“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” 

 Larry J. Sabato

Mayor:                                Dave Schmidt

Alderman (2nd Ward):     Nicholas Milissis

Alderman (4th Ward):      Roger Shubert

School Dist. 64:                Dathan Paterno

                                           Benjamin Seib 

School Dist. 207:             Mary C. Childers

                                         Jeff Spero

Park District:                   Richard Biagi

                                         Richard Brandt

                                         Steven Hunst

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
? Abraham Lincoln

To read or post comments, click on title.

24 comments so far

Does this make Howard Frimark and the old “HomeOwners” officially irrelevant now?


EDITOR’S NOTE: C’mon, this is Illinois. Somebody with the governmental policy principles of Schmidt is dangerous to that inept and corrupt way of political life. Do you really think the folks who backed Ryles won’t keep on looking for ways to turn back the clock to the bad old days of fiscally-irresponsible, closed session government?

It will take another election or two, with taxpayers’ champions administering the kind of beat-downs that Schmidt applied to Ryles, before we can start thinking that the “old ways” are dead.

And maybe by that time, the Illinois legislature might even start making some progress on pension reform. Or not.

I would like to congratulate my opponent for his victory yesterday and wish him the best of luck in representing our 2nd Ward. I would also like to thank all the canadates in all the races. I believe it is good for the community to have contested races. Good luck to all of you as we ALL strive for a better Park Ridge.
Thank you,
George Korovilas

Good question by Hoping; good answer by the editor.

What Schmidt defeated wasn’t a person or a cabal, it’s the very idea of “spend just a little more,” “it’s for the kids,” “it’s an investment,” etc. We invest a lot. Taxpayer money isn’t endless.

There’s no reason why all local taxing bodies should raise our taxes by the lesser of the CPI or 5% EVERY SINGLE YEAR. The law allows it, but does that make it right? It’s possible to take care of first responders, operate sewers, pay teachers, run the parks, etc., and still hold the line on budgets.

Just because we re-elected Mayor Dave doesn’t solve the problem of taxers, borrowers and spenders on the school boards and the park board. Boosterism is great, but it need not always require a blank checkbook and go-along-get-along cronyism.

If the voters roundly rejected the spend-a-little-more mindset, then how to explain the landslide the Park referendum won? If Milissis vs. Korvalis was Sparta vs. Athens, then the Schmidt view and the Parks view are Bartleby the Scrivner vs. Marie Antoinette. And how could hardworking, modest, brilliant finance man-of-the people and proven veteran public servant Steve Hunst, CPA, MBA, etc. etc. come in behind Jim Phillips Who?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just be patient – it will all be revealed in due time.

I heard it was a low turn out. What happened?

EDITOR’S NOTE: It got better, although it’s still an embarrassment for a supposedly educated and engaged populace.

Anon., if you re-read my comment, you’ll notice this sentence: “Just because we re-elected Mayor Dave doesn’t solve the problem of taxers, borrowers and spenders on the school boards and the park board.” These bodies are well-funded. There is no reason for them to continue raising our taxes, almost automatically, by 3% per year as they have been doing.

@10:11, I noticed the Park referendum seemed to transcend the mayoral race. I noticed that all the OPL “vote yes” signs, as I drove through town these past few weeks, seemed to be split roughly equally between Ryles and Schmidt supporters.

I also think things aren’t as cut and dried as FWT said @9:43. I think you can be a fiscal conservative like Schmidt and still be “for the kids.” I voted for Schmidt but I also support teachers. Maybe I’m an exception.

EDITOR’S NOTE: OPL didn’t necessarily “transcend” anything because OPL was running without any organized opposition, as well as with the assistance of active “campaigning” by Park District officials.

And i “for the kids” (and its variations) wasn’t so good at clouding people’s minds and persuading them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do, teachers unions and school administrators wouldn’t still be using it.

By our purely anecdotal and unscientific study driving through all seven wards last weekend, we would say that OPL signs were in 2 Ryles-sign yards to every 1 Schmidt-sign yard. But if you go into a few areas, you might very well find just the opposite.

“By our purely anecdotal and unscientific study driving through all seven wards last weekend, we would say that OPL signs were in 2 Ryles-sign yards to every 1 Schmidt-sign yard. But if you go into a few areas, you might very well find just the opposite.”

Well this admitted bit of anecdata tells us…absolutely nothing wrt to how support for the YC referendum shook out community wide. Because the referendum passed with a similarly handy margin that Schmidt’s victory did.

In the end, the facts themselves simply do not bear out the argument that support for the referendum split along the the same lines as the mayoral race. You can try to torture the logic and parse out the facts all day long (which seems like a pretty popular past time for some of the commenters here on this blog anyway) but that doesn’t change the outcome.

And enough with the bellyaching about the lack of organized opposition the the referendum. If general you felt that strongly about it in the first place, you should have gotten off your duff months ago and actually done something about it. You had your chance to put an opposition group together and marshall support for that cause, but did not. Sitting in front of one’s computer complaining anonymously doesn’t cut it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The referendum won 5,104 (55.89%) to 4,028 (44.11%), while Schmidt won 5,597 (62.06%) to 3,422 (37.94%). And 113 more people voted on the referendum issue than voted for mayor, presumably because the Park District’s boundaries are larger than the City’s. But Schmidt still got 493 votes more than OPL Yes.

And unlike OPL Yes, Schmidt had an opponent running an organized and active campaign against him that probably cost, when the final reports come out, along the lines of twice what Schmidt spent, similar to the 2-1 margin by which Frimark outspent Schmidt 4 years ago.

So anybody who tries to brand the margin of the referendum’s passing as a “similarly handy margin” as Schmidt’s victory is comparing apples to oranges.

Another thing I’m wondering is who these people who voted for this new park? And when I ask this, I’m referring to those residents. Unless they’re super rich, it’s gonna cost them a lot of money as with everyone else in this town and they’re aware of not just the high txes but the Uptown TIF situation, flodding, and whatever else that I might of not thought of.

Hurry up, PubDog! Waiting for your ass-sessment and other words of wisdom!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sure you are.

Other than the projected “average” cost of $72 per homeowner per year, are there other projected costs that the “super rich,” other OPL suckers, and everyone else are going to have to pay? Because if I’m going to have give up my once a month latte and bagel treat, than I’m going to be p.o.’ed… (FYI – sarcasm as to what “a lot of money” is, but I fully understand and appreciate that people opposed the OPL referendum).

Just curious, did Schmidt express how he felt about the Youth Campus? I know numerous Schmidt supporters who were also passionate supporters of the referendum. I completely agree that support/opposition for the referendum didn’t correlate with the mayoral race at all.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We believe he saw pluses and minuses but didn’t express a preference one way or the other.

2:33-yes there are other costs that will have to be paid-the annual operating costs of the YC property when there is little to no revenue generated from the proposed useless amenities like paddle tennis and a splash pad-if they are put in. This park will be a cash drain on the PRPD for decades.

12:52-There should not have had to been an organized effort to oppose a self-serving $18,000,000 all in referendum. The reason there was organized effort to pass it by the OPL and the PRPD was because they needed to lie and misrepresent and evade to get it to pass. And they needed the extra 5 months from the November election where the referendum should have been placed to April to get enough people to buy into the crap they were selling. And it worked.

The people in PR who voted NO for a variety of reasons were naïve to think the OPL/PRPD would actually rely on facts to promote this referendum. Clearly they did not. Scare tactics and lies and taxpayer dollars and campaigning by PRPD employees and board members were the rule of the day. Anything Mel Thillens says to the contrary is another lie.

No wording in the referendum to tell the uneducated voter-of which there were plenty-that there taxes would go up. The wording actual asked if the PRPD should issue its own bonds to buy the land. We the taxpayer are the PRPD. How is it possible that the AG or the Cook County election officials would allow such fraudulent wording in the referendum to begin with?

Stories planted in the paper suggesting that the foster kids may return if the PRPD does not buy the land. Or that up to 50 homes could be built if the PRPD does not get the land. ALL CRAP. And enough people fell for the crap and voted against their own best interest to approve the referendum. Why in God’s name or anyone elses would one vote to subsidize the wealthiest part of town with an $18,000,000 all in park when the PRPD facilities in their own neighborhood will now be negatively affected? It simply defies any logic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The AG and the Cook County election officials will only investigate if there are citizens’ complaints. So start filing them!


Your comment at 11:42 is the most relevant of the postmortem analysis and nashing of teeth.

I was the results semi live on the cook county site and the results were in line with what AI expected. I will admit to being surprised by the margin on the referendum. I kept watching the number of voters and the precentage and was heart sick.

I realize we are all busy with work and families and other activities but that such a small number of people could make time to vote (it took all of 5 minutes) is nothing short of pathetic!

There was a long early boting period, inculding Saturdays, and the polls ere open well before and afeter work on election day…….pathetic!!!

EDITOR’S NOTE: The only satisfaction we take from low turnout is that the people who don’t vote probably don’t know enough to cast an informed vote worthy of the franchise.

No, I’m serious. I really am waiting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This reminds us of a joke about keeping a certain kind of person in suspense.

Anon 2:33 – The most obvious other projected cost would be the cost every time you want to actually use the park. I hope everyone who voted for this thing looked at the operating budget and realized it’s not going to be a free park to use. Every amenity has an associated fee to generate revenue. If Mountcastle thought she could get away with it, she might have even projected revenue from the parking lot, which takes up a good 1/4 of the park. So much for those magick trees to grow all that money on…

Of course if it doesn’t generate the kind of revenue they are predicting, then it will run at a loss from year to year, but you don’t have to worry because it probably won’t end up being much more than a “once a month latte and bagel treat”. Afterall the uptown TIF is predicted to lose about $1.6 million per year on average for the next five years and if you divide that by households in town and months in the year, it comes to just below $9 a month. So who cares right? In fact if we all give up driving a bit and save two gallons of gas per household per month, we could probably even get the $16 million police station this town has always coveted paid off in just over 10 years. Why stop now, we are on a roll! We could even ration sugar and meat in town some day and then build a monorail with the savings!!!

Congratulations to the Mayor No Mafia on a well deserved victory and running a clean campaign based on the facts. Who are the park board candidates and should we be worried?

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Mayor No Mafia”? Really wrong choice of words. “Mayor No Gang” – okay. “Mayor No Brigade” – okay. “Mayor No Mafia” – uh uh.

The more you pay attention and express your views to the people who govern, the less you have to be worried about.

Similar to Schmidt’s victory 4 years ago the votes weren’t as much for Schmidt as they were against the opponent. Until Schmidt faces a legitimate contender there won’t be a different result…..but it could be worse.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Congratulations! You’re our first commentator to voice the moronic concept that yet another mayoral election wasn’t won by the winner but lost by the loser.

Considering all the “prominent” former public officials (and current Congresswoman) who endorsed Mr. Ryles, we have to wonder who your ideal “legitimate contender” might be. Former mayor and Uptown TIF architect Mike Marous? D-64 president John Heyde? OPL guru Mel Thillens? Park Board newcomer Joan Bende? Re-elected D-207 board member Margaret McGrath? Former aldermen John Kerin, Steve Huening or Don Bach? State Sen. Dan Kotowski? A transplanted newly-elected Des Plaines Mayor Matt Bogusz?

The point you are missing – among several others, we suspect – is that this is less about Schmidt than it is about the philosophy of local government he represents; and the fact that he actually tried to do what he promised he would…and in many respects succeeded, despite having a Council dominated by Frimark’s alderpuppets his first two years.

Another victory for the taxpayers over the special interests. This could become contagious, at least in City government. District 64 still looks to be under Heyde’s (and the PREA’s) thumb, and I’m not sure if the Park District is moving forward or sliding backwards.

The new Homeowners still have $5,000 in their campaign fund, which gives them some seed money to challenge aldermen Knight and Maloney in two years. What are the chances Ryles will go after Knight’s seat?

We can only hope that somebody decent runs against Sweeney and Smith. Or that they quit before then.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Let’s not jump the gun on 2015 while the smoke hasn’t yet cleared on 2013.

Those who fear the Youth Campus park will become just more grassy vistas for the high end to enjoy and the rest of us to pay for should do one simple thing: Make sure the Park District puts in every last primary-colored, jangling, parking-lot-and-sodium-light-requiring amenity they’ve used for their positive revenue forecast. That way, everybody wins.

To 7:15 – I’m confused as to why Maloney is lumped in with Knight as anti-Homeowners Party? From everything I’ve seen, Maloney has been the best guy on the Council and isn’t anyone’s puppet.

To 7:15 I am a Schmidt Supporter and Maloney Man. I confirm w 9:42. I’m happy that I often get a Yes/No or a No/Yes from my mayor/alderman. That’s a government at work coming to what is often a solution best for the people.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re preaching to the choir, April9th, when you suggest that unanimity is a very over-rated, and often destructive, goal in government. It’s often used to justify dumb decisions.

Casting a wrong vote is bad no matter how anybody else votes, just like casting the right vote is good no matter how anybody else votes. As John Quincy Adams said: “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

I forgot to add to 7:15 Knight vs Ryles would be laughable…Knight vs anybody would be a genuine ass kicking. Let’s just hope Knight still wants to be a $200/mo alderman and help us get out of the financial mess we were in. Everyone should know that Knight is the numbers behind Schmidt’s goals for a constant surplus.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Aldermen make only $100/month. If his record is the benchmark, Knight’s the best 5th Ward alderman since at least 1995.

Maloney is far and above the only “true politician” sitting at the horseshoe and is a master of playing both sides. City Council is only a stepping stone for his political career…..just wait and see.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Maloney…is a master of playing both sides.”

Example(s), please.

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