Time For A Joint City – D-64 Meeting On TIF Dispute (Updated)


To hear Park Ridge City Mgr. Shawn Hamilton tell it, he and his staff have been asking Park Ridge-Niles Elementary School District 64 since January for information the City needs to verify and confirm the amounts D-64 claims the City owes for the outstanding annual TIF payment (a/k/a the “TIF Bribe”) before it will pay this year’s bill.

To hear D-64 Board president Tony Borrelli and D-64 attorney (and former D-64 board president) Dean Krone tell it, D-64’s staff has reached out to the City 11 times since January to help the City figure out exactly what the City owes.

Either somebody’s lying, or somebody’s incompetent. Oh, wait…maybe it’s both.

It shouldn’t take four months to get data from D-64, especially since it appears to be data D-64 itself actually needed to calculate what it claims the City owes it for this year’s TIF Bribe. So either City staff is lying about the legitimacy of its requests and the diligence of its efforts, or D-64 is lying about the promptness and completeness of its responses.

Or maybe both.

But there’s one simple way to resolve that issue: a joint meeting of the City Council and D-64 Board, with senior staff present.

Hold it at City Hall next Thursday night – so as not to conflict with a possible Game 5 in the Blackhawks’ conference final series with the LA Kings – and let the respective sides explain their positions and make their arguments face-to-face, in public and on television, with the press scribbling away.

Let Hamilton look right at Supt. Phil Bender and tell him what he needs and why. Let Bender tell Hamilton when it was produced, or when it will be produced, or why it won’t.

Let City Finance Director Kent Oliven go toe-to-toe with D-64’s Rebecca Allard on the completeness or incompleteness of the financial data that’s already been exchanged, if any, and the relevance of what’s still missing.

Let City attorneys Everette “Buzz” Hill and TIF-expert Matthew Welch debate the legal issues of this dispute with their D-64 counterparts, Dean Krone and Ares Dalianis.

And then let Mayor Dave Schmidt and the City Council discuss with Board President Tony Borrelli and the D-64 Board, then and there, how this dispute is going to be resolved with the least aggravation and expense to their collective taxpayers.

All of it in public, on television and video-recorded for posterity. No back-room deals, no closed-door sessions, no behind-the-scenes whispering, no he-said-she-said silliness, no sound bites, no spin, no propaganda.

That means D-64’s minister of propaganda and spin, Bernadette Tramm, can stay home – because the City has no equivalent taxpayer-paid public relations flak with whom she can spar about the “message” of the meeting.

It’s way past time for cutting through all the posturing and other nonsense that seems to have plagued this effort since at least January and has pushed the respective governmental bodies closer to stupid litigation than to wise resolution. That means more light and less heat.

Which brings us to Board Pres. Borrelli’s e-blast Monday afternoon about the TIF dispute.

We think highly of Borrelli. We endorsed his election to the Board three years ago, and we have praised many of the initiatives he has brought to that previously-opaque and unaccountable backwater body – although we harshly criticized the way he and “his” Board mishandled the process of hiring the new superintendent, including the closed session discussions of how much to pay her.

Unfortunately, Borrelli’s blast seems to have borrowed liberally from the Bernadette Tramm playbook of political tactics, misdirection and obfuscation. It responds to the detailed points of City Mgr. Hamilton’s 5-page April 7, 2014 letter not with specific counter-points but with D-64 – aggrandizing bloviation that, distilled to its essence, demands that the City keep on making what may be TIF Bribe overpayments simply because it has done so without question for the past 11 years:

We would describe the April 7 letter from the City as an emphatic ‘no’ to our simple and reasonable request that the City live up to its financial obligations – as it has done routinely each year since 2003. Certainly, the April 7 letter was not an invitation for further dialogue and compromise.”

If you can’t see B. Tramm’s fingerprints all over statements like that, you really haven’t been paying attention to the propaganda being churned out by D-64 the last few years to cover up mediocre performance at premium prices.

Eliminating, or at least reducing, that kind of propaganda is yet another reason why the taxpayers deserve a face-to-face joint City and D-64 meeting about this TIF dispute immediately, as in next Thursday, May 29.

And remember: Ms. Tramm isn’t invited.

UPDATE (05.23.14) Instead of the very public meeting we suggested in this post, we understand that there was a meeting this morning between the City’s bureaucrats and D-64s bureaucrats, along with their respective legal counsel.  And, disappointingly, it was not a “public” meeting; i.e., neither the public nor the press were invited to attend.

Of course, that’s just the way the bureaucrats like it.  Public scrutiny, or “sunshine,” is about as welcomed by bureaucrats as it is by vampires.

Nevertheless, we can only hope that the same bureaucrats who have so ineptly handled this situation over the past several months have somehow become enlightened and will be able to make some serious progress toward getting this situation resolved. But the fact that it’s being done behind closed doors makes us wonder just how much the taxpayers are being sold down the river.

Judging by City Mgr. Shawn Hamilton’s latest missive to D-64 Supt. Phil Bender, a May 22, 2014 letter, we’re still not sure.

The letter points out some of the boneheaded terms of the existing intergovernmental agreement between the City and D-64 which our City officials back in 2003-04 were only too happy to sign off on in order to lock in the TIF Bribe – which it sounds like the City is trying to renegotiate.

But one idea that we hadn’t heard discussed all that vigorously by the Council until now is actually being presented in Hamilton’s letter as a proposal: “The City requests the taxing districts to cooperate in the legislative extension of the TIF term by 12 years.”

We’ll have to go back to the Kane McKenna report to look into all the pluses and minuses of such a 12-year extension.

But from our knowledge of TIFs, that’s never a good thing.

To read or post comments, click on title.

38 comments so far

Great idea. Mr. Mayor? Mr. Borrelli? Let’s do this.

Please — PLEASE — take time out for an evening rather than pay more lawyers.

Regarding Ms. Tramm, let her be there and see what transparency looks like. Can’t hurt.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ms. Tramm knows exactly what transparency looks like, FWT – but she’s paid handsomely by D-64 to create the impression D-64 is practicing it even as she is doing everything she can to avoid it.

It should be a closed door meeting with the attorney’s from both sides representing their respective interests.

Also, a contract is a contract, so if it is not null and void, the City should abide by it!!!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Absolutely…because that’s worked so well in the past!

Those are the kinds of comments that usually come from former mayors and former aldermen – and current members of the D-64, D-207 and the Park District boards.

And here’s a little free legal advice: the whole contract doesn’t have to be “null and void” for one or more terms to be unenforceable, or impracticable.

It’s the old PD strategy. Throw down a line in the sand that you know is not going to happen, and when it doesn’t, that means that the party or entity who does not meet your “demand” is crooked.

What is funny is, in your roll as an attorney, there is no way that you would advise a client to ever participate in such a meeting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, it is our old and consistent strategy: demanding transparency – and the accountability that comes with it – from all of our PUBLIC OFFICIALS. And we do it with the expectation that it WILL happen because eventually even the cowardly and arrogant officials who demonstrate their contempt for the taxpayers by hiding their activities in closed sessions will either realize the error of their ways or they will be replaced by folks who “get it.”

As an attorney this editor has never advised a client dealing with a governmental body NOT to participate in a public meeting. But, then again, this editor doesn’t represent people who want to hide their public business from the public.

Anonymous 11:05 – Are you just an online troll? I can’t believe that you actually read Hamilton’s letter of 4/7, then Borrelli’s private letter to D64 parents, and STILL MADE SUCH AN ASSINE COMMENT.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re not sure Borrelli’s letter qualifies as “private,” even though it does seem to have been disseminated selectively.

Sorry, I spelled asinine incorrectly before I clicked submit.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t let it happen again.

Listen MR. PR Res 11:52AM, do you think that an open meeting on this matter is going to solve this problem?

A contractual matter of this nature and magnitude will not be resolved with two sides presenting their side in a public forum.

This isn’t about transparency. This is whether the contract in full is null and voidable, or as PW would indicate whether a provision is unenforceable or impractical.

If the two sides were to have a public meeting what the heck do you think would happen? They would openly and honestly present there side? There is no judge at this meeting. There is no arbitrator at this meeting. The statements made at this meeting would be so guarded and cards would not be disclosed because neither side would want their communication to be used against them in a court of law.

Just because an idea is floated out there about openness and transparency doesn’t mean that this is how it would play out in the real world.

Asinine comment? Let’s see how it plays out. If I am wrong, I will admit it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: So if that’s what’s going to occur in an open meeting, why should anything different occur in a closed meeting? Bottom line: it won’t, so there’s no reason not to do it openly and let the public see, hear and judge for itself who is being reasonable or unreasonable.

And to solve any “admissions” problem you seem to be concerned about, both sides and their reps can sign a simple legal agreement that nothing said in the meeting can be used as an admission or as evidence in any legal proceeding. That happens all the time in settlement conferences and mediations.

See how easy it is to solve these logistical problems when transparency and truth are the goals rather than opacity and deceit?

Is 12:41 off-track about the contract being “null and voidable” or “unenforceable or impractical”? I thought that the dispute between the city and D64 is about the accuracy of the calculation of a particular portion of the payment, not about the enforceability of the contract.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pages 4 and 5 of Hamilton’s April 7 letter discuss how the contract provisions governing “new property” payments, which might account for as much as 75% of TIF Bribe payments to date, may be invalid. Take a look and form your own opinion.

I have been in contact with Dr. Borelli. We agreed that avoiding litigation is of paramount importance to the taxpayers, and we hope the meeting set for this Friday morning being attended by staff members and TIF attorneys from all of the parties involved will go a long way towards resolving the differences.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Well done, gentlemen. Let’s hope it does.

Sounds to me like the city has decided to renege on it’s payments to D64 because they think they can get away with it. Just another nail in the coffin from Mayor Dave who, for all his seems to enjoy

EDITOR’S NOTE: We think not.

Anonymous 12:41 – From what I read, the city is asking D64 for an accounting due to discrepancies, and for $600,000 they should get it. If D64 doesn’t want to give it, then one must ask why. Hamilton clearly stated the discrepancies and backed it up with particulars from the agreement, so what is D64 hiding if they do not want to produce those records?

Your comment “A contract is a contract….the city should abide by it”, is asinine in light of the actual situation. Something is wrong here (besides all the incompetency prior to this being brought to light) and the city should not let this go on without making sure that FROM NOW ON the actual agreement is followed honestly and correctly.

Open forum or not, the city believes things are being pushed through that are not a part of the agreement and D64 owes an accounting to that fact. If it were your personal money relating to your personal property, would you just pay it, no questions asked?

As for Borrelli’s message to D64 parents, and not all taxpayers, well, that’s just a politcal cheap shot (much like the library’s) intended to garner sympathy from the uninformed populace. Billy might not get his smart board.

I read the Journal article about this problem and Mr. Krone seems to be confirming the “bribe” nature of the deal the city cut with D64 and that the TIF really wasn’t doable if D64 had objected, and the city was “so eager to have the Uptown TIF” (Krone’s explanation) that D64 agreed to it on condition of the payments.

So it looks like the city is on the hook so long as the terms of the TIF agreement are clear. This shouldl be something the two sides can get together on.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The City – meaning then-mayors Wietecha and Marous, and the then-aldermen – were so desperate to get the TIF done that they seemingly were willing to write virtually blank checks the the schools (and, secondarily, the park district) to make it happen. No wonder the deal left the City’s derriere hanging out in the breeze.

Mayor Dave, thanks for scheduling the meeting for tomorrow, you even exceeded Watchdog’s high expectations with the speed. To us taxpayers this is like mommy and daddy fighting, except that the city and the school district are not married but just living together with separate bank accounts. So I understand why you have to make sure the city doesn’t overpay, and Dr. Borrelli has to make sure the city doesn’t underpay. Just please keep us informed like you have been, which would have probably avoided this problem in the first place if the previous mayors and councils were as transparent as the current ones.

Correct me if I am wrong but it appears to me that Mayor Dave did not exceed or even meet watchdog’s expectations.

Above PD states…..”in public and on television, with the press scribbling away”. Are these criteria being met in the Friday meeting??

Let’s not forget to thank PW for all the all work he does in researching the issues he presents here. Whether or not you agree with his assessments, I don’t see anyone else undertaking the arduous task of investigating these issues and I personally am grateful for insight he provides and the education needed to be a more thoughtful voter and taxpayer.

Many, many thanks a lot PW!

EDITOR’S NOTE: No thanks necessary…just trying to do our civic duty.

Kudos to Dr. Borrelli and Mr. Schmidt — both of them decent men, both of them got my vote — for getting together to discuss where back-and-forth bureaucracy failed.

It’s too bad that previous city officials promised the school districts all this revenue, using my property tax burden as collateral. I wish the school board would be willing to renegotiate.

But if not, as a previous commenter said, the city should not overpay or underpay. Let’s just get this figured out.

Thanks again, Tony and Dave.

8:22 make no mistake, a lot if the info you get here may be in depth but much if it involves a heck of a lot of spin and in some cases outright fabrications. It’s about as “fair and balanced” around here as Fox News is.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We dare you to provide 3 examples of “outright fabrications” – citing to the specific post(s) where they appear. In fact, we double-dog dare you.

Once you do that, then we’ll address your “lot of spin” allegation.


Wow!! Kudos??

So we have the TIF, which has been the biggest talking point for the Mayor and his beating of the budget drum, and it appears he did not dig into what the city was and was not obligated to pay versus what they were actually paying. After all the FUps but the city manager(s) documented on this very blog he just took their word for it.

Then we have Borrelli, the supposed “adult in the room” on the D64 board, who may very well be over charging the city (does anybody know).

Add to that the FACT that both sides “lawyered up” a while ago. Are you saying that Neither the Mayor or Borrelli where aware of that? Based on the claims made by the CM, it is not as if this issue just suddenly popped up. In the interest of transparency, both sides should publish the cost to the taxpayer for legal fees related to this debacle thus far.

So now the whole process bubbles up and they schedule a meeting, months after such a meeting should have taken place. It does not appear to me that this was proactive problem solving but rather reactive.

To put it bluntly, if the elected leaders of the city and school board have to rely on discussion on a blog to motivate them to pick up a phone and have a conversation like grownups, KUDOS are not in order.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mayor Schmidt is paid $12,000/year and the City’s 7 aldermen are paid, cumulatively, $8,400, for a total of $20,400. D-64 Board Pres. Borrelli and the 7 D-64 Board members are paid zero.

Meanwhile, City Mgr. Hamilton receives $155,000/year and City Finance Director Oliven receives $110,000 (Total: $265,000) while D-64 Supt. Phil Bender is paid a base salary of $201,000 and D-64 Finance Director Rebecca Allard is paid $212,000. That’s $678,000.

So while we have always believed that even our part-time elected officials need to be held accountable for their stewardship of our local governmental bodies, we think it is unrealistc to expect that they can, or should, micro-manage those highly-paid full-time bureaucrats to the extent of demanding that those bureaucrats review intergovernmental agreements signed 11 years ago and apparently performed without question for those same 11 years are somehow suspect.

But until we find out what the ultimate outcome is – whether the City has been overpaying or not, and how any overpayment will be reconciled – we’ll hold off lighting the grill and barbecuing the current officials who inherited this TIF mess from their predecessors back in 2003-04. But we do agree that it should never have gotten to this point when the taxpayers are footing the bill for BOTH sides.

A quick follow up to my last post, although it is not yet on the board. Since writing that post, I have had a chance to read my weekly HA. There is a letter to the editor from Mayor Dave.

In my prior post I stated that this is not just a issue that popped up. The Mayor makes my point for me. He states that the city undertook a comprehensive study on the TIF crisis that included reviewing documents and data to make sure they were paying the proper amount……get this…..A TWO YEAR STUDY!!!!! He further states that all they are asking for is time to make certain of the cities obligations.

Two years and they need more time??? I will leave it to you PD as you are the lawyer but needing more time after a two year process seems like a cluster f%$@ to me. How many payments did they make in those two years?? How is it that they went 8+ years (4-5 under the current Mayor) without anyone looking at if they were paying the correct amount.


EDITOR’S NOTE: You might want to invest in a remedial reading course, Ace, because what the mayor wrote is that “the city undertook a comprehensive study of its options on how to deal with the growing TIF debt crisis” two years ago. “Undertook,” as in started it, not completed it.

The study the mayor refers to resulted in the 83-page Kane McKenna report issued in February 2013, a little over ONE year ago. And if you knew anything about that report, you would know that it focused on what an ECONOMIC disaster the TIF is – not on whether the intergovernmental agreements might not be legally enforceable.

The legal review wasn’t done until a few months ago when the City hired TIF legal specialist Matthew Welch to review all of the TIF documentation, including those agreements, and he determined that there might have been overpayments based upon his interpretation of certain terms of those agreements – as more fully described in CM Hamilton’s April 7, 2014 letter to D-64’s Bender.

Finally, the City went almost 11 years, not “8+ years,” without even suspecting that the City’s obligations under those intergovernmental agreements might be suspect. But since the City’s arrangement with D-64 apparently extends for the 23-year life of the TIF, we understand that any overpayment can likely be set-off against future indebtedness – making it more of a cash-flow problem than an irretrievably lost-revenue problem.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Did you think that up all by yourself, or did you borrow it without proper attribution?

Dear “Anon” at 10:11 and 12:15,

At least I had the cojones to sign my name to my comment. And I stand by that comment; kudos are in order any time someone makes a smart move.

That said, I actually agree with you that this has gone on far too long. That’s no reason to just keep letting it go on, however. Dave and Tony want to solve the problem.

More good news: There’s a trend in town where our elected officials are starting to examine more closely the work of our civil servants. This is just another step.

Kudos to Tony and Dave for stepping up to solve this mess. Shame on the bureaucrats who let it get this messy.

Steve Schildwachter


On the topic of anonymous posters, please see the editor of this blog. He too falls back on that in some cases when he disagrees with a post. The reality is he allows anonymous posts and 90+% of the folks who post here decide to post anonymously. On this thread, save you and the Mayor all posts are anonymous (5th ward and PR res are every bit as anonymous as anon).

I am glad you agree with me that it has gone on too long. I guess we just disagree about when to hand out Kudos (Which is fine).

The Mayor stated in his letter to the editor that about two years the city undertook a comprehensive study on options to deal with the TIF crisis. He stated that a part of that process was the cities obligations and whether they had been paying the right amount. I guess they put this issue off to the end of the comprehensive study, God knows why. It would seem to me that making sure you are paying the correct amount should be fairly close to the front of the (two year) process.

But no matter how you slice it, here we sit today, having had this TIF debacle discussed ad nauseam (on this blog, in newspapers and over coffee) for years. The Mayor has talked about the TIF and the 30 million cost chapter and verse and yet it would appear not a single person (Mayor, Borrelli, Aldermen, D64 board members, Hamilton, Oliven, Bender, Allard) has any idea if the amounts being paid and paid in the past are correct. Perhaps the person who was in charge of making sure tickets were paid might have an answer.

There are certainly things that the Mayor, council and (to a lesser extent) the D64 board have done in the past for which they deserve KUDOS. However, I will not hand out KUDOS to anyone for this mess.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In addition to Mayor Dave and Mr. Schildwachter, other non-anonymous commentators include Laure Enright, Lloyd Godfrey, A. Johnson, Gerald Berkowitz, Mel Thillens, Audra Ebling, Ald. Milissis, Gene Spanos, George Korovalis, John Heyde, Kenneth Butterly, Rick Biagi, Dathan Paterno, Rick Van Roeyen, and a number of others.

The $30 million TIF cost was first disclosed by Kane McKenna in its Feb. 2013 report, so that number could not have been talked about for “years.”

First re: posting “Anonymous” – I would love to state my views with my signature, but for myself (and maybe others) I work in town and simply cannot “put myself out there” like that. I might not have a job if I do. So, sorry.

Second re: anonymous 10:08 – please tell me why you bother to read and post here if that’s how you feel. I don’t have to agree with anyone’s view or “solutions” to benefit from this blog. But if I felt there were “a heck of a lot of spin”, “outright fabrications”, and “as fair and balance as Fox news”, I wouldn’t waste my time. Why do you? Unless it’s to be derisive?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yours is the principal reason we still permit anonymous comments.

As for all those “outright fabrications,” we’re still awaiting examples of those. We can only surmise that particular “anonymous” is taking the time to sort through all of them and choose his/her 3 favorites.

So what is that….18 named folks (of course I know there have been more than that)??? You have written literally hundreds of pieces since 2004 so I think it is fair to say that there have been literally thousands of posts. What I said was 90+% of the folks who post here do so anonymously. Hell, I will even retract the 90% (even though I think it is close to that) and make it the vast majority.

Related to your second comment. Perhaps we can attend remedial reading together and get a group discount. I never said the Mayor had talked about the 30 mil for years. I said….”The Mayor has talked about the TIF and the 30 million cost chapter and verse…..”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our mistake about the remedial reading: we should have said remedial rhetoric and composition.

The key is that they are making an effort to solve a problem that should never have existed, created by peoople who made dumb decisions and then faded into the woodwork and are hiding from any accountability for those decisions. That’s politics in Illinois.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Exactly. And we wouldn’t be one bit surprised if more than one of the anonymous comments criticizing the current mayor and Council are coming from some of the former elected officials who perpetrated this TIF fiasco and hate being called out on it now that it’s such a financial debacle.

The Uptown TIF illustrates the worst of Illinois government. Officials do something stupid while claiming it will be great, then disappear from the scene before anybody finds out what a screw up it is. Ron Wietecha and Mike Marous (the TIF) are our stand-ins for Richie Daley (Parking meters).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, but at least L’il Richie didn’t move away from Chicago once he gave up the mayor’s chair, unlike Wietecha.


“I don’t have to agree with anyone’s view or “solutions” to benefit from this blog”. I absolutely agree. I have benefited greatly over the years from this blog and, even though I often disagree with some of the posts, I very much appreciate the work that goes into creating and keeping this blog going.

That said, there is spin. This blog is run by a person with positions. This is not a newspaper and many papers have spin as well. The FOX news analogy is a good one or, if you like, insert MSNBC as instead. Is it completely fair and balanced????…..of course not!! It is a blog for god sake. All that is fine so long as you use that as a lens to process some of the posts. I think the editor of this blog would find it very disappointing if we simply relied on this blog as out only source of information.

Either way, I plan to continue to be a regular reader.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we’ve written many times before, this blog is not a “news” outlet – although it often ends up becoming one simply because, too often, the local reporters are too lazy or time-constrained to do the kind of investigation their stories deserve.

This blog is intended to be commentary on local news and analysis of local issues, primarily the editor’s but with input from a number of folks both inside and outside local government. And we try to be “fair” – although we’re sure it doesn’t seem that way to those motivated by un-enlightened self-interest, contempt for the taxpayers, preferences for special interests, or advocacy for overpaid and underachieving government employees who consider public employment akin to the work of the angels.

And, yes, this editor WOULD “find it very disappointing if we simply relied on this blog as [anyone’s] only source of information.”

I was pleased with the proposed “Intergovernmental Agreement” put forth to Dr. Bender on behalf of the mayor and Hamiltion, and US, the taxpayers. This is the city working to save money for the taxpayers. Can’t wait to see how it goes.

But, it seems that the “New Property” clause is being kept, when I thought there was a question as to it’s validity legally. Can you or anyone expand on this.

Let me just add that I do get very frustrated with people who often throw out there “the city should pay”, “the government should pay”. On this issue, it seems they forget that WE are the ones paying the $600,000. The city doesn’t make it’s own money like a corporation. That’s my money and your money, and don’t forget it. I don’t want to pay any portion of the “bribe” money, but if I have to, then I want it to be the least possible amount – however that’s achieved. And when I hear people saying, after their basements flood, “FEMA will pay,” I have to remind them that FEMA is a governmental body whose money comes from US the taxpayers. So, no, I don’t want to pay for your new carpet or whatever. I get some water in my basement, and I don’t put anything down there on the floor. Fix your own personal flooding problem, or don’t use your basement as another living area (which you know might flood) without taking the steps to protect your own belongings, and don’t put it on everyone else to pay for your mistakes or laziness or cheapness. That doesn’t mean that I’m not for PR fixing it’s sewer problems. Just that people should take some responsibility for protecting their own investments with their own money.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re correct, PR Res: personal responsibility is going the way of the dinosaur and the dodo.

Nowadays NOBODY is personally responsible for anything – least of all our former mayors and alderdopes who violated this particular pooch in every available orifice back in 2003-04 when they threw all caution to the wind and pushed through a TIF that never could have passed legal muster had it been challenged. And they achieved that by bribing every other local taxing body and locking the City and its taxpayers into 23 years of one-sided financial obligations without even any bailout provisions should the TIF turn out the be the black hole it immediately became.

And now it looks like the City is proposing to extend the TIF by another 12 years, because 23 years of stupidity and profigacy apparently just isn’t enough.

I do not recall reading anything about the council deciding to extend the TIF for another 12 years. I would hate to think that these decisions are being made in closed sessions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are unaware of any closed session discussions of adding 12 more years to the TIF. But if that has happened, somebody needs to be barbecued for it.

What about the Mayor and Borrelli??? Did they attend the meeting??

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our understanding is that they did not, for reasons currently unknown.

Re 12 year extension, you might want to look at the Kane McKenna TIF report.

The extension, I think, is a way to reduce the enormous annual cash outlays the City will be obligated to make. There would probably be some added interest expense over the 12 years but that could be the same interest expense the City would have to pay if it has to go out and borrow money to meet the existing obligations. And that’s not out of the question.

More importantly, if the City gets what the report says is necessary to make the extension make sense, the extension would come without any continuing payments to the other taxing bodies. It would be principal and interest on the debt only. No more bribe payments to D207, D64 or the PRPD.

Without the elimination of the bribe payments to the other taxing bodies over the course of an extension it will not make sense financially to pursue one.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We know it is in the Kane McKenna report, but as we understood it there would need to be cooperation from the other taxing bodies with no compensation to them. More importantly, we are unaware of the City Council making the decision to pursue the extension, so the idea that Hamilton is proposing it in his 05.22.14 letter is an unpleasant surprise.

Bnonymous, the notion of a 12 year extension is in the public domain and has been since the publication of the Kane McKenna report to the City on the TIF and the subsequent report by staff in their TIF “strategic plan”.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That is correct. But we are unaware of any Council decision to pursue a 12-year extension, or of its authorization of a proposal to D-64 concerning such an extension.

So not only was there a complete lack of transparency without the public or press in attendance, but out elected officials, the people we put in office to (in theory) look out for us, the taxpayers, did not even attend the meeting. Fantastic!!!

EDITOR’S NOTE: So are you saying you don’t trust the City Mgr., Fin. Dir. and attorneys and Supt. Bender, Fin. Dir. Allard and attorneys to do the “right” thing for the taxpayers?

Mayor Dave – care to enlighten us?

And a lot of the reason I like this blog is because I made the probably stupid assumption that the extension was to, in theory, take the original debt (as it is) and extend the “deadline” for final payment out 12 years to ease the yearly burden on each real estate bill, year by year. That could be logical. But I didn’t initally see it was ithers have stated here. Anon 1:25 understood what I was thinking better than me.

Still can’t wait to see what happens.

As I indicated with my asinine comments, they were not going to meet in a public forum. When parties lawyer up, it is done for a reason…..not just to make attorney’s wealthy.

PW, while I admire your idealistic view of how government should run, we ain’t there yet and we have a long, long ways to go.

And what’s even worse, it will probably take a ton of legislation to enact a more transparent government.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve already got all the legislation we need – the Illinois Open Meetings Act – which says that NO meeting MUST be held in closed session. What we need are elected officials who respect and trust the taxpayers rather than view them as ignorant unwashed masses to be manipulated.

You are correct, ‘Dog, IOMA is more than enough legislation to justify open meetings and transparency. But for some reason we elect people who want to hide what they do from the people who elected them, or who listen to the bureaucrats who want to hide what they do from the people who pay their salaries.

If we eliminated ALL closed sessions we’d be much better off. So let’s start electing people with the guts to just say no to closed session meetings.


“So let’s start electing people with the guts to just say no to closed session meetings”.

Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t that supposed to be Mayor Dave’s position?? I guess not!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, and the City appears to have the fewest closed sessions of the four local governmental bodies. Oh yeah, Mayor Dave doesn’t get to vote on closed session – unless there’s a tie vote over closed session.

If you’ve got a beef about closed sessions, talk to D-64.

Bob – Thanks for the compliment.
Still waiting for that face to face sir.
As the California mayor just recently stated….It’s time to grow a pair.
I don’t hide my comments.
Have a safe parade walk with cool and your gang.
Proud to have served.
Semper Fi

Is there any word on what if anything was accomplished by the City and D-64 staff meeting Friday morning? I didn’t see any white smoke coming out of the chimney at City Hall, so I’m guessing nothing much happened. Word?

EDITOR’S NOTE: No clue. Maybe all will be revealed at Tuesday night’s Council meeting.

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