In early May this year I learned that my opponent for the Winnebago County Board, Jasmin “Jas” Bilich, and his construction company Bosly Construction, LLC were sued for nonpayment by several union pension funds of Fox Valley Local 32 based out of Cherry Valley to the tune of $168,207.80 in May 2017. As of July 26th, 2018 he and his company have managed to reduce the amount owed to $21,786.24, but not before several missed payments and at least two payments of $14,811.87 and $7,613.85 being bounced back as non-sufficient-funds.
Having checks of such considerable size, with some sent after promised due dates being returned as NSF is bad enough. That even with extra time Bilich still couldn’t get the funds together? Why hire someone to do work if you cannot afford to pay all promised funds in full in a timely manner or without having the court system force your hand? Speaking of which, but judging by the history of this story as public records show, I’d say the Laborers Local 32 out of Fox Valley have been far too generous towards Mr. Bilich and his company, giving up sizable chunks of what is owed while offering Bilich and Bosly several opportunities to catch up.
A couple years ago Mr. Bilich was appointed to the Winnebago County Board Zoning Board of Appeals where he recently voted YES to recommend that asphalt plant be built in the middle of a quarry — a quarry that happens to sit directly on top of the main supply of fresh clean drinking water for roughly 40,000 of our fellow Winnebago County citizens. **Following UPDATE added on 10/23/18** Barely six weeks ago on September 4th Jas’ campaign received $1100 from James Hughes who ran for Rockford mayor last year. $100 from himself, which doesn’t bother me as he is close friends with the Bilich family. But the $1000 appears not to have come from Mr. Hughes own pocket, but rather in the form of a donation received on August 31 by a certain law firm; Guyer & Enichen, PC to be exact. This is the law firm that represents the asphalt plant which Jas Bilich voted YES to recommend be built despite its then known proximity to the local water shed. I leave it up to you to interpret this new information that is readily available on the Illinois State Board of Election website on your own. Click HERE and HERE for direct links to the transactions that back my assertion from the ISBOE website. **END UPDATE** Do you really want this level of incompetency, lack of judgment, mismanagement, and ethical question marks on the Winnebago County Board? I sure don’t.
Now I read Jas’ personal family story on his website on how he and they ended up in the Rockford area. It is short, yet powerful, heartfelt, and part of what America is all about story. We can and should applaud him for taking the risk of starting a company. But this seeming inability to balance his company’s checkbook, pay his bills for work rendered, forcing the courts to make him pay up, his questionable vote of approval for that asphalt plant, and the open question as to what the $1000 was for simply cannot be ignored. It astonishes me that Mr. Bilich — with all this going on with his construction company has had the audacity to toss his hat into the ring to try and become an elected official of our county board in the first place. How can he look into people’s eyes and honestly tell them that he would be a good steward of their tax dollars if he can’t even be a good steward of his own company’s finances or that he accepts donations that may be ethically challenging at best. In my mind this entire episode reads like a badly written novel based on Donald Trump’s business model of hire, don’t pay, and hope no one notices. Minus the bankruptcies of course.
As for myself, I’m a decade long public sector union school bus driver, a political activist, and unapologetic Bernie Sanders supporter and I bring to the table a variety of fresh, bold ideas that few politicians talk about. Like a countywide public bank modeled after the 98 year old Republican created State Bank of North Dakota that could potentially save our county millions in taxpayer dollars every year that can create an opportunity for lower property taxes for all, investing in public broadband Wi-Fi internet services that could help transform us into a Midwest tech hub, turning our county animal services into a no-kill facility, creating a livable wage so more of our people can participate in our economy, and property assessed clean energy financing that can help bring existing and future businesses into the 21st Century without hurting their bottom line.
Those of you who live in District 20 of our county board certainly have a choice to make on November 6th. You can vote for yet another status quo small business wannabe good ole boy insider or for someone not interested in being part of some clique, who wants to make a difference for all, who has many bold, fresh outside the box ideas and is willing to fight for all of them on your behalf. One last thing … I highly encourage you to research my opponents “Issues” or “Solutions” page and compare it to mine. Oh wait, never mind … he doesn’t have one.