Public Watchdog.org

Time For A Transparent “Taste” – Part 2

07.09.08

Monday’s post about the Taste of Park Ridge, run by Taste of Park Ridge NFP, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, provoked so many questions and comments that we thought the topic deserved a second discussion – which we will devote primarily to questions raised by previous comments:

Question 1: Did the Chamber of Commerce willingly give up “the Taste” (event) in 2005; and, if so, why (lack of profit, too much work, lack of volunteers)?

Question 2: Who elects/selects the officers of Taste of Park Ridge NFP (especially if, as commentator and former 5th Ward Ald. Joe Baldi insists, it has no shareholders)?

Question 3: Why isn’t the Taste of Park Ridge NFP identified on the “Taste” website as the owner/operator of Taste (the event)?  Is it a secret?

Question 4: Since Taste (the corporation) effectively is receiving a monopoly from the City to run a festival that closes off one of our main business streets and receives ample assistance from the City and the Park District, why doesn’t it publicize its financials on its website as a show of good faith and in gratitude for its government-sanctioned monopoly?

Question 5: Because there is so much emphasis on “volunteers” for the Taste (the event), do any of the Taste corporation’s officers or directors, or any of the committee members, receive any compensation for their services, or any contracts to provide event-related services (insurance, security, fencing, etc.)?

Question 6: Why did Taste (the corporation) contribute $1,000 to Friends of Bob Dudzyc on September 10, 2007?  What other “contributions”/”donations” has Taste (the corporation) made since 2005?

Question 7: How many “scholarships” has Taste (the corporation) given out, in what amounts were they, were they all awarded in connection with essay contests (like the 2007 one), who have been the winners/recipients, and where can we read the winning essay(s)?

Question 8: Why is there no mention of the essay contest, winners or general information on the Taste website, especially since (as Joe Baldi helpfully pointed out) the March 22, 2007 Herald-Advocate article reporting the contest contained the direction: “For general information on the event, visit www.tasteofparkridge.com or call (847) 297-2510, Ext. 237)?

Question 9: Who has provided the insurance for Taste (the event and the corporation) from 2005 to the present?

Question 10: Who are all the vendors and how much are each of them paid?

Now, we’re sure these questions and the comments that follow are going to upset some people.  That’s not our purpose, but it is an acceptable collateral benefit if it gets more of our resident “sheep” to start looking out for those who want to shear them.  

Because a “Culture of Corruption” can’t exist without a “Culture of Secrecy.”

9 comments so far

After reading all of the comments on your posting from Monday, I really would like to hear answers from the people who run the Taste corporation. “Volunteers” for money aren’t volunteers.

Here is an idea. If you are really that bothered by it and want answers, why not give them a call. They phone number is listed on the website.

I have found the Watchdog discussion this week to be very interesting.

I would ask that if the Watchdog calls anyone that they please report their findings here and I have every faith that they would.

But I’m always a little concerned when people start suggesting private talks to answer questions raised in the public arena, and I must tell you I too am now very curious to know the answers to the questions here.

I must also say that even if it were to be found that every single one of the festival committee is a dirty rotten scoundrel, and I do not believe that is true for even a minute, I would never want to see the Taste of Park Ridge ended, just the scoundrel’s participation. I have always enjoyed the Taste.

Private talks??? What on earth does that mean??? I am simply suggesting that as a citizen of Park Ridge if something is really bothering you, like it seems to be bothering the previous poster, calling the person or organization with whom you have a potential problem is a good place to start. I can pretty much guarantee that the call will get you more answer and in a more timely manner then posting on a blog at 8:21.

I was very disappointed to here to learn on this blog this morning about the $1000 contribution. I believe that was a terrible choice as I have stated in an earlier post.

But now that the article has been written are you suggesting that it is wrong for anyone to call them? That somehow they must now hear by word of mouth, or who knows, maybe they come here and they must answer here.

I’ll be at Taste tonight doing my part for the Dudycz campaign fund. How much per beer does it take for Taste to raise that $1,000 contribution?

Not to be a kill-joy, but I find the whole “Taste of Park Ridge” event a huge joke. Puh-leeze! Taste of what? Park Ridge barely has a handful of decent restaurants, and I am not referring to the endless parade of sandwich places located Uptown. That the City has endeavored to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear is painfully obvious. Who are they kidding? I attended once and it took me ten minutes to peruse all of the restaurant offerings. I was surrounded by shrieking middle-schoolers stalking each other via their cell phones, and kept thinking that if I walked a bit further I would find the Shangri La food court. I didn’t. Once again, this town tries too hard to be something it isn’t…sigh.
The Cumberland Patriot

Cumberland:

To each their own I guess – a phrase that I think is somethimes is forgotten in the blog arena. I will admitt that the food choices do not match the Taste of Chicago but then again I can walk to TPR.

I was there with my family last night and had a wonderful time. My daughter saw many of her friends and my wife andI had a chance to see friends and neighbors and catch up with those we had not see in awhile. All over some very decent food and a few cold beers – not a bad deal as far as I am conncerned. Again, to each their own.

Perhaps it is not trying to something it isn’t but something that some Park Ridge citizens are not. A city cannot be everything to all people. As for me I am not partial to the concerts in the park but it appears many people enjoy the series every summer.

At about 7 PM last night TPR was packed and it appeared to me that all were having a good time. So my advise to you is to do what I do. If you don’t like it don’t go back. There is no gun to your head.

Anon
True enough. I have only gone that one time, so I indeed do the same thing you do. I didn’t go back. No gun was felt anywhere near my head…LOL Just my overall observations on the event. Glad you had a great time.

I was there today and bought 9 tickets for $5 and was going to get a meatball sandwich from I can’t remember the venders name. But is costed 9 tickets for a sandwich and another 2 for a drink.

I would have to buy another 9 tickwts and I only had 2 more $.

I asked for my money back and left.

You can be sure I’m not going back next year.



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