Making An Alibi Out Of Fair Housing


In the past decade there has been exactly one – yes, just one – complaint raised by anyone in connection with housing discrimination in Park Ridge.  To most reasonable people, that would mean that our realtors are doing a good job in treating all potential real estate purchasers fairly. 

But apparently not if you are Park Ridge Fair Housing Commission chairman Nan Parson.

Ms. Parson and her sidekick, former Third Ward alderman Sue Bell, see that one complaint not as a sign that things are being done right but, to the contrary, as a sure sign that other fair housing violations are occurring but aren’t being reported because all those victims of unfair housing practices here in Park Ridge don’t know their rights. 

So for the past couple of months they have been publicly complaining about how the City Council’s proposed revision of the City’s Fair Housing Ordinance (FHO) is taking away their powers to make Park Ridge safe for…well, we’re not sure whom, because Nan and Sue can’t seem to identify any of those unfair housing victims.

Last week’s Herald-Advocate published a letter from Ms. Parson (“With no voice how can housing be fair,” August 7) that reveals an agenda that goes well beyond the concept of “fair’ housing.

Parson writes that on August 18, the City Council members are “going to vote to cut [the Fair Housing Commission] out of the investigatory process.”  Her Commission, however, has not had a role in the investigatory process under the FHO.  Section 14-14-2 of that ordinance gives the sole power and authority to investigate fair housing complaints to the City Manager.

But Parson’s letter goes on to talk about our “citizens who are threatened by difference and change,” the need to “embrace change,” and “welcoming and protecting those who are in the most need of protection.”  She even concedes that fair housing is only one of the “several areas” in which our community should “do the right thing.” 

We think it’s time for Nan and Sue to cut the code-speak and talk straight with our citizens.  If their goal is to change the racial or ethnic complexion of our community, they should have the courage and the decency to come out and say so – and let that issue be debated openly and meaningfully by the City Council and the people they represent. 

It’s time they stopped hiding their true intentions behind a Fair Housing Ordinance that actually appears to have done its job well. 

15 comments so far

You think the City Council is going to have an open discussion about the racial or ethnic complexion of our city? I don’t think they would touch that one with a 100 ft pole.

Well Said!!

Regarding the one complaint filed under the FHO, the City Manager determined it was a landlord tenant dispute (over a parking space) not a fair housing discrimination case. I think the Fair Housing Comission felt this was their moment and it didn’t matter that they had no juristiction in land lord tenant disputes. The City Manager ruined their chance to “help” and I guess they don’t want that to happen again.
When you have an underlying agenda you will do whatever it takes to get what you want. City Council saw where this commission was headed and decided to make it clear to them what their purpose and responsibilities are in fair housing matters.

Actually, the more I think about it the more I like this idea. There is not much more entertaining then a bunch of middle age white guys discussing fair housing. Maybe after that they can discuss gender equality.

The only point we were making was the deception being practiced by Parson and Bell.

At this point we have seen no evidence of a problem for the City Council to discuss, but we invite Bell and Parson to present the Council with all the hard evidence – not just their surmise and speculation – they have for whatever nefarious acts they believe are going on in Park Ridge.

And while they’re at it, maybe they can confirm or deny for the record the rumors that they are instigators of the PADS shelter and are also trying to bring subsidized, low-income housing to our community.

Then maybe we could have that public debate we were talking about.

I was at the Fair Housing meeting when Nan told everyone how excited she was about going to Human Needs Task Force. I then attended the Human Needs Task Force Meeting and Nan Parsons did say to Beth Nabors, “when we talked on the phone”.
That would leave us to believe that Nan did have phone conversations with Beth Nabors prior to Beth Nabors coming in with PADS.

Nan carries around her Interfaith Housing Binder and gleams of enthusiasm for bringing not only Fair housing, but her personal social issue agenda to our community. I believe that this was brought out at one of the City Council meetings. She is just upset that she can’t expand the communities mission statement of fair housing to affordable and section 8 housing as well.

OMG If PADS comes to town, then we will have the homeless registered with a Park Ridge PO Box making them residents. IF we have homeless then we have the need for section eight housing. WOW they are really setting things up for their social agenda.

…….as we fire up the conspiracy machine!!

“social engineering” to make Park Ridge reflect thier vision of a perfect community is more like it.

Anon 08.11.08 @ 10:50 AM –

English translation of sign in Soviet prison camp, circa 1971: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not watching you.”  And in any event, two people acting together for an undisclosed common purpose isn’t a “conspiracy” – although it sure might be dishonest and contemptible.  

I agree with Watchdog. Let Parson and Bell make their case with facts rather than the b.s. they’ve been tossing around.  If they’ve got the integrity or the courage, that is.

Aren’t Bell and Parson appointees or re-appointees of Frimark’s? Are they just shilling for him, or is this housing stuff their own gig and he’s supporting them?

Mr. Mayor, will you please tell us where you stand on fair housing, low income housing, and subsidized housing?

wow…the silence on this one is deafening!

Do you mean the silence of Frimark, Parson or Bell? Or all three?

I mean the silence on the topic in general.

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