Sunday, March 23, 2008

Truman College Meeting Reminder

The community meeting to present plans for the Truman College parking garage and student center is tomorrow, Monday, March 24th at 6 p.m. at Truman College (1145 W Wilson), presumably in the main lobby area.

The event may have a rare community appearance by Alderman Helen Shiller. Uptown Update encourages it readers to attend, and if you have a video camera or audio recording device, we highly encourage you to use it to record the meeting. Please send us any video or audio files you record at the meeting. Since Alderman Shiller has a way of changing the meaning of her words, we think it's important to capture her exact words.

Update: Anyone is legally permitted to record this meeting according to the Illinois Open Meetings Act:

"Sec. 2.05. Recording meetings. Subject to the provisions of Section 8‑701 of the Code of Civil Procedure, any person may record the proceedings at meetings required to be open by this Act by tape, film or other means. The authority holding the meeting shall prescribe reasonable rules to govern the right to make such recordings."


  1. She may ask that no recording of this meeting occur. In that case, just pretend you're at the aldermanic debate and tape away without saying anything. Helen understands that type of reasoning.

  2. Since this is a public meeting, video and/or audio recording is permitted.

  3. I'll be seeing everyone tonight but I just wanted to make sure that I understand the process:

    So after we have this sham meeting where they try to tell us that it is really in our best interest to spend $10 million of TIF money on a "green" parking garage next to an el stop, Shiller will go to the City Council and request the money from the TIF? And then the City Council will approve it because they don't necessarily want to fork over any more $$ to the City Colleges or give up their own ability to spend TIF money, right? And then if we are lucky enough to get any newspaper coverage, we will read something like this: 'a small faction of Uptown residents (who undoubtedly went to fancy-schmantzy private colleges) tried to prevent the measure because they were not granted unfettered access to this facility which is badly needed by college students who must work their way through school.'

    Who says you can't predict the future?

  4. I've been to public meetings before and Helen Shiller required that no taping could occur. Be prepared, but tape anyway. Just don't say anything.

  5. If she "requires" no taping, can you sue her or bring any other kind of action upon her as a governmental official illegally infringing on your rights?

    If she doesn't like the public taping her public appearances, my guess is that she will just never come to public meetings.

  6. "The authority holding the meeting shall prescribe reasonable rules to govern the right to make such recordings."

    Helen will jump on this clause. My guess is that she will allow only members of the press to record.

  7. This is the second community meeting on the Truman parking/admin. building. At the first meeting, the architects presented the plans, which showed the courtyard interior of this large structure and the new driveway that replaces the outdoor space between the two existing Truman buildings.

    Questions were raised about pedestrian access to Wilson since this building eliminates the eastern sidewalk. Safety and landscaping the building along Sunnyside and Racine also need to be addressed.

    Tonight's meeting is supposed to address these questions raised at the last meeting.

    Why would the alderman consider giving $10 million of our tax money to Truman and not give TIF money for the rehab of the Wilson El station? It doesn't make any sense.

  8. "Helen will jump on this clause. My guess is that she will allow only members of the press to record."

    Hey, guess what, you're all freelancers and stringers.

  9. It's most important that you record her stating that you can't record.

  10. I seem to remember, back at the beginning of this charade that Truman parking was supposed to be part of the Wilson Yard development, with the movie theaters. Then, when the plan was presented to the development council for approval, Truman was no longer part of the larger plan. Helen said that Truman would be building its own parking.
    I guess that means this is an additional project attached to the TIF? They could have been part of the larger parking development.

  11. There was no interference in anyone's taping or photo taking.

  12. There was a Power Point presentation. Perhaps they will pdf copies that can be downloaded. There was not much detail about anything on them so I can't imagine why they wouldn't release it.

  13. I did like the slide about all of the steps in the process and at which point there would be opportunities for community input. It was responsible for them to do that and for the first time in a long time at an Uptown meeting, I felt respected.
    The staff at Truman clearly understand that with power comes responsibility.

    Shiller spent most of the meeting hanging off to the side as if she was babysitting the proceeding. No reason not to do that, I guess, when there was very little in her mind that actually needed to be discussed. What was there to say? It has all been taken care of. I wish I got up and DEMANDED that lilac bushes be planted. She probably would have granted me some lilac bushes in order to show that she does listen to the community and is able to compromise.