PADS Shelter Looks Like Another “Done Deal”


All you St. Mary’s Episcopal neighbors: Nice try.  Same for you Concerned St. Paul Parents.  You took your shot at grass-roots democracy, and you even had your occasional moments – and for that you should be commended. 

But if Monday night’s Park Ridge City Council Committee of the Whole meeting revealed anything about the PADS shelter issue, it’s that a majority of Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark’s Alderpuppets on the Park Ridge City Council will vote as early as October 20th to amend the City’s zoning ordinance to give those folks at PADS and their allies in the Park Ridge Ministerial Association (“PRMA”) pretty much whatever they want, and definitely all that they need.

Want proof? 

Let’s start with Alderpuppet Jim “Chicken Little” Allegretti (4th Ward), an attorney who seems more concerned about being sued than Richard Grieco in “A Night At The Roxbury.”  Allegretti’s website states that his firm concentrates on “Divorce; Family Law; Personal Injury; Workers Compensation; Drivers License Reinstatement; DUI; [and] Criminal Law.”  When it comes to a PADS shelter, however, Allegretti is also a Constitutional scholar, proclaiming that the restrictions contained in the zoning amendment recommended by the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission “are going to run afoul of the law and we know it.”

Another Constitutional scholar is Allegretti’s puppetmaster, Mayor Frimark, who said that the City is “constitutionally on thin ground” in regard to fingerprinting of PADS guests and wants to “move forward” – his signature line whenever he can’t think of anything more meaningful to say about something he wants. 

Neither Allegretti nor Frimark could quite get an “Amen, brother!” from City attorney “Buzz” Hill on those points, nor have they been able to cajole or browbeat Hill into giving his written legal opinion that a 500-foot restriction on putting homeless shelters in or near nursery or elementary schools would be unconstitutional.  Yet.

But with Frimark Alderpuppets Bach and Ryan having jumped aboard the PADS/PRMA train early on, all Frimark/PADS/PRMA need is a “yes” vote from Alderpuppets Rich DiPietro (2nd Ward) or Tom Carey (6th Ward), or from an aching-to-compromise-so-as-not-to-tick-off-the-clergy Ald. Frank Wsol (7th Ward).  Of those three, only Carey showed any signs of seeing the whole picture – and the value of an advisory referendum – with his comments Monday night.

And then we have Acting Police Chief Tom Swoboda, who claims he has no concerns about sheltering 20 or 30 itinerant homeless from a “law enforcement” perspective even while acknowledging that PADS shelters in other communities do account for some increase in both police calls and actual crime.  We guess that Swoboda is just chalking those increases up to acceptable collateral damage, given all the benefits our community will derive from putting a PADS shelter here.

But what are all those community-wide “benefits” exactly?  Only Ald. Dave Schmidt (1st Ward) asked that question Monday night, even though it is the central element of three of the nine considerations required under our zoning ordinance for the approval of a text amendment.  No real answers were forthcoming from either Frimark or the rest of the Council, which suggests that they will continue to ignore those considerations when they vote to pass a PADS-approved revision to the P&Z’s draft text amendment. 

But the most telling signal that this matter is a done deal came from none other than City Clerk Betty “The Hen” Henneman, whose contributions to City Council meetings are usually limited to calling the roll, conducting roll call votes, and announcing the totals. 

The Hen insisted that she was not as much concerned about health and safety issues as she was about how embarrassing the press coverage of this issue has been and what image it projects to other towns.  There’s that acceptable collateral damage angle again, except that for The Hen the relevant decision isn’t about the burden on law enforcement but about choosing public relations over child health and safety.

The Hen’s most offensive statement from our perspective, however, was her claim that: “We already know that a great majority of the people really want this to happen.”  Hey Betty!  How many of the 37,000-plus residents of Park Ridge have you canvassed to come up with that whopper – or are you just taking the PRMA’s word for it on the assumption that it’s some sort of Divine Revelation?  Or do you just count the White Shirts?

Those are just rhetorical questions, folks, because Betty the Hen – like Mayor Frimark – prefers to avoid answering unpleasant questions.  Expect that both of them, along with the PRMA and the pro-PADS crowd, will keep telling that same Big Lie in the hope that the public is either gullible enough to buy it or not interested enough to care.  And by telling it long enough and loudly enough, there will be no advisory referendum in April to measure public opinion on this issue in an honest and accurate way.

So the bottom line is that, barring some new development more troubling to the PRMA and pro-PADS crowd than a drunken PADS to Hope “client” (whose residence – 1140 E. Northwest Hwy., Palatine – is the principal place of business of PADS to Hope, Inc.) beating another man to death,, the Fat Lady is warming up in the hallway of 505 Butler Place and will sing the PADS Aria at the City Council meeting on October 20th.   

And we can chalk up one more “win” for Mayor Frimark, his Alderpuppets, and yet another special interest.    

41 comments so far

I was afraid it would end like this. But when we gave this city to Frimark and his buddies, how could we have expected any better? If you read the long story in today’s Journal, Frimark, Allegretti, Henneman and Swoboda sounded even worse. And DiPietro is re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, ignoring the safety and health threats but worrying about bike racks!

SO disgusting…I am ashamed for the city council and their behavior…they are not getting good legal advice, they are not looking at all the facts nor all the evidence…I am ashamed of them thinking that “look at us in the press” comes before protecting our kids. Shameful and I hope their sleep is disrupted as us parents sleep is… Is this Police Chief that oblivious to the world around him? Did he buy his credentials? Help me understand ANY logic…

Wishing For Better,

The logic, if you will, is political in nature. What I believe is that our Acting Chief of Police is caught between two so-called “authority figures” in his personal and professional life, and the rest of the town. One of those authority figures is his long-time parish pastor, that Morello fellow, who pronounced to his congregation and the rest of the Park Ridge community his intention and dedication to opening a PADS shelter in the St. Paul school gym. The other authority figure is the Mayor to whom Acting Chief Swoboda must professionally answer, and who also is a supporter of opening a PADS shelter anywhere the members of the PRMA should choose. When it comes to “interaction”, there is a concentration of authority surrounding this issue in Acting Chief Swoboda’s personal and professional life, which probably overrides any interactions he might have with anyone else in town.

I must presume that Acting Chief Swoboda does indeed believe in some of the more “traditional” ways of interacting with one’s parish pastor, that is, nod your head in agreement and have faith that your pastor is in some way being divinely inspired, which doesn’t leave any real room for questioning the pastor’s pronouncements.

Professionally, Acting Chief Swoboda would be cutting himself off at the knees if he were to indicate in any way, shape, or form that his police department is not willing, equipped, or fully able to handle the problems that could occur with the opening of a homeless shelter. It goes against every public safety message and image the police department tries to project.

And let’s not forget that “Acting” qualifier before the title of Chief. It matters.

Personally, I would have been shocked if the Acting Chief of Police in my town had given even a hint that he and his department weren’t fully willing, prepared, and capable of managing any problems that might arise from the homeless and a homeless shelter.

So, at least in my mind, all of that constitutes the “logic”.  And of course, it’s all just my opinion formed through my own observations. 

From Park Ridge Underground:

“Anonymous said…
This will…end up in the high courts. Watch and see…..

Thank you.

July 22, 2008 3:11 PM”

the people of park ridge deserve as precise, law enforcement analysis of the PADS situation. rest assured you will never get it from swoboda. what you will get from him is whatever serves his personal /professinal agenda. what is good for the town, its citizens and the PRPD will never be considered by your acting chief.


I completely agree. If my comment sounded like a defense of Acting Chief Swoboda’s conduct on this matter, I assure you that was not my intent. I was only offering a view, my view, of how the dynamic could be operating.

My personal opinion is that all charity and charitable acts should be critically considered by everyone, not just those in law enforcement or city government. What might seem to be a good and charitable idea on the surface could well be harmful upon deeper review, or so said my personal priest, who cautioned me to fully examine my soul for intentions, as well as potential outcomes for those to whom I was providing my charity.

i wouldn’t expect swoboda to admit that his force couldn’t handle our homeless visitors, but his tap-dancing around the fact that they are security and health risks is pretty lame. but what do you expect. He saw how caudill got booted for daring to stand up to frimark, and (as another poster wrote) he’s a big cheerleader for fr. morello.

this is politics and nothing more. a referendum would show how the pads people are completely off base about the degree of support for a shelter, which is why frimark and his gang won’t allow one.

How about we the citizens of Park Ridge, as a group file a lawsuit against the city in an attempt to prevent this? I’ll happily throw some $$$ toward a legal fund.

One more thing; Has anyone contacted the ACLU to get their opinion on the constitutionality of a 500ft safety zone around schools? That would be most interesting to get their opinion. Will do that tomorrow when they re-open.

Is there not a process by which an issue can become a referendum item even without the council making it so. I remember someone saying that it can be done (via petition???). If this is possible, why not go through the process? If we all believe the vote would go against PADS then getting signatures should be no problem.

Even if it would not be binding, it would be very difficult for an alderman to go against such a recorded vote.


Read “10 ILCS 5/ Article 28”. It’s the public question portion of the the State of Illinois Election Code. Then, if you are still interested, I would suggest you contact an attorney who practices in the area of election law.


I just read it (sort of). I think I will need not just a lawyer but an entire law firm and a translator!!

caudill got run/bought off because he and swoboda damn near ruined a pretty good police department. neither of them ever had the nerve to stand up to anyone in city government, elected or otherwise.


Now we are in disagreement. I don’t believe Caudill was a towering pillar of strength, especially after Frimark really gained total control over the city council. However, I have been told by someone seemingly close to the issue of a time when the meddling Frimark thought, as an alderman, he could phone Police Chief Caudill and demand a disciplinary action against one of his friends on the force be rescinded. Caudill refused, and Frimark never forgets a “slight”. Frimark had to bide his time, but once his opposition was removed from the council, Frimark proceeded to extract his revenge in every direction.

Again, the rather remarkable exodus of top level city staff should be a red flag of warning to anyone paying attention. I have it on fairly good authority that many of those departures weren’t just qualified employees taking advantage of the Early Retirement Incentive program.

And the rest, as they say, is history.


We’re not going to take sides in this debate because we haven’t seen or heard enough solid evidence one way or the other – including in that $85,000 term paper known as the “Ekl Report).

But if the PRPD is a “pretty good police department” then it would seem to follow that Caudill (and Swoboda) had something to do with that, given that they ran the place for the past 10 years or so.  And also during that time the Dept. won a number of awards, although we can’t tell whether those awards were substantive or just fluff. 

So if Caudill was as bad as you say, then our City Council members acted irresponsibly (and wasted our money) by not just sacking him. And if he wasn’t, then why was he forced out in the name of “early retirement”?

you being the sounding board here. it is good that you dont take sides. that being said, PRPD was/is a good police understaning is that this is in spite of caudill and swoboda,not because of them. also, if caudill ws merely taking advantag of the early retirement deal that ws offered, why did the pot have to be sweetened so drastically to get him to go, last figure i heard was a cool 100grand. the others that left early did not comne anywhere close to that figure. as regards he city council being able to ‘sack” him, it is my understanding that over the years there were several times where that could have happened, i am not sure why it didnt. i’ll bet you know amore about that situation thne i do.


The city of PR is must be getting a ton of money from the government by allowing this PADS shelter come to town. This clearly must be the reason for alderman (those who just MUST have attended some sort of college to get this far in politics???)to have lost their judgement for what reality really is. I say this because of the outlandish comments made my them, mayor etc at last nights meeting. Facts and statistics have been provided. Your police chief wanna be is not the real police. This mayor wants his money and this is what its about. Only thanks to Alderman Schmidt for having to extracate information from everyone especially “please please pick me wanna be police chief”.

Then their is fr. carl…all he ever wanted was another extension on his residence at spc. So sad for him that after 20 plus years he has to go…but wait…maybe just maybe if he does something utterly amazing at any cost like say our children he can stay forever?? His bombshell on the last day of school, his fear monger comments over and over and his racist comments that were not ment for any parishners to hear (only politicians who get scared when the “race card” is used). Did he ever apologize…no. He just got mad his comments got out and wants to know who the whistle blower is.

blah blah…

Police: Four Wounded in Chainsaw Attack at Missouri Homeless Shelter
Silly of me to think this is at all relevant to my childs school gymnasium housing the homeless…what a joke from pr city officials for not taking crazy crimes like this seriously, this IS REAL…

Saturday, January 19, 2008
NEW BLOOMFIELD, Mo. — A man staying at a homeless shelter has wounded four people in a chainsaw and knife attack.

The Callaway County sheriff’s office says 28-year-old Matthew Watkins is facing four counts each of first-degree assault and armed criminal action for the attack at the Mid-America Care Center. The homeless shelter is connected with Christian television station KNLJ.

Sheriff Dennis Crane says two victims were cut by a chainsaw and two others by a knife. Three of the victims were taken to hospitals, and Crane says at least one of those is in serious condition.

The sheriff’s office says Watkins is originally from St. Louis. He is being held on $600,000 bond.


As we understand the Early Retirement Initiative offered to the various senior city employees who have departed, the amount of their benefit was tied to their last salary. So if Caudill’s last salary was around $140K, a “cool 100 grand” in annual pension could be in the ballpark. And we’ve heard that Schuenke did even better with his ERI – because he was making around $170K when he bolted.

As for Caudill’s job being in jeopardy “several times,” we never heard anything of the sort until Frimark became mayor.

i’m surprised you missed it. the 100 grand i refer to is not pension money. you are right when you say that his pension would be about 100k based on his final salary. the $100,000 i mentioned is on top of that, a one time golden parachute/buypot type deal in order to get him to leave sooner than he wanted too. he also signed an agrement not to bad mouth anyone and they agreed not to bad mouth him. intersting way for a chief of police to leave, huh?

Please tell me that you aren’t suggesting that anyone throw in the towel?!?

I favor the “it ain’t over til it’s over” motto.

NEVER should we allow a “win” by default. Giving up assures the PRMA will get EVERTHING they want. To me that’s UNACCEPTABLE!!!

Well that settles it. I am not only against PADS, but now I am no longer going to Missouri!!!

Still Hoping:

No, we aren’t suggesting that anybody “throw in the towel.”

We simply pointed out – for those readers who are unfamiliar with how the hyper-political City government of Mayor Frimark and his Alderpuppets works – that based on aldermanic comments at Monday night’s meeting, it appears that there is only one vote to adopt the zoning ordinance text amendment as recommended by the Planning & Zoning Commission: Ald. Dave Schmidt’s (1st Ward). 

So unless you folks who support the text amendment as recommended stage a major comeback over the next 11 days, PRMA, PADS and their supporters own this City Council on this issue – notwithstanding all the evidence and arguments about the threat to the health and safety of school children and the effects on the community as a whole.

But those are the public officials we elected, those are the clergy we continue to finance, and PADS is the business we will be helping to grow.


There is no record or any even semi-credible evidence of Caudill being paid “100 grand” as some kind of “golden parachute/buypot.” And whatever deal Caudill got was approved by the City Council, so any blame should be placed there.

Notwithstanding your obsession with the former police chief, this is intended to be a PADS discussion. Should you try to post any additional comments about Caudill to this discussion, therefore, they will be transferred to “Sanitized For Your Deception: Part II” (06.02.08) or ashcanned, depending on our mood at the time we read them.


That’s a chilling story. I gotta say, what was going through my head as I read it was, if you are a homeless guy how the hell do you get your hands on a chainsaw? I’m assuming you don’t have a shed or garage, so do you carry it around with you tucked under your coat or something? What? How does that work?

Any resident of PR that is knowledgeable of this issue must talk to 5 others who are not up to speed on this issue and have them write their aldermen stressing the need to keep the language as recommended by the P&Z. This IS a big deal…HUGE… Too many peole have been silent. Bach even had some ridiculous math formula he was using to tabulate his constituents in which he stated something to the affact that most of the calls wanted regulations in place, but that when he asked them if they support the 500 ft ordinance with the potential for a law suit what would they say then… and he stated they all wanted the 500ft removed in light of any potential lawsuit. Seriously this was his position… RIDICULOUS THREATS! I can’t stand it, if I could sell my huose I would – if anything I now know how completely inept politicians are.


Wishing For Better,

First of all, just because Bach says that is what people have told him doesn’t mean that is actually what people have told him. As most of us recognize, the information that goes into Bach’s head doesn’t often get processed properly, as evidenced by what comes out of his mouth as a result.

Second of all, how Bach processes information depends entirely upon his personal opinion, and he will find a way to spin information to suit his own purposes, however much he may profess the contrary.

Third of all, Bach conducted his poll based on erroneous advice from the City Attorney, which allowed him (Bach) to then editorialize his question to all the people he claims to have spoken to; the presumption of the editorializing being that the City would lose any legal challenge, something even the City Attorney said could not be unequivocally guaranteed.

Bach should be considered a write-off on this issue, and probably all others too. It used to appear that Allegretti was the dumbest member of the City Council. However, it now appears that Allegretti is simply the most intellectually dishonest member of the City Council. Bach is truly the dumbest.

I agree wholeheartedly that contacting people outside the SPC parish is probably an excellent idea, because too often people don’t pay attention unless something is right under their nose, or in their own backyard.

Our politicians aren’t “inept,” they are doing exactly what they were elected to do – which is whatever Howard (and his backers) tells them. And every one of the 4,889 who voted for Howard in April 2005, along with every one of the 7,688 who voted to give him a smaller, easier-to-control city council in November 2006, deserves exactly what you’re getting.

Bach and DiPietro didn’t even have anybody running against them. Allegretti wouldn’t have even been an alderman in the first place if Howard didn’t give him the seat and Allegretti gave Howard $500 in campaign contributions. Even a guy like Wsol, who won re-election over Howard toady Bob Kristie, can barely muster an opposition vote every few weeks.

And while these so-called religious leaders call anybody who disagrees with them “bigots” and “un-Christian,” the sheep in their flocks still keep filling up those collection baskets every week in the religious equivalent of “Thank you, Rev., may I have another?”

So we’re getting exactly what we deserve.

A agree about communicating ones opinion on the importance of this issue. In fact, I have been doing that for months and others have been communicating their opinions with me. Many of these dialogues took place between people who are not members of the SPC parish or even catholic, but instead are just plain old citizens of PR.

Not that it is by any means a perfect sample, but I can tell you that virtually everyone in my neighborhood has been following (and some actively participating in) the whole PADS issue very closely. It is not that people are not “up to speed”. It is that people see things differently. Go figure!


Care to prove your opinion through a public vote on the issue?


I guess it is my own fault for posting as anon but I have said in many provious posts that I would be very much in favor of a referendum vote on this issue. I think it is the best available solution to a horrible situation.


Your opinion of majority sentiment remains. My challenge to you and anyone else still stands.

I am more than willing to see if my opinion of what I believe majority sentiment on this issue is would surivive the ultimate test, a public vote.


I do not have, nor have I ever professed to have, an opinion on what the majority sentiment would be if there was a public vote. The answer is I do not know. If anything I would lean in the direction of the vote going against PADS but I do come to the blogs a lot so my opinion may be biased. I do know that I have neighbors and people I know in PR who support PADS. So again, how it would work out is a wild guess to me but I would live with whatever the results would be.


Your first statement:

“Not that it is by any means a perfect sample, but I can tell you that virtually everyone in my neighborhood has been following (and some actively participating in) the whole PADS issue very closely. It is not that people are not “up to speed”. It is that people see things differently. Go figure!”

…is not in agreement with your latest statement, above.

Of course, you are free to be as much of a teeter-totter on the topic as you wish. I think how hard you work at trying to walk the fence railing as often as possible on the PADS issue is kind of cute; like watching a puppy chase it’s tail. And after all, this is Public Watchdog!

Quitin’ time!


My sample reference was about people being up to speed. The previous poster talked about getting people up to speed and my point was that, at least based on my experience, people are up to speed. It is just that they see things differently.

I realize that often times I could communicate better (and my typing/spelling sucks) but in the context of both posts please tell me how on earth you get the impression that I think most people are pro PADS or anti-PADS??? Wgat I say is that based on my “sample” people are following the issue and up to spped.

The piece you cut and pasted says it pretty clearly.

By the way I like the puppy comparison. If you ever met me you would probably find a comparison to an old confused dog to be more appropriate.


I’ll have to defer to your self assessment.

Not to belabor the point, and I’ve personally lost interest in it, but…

You cannot make the claim that you were only talking about or refuting the issue of people being “up to speed” when you added “It is that people see things differently. Go figure!”

Though, as I previously stated, you are free to teeter-totter between your own mind’s seemingly divergent or conflicting views; in fact, I’ve read that being able to hold two seemingly divergent views in one’s mind at the same time is a sign of intelligence. However, if you express those views publicly, being prepared for a challenge seems like the smart thing to do too.

I agree with the first comment made by mbbbksks on 10.08.08 3:21 pm. We deserve a precise, law enforcement analysis of the PADS situation but we won’t get it from Swoboda. Swoboda said that police departments don’t keep track of this kind of thing, but it took me 60 seconds to find a police department that did put together a reveiw.

Though they account for only about .5% of the population in Cambridge, homeless individuals make up 10% of the total arrests. Crimes influenced heavily by vagrant activity include simple assault (usually homeless fighting each other over money, food, or drugs), burglary of homes, businesses, and automobiles, disorderly conduct, drinking in public, indecent exposure (“flashing” or public urination), and trespassing.

The concerned parents and neighbors have been saying all along that one of the biggest concerns is not what goes on inside the shelters during hours but what could happen outside in the neighborhoods. Swoboda is totally ignoring that part of the problem.

But maybe Swoboda is like the police captain in Arlington Hts. who somebody forgot to tell him that petty theft is a crime, as he says in the article here,AH-whyhere-122007-s1.article

I guess stealing change that isn’t yours from a car that isn’t yours isn’t a crime or something? Swoboda would probably just look the other way since it didn’t happen inside a PADS anyway.

Arlington Hts. operates the most homeless shelters and it looks like they have no regulations at all or limits at all on the number of shelters. It also looks like they have enough problems with the homeless that they had to create a task force of city employees to deal with the problems.

In that article Arlington Hts Mayor Arlene Mulder said “It’s to better understand and evaluate the best way to protect the community and respect the rights of the homeless.” Geebus, Arlene, what do you mean protect the community? From what? PADS is always telling everyone how the homeless are just all our own down luck neighbors not criminals or harmful. Did you tell any of this to Mayor Frimark when he said he spoke to you? I’m not even going to bother to ask if Mayor Frimark asked any questions because I’ve seen what a disaster he turned out to be for our town. I wouldn’t count on that guy for anything other than tax money gifts to his buddies.

I am disgusted by the people in our government who are cow towing to the priests and the socialists who want to bleed us dry with all their good causes and wreck the community we’ve all paid for to maintain whether we grew up here or moved here. I am sick of all of them. I did not vote for any priests to represent me and I sure as hell didn’t think I was voting for any socialists in the last election either. Frimark, you stink!


I took the liberty of editing your comment for spacing, to set the links to the articles apart.

I hope you don’t mind.

Alpha, I don’t mind. Thanks

That Mr. Rogers fellow that was mentioned in the Arlington Hts. article just disgust me.

He looses his license for various violations and makes me wonder how he became homeless?

Why didn’t the stupid reporter ask him that?

Why even interview the b*st*rd in the first place?

It’s those type of people that get to me and there are probably more like him than those who just lose their homes due to job loss.

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