Saturday, June 17, 2006



The word on the street is that there will soon be another magazine about St. Charles. Tom Hannegan has decided that he can do a better job than Deb Smith so he has started a magazine to compete against her. Now the fun begins. I have been told they are not talking and sides have been drawn up within the movers and shakers.

DS has a board of advisors for her magazine and TH has started a board for his magazine. A few of the people are on both boards i.e. Nadine Boon the City’s Director of Economic Development. The boards consist of people who believe they are movers and shakers and others who think they should be movers and shakers. The majority of the members of these boards probably think they were selected to give input and help with editorial policy. A few are smart enough to realize they were selected because of their advertising potential. They either have the authority to place ads or are close to someone who is, thereby benefiting the income of the magazine on whose board they serve. (i.e.; Nadine Boon with economic development ads from the City budget. Steve Powell the former Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau was on a lot of boards). I would be surprised if any of these boards ever had a board meeting.

TH’s publication has not reached the streets yet but DS’s has been around for several years. It is mostly ads with puff pieces on either members of their board or movers and shakers they believe can bring them advertising. They also have awards programs and dinners like the 40 under 40 and the 50 over 50. Nothing wrong with those programs. I congratulate them for coming up with the ideas. It’s a great way to sell advertising. The honorees or their employers usually feel obligated to purchase a congratulatory ad in the publication. I would doubt if any of those ads are a wise investment. The ads are great for making the honorees feel good but don’t do much for bringing in business to the companies who paid for them. The people who think they may be mentioned in them are usually the only audience for those publications.

As this Civil War between the magazines develops we will keep you informed. TS will have to come up with some award ideas of his own.


There are a great number of awards given out in the City of St. Charles each year. With so many being given they become diluted and have less meaning. Some newspapers also give out the “best of” awards. This is also used as a way to sell advertising. When is the last time you went to a printer or cleaners because a publication gave them an award for being the best of?

I have tried to have our publication sponsor an awards program. However, each time I come up with the idea our publisher shoots me down and says NO. She believes that our readers know these award programs, where multiple awards are presented, are only a money making project for the people giving the awards. Even though she says no I still believe I had several good ideas.

One of the award categories I suggested was “TWENTY WHO HAVE PLENTY”. We would give awards to the 20 people who were most successful in obtaining taxpayer dollars to use for their own benefit.

I also suggested we have as a category, ‘THIRTY WHO ARE DIRTY.” This award would be for the top thirty people in political office who are involved in graft and corruption and the misuse of tax dollars.

Perhaps one day I can talk our publisher into such an awards program. In the meantime why don’t you send me your suggestions on who you think should receive these awards?


A foundation was recently formed in St. Charles. The organizer had some great ideas and asked several people to serve on the board. Most readily agreed and lent their names to what appeared to be a worthwhile endeavor. The organizer lead the board to believe a great amount of money would soon be forthcoming to be used by the foundation. The money never materialized.

In the meantime the Foundation and its founder became indebted to businesses in St. Charles amounting to thousands of dollars. When the money never materialized the businesses were left holding the bag. Several of them allowed the Foundation to be indebted to them based on the integrity and reputations of those on the board. Now that there is no money some have suggested the City could step in and take care of some of the debt. Others have suggested the board members who lent their names to this endeavor be responsible for the debt. I tend to agree with the latter. We would be interested in learning what you think. E-mail your response to


Several attorneys we have spoken to suggest that you use caution when lending your name to a board of directors, or an advisory board. Why do they want you on their board? Is it because you are such a wise person they believe their business will be successful because of your input? Or is it because they believe their business will be able to profit because of you and your contacts? No matter how important the offer might make you feel, step back and determine if you are being honored or taken advantage of.


At the request of Ward 2 Councilman Larry Muench the City Council has voted to give the St. Charles Jaycees $2500 to be used for their parties in the park, which are held once a month in Frontier Park.


At a meeting of the City Council several weeks ago a proposal by Councilman Rory Riddler and Mayor York to have bands on Main Street for the last Saturday in June, July and August was considered. They proposed bands be brought in from out of state and entertain on Main Street on those three Saturday evenings. The City Council approved $15,000 for the out of state bands. Last week we received an invitation from a public relations firm inviting us to a Press Party including free food along with Margaritas and Hurricane drinks to promote ‘Hot Saturday Nights.’ A council member then told us that the Convention and Visitors Bureau had added an additional $3500 to the pot to hire the PR firm to promote this event. This was done in apparent violation of a ruling made by the Council last year that if an organization received money from one part of the City, i.e. the City Council, it could not receive additional funds from another part, i.e. CVB or Arts & Culture. It remains to be seen if the Council takes any action to rectify.


As we mentioned in our last edition we are on our summer schedule, publishing twice a month during June, July and August. We will return to our weekly schedule on September 9, 2006. In the meantime you can keep up on any breaking news on our daily web log,