Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spreading Some Sunshine

Here it is, the final "Sunshine Ordinance for TIFs" that the City Council will vote on tomorrow. Note it's signed by Aldermen Waguespack and Flores, who are its authors, as well as by Ald. Ed Burke and someone else Ald. Margaret Laurino. It'll be interesting to see what aldermen vote for sunshine, and what aldermen kiss the ring of the mayor, when it comes up for vote tomorrow.


  1. A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, and that's all this is.

    Remember, this was brought about due to the Republic Windows TIF fiasco. Not on the pending Wilson Yard TIF fiasco.

    There's some corruptocrat niftiness afoot in this, as well.

    Note how this all falls under the Commissioner of community development.

    Note also how the term "affordable housing" is included.

    Note how, even on Helen's website, "affordable housing" isn't listed under the definition of a TIF.

    Helen's already compliant to the word of the ordinance. Her docudump of TIF related material is what this ordinance is requesting.

    What's not included are such things as "letters of intent", or any requirements for public input documentation.

    Amendments are required but not the sponsoring concepts for the amendment, or any community input which may/may not have been involved.

    I'll take a baby step over no step, whatsoever; but, even if this passes, we've still got a looooong way to go.

    And, to the FWY crew ..., as if I have to tell you, she's trying to change the rules (or at least the perception of the rules) of the game on us (she is a member of the committee who drafted this, is she not?).

  2. Yo is correct. Aldermen Waguespack and Flores were responding, in part, to what happened with the Republic Windows & Door Co. TIF dollars. But that's only a part.

    The Aldermen know what many UU readers know: Information on TIF districts is hard to come by and what little you can find, say in an annual report, is purposely vague. The lack of consolidated reporting, the inability to search electronic documents, and numerous others data gaps also makes meaningful assessments impossible.

    This is a small step towards reform but it is not the ginned up Ordinance you imagine. Alderman Shiller is seated on the Finance committee (who isn’t?) but she was not, as far as I know, key to the drafting of this Ordinance.

    It’s my understanding that the lion’s share of the development and drafting of this Ordinance was managed by Aldermen Waguespack and his staff. It’s worth pointing out that the Alderman and his staff met with TIF reform advocates from throughout the city, many of whom I work with. I’m confident this ordinance was shaped as much by their input and experience, as it was the Republic Windows & Door debacle.

    To confirm, give Reana Kovalcik a call. She’s a staff aide for Aldermen Waguespack. She can speak to these concerns directly. You can reach her at 773-248-1330.

  3. "someone else" is Ald. Laurino

  4. Not for nothing but I'm willing to bet this either gets tabled, again, or defeated. And not voted in favor of by Helen. Her argument against: I've already made WY a transparent TIF project with all of this information on my website. This ordinance is unnecessary.

    But, I could be wrong. We'll see.

  5. It will pass. The shadow mayor is a co-sponsor.

    He has to hedge on his bets. He publicly backed Roland Burris. He's taken a populist stance in response to the parking meter and Midway leases.