Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ald. Shiller's Explanation

The same (persistent, intrepid) reader who provided the information yesterday about the mysterious, illegally-timed proposal for revising the Wilson Yard developer's agreement took to the phones again today, and was read a statement by Ald. Shiller's office. Here's the latest:

"I called the 46th Ward office yesterday and was told no one was available to speak with me regarding the finance meeting. I called again this morning at 9am and was told if I left a message someone would call me back.

"Well, no one did so I called again at around 4:30. Not sure if this has gotten out, but here is the prepared statement that was to be read to anyone calling about this issue. I read it back to the person taking the call to be sure I had it quoted correctly:

"Technical amendment that saves 4 million dollars in TIF money done at the request of banks invested in TIF notes that result in 4 million in savings." Not sure what exactly all that means; she would not clarify it for me because she was told to only read the statement to anyone who called.

"I said that another alderman's office stated the document was 50 pages long and that seemed like a short explanation for a 50-page document. She left and then came back with the info that I could go to and look for the entire document. (I guess it spoils the plan a little when other public officials give a little bit more information).

"I asked for info on the site of where to find it and she did not know. She also stated I could call the City Clerk office at either 312-744-6861 or 312-744-6870 to request a copy be sent to me. Don't know if this info is now common knowledge but I wanted to make you aware of it."

UPDATE: Another reader writes: "FYI, that mystery Wilson Yards amendment apparently passed City Council about an hour ago, I was watching it on the City Council video feed provided by the City Clerk's office. Looks like Alderman Burke went to more than usual trouble to mention the specific project and Shiller's enthusiastic support (or at least he went to more trouble than he did on the other 40 some items he covered)."

All this enthusiasm by Ald. Shiller and outspoken support by Ald. Burke for "a technical amendment"? We have our doubts.


  1. I guess having Holsten as a client doesn't keep Burke from expressing his enthusiasm for the project, only from voting for it.,watchdog04.article

  2. bp neighbor says:

    "Burke's firm represents Holsten"

    This thing stinks to high heaven. It is deplorable that at this very moment---when citizens are feeling utterly betrayed by the political system that is supposed to represent their interests---Chicago alderman continue with their shameless shenanigans. I say, we can do better and we must do better. Have you no shame, City Counsel of Chicago? Have you no shame?

  3. I THINK that it is now appropriate to call Alderman Burke;s office and start asking him why his enthusiastic support for this.

    Burke Edward M Alderman
    2650 W 51st St
    Chicago, IL 60632
    (773) 471-1414

    I mean, if our Alderwitch cannot answer the question, perhaps his office can.

    Seriously, please start calling his office tomorrow... it might make for some interesting information, particularly with his ties to Holsten, which I did not know about until the post above.. thanks BP!

  4. Here is why Wilson Yard and other programs like it are so dangerous. When we start to "include" everyone in programs things go bad, in the worse way. While this is not directly related to WY, I believe the effects will be the same.

    Here is a NY Times article from 1999.

  5. That was an interesting article from the New York Times. Is Franklin Raines the same guy Obama is getting advise from?

  6. Clearly Shiller is just flat out lying, which is basically par for the course for her. If she was really passing and admendment that saved 4 million in TIF dollars, then it would be specifically mentioned. Do we really think that she'd try and sneak through saving 4 million in taxpayer dollars in the middle of the night? No way.

  7. Review the Sun-Times article posted by bp neighbor. Look at the list of clients that retain the services of Alderman Burke's law firm.

    That list of clients are nearly all immediate beneficiaries of the developments in and around Cabrini Green.

    That project still has one list of clients that have yet to benefit from the development. That list is the people that used to live in and around Cabrini Green that is maintained by the Public Housing Authority.

    If the Wilson Yard project is built as currently defined it is going to house the displaced former residents of Cabrini Green.

  8. how nice of our local elected legislative representative to issue a sentence-fragment in explanation after the fact

  9. Are all democrats corrupt or just in this ward? Can anyone say ACORN?

  10. Alderman is a non-partisan office. Helen is more a socialist than anything else.

  11. I'm beginning to think all politicians are corrupt. The dems have no monopoly on it (can anyone say Ryan?). "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." where have I heard this?

  12. Bradley, I grew up at a time where it was a given that young people voted and I saw that change over the years. In my discussions with younger adults, they said over and over again that they didn't see any evidence that their vote mattered, so they just didn't bother anymore.

    I believe it’s the push for transparency that will help change politics. Blogs, especially powerful blogs like UU, are becoming every politician's worst nightmare. 
Ald. Shiller gave her "explanation". Collectively, we are able to keep pushing for more.