Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Come To The Meeting Thursday!

Here are the facts:
  • Ald. Shiller, having already spent $58 million of taxpayer money on Wilson Yard itself, now wants a "raise" to acquire control over $112 million in TIF funds.

  • Ald. Shiller says it's for parking and for a biotech center/fish farm, but her own spokesperson says: "The TIF amendment doesn’t spell out what will go into projects, it just seeks authority to acquire properties." In other words, she can use the additional millions for anything she wants, regardless of what she claims the money will go for.

  • This meeting was originally only for a few folks: Cory from O.N.E.; Joyce and Wally from Uptown United; Paul from the Tattoo Factory; Lynn Walker and Clifton Daniel from Truman College; reps from BPN, Clarendon Park Neighbors, Magnolia Malden Neighbors & Truman Square Neighbors; Christie from Uptown Business Partners; Maggie from the alderman's office; and Rae Mindock.

  • When the news got out that there'd be a meeting seeking community consensus on an additional $54 million in TIF funds, the notice was immediately deleted from the Truman College calendar (it still hasn't been put back on the calendar), and residents who contacted the alderman's office were told they wouldn't be allowed to attend this "closed meeting."

  • Later that afternoon (possibly remembering the Fix Wilson Yard lawsuit contention that the TIF violates the Open Meetings Act?), Ald. Shiller's office did an abrupt about-face and announced the public was welcome to attend. If, of course, they didn't mind missing work and could get to Truman at 8am on a weekday.

  • In a nutshell: Ald. Shiller's asking for another $54 million, in addition to the $58 million she's already burned through, to use at her discretion. She didn't want the general public to be able to attend the meeting where she asked for community consensus. Her own spokesperson has said she can use it any way she wants once the properties are acquired.

  • If you're against this blank check request, show up at this meeting. (You know she's made sure her yes-men will be there.) Ald. Shiller doesn't have a single penny of her own money invested in Wilson Yard. We do -- 68% of our property taxes, for 23 years. PLEASE SHOW UP AT TRUMAN Thursday morning to make your opinions heard.


  1. UU, I have you know that you just made Ms. Helen very upset. How dare you not let her sneak this by her unsuspecting constituents. The problem is that her constituents have learned the hard way that it's not a good idea to be unsuspecting anymore.

  2. Who is Rae Mindock and are they associated with any relevant business in Uptown or are they just privileged?

  3. I'm just amazed at Miss Maggie's sudden attack of honesty. What WAS she thinking to ensure a reporter that the money was only to buy properties and then they could be used for anything at all? I mean, geez, what on EARTH could Helen do with a blank check and three empty plots of land on Sheridan and a former men's overnight shelter?

    It's like Tourette's, except with the actual truth. Amazing.

  4. I'm sure there are folks who know more about Rae Mindock, but what I know is this:

    Back in the day, many years ago, the big place for online discussion in Uptown was the Beacon Neighbors block club board, which Rae Mindock ran. Right before an election, I think maybe Sandra Reed vs. Ald. Shiller, discussion got hot-n-heavy, with much Helen-bashing. We logged on one day and the aldermanic discussion board had been deleted with no explanation. So the Helen-bashing moved to the other board. A couple days later, that, too, disappeared. Then the entire Beacon Neighbors site disappeared. And now Beacon Street is still without a block club. All because people were saying not-very-complimentary things about Rae's favorite alderman.

  5. Rae also receives a salary from a grant Helen got to monitor the use of recycling done in the ward's high rises. She knows not to bite the hand that feeds her. There's a conflict of interest there, but then again, most of those who will be in full agreement with Helen at this meeting got some sort of funding through her. Just don't tell the press about this. God forbid they would have to do some homework.

  6. So she is just a privileged supporter to be invited to "private meetings" with businesses in the area? I think that's weird.

    Some of these other businesses that were invited just seem like Shiller's Yes Men when they are actually supposed to be helping the community. Does anyone know of anything great and positive that came from United Uptown? The COrridors of Vision plan was interesting, but nothing has ever come out of it. The only thing that seems evident is some community gardens and a mural. Does anyone know anything else?

    Do we have a community group together that is run by residents and actually supports our desires?

    I'm just curious, I've lived here for years and have yet to find the appropriate outlet for the residents and our voices. Thanks for the info!

  7. So, Rae may be the future appointed head of the "green tech" center? Is that why she would be invited?

  8. Just as an aside, one of the supposed ideas of this TIF was to give the ward a green building. Would more parking not send the exact OPPOSITE message, encouraging people to drive more, adding more polution, etc, as opposed to using public transportations.... just saying...