A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse: Part 2


In A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse: Part 1, we noted that our number one resident politician, Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark, appears to have mastered the technique of telling the voters things that appear superficially truthful but which really aren’t.  In that post, we took on Frimark’s published statements about the current budget deficit and the new police station.

Today we will look at two more of his “Q & A with Mayor Frimark” from his campaign website:

What is your plan to increase revenues?
I am investigating a number of valid proposals, all of which have benefits and consequences. As mayor, I gather all the information and seek the opinion and counsel of local businesses, residents, the city council and subject matter experts in order to fully understand the impacts of any proposal. Some that I am feel have merit include: licensing of bill boards, a special tax on cell towers, increasing non-resident commuter parking prices, aggressive promotion of the Taste of Park Ridge to bring more patrons to the businesses in Park Ridge, corporate sponsorship for Taste of Park Ridge events and festivities, expanded marketing of our successful “shop-local” programs and ultimately continue our business-friendly overtures to attract and retain sales tax producing establishments into the Uptown, Higgins corridor and other city business areas.

Frimark has been mayor for four years, an alderman for two years before that, and – according to his incessant self-promotion – he has lived (and sold insurance) in Park Ridge for 38 years while being a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, United Way, Jaycees and the now-defunct Economic Development Board. 

So why is it that only now is he “investigating a number of valid proposals”?  And for the proposals he has identified, why doesn’t he have some dollar figures attached?  Could it be because he already knows that none of these ideas have any chance in the world of generating enough additional revenue to even merit serious discussion?

Take “licensing of bill boards” – what the heck is that about?  Unless somebody’s hiding them, we can’t think of enough bill boards within the City limits to make a meaningful revenue difference no matter how much the licensing fee might be.  Or is Frimark suggesting that Park Ridge turn into a bill board “farm” – kind of like a “wind farm,” except that instead of a scores of wind turbines you get scores of bill boards all over town.  Now that sounds attractive, doesn’t it?

Or how his proposal for “a special tax on cell towers”?  As best as our research discloses, that’s not even legal – although that probably wouldn’t stop Frimark from proposing it if he thought people might fall for it.

Or “aggressive promotion of the Taste of Park Ridge”?  How much more “aggressive” should the City be with our tax dollars to promote an event run by the private “Taste of Park Ridge, NFP” corporation (“Taste, Inc.”)?  Oh, but wait…it looks like there are some changes going on over at Taste, Inc., because the old Taste, Inc. was  voluntarily dissolved [pdf] just last month and a new Taste, Inc. [pdf] has been formed.  Could that mean another behind-the-scenes sweetheart deal is in the works for whoever the new “owners” are?

What is being done to help control flooding?
We been [sic] working diligently to balance the need for flood control and other infrastructure improvements as much as possible during difficult times. In my campaign in 2005, I promised we would do these things, and progress has been made. New relief sewers have been designed and constructed, and more are on the way. I would have liked to have seen more of these things done, but in a declining economy, which is resulting in a corresponding decline in property, sales and other tax revenues for the city as well; it is simply bad government to raise your taxes to pay for these things to a greater degree than we have.

As we noted in our post New Cop Shop Widens, Not Plugs, Budget Gap, under Frimark’s “leadership” relief sewer installations dropped from a paltry 1,240 linear feet in 2007 (before the economy cratered) to only 940 linear feet – about three blocks’ worth – in 2008.  Of course, Frimark isn’t very forthcoming about those figures, most likely because both totals are outright pathetic for an upscale community such as ours, especially given the chronic nature of our flooding and the adverse effects it has on both our quality of life and our property values.

And only someone as totally shameless as our mayor would insist that it’s “simply bad government” to invest any more in relief sewers while at the same time pushing the pedal to the metal for a big new multi-million dollar police station – or asking the State of Illinois for $20 million in stimulus funding for the new cop shop, but only $3.5 million for sewers. 
To our citizens who are easily bamboozled, Frimark’s pronouncements can easily pass for something akin to the truth. 

But one thing is certainly true: if anybody in Park Ridge is an expert on “simply bad government,” it’s ol’ “Let’s Make A Deal” himself.         

10 comments so far

Yea billboards, that does sound good. I mean who the hell wants to drive around and see all those pesky trees and flowers(you know like the ones we just spent a boatload of money on uptown) I mean what I really want more of is ADVERTISING in my face!

Just another case of Howard wanting to keep up with his friends from Des Plaines. By the way they are battling with the billboard idea and not exactly getting a warm fuzzy reception on it.

As far as flooding/relief. What I’ve gotten from Howards answers on that at the debates is. We’ll do what we can but there is no money available for it, no funding available for it and I want a new police station. All stellar answers, if you’re and idiot.

As a 38 year resisent he really has absolutly no grasp of what the PEOPLE in this town want. All his big dreams have NOTHING to do with why people chose to live here. The guy has got to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One minute into the video – Frimark gets tazed through his seat or something…

Thank you very much for exposing the truth about Howard — because he himself does not traffic in the truth very much.

I nearly completed watching all of the video clips of the debate.

It’s hard to figure everything out though I’m still going for Schmidt.

Though most of the questions were resonable 1 of them which was how one can have a position as mayor while having a full time job. While probably not a bad question it’s interesting that got asked assuming it’s always been that way.

In an old article I have durring the time Butler was in office and the interviewer asked how do you mannage?

He says ” With Great Difficulty.

And if you look at all the mayors that came before Butler.

At least looks at the first 4 or 5 prevous mayors. I can see why.

I used to look through old papers from the 50’s and 60’s and if memory serves me right most decided one term was enough.

AlsoI wonder if some may still doubt Schmidt due to the fact he’s lived here for such a short time?

I woudn’t

Even the now disgraced former Mayor Blase of Niles had only been a 2 years resident before getting elected in 1961

Why is a Chicago attorney the agent for Taste of Park Ridge? Another behind the scenes deal is TA4. Slymark stated all the parcels in that area are sold and that appears to be almost true. The area is already a TIF and I’m sure Slymark has promised the city will partner with the developer to provide funding if he gets elected. Remember he claims TIF funds aren’t really taxpayer money. Brown field cleanup for a private developer, Cumberland underpass, plus height and density exceptions on the horizon. Is this attorney for the Taste somehow connected to TA4???????

anon 8:17:

There are sooooo many reasons to vote for Schmidt without resorting to pure conjecture.

Based on your post, perhaps you should audition for a cable “news” program.

What you call pure conjecture some may call educated foresite based on past events.

Frimark’s website advertises that “35 past aldermen” support his campaign. HUH? Who could those people be? Or is that the old mirror trick from the circus where you see one face a hundred times over in a series of mirrors.
Could that be called “smoke and mirrors”?


There are, give or take, about 35 former Aldermen, maybe 40.  Of those, I know for certain there are 14 who do not support the election of Howard Frimark for a second term.

Why not ask Howard to list them all?  Howard is, after all, claiming their endorsement by default.  Are all these former Aldermen, who allegedly support Howard Frimark’s re-election, unwilling to have their names published as official endorsers of his second term as Mayor?

Then ask Howard to list all the businesses he claims to be personally responsible for bringing to Uptown in the last 4 years.  I believe he’s claimed there were 30.  That of course might make one wonder what Kim Uhlig, the City’s Economic Development Director…along with the Mid-America Leasing Group for the PRC Uptown redevelopment project…are responsible for having done during the last 4 years.

I believe Howard Frimark is telling us more of his many lies.

c’mon Alpha, those other players have done nothing to forward any business progress in the uptown area. Howard has done it all. Haven’t you been listening? Like I’ve said previously Howard has also single handedly taken care of 100 g+ in our budget by eliminating Kim U’s job.

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