Possible Gliniewicz target known for being tough
Anne Marrin started the week as a relative unknown.
She's the Fox Lake village administrator who was largely absent from the two-month drama surrounding the death of police Lt. Charles "Joe" Gliniewicz, even though we now know she had been asking tough questions in the background for months before he died.
Now, authorities have said Gliniewicz may have tried to "put a hit" on Marrin, an otherwise unassuming village official who has now become a central figure in the Gliniewicz story.
Suburban officials say in the years before she joined the Fox Lake staff last year, Marrin quietly developed a reputation for good work as the city administrator in Prospect Heights.
"She was a tough taskmaster for everyone, including me as a mayor, and held us responsible for what we were supposed to be doing," Mayor Nick Helmer said. "She did very well at that."
Marrin told Daily Herald reporter Bob Susnjara she started asking questions about the Explorer program Gliniewicz led a few months before he died. The last message of his released by police showed him clearly worried about her request to inventory the program's headquarters.
"I was brought in as the first professional administrator, and one of my tasks was actually to review all of the departments, and that has been an ongoing thing for the past year and a half," Marrin, a former trustee in the small McHenry County town of McCullom Lake, told Susnjara. "There were some questions and issues with the police department Explorer program."
Helmer says he hasn't talked to Marrin about the Fox Lake situation because "it just wasn't the proper thing to do."
"She is tough. She pays attention to detail," he said. "I suppose, in retrospect, that was the best person Fox Lake could have brought in."
Marrin started working in Prospect Heights in 2010, at a time when the local finances were troubled -- an assessment state Rep. David Harris of Arlington Heights called an "understatement."
Harris sponsored a resolution in the Illinois House honoring her when she left the job. It said Marrin "oversaw Prospect Heights' recovery from a severe fiscal crisis and worked tirelessly to put the city on a path leading to the fiscal soundness that the city now enjoys."
"I've always considered her to be a straight shooter," Harris said.
The long retail road
About this time four years ago, the big fight in Springfield included a debate over state and local tax breaks sought by Sears Holdings Corp.
In the end, the company prevailed. Sears won a deal, with backing from former Gov. Pat Quinn, that included extending some local property tax breaks as well as credits on income tax withholdings valued at $15 million per year.
As of this moment, Sears has yet to receive a dollar in credits from the state, though the company says it has made the required investments to earn them.
"We are in the process of reviewing necessary documentation, so it would be premature to make a determination on whether or not Sears has met the job and investment requirements of the agreement," Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Lyndsey Walters said.
The company had until January of this year to show it has made the required investments in the Hoffman Estates campus. The company says it has.
"Our agreement required us to make a certain amount of capital investments before triggering the credit," Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite said. "We have exceeded both the job and investment requirements and are in regular communication with the state on the documentation required for them to issue a certificate."
Quinn, part deux?
In her new Politico tipsheet, Natasha Korecki reports Quinn could be looking at a run for governor again in 2018.
A look at Quinn's campaign finance reports shows he spent a little more than $45,000 last quarter, largely to pay a few staff members and his taxes. His most recent filing also shows his Taxpayers for Quinn fund making a rent payment for office space as recently as Sept. 1.
The Democrat lost to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last year.
This week we asked Susan Garrett, the former Lake Forest state senator and leader of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, why her group and others felt they needed to send a letter asking Rauner and top Democrats to hold a public meeting on the ongoing budget war.
The Nov. 18 meeting has built a fair amount of anticipation even as it's unclear what will be accomplished. The budget stalemate has been going on since summer. Since then, no serious progress has been made toward completing a spending plan and meetings have been few and far between.
"Generally speaking, people assume that they were meeting, and that there is just disagreement," Garrett said.
Spirit of Lincoln
Rauner Thursday announced the names of top high school and community college students to get The Lincoln Academy's Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award.
Here are some of the local winners and their hometowns, according to Rauner's office: Aubrey Waddick, Algonquin; Dana V. Cairns, Lombard; Nicole M. Jovicevice, Des Plaines; Benjamin Labaschin, Northbrook; Alexander H. Koulos, Naperville; Kiranjit Gill, Palatine; Richard J. Davis, Arlington Heights; Monica S. Chen, Buffalo Grove; Kendall C. Jones, Lake Villa.
The students will be honored Saturday at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.