Something To Be Thankful For


For those of us fortunate enough to live in an upscale community like Park Ridge, almost by definition we have plenty to be thankful for – far more than we could list in today’s post.

But since our focus is on local government and politics, we want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to a few people who have contributed more to the cause of good government in our community than anyone or anything else we can think of.

First off, we thank Mayor Dave Schmidt for donating a video camera and recruiting volunteers to videotape City Council and other City government meetings so that residents unable to attend those meetings can still see – up close and personal – exactly what is going on, in ways that our local newspapers and local blogs can’t quite capture with the printed word. 

Frankly, it’s a travesty that we need a mayor to forego any part of his modest mayoral salary ($12,000) in order to get videotapes of City meetings.  But what’s an even bigger travesty is the fact that the bureaucrats in City Hall, over a year ago, came up with a cockamamie-bordering-on-fraudulent proposal of almost $130,000 to videotape City meetings – which, in retrospect, looks like nothing more than a way for those bureaucrats to avoid the kind of scrutiny that videotaped meetings provide.

Our second “thank you” goes to intrepid volunteers George Kirkland and Charles Melidosian, who without any fanfare have donated countless hours of their time to videotape and up-load the videos of City meetings so that residents can watch and learn.  Unlike the shameless self-promotors at Taste of Park Ridge NFP (“Taste Inc.”) – who incessantly tell everyone within earshot just how wonderful and self-sacrificing they are, even as they secretly and unaccountably rake in a quarter million dollars a year from their monopoly of the City’s signature 4-day “special event” at the taxpayers’ expense – Kirkland and Melidosian just do the job, quietly and unassumingly, week in and week out. 

And last, but far from least, are the folks at Park Ridge Underground, the “Pru Crew,” who laboriously take the Kirkland/Melidosian videos and provide an index – often accompanied by amusing commentary – that allows viewers to cut to the chase of whatever might interest them, rather than having to themselves slog through hours of the often incomprehensible sausage-making that regularly passes for “government” at City Hall.

Keep up the good work, folks, and take a modest bow because you deserve it.