Stop Lying About The Cop Shop, “Politician” Wsol


7th Ward Alderpuppet Frank Wsol wants the taxpayers to buy a new police station he can take credit for.  And after three years of scheming his way to that goal, he’s still at it.

First, he came up with his confusing, misleading, dishonest and unnecessary cop shop referendum question after a bunch of private citizens had already put a legitimate cop shop referendum question on the ballot. To many Council observers and those citizens who braved the cold and Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark’s interference to get their question on the ballot, it sure looked like Wsol was trying to marginalize the results of the citizens’ referendum because he knew that it was going to lose big-time.  And it did, 83.39% to 16.61%. 

So in last Thursday’s Park Ridge Herald-Advocate (“Schmidt wants Park Ridge house studied for police,” April 9), Wsol was already deceitfully “spinning” the 53.20% to 46.80% defeat of his referendum question into a bass-ackwards “victory.”  

“I think it’s pretty clear that if we do have the funds available after taking care of our infrastructure, a fair of amount of citizens understand that we should do something (about the police station),” Wsol said. “I’m positive about the response to the second question, because it shows people understand, at least in principle, the concepts that were proposed are sound: a fixed budget, no new land purchase and an addition onto City Hall.”

Of course, Wsol had no dollar figure for what “taking care of our infrastructure” might cost, or even what it might entail.  And that means that he had no idea of when any funds for a new cop shop might be “available.”  All he was trying to do was look less like a deceptive weasel than he might otherwise appear to the many voters who wondered why he would come up with such a last-minute piece of junk to put on the ballot.

Having watched Wsol with interest since he “inherited” his aldermanic seat in 2005 from retiring alderman Larry “Mr. Infrastructure” Friel in an uncontested election, we have found him to be pretty much of a “RINO” (“Republican In Name Only”), especially when it comes to City finances.  He also seems to fancy himself a “politician” – in the worst sense of that term – which would explain why talking honestly to Park Ridge taxpayers about the cop shop is not very easy for him.

Three years ago, Wsol led the “Hallelujah” chorus when the City’s hired-gun consultants recommended a 40,000+ square foot “Taj Mahal” police station with shooting range, work-out room and indoor garage.  And when Mayor Frimark was negotiating sweetheart deals with the owners of various sites on which the new cop shop could be built (including a site owned by Frimark campaign contributor Napleton Cadillac, and the 720 Garden parcel owned by a Frimark friend), Wsol happily voted for the closed sessions to keep the taxpayers in the dark and keep the project moving forward.

But when citizen opposition increased, Frankie The Politician started tap-dancing.  He came up with a new plan to cap the cop shop’s purchase price at $16.5 million, which he calculated could be financed for roughly the same annual debt service as what we have been paying for the past 10 years on the expiring Public Works Building bonds.  What he tried to hide, however, was that the new bonds would be for 23 years instead of 10, raising the total cost of the project to $28 million, without any land costs figured in.

That’s one of those kinds of lies that the courtroom oath “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” is designed to prevent: telling the “whole truth” would have required The Politician to actually acknowledge that $28 million cost figure, which he consistently refused to do. 

He also failed to tell the “whole truth” when he and Frimark claimed that the new cop shop bonds wouldn’t raise our taxes because they would just be extending the annual debt service payments we’re already making.  Telling the “whole truth” would have required them to admit that while taxes won’t have to be raised to continue to pay that same level of debt service, even for the next 23 years, they will have to be raised if the City wants to do things – like flood control or street re-surfacing – that it otherwise might have done with the $1.2 million in the unallocated cash that would become available once the Public Works bonds were paid off.

According the the H-A article, Wsol says he is not going to bring any new cop shop proposals to the Council – at least not for the time being.  Said The Politician: “I think we need to wait for our new mayor to help us answer that question.” The “whole truth” is that the voters already gave Wsol and the rest of the Alderpuppets the answer to that question, and that answer was “No!” 

As for “our new mayor,” he already came up with a suggestion: renovating the City-owned house at 229 S. Courtland.  That makes it time for City staff to explore whether that option is viable and cost-effective, and to give the Council a recommendation on it which the Council can either endorse or reject.

But whatever the outcome, it’s way past time for Frankie “The Politician” Wsol to stop shoveling the “sugar” and start telling the residents the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the cop shop – both what it will cost and what other important projects it will prevent.

Or he can keep on tap-dancing.

18 comments so far

I guess Alderman Wsol is one of those people who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word NO!

His referendum didn’t get the slaughter rule NO! that the citizen referendum got, but it still got a BIG NO!

Alderman Wsol, did you ever hear the saying NO means NO?

I talked to a number of people that I know who voted NO on both referendums. Even the people who voted NO on both found Wsol’s question confusing. All of them said they had to read it three or four times because all of them said that NO or YES made sense, depending how how your read the question, but in the end they voted NO just to be safe.

My guess is that the people who voted YES were saying YES to not spending millions more than $16M, because if you read the question and voted NO then you were saying NO to limiting spending to under $16M.

It was a shyte question from the start.

I was a poll watcher for the election and heard two voters ask the election judges for help understanding the Wsol question. And that was only during the time I was there, at one precinct. Certainly, the confusion was magnified across the precincts. . All that is clear about the question is that it wasn’t clear. No one can draw reasonable conclusions from the results of that “poll.”

It sounds like a nice sound byte for the folks who don’t want to spend any money on the police station, but it frightens me that the mayor-elect believes that we could renovate that house to serve as a temporary annex. I don’t know where Mr. Schmidt is getting his advice, but I have 30 years experience in commercial and public building construction and promise that it would be prohibitively expensive for even a temp use besides causing likely inefficiencies which would be costly to their operating budget.

Meeting the life safety, accessibility and construction requirements for a public building are far more demanding than a residence.

I believe most folks are in agreement that the existing facility is pretty substandard, so why not develop a sensible long-term plan using the house property in conjunction with the existing city hall and develop a budget that would be acceptable and plan for the expenditure several years out?


It sounds as if your 30 yrs. in commercial and public building construction have left you suffering from a bad case of biggeritis.

From the results of both referendum votes, it seems more than clear that “most folks” are NOT in agreement that “the existing facility is pretty substandard.”

Your contentions are almost laughable.

Anonymous on 04.13.09 9:39 pm

I’m not sold on the idea of using the Courtland house for a police station annex, but it beats the hell out of $16 million for whatever it is (I still can’t tell) that Wsol was talking about, especially when basements are flooding, streets are filled with potholes and we’ve got (so I’m told) millions of dollars in budget deficits that we can’t deal with.

As the Pub Dogs have said, let the city staff come up with their recommendation about the house and let the Council vote on it.

The Fire department needed more administrative space and the South station purchased the house next door to it on Cumberland. They (the firemen themselves) renovated the house into a very nice administration building. Anonymous at 9:39, call the south station and arrange a tour. You would be surprised!


I hesitate to even bring this up because, of course, I am always wrong, but I think your conclusion about the referendum votes is somewhat misguided.

You state that the referendum indicates that “it seems more than clear that “most folks” are NOT in agreement that “the existing facility is pretty substandard.” Does your crystal ball also get the lottery numbers??

There was not a referendum on the ballot that asked that direct question. Certainly some of those votes indicate the conculusin you reach, but many, like me, voted no not becuase we thought the existing police station is fine but because the idea of spending the $$$ that appears to be on the table now is crazy.

As an example, my families second car (the one I drive) is clearly substandard. It just does not make sense for me to spend 20-30 K on a new car at this point.


Hesitation was your gut telling you you’re about to eat your foot.

No, my numbers don’t come from a crystal ball. I get my numbers on things such as referenda votes from the Cook County Clerk’s election results.

If “most folks” believed the current police station is “substandard” they would have voted accordingly, just as “most folks” voted to increase their own property tax bills when the elementary school district went to referendum.

As one of the petition circulators for the citizen initiated referendum, I heard a constant and almost universal sentiment of “it’s fine” expressed, regarding the current police station.

The vote totals bear that out.

Again you are wrong.

I would hazard a guess that most Park Ridge voters have no real idea of whether or not the police station is “substandard” (whatever that really means) because most of them haven’t been in the facility, or have only been in the reception area, which doesn’t look great but is not clearly “substandard.”

I took a tour of the station and think it needs work. But it also looked like the police and civilian employees who work there treat it poorly, leaving stuff laying around, etc. It was almost like they were trying to create clutter so that it looked worse than it really is, for “tourists” like me.

I’d like a nicer house, and maybe somebody would call mine “substandard” compared to some of my neighbors’. But it works well enough for me and my family that I’m not willing to borrow and spend a bundle to upgrade it. And that’s the same way I feel about the police station.

Having any discussions, whether here on a blog or in city council chambers, about the best way to house the police, must come AFTER we decide on a budget. And the potential budget for a police station can only be determined in context of the overall city budget, which means we have to discuss PRIORITIES. In my humble opinion we must prioritize roads and sewers way ahead of a police station; otherwise there might not be much for the police to patrol when they leave HQ. If the price tags for roads and sewers are so great that we have to wait on the police station — well, then theer is a majority of citizens who took the time to vote last Tuesday who would be very happy with that. Thank goodness we don;t have to rely on some alderman’s recollection of 30-odd constituent conversations that unanimously approved a new police station. The people have spoken. City Council, get to work and stop screwing around! You lost — now move on!

All of the “Alderpuppets” have lied in one way or another about the current police station or the new one, or both. And they have lied, if only by omission, about our sewers, our streets, and our ability to afford to “have it all” – flood control, nicely-paved streets AND a new police station.

I heard that last night’s budget discussion involved a lot of ugly numbers, as well as a lot of denial from the “Alderpuppets.” And all those goofs, especially Wsol, were ready to saddle us with a new multi-million dollar police station. Brilliant.


You sound an awful like a condescending former alderwoman who regularly sounding bitchy and ignorant.

Contrary to your statement, I am only in favor of providing our police with facilities which allow them to do the most efficient and professional job possible and avoid potential lawsuits due to civil rights, ADA or other violations because of the condition and design of the existing facility.
To Anon 6:00: I agree the Fire Dept. did a fine job renovating that house but their use of it is far different that the way a police department functions. Isolating police admin from the rest of the department would only cause additional challenges. There are processes and procedures which are already compromised and would not be improved. In addition, we would be spending significant money on a short-term solution.


You sound an awful lot like somebody who’s threatened by well-informed women who strongly state their opinions.

You also sound a lot like a chicken little crying “the sky is falling” by tossing out the threat of imagined lawsuits. The civil rights violations claims our department seems to suffer from most often occur out in the field…or were you referring to the “threat” that the department’s female officers will file a lawsuit for failure to provide “equal” lockerroom facilities?  The funny part of that threat is all the pathetically and perennially macho-men coming to the aid of all the department’s damsels in lockerroom distress…and the funniest part of that threat is that not one time has such a threat fallen from the lips of a single female officer…it’s only the guys waving the banner of this appeal to presumed feminist sensibilities.  I’ve seen the women’s locker room…the only real “need” there is for repairs to the shower; something that doesn’t require a facility 5 times the current size.

As to the ADA requirements, it is you who proves yourself ignorant as the most cursory reading of the ADA building codes would provide you with the knowledge that there is NO requirement that public buildings undertake construction efforts to comply with ADA regulations…only when NEW buildings are constructed do those code requirements then apply. And if by chance you take a good look around the police station facility you will find it is, in fact, accessable.

The idea that the police administration would be “isolated” from the rest of the department is ludicrous in the extreme, even if someone were to suggest moving the administrative function to the Courtland house ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE CITY HALL PARKING LOT…no doubt having to walk ALL THAT WAY would be the Park Ridge version of the Bataan Death March!  However, nobody has suggested doing so. Additionally, aren’t most of the departments officer’s already “isolated” from the administration because they are supposed to be out on the street? Does the administrative function entail standing over a PO’s shoulder when he or she is filling out paperwork at the station? Don’t those folks have phones? Or do they actually walk the halls to one another’s offices whenever they need to chat?

Try again Anonymous.

Thank you, Alpha Female. Outgoing Mayor Frimark tried this lawsuit/ADA thing on a few of us after the petition drive wound up not to his liking. We asked him: Well, why haven;t you brought that up in a city council discussion? (No answer.) The consequence of behind-the-scenes government is not only a lack of publicly available information, it is a lack of publicly available facts that inform discussion and debate. Ironically this is probably one of the things that worked against Frimark in the sense that he obfuscated on flooding and sewers, which communicated that he had no clue (true enough, that). A public airing and analysis of the facts might have pointed toward a solution. With Mayor Schmidt we will have that chance — on both flooding/sewers and police facilities.


Yes, I truly feel threatened by your regular rants. How many times have your used that ridiculous line to anyone who disagrees with not only your opinions, but the tone you routinely take. Your are completely wrong regarding the ADA. All public buildings are required to meet this legislation or risk litigation by someone unable to have access to the building.

What this really comes down to is that you simply don’t want to agree with anything Frimark may have supported, regardless of its merits.

I believe that my earlier comments regarding a addition and remodeling to city hall to accommodate the police department were rational and reasonable to provide an efficient and improved environment in which to do their job.


Sadly, I’ve used variations of that line more times than I care to count, based on the number of people I’ve encountered who resort to gender-specific and personal insults when they lack reason and logic to support their positions.

Fortunately for you, the freedoms provided by our democratic form of government allow you to not only be wrong about the requirements of ADA building codes but also wrong about my motivations for supporting or opposing certain public policy and planning.

Again, you are free to presume anything you like about your own opinion. I am also free to counter your contentions, and I believe I’ve done so quite ably, as your lack of substantive response and ipse dixit (ipso facto?) “reasoning” would indicate.

Anonymous on 04.15.09 10:14 pm:

It is you who are “completely wrong regarding the ADA.”

The ADA does not require the retrofitting of existing buildings to meet the ADA Standards of Accessible Design. It does apply to any new construction or substantial alteration begun after January 26, 1992. Even a cursory Google search, or a 60-second consult with a competent real estate attorney, would have so informed you. But we’re guessing that your shoot-from-the-lip style doesn’t need facts, or let them interfere with your opinion.

As for your earlier comments, from what the City has disclosed it appears that not one – as in “none” – of the lawsuits filed against the Park Ridge Police Department and/or individual officers involves the size or condition of the police station. Rather, it involves misconduct by officers.

Based on FACTS (rather than idle speculation, conjecture and opinion) presented to date, no criminal apprehension, investigation, or prosecution has been “compromised” by the current size or condition of the police station. To the contrary, the Police Department regularly wins awards, as the Department misses no opportunity to publicize. And we understand that there is no shortage of applicants for every police officer job opening, so it looks like conditions of the station are no deterrent to job seekers.

The bottom line is that the City is in serious financial trouble, it has needs – including flood remediation, street paving and curb repair – that are more important to a majority of the residents than a bigger police station, which probably explains whey the voters decisively rejected both cop shop referendum questions on April 7.

So you can continue to believe what you want, toot your own horn, and comment here. But you seem to be both uninformed and unrepresentative of the views of a provable majority of Park Ridge residents.

Frank Wsol’s true colors are shining through. Even the best spin master can’t explain why even his convoluted question went down in flames. The clearer question from the citizens was a clear mandate to stop these ridiculous ideas about spending anything near $16.5 million on a new police station. In this government we call a democracy, 53% is more than 47% and certainly 83% is more than 17%. Both results provides Frank with his answer. Sit down and shut up already. Take the answer provided by the taxpayers and man up about it. Your idea was voted down by the majority. Unless of course Frank has some monetary gain if it goes forward?

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