“A Fair And Honest Question”: How Would Frimark Know?


Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark wants a big new cop shop.  That’s one of the reasons why he’s spent much of the past year or so running around trying to get the City to buy land for that purpose – preferably from one of his buddies, like Bill Napleton. 

And because Frimark and his Alderpuppets are cowards, they don’t want to be held accountable to the taxpayers for spending a bundle of our tax dollars and digging us a 20-year, $20 million-plus debt hole for this kind of a boondoggle after the voters go on record (via indisputable referendum voting results) as opposing such an expenditure. 

So when 1st Ward Alderman (and mayoral candidate) Dave Schmidt, at the December 1 City Council meeting, proposed that the Council adopt a resolution putting an advisory referendum issue about a new cop shop on the April ballot, the Alderpuppets wouldn’t even give his motion a second. 

Outraged by that conduct, Park Ridge resident Joe Egan and a bunch of his fellow residents have taken up Schmidt’s referendum and begun a petition drive to do what the City Council wouldn’t.  Their question reads almost exactly like Schmidt’s:

“Shall the City of Park Ridge replace its current police facility with a new, larger structure at a cost of at least $16.5 million plus additional, but currently unknown, costs for the land on which it will be situated and bond interest?”

As reported in last week’s Park Ridge Journal (“Citizens Take On Police Station Referendum,“ Dec. 10), Frimark’s response to news of the petition drive was to attack the referendum issue: “The way Schmidt had it questioned, no one in their right mind would vote for that. It has to be a fair and honest question.”

In typical Frimark style, he didn’t give any specifics about what was unfair or dishonest about the referendum question posed by Schmidt, or the slight variation proposed in the citizens petition.  Nor did Frimark offer any suggestions for a new cop shop referendum question he could support.  So we have come up with a few alternatives to help kick-start the mayor’s thought processes:

“Do you want a new police station at whatever cost those City Council members you elected choose to spend?”

*  “The City paid experts a lot of money to tell us we need a big new cop shop, so do you think you know more than those experts?”

*  “Should we spend as much money as necessary to make sure Park Ridge doesn’t have a dinkier police station than our neighboring communities?”

Frimark and his Alderpuppets, like the Park Ridge Library Board and Staff back in 2002, consider any referendum issue that discloses the cost of a project as being inherently unfair.  We here at Watchdog, on the other hand, think that a referendum issue that doesn’t include the cost is unfair – and supremely dishonest.   

But we have to agree with one thing the mayor said: “No one in their right mind” would vote for a new police station that will cost at least $16.5 million plus the cost of land and bond interest. 

That’s why Frimark and the Alderpuppets want to keep that vote for themselves.

8 comments so far


I am sure that this is a stupid question. Please forgive me as I am not a lawyer.

Let’s say that the proposed referendum makes the ballot and the majorty of the PR citizens vote no to the question. Could the Mayor and his crew not go forward with a new police station that cost $14 million (for example) plus additional, but currently unknown, costs for the land on which it will be situated and bond interest and not be in violation of the referendum? I know that the odds are as the curent project is defined it would surely cost 16.5 mil and more. But does this not give them room to scale back the project to keep it under that number and yet still spend a significant amount of taxpayer money on a new station?


That is one of the more cogent questions you’ve ever asked!

The answer is yes, the Mayor and Council could still go forward with a scaled back version or even the same version, or even a bigger version.

The citizen initiated referendum is advisory only; not binding.


After reading the first sentence I knew it was you!!

Have a good Monday.


😉 Enjoy your holidays!

anon on 12.15.08 11:41 am.

As a home rule body the City can do almost anything it wants regarding spending money and going into debt, which is why having free-spending aldermen driven by a free-spending mayor is so dangerous to the long-term good of the City. Issue bonds for 20 years and buuild a new police station and you’re stuck paying off the loan because you can’t sell a new police station to anybody and get anything close to the amount you paid.

anon 1:08 PM:

You are preaching to the choir. We now have 2 candidates running for mayor. Let’s hope that all 7 Alderman positions are contested this time (although I doubt that will happen). Otherwise it is not a matter of choosing an alderman that represents your fiscal position – in fact it is not a matter of choosing at all. That is the way it was in 3 out of 7 races the last time.

Hi everybody. This appeared on the Herald-Advocate’s web story today:
“Second Ward Alderman Rich DiPietro and 3rd Ward Alderman Don Bach also said they did not support Schmidt’s motion because the language, like that on the petitions being circulated by referendum supporters, sets $16.5 million as the cost of a police station even though no action has been taken by the council supporting this.”
Sooooo…. then why cut off discussion? Wouldn’t you want the chance to ‘splain this in a public forum when one of your fellow aldermen bring it up?

From a HA! update today:

Quoting Frimark: “We need to have something definite to show the constituents in town in order for us to build a police station,” he said, adding later, “I think it’s always been the goal of the City Council to build this police station with NO TAX BURDEN (my caps) to the residents. I still think that is the current goal of the City Council.”

As a friend of mine used to say, give to me a fucking break.

How might Howard propose this police station be built? Where does the money come from? Could it be federal money, or TIF money or other money that isn’t Park Ridge resident’s money as Howard has said previously? Doh!

Howard will tell you that NO TAX BURDEN means “tax neutral” or that the police station might be paid off with debt service payments that mirror the public works faclity payments which are to end soon… so we taxpayers are “neutral”.

Bonding for a police facilty and maintaining a payment stream to mirror that which is current but scheduled to end isn’t “neutral” Howie… it’s a tax increase plain and simple.

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