospital that would allow for a food pantry. What?  Didn’t Karen say that she understands what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, so why wouldn’t she want a food pantry in her neighborhood?  Would she have to look at welfare recipients excepting food because they can’t make ends meet? I volunteer at the food pantry and grateful to be part of such an amazing team that goes out of their way not to embarrass the families that have to come there all of a sudden. In a community this size we should have one food pantry at St. Joe’s and one downtown. There is no shame in that. The shame lies with a person who says she knows what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck but doesn’t want the reality of it rubbed in her face.

Next she said she supported the resident’s objections to the rezoning of the Huddle property for a Walgreen’s. Gee let me thank her for that. I enjoy driving by the Huddle in its current condition so much more than a Walgreen’s that the Plan Commission could have made look lovely with a conditional use permit. The boarded up doors, broken glass, weeds and oh lets not forget the neighbors who never clean up their yards. Wow that is so much better than a business that would generate a retail sales tax for the city that needs money. Yes, that is what I was thinking as I drove by the Old Huddle at 11:30 at night 2 days ago on my way to Rockford to the Walgreen’s to get my daughter more medicine for her cold. I am so happy I gave Rockford my sales tax when we need it here in Belvidere.

She also supported fellow citizens in the Mayor’s idea to replace Life Line Ambulance with another. Isn’t that called free market? The city goes out to bid and we choose the one that fits in our budget in an economy that is really bad and a city that again needs money so our taxes can stop being raised.

Schrader says she has no conflicts of interest, really, are you sure? She also states that she has the experience and knowledge and vision of how City government should work because she sat on City Council. Again I have sat in a seat on an airplane for 3,482 times. It doesn’t mean I know how to fly the plane. Oh and I have eaten Crab 416 times but I still can’t cook it.

Where is the real experience in Risk Management, Budgets, Personnel, Business Plans, Marketing, Grant Writing, Taxes, Unions, Contracts and Economic Development? I don’t want you to bring back the government in your way to the people. It is not 1948 anymore and it will never be that year again. We need someone in office who understands the current situation and how to grow correctly within it.

Lastly I will discuss Clinton Morris, who I see has another clip out coupon in the Shopper. I wonder if the two of them (Morris and Peterson) got together to design this form and discussed this type of marketing. I wonder if Peterson, Morris and Schrader get together to talk and strategize. They all sound similar in their ads. But that wouldn’t happen, Karen has said she doesn’t do things like that; she has no special interest other than us, the COMMON citizen. How sweet I think I’m gonna cry.

As far as Clinton is saying, I think the ad sounds like we don’t have commercial growth here because of our utility tax. Are you sure?  Whenever I read the papers it sounds more like the incompetent council putting up more restrictions and regulations and therefore the businesses never make it to the negotiation table.

I can agree with Morris on the increase of the salary for the Alderman. That should never have happened in this economy. Other communities have taken on freezes but not ours. No they get to show up wearing anything they like, smelling like stale beer and vote themselves a raise.

Clinton however was an Alderman when Rory was Mayor so that kinda scares me too. Were all three of them (Peterson, Schrader, and Morris) working together back then and now they want a second chance. So if Karen, Clinton and Rory get together to discuss things how is that any different from what Brereton does with his friends.

Something to think about,

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Is crime really dropping?
















Motor Vehicle Theft















These stats come from the Rockford Register Star article about how Belvidere is lowering the crime rate.  You have to click on a special link to see the chart.  When you do there is also a graph.

My question is, have the crimes really gone down or are the people committing the crimes just doing different crimes?  We have assaults that went up by 21 and burglary is up by 6.  Larceny/theft along with Motor vehicle/theft is down by 50.  But vandalism is up by 106 and narcotic/drugs are up by 77.  Why is everyone talking about crime going down.  If you click on the link below it will bring up the tables for you.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

It is sad that these 2 are our only candidates for Mayor

I believe strongly in growth for Belvidere and the importance of attracting new businesses to our city. I don’t think I can say the same for Sir Brereton or Karen Schrader.

If it weren’t for the efforts of Growth Dimension’s, I don’t think that our community would have experienced any economic development during the 12 years that Sir Brereton has been in office. Yes, for those of you who say well that is why we give money to Growth Dimensions, we have a contract with them for economic development. Correct we do, but I think that our Mayor should understand that process of how to have smart growth if he is going to take all the credit for it. Especially during an election year when he is going around saying look at what I inherited and what I have done.

Karen Schrader on the other hand is way off base if you ask me regarding economic development. I have heard her comments about how her administration will be open and will inform the public when a developer is in town and looking at Belvidere as a potential site for a residential, commercial or industrial development. What was she thinking when she made a comment like that? Making such a comment leads me to believe that Ms. Schrader knows nothing about the free market and how it is intended to work. A developer will never come to town and just be an open book. These people have private businesses that compete against one another and they want to be the first in the community. Both Sir Brereton and Ms. Schrader are of the mindset that over regulation is the best way to control growth in our community. Excessive regulations and restrictions on economic development prevent a free market from being established within our community. An absence of a truly free market in Belvidere means that Town B will swoop in grab up our missed opportunity and say, “come to our town” and there they go. Now, Town B has the money to pay for new roads and schools and we are again left behind wondering why we have no growth, no revenue and higher taxes.

I am also concerned about the recent exchanges between Sir Brereton and Ms. Schrader. Ms. Schrader is saying that the Mayor is not spending taxpayer’s money correctly and also not reporting it correctly. On some of the items she listed I tend to agree with her. I agree with her about City Hall. Ms. Schrader states that the New City Hall cost $2.5 million. Sir Brereton fires back with a – no it didn’t – and says that it only cost the tax payers $1.6 million. But, the City financial officer says – if you add the interest owed then the total is $2.1 million. When you ask for the numbers from City Hall you will get a different answer from everyone that you ask.

Its behavior like this that makes us, the citizens, question the transparency of this entire administration. If everyone remembers there were statements put out there from Mr. Wise about how Sir Brereton spent your money. Are those comments not being disputed? Was what Mr. Wise said true then, or does it no longer matter since he is no longer a candidate? Does the Mayor think we are stupid and that we wouldn’t question something like this? So the total spent was $2.1 million and not $2.5 million, but more importantly not $1.6 million. The fact is we would have never known the difference if it weren’t for a few nosy citizens asking a few annoying questions.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Brereton and Schrader square off

The next meeting, of the (BCTA) Boone county Taxpayers Association will be held on Thursday march 26, 2009, at the Belvidere Township Hall on Fairgrounds Road. Speakers will be Mayor Brereton and Challenger Karen Schrader.

The (BCTA) has decided to host a Mayoral Candidate Forum, March 26, 2009 from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Belvidere Township Hall on Fairgrounds Road.

This should be interesting. There is nothing more that I enjoy than watching people trying to convince others that they have our best interest at heart.
Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Roy says No to Exploitation

The primary election is over,but, I am not.
I just saw a commercial for the Jack Wolf car dealership. I was appalled.
The commercial states, “Let Jack Wolf Rebuild America” and “Jack Wolf Has A Stimulus Package” with “Stimulus Pricing”
Give me a break. Jack Wolf is just trying to sell inferior cars that struggling America cannot afford to keep running on our American roadways. I find it very insulting that he would even try to use America’s financial dilemma to sell his cars. Why doesn’t he write a letter to the manufacturers that he represents and tell them to build quality and not quantity.

On another note. Just a word to other “Silence” blog readers. “Silence” is just a very, very, concerned citizen that realizes that our town is going downhill due to the personal agenda’s of the current administration and does not feel that being “Silent” is the way to go. I
agree. I applaud them.


Just Call Me Roy

Who will be better for Belvidere, Schrader or Brereton?

Both of these people have told us they know how to plan for the growth of Belvidere, in their opinion of course. My question becomes can they work with everyone to do so and do either one of them know what is really best for us?

Here is my opinion,

Government Planning:

Planning in this context refers to government planning. It’s indisputable that people can, and should, plan certain affairs. Objections to planning are not objections to mere human action and design — they are objections to human action through design where a market could operate. Neither private list-making, nor calendar-scheduling, constitutes planning, in any event. Planning in this context refers to human action and design of politicians, officials, and bureaucrats.

(By the way, when I discuss planning, and planners, I am not referring to a single person or position. It’s a role and disposition — held by more than one in and out of government — that I’m describing.)

Planning to Compete:

It’s also true that some level of planning is necessary to adopt basic laws of contract, or other laws that describe the rules of the game. That’s not what’s at stake in the objections to planning. That’s merely planning to compete; it’s planing to produce an outcome that’s the disputed matter. Planners seeking a result are by nature utopian: they contend that they’ll create a better world by design. Those advocating a spontaneous order have no fixed result in mind — we’ll not seek to engineer a result, as we believe it can be done neither well nor fairly.

That’s why — when someone contends that a planning group is the arbiter (not mediator, but arbiter) of the community’s values — that libertarians find that bold statement undesirable and more than a bit arrogant.

Planning Characteristics:

Government planning has a few simple characteristics: it is human action, by design, involving regulation of property that politicians or bureaucrats themselves did not earn, and property about which they are less familiar — by sheer circumstance, proximity, and often skill of acquisition — than those who did earn it. The public nature of government planning will attract a greater notice, and by consequence a greater potential for special interests and special pleaders, than private activity. The planner will be convinced — if acting sincerely — that he can decide about the property’s use better through design than through the operation of a market.

It is on this point last point — about the better use through planning than through a market — that the dispute against planning lies. Objections to planning, and in favor of a spontaneous order — have two main, connected components: planning is less efficient (its many conceits notwithstanding), and planning reduces the scope of individual freedom.


A market, by the way, may be described variously as simply a market, an emergent phenomenon, or a spontaneous order. These fancy terms do not mean the same thing, always (and are used variously by different people). No matter: the market forces that I am describing really mean forces that are the result of human action, but not design. An engineer designed your car, but our language did not involve by design. We speak the language, and use it intelligibly among ourselves, without a designer. We do not have a Department of New Words, yet new words enter our common language every day.

Limits and Comparative Advantages:

Markets will not develop where there is only one actor, or where the is no desire for common activity. One ties one’s shoes alone, by individual skill and action — that’s not a market matter. (The division of labor’s not that specialized.) Nor do I even remotely believe that markets are perfect, or will work only in circumstances or perfect information, or work perfectly in each and every case. It’s only necessary that they work better, when conditions are suitable, than government planning.

We are convinced that no number of people, however well-intentioned, intelligent, and educated will be able to design so well and so efficiently as a spontaneous order without design. That’s why we contend that its merely a conceit — well-intentioned in America, detestable in extreme forms abroad — that the planner can manage so well as a market.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Some additional remarks

On the idea of refusing to respond to anonymous or pseudonymous criticism:

There may be some who can credibly and consistently contend that anonymous or pseudonymous criticism does not merit a response –

The idea of refusing to respond to anonymity or pseudonymity is not a credible refusal on principle – it’s a refusal based on self-interest.

Let’s be clear though — there is always a response: to change, to stay the same, or to act indirectly. Everyone knows this, and from the first instances of political criticism in America – or anywhere else – these three responses have always been available, and at least one has always been taken.

Belvidere is no exception. Quite the contrary – it’s likely a case type of the third response.

On the idea of using social pressure to silence criticism:

There are, however, two groups who argue against truly free speech, for different reasons. The first group comprises those in this town who like the position that they have, and feel that they’re entitled to special consideration. There’s a belief some people have here, that position justifies, excuses, and entitles. They think and act situationally — if they are so-and-so, then they should be trusted, and they are entitled. I reject this view. They are justified, excused, and entitled only through law and morality, not based on an appeal to their status. When the town faction acts, they act first and foremost based on status — they ask and expect trust based on who they are, or what they claim to be.

Their status is unimpressive to me. It should be unimpressive to any resident and citizen: they are just people, neither more nor less. I can be neither smooth-talked nor cajoled into support for what I oppose. I could never be co-opted onto a board, commission, etc. I lack for nothing that those I criticize could give me; the tradition of which I am a grateful inheritor gives me more than they could take. They ask that speech be curbed, but they would never curb their actions in return. In any event, my speech — and yours — is a right, yet their actions are often in disregard of others’ rights. We could never have a fair trade: some would sacrifice what liberty allows in exchange for others’ ceasing a disregard of their fellow residents’ rights. That’s the worst possible bargain.

They stand on local status as entitlement, and that’s why the exercise of speech rights is so disturbing to them. One would think that Belvidere were a small, corrupt island in the middle of nowhere, for all the difference it makes to those who oppose mere speech on the basis of their inflated sense of local self-importance. They don’t have a meritorious position; they have a mistaken view of themselves and of the rights of others in our city.

Which brings me to this comment;

I think example #1 of self-importance is:  Patrick Murphy driving around town in his SUV with Patrick Murphy, Belvidere Township Supervisor plastered all over it.  I think if he truly cared about the people in the Township and not so much about self promotion he would have a Township phone number listed or the website address listed.  He has neither, just his name and title.  What message does that send to us, the citizens?  Are you telling us your approachable, that we can contact you about anything at any time or do you just want to let us know who you are?   (I hardly believe it’s a marketing tool for the words “vote for” are missing)

I think example #2 of self-importance is: My comments about Ms. Carlson and her picture on the Township website, well it strikes me as odd that the Township needs anyone’s picture.  Or for that matter why we need the township.  However, that will be another posting.  Does the County Board or City Council have pictures of their members posted on their websites?  No, they do not.  Take all of the pictures down and replace that page with information that we can actually use.  Yes I mentioned how she was sitting in the picture, big deal.  I didn’t say anything about how she looks, she’s an attractive women.  My point was the fact that the Township Trustee’s have the nerve to post their pictures period.  I find it ridiculous at best and I think they are self promoting the validity of being a Trustee.

And so on…..

Many years ago, Bernard Bailyn wrote a masterwork on the intellectual atmosphere of pre-revolutionary America entitled, Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. That book was was the winner of both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes. In that work, and in other studies since, Bailyn shows the power and use of pamphlets — often anonymous or pseudonymous — in shaping opinion in favor of independence. Pamphlets played other roles, too: many were small collection of poetry or religious tracts.

I am quite sure that the objects of criticism in these pamphlets dislike them intensely. So be it; they were part of tradition of free speech on this continent that continues to this day.

Naturally, local officials despise these blogs, and consider them an affront. How dare someone write these things? Often they try (unsuccessfully, of course) to suppress the independent commentary, or bemoan its pseudonymous nature, or smear those who write these blogs.

America has returned to her pamphleteering tradition, in a new, electronic form. This form will not go away — it will surely evolve, and grow more robust.

I am sure that this makes life less convenient for public officials who formerly relied on a few complaint local newspapers and their small circle of stodgy, uncreative, reactionary supporters. Those few want their old, easy world back again.

It’s not coming back.

One last point: the only line of advance is forward, by embracing the full and rich constitutional tradition of our beautiful country. I am just a common person, but many great people have committed themselves to free commentary undeterred by criticism, personal attacks, etc., etc. Great libertarian heroes, for example, Paine and Mencken, were attacked in all manner of ways. (I am religious where Paine was lukewarm, and Mencken cold, but they are no less admirable as models of free expression.) They believed in what they were doing, kept doing it, and didn’t care what critics thought.

They grew more vigorous over time, not less so. Those who do this sort of thing enjoy it, and prefer the heat of the kitchen. Publishing like this is a romance with both the American and American libertarian ways of life.

Anyone can embrace this way of life, and in doing so, become confirmed in the effort, and better for it. Through blogging, one becomes more American, by drawing closer to the heritage of free expression — attributed, pseudonymous, or anonymous, that America guarantees to all.

Some may dislike these rights, but those who oppose them truly oppose the heritage of the country they profess to love.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

I am not Jim Wise nor am I Rory Peterson

This small website has been publishing for less than a few months, but in that time it’s seen steady readership growth, and a fair amount of reader e-mail. I thought that I would take a moment to answer some of the questions that I’ve been asked. (As I publish pseudonymously, I ‘ll not publish the names of any readers.) Here are the paraphrases of questions that I’ve been asked, and my replies.

Q: Do you really live in Belvidere?
A: Yes, I am a long-time resident. I have been here long enough that, by any conventional reckoning, I have been here forever.

Q: Why do you want to embarrass/criticize the town?
A: Reform and growth begin with honesty, not whitewash and Potemkin villages. We have some great possibilities before us, but some of our fellow residents have been treated with outrageous cruelty and official indifference, lies, and excuses.

Q: You seem to ‘have it good,’ so why would you complain?
A: It’s no way to live, silent while others are injured. Thanks for noticing — I am citizen, resident, property owner, white, and educated. By the distorted view of some in this town, I should be contented, and quiet.

Q: What do you mean ‘toward a free and honest city?’ We’re free now.
A: We’re not the municipality and society that we should, could, and one day will, be. The lack of honesty takes a few forms: (1) officials disguise their real motivations, (2) use their offices to enforce ordinary regulations selectively, for friends and against enemies, (3) refuse to accept accountability for unconscionable or revolting actions, and (4) spread the message that this town belongs to a select, mostly town-bred group, not all residents.

Q: What do you mean by ‘town elite?’
A: That’s a good question, because even in our small town, there’s more than one person who’s part of the town elite, or town faction. Many of them, in fact, would hardly be considered elite at all, but they do have a significant influence here. Some are established, white-collar long-term residents. They’ve either been here a longtime, or forever, except for time away at school, perhaps. They’re established, if bit stodgy. Many consider themselves a true elite, but actually know little about the world outside, and are suspicious of change, and newcomers.

The second principal group is blue collar, with high school or tech school educations, and works in supporting jobs, either for the city or in town businesses. They gain their influence through occasional favoritism in their municipal jobs, through selection as pushovers on municipal committees, or through any number of predominantly blue-collar social organizations. Among these groups are most police officers, municipal workers, clerks in many town businesses, and the volunteers of the Fire Department. (The police and fire departments are blue collar organizations, and they think and behave like working class organizations. The fire department includes many working class residents who would otherwise have little status or authority except through membership in its fraternity.)

These two groups are not alike, except in the broad particulars that ultimately unite them: white, clannish, suspicious of others, ignorant of economics and business-standard practices, ill-disposed toward minorities, and determined that their views should prevail here perpetually.

Q: Do you work in Belvidere?
A: No.

Q: Why don’t you leave?
A: This is my home as much as anyone’s home, and I will never leave. I have written truthfully about our city, and I have only begun to do so. I’ve had solid growth in readership (although some may not admit that they’re readers, which tells you how close-minded others in town are), and I will begin a significant publicity campaign beginning this fall. (At this rate, though, I may not need one.)

Q: It makes me feel better that someone understands how I feel. How can I thank you for what you’ve written?
A: You just did, although you owe me nothing. I’ll keep typing.

Comment: …finally some one who tells it like it is!!!!!
Reply: Well, that’s it’s really not hard at all, but merely a recitation of what some some of the police, and others, have themselves said and written. It may sting the ears of some, but only because they’re so vain and imperious that that they feel themselves above ordinary public criticism and discourse. Having spent years heaping false praise on themselves, it seems almost unimaginable to them that someone would question their conduct in any regard. They lack even the smallest measure of humility or even, apparently, self-reflection. These are very ordinary people, who wish to be regarded as extraordinary, and will browbeat anyone who’ll listen into distorted versions of events.

Dear Mr./Mrs. Silence Dogood,

I have been watching your blog for a bit now and feel the need to inquire further.  First, let me say, don’t flatter yourself!  Posting under a pseudonym such as the likes of Franklin, Paine, and Madison DOES NOT bring you any closer to such a level of admiration or reverence.  Instead, you feel compelled to exercise your first amendment right anonymously, no differently than the fifteen year olds on Myspace that start a “Hello my name is Miley Cyrus” page.  What’s next?,  pictures of your imaginary self superimposed on Franklin’s physique.–get real.

If you are truly interested in “providing the citizens of Belvidere a fair politics blog…” in order to make a difference, might I suggest that you step out from behind your obnoxious pseudonym and do just that: provide a  FAIR politics blog.  The filth that spews from your mouth day in and day out  makes you sound like nothing more than a child talking big on his computer while mommy and daddy sit in the next room. Clearly, you lack anything that resembles a fair outlook on the politics of Belvidere.  Alternatively, you pick and choose those officials and candidates  (which you give your meaningless nod to) based on nothing more than the way a camera may have caught their head tilt…again, GET REAL!

So, while I might not be a treaty signing, document writing super-citizen like you, Silence Dogood, I do know that a way a person dresses, how they tilt their head, or how in depth their résumé may be is no measure of the good they have done (or are able to do) in our community.  I further implore you to exercise your 1st amendment rights in a matter different than the National Inquirer.  Future blog posts could include your actual ideas for improving the community we live in, instead of bashing the officials that have the drive and  ambition to make an actual difference beyond the world wide web.  Feel free to provide concepts that might help us all exercise our minds to new possibilities in Belvidere.  Feel free to be part of the solution, and not further the problem!  No one is perfect–just as our officials are not–but it takes a great person to continue to plug away at a solution even in the midst of naysayers that hide behind their computer and a fictitious pseudonym.


One must wonder, as perhaps you do, what would inspire this website. Our beautiful city deserves better than it has received from its government, civic organizations, and long-time residents. We are over twenty thousand in number, but a few hundred short-sighted, self-interested citizens have led others astray, and by doing so leave Belvidere crippled.

Our municipal government is narrow-minded, with a poor grasp of economics, and clings to burdensome regulations that make Belvidere unattractive to businesses. We gain housing, but lose industry: a recipe for perpetual second-class status. Our economic development is less about a free market economy than about any number of empty municipal gestures.  We can have the Mural Mile Association put on a special event every week and still businesses would close and go elsewhere.

We are in the grip of a small, obstinate, and poorly educated local elite, that often would rather see the city sink under their control rather than for it to prosper free from their influence.

It is a local, town-bred elite that dislikes anyone that isn’t born and raised here.

It is a local, town-bred elite that dislikes, and fears, the many Mexican Americans in our community, and ignores, or distorts, the many positive contribution Mexican American workers make in our community.

And yet…and yet…this will someday be a BelvidereSovereignty, more prosperous, fair, and pleasant. Even these several challenges will be overcome, to the benefit of our community.

Q: Thank you for offering a resource for alternative opinions in our City. I, too, love Belvidere, but agree there are many improvements can be made, and many of them begin with our local government. I wonder why there is growth all around our City, but there is nothing happening here. Is it the “reputation” Belvidere is rumored to have? Thank you for the time you devote to the website. With the current political climate, I expect your readership will continue to grow:

A: No, thank you for visiting belvideresovereignty, and for your kind words. We can build a new and better reputation, but only through genuine reform. When we are open and fair, we will be happy and prosperous. We were this way once, and we will be this way again.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Belvidere Thruway

Here you go Becky, you should really see the whole movie.  This scene in particular was the scene I was referring to in my earlier post from a few months ago.  It’s true of Belvidere and it just keeps getting worse.

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Enforcement of City Ordinances

Next week I am starting with the downtown and I have decided to take pictures of everything that is in violation of our city ordinances.  I am going to find out who is getting favors and who isn’t.  Next I think I will take pictures of some rental properties that City Officials own and I want to see how many violations are there as well.

After that I will move into other developments to see if the email I received about being harassed by the City are true.  I had a women email me and tell me that she is trying her best to get some work done on her house but being hassled everyday by the city.  Meanwhile I can name 5 stores downtown that are in direct violation of the sign ordinance and have been for over two years.

If your not going to enforce the law, then why have it?

Your Faithful Servant,

Silence Dogood

Jim Wise Fights Back

I have received another request from Mr.Wise to post something for him.  I have agreed to do so and I have every reason to believe that he must have read my post because I think we are on the same page with this topic.  Unfortunately I received 2 other emails from citizens who share my frustration but did not want to be mentioned by name but one was willing to share a video.

One of the more funnier things he did mention was going back to my earlier post and how a lot of people feel they are mistreated and trapped if they were not born or raised here.  They never feel excepted and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.  This person took a look at my youtube clip and then after reading some of my post sent me one that reminds him of Belvidere.

Remember things are the way they are in Belvidere because we allow them to be that way.  Take a stand and say what you believe in.  It is your right.  Here is the video from a reader and following is the letter from Jim Wise.

“Is Belvidere like an episode of 1967’s The Prisoner?”


Below is a copy of an email that I wrote to George Crawford the Boone County Republican Party Chairman and 4th ward alderman. In my email I addressed the unethical treatment that I received from himself and other members of the Republican Central Committee during the primary campaign leading up to the election of February 24. Mr. Crawford committed several violations of ethical behavior towards fellow Republican candidates (me). While the central committee chairman is typically expected to remain neutral towards candidates during the primary season until after the primary elections. Mr. Crawford flagrantly and publicly campaigned for an incumbent candidate and did not offer to me the same consideration or courtesy that he did for the incumbent, who was obviously his candidate of choice. If he is not able to conduct himself in a manner that is ethical, with integrity and honesty as the Chairman of a political party. I wonder if he is able to do so as well as an alderman of the 4th ward.


George, I am writing to you to address the unethical and prejudicial treatment that I received from you and the Boone County Republican Central Committee during this past primary election.

Never, in all my years as a member of the Republican party in Boone County, Illinois have I been so disappointed, disgusted and discouraged by the actions of yourself and some members of the Republican Central Committee Staff.

From the very beginning of my involvement with the Boone County Republican party. It had been my belief that the Boone County Republican Central Committee’s primary duty and responsibility was to promote maximum participation among the citizens of Boone County in the electoral process of our local, state and federal governments.

Your actions and the actions of others under your watch has caused me to lose faith in your abilities to fulfill these duties and responsibilities.

During the entire campaign period you did not contact me once to offer your or the central committee’s assistance. Later, during the campaign, I organized, paid the expenses for and conducted a candidate debate for the benefit of the citizens of Belvidere. I contacted you prior to this event to inquire if the committee would be interested in hosting this event and you did not respond to my inquiry. A few days later after the debate, at the Lincoln Day dinner, a dinner which you hosted and is used to promote the Republican party and its membership, you allowed the incumbent to promote his campaign in front of the attendees’ but did not extend the same consideration or courtesy to me. It became apparent to me that you had made the determination to support the incumbent that I was challenging for the party’s nomination for the office of Mayor in Belvidere, Illinois. That is wherein my compliant lies.

Past committee chairman have withheld their support for one candidate over the other until after the primary election had been concluded. You did not maintain this previous practice. You promoted the incumbent over my challenge and set yourself about to work on the behalf of his reelection. While I will not beget you your right to support the candidate of your choice. Your lack of discretion in publically showing favoritism of one candidate over the other prior to the primary election has served to alienate many fellow republican’s including myself. In doing so you have caused irreparable harm to the Boone County Republican party.

I am inquiring with the leadership of the Illinois Republican Party as to whether or not there is an official avenue that I may pursue in order to register a charge of unethical behavior on your part. As it is, regardless if I am or am not able to lodge a complaint with the State party I will take this matter up with the Boone County Central Committee and the precinct committeemen.

It is my intention to have you removed from your post as the Boone County Republican Central Committee Chairman for your lack of discretion and flagrant violation of the ethics of fair treatment among political candidates.


Jim Wise


Chris Brown, State Central Committee Deputy

Jane Burrs, State Central Committee Deputy

Andy McKenna, Chairman

Sounds like the Republicans in Belvidere