Monthly Archives: March 2008

Trouble with local Leadership

Idiocy and meanness reaching new heights in the suburbs
By Chuck Goudie | Daily Herald Columnist
Published: 3/17/2008 12:06 AM

Local, small town “governance” can sometimes be plagued by pettiness and a hunger for power that far outdistances the scope of any elective or appointed position.

Now, though, the level of spite, meanness and idiocy in some local governments is reaching new heights. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny.

In Carpentersville, the town government has come to a halt because one trustee has been convicted of walloping his wife with a baseball bat. He hit her in the legs and prodded her in the groin, according to recent trial testimony.

The mayor, in his bid to toss the trustee off the village board, further alleges the trustee doesn’t even live in Carpentersville.

Oh, and did I mention that, according to published reports, the trustee with the baseball bat hit his wife shortly after he learned she had sex with the 30-year-old son of another Carpentersville council member?

Commenting on the sordid story has become quite a pastime on Internet blogs, has poisoned village board proceedings and has hampered the community from addressing more pressing problems such as how to deal with a surge in illegal immigrants.

This situation is no doubt fed by suburban residents who have real jobs by day, but by night they follow the lead of full-time rabble-rousers such as our governor, members of the General Assembly and those running for president.

Maybe there needs to be more anti-psychotic medication dumped into the water supply so that Carpentersville can once again live up to its slogan: “Building a better tomorrow, today.”

And then there is Hinsdale, where the silent majority of residents are embarrassed and increasingly unamused by their village “leaders.”

For several years there has been incessant bickering between elected officials and some blue-blooded preservationists who appear to see empty-nester housing as Cabrini-Green incarnate and any retail re-development as tantamount to bringing the failed State Street Mall to their suburb.

As with the war in Carpentersville, Hinsdale’s battlefield is largely on the Internet where anonymous personal slurs are as easy to toss as popcorn kernels in a dark theater.

Maybe these mud-slingers are harboring anger left after losing their high school student council elections. Or possibly they are just venting mid-life crises by taking it out on entire communities. I wish they would simply buy a Corvette convertible or someone would give them a Botox gift card.

The Carpentersville village board meets tomorrow night. The Hinsdale village board convenes, suitably, on April Fool’s day.

Shortly after 7:30 on those evenings, the trustees will take attendance. Then, out of habit, each will stand and face the American Flag. One or two might even put their right hand over their heart as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

They obviously need a reminder as to exactly what they are pledging. Perhaps someone ought to read the below version of the Pledge. Old-time comic Red Skelton once delivered something like it on his TV show but I’ve taken the liberty of updating it.

“I Pledge Allegiance…”

“I” means me, an individual and committee of one; “pledge” is a solemn devotion to serve others without selfishness or self-pity; “allegiance” is a promise to be faithful to those who have handed over their trust.

“To the Flag…”

This red, white and blue cloth stands as a symbol of the freedom that allows you to represent us. It has stood for 236 years and will be here long after you are gone. Leave it as you found it.


We all come together for the common good of the…


Many pieces. One pie. Many people. One purpose.

“And to the republic for which it stands…”

We live in a republic. That means power is given from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

“one nation, under God,”

Don’t forget who has the ultimate power to recall you.


You can try to divide…but we will conquer.

“With liberty…”

This would be the right we have to live as we see fit, without the threat or fear of retaliation.

“And justice for all.”

Justice means you should play fair and do the right thing.

If you ever forget what that means, remember these two words: Eliot Spitzer.


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Are Sarto’s powers being reined in?

Some say that Carpentersville residents want Humpfer off the Board, But really the statistics aren’t there and except for one resistive Article in the Courier there has been little call by the residents. I think most of this is because nobody believes the Judge in this case, just like the OJ Simpsons nobody believed that out come either.

I certainly believe that in any case nobody wants Sarto to pick any Trustee too be placed on the Board.  We already have one “yes trustee” which everyone knows as Sliwinski, and that’s more than enough of the “Sarto clowns”.

Speaking of clowns, I don’t think Carpentersville residents appreciate the way things transpired after last years Inauguration. We had a little back room quarterbacking going on…………….

“Ringmaster Sarto and his mudslinging clowns!”

Proposal to rein in Carpentesville president’s power
By Larissa Chinwah | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/15/2008 12:32 AM

Carpentersville trustees want to scale back the village president’s powers, claiming his efforts this week in seeking a trustee’s removal were an abuse of power.

Trustee Judy Sigwalt will present a resolution Tuesday that would prevent Village President Bill Sarto from acting on the behalf of the board, initiating investigations and using village resources without prior consent from the village board.

“We want to make him stop so we can get on with village business,” Sigwalt said. “We need to stop Sarto from expending money on a witch hunt that has been going on for three years since Paul (Humpfer) was first appointed to the village board.”

Earlier this week, Sarto asked both Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to step in and remove Trustee Paul Humpfer from the board.

Sarto asked the state’s attorney and the attorney general to begin quo warranto proceedings, an action that establishes the legitimacy of an officeholder.

The move came days after Humpfer was convicted on four counts of misdemeanor domestic battery for hitting his wife with a baseball bat.

Village attorney James Rhodes drafted the letters, which both offices confirmed they had received.

Rhodes did not return calls seeking comment.

But Sarto said the board does not have the right to adopt such provisions.

“My greatest concern here is that they are trying to limit my rights not only as president but as a citizen to inquire about anything,” Sarto said. “It is a tempest in a teapot. I am not too concerned. It’s a resolution, not an ordinance.”

In addition, Trustee Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski called the resolution “comical.”

“It is just Judy being childish,” Ramirez-Sliwinski said. “When Judy doesn’t like the rules she tries to change them.”

Other trustees, though, say they support the measure.

Trustees Ed Ritter and Kay Teeter asked for the measure’s inclusion on Tuesday’s village board agenda.

“It allows the board to become involved with the matter at hand,” Hinz said.

Teeter also said the resolution is needed to rein in the mayor.

“Yes, I support it, but it is just very irritating that we have to go through this because someone is abusing their power,” Teeter said. “There were less than 24 hours after the verdict before he declared the seat vacant. He didn’t care what we thought or had to say.”

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King Sarto, Personality disorder?, Infamous Crime?

There’s Only My Way!

“Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, including an excessive need for approval and inappropriate seductiveness, usually beginning in early adulthood.”

“The essential feature of the histrionic personality disorder is a pervasive and excessive pattern of emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. These individuals are lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. They may be inappropriately sexually provocative, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and be easily influenced by others.”


Sarto said Humpfer’s conviction last week on four counts of misdemeanor domestic battery warrants his immediate ejection.

On Wednesday, Sarto sent a letter to both Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti requesting they take action to remove Humpfer.

The letters sought “quo warranto” action, a legal term describing an effort to establish the legitimacy of an officeholder’s claim to his seat.

It is commonly used to remove publicly elected officials who have committed crimes but who refuse to relinquish their offices.

“It is my opinion that the severity of these convictions necessitates a judicial determination that Paul Humpfer has been convicted of an infamous crime and that the conviction would require a forfeiture of his office,” Sarto said in the letters.

A person convicted of a felony, bribery, perjury or other infamous crime shall be ineligible to hold an office created by this Constitution. Eligibility may be restored as provided by law.
Those found guilty of a misdemeanor can retain their seats.

Code of Civil Procedure, sections 803-811

An action may be brought by the attorney-general, in the name of the people of this state, upon his own information, or upon a complaint of a private party, against any person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises any public office, civil or military, or any franchise, or against any corporation, either de jure or de facto, which usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises any franchise, within this state. And the attorney-general must bring the action, whenever he has reason to believe that any such office or franchise has been usurped, intruded into, or unlawfully held or exercised by any person, or when he is directed to do so by the governor.

Law Dictionary:

Infamous Crime

A crime which works infamy in the person who commits it. 189 S.E. 441. At common law, any infamous crime was one that rendered the person convicted thereof incompetent as a witness. 4 N.Y. Cr. R. 545, 546. This was based on the theory of untrustworthiness whereby a testimonial disqualification was imposed to prevent the introduction of evidence thought not entitled to credence. In this sense, infamous crimes comprehended treason, felonies and any crime involving the element of deceit [crimen falsi] 23 F. 136, 137 and examined the nature of the crime rather than the nature of the punishment inflicted. The modern view of infamous crimes, which under Art. V of the Constitution must be prosecuted by indictment, is any crime that is punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penal institution, with or without hard labor for more than one year. See 604 F. 2d 569, 572. Under this view, it is determined by the nature of the punishment, which a court is authorized to impose, and not by the character of the crime. The common law procedure of excluding witnesses because of prior infamous convictions is no longer followed, although such convictions may affect the credibility of the witness. See 182 A. 2d 15, 16.,3_4_EL13_EDITHUMPFER_S1.article

“When we endorsed candidates in the Carpentersville Village Board election last spring, we said we believed Carpentersville needed a strong, respected voice to solve the village’s many problems and someone to counter the autocratic behavior of Village President William Sarto.”

“It was for those reasons we endorsed appointed Village Trustee Paul Humpfer for election to a full term. It is also for those reasons we now ask him to resign.”
“We do not ask for his resignation lightly nor happily, because we cannot imagine a village in which the strongest voice is William Sarto.”

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Has President Sarto become obsessed?


Carpentersville president looks to prosecutors to remove trustee
By Larissa Chinwah | Daily Herald Staff

It’s March.

That means March Madness, the start of spring and St. Patrick’s Day.

In Carpentersville, it’s also the time of year when Village President Bill Sarto sends a letter to the Kane County state’s attorney requesting action against a trustee.

This year, he’ll also send a letter to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Sarto met with village administrators Tuesday to discuss Trustee Paul Humpfer’s political future, in light of the trustee’s conviction for misdemeanor domestic battery.

Though state law requires the ouster of elected officials convicted of a felony — or “an infamous crime” — those found guilty of a misdemeanor can retain their seats.

“We are requesting that quo warranto action be taken to have Mr. Humpfer removed from the village board,” Sarto said. “We are asking that they step in and do the right thing and have him removed.”

“Quo warranto” is a legal term describing an action that establishes the legitimacy of an officeholder.

It is commonly used to remove publicly elected officials who have committed crimes but who refuse to relinquish their offices.

“It seems like we are not getting much of a result from the state’s attorney,” Sarto said. “They have been kind of ducking this in terms of taking a position one way or another. We are hoping to get some clarification on this.”

A Kane County judge last week convicted Humpfer, 44, of four counts of domestic battery stemming from a May 2007 argument in which Humpfer hit his wife in the legs with a baseball bat.

Humpfer faces up to 364 days in county jail. Sentencing is set for April 10.

Village attorney James Rhodes confirmed that he was preparing a letter to send to both authorities, but declined to elaborate on the letter’s contents.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Clint Hull said the office had not yet received a request from Sarto and refused to comment further.

The latest correspondence with county prosecutors comes almost a year to the day since Sarto asked Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti to look into allegations of domestic abuse filed by Humpfer’s wife in 2005.

In March last year, just weeks before the April election in which Humpfer was running, Sarto resurrected an 18-month-old incident and brought it to the state’s attorney’s office for investigation.

In that incident, Jacqueline Humpfer, Humpfer’s wife, had sought and received an order of protection against her husband.

The state’s attorney’s office determined no charges were warranted in that case and no charges were ever filed.

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Sarto gets caught Lying again,3_1_EL08_A3HUMPFER_S1.article

Sarto still calling for Humpfer’s removal

March 8, 2008

CARPENTERSVILLE — Despite a week that included a criminal conviction and a possible unrelated probe by Kane County prosecutors, Paul Humpfer said he’s planning to stay put as a village board trustee. At least for now.

“Not at this point” is Humpfer considering stepping down from the board, he said Friday.

Humpfer has, however, been pressured to do so since well before charges were first brought last August, he said. Village President Bill Sarto has suggested his resignation several times.

“Any reason he could get, he would grab onto to get me off that board,” Humpfer said.

Their contentious relationship stems at least in part from Humpfer’s proposed ordinance to fine residents who employ or rent to illegal immigrants, the trustee and others have said.

A Kane County judge convicted Humpfer on Wednesday of four counts of domestic battery for hitting his wife of 16 years with a baseball bat at their Carpentersville home in May 2007. The conviction is yet another reason Humpfer ought to be supplanted from the board, Sarto said.

“I’ve been told by attorneys from the attorney general’s office … about the situation,” Sarto said during a telephone interview Friday. “They both told me that if he was convicted on any one of these four counts, he’d be removed.”

Sarto added that two Kane County State’s Attorneys Office investigators had told him the same thing last summer when Humpfer was indicted.

However, the Illinois Attorney General’s office denies ever offering an official opinion or any analysis on the matter, beyond pointing Sarto to the pertinent state statute.


The legislation does not state which offices or agencies have the authority to discharge Humpfer.

Also, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office said it could not confirm which staffers — if any — Sarto talked to regarding Humpfer’s conviction and its effect on his public official status.

State’s Attorney John Barsanti has not offered an opinion, and likely will not do so unless the village board itself opts to purge Humpfer and he refuses to step down.

Regardless of which bodies have authority, the violent nature of the crime absolutely demands Humpfer’s removal from office, Sarto said.

“If you went out in the community and asked 10 people,” Sarto said, 10 would say that the battery is serious enough to be considered an “infamous crime,” the somewhat vague legal standard legislators used to qualify such removals.

For more than a year, Sarto also has called for Humpfer’s ousting based on the trustee’s place of residence. Sarto has argued that the trustee has been living outside the village, which would could make him ineligible to hold a village office as per the residency requirement of the legislation.

On Thursday, Barsanti released a statement in response to Sarto’s official, months-old inquiry.

Barsanti said that he had spoken with the village about the residency issue, but had not determined whether Humpfer was — or is — indeed living outside the municipality’s borders.

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Resident questions leadership skills of C’ville Board

Board OKs gasoline tax

March 6, 2008

CARPENTERSVILLE — After an hourlong debate fueled by concerns over adding to already bloated pump prices, the village board Tuesday night voted 5-2 to enact a 2-cents-per-gallon motor fuel tax.

Officials said the tax should generate about $250,000 in revenue and is needed to offset the financial impact of a future bond issue. The tax is to take effect May 1.

Village President Bill Sarto and Trustees Keith Hinz, Linda Ramirez Sliwinski, Ed Ritter and Kay Teeter voted in favor, while Trustees Judy Sigwalt and Paul Humpfer voted against the measure.

Sarto scoffed at suggestions that the tax would be burdensome for residents, and he expressed doubt it would drive local motorists to other towns to gas up.

“First off, it does tax the users that are using the roadways,” Sarto said. “It seems unbelievable to me that somebody should say that 2 cents (more per gallon) is going to determine whether or not someone is going to gas up in Carpentersville or someplace else.”

He said the revenue from the tax will be vital to the village’s capital improvement program, the centerpiece of which is repairs to crumbling streets.

Sigwalt said that although she is not against improving streets, she has a problem voting for what she described as a tax on top of a tax while signs of a recession are everywhere.

“We have brand-new stores that are cutting jobs, and people are tapping into their 401(k)s just to get by,” Sigwalt said.

She also noted oil prices have climbed to record levels. “And they’re predicting that gas will be $4 a gallon by spring-summer,” she said.

As further evidence that the village is facing harder times, trustees cited a resolution unanimously approved by the village board that allows local water, sewer and vehicle sticker payments to be paid via credit card.

Dear Village Board and President,

I find it absolutely irresponsible that we raised our local Gas taxes in a time of recession or some call it a slowing economy,  in any case not good.

And didn’t we just raise our water and sewer rates?…………………………………………………………..

 Why is it, Government bodies can’t do what  we as Individuals have to do and that’s stay within our own budgets. We cannot force our employers to up our income just because we spend to much just as the Village Officials should not force its employers ” the Tax Payers” to up the Villages income just because the Village Officials cannot balance a budget like the rest of the 37,000 residents do and with know help from the Village!

I am not seeing…… the Logic here. The Village gave the Village Fresh Market $250,000.00, we bought the Tamarac Crossing for what? 2.5 Million dollars? and I’m sure there is plenty I don’t know but, just with this information it shows that the Village should not have bought the Tamarac property and could not afford to give Village Fresh Market $250,000. and other miscellaneous donations or “Incentives”.

This is probably the worst display of leadership yet, which includes the majority of the Board…… When does it stop?……………… where are our taxes going to be 10, 20 years from now?……  Do you realize between all of the taxing body’s that the percentage of our personal money is dwindling away to pay assorted taxes…….. How often do you think you can do this?……… Soon we’ll all be working just to pay taxes.   Where will we get our food?

With this increase in the Gas tax I would expect a freeze on all additional spending within the Village until the time you can Govern with the funds you have in the Village budget, Not the residents Budgets.

Another suggestion and Question; Don’t spend it if you don’t have it, and Should “home rule” be reviewed ?

Just as another thought, We don’t count every cent of tax money we pay each year on everything……….. Just think……….. add it up!

federal Income tax
real estate tax
sales tax
Gas of various taxing districts

And which one of these or any taxing bodies  have ever reduced their percentage of tax charged to you?


Richard Grass & Family


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