PADS: Moving On, Or Just Re-Grouping?


For the many Park Ridge residents who welcomed an end to the wrong-headed efforts of the Park Ridge Ministerial Association (“PRMA”) and Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark to bring a PADS to HOPE, Inc. (“PADS Inc.”) homeless shelter franchise to Park Ridge, last week’s announcement to that effect was good news.

But before the opponents of that flawed shelter plan declare victory, they may want to look at what the City’s Human Needs Task Force is up to.  Because “PADS” appears as an item on the agenda [pdf] of that group’s meeting tomorrow morning (Nov. 11, 8:30 a.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room).

But even more interesting is what’s reported in the draft minutes [pdf] of that group’s October 14th meeting, in which – with Frimark’s encouragement – they tentatively approved sending a letter to the City Council endorsing the PRMA’s efforts to bring a PADS shelter to Park Ridge.  

That group also wanted to include a plea that the homeless shelter go into St. Paul of the Cross “without restriction or license,” but that point was abandoned when it was suggested that it might “make it difficult to get this project to move forward.”

What’s disturbing, however, is how the Task Force – in what was an open meeting – nevertheless attempted to cloak it’s plan for a PADS endorsement letter in secrecy by getting PADS opponent Missy Langan to agree “not to discuss this letter with anyone”! 

Whether Langan actually agreed to that bit of deception or went along with it is not currently known.  But those minutes reveal yet again how the Culture of Secrecy permeates local government, especially City government under the administration of Mayor Frimark – in this case, with an assist from former 2nd Ward Ald. John Benka, who should have known from his Council days that the Illinois Open Meetings Act doesn’t permit such secrecy. 

And those minutes also suggest that the Human Needs Task Force members may have their own agenda to keep the PADS shelter issue alive for the foreseeable future, waiting for just the right opportunity to help bring it onto the front burner and push it through.

Meanwhile, one of our readers provided us with a copy of “Fr. Carl’s Corner” [pdf] from yesterday’s St. Paul of the Cross bulletin, in which Fr. Morello once again uses the church’s “pulpit” as a forum for his personal political views on PADS and to pat himself and his PRMA associates on their collective backs.  Especially amusing is his admonition: “do not judge others.”

Do you mean like accusing people with whom you disagree of engaging in “thinly-veiled racial and economic bigotry”?  

12 comments so far

Sadly, my respect for Fr. Carl has been greatly compromised as a result of this issue. I agree with PubDog on calling him out on his statement to the parish not to judge others. A little late to try to mend the rift in the parish, isn’t it?

Additionally suspicious about the Human Needs Task Force meeting is that on the city website it is stated that they meet “the second Friday of the month.” Trying to avoid a public discussion???

If the Human Needs Task Force is going to conduct itself as a political lobbying group or political pac attempting to influence public policy, then the city should not be providing the Human Needs Task Force with taxpayer funded resources such as staff and secretarial/minute-taking services…they should be doing that for themselves. What the individual members choose to advocate is their personal and freely exercised right…what they seek to do as a group, under the auspices of city oversight, taxpayer funded support, and (tacit) approval, is an entirely different matter.

And Ms. Missy…please, say it ain’t so…!!!

Is there something you would like to know? All you have to do is ask.

P.W. and readers alike SHOULD certainly know that meeting minutes don’t always tell the whole story.

Ms. Missy,

I know that minutes are all too often farkochtah, and almost never give the whole story…so, I’m asking here and now…what the heck went on at the meeting…???

I am still a “rookie” when it comes to looking at PR government so I tried to look up what thel this Task Force is. The closest I could come to an answer was the discription on the PR web site:

Human Needs Task Force – A group of citizens appointed by the Mayor to concern themselves with the needs of the citizens of Park Ridge and surrounding communities. The Task Force coordinates such activities as food drives, a clothes closet, medical supply closet, job clearinghouse and other related matters. Meets second Friday of the month.

Based on this description, it would appear to me that they have no more power in this whole deal then you or I do. It seems to me that their recommendation and/or endorsement would not carry any “legislative weight”. Am I wrong? How can they push it through?

As to this argument/disagreement/fight continuing, I guess all I can say is, duh!!! The pro-PADS people do have an agenda (as do we) and last weeks happenings did not change that at all.


We’re at a public meeting, talking the public’s business and we “ask” an audience member not to dicuss the contents of the meeting with anyone outside of the meeting? You will never convince me that Missy volunteered this. Is there a word for that??

Coercion, intimidation, pressure… whatever, not nice boys and girls.

And Howard… you were at this meeting? Could you be more stupid than to allow for this to happen? God, you are an idiot. How did you ever get elected in the first place?

There is a Daily Herald 4//9/97 newsbank article that a concerned parent found that pads initially refused ANY CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS UNTIL FORCED TO: “PADS officials oppose any movement toward criminal background checks, saying their agency – and homeless people in general – are being singled out in a discriminatory way.

Wheaton Mayor Carr said he made the request because of his growing frustration with the unwillingness of PADS to address some of his concerns and those of the community.”

Unless a community forces pads to take responsibility for the homeless people pads recycles (so that they themselves get paid), pads won’t take any blame or cosign on any special use permit. Pads can’t be trusted if they refused to even do background checks!!!

Yes, Fr Carl, that’s what I’m so scared of. What are you so scare of? Is it the racial and economic bigots hijacked by fear or the snakes and jackals in your flock? Actually, I think I might be most scared of your white shirted followers.

Nice job on the pulpit.

Ms. Langan, if you really didn’t agree, say so.  But you’re “meeting minutes don’t always tell the whole story” is too cute by at least half, or just plain b.s.

This says it all:

From one side of his mouth:
“I feel sad and disappointed that the Park Ridge Ministerial Association’s efforts to work with Journey from PADS to Hope in this community has (sic) been hijacked by fear.”

From the other side of his mouth:
“The first step is to remember, no matter what side of this issue you were on, do not judge others.”

I’m afraid I missed the origins of the ‘snakes and jackals’ comments – was that in another Fr Carl email or statment somewhere??

Did you know that according to St. Luke’s bulletin: HOMELESS PEOPLE MAY NOT SLEEP IN PARK RIDGE, BUT WE CAN STILL OFFER TO FEED THEM: The Park Ridge Ministerial Association is sponsoring Sunday Night Suppers. Starting January 18, 2009 all who are hungry or homeless are welcome!! Every Sunday Night doors open at 5:45 p.m. and the meal is served at 6:00 p.m., St. Paul of the Cross Roman Catholic Church, in the Morello Parish Life Center, 320 South Washington in Park Ridge. For more information call 847/692-6767.

Yet, if you look on SPC’s website, there is nothing at all about this. I guess if I want info about what is going on at SPC, I need to check St. Luke’s website.

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