Posted by kankakeegazette.com staff⋅4:12 p.m. Jan 14, 2012.
Alderman Dennis Baron’s law firm Deck & Baron is the Corporate Agent for Brown Funeral Home of Manteno, LTD where Mr. Russel Jensen is part-owner.
Mr. Baron voted throughout spring 2011 on Mr. Jensen’s request to the City of Kankakee for a permit to operate a crematorium. Mr. Jensen’s property is at 2450 Grinnell Rd, Kankakee, IL.
Mr. Baron did not realize his firm was financially involved with Mr. Jensen until it was pointed out at the January 3, 2012 City Council Meeting by Township Supervisor and County Board member Larry Enz.
That evening, Mr. Baron abstained on Mr. Jensen’s issue. He said he would check into this as soon as possible. Several days later at a public meeting, Mr. Baron said he did not need to recuse himself as Mr. Jensen is an employee.
All corporation owners are employees of the corporation as well as owners. Mr. Baron is himself an owner and also an employee of his law firm Deck & Baron.
Mr. Jensen is the only funeral director actively working in this small funeral home. If Mr. Baron thinks so little of Mr. Jensen’s financial contribution to Brown Funeral Home, why is he voting to allow Mr. Jensen to run a crematorium? Why isn’t Mr. Baron instead insisting on the demolition which could have been completed more than one year ago?
Mr. Baron seems to be saying that the following people have not told the truth or are uninformed about special nuances of corporate ownership:
Mr. Russel Jensen
Attorney Jerry Shapiro
Alderman Rich Browne
Journal reporter Lee Provost
Funeral Home Owner Bruce Schreffler
These five people are in agreement and all have said in public during 2011 that Mr. Jensen is owner or part-owner of Brown Funeral Home of Manteno, LTD. It is too late to undo the results of city officials presenting this information as Mr. Jensen’s main credential. This information was expressed to show that Mr. Jensen is a responsible businessman able to manage and maintain the complicated requirements of running a crematorium.
The aforementioned five individuals made these statements in a variety of public places including: Kankakee City Council; various meetings attended by City of Kankakee Aldermen; in the presence of the Daily Journal of Kankakee who reported this information at least five times; at a City of Kankakee Planning Board where the members accepted without question Mr. Jensen’s experience; at several neighborhood meetings; and in answer to inquiries regarding Mr. Jensen’s abilities.
In 2012, we have been forced to acknowledge that corporations are people. It follows that people are also corporations when they perform all the duties necessary to the ongoing business.
We applaud Mr. Baron for looking into this and know he will do whatever is necessary so that Mr. Jensen does not have to repeat this process for a third time due to another administrative error.