Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Follow The WY Hearing

We sincerely hope everyone who doesn't have other obligations can make it down to City Hall at 1pm today on the 2nd floor (Ante-Chamber, #201A) for the hearing. If you're stuck elsewhere, you can follow the meeting via Twitter at #WYTIF. As always, thank you, yo!

Less than an hour left to sign the petition, you procrastinators. By noon today.

Please post your reactions to the meeting here.


  1. I was only able to catch an hour of the meeting and had to return to work. Based on the number of non-profits and O.N.E reps, it is clear as day that Shiller will use the additional funds for more low income housing. Why else would O.N.E., etc... be interested in parking lots and fish farms? Its a sham.

    And the CDC board - they obviously don't get paid to listen. One member was falling asleep during the testimonies.

  2. This was all for show.
    They ALWAYS get what they want!!!
    Helen can still do one hell of alot of damage in 1.5 years. The new focus must be to get rid of her!!!

  3. Passed: Unanimous

    Chicago, like Illinois, is fixed.

  4. I don't want to go all "Galts Gulch" on everyone, but the writing is on the wall. If you're someone of ability, and income, you need to get the f out of Chicago ASAP, because when the budget starts to tank in the future, they're going to be coming for all of your money and they'll be blaming you every step of the way.

  5. We pay their salaries...they ignore us...what a great gig...

  6. **sigh** I must admit, I grow weary of the battles as we seem to always lose... aside from the dayworkers site and that was almost 2 years ago...

    ..someone, anyone, please give me a reason to keep on fighting....

  7. I send thanks to everyone who took time out of their day to go to the meeting & thanks especially to YO for the twittering.

    As for what else Alderman Shiller was up to today, she voted for Mayor Daley's ordinance that the City Council may direct the inspector general to review quarterly reports from the Games' organizing committee.

    Ald. Flores & Moore wanted it to read shall direct.

    Apparently, Alderman Shiller thought that requiring the inspector general to review quarterly reports took too much control away from her. She wants to be able to decide when and where to direct the inspector general to check out the books. I'm sure she will get right on directing the new inspector to check out those books.

  8. "..someone, anyone, please give me a reason to keep on fighting...."


  9. They are elected to represent the voters but as you see too many times they are only interested what they can do to make their pockets bigger. I would love to see Helen Shiller out before the 1 1/2 years left but I think we are stuck with her unless GOD answers our prayers......

  10. Another sad day for Chicago taxpayers.

  11. A sad, sad, lesson in Chicago politics! The only message that got through was that "money for poor people is a good thing" - which NO ONE IS ARGUING. So frustrating! The idea of transparent tax spending was completely lost on them. One council member, after hearing 12+ very clear arguments against the project, amazingly concluded "I understand that you don't like your alderman, but I haven't heard anything negative about this project." I was dumbfounded. It was seriously scary, Orwellian almost.

  12. I was planning on returning to my office after the hearing. I'm taking the rest of the day as a sick day...I'm very nauseous. That was one of the more depresing experiences of recent memory. I don't think the commissioners were at the same meeting I was...and from where did these commissioners come? One guy (Martin I think) even said something to the effect that if we didn't want the Wilson Yard TIF to get the extra 54MM, some other TIF would get it.

  13. So what was thier arguement that was so great? Tried to go, but the meeting wasn't actually in council chambers it was in some side room.

    Not trying to be a jerk, I just wasn't there.

  14. The argument for is essentially a non-argument. The development department makes a recommendation so the development commission approves it. The commission is no more than a rubber stamp.

  15. The arguments against are essentially to leave the money in the general operating budget to pay for teachers, cops, firefighters and parks...you know, where our tax dollars are supposed to be spent.

  16. I honestly don't know how the "fighters" keep it up!
    Sure, ya can't fight city hall...but I've gotten involved in elections in the past... Ya can't beat the Daley machine either! People who get elected have the best of intentions...but eventually get sucked in...

  17. My argument, and I think many others, is that Shiller will be getting a blank check of $54 million dollars to continue her social experiements. We will not see a fish farm, green market, etc... She is going to use it for more low income housing. My God, that's all the people supporting the amendment could talk about. Every time they spoke, they brought up the need for more low income housing. Why were they saying this if this was only about fish farms and parking lots? They know Helen's got em covered.

  18. Unfortunately, the outcome of that meeting was never in doubt.

    Shiller and her dancing minions can rejoice, but the end is nigh.

    Some of you may remember my "deep sausage" comment a few weeks back.

    Well, "da machine" doesn't want to get "Matlacked" and lose control of this ward's alderman. Matlack being the former aldercritter in Bucktown/West Lincoln Park. The machine spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and effort to try to get him reelected and lost the race. The machine now believes that Shiller is unlikely to win reelection if she runs. Too much bad publicity and anger out there coupled with some serious property tax increases in the 46th Ward. Uptown has generally had less depreciation in terms of property values than the city as a whole. Therefore, most folks in Uptown will be getting some seriously higher tax bills next year. Even with the real estate market downturn most of us saw higher assessments in the recent triennial reassessment cycle.

    The machine has now identified two 46th Ward residents to potentially run for the seat. Or be appointed in the unlikely event Shiller resigns. One resident is a true political animal who grew up in the 19th Ward and has the governmental and private resume you would expect to see from such a critter. The other is someone with a law enforcement background. Could be a cop. Could be a Assistant States Attorney. I ain't tellin'. Thpppppppppppppt. I knew the first name, but the second name I had to "google". The first person is a hack with a somewhat familiar Chicago name. The second person was unknown to me, but has impressive credentials.

    It's going to be fun to watch.

  19. "..someone, anyone, please give me a reason to keep on fighting...."

    You do it because it's the right thing to do. You do because, eventually, you'll come out on top. You do it because every time you do, it chips away a little at Helen's support.

    Shiller's already a laughingstock. Things like today's kangaroo court demonstrate to more and more 46th Ward voters that she's barking mad, a schemer and a liar. It just strengthens the reasons to get her out of office and into retirement.

    In one of my favorite books, To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus defends Tom Robinson, knowing before the trial begins that he'll lose.

    He says: "If I didn't defend him, I couldn't even hold my head up. It goes to the essence of a man's conscience."

    And later: "I wanted you to see what real courage is ... It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."

    That's why I keep fighting, because it would be wrong not to.

  20. I was disgusted by the rationale the commissioners used in dismissing our concerns. They essentially said "but, we always approve these". It was politics as usual in Chicago. They are nothing more than rubber-stamping bureaucrats...I counted three that fell asleep.

    That said, Uptown SuperHero, you can keep fighting because we had a vocal opposition today, and the chorus is growing. There are plenty of people working to stop her that will not give up until she's gone.

  21. Awesome quote Truman Square Neighbor! You certainly uplifted my spirits!

  22. On a very small positive note, one commissioner did acknowledge that she was glad that the opposition showed up in numbers and that they would "take note."

    Another little tidbit, as I was walking to the elevator after the kangaroo court, someone made a hallway comment (I think it was a sarcastic 'congratulations') to Denise who I believe works for Helen, and she yelled back "c'mon give me what you got!" I had never met her but have read plenty about her on UU and now it all makes sense.

  23. Pirate I hope your right. Somehow you have an inside track on a lot of things and I really hope this time is one of those as well.

    I think anyone who actually works for all people in the ward will be welcomed. The poor have had great representation for 20 years. I think it is time our alderman represent the rest of the ward.

  24. How poinant! One of the commisioners kept dozing off. Also, Who ARE the rest of those freaks?

  25. I did appreciate the twitter feed as I didn't make the meeting.

    Or perhaps I did.

    The line about Yo being "pegged" or identified by Uptown Girl was amusing. For a variety of reasons.

  26. I attended the meeting, although a little late due to Oprahpalooza.

    I have nothing against Ms. Shiller personally. I have not experienced any of the terrible treatment I have read on this blog that others say they have endured at her office, or with her staff. However, politically, I am now solidly against her.

    The result of the meeting was exactly as I expected. It was a rubber stamp to keep the machine well-oiled.

    After listening to everyone speak, one CDC member made the comment that no one had any specific concerns regarding this TIF or some such rubbish. EXCUSE ME? How are we supposed to have specific concerns when we have no specific facts about where this money will be used? A fish farm and parking is all we have heard, and neither is a good use for $54M during these economic times. Even when questioned about the budget by the panel itself, the planning commission woman just said something along the lines of 'this is all unknown at this time, and as it has a life of decades, needs change along the way, so the budgets are left vague on purpose so they can change as we go along.' WHAT?!? In other words, they requested approval to siphon off $54M of our tax monies to spend as they see fit, and the panel agreed it was a good idea! If that's not a rubber stamp, I don't know what is.

    The people who argued for the TIF spent a lot of time talking about how it was going to create jobs. The city can't even afford to pay the people it already employs! I brought up this fact, and how the money would be much better spent creating jobs like COPS, TEACHERS, and city workers who repair the infrastructure! Why do we need a TIF to get this accomplished?

    In my view, it was very simple. Deny the TIF and use the funds to recall laid-off and furloughed city workers, hire more police and teachers and improve infrastructure. Isn't that what our tax dollars are supposed to do? In other words, use our tax dollars to provide the services that government is meant to provide, and leave the fish farming jobs to the private sector, no matter how lucrative (or ludicrous, you decide which word to use) they may be.

    Mr. Cappleman, you have a new campaign worker when the time comes! Sign me up!

  27. TSN, I posted a new comment on the new Helens Law post on UU....

  28. The CDC have one purpose, to grease the wheels on Daley's
    TIF roller-coaster. This is
    all part of the sham called
    public process.

    Heck, they're all Daley apointees and we all know what that means.
    Do as Richie says or you're gone.

    We had to be there today, even knowing this. All of these steps
    are growing citizens' awareness. People actually know what a TIF is, that it's more than coincidence that the 160 Chicago TIFs devoured $550 million last year, ironically the same amount as the City's alarming budget dificit.

    Shiller is history, she knows that.
    Work to be done to make sure that another $54 million isn't flushed down the Shiller toilet.

  29. Eye in the Sky,

    I have my own agenda for posting the "deep sausage" information.

    1. I am taunting the Shilleristas. They often overreact and it brings joy to my heart. See the stupid letter Shiller released on the riot at Sheridan and Leland.

    2. I don't want to see "da machine" replace Shiller with another hack. By posting about it I may make it a teeny wittle bit less likely. It would also make the machine paranoid about how and where I get my info. That brings joy to my heart also. That may be a vision of grandiosity on my part. I don't really think "da machine" gives a rat's ass about what anyone thinks as long as they control the jobs and the contracts.

    I don't even mind posting my agenda. It all works into what I hope happens.

    This is my ideal scenario:

    Shiller refuses to leave office and runs again.

    The machine realizing she will likely lose doesn't support her in any serious way.

    They also don't run a machine candidate because they realize the chances of a machine candidate winning with Shiller on the ballot are slim to none. In such an event there would likely be a runoff between Shiller and likely Cappleman.

    The machine doesn't want a runoff. Runoffs are expensive and easier for the opposition to win. Think of former Aldercritter Matlak.

    So ideally Shiller runs and loses to a real independent candidate. Whether it be Cappleman or someone else.

    I think that is the most likely scenario.

    Time will tell. I've been wrong before, but I think some version of the scenario I just posted will likely come true.

  30. "One resident is a true political animal who grew up in the 19th Ward and has the governmental and private resume you would expect to see from such a critter."


  31. On a side note, one of the CDC mambers asked about transparency, and if the public would be informed when it came time to allocate funds from the new TIF.

    It was explained that for capital improvements for the CTA Wilson station, for example, no CDC or public input would be needed or requested, that would be handled strictly between the city and CTA.

    Funds requested for any private enterprise, such as a fish farm entrepreneur (is there such a thing?) would have to be approved by the CDC, the same panel who approved the TIF today. When asked if the public would be informed ahead of time about this meeting, the answer was that no mailings or any announcement would take place other than the posted agenda for the meeting on the CDC website. Not sure what that website is, but obviously it is the only warning we will be getting about that meeting.

  32. IP-

    You are one nasty pirate,:-* .

  33. UG,

    I was bad. I need to be punished....

  34. So, if the CDC only approved 'preliminary' approval, and the City Council has to grant final approval, what more can be done to convince the City Council that we don't want more TIF money handed to Shiller?

    Do we have a plan B?

    Anyone? Anyone?

  35. I think the Finance Committee will have to approve this change.

    FWY should know. I hope they start acting right now. You have to be out early. Meetings have to be scheduled with the members of the Finance before they meet.

    Early and Often. It's the only way you'll stop this.

  36. BTW, did anyone else notice the one woman CDC member looked a lot like the president on Battlestar Galactica? President Laura Roslin, portrayed by Mary McDonnell:


    I'm just sayin'....

  37. All this talk about people attempting to organize machine candidates angers me.


    Because much of what has gotten people angry around here is being done with the explicit approval of da Mare himself.

    1) He knows that any other area of Chicago would be irate with the plans and status of Wilson Yard and yet does nothing, preferring to let the TIF machinery to carry on.

    2) He has election year photo-ops while belittling our very real crime concerns.

    3) He knew about the day labor place next to a CPS school and chose to do nothing.

    4) He has done little to increase educational equality and better schools in poor neighborhoods such as ours.

    Do they think we are stupid? If the machine doesn't want to lose a compliant alderman (and why that would be a concern I don't know---there are 49 others) then what they should be doing is preventing Helen from pursuing a scorched earth policy in her "end days."

    When I talk to people, what seems to bother them most is how tired and angry they with having to fight City Hall for the most basic of things. People know that if your alderman wants it and it has the approval of da Mare, then it will most likely happen. Regardless of the issue, this is not right. Too much power is concentrated in the hands of too few.

    Back in the day, Helen herself pointed out this injustice. Now, she is abusing power (no matter how righteous her goals might be). This community is on fire with distrust and contention. I wonder if there will ever be a way to come back from this place? It is so very hard to be a part of.

    The fact that anyone is thinking they can float a machine candidate is just downright insulting. We know enough to see that we are in this situation because the right hand is washing the left hand.

  38. Do we have a plan B?

    Anyone? Anyone?

    Riot in the streets? I am only half-kidding...

    Here is my question---whats up with the Uptown Chamber? Why is this organization (which is partially funded by tax dollars) given so much public voice in all of this? How many of these businesses are actually paying into the WY TIF?

  39. Sassy, will there be a way?


    Stay tuned.