Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Aldermanic Forum Tonight: Meet Don Nowotny

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  1. Two questions please..

    1. Don, do you publically pledge to not allow any additional public or Section 8 housing to be built in Uptown, allowing the rest of the city to have its fair share?

    2. Don, will you pledge to dismantle the new Maryville TIF and give our tax money back to the local schools?

  2. SuperHero - Good questions. If you listen to his radio interview with Chicagoist (last week) he states that he will stop more large low income housing development, but cannot stop smaller developments and more Section 8.

    How he determines what is large and what is small is anyone's guess. I'm sure Helen thinks WY was a small development using her own warped criteria.

    I think he's talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  3. Its funny that all the perspective aldermen have rushed to join every little group on facebook but not a single one has bothered to address the recent violent outbursts along Wilson. Before Schiller decided not to run they would publish comments every day. Is that a sign of things to come?

  4. Please, don't post your questions here as it gives Don (or other candidates) a chance to craft their responses. I'm not looking to ambush them, but don't give them an opportunity to craft something with their staff.

  5. CTA > I hear where you are coming from but I will not be able to attend so hoping someone can ask these on my behalf.. and to Miss Kitty's thoughts on his speaking out of both sides of his mouth, I would agree. I have no problem if his staff reads these. As long as we can get a Yes or No answer on public record. Anything other than a Yes or No on my questions is unacceptable. Neither one is a nuanced or complicated question.

    So Don, I look forward to your simply answering my questions with a Yes or a No .. no b.s. Helen-type run around the issues answer.. just Yes or No

  6. Superhero: For yes/no answers, you need yes/no questions. For example, Aldermen cannot prohibit property owners from qualifying to become a Section 8 housing providers and renting to voucher holders. I mean unless they WANT a date with the feds :-))

    As for the Maryville TIF, you can't both dismantle the TIF and give the money back to the schools. If the Maryville TIF were to be retired, those tax dollars are returned to general revenue and appropriated across all recipient entities (parks, libraries, police, etc). The only way to earmark the Maryville TIF dollars for local schools is to RETAIN the TIF.

    All tax revenues should be subjected to the appropriations process (precisely what TIFs circumvent) but that would require a more robust council and members who can deliberate, prioritize and--hey, let's go for broke (pun intended)--understand the basics of municipal finance.

  7. I won't be able to attend due to class tonight but if anyone is able to blog or tweet what's going on there (or a summary) that would be amazing.

    To all attending, try as hard as possible to get him (and other candidates during future forums) to indicate HOW they're going to do what they say. It's very easy to say no to crime, it's another thing to outline your steps.

  8. Suzanne Elder, I am delighted to see that Helen's staff is still reading UU!

    Your argument for the TIF is simplistic and dishonest. And anyone that thinks keeping the Maryville TIF is a good idea truly needs to have their head examined. Sure, lets give tax breaks to a prime piece of property fronting the lakefront with no obstructions because, well, there will certainly never be a developer in the future that would be interested. ((Snorting like Chrissy on Three's Company now..))

    And Don can certainly answer yes or no as to whether additional TAXPAYER money will be used to purchase or rehab any ADDITIONAL Section 8 or CHA housing. In adddition, he can share his on the additional Wilson Yard TIF money that Helen just got approved as well.

    ..and just so we are clear, I think EVERY person running for Alderman should answer these questions.. Don just happens to be up first...

    So Suzanne, thanks again and please tell Helen we all said hi!

  9. Suzanne is not a Shiller apologist and she very much is against TIF financing as it is currently being used/abused in Illinois.

    Give her post another read.

    I think what she was saying is that if anyone would like to see some serious cash go directly into Uptown public schools, dismantling the TIF would eliminate that possibility as the money would be returned to the entire CPS district. In other words, money would go back to schools generally but the impact of the return of the money wouldn't really be felt by any of our neighborhood schools.

    I wrote this post because I like healthy dialogue and hate it when people get burned out on this blog. Whether I agree or not with what she has to say, I generally find her posts to be well-reasoned and sincere.

    BTW: I definitely agree with you, Uptown Superhero, that the Maryville TIF should be retired for the reason you mention. The TIFs existence likely inflates the value of property and sets it up for flipping rather than responsible development. I would have bet money that their plan was to get all of the financing and zoning done only to sell the property off to another developer. Its good lakefront property. Why not let the market determine the fair price and what its possible uses could be? All of this TIF business intercepts that process despite the fact its unlikely the City could pull off some important public works project in the near future.

  10. How did this go? I wasn't able to attend b/c of class

  11. Well, I was there and was not too impressed with Mr. Nowotny's ideas with the exception of closing the Wilson el stop down and moving it to Montrose and his stance against the Maryville development. Did anyone else notice that he only mentioned Shiller by name once, as if he was keeping as far a distance from her a possible? She was his boss! Me thinks he doth (silently) protest too much. and when he said, "Aldermen aren't really politicians these day" I nearly fell off my chair. Oy!

  12. A gentleman from the back of the room inqurired about how the new alderman was going to "sell Uptown" to the small business community. Nowonty said he'd sell them on the demographics of the community and when the economy turns, these businesses will be begging to come here.

    Um, so when the economy doesn't turn, can you just blame somebody else?