Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Would You Like To Ask?

A reader suggests: "Herself appears in public so seldom. Invite posters to post Questions we'd like to hear Shiller answer Thursday AM." So, have at it. If you're there, what will you ask? If you're not able to attend, what would you like to have someone ask?

Update: Here's the meeting agenda:

Wilson Yard Task Force Meeting
Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 8am, Truman College – 1145 W. Wilson, Room 1955

I. Introductions
II. Presentation of First Amendment to Wilson Yard TIF District
III. Task Force Discussion
IV. Public Questions and Answers


  1. I'm not sure if I will be able to attend, but I'd like to know if there was a needs assessment conducted that shows this "parking" or "green center" is necessary?
    Where we could find that information?

    Why if the city if moving away from parking, is uptown moving toward parking? What businesses in the area are requesting this information? How many cars come to Uptown daily that require parking and how many parking spots including the lakefront parks, do we currently have? How many spots would be generated in these areas and what guarantee do we have that these parking lots will be generated.

  2. Why doesn't Shiller think it important to attend CAPS or Block Club meetings except in election years?

  3. Just to piggyback on Living4theNow's questions---given the increasing amount of empty storefronts in the ward, how can one possibly conclude that more parking is needed? Show me (real)data!

  4. Helen, do we seriously need more parking? With the huge parking lots being built at "Target" and Truman, you can't be for real. How "green" is that?!? And a fish farm? Have you lost your mind? None of this makes a bit of sense. Come clean about what you really want these properties for.

    Helen, do us all a favor and call into the Suze Orman show for the "Can I Afford It?" segment. Be prepared for a big fat "YOU ARE DENIED GIRLFRIEND!"

    $54 million MORE of our tax money for your "experimentation" is insane - especially in this economy!

  5. Wasn't there supposed to be a parking lot, movie theater, upscale grocer built on Lawrence by the Aragon and Riviera to help make that an entertainment center?

    Whatever happened to that? That would bring more parking to the area that would service a lot of Broadway and the businesses up there.

  6. Just called the Alderman's office to see if I could obtain a copy of the Amendment to be discussed tomorrow. "We don't have it" was the response I got. When I asked further, they put me into Denise Davis' voicemail box.

    I feel very positive that I'll hear back today from Denise. ;->

  7. 1. At this point, what small shop tenants are committed (with executed letters of intent) to Wilson Yard?

    2. If we are striving to be a hub of green technology, why is it that our neighborhood does not even have a farmer's market? (I realize that we had the one at Truman in the past, however I am talking about one that sells actual produce.....)

  8. Suggestion:

    If you go, print out a copy of Helen's latest D2's and the previous amendment.

    Ask for names of particular entities that are attached to/mentioned regarding this amendment, and see what lines up.

    I'm curious if we hear the name: Andrew Niewiarowski ($500 contribution) during the meeting.

    If you're going to be buying property, a real estate investment trust lawyer is good guy to know.

  9. to Marystone: How's it going with the new place?

    to Shiller: Any other homes available at pennies on the dollar?

  10. I live and own in the Uptown area and am very interested in what this women does which I think is not toward our interests unless your a non-tax-payer. I am fed up with her and her staff. You call about things and you never get a direct answer. You go in person and the same attitude is pushed at you. Even in person at these meetings she says one thing and does another. I will sooner wait and ask the new alderman questions as I am sure her luck has run out and we must make sure it has. We need a alderman that has our interests at heart and please remember that when election times rolls around......

  11. I love this...The alderman's office tells me they don't have a copy of the amendment when I call, but yet an hour later in the standard Shiller email distribution they have it attached as a PDF! Glad the office communicates so well!

  12. Just reading through the WY TIF Amendment #1 (just emailed from Shiller's office) and it couldn't be any more contradictory to what WY now looks like.

    “The five-way intersection at Montrose, Sheridan and Broadway and the three-way intersection at Broadway, Kenmore and Sunnyside pose hazards to pedestrians and vehicles because of the large number of vehicular turning movements.”

    So adding 178 units of housing (no matter what kind) and a Target store will cure that problem nicely….?

    “Lack of community planning limits potential redevelopment opportunities within the RPA.”

    Shiller doesn’t know the first thing about community planning.

    TIF is needed “to create a cohesive and vibrant mixed-use, mixed-income community and to preserve diversity in the area.”

    Mixed income? Oh, low, very low and extremely low income.

    There is also mention of “Lack of Growth and Private Investment.”

    Hhhhmmm, wonder who caused that?

    So much BS to read in this thing…

  13. There's a line item for commercial and residential rehabilitation.

    How's that strip mall on Leland that gutted coming along?

    THAT is TIF worthy.

  14. Maybe I'm reading this amendment wrong but it appears that on page 16 of the main doc. that they admit there was no community involvement/planning in deciding what Wilson Yard would become? Further in on page 27 the report admits "Lack of community planning limits potential redevelopment opportunities within in the RPA". So why did the city not question why the ward chose to keep the community in the dark?

    I think what sticks out the most is that between the year 2000 and now, they have made no changes to required findings and tests. (See page 3). I don't know about you but I think there has been a lot of changes in the last 9 years that would warrant another analysis of the outdated findings. WHy has this not happened? Why does Schiller all of a sudden need to buy more buildings and use more tax money?

    There is no mention or plan outline of what the additional money would be used for (other than to buy more buildings). Not comfortable with this. I liken it to investors that buy buildings to convert but find out after the fact that they can't obtain the financing to do it so they walk away from the project. So is she going to use taxpayer money to buy buildings (with no real plan) and hope that businesses will all of a sudden agree to move in? I don't think so. That's not how it works.

    Where did all the money from the initial TIF go? It would be great if someone able to attend the meeting could ask for line by line backup for where all the money went. I mean they did have a budget right? Talk about mismanaging money.

    So in summary, here are my questions:

    1. Why do you need more money to buy buildings when you have not provided a solid plan or outline for what they will be used for?

    2. Why do you not feel that an updated study based on the current state of the neighborhood and economy is needed? The study is over 9 years old.

    3. Please produce for the community a line by line reconciliation of where the initial TIF money has gone.

    4. Why did you exclude any community involvement and planning for the initial Wilson Yard TIF.

    5. Why should the community support your request for more money to buy buildings when you have offered no plan or solution?

    6. Do you understand why your actions have caused so many of your constituents to be unhappy with you, your office and the Wilson Yard Project?

    7. Maybe if you worked to drive out crime and gangs more people could walk to Wilson Yard from their homes instead of feeling they need to drive for safety reasons, hence the supposed need for more parking lots would not be needed. How do you plan to increase commerce and viability in the area if you are not serious about reducing crime?

  15. 1) Could you please list the financial relationships the original invited parties to this formerly secret and now public meeting have to Alderman Helen Shiller?

    2) Prior to any amendments, can you provide metric analysis of all the granted expenditures and how those have met the conditions by which this TIF is required by law relevant to the creation of union jobs, minority contracting, and requirements that City residents be hired to perform the work?

    3) Are the present owners of 1025 W. Sunnyside, 4455 N Broadway, 4420 N Sheridan, 4424 N Sheridan, and 4430 N Sheridan in attendance or were they invited to this meeting?

    4) Why aren't the properties at 4420, 4424, and 4430 N Sheridan in consideration for public green space?

  16. Will rules allow for the videotaping of tomorrow's meeting so that what's being said and promised can be 'on the record'?

  17. If it's a public meeting, recordings are allowed.

    I'm charging up my camcorder batteries, right now.

    If you're asked not to record, feel free to ask why.

  18. I can vividly recall at one aldermanic debate when Ald. Shiller was asked not to video tape the debate and segments of the debate later surfaced on her website anyway, despite objections from the League of Women Voters.

    There should be no problem with videotaping the debate. Transparency is to be sought and most especially when it pertains to matters that concern our tax dollars.

  19. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE everyone opposed to Alderman Shiller's plans attend this meeting. If you have to take a half personal day from work to attend. We need to stop this woman from spending our tax dollars for her personal agenda. Let's stop her secretive backdoor politics! We all know she wants this money to build even more low, very low, and extremely low income housing.