Election 2009


Cop Shop Referendums: “No” and “Hell, No!”

There are three advisory referendum issues on Tuesday’s ballot.  Two are limited to the City of Park Ridge, and relate to a new police station, while the third addresses Todd Stroger’s ludicrous Crook County sales tax.

The first question is the citizen-initiated police station referendum:

“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?”

That’s really the only legitimate referendum on this issue, placed on the ballot by over 70 resident signature gatherers during the dead of winter after the City Council’s six Alderpuppets sat on their thumbs when Ald. Dave Schmidt proposed putting that question on the ballot by simple Council resolution.

The second question is the attempt by newly-stringed Alderpuppet Frank Wsol to confuse the voters with something that sounds less expensive and harmful than the first question – in the hope of getting a “Yes” vote that he can say negates the “No” vote that the first question is likely to draw:

“In adopting a capital project to improve the administrative/public and police facilities, shall the City of Park Ridge require as conditions of issuing any bonds for such improvements that the total spent, absent interest and operational costs be less than $16.5 million dollars and the facility be located at 505 Butler Place with land already owned by the City?”

Voters need to remember that Wsol has been a new cop shop “whore” since his campaign against former cop Bob Kristie back in 2007, when Wsol supported the 40,000 square foot “Taj Mahal” cop shop to match Kristie’s support of such a facility.  Since that time, and in response to public opposition to such a plan, faux fiscal conservative Wsol has tap-danced around the issue with various twists and tweaks designed to sneak the biggest cop shop he can get away with past the taxpayers – after not wanting to go to referendum with it at all.

The bottom line to both of these referendums: The City is in a financial crisis that nobody but Ald. Dave Schmidt is willing to admit.  Every dollar spent on a new police station is one less dollar that can be spent on more important things like sewers, flooding control, streets and other essential infrastructure items.

Consequently, we strongly encourage a “No/No” vote on both referendums.    

Don’t Waste Your Vote On Caucus’ Dist. 64 Charade

We here at PublicWatchdog have been unabashed critics of what is known as the “District 64 and 207 General Caucus,” that quasi-official “organization” that rises from its slumber every other year to hand-pick and endorse a collection of generally decent but malleable residents who can be counted on to rubber-stamp pretty much anything the administrations of High School District 207 and Elementary School District 64 want to do.

The Caucus so dominates the election process for District 64 that we rarely even have contested races for those school board seats because the Caucus effectively scares away anyone who might consider challenging its candidates.  And from what we understand, this year there weren’t even contests for the Caucus endorsement, as only four people sought the four Caucus slots. 

So it looks like the voters of Park Ridge, who have seen the District 64 portion of their property taxes soar while the District’s overall academic performance and achievement stagnate, once again have no choice for the District 64 Board. 

But maybe we have more of a choice than looks would suggest.

If you are fed up with this monopolistic Caucus system and the unimpressive results it has posted both as to candidates for the District 64 Board and in the classroom, we suggest a protest vote…or, actually, a protest non-vote: When you go to the polls, vote on all offices and referendum issues except the District 64 Board candidates.  That won’t stop them from winning, but it will effectively reduce the electoral “mandate” that these gofers can claim when they get into office.

Even to as smug and insulated a group as the Caucus, 4,000 votes out of 10,000 cast is a lot less convincing than 8,000 out of 10,000.  And a notably lower vote total might also serve to encourage non-Caucus candidates to step up and challenge the Caucus endorsees two years from now.

So give it a try.  All you’ve got to lose is academic mediocrity at a premium price.

4 comments so far

Amen to that!

I have already taken advantage of the early voteing offer, and I must admitt to passing right over the District 64 candidates as if they weren’t even there, and along with the Watchdog I encourage everyone to do the same. You also might want to pass right over City Clerk as well as she only need her own vote to win. As she has taken to publicly decided to run as a “slate ticket” with Mayor Frimark instead of remaining neuteral as she should have. How she votes in private is just that, but out in the public. TSK TSK.

Talk about “smug” and “insulated” (I’d call it just plain arrogance), go to the Caucus website and they don’t have anything about the candidates other than their names. No info about who they are, or what their qualifications might be. In other words: “Vote for them because we tell you to, you don’t need to know anything else.”

They surely won’t get my vote on Tuesday.

Oh yeah: Vote for Schmidt!

They also graciously bowed out of a candidate forum, I noticed 207, the Park Board Maine Township and even Oakton College came out meet the folks but no 64. Perhaps they feared questions regarding another referendum asking for more money in the near future. Hope we all learned from the last pitch from 64 for more $$$$$$$$. Next time (and there will be a next time) remember the B.S. and shoot them down!

Amen to the Amen.

I think we have been getting ripped off for a long time.

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