Cairo Association of Teachers - Newsletter

CAT Tracks for August 13, 2007

From the KFVS TV Channel 12 website...

Cleaning up Cairo

By: CJ Cassidy

CAIRO, Ill. - How do you clean up a city that's had more than it's share of political mud slinging and hard feelings?

That's the challenge Cairo's new mayor and council members faced when they took office more than three months ago.

Folks in town say they don't see any name calling or arguing at city hall meetings anymore, and that's a welcome change.

Meanwhile the new mayor says he's just getting started. Judson Childs knows how to be in charge. He ran state prisons in Joliet, Maynard and Vienna. So running a city, even one as chaotic as Cairo has been shouldn't be too tough.

"Everybody's held accountable. Sometimes in city government, management styles are different than what I'm used to so I'm not changing my style. Mine is effective," Childs said.

His staff seems to think so.

But more than 100 days after taking over City Hall, they're still in the middle of a job the old administration didn't do.

"There hasn't been an audit done in Cairo in the last four years and the State of Illinois requires you to do one," City Clerk Lorrie Hesselrode said.

Four audits add up to countless hours on the job, not to mention the paperwork.

"It's a lot of paperwork. They go through all the employment taxes, federal taxes, state taxes," Hesselrode said.

You get the picture. It's a lot of paperwork.

"I don't know why the former administration didn't do any audits even though the State requires it," she said.

But like their boss, the staff isn't dwelling on past problems.

Childs wants to bring in new jobs to the area through a clean coal power plant.

Unlike those serving time in prison he wants people here to be free to hope for the future. and work toward it.

"I'm hoping we'll see a new Cairo," Childs said.

The audit for this year is due in October, but Cairo has hired a new auditor and plans to ask the state for an extension.

Heartland News will keep you posted on what that audit reveals about recent years when it becomes available.