Friday, April 17, 2009

Reviews Of Last Night's Hearings?

We're eager to hear from readers who went to either the Capital Improvements Funding meeting and/or the Ethics In Illinois meeting to hear how they went.

We're hearing from some folks who were at the Capital Funding meeting, where organizations and politicians ask for a piece of the multi-billion-dollar pie, that Uptown Aldermen Shiller and Smith showed up briefly. Ald. Smith made her case on behalf of $1.6 to $2billion for the Red Line improvements north of Addison, for money for Edgewater Library, and for money for McCutcheon School.

Ald. Shiller followed her, said she'd be in touch by written document and was there to listen. Then she left, arm-in-arm with Ald. Tunney, long before the end of the very long meeting.

If this is true, it's very disappointing. "Ald. Shiller is not available for comment," even to ask for the 46th Ward's cut of billions of available dollars. Or, possibly, she didn't want to go public about what she's asking for money for. In any case, poorly done, Ald. Shiller, poorly done.

Please leave your impressions of the meeting in the comments.


  1. Seriously??? When will she be willing to help her constituents? Some of these CTA stations are disgusting and are an embarrassment to the community. Some of them should be able to accommodate the disabled or mom's with strollers too.

  2. Helen has remained consistent about hiding facts from her constituents and back room deals. In such a large public gathering, to not say anything was rather insulting. At the very least you can give her high marks for consistency.

  3. I hope the panel of representatives dreamed about the Wilson L station last night. It was mentioned at least four times as a priority. Thanks to all who mentioned it!

  4. Schiller - We hope you're proud of the disgusting, littered, and deprived community you've created...quite an accomplishment.

    We look forward to the next election...and also expect it to be rigged like the previous ones.

  5. I remember the Town Hall meeting at Truman, last summer.

    Shiller wasn't on the panel, and didn't say anything regarding the violence in *ahem* her ward.

    So, one can't be surprised by her lack of public input, since she never gives any.

    I will say that my estimation of Tunney has dropped significantly.

  6. Longtime listener, first time poster. I was at the Illinois Masonic meeting last night and the Wilson station was the star. MaryAnn Smith mentioned the Redline as her priority and said it would take 1.6 to 2 billion dollars to get the stations north of Sheridan up to standards. She also requested money for the Edgewater Library and for Mccutcheon School. Helen Shiller and some other alderman I'd never heard of from the 30th Ward said they'd submitted their ideas in letters and were there to listen. Tom Tunney was there but didn't want to speak.

    A resident who was a certified urban planner spoke on behalf of Uptown United and he was great. He talked very clearly and powerfully about how dilapidated the Wilson Station is and that the anchor tenant (laughter all around) Popeyes is now closed by the health department. He said that this year CTA ridership is up but that the Wilson station numbers show ridership is down at that station only. He said the CTA isn't even marketing the retail stores in the station. He said that the entertainment district just a block away is thriving but that the Wilson station is nothing but a blight. He said in all his years as an urban planner he'd never seen a successful neighborhood happen around such a blighted train station. Then a woman who was requesting funds from another organization mentioned in her remarks that she was an Uptown resident and couldn't agree more with the urban planner's remarks. Then Richard from UCC said how unsafe the Wilson station is and how the police want to have it redesigned with safety in mind. He also said that going back to the 1980s, money has been promised three or four times but it always disappeared. I hope all the different people and organizations requesting money for it to be rehab'd made an impression on the people who make those decisions.

    I didn't see Alderman Shiller leave but I did notice at some point that she had gone. Probably about halfway through the meeting, which was scheduled to go until 11.

  7. Not delivering an impassioned plea to all present to actively support the rehabilitation of these stations shows a lack of leadership.

    She should have apologized to everyone there for the state of the red line stations in her ward, and specifically mentioned what she plans to do about it and when it will be completed.

    Spineless showing Helen.

  8. I totally agree with what has been said about the need for improvement at the Wilson Redline stop. But it is never going to happen as long as Helen is around. She does this all on purpose and pleads ingnorance. The urban planner that was mentioned is of course correct but Helen has never wanted to atrack retail to her ward because God forbid it would "gentrify" her ward. I have no doubt that the CTA does not promote the unused space under the tracks because of her backroom dealings with them. They must love her, most alderman are always pushing for improvements when she wants things to remain status quo. Plus then she can use how "blighted" things are for things like "TIF" funds. Wonder if she will ever think to do that....

  9. I live closer to the Wilson L stattion, but always use Sheridan for obvious reasons.

    I am no longer shocked with our alderman's lack of concern/participation in our ward. At this point I think she's just trying to leave a mess for her successor.

  10. I wasn't at the meeting but something that whileyouweresleepinginchicago reports the planner to have said confuses me. I agree with the assertion that fixing up Wilson is vital to the health of the neighborhood but how is (the shut down) Popeyes the "anchor tenant"? It's on a completely different block than the station. This seems like a cheap shot that might undermine his (otherwise good) argument.

  11. I would not hold my breath for Helen to do anything. We can for sure when its time to vote which is coming soon. We need a person who has our interests at heart and to make our uptown safe and healthy for all the residents who live here..............

  12. aymino,

    I agree with the assertion that fixing up Wilson is vital to the health of the neighborhood but how is (the shut down) Popeyes the "anchor tenant"? It's on a completely different block than the station. This seems like a cheap shot that might undermine his (otherwise good) argument.Say what? The Wilson L station is at the corner of Wilson and Broadway. It has a Popeye's Chicken (now closed for the second or third time by the health department) in the station retail space. The only other occupied retail space is a mini mart of some sort. Check it out. It is there.

  13. aymino: I'm confused about your question. As Aron said, Popeye's is the anchor tenant, but one that doesn't have a good history of anchoring due to its health code violations.

    The Wilson station needs a lot of work. If begging for public dollars doesn't work, it creates a primary cause that will draw a wide range of support from residents and elevate their public standing if they have any demand to ride it into elected office.

    What is in the station right now will have very little support defending its present condition. It's a near low point in public support. Add in the Truman commuters and you have the ideal station for rehabilitation that could be a model for the rest of the CTA stops that need more than a fresh coat of paint.

  14. Hey! The Blue Line got $88M in scrumptious stimulus $$.


  15. @ Aron & Brennaan:

    Oops. That's my bad. For some reason I remembered that Popeyes being a block over. It is indeed part of the station and that's pretty sad that this is the best the CTA is willing/able to get for the Wilson stop.