Friday Shout-Outs


Time for the ‘Dog to offer a few shout-outs to the “locals” who deserve them:

To John Heyde and the District 64 School Board…for hiding in closed session while they interviewed candidates to replace departing board member Russ Gentile.  What’s so secret about those interviews that you folks have to go Star Chamber on us? 

To Don Bach…for his out-of-the-blue announcement at Monday night’s City Council meeting that he won’t run for re-election as 3rd Ward aldermen because of the success of his business.  Sounds like a win/win to us.  

To Five Guys and Romano’s…for opening their doors in spaces that have not had the best rate of success.  We sure hope they succeed, because Park Ridge needs both their tax revenue and their contributions to achieving the kind of economic “critical mass” for Uptown that Edison Park enjoys – assuming that’s the kind of “vibrant” Uptown a majority of Park Ridge residents want.

To the Private Community Groups…most of whom appear to have received more in “donations” of taxpayer funds from 4 (or 5) aldermen Monday night then they get from the 37,000 taxpayers themselves during the rest of the year.  Hey, folks…have you stopped to think why that might be?

To the Seniors from the Senior Center…who got a $32,500 handout (the second biggest amount) from the Council even though their “club” (Park Ridge Senior Services, Inc.) had $114,000 on hand as of year-end 2008 (per their latest GuideStar Form 990-EZ) and they only pay $35 a year in dues for the use of that nifty clubhouse that cost the taxpayers $190,000+ last year alone.  Great job feeding at the public trough, seniors! 

To City Manager Jim Hock…for getting away with a 1st quarter financial report that provides a bunch of numbers without actually answering the questions: “Do we currently have an operating surplus or a deficit; and how much?” and “Do we currently have a surplus or a deficit measured against the budget; and how much?”  Or did we just miss it?

To Acting City Finance Director Linda Lazzara…for warning of another possible year-end deficit if the current trend continues.  That probably didn’t add to her boss’ comfort level but, assuming it’s an accurate analysis, it’s a refreshing bit of candor from City Hall.

To Ald. Jim Allegretti…for proving that the Council can make fiscally irresponsible decisions without him.

To Ald. Rich DiPietro…for proving that politics means more to him than principle, by voting for something (certain of the community group handouts) he says he’s against just to pass it so the mayor can veto it.   

And, last but not least, to Taste Inc.’s Albert Galus…for not producing the “final number” (whatever that means) for this year’s Taste of Park Ridge that he told the Park Ridge Journal he would have six weeks ago.  Hey, Albert…did you guys net another $65K from this year’s event?  And what are you planning to do with all that cash now that you changed your status so you can use it for lobbying and running political campaigns?      

5 comments so far


Great feature! I agree with each of the shout outs, but the Bach “win/win” is the best.

How about a shout-out to our Public Works Director who was quoted in the 7/29/10 Herald-Advocate saying “there’s nothing wrong with the sewers” even as homes on Burton Lane filled with water again?

Bach said he isn’t running for re-election as alderman — but did he rule out running for mayor? All indications have pointed toward a mayoral run against Schmidt.

Does it say somewhere that the District 64 school board has to have either Mr. or Mrs. Heyde on it at all times? They may be nice people, but as school board members they are zeroes.

Maybe Bach is hoping two more years will be long enouigh for people to forget that he was against the budget before he was for it.