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Article posted: 10/12/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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By The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Budgetary perspective in Elgin:

Elgin city councilmen are not sure about eliminating business license fees because they worry about losing revenue. The fees are projected to bring in $255,000 this year. The city's 2013 budget figures on $106 million in revenue. City Manager Sean Stegall said eliminating the fees wouldn't affect finances in the short term. He might have a point.

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Rah for football moms:

Anyone who's had a kid in youth football knows it would all fall apart without the football moms. So congratulations to Jennifer Kmiecik of Bartlett for doing so much for her boys' team that it won her a USA Football/Courtyard Marriott Inspire Greatness award of $1,000 -- which goes toward players' safety gear.

Social media -- the good:

When Batavia police posted on Facebook a surveillance video of someone stealing an iPad left on a restaurant counter, the thief was shamed into giving it back the next day. The post was shared more than 1,000 times. In an extremely generous move, the owner didn't press charges.

Social media -- the bad:

Naperville police are asking parents in the area to review their children's Facebook friends for contact with "Mike Evans," the alias of man who they say had sexual conversations with minors while pretending to be a teen. Considering the no-geographical boundaries of online talk, parents all over the region would be wise to do the same.

More than flatlanders:

Barrington Hills' first "The Hills Are Alive Fall Heritage Fest" on Sunday reminds us there are occasional hilly spots in the suburbs. But we're still amused to consider the "mount" in Mount Prospect.

Too much, too soon?

Both the Hoffman Estates and Mount Prospect village boards are considering hefty tax increases to rebuild streets. With the economy still fragile, they and other towns should very carefully question whether it's the right time to break from the austerity local governments have exhibited in recent years.

Good decision:

As part of a downtown proposal, developer John Breugelmans may have been looking for the deal of the century when he offered to pay $10 for a 2-acre parcel that had cost Lake Zurich taxpayers $3.6 million. He didn't get it. The village board will seek a more taxpayer-friendly deal.

Party games:

Are 8th District congressional candidate Manju Goel's Republican credentials suspect because she pulled Democratic ballots in a couple of primaries? Let's hope it takes more than that. In fact, maybe a candidate's qualifications are more suspect if she's never crossed the line occasionally. It's all another point in the case for open primaries.

The Ventra fiasco:

Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" took to calling the Obama administration Team Incompetent because of its troubles with the new health insurance marketplace website. It looks like we have our local version of that in the new Ventra card system for Chicago-area public transit.

Life well-lived:

Mount Prospect's Andy Pafko, who died last week at the age of 92, may have been the last living link between the Cubs and the World Series, but that wasn't what made him memorable. It was the way he played the game, and the way he lived his life. Thanks, Andy. Rest in peace.

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