Monday, May 12, 2008

No Surprise: 'Ald. Shiller Was Unavailable For Comment'

A reader clued us in to a post on Rogers Park Bench, which highlighted WLS radio host Jerry Agar's attempt ... to get the Chicago Aldermen to state their position on whether or not the Children's Museum should be allowed to relocate to Grant Park ... The results of our calls - we called each office more than once - are below. Call the aldermen yourself, especially those who didn't call us back and give your opinion.


Ward 46 Alderman Helen Shiller 773-878-4646

Our reader opined: "I gotta give Helen credit - she's damned consistent."


  1. Well, it looks like we have a resounding YES from the people of Uptown on the Children's Museum moving to Grant Park. Alderman Smith is in the "yes" column on this radio report and Alderman Shiller has stated in newspaper articles that she supports the idea. So, there you go. Uptown delivers one up for the Daley machine. What has the Daley machine done for Uptown lately??

    PS--Alderman Smith is also on the Plan Commission.

  2. To connect supposed (non) "delivery" of city services to Uptown to Helen Shiller's support of (or nonresistance to) putting the children's museum in Grant Park is illogical.

    Shiller supports in the mayor on some issues, she gets support from Daley on others. It's about politics, and politics is mostly about deal-making and compromise.

  3. That is my point, BillyJoe. Politics is about deal-making and compromise. I am of the opinion that whatever deals have been made are either a) not enough for what our wards consistently deliver to Daley and, to some degree, b)they do not sufficiently address my concerns.

    Clearly, I am not alone in this opinion. You can rebut by saying that is what elections are for and I will vote accordingly when the time comes. In the meantime, I am interested in pointing out that local politicians seem to be a bit more interested in appeasing the Mayor and saving their own hides than listening to ALL of their constituents. Agreeing to respectfully disagree with the Mayor on certain issues should be allowed in a democracy. Daley has gone too far.

  4. Shiller should hire a part-time press spokesperson to field all her media calls and write a few press releases a week.

  5. "Local politicians seem to be a bit more interested in appeasing the Mayor and saving their own hides than listening to ALL of their constituents."

    Saskia: Pleasing everyone is impossible, plus I don't think the proposed location of the downtown children's museum is a top-of-mind issue for most Uptown residents.

    Quality of life, safety issues, and the newest "Lawrence Entertainment District" businesses seem to get the most attention on this blog. Oh yeah, and bashing Ald. Shiller.

  6. Uptown residents may have those concerns. However, as a Children's Museum member, I am appalled by what is happening and my interest in local affairs does not end at Irving Park Rd. The rhetoric surrounding this issue is totally out of line and using the park land for this purpose is wrong. It should stay open, clear and free for all Chicagoans and CCM should start running mobile programs to underserved neighborhoods and/or develop better ways for poor children to come to the museum at Navy Pier more often.

  7. "Quality of life, safety issues, and the newest "Lawrence Entertainment District" businesses seem to get the most attention on this blog. Oh yeah, and bashing Ald. Shiller."

    What else is there billyjoe? Please, in you infinite wisom explain to me what Ald. Shiller has done that we should praise her for?

    She's kept the neighborhood a slum, she's kept poor people poor, she's packed the ward with poorly run social service agencies. You're just another misguided Shiller supporter, who like Shiller probably has some stake in keeping the neighborhood down. From what I can see, those who support Shiller profit by keeping the ward the way it is. You probably work in her office, are the director for some social service agency or are, i don't know, maybe her son, because any rational person couldn't support her.

  8. "Well, it looks like we have a resounding YES from the people of Uptown on the Children's Museum moving to Grant Park."

    Going back to the statement that started this thread, you imply that every Uptown resident is intensely concerned with the museum location debate.

    Several comment posts later, you finally get around to identifying yourself as a "member of the children's museum" and stating your preference that its location remain where it is. Had you done this first, rather than taking a passive-aggressive approach (ranting about the "Daley machine" instead of directly expressing your true opinion about and connection to this issue) would have saved the both of us numerous keystrokes.

  9. If any UU readers want to find out more about the Children's Museum issue, visit

    The Trib and Sun-Times pieces have also been very informative. The Chicago Children's Museum's application will be considered at the Chicago Plan Commission Meeting on THURSDAY, MAY 15TH AT 1:00 IN CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS IN CITY HALL. 121 N. LASALLE.
    If you want to attend the hearing, you must be there by 1:00 in order to sign in and speak.

    The museum's application calls for a zoning change that will open up a space about the size of 2 football fields to the museum and multiple restaurants which will have full liquor licenses "without limitation." If this passes the Plan Commission, City Council members are expected to vote on the application in June.

  10. To me, the point is... why are we paying her for again?

    She won't communicate with the press about the issues facing the ward. She won't go to community meetings because she's such a delicate flower and the mean old "bad apples" scare her. The only time she's forced to hear what the block clubs and residents want is on opposing sides of hearing chambers (and now it's come down to, on opposite sides of a court of law).

    She won't talk to her constituents, either directly or through the press. We have no FREAKING IDEA how she feels on issues or what she's doing in her bloody single-minded path until we read it in obscure city documents that Hugh and others dig up.

    She's circled the wagons against the people she's sworn to represent. That, to me, is the real outrage.

  11. @caring neighbor: exactly.

    It is beholden upon all elected officials to answer to their constituents.

    The fact that she so often is unavailable for comment is wholly unacceptable.

    Splitting hairs on any other issue is just missing the point of this post.

    At the end of the day, can the people of the 46th ward count on Helen to fulfill one of (if not THE) most important aspect of her job?

    The answer is no.

    2011 can't come fast enough.

    I just hope we can limit the amount of damage she can do before she jumps broomstick and rolls out of our lives, forever.

  12. Yo: of course the point of the post is that it is unacceptable that Shiller never responds to media requests. However, we can't pretend that we don't know her position. When a reporter was able to track her down at City Hall, she said that she had to step into the fray because Grant Park belonged to all of us and decisions in the park shouldn't just be made by one alderman. However, that is exactly the policy that she unapologetically pursues in Uptown and her unequivocal support for most of Daley's controversial decisions is what has been allowing her to continue to do it. And, as I have already mentioned, if this is all just politics as usual whatever paybacks that are coming into Uptown are either nonexistent or coming in forms that do not reach the widest constituency.

    As usual, our resident troll has disrupted the conversation so that this deeper critique looks like "splitting hairs" over an unrelated issue. Gold star for today, BJ.

  13. saskia: I was with ya' from "Well, it looks ..."

    CN's comment just spoke to me, though


    besides, we all know bj's off his meds most of the time, any way.

  14. Anyone else think that the Museum move is more about da mayor finally getting his casino into Navy Pier?

  15. I think he has told a reporter that he is not planning on putting a casino there. He may still do it but at least he is now on record saying he wouldn't. This is all about "the children" don't you know. Why are you and so many others child haters? :P

  16. Oh, if he said so.....

  17. "It's a turn-away crowd at City Hall to hear the merits of moving the Children's Museum. Both the downstairs and upstairs public areas (seating capacity: 316) are packed to standing-room-only capacity. By noon more than 100 people were waiting in the hall outside the City Council chambers to attend the meeting.

    As the meeting got underway shortly after 1 p.m., about 200 people were waiting to get in, including a busload of people brought in by the museum to support their plan to move to Grant Park." (from today's Trib.)

    Ald. Smith (Uptown's 48th ward) will be voting on this. The Trib's "Clout Street" newsblog will do more updates throughout the day.

  18. Isn't it amazing that this alderbeast who can drone on and on and on and talk in circles can't say a damned thing when asked by her constituents about an issue?

    I just hope she goes off on one of her Shiller tangents at the City Council meeting this week with 200 anxious park issue spectators there to witness her in full diatribe. Let them see what we put up with as they view the supposed last non-Daley liberal (Huh!!) in Chicago.

    At this point, all that's holding up her spine is a big Daley rubber stamp.

  19. Two bits says she sides with the Mayor and then does a long drawn out rambling message (similar to the Big Box message) why she voted the way she did.

    All this and she will neglect to mention the real reason, which is not wanting to upset Daley.