Hooray For Us?


It’s fair to say that Dick Barton is old enough to remember how “back in the day” it was considered bad form to toot your own horn.  The fellow who would walk into a room and begin bragging about himself, his success or his money (e.g., the Rodney Dangerfield character in “Caddyshack”) was considered crass and an embarrassment. 

But that was then, and this is now.  Self-promotion is the order of the day.  If others won’t tell you you’re great, take out an ad and do it yourself.

Which might explain Mr. Barton’s letter in this week’s editions of both local newspapers gushing with praise for the Taste of Park Ridge Committee, which is comprised of Barton buddies and political allies Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark and former Maine Township Supervisor Bob “The Dude” Dudycz, the latter of whom is also the vice-president of Taste of Park Ridge NFP, the Illinois not-for-profit corporation that was formed to take over Taste of Park Ridge (the event) in June, 2005, shortly after Frimark took office.

Although Barton is not listed as either an officer or director of Taste (the corporation) or a committee member of Taste (the event), he does appear in the picture [pdf] posted on the Taste website that pops up when you click on the “Meet the Board of Directors and Committee Members” button on the home page – that’s him third from the left, two places to the right of Dudycz and two places to the left of Frimark – so we’re guessing he must have a pretty important “unofficial” position with the organization.

As discussed in two previous posts [Time For A Transparent “Taste” and Time For A Transparent “Taste” – Part 2 ], while we are fans of the Taste and hope it continues as an annual event, we believe that there is far too much secrecy and not nearly enough transparency and accountability in the operation of Taste (the corporation and the event) for an allegedly not-for-profit “community event” of this type.  Of course, Taste (the corporation) could assuage any suspicions or concerns about who’s getting what out of Taste by simply opening up its books to the public and posting all that information on its spiffy website.  Why that hasn’t been done remains a mystery to us.

So if Mr. Barton wants to take pride in a successful street fair, that’s certainly his right.  But we hope our community saves its pride for slightly more significant things, like transparent and accountable city government – and transparent and accountable not for profit corporations staging events for city government.

17 comments so far

Barton is a shameless self-promoter, has been for years. He’s never won an election where he had an actual opponent and is a transparent shill now for Frimark.

Guy’s a joke!

Editor’s Note:  The content of this comment has been posted under the “Anonymous” name because it was submitted under a name that suggested an affiliation with the campaign of a current candidate for public office that was not readily verifiable.  We reserve the right to substitute “anonymous” for any name that we believe is likely to confuse or mislead readers as to the identity or affiliation of the commmentator.

Let’s see now…the Chamber and the City run the Taste for several years. Frimark becomes mayor. Taste gets taken over by a not-for-profit corporation run by some of the same people who previously worked on it. They get the same support from the City that the Chamber used to get. But the corporation doesn’t disclose its revenues or expenses. Hmmmmm…how convenient.

I think Barton ran for local office only twice. He came in a distant third in the 7th Ward alderman’s race in 2003 (Winner Cox – 492; Barton – 207), but he did collect 5,879 votes while running second in an uncontested election for the Park District Board in 2005.

When is he up for re-election? We need to make sure that we find another candidate.

Gee I wonder why Dick would write a letter?

From the Maine Township Board Meeting, August 28, 2007….

“Supervisor Dudycz Motion to approve contract for services between the Township of Maine and Barton & Barton Ltd.”

From the same meeting minutes:

“Supervisor Dudycz suggested to increase the contract to $200 per month and leave the contract as is for two years. The total of [sic] contract will be 38,400 per year and will include any possible increase for work that has to apply.”

That contract was approved on motion by then-Supervisor Dudycz by a 3-2 vote: Supervisor Dudycz, Trustees Teschky and Morask – Yes; Trustees Ryan and Kazmierczak – No.

I believe that the Barton & Barton Contract is to pay for PR service and to create the newsletter for Maine Township.

I wonder if Dudycz and the Taste of Park Ridge are paying Barton & Barton for Public Relations work for the Taste of Park Ridge. That may explain why he wrote the letter.

TO: Anonymous on 07.26.08 9:34 am


How will we ever know? Dudycz, Iglow, and the rest of them aren’t going to open the books of Tastee Incorporated so that us regular folks can actually find out who’s selling them insurance, beer, public relations services, etc.  Or how much they’re paying (or not paying) to the City for Kim Uhlig, public works personnel, cops, etc. 

“transparent and accountable city government – and transparent and accountable not for profit corporations staging events for city government.”

Yeah, wouldn’t that be great for a change!


Refusal to share accounting information, expenditures and net, is the very reason I personally ceased volunteering for Old St. Pat’s annual Block Party.

As I was taking a break from my sixth hour of serving beverages to the thirsty masses, I was seated with the pastor and asked how much money the event raised for the church each year. He pointedly told me it was none of my business. I promptly took off my apron and never went back. This all took place a number of years ago. Perhaps Old St. Pat’s has changed their ways.

It seems reasonable for a non-profit to at least give its volunteers the courtesy of accounting, letting them know what their efforts have amounted to, and how successful those efforts have been.


I used to go to the Old St. Pat’s Block Party every year when I lived in Chicago! Maybe you served me one of those beverages!?!

Sorry to be off topic, but I just wanted to reminisce a bit!

Hello Sunshine,

You never know when and where paths might cross!

Let’s not forget the shameful way Mr. Barton congratulated the PRPD and himself for a spring recycling event sponsored by the PRPD in conjunction with Mr. Barton’s company Green Transportation Solutions-a division of Barton and Barton, LTD-in a letter to the Advocate (May 1, 2008) and which he signed as the president of the PRPD and not as an owner of GTS. See a recap on the PRU website-the May 12 entry.

Mr. Barton also spoke to the D64 school board as the PRPD president and convinced the D64 board to buy the “No Idle” signs-another product of GTS and which can be seen around the PR parks and grade schools. (Although he “graciously” sold them to D64 for cost).

Not once in all of Mr. Barton’s speeches and his letters did he disclose his ownership of GTS. At least two commissioners on the PRPD board were also unaware of Mr. Barton’s ownership of GTS.

Mr. Barton is not the kind of person we need serving in any elected position. He uses his public position to promote himself and his company-a direct conflict with the responsibilities and duties he has as an elected official.

I agree that Mr. Barton should not be re-elected to the PRPD. If he runs for office-any office-do not vote for him. He has demonstrated time and again that he cares only for himself and advancing his own causes.

As I read about these kinds of dealings, the lyrics from the song “Prisoners of Love (Leo & Max)” from “The Producers” ran through my head:

Barton and Dude
They’re slick and they’re crude
They’re in government for pay!
Barton and Dude
Sometimes they’re rude
To those who get in their way!
So when they take our money, never fear
They’ll knock Park Ridge right on its ear
The cash is great
The deals are swell
But this they’re tellin’ us, folks
It’s just a waste, we’ve got no Taste
Without these connected blokes!
They’ll never quit
Hit after hit
Dude and Barton
They’re just startin’
You’re lookin’ at Barton
And Dude!!

What’s the reason the Chamber of Commerce got out of the Taste business? It seems odd that after what I thought were successful Tastes, and right after Frimark becomes mayor, the Dude, Iggy, etc. go “private” with the Taste – and nobody seems to be the wiser until this year. Strange.

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