Friday, July 25, 2014

Tourism Road Show

 The Carbondale Convention and Tourism office will host the Illinois Office of Tourism on Tuesday the 29th as the IOT talks about Illinois tourism. Apparently the state has record breaking numbers of tourists last year.

 

The Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) is making a pit stop in Carbondale on Tuesday, July 29th as part of their 2014 Illinois Road Show.

 

Representatives from the IOT will stop in various cities across the state to share the recently released 2013 data on the economic and social benefits of the Illinois travel industry.

Carbondale Tourism is thrilled to have Carbondale be selected as the first of three stops through southern Illinois.

The Illinois Road Show media event will start at 9:00am at the Garden Grove Event Center, located at 1215 East Walnut Street in Carbondale, behind The University Mall. IOT Deputy Director Jen Hoelzle will present detailed information on the Illinois 2013 record-breaking tourism numbers.

The general public and businesses affected by travel and tourism are encouraged to attend and learn about the efforts of the state to continue to promote the state of Illinois and our region as destinations for domestic and international travelers.

Don't hesitate to reach out to Carbondale Tourism at (618) 529-4451 with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Marion Overpass Open

Finally, the overpass on Hwy 13 just west of Marion has opened, making it maybe a little less difficult to navigate the stretch of road.

I still doubt that, given Marion's size, that the city needs 3 exits within such a short distance, especially one that takes cars right past Rent One Park.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Red Tape Blues

Good story in the Economist about the cost of regulation in the US, something like $1.86 trillion a year. Most small businesses complain more about over-regulation than high taxes.  If Carbondale is serious about changing its image to make itself more "business friendly", a good place to start is to work through the revised code and prune regulations, determining which are useful for the well being of the community and which are not.

The problem of course is that you will always find someone to defend every regulation, as no regulation gets passed into law without someone seeing a need for it.

However, there is evidence the city can make changes. Witness the number of new sidewalk signs that have appeared on downtown streets after the regulations affecting them were rewrittten. It took several years to get the rules changes but it did finally happen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Off Premise Signage

I have wondered for awhile why Kohl's has a off premise sign located along Hwy 13 when the store is located several hundred yards south. According to section 14.5.10.3 of the Carbondale Revised Code, off premises signs are prohibited with no exceptions, unlike moving and temporary signs.

Maybe Kohl's bought the property at the location for the express purpose of erecting a sign? Still, unless the property connects to the Kohl's store property, I would think that would still be considered "off premises". Time for a trip to city hall.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Carbondale Police

As this article points out, Carbondale's police department responds to around 80,000 calls a year and only gets complaints about a dozen or so.We never hear about the successful interactions between police and citizens because they are just that, successful. It is only when there is a problem that it becomes news and thankfully there are comparatively few of those.

I certainly would like seeing foot patrols implemented in the downtown area though. Though research indicates that foot patrols have little effect in a homogeneous society, they do appear effective in communities with greater social and economic stratification.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Hunting We Will Go

By a vote of 6 to 1, with Jessica Bradshaw the 1, city council last Tuesday voted to allow bowhunting of deer on the city owned property around Cedar Lake, hoping to address the damage caused by the animals overgrazing in the area. No sure why Bradshaw voted against the ordinance but would bet it had to do with the concerns expressed about people getting injured by hunters in the area.

Unfortunately, something needed to get done about the problem as I have heard property owners in the area complain about the damage the Cedar Lake deer did to their property as well as the land around the lake.With no predators to speak of in the area, though cougars are reported to have moved further south in Illinois, the deer population keeps growing and needs reducing. Barring continued car/deer interactions, some form of hunting appears the current best option.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

State Budget and State Constituion

Rather interesting that a strict reading of the Illinois Constitution indicates that it does not require a balanced budget. Rather, what the appropriate section says is that:

The General Assembly by law shall make
appropriations for all expenditures of public funds by the
State. Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed
funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available
during that year.
 
 
 
Ergo, the constitution only requires that the legislature keep spending within funding estimated available for the year. It does not require appropriations to be adjusted for actual funding or to address outstanding bills left over from prior years when actual revenues fell short of estimates.