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Out Here

No big demonstrations in Dixon

America isn't a protesting society – for the most part.

Perhaps it's because the United States has a long democratic tradition. While we remain skeptical of government, we hold out hope that right will prevail.

Since the FBI arrested Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell in April, have any big protests been held?


Shortly after the arrest, a group of residents announced it would hold regular Friday demonstrations against the mayor. And it did. But it was only a handful of residents. Despite the group's hopes, a larger demonstration never happened.

The day before the first demonstration, I saw a Dixon police officer going department to department in the Old Lee County Courthouse. He was preparing local government offices for the demonstration.

The Dixon police were smart to prepare. It's better than being caught off guard. But it turned out that such efforts were unnecessary.

During the Memorial Day Parade, Mayor Jim Burke and the City Council rode in a float. I walked the route following them.

I'm not a stalker; I just wanted to see what kind of reaction the mayor and council would get from the public. Just weeks earlier, federal authorities announced that Crundwell had misappropriated $53 million in city funds over two decades. This angered many Dixon residents.

During the parade, none of the reaction was negative. People cheered and smiled at the mayor and council. Some gave the officials a thumbs up.

Does this mean the community is behind the council and the mayor? I'll leave that for others to decide.

Sauk Valley Media reporter David Giuliani covers the Whiteside and Lee county governments, Morrison and other smaller communities. He can be reached at or at 800-798-4085, ext. 525.

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