For more than 50 years, the Tinley Park Mental Health Center served as the treatment facility for up to 1,900 mentally ill patients annually. These days, the patients have been left to fend for themselves as the building lies vacant — a stark and eerie reminder of everything that is wrong with Illinois' mental health system.
Since the 1960s, the number of beds in Illinois' state-run psychiatric hospitals has decreased to fewer than 1,500 from 35,000, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The latest closures in 2012, including the Tinley Park center, coincided with Chicago shuttering half of its 12 mental health clinics. For decades, we were told that government was not turning its back on the mentally ill. Rather, these institutions would be replaced through "reinvesting in community care" — a more humane and cost-effective means of treating those patients.
Categories: State Issues
Tags: Illinois, Mental Health
A new measure signed into law gives Will County Board members more authority to remove county appointees who violate ethics standards.
It’s a move welcomed by county appointees such as Nick Palmer, chief of staff for Will County Executive Larry Walsh. Palmer was appointed by Walsh in 2004 as deputy chief of staff but was later promoted to chief of staff in 2010.
“I think it’s good. It’s what I’ve always known,” Palmer said Friday. “If it restores any confidence of the taxpayers in the board, I think that’s a positive thing. It could also discourage people who might want to do something that’s not in the public’s best interest. Hopefully it discourages them because they know people are watching.”
Categories: Local Issues, State Issues
Tags: County Board, County Executive, Transparency
The Elwood Village Board voted to repeal an ordinance passed May 21 instituting road restrictions designed to reduce the number of vehicles crossing the Union Pacific Railroad track at Walter Strawn Drive.
The action taken Wednesday night passed unanimously with no comment from trustees. President William Offerman and Trustee Francis “Bud” Jones were absent.
After the village instituted the changes in May, CenterPoint, APL and the Union Pacific Railroad argued successfully in federal court for a temporary restraining order.
Categories: Local Issues
Tags: Will County, Elwood, Will County Board, Infrastructure
Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots has issued a news release outlining rules for early voting and grace period registration/voting for the Nov. 4 election in light of a new state law enacted July 1.
Early voting will extend through Nov. 2.
Grace period registration/voting has been extended through the closing of the polls at 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Tags: Will County, Voter Registration, Voting Laws, Voter ID laws, 2014 Elections
The mainstream news media tells us immigration reform is dead. And yet those same news outlets remind us almost daily how immigration reform, or lack thereof, impacts our lives economically, culturally and morally.
The truth is that immigration is part of our past and will shape our future as a nation. A close look at the facts shows how.
I recently moderated an immigration reform panel at Compass Church in Naperville. The information shared was insightful and educational.
Categories: National Issues
Tags: Naperville, Immigration