City Council Makes Right Choice On Immigration Resolution


At this past Monday night’s Park Ridge City Council meeting, the Council did the right thing on a resolution that didn’t even deserve the dignity of a place on the Council’s agenda.

The Northwest Municipal Conference, one of the many clown cars masquerading as governmental or quasi-governmental organizations in the State of Illinois, promulgated a resolution supporting immigration reform for its members.  Or, more accurately, a resolution endorsing specific goals and processes that some people consider “immigration reform.”

Leave it to the mopes at the NWMC to find yet another thing outside their bailiwick on which to waste time while matters squarely in their collective wheelhouse are ignored or allowed to lie fallow.

NWMC bills itself as “one of the premier regional councils of government in the nation.”  If that’s so, we weep for the future of our nation…because by our reckoning the next thing NWMC does of major significance for most of its member communities will be its first.

This immigration resolution reportedly is intended to be sent to the president, vice-president, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, the speaker and minority leader of the House, and to each member of Illinois’ Congressional delegation.

Can you say: “Spit into the wind”?

The last thing Illinois needs is any more units of government – or quasi-governments like the NWMC, the Illinois Association of Park Districts, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois City/County Management Association, Illinois Association of Municipal Management Assistants, etc.  These fluff and stroke societies are little/nothing more than networking opportunities for public officials exploring job openings, and occasions for discussing new and improved ways to bamboozle and fleece their respective bodies of taxpayers. 

But getting back to the NWMC resolution, it was such a brain-dead idea that even the Council’s gold-dust twins, Alds. Joe Sweeney (1st) and Jim Smith (3rd), could see the pure tomfoolery of it – with Sweeney suggesting the Council “dispose of it, get rid of it and forget about it”; and Smith calling it “none of our business” and something that neither the City Council nor the NWMC should “be wasting their time on.”

That’s exactly right, guys.

You’ve got more than enough on your plate dealing with 100% local Park Ridge issues.  And that’s what you were elected to deal with.  Those of us with strong opinions about immigration can send our own letters to our various federal officials without your – or the NWMC’s – help, thank you.

However, given what a dumb idea the resolution was, as evidenced by the Council’s ultra-quick and unanimous rejection of it, we have to wonder what was going through Acting City Mgr. Shawn Hamilton’s mind when he recommended the Council pass it.

Mr. Hamilton, you’ve also got enough on your plate that you have no need to concern yourself with resolutions dealing with federal issues.

Especially if they come from the Northwest Municipal Conference.

To read or post comments, click on title.

12 comments so far

“..we have to wonder what was going through Acting City Mgr. Shawn Hamilton’s mind when he recommended the Council pass it.”

If Mr. Hamilton is a member of this group then I think you have the answer right there.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Then maybe the Council needs to tell Mr. Hamilton that it’s time to reorder his priorities because the NWMC isn’t paying his salary.

PubDog is correct on this point. Citizens of San Francisco might be happy when their City Council postulates uninformed, and sometimes crackpot positions on “public” issues outside their Council’s purview. I can’t imagine the citizens of Park Ridge being so sanguine. The people here recently rebuffed an attempt at introducing partisan politics into Park Ridge’s nominally non-partisan government. Mr. Hamilton’s attempt to use the back door to introduce irrelevant partisan bickering into the Park Ridge City Council was properly rejected by the aldermen. He should be discouraged from doing that again.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For someone with such a substantial private-sector business background, we continue to be disappointed by Hamilton’s lapses into brain-dead public-sector bureaucratic buffoonery such as this.

Whatever rebuffing was done to Rep. Shak’s endorsement of Ryles was balance by the lack of rebuffing from the local right-wing consortium tht shall remain nameless for Paterno.
Let’s not pat ourselves too much on the back here, OK?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We assume “the local right-wing consortium” is your oblique attempt at referencing local residents Susan Sweeney and Charlene Foss-Eggeman, who also are officers of the Republican Women of Park Ridge (“RWOPR”).

Comparing a non-resident hyper-partisan Congresswoman’s endorsement of Ryles to the endorsement of Paterno by partisan private local residents is intellectually dishonest. But if it makes you feel better, we’re glad we could give you this anonymous forum to do so.

This issue was probably of some interest to DesPlaines, Palatine and other communities not 100% Norwegian, Italian and Irish as ours is. But you’re right; there are a couple of more basic things; some of them small and already spoon-fed, that the City might want to spend 15 minutes on now and then — “as time permits.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: From the oblique to the ridiculous – in just two easy comments. You might want to stop at three martinis and switch to Dr. Pepper for the rest of the night.

From a procedural point of view, doesn’t the City Manager review the agenda with the Mayor prior to the meeting? If not, perhaps they should so that non issues like this can be removed.

If yes, then the mayor either missed this non issue or thought that it should be brought to the meeting.

Either way, the Aldermen handled the item correctly.

EDITOR’S NOTE: No, that would be exactly the WRONG way for this to operate – because Hamilton’s mistakes and bad judgment would be concealed from public view. He, like his predecessors in that position, is the City’s CEO and COO rolled into one; and, consequently, the performance of the person holding that position – both good and bad – should always be on display to the taxpayers who pay him such a hefty salary and benefits.

@5:56. Really? You believe Park Ridge is “100% Norwegian, Italian and Irish?” I don’t know what part of town you live in but that’s definitely not what my part of town looks like.

Seriously? You’re going to ding the City Manager for bringing a NWMC resolution to the Council to consider? This guy can’t win with you. Doesn’t he have an obligation to bring forward items from an organization the City belongs to? If he didn’t, then you would accuse of him of being a gate keeper that doesn’t share info with the Council. Find something better to post about — this is very small potatoes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re unaware of any “obligation to bring forward items” from the NWMC” Hamilton may have, but it doesn’t come with an obligation to recommend its adoption by our City Council. That was Hamilton’s own bad judgment.

And while it is only one small item, it’s just another in a series of bad judgments displayed by Mr. Hamilton that we’ve noted in our posts on 08.22.12, 10.10.12, 02.18.13, 03.04.13, 03.11.13 and 03.25.13 – including his mis-steps with the Public Works union employees’ contract, his disregard of competitive bidding for the defibrillator purchases, the ICOPS contract issues, etc.

If this is what he does while still only the “acting” City Manager – when he should be putting his best foot forward on a day in, day out basis – it does not suggest better judgment once the “acting” qualifier is removed.

FYI….most current census information for PR states 93.4% white, 3.47% Asian, .5% Black, .1% American Indian.

As for Norwegian, Italian or Irish, the census does not break it down that way and it is hard to tell. Sometimes we white folks all look alike.

I have said it before. I agree with you. Hamilton was a bad choice. Who ever selected him for consideration and apporval by the city council was absolutely wrong for all the reasons you have posted about.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You agree with us? Where did we write that “Hamiltonn was a bad choice”?

I’m glad you’ve found a way to parse the difference between “hyper-partisan” (aka Democratic) and merely, innocently “partisan,” aka Republican).

Life is so much more simple than I ever knew.

EDITOR’S NOTE: No parsing needed when talking about Jan Schak, who is such a “hyper-partisan” on the “D” side that she tries to put her partisan mark on what is, by law, a non-partisan election in a community in which she doesn’t even reside. If Peter Roskam tried to do the same thing, we would have had the same reaction. But he didn’t.

Life IS simple when you don’t see local government through the distorted Harrison Bergeron-like glasses of partisan politics, whether Red or Blue.

I was funnin’ you — of course we also have a handful of Germans and rather larger array of Poles and other Eastern Europeans in Park Ridge. My point was that our neighboring northwest suburban communities have someone different ethnic makeups and to them, it’s not a non-issue. Park Ridge is still pretty much Brigadoon; the land that time forgot; but groups like the Northwest Whatsis exist to alert its members to potential and upcoming social issues/legal issues and other trends that will affect them someday if not right now.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’d argue that the NWMC is another one of those silly quasi-government bodies that look for irrelevant things to do in order to distract attention from what little of relevance they actually accomplish.

How come there’s no meeting tonight as usual.

EDITOR’S NOTE: No meetings on 5th Mondays.

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