Whom Do You Trust?


Today’s Park Ridge Journal reports on another political skirmish between Park Ridge Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark and 1st Ward Alderman Dave Schmidt (“Frimark Defends Against Schmidt Accusation,” Sept. 10). 

Back in June, Frimark complained to Zoning Board of Appeals chairman Ann Tennes that Schmidt was trying to steer the ZBA’s decisions.  Tennes reported Frimark’s complaint at the ZBA’s June 26 meeting:

Chairman Tennes shared with the Board that Mayor Frimark contacted her because of his concern that Alderman Schmidt was trying to interfere with the rulings of the Board cases.  He was advised that Ald. Schmidt was putting things in writing and trying to steer the Board’s cases.  Chairman Tennes stated she defended Ald. Schmidt because he has always been respectful to her and to the Board.  Joe Sweeney and Gary Zimmerman stated they both see Ald. Schmidt several times a week and there are never any discussions regarding the Board or village politics. 

So at the September 2nd City Council meeting, Schmidt publicly challenged the truth of Frimark’s comments to Tennes.  Not surprisingly, Frimark offered nothing in response.  But the Journal reports that by September 5th, Frimark was complaining that Schmidt was not telling the truth and had taken Frimark’s comments out of context – claiming that an un-named ZBA member had called Frimark in May to express his concerns that Schmidt was “using his influence to promote his agenda,” whatever that means.

The Journal further reports that Frimark tried to tap dance away from the accusation, contending that Tennes’ statement in the ZBA minutes inaccurately recounted what Frimark told her.  But Tennes is sticking to her guns: “My comments that were in the meeting minutes stand.”

That doesn’t surprise us.  In a battle of credibility, we’ll go with Schmidt and Tennes every time. 

And because Frimark seems to prefer avoiding public scrutiny whenever possible (which is why he’s the poster boy for closed City Council sessions and the Culture of Secrecy) it also doesn’t surprise us that, as reported by the Journal, Frimark whined about Schmidt going public on the matter instead of talking to him privately: “As an alderman, he should call me and say he’s got a problem with me and ask, ‘What is the real story?’ and I would have told him.” 

But if that’s the way Frimark likes to operate, we have to wonder why he didn’t call Schmidt – instead of Tennes – to discuss his concerns about Schmidt and the ZBA in the first place?