Last call for Family Portrait Program
The dates are drawing near for our Family Portrait Program for Farm Bureau members, so don’t delay if you haven’t scheduled your sitting yet. Lifetouch Photography will be here on November 20 from 1:30-7:00 p.m. and November 21 from 2:00-9:00 p.m., and they will repeat the process on December 11 from 1:30-7:00 p.m. and December 12 from 2:00-9:00 p.m. You can call the Farm Bureau office at (815) 232-3186 to schedule your sitting, or you can visit www.stephensoncfb.org to self-schedule a time slot. Participants will receive a free 8×10 color portrait and will get special discount options, and all pictures should be back one week after ordering.
Applications sought for Summer Program Assistant
For the twelfth year SCFB will be employing a Summer Program Assistant to help out with a busy summer filled with a variety of projects and activities. Candidates should have at least one year of college under their belt and must have reliable transportation and insurance, and a farm background is helpful but not required. Applications and details are available at www.stephensoncfb.org or at the Farm Bureau office, and deadline for applications is January 31, 2017.
A little excitement
I got a call from the Freeport police at 12:15 a.m. on the morning of November 7 after a car struck the lighted sign pole in front of the Farm Bureau building after a high-speed chase through town. I had to come to the office to shut off power to the sign for extrication of the car, which really did a number on our sign by shattering bulbs, cracking sign facings, and even bending the 12-inch square steel pole slightly. Fortunately, the back end of the car hit an adjacent light pole or the vehicle would have probably hit our building and caused more significant damage. We are assessing the sign’s condition to see if total replacement is imminent.
We’re sorry to report that the Big Apple Restaurant in Freeport has decided to no longer offer a discount to SCFB members. We apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused our members, and we continue to seek out additional local discounts to offer even greater value to Farm Bureau membership.
Don’t forget that the Polaris discount will be expiring on January 1, 2017, so be sure to move quickly if you are considering a Polaris purchase. I have been informed that efforts are being made to possibly retain this as a statewide discount, so watch for a possible announcement.
Election 2016 launches a new era for America
On the heels of the Cubs’ thrilling comeback to win their first World Series in 108 years, we witnessed another groundbreaking event on November 8 when political novice Donald Trump prevailed in one of the most contentious and controversial U.S. presidential elections in our nation’s history. Proving the relative ineffectiveness of polls and prognostication, president-elect Trump claimed victories in several key battleground states and overcame the pre-election momentum swings that had many feeling confident of the potential election of our nation’s first female president in Hillary Clinton. When the long, long night was over, the American voters spoke with a clear mandate that they are truly tired of traditional political processes and are ready for a fresh approach from a man who is clearly not afraid to speak candidly and forcefully, albeit sometimes inappropriately and irresponsibly.
As we move forward on this new path, it has never been more critical for ALL of us to put aside our differences and agendas and truly unite as a nation to fix what’s broken, heal what’s ailing, talk openly and honestly about OUR country and its future, and work together in unbiased, non-partisan cooperation. The election of a charismatic business mogul and reality TV show celebrity to the leadership of the most prominent nation in the world is uncharted waters, and it will be vital for him to surround himself with competent, responsible cabinet members and staff who can get things done. More importantly, it will be essential for Mr. Trump to exercise a greater degree of diplomacy and tact as he deals with world leaders and international relations. As the father of a son serving in a U.S. embassy abroad now, I am placing my trust in him to step up and act “more presidential” and less sensational. The divisiveness and tension in our country is readily evident, and we have the opportunity to write an amazing new chapter in our nation’s history – let’s not blow it!
Managerial referendum wins approval
I joined with a number of my fellow members of the Committee to Change City Government on November 8 as we monitored election results and eventually celebrated the passage of the referendum to change Freeport’s city government structure to a city manager format. The forty members of the committee, working through seven separate sub-committees, worked diligently to achieve success in the fourth attempt at passage by a roughly 53%-47% margin. The 19-member Planning and Implementation Team, co-chaired by Dr. Peter Flynn and Dick Drogosz, will now begin working to aid the mayor and council as they begin the process of sourcing, vetting and hiring Freeport’s first city manager. Thanks to everyone who supported this important initiative and to all who contributed to the CCCG effort.
Bruce Johnson is the Manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau