Howard The Coward


We usually refer to the current Park Ridge mayor as Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark because of the way he wheels and deals to get favorable City treatment (and our tax dollars) for his friends and political contributors, like Bruce Adreani of Norwood Builders and Bill “Cadillac” Napleton.

But we’ve heard a few other nicknames that also describe the mayor, such as “Photo Op” Frimark (for his ability to get in front of the camera and get those photos published), “Mr. Coffee” Frimark (for his propensity for inviting individuals for coffee) and the newest one, “Birdie” (for his use of “a little bird told me” when sharing gossip about something or, more often, somebody).

To that collection we would like to add “Howard the Coward,” because of what appears to be his deathly fear of letting the taxpayers vote in an advisory referendum on the big new and expensive police station he wants.

We suspect that such fear is caused by the likelihood that Frimark and his alderpuppets already know what the result of such a referendum would be, and they don’t like it.  Losing a referendum on the new cop shop would really cramp their style when they vote (probably within a few months of the April election) to spend a bundle of our money and pile more long-term debt on us, while claiming that a majority of the residents they talked to support it.  That would explain why they wouldn’t give Ald. Dave Schmidt’s motion for a referendum resolution the courtesy of a second.

But because they can’t control the citizens who are petitioning to put a cop shop referendum on the ballot, we’re guessing that Frimark’s political brain, the ubiquitous local political operative Linda Ski, gave Frimark and his alderpuppets – specifically Don Bach (3rd Ward) and Rich DiPietro (2nd Ward) – their marching orders to start badmouthing the referendum question as premature and inaccurate.  That way, if the referendum makes the April ballot and loses big, they can dismiss that loss by arguing that the voters were misled or were the victims of scare tactics about the cost.

That’s a well-worn politician’s trick, which makes it perfect for a politician like Frimark.

But let’s take a look at Frimark’s specific objections to the referendum question, as reported in this week’s Herald-Advocate (“Frimark: referendum question uses premature information,” Dec. 17), followed by our questions/comments:
“I think the referendum is sort of putting the cart before the horse because we still don’t have all this information [about what type of station will be built or the cost].” The referendum isn’t about what kind of station will be built, but about the money that will be spent.  If the mayor thought that $16.5 million was too high, why didn’t he have one of his alderpuppets move to amend it to a lower number?

“Once we get to that point, I’m sure the aldermen will reach out to their constituents and get feedback on what they feel is appropriate.” What better way to “reach out to their constituents” than by a referendum, with the public debate that would lead up to it?  By a simple vote in April, thousands of residents – far more than the alderpuppets will ever be able to “reach out to” otherwise – can make their view known in a very direct and measurable way.

The police station “is still a decision the City Council has to make.”  Indeed it is, but what honest and decent people’s representative wouldn’t want the benefit of knowing what the voters think about such an important issue before making his decision?

“We need to have something definite to show the constituents in town in order for us to build a police station.”  Once again, this isn’t a question of what kind of cop shop to build: it’s a question of whether the taxpayers want to borrow and spend multi-millions of dollars for any kind of new cop shop, wherever it may be located.

“I think it’s always been the goal of the City Council to build this police station with no tax burden to the residents.”  And exactly how does the City go about doing that?  Unless we are planning to charge user fees to the cops and civilian employees who work there, to the crooks that are booked there, and to the citizens who visit there, the cost of any new cop shop will most certainly be born by the taxpaying residents.  Does Frimark really believe the taxpayers are stupid enough to fall for this tripe?

At least one resident, Mike Reardon, called Frimark and his alderpuppets on their cowardice at Monday night’s Council meeting: “If you don’t believe citizens should have input on a multi-million dollar expenditure, you should have the courage to stand up and say that.”  Exactly, Mr. Reardon.

But the bottom line is that Howard the Coward and his alderpuppets don’t have the courage – or the integrity – to say anything of the sort.  Just like they don’t have the courage or the integrity to find out what the voters think about a new cop shop.

That’s what passes for leadership in Howardville.  Or should we say Cowardville?

9 comments so far

Allow me to repeat myself from a posting of a couple of days ago:

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.

Get a clue Howard.


Of course Frimark believes we’re stupid enough to fall for this “tripe.” Just like he thinks we’re stupid enough to overlook his sweet heart deals with Napleton and with Norwood on Exec. Ofc. Plaza. Just like he thinks we’re stupid enough not to hold him accountable for doing nothing about the new OHare runway until after it was built.

And it’s our stupidity that he’s counting on in running for re-election.

Great article today Watchdog!

I was also confused or to use a Bach-like phrase, bamboozled in my bellicose befuddlement, about how exactly the City of Park Ridge could build a new police station with zero tax burden.

I was thinking perhaps the city was out seeking sponsorships to defray the cost? Can’t you see it: The Coca-Cola Public Safety Center.

I know our Mayor is a fan of the big deal, maybe he’s just waiting to announce the sponsorship he’s lined up that will allow him to build a new police station at no cost to the taxpayers.


If Frimark’s going to make a big announcement about a police station sponsor, where’s Dick Barton? Isn’t DB the promotions expert for Howard?

I don’t get it. When you get right to it, what harm would be caused by letting the voters have an advisory referendum (which the Council is free to ignore) on the new police station. And before we go any further on where that $16.5 million figure came from, wasn’t that Ald. Wsol’s idea because if you stretched it out over 20 years instead of 10, we’d be paying just about the same in debt service as we’ve been paying for the public works bldg.?


Which is why it is bullshit for Howard or any of the others to act as if this citizen action is “premature”.

Another name for him Howard Cheesehead Frimark.

After all he’s a Packers fan.

Did anybody attend his announcement at Morningfields this morning? I heard it was crowded.

In response to anonymous on 12/18 at 1:08pm. Linda Ski is in direct competition with her public relations firm and Dick Barton’s firm Barton and Barton. Dick Barton is the root of all political evil in Park Ridge, But that is usually where the Maine Township Government is involved. Dick’s firm is paid somewhere around 3600 a month of our township tax dollars to promote the Maine Township officials.

Howard can barely pay Linda Szczepanski’s salary let alone Bartons & Bartons as well.

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