Are Private Residential Associations The Latest Freeloaders?


We’ve written several times about the Mayfield Estates homeowners who foolishly bought or built in a neighborhood without storm sewers and now are outraged that the City won’t flood-proof their neighborhood for them.

We’ve called them “freeloaders” for demanding that all City taxpayers bail them out, literally and figuratively, because that neighborhood’s homeowners didn’t want to spend the money to install sewers back when it was annexed to Park Ridge 50 years ago – or ever since. And from what we have read and heard, the folks running City government at the time of annexation were too stupid (or corrupt?) to require that the sewers be built as a condition to annexation.

So far City government wisely has told them “no,” unless they are willing to vote for a cost-sharing Special Service Area (“SSA”) or let all City voters weigh in via a referendum. And, so far, those Mayfield Estates folks are adamantly opposed to either option.

That’s their choice. Perhaps they’re hoping for a change in the Council next April and the election of more aldermen willing to act irresponsibly with other people’s money (a/k/a, “OPM”).

But now we’ve got a new group of residents knocking on the door and City Hall looking for OPM to subsidize the unpleasant consequences of another collection of deals the City did with developers of multi-family enclaves like Boardwalk (circa 1972), Bristol Court (circa 1967), Park Lane (circa 1972) and Park Ridge Pointe (1996), which we will collectively refer to as the “Associations.”

DISCLAIMER: The editor of this blog lives in Bristol Court.

Back when these planned-development enclaves were built the developers cut deals with the City to avoid having to comply with then-existing building code requirements. They kept all of the property in these developments “private,” and agreed to provide many customary City services through assessments of their homeowners. The deal the developers cut, however, didn’t involve property tax abatements to reflect the lack of certain City services.

Now the Associations want to change those deals, claiming they should get full City services for the full City taxes they pay.


Weren’t those the special deals the developers of these Associations cut with the City just so their enclaves could be built? Didn’t those deals allow the developers to benefit from below-City standard infrastructure, thereby lowering the prices of those residences? If so, the residents now beefing about the situation have nothing to complain about because those special deals might be the only reason they are living where they are living.

The 08.19.14 Memorandum from City Attorneys Buzz Hill and Kathie Henn sets out what seem to be pretty compelling legal arguments for why the Associations are barking up the wrong tree.

According to recent articles in both local newspapers, however, that didn’t stop Lee Tate, president of Park Ridge Pointe, from criticizing what he viewed as a “cavalier” attitude by City officials toward the Associations’ plight. He also claims he can’t understand why Association homeowners have to pay City taxes and Association assessments just because the developer got a special deal.

Gee, Mr. Tate, maybe you should ask Park Ridge Pointe’s developer, or whomever you purchased your unit from.  But if you didn’t know what you were buying into when you acquired your unit, then shame on you and/or your real estate attorney for being stupid or negligent. And shame on you and your fellow Association homeowners for now expecting the City to bail you out of the deal you should have known about because – as is pointed out in the City Attorney Memorandum – that deal is reflected in both a City ordinance (No. 95-52) and Park Ridge Pointe’s Declaration.

If these Associations or their individual residents believe they have legal rights to the City services they haven’t been getting, however, then they should dig in their own pockets and hire a good lawyer to make their case to the City.  They should even sue the City if they have a valid claim that the City won’t honor. But we haven’t heard or seen anything to date that would suggest these Associations or their members have any greater legal rights to the subsidy they’re looking for than do the Mayfield Estates folks for storm sewers that they or their predecessor homeowners should have paid for decades ago.

Which is why these Associations are whining and badgering the Council into giving them handouts they don’t deserve.

That’s the freeloader way.

To read or post comments, click on title.

60 comments so far

If someone bought a condo, then the market value of said property should take into account what assessments, fees and services go along with said property.

So to me, it’s not only trying to sponge off city taxpayers, it’s also trying to increase their own market value when they go to sell their property.

Editor- You neglected to include the most important fact in this issue. You have the city attorney, who rendered that in his legal opinion, that Alderman Mazzuca can’t even vote on this topic since it crosses the line of self-interest.

What does it say about FREELOADERS, when Mazzuca, puts on his condo association hat in the audience and tries to soak the taxpayers for his own self-interest. Was Mazzuca mislead when he purchased his condo? I mean, the guy is really well educated…. just ask him. Did he not read the condo agreement (that he has to sign before closing)????????

I can’t believe you let him off the hook. At least, you are consistent beyond self interest, where Mazzuca, all of a sudden loves taking care of something for the certain residents, since, well, it’s for him.

Wasn’t this just raised over Chromebooks and parents on the board? This would be A LOT more $$$$$ (per USER) than one Chromebook, since it involves market value, months fees and altering a development agreement.

It’s funny how politicians love changing rules, when it helps their own interests.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Unless the 1st Amendment has been repealed for City Council proceedings, Mazzuca has every right as a private citizen to advocate – from the audience – his views on what is fair and just, whether for himself or purely altruistically. He just doesn’t have a right to vote on it as an alderman, and it appears he won’t.

Yes, this WAS just raised over Chromebooks. But the BIG difference is the Mayor and/or aldermen (perhaps even Mazzuca himself) had the integrity to raise the issue, seek a legal opinion, get one, and then act on it by Mazzuca recusing himself from participating as an alderman. The D-64 Board members, on the other hand, apparently DIDN’T raise the issue, DIDN’T seek a legal opinion, DIDN’T get one, and then voted for their own self-interest without even a second thought.

So comparing what Mazzuca did to what all those self-interested, conflicted-but-not-caring D-64 Board members did is pure sophistry and/or political tomfoolery on your part – which would explain why we don’r remember your voicing any criticism of the D-64 Board’s Chromebook decision. Then again, maybe you also were a beneficiary of the fruits of their disregarded conflict of interest.

Of course I understand his 1st Amendment right. I was referring to his ACTUAL strong (yet poorly formed) opinion that city council statements should be changed to help his own self interest.

He’s also not telling the truth about his campaign. Here see for yourself:
In his diatribe, he said he has campaigned for sponging off the taxpayers since 2005.

You have taken down many “citizens” who have voiced opinions. I don’t think there needs to be a 1st Amendment declaration to take down Mazzuca’s.

It’s so Illinois that Mazzuca and now Millissis will gang up together to both support their own $$$ self interest. I love the one woman that gets up and said “I didn’t know” what services I get. Well…her signatures on documents would probably prove otherwise. So now, taxpayers should cover for ignorance???

Why should agreements be retrofitted because current owners bought into properties without reading (or just not caring) what they are buying?
Whether it’s Mayfield or Park Ridge Pointe…these properties were purchased with the taxation and services already set. So, these people bought their places for CHEAPER (to a savvy buyer) than they would’ve if they had the “services” they pine for. So, these owners are full of it.

Mazzuca = Freeloader. Clearly, he ran for office for self-interest. I mean, he said he has been since 2005!

EDITOR’S NOTE: To say Mazzuca “[c]learly…ran for office for self interest” because of his misguided advocacy for these Associations on an issue that wasn’t even an issue back in April 2013 is a stretch.

All I know is that Ald. Milissis seems to never misses an opportunity to shill on behalf of special interest groups that would like the rest of the City to pay for their specific problems.

How is the City of Park Ridge going to pay for these things with the other obligations they have?

Additional property tax increases, (sewer) rate increases, additional service cuts and layoffs? The Council needs to address how they would pay for these things.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Never misses an opportunity”? We can only think of two, albeit two significant ones: flood folks and now perhaps Associations.

I’ve never been a fan of the “freeloader” epithet, because it makes too many people see red. But the overall point is correct: Neighbors demanding that their own expenses be paid by…their neighbors.

Regarding Maywood, the key point in your post is: “that neighborhood’s homeowners didn’t want to spend the money to install sewers back when it was annexed to Park Ridge 50 years ago.” If that’s true, then the current homeowners have inherited a problem.

Regarding the schools, any D-64 or D-207 board member who has children in the schools and votes for any services or increased spending risks a conflict of interest. Why? Because 2/3 of the school district’s expenses are paid by residents who don’t have children in the schools.

In other words: Neighbors demanding that their own expenses be paid by…their neighbors.

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the reasons we use that “freeloader” epithet, FWT, is precisely because it makes people “see red” – and hopefully rousts at least some of the sheeple from their general stupor and causes them to question things.

So buying a chromebook ie: a tool for education is the same as the condo situation? Really?
So is purchasing a police car or fire truck to be used by our police or fire department the same? Would any if the aldermen who may benefit from use of that vehicle (or a family member say …I don’t know…a child of theirs (unless only school Board members have children) who may benefit from use if that vehicle, be in a conflict situation if they vote in favor of purchasing that tool/ vehicle and voted that the city pay for it rather than charging a fee to only the citizens that use it?
Get real.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Are you really as stupid as your comments about conflict of interest suggest you are, or are you just being intentionally annoying?

As stupid as your contrived and moronic conflict. If your kids use the library and you are on the library board is voting in favor of free computer use a conflict?

The reason you think these examples are stupid is because they are stupid/ and the same as your chromebook or other school board “conflict” analysis. Just plain stupid. You need to stick to making sense. You have a point with the association thing but your school board argument is pretty close to tin foil hat territory

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ll never know about that Library conflict of interest, Get Fake, because this editor opposes free computer use. Period.

The City Attorney wrote a legal opinion letter available to the public which states why Mazzuca has a conflict of interest. That same reasoning applies even more directly to the D-64 Board members – are YOU one of them, Get Fake? – who rewarded themselves here and now with free Chromebooks for their kids, at taxpayers’ expense.

Unfortunately, those D-64 Board members – you ARE one of them, aren’t you, Get Fake? – seem to be so ethically vacant that they didn’t have the integrity to even seek such an opinion before voting to give themselves these gifts.

I just watched the video and “plow” is right, Marc Mazzuca does say he’s been campaigning for this since 2005.

As a watcher of the council, it’s pretty ironic that Marzuca and Nick Millissis are in bed on this one. They snipe at each other often, but I guess when you both want taxpayers to fund your special interest, magical relationships can be formed.

It’s like our own Park Ridge version of the Thompson / Madigan.

Here’s my problem, my neighbor has a beautiful parkway tree. It’s huge, healthy and gives them shade. Can the city please install a 50-year old tree on my parkway? My energy costs are higher than my neighbors since he has a parkway tree that provides shade. I didn’t realize that when I bought I house. My children can’t even play in parkway leave piles. Everyone must be equal!

EDITOR’S NOTE: We don’t see anything in Mazzuca’s campaign literature that says he supports providing City services to the Associations. And he’s only been an alderman since 2012.

Yes, “Get Real”, please get real yourself.

Police cars and fire trucks are funded by the taxpayers of the entire community for the protection of the entire community. You know that, of course; you’re only trying a reductio ad absurdum argument that only points out your own absurdity.

If (and it’s still a big “if” in my mind) the Association residents have inherited an obligation from previous residents to pay for flood management services, and if there’s now a need to provide those services, we need to figure out how to fund them.

One view would be to say these are the same services available to the entire community, so they are just like police cars and fire trucks. Another view is that property owners failed to pay for the infrastructure 50 years ago, and the current property owners now must pay.

If I read the local press correctly, the city council is looking at a middle path, where current property owners pay heavily and/but the rest of us pick up part of the tab. If I were the current property owners, I’d take that deal and move on. But that’s up to them.

Meanwhile, the D-64 and D-207 school boards keep running up bills — for Chromebooks and many other things — that the parents of students could just as well buy for themselves, instead forcing the rest of us to pay up.

To be clear, I support public education. The bills are getting awfully big, however, and it’s really no wonder when my property tax payments are funding “free” Chromebooks, teachers get automatic double-digit salary increases and parents complain because they have to pay up to a thousand dollars in fees. Poor babies. (The parents, I mean.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, FWT, its the folks like Get Fake who keep keep coming up with alibis for worse performance in return for those “awfully big” bills who don’t really “support public education” – because they are accepting Chevies when they should be getting Buick’s, if not Cadillacs.

Get Real goes from reductio ad absurdum in his/her first comment to ad hominem in the second comment (7:48 a.m.).

The best way to get real would be to come up with a logical or at least rational argument instead of just writing “stupid” four times.

So police and fire benefit the entire town but having a desirable public school system does not benefit the entire town? Really?
Does the library benefit the entire town? It is not used by everyone? While the editor is against free computer use is any library board member who votes in favor of free computer use in a conflict situation similar to the chromebook situation? Or only if that board member has a child that uses the library computer system or that child’s tutor uses it? What about the board member using the library computers himself? What if a library board member votes to keep the library open in Sundays because he is devious enough to want to gain the benefit of using the library on a sunday! OMG the nerve! Eegads conflicts everywhere?! GET REAL those of you who want your tax dollars low but property values high should are sponging off the school system attracting McMansion building parents.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re questions and comments make Wolfgang Pauli’s ultimate insult – “This isn’t right. This isn’t even wrong.” – seem not quite enough. Then again, if you’re a D-64 Board member trying to justify voting himself/herself one or two free Chromebooks on the taxpayers’ dime, we can understand your throwing up all these silly “There goes Elvis!” distractions.

But at the risk of encouraging more gibberish from you, a Library Board member voting for free computer use, or for Sunday hours, available to ALL City residents is qualitatively and quantitatively different from a D-64 Board member voting for free Chromebooks for his/her kids, a benefit clearly not essential (because the Board previously had voted to charge parents before discovering more money it could spend on them) and clearly not available to the 9-10,000 Park Ridge households who don’t have kids in D-64.

Finally, D-64’s “Board Member Conflict of Interest” policy states, in pertinent part:” No School Board member shall have a beneficial interest directly or indirectly in any contract, work, or business of the District unless permitted by State law.” Free Chromebooks would appear to be “a beneficial interest,” either “directly or indirectly,” in the District’s “contract” to buy the Chromebooks; and/or in the “business of the District” which is the education plan incorporating Chromebrooks. But as we previously pointed out, this School Board is so ethically tone-deaf that its members never even sought a legal opinion, unlike the City Council did with Ald. Mazzuca’s situation.

Now pubdog is an expert on education as he can distinguish between a Chevy school and a cadillac school or is he blindly relying on a newspapers rankings?

You really need to visit the schools and talk to the students and teachers then visit and compare with other schools. Maybe the teachers won’t seem to be the villains you portray that soak up public tax dollars without trying their best to educate the students

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nope, just looking at the rankings potential homebuyers might be looking at when considering Park Ridge over other communities, since we doubt most potential homebuyers take the time to interview students and teachers when the rankings – based on the State Board of Education’s ISAT scores – are the only objective benchmark available.

I’m writing to defend the residents of Mayfield Estates in this thread:

1. Home prices in Mayfield prior to flooding in 2008 where no cheaper than other parts of the city.
2. Park Ridge did make a fix in 1989, by installing a flood wall along Dempster. This protected us when Prairie Farmers creek crests over its banks. Mayfield was dry after this fix for 19 years, giving residents piece of mind and no reason skepticism when making home transactions.
3. We don’t belong to an association and therefore there were no stipulations attached to our purchase agreements stating that the city was not responsible for our storm sewers.
4. It’s not reasonable to expect home buyers to check the historic archives (an annexation agreement from 1967) before buying a home. Nobody would ever think of this.
5. We contribute to the same sewer taxes as the rest of the city, yet we have no storm sewer system.
6. We should not be required to pay into sewer funds that we can’t benefit from. The condo associations have the same, valid argument.

We have a severe problem and it’s beyond basement flooding. How would you feel about knee high waves invading the first floor of your home (kitchens, bedrooms), forcing evacuation for months at a time? In 2011, my neighbor woke to hearing her dog drink the water that surrounded her bed!

Come on Park Ridge, sewers are a basic municipal responsibility! Any resident would have the same POV if they were in my galoshes.


Dennis Sladky

EDITOR’S NOTE: This editor first looked at Mayfield Estates homes over 10 years ago specifically because the prices were significantly lower than in other areas of Park Ridge for the same sized homes and/or lot sizes.

There were no documents stating the City “was not responsible for [Mayfield Estates] storm sewers” because there ARE no storm sewers – something that should be noticeable to anybody who visits there with their eyes open, and without the need to check any “historic archives.”

You do have City sanitary sewers, which is what some/most of your sewer taxes go towards. But we have no idea why you would buy a house in a neighborhood with no storm sewer system – just like we have no idea why people would buy condos in developments with declarations that expressly state their Associations are responsible for certain City services if they weren’t willing to accept those costs.

Doesn’t the title policy (and the deed?) for each of these condos or townhouses in these associations disclose that the unit is subject to assessments that include certain City services that customarily are provided by the City? If so, no purchaser of any of those units can credibly complain that they did not know what they were getting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It would appear that way from Buzz Hill’s 08.19.14 memorandum.

Ain’t you a lawyer?!
If so you really need a refresher. You quote

No School Board member shall have a beneficial interest directly or indirectly in any contract, work, or business of the District unless permitted by State law.

Is having a child in school an interest in a “contract, work or business of the district” that is “beneficially interest direct or indirect” the provision you quote disallows. Really are you this stupid or just being intentionally annoying.

That is to prohibit a board member from having his or her spouse set up a business that gets the janitorial or landscaping contract for the district while the board member votes for it. Come on pubdog.

Also trying to equate a private entity condo assoc to a public body buying in essence modern day school books is the sane in your mind to apply buzz hills memo?
I wonder what rank the subtimes would give your legal analysis – or is it intentionally bad so that you can try and convince the public to your self interest – keeping your mattress lined in what you apparently put above even the well being of the youth of park ridge. For shame dog. For shame!

EDITOR’S NOTE: We do enjoy your extremely narrow interpretation of that Conflict of Interest provision, Mr./Ms. School Board member – the easier for you to ignore it, of course.

Actually, it’s the second paragraph of the Conflict of Interest provision that covers those janitorial and landscaping contracts you’re so concerned about: “Board members must annually file a ‘Statement of Economic Interests’ as required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. Each Board of Education member is responsible for filing the statement with the county clerk of the county in which the District’s main office is located by May 1.”

Chromebook purchase done by District contract? Check. Purchase directly benefits one or two (or more) of your kids? Check. Conflict of interest? Check.

“But at the risk of encouraging more gibberish from you, a Library Board member voting for free computer use, or for Sunday hours, available to ALL City residents is qualitatively and quantitatively different from a D-64 Board member voting for free Chromebooks for his/her kids, a benefit clearly not essential (because the Board previously had voted to charge parents before discovering more money it could spend on them) and clearly not available to the 9-10,000 Park Ridge households who don’t have kids in D-64.”

Last time we checked d64 and d207 were available and open to ALL but just like the library or our parks and pools some choose not to use them – either because they choose to send their children to private school or they choose not to have children. And don’t get me started on the ones that used the system to any extend but after their children are grown complain and want to minimize funds. All those that choose to use public institutions, whether schools libraries or parks (available to all yet not used by all) moved into a suburb that is known for its schools and that attracts McMansion building tax paying neighborhood appreciating andstabilizing individuals. They happily accept the increase in value that their home (or condo) receives as a result of individuals moving into town and in some cases overpaying to buy a home in a school district that sends kids off to Ivy League and big ten institutions yet they don’t want to pay their share if the tax dollars that provide the benefit. Seems those individuals fall into the category that pubdog and fifth ward tax payer call — what’s the word you both used?

Oh yes- FREELOADERS. But freeloaders of the worst kind that want to attack teachers and try to minimize resources to students.

EDITOR’S NOTE: D-64 and D-207 aren’t “available and open to ALL.” If you don’t have any children, or if your children are grown, you can’t enroll in D-64 or D-207 – but you CAN use the Library and the Parks. Heck, even non-residents can use those.

And the lameness of your argument about attracting McMansions is demonstrated by basic math: Even the McMansion taxpayers who pay $21,000/year in total taxes – which puts them at the top of Park Ridge property taxpayers – pay only $7,000/yr. to D-64, which spends $13,000/yr. per kid.; and only $7,000/yr. to D-207, which spends $17,000/yr. per kid. So McMansion owners barely pay 50% of the D-64 costs for just one kid; and only 40% of the D-207 costs for just one kid.

So D-64 Board members like yourself who have more than one kid in these schools are basically looting the D-64 and D-207 treasuries beyond anything you’ll pay in property taxes, especially when you bail on Park Ridge after you’ve sucked out all your benefits. And then to show how petty and arrogant you are you grab an extra few hundred dollars worth of Chromebooks. Nice.

That makes you…what’s that word we like to use…oh yes – FREELOADERS. But only while you’re still living here. Once you move on to some other community, or state, to avoid Park Ridge taxes because you no longer want the school services, you become a new word: locusts.

” Free Chromebooks would appear to be “a beneficial interest,” either “directly or indirectly,” in the District’s “contract” to buy the Chromebooks; and/or in the “business of the District” which is the education plan incorporating Chromebrooks.”

Wow- absolutely logical. I heard they instituited this past year a new math curriculum and get this it required a whole new math book series. And guess what? The district decided to buy those new math book series without having the parents pay for them because the district will just let the elementary kids use the book for the year, it remains property of the school but the parents need to pay insurance on them in case of damage parents pay a deductible. Can you believe it. Pubdog according to your logic -quoted about- any board member voting in favor of the new math books series is supporting a
beneficial interest,” either “directly or indirectly,” in the District’s “contract” to buy the math book series (even though that board member doesn’t own or hold stock or have a family member own the company that produces the new math series books)
; and/or in the “business of the District” which is the education plan incorporating the new math series.”
Get this- the iPads once used by older grades will now be used by the younger grades- free of charge!! Though the school still owns the iPads and those can’t go home with any children but can you believe it! Conflict ! Conflict! Conflict! Any board member (oh yeah just parent board members – but maybe those board members who are pregnant or about to become pregnant too or those contemplating asking out the person they met last week to consummate their plan of starting a family to send to d64 schools to get their benefit of subsidized iPads chromebooks and heaven to Betsy NEW MATH books!) voting in favor falls within the policy pubdog quoted. Set up a special prosecutor immediately! Don’t forget to investigate the smart boards installed now into almost every classroom. How votes in favor of that! Let’s get them removed for the egregious conflict because they happen to have kids or about to have kids or plan to have kids in the future. Thank goodness pubdog is shining a light on this horrible horrible practice.

What next! The school board member parents voting in favor of loading those chromebooks with up to date textbooks! Without charging the parents!
Let’s put a surcharge for parents only on the electricity and water used by the schools and don’t forget to charge parents for the basketballs footballs used by the physical education program because those items are not available free of charge to ALL (ie: not available to pubdog whose kids are grown) in park ridge.
I think the cost of school toilet paper should also be examined and parents charges maybe some charged less than others depending on how many ones and twos each child creates during the school year.

In short pubdog entire logic on this is one big number two.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ouch. Guess that wasn’t milk on your Cheerios.

Given the arrogance and disdain for the taxpayer you and your fellow D-64 Board members have been demonstrating, who would have thought you’d be so touchy about being called out on your conflict of interest over Chromebooks – especially in view of how cavalierly you’ve been treating the District’s continuing stagnation, if not decline, in objectively measureable performance!

So I guess we should chastise board members with children when they approve the contract supplying toilet paper to the districts since only students use it?
And how about that new series of math books you know the paper (ie old outdated) version of the chromebooks you have been crying about as if a bunch of youngsters had the audacity to step on your lawn you grumpy old guy.

Let’s conflict out all parents on anything like paper books or electronic books so that old those with a self interest in keeping tax dollars to themselves (ie you that used the schools already). Sounds so fair – for those in your self interest group that is.
Your logic diesnt hold up unless you also apply it to toilet paper smart boards conventional books etc.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We think parents should pay for books and materials just the same as they should pay for Chromebooks, unless they can demonstrate the need for financial aid. So, yes, Board members like yourself who are voting for new and more expensive books for your own kids just might have a conflict-of-interest with that, too.

Now, if you’re saying that your and your fellow Board members’ kids each use $322 worth of toilet paper, and take some home with them to use at night and on weekends – like the Chromebooks – then it might be a sufficiently costly expense to consider the conflict-of-interest perspective. But until you want to admit that, we’ll leave that for another day.

But rather than spend your time sparring with us, why don’t you and your fellow Board members figure out a way to measurably improve the quality of the education D-64 kids are getting instead of chronically over-paying for chronic under-performance?

Given the arrogance and disdain for the taxpayer

The disdain was intentionally to match the disdain you show for teachers and students and the parents who move into town (homes still selling to families who end up staying in town beyond school years) and help kepp your property values high.

And yes I must be a board member because heavens knows if you don’t drink pubdogs cool aid you couldn’t just be a taxpayer with a conscious and heart and understanding of the social contract.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Only a D-64 Board member – trying to alibi away being called out for voting to give him/herself hundreds of dollars’ worth of Chromebooks, while at the same time ignoring the “social contract” with the taxpayers by continually over-paying taxpayer dollars for under-achieving academic performance – would be as obsessed as you are with fighting this battle.

Plus kibbitzing here is so much easier than actually doing the job you were elected to do, which is to ensure that D-64’s teachers and administrators are providing the best education for all the money the District is taking from the taxpayers.

Guess you are living in the past. You have apparently forgotten how expensive things are today. As to vslue of toilet paper you are absolutely reasonable. Let’s have each child keep a tally if how many sheets used during school year. You are on to something. Our tax dollars are safe under your watch pubdog- are kids not so much – but you have your priorities and money tops your list (especially now that your kids are grown). Bravo $$$

EDITOR’S NOTE: Educational VALUE tops our list, and always has – and the sliding performance-based rankings of D-64 and Maine South prove that Park Ridge taxpayers aren’t getting it. Meanwhile, you and your fellow D-64 Board members (except Mr. Collins) give yourselves/your kids gifts like Chromebooks on the taxpayers’ dime.

So no “bravo!” for you.

Your comments about “giving students” free chromebooks that they “can use on weekends” shows you aren’t paying attention. Hard to do when your $elf intere$t of depriving schools of tax dollars to keep your mattress fat gets in the way. D64 kids don’t own the chromebooks, chromebooks do not work like a laptop, and students cannot use then for other than school work Can’t download additional software and need to give them back at the end if the year. So again these are just modern day textbooks (they can access all textbooks) and notebooks (they can answer questions and submit papers to teachers). The chromebook use is monitored
So this is more akin to giving our kids an advantage some of the other better funded school systems already enjoy or like having them use textbooks for the school year (guess you want then to study from outdated books that say Nixon is still president -since you seen stuck in that era). At the high school level the parents need to pay to upload the books for the year.
How this is anywhere near a privately owned condo association getting city services is obviously your “there goes elvis” moment.

The internet is more than just a series of tubes my friend. Catch up.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Someone on the D-64 Board like yourself should be better able to keep his/her alibis straight.

Before Becky Allard’s suddenly “found” surplus cash for Chromebooks for middle school students, you were going to have parents purchase and own them – which raised the issue of whether ownership would confer on parents the right to add software and personal log-ins “completely separate from the District 64 student account,” according to Mary Jane Warden’s 07.14.14 “Updated Recommendation on 1:1 Initiative” memo. But even now that you Board folks decided to own the Chromebooks, the kids still get to take them home at night and on weekends – or at least that’s what your administrators are telling the Library in asking that we have charger cords so that kids can charge them up with the Library’s free electricity when they’re there.

The common thread is CONFLICT OF INTEREST – you know, that pesky principle you and your fellow D-64 Board members (except Collins) ignored when voting yourselves those Chromebooks at taxpayer expense.

We know about the Internet: Al Gore invented it.

You aren’t publishing my comments anymore. Why?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re unaware of any recent comment we haven’t published, but please re-submit.

Students take text book home over the weekend too. For years. Shall we not buy then new text books too so you can keep money for you and your self interested group?

Guess kids can still learn something from Nixon era text books. Then again apparently you didn’t.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Let the parents buy the new textbooks – that way they have a greater stake in the decision of whether new textbooks have real value or are just the newest flavors du jour for incompetent “educators” to hide behind for the next several years.

From the declining rankings it doesn’t look like a lot of these kids are learning even “Nixon era” information. Too bad D-64 Board members like yourself don’t care about that.

Your insults to the schools that are still near the top of the hundreds in Illinois is very condescending and insulting to the schools across Illinois that lack resources and truly need monetary assistance. Your cavalier attitude is horrible but then again your children are beyond those years So YOUR self interest us controlling your rants.

As to making parents pay for everything a public education is supposed to provide -just shows your true colors.
Enough said
You have been outed
Very sad
Enjoy the rest of your night mr grinch mr burns or whatever other greedy cartoon character your views exemplify

EDITOR’S NOTE: If parents paid for ALL books and materials, they’d STILL be getting $13,000 (albeit inflated) educations for their kids at only a small fraction of that cost.

It’s just too bad YOU haven’t been “outed” so the taxpayers and parents alike could know exactly which one of their elected School Board members has such low regard for their tax dollars and such low standards for their kids’ education.

The core question, no pun, is your original one: In the words of Prez Bush, “is our children learning?” You make an urgently needed point that test scores don’t seem to be improving with the blizzard of expenditures. In any sphere of life, public or private, when the benefit doesn’t at least equal the benefit, it’s time to adjust something. However, even in business, the answer to better value isn’t always to cut expenses. Sometimes it’s more effective to improve distribution, improve quality, hold a results-oriented competition with reward pegged to accomplishment, or develop line extensions. When you move away from your original mission here and settle for cutting expenses, period, you lose a lot of taxpayers/voters who would otherwise help you build momentum for real accountability. Unless you ever shepherded 30 kids for 6 hours at a stretch, 5 days a week, you really have no clue as to what that’s “worth.” I know I’d go mad, myself. I am much more interested in ending the inflation the last 3 years of employment that inflates retirement pay; ending administrators’ excuse-making that they “can’t” fire a mediocre or awful teacher when it’s really they’re too lazy to fairly and diligently document an employee’s failings; and ending the reliance on silver bullets like the latest tech toys sold to gullible school boards by clever private-sector vendors.
I was, however, amused by your reader’s comment about costing per-each use of toilet paper. In the olden days when I went to D64 schools, there was ample Kleenex tissue for all, provided by the school. When my kids started going in the late 1990s, each kid had to bring a box of tissue for the classroom. And so the a la carte-ing began.
TP is probably next.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We do not believe that we have ever advocated CUTTING expenses for either D-64 or D-207. But we have consistently advocated against INCREASING expenses, including raises, when objectively-measured performance is stagnant or declining.

The taxpayers aren’t paying for “shepherds,” they’re paying for “educators” who can deliver EDUCATION with objectively-measurable success. Judging by that standard, those “educators” aren’t worth what they’re being paid – much less the raises they keep getting every year without fail. But, not surprisingly, inept D-64 Board members need to hide behind absurd TP analogies to cover up for their own dereliction of duty in continuing to over-pay for under-performance, cheating both the kids and the taxpayers.

As to your comment ” Only a D-64 Board member – trying to alibi away being called out for voting to give him/herself hundreds of dollars’ worth of Chromebooks, while at the same time ignoring the “social contract” with the taxpayers by continually over-paying taxpayer dollars for under-achieving academic performance – would be as obsessed as you are with fighting this battle.”
Come to think of it someone spending an inordinate amount of time blogging passionately About things like chromebooks or full day kindergarten or teacher raises must be a self-interested obsesses individual looking to deflect from his/her shortcomings —
So imagine what self-interest and conniving actions someone who takes the time to establish a full out internet blog equipped with city flag and nickname must be carrying?!

EDITOR’S NOTE: …says the anonymous D-64 Board member who, with just one vote, gave him/herself more taxpayer money worth of Chromebooks than this editor gave himself/his family in 8 years on the Park Board (where he actually fought against “perks” for Board members and never took any for himself/family), and 4 years on the Library Board.

If you ever muster the nerve to come out of the closet, Mr./Ms. Board member, this editor will gladly debate these issues with you anytime, any place.

I heard you refuse to meet in person or actually interview candidates before you make your self interested rants. Something about wanting to only rely on what you can misconstrue from press coverage and twist to your self interest. You merely like to knock people down without the courtesy of meeting them in person. But that is your reputation.
As to your votes on both boards simply prove my point that you have consistently tried to defund public institutions to save YOURSELF and your self interest group (those with no kids or grown kids looking to now no longer carry their fare share). I’m sure you are proud of that but not seeing the hypocrisy is astounding. I thought you were smarted than that ?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This isn’t about interviewing candidates, so that argument’s a fail.

This editor’s 8 years on the Park Board were while all four of his boys were high school age or less, so that argument’s a fail, too.

But if it’s reputations you want to match, Mr./Ms. D-64 Board member, come out of the closet and bring yours with you.

You really are a bad offensive person.
Really “come out of closet” ?! You show disregard for so many. Terrible. Sad.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Opinions vary – but coming from someone with your disregard for taxpayers AND students, the compliment is duly noted.

How did this turn into a D64 debate? The loud administrators, union hacks or take at all costs parents will hijack any debate and attack instead of the debate. You take enough space from my bank account.

Taxpayers should take notice on Mazzuca’s and Millissis’s drive to take money from us. Just remember, every dollar taken for their special interest is one taken away from another need in the city. Out of all of the things debated ABOUT THE CITY on here, this could have one of the highest future dollar effects on us…WAY MORE THAN THE LIBRARY $$$. If these two Alderman win their special interest fight, it opens the door for everyone to come to the city with their palms out. It’s a terrible precedent.

I really get annoyed when the public school people already taking about $3000 – $6000 PER YEAR from our property taxes, have to infiltrate every discussion. There’s more to life, then your little brats, who we already have to deal with around the city, since most of them are unparented whining terrors.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each of these developments cut their own deals with the City years ago, which appear to have been memorialized in ordinances, deeds and/or title documents as a matter of public record that the Associations and the folks who purchased these units knew or should have known about, and knowingly or negligently accepted. There’s no reason for any “do overs” just because they now don’t like those deals.

The “hijack” you refer to was by one person who we surmise is a D-64 Board member trying to deflect accountability for his/her Board’s ongoing over-payment for under-performance. While we’re willing to spar with that kind of compulsive boneheadedness in the hopes of highlighting just how non-transparent and unaccountable both our local school boards are, we recognize it is the kind of frolic and detour that detracts from the issues in the post at hand.

Dear Kettle – Pot:

The “social contract”?

A contract is an agreement mutually entered by two or more parties. A social contract is a theory pondered by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, something along the lines of people agreeing to cooperate for social benefits. Implicit in this theory is that we all sacrifice some freedom for state protection. Yes, this applies to fire trucks, police cars, public schools and even a storm sewer system.

The system has grown so big and so removed from accountability to the ones who actually *pay* taxes that many don’t even notice when we pass the point of reasonable expenses (textbooks, toilet paper, teachers) and move into spending on questionable things (Chromebooks, double-digit pay increases, etc.). That’s the real problem: No one knows where to draw the line. The current school board members may or may not be “freeloading” by getting the rest of us to pay for their children’s Chromebooks, but they continually display a startling insensitivity to their demands on the community at large.

Said another way, by overreaching, the costs of the public schools start to outweigh their benefits. That’s why so many of us are questioning the value we’re getting for our money.

Coming back to the point of this post, the sewer system, it’s not hard to understand in the community two competing sentiments. I feel both of these sentiments myself. On the one hand, sewer systems should be made available to the entire community; because some people punted 50 years ago, these systems were never put into Maywood Estates. On the other hand, we are so severely taxed by all levels of government that the idea of now paying for those sewer systems makes us all stop and think.

None of this matters unless we elect people to the city council and the school boards who have the intellect, wisdom and courage to question new spending.

The next time you want to blithely claim “the social contract”, think twice about the fact that increasingly, it is not a contract at all, but a system by which neighbors demand from other neighbors the fruits of their labors.

From the tone of the comments on this blog, it would seem those demands have become increasingly shrill.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For too many people today, the “social contract” is unilateral: they use, somebody else pays.

Yes, this WAS just raised over Chromebooks. But the BIG difference is the Mayor and/or aldermen (perhaps even Mazzuca himself) had the integrity to raise the issue, seek a legal opinion, get one, and then act on it by Mazzuca recusing himself from participating as an alderman. The D-64 Board members, on the other hand, apparently DIDN’T raise the issue, DIDN’T seek a legal opinion, DIDN’T get one, and then voted for their own self-interest without even a second thought.

Comment one by plow my drive inserted the chromebook d64 discussion which pubdog gladly added the above note in order to advance his self interest in guise of caring for students getting value.
Speak of lack of transparency in true intentions. Just be honest you care more about YOUR money than students getting value

EDITOR’S NOTE: Value is what matters, but you and your fellow D-64 Board members couldn’t spell it if we spotted you the “v” and the “lue.”

So as “Plow” suggested, go away until our next post about your and your fellow Board members’ non-transparent, non-accountable mismanagement of D-64, or the other board’s non-transparent, non-accountable mismanagement of D-207.

From the tone of the comments on this blog, it would seem those demands have become increasingly shrill.

The tone of the blogs seem to match if not exceed the tone of the comments – that’s the point to show you how ridiculous and self interested the blogs are. Two way streets exist yet often many refuse to look both ways blinded by self interest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Spoken like a big-time net user rather than net payer, as well as an elected official who is afraid to come out of the “anonymous” closet because he/she is pocketing taxpayer dollars for his/her own benefit.

Wow some “shrill” editor comments. Does that mean he is hiding something or just want opposition to “go away” that shows just as much disdain as you accuse this board member (oops I mean semi retired grown children hard working concerned taxpayer) of having does it not?
Just using your logic. Two way streets are tough to cross sometimes thus the “go away stop exposing my flawed logic shrill comments and editors notes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: More tough talk from a “closeted” school board member lining his/her own pockets at the taxpayers’ expense. You can thank us any time for providing you with an anonymous forum for your views.

“That’s why so many of us are questioning the value we’re getting for our money”.

If you talk to the vast majority of actual users, families that actually have kids at the schools they are VERY happy with what they are getting. That is not to say that either district is perfect.

Of course PD’s answer to this is that these people feel that way because they are a “special interest” soaking off of the rest of the community.

Funny how “so many of us” reach that conclusion well after our own children have graduated. “So many of us” were as quiet as a mouse, enjoying the great education their child received and soaking it to the tax payers when their kid(s) were in school.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Big-time Net users who pay only a small fraction of the cost of what they are using while non-users pick up the majority of it usually are “VERY happy with what they are getting.” It’s the nature of the freeloader, or almost-freeloader. But even with the free cookie, the freeloader mice all want free glasses of milk.

You are against updated text books unless you as a student less person need not pay so of course you are against allowing children to come into modern times with an electronic version of books and notebooks that the district owns so no parent gets money in their pocket. It’s a completely disingenuous attempt by your self interested group to make it seen like each parent received a gold plated laptop to use to run their side business as opposed to a textbook/tool for teachers to keep track of and monitor student assignments. Of course you just want opposing arguments to go away and just have your cool aid drinking commentators post. Very democratic of you the person that wants everything put to referendum (I mean everything you don’t agree with)
Take the time to research what these chromebooks are and how they are used and if you care about value how students are reacting and able to perform or learn more.
Or just rely on what is put on the internet as you usually do. You allow anonymity (not really bc as you show above you keep records of posts – though you can’t when more than one uses same ip – gotta love technology – on a d64 chromebook! Lol ) for a reason so why do you only want those to reveal themselves when you get frustrated or disagree with the viewpoint?
Take away the amenities/luxuries/learning tools from our schools and you will then see parents avoid or leave the area like locusts. Most park Ridgers stay beyond school years often buying more than one home in town. The school is one of the cornerstones of a stable desirable community. No mass exodus has occurred but if you get your way it will. You will get possibly a bit lower or more likely less increases in your tax bill if you take away the smart boards tablets chromebooks sports music art etc and strip to bare bones (ie the non-select enrollment and to done extent some of the select enrollment CPS schools) but the town will decline in stability and property value.
Other countries teach coding in schools and we fight about giving our students access to an electronic book. Talk about not recognizing value

EDITOR’S NOTE: If Chromebooks, or new textbooks, are so important to student achievement, why is it you School Board members implemented the “Chromebook initiative” without setting ANY objectively-measurable performance goals or achievement standards by which to measure success? And what about the magical Smartboards and all the other tech toys you folks keep on buying that don’t seem to move the District’s performance needle in a positive direction? Those haven’t done a whole lot to stop D-64’s and Maine South’s slide in their comparative rankings, have they?

Just the same old same old, like what happened with the “middle school concept” (“MSC”) – adopted back in 1997 at the behest of the hired-gun superintendent (Fred Schroeder) brought in solely to con the gullible into buying into that magic bullet, with no performance goals or achievement standards attached. By the time the public realized they got bamboozled by a $20 million price tag that delivered no commensurable performance improvements, those D-64 Board members (and Schroeder) were long gone – leaving the taxpayers holding the bag for all that long-term debt to replace the then-newest school building in the district.

Just keep over-paying for under-performance.

Ok since this is a D64 comparison, let me ask this question to the Alderman who claim they aren’t getting services they are paying for (even though I disagree, since it’s factored into their market value and initial development cost).

***** If a homeowner is without children, or sending their children to private school, should they get an exemption on their property tax bill for public schools?**** I mean, they are paying for services they don’t get.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Good question.

While you’re at it, care to do the math to figure out how much more the spendthrifts at D-64 would cost you if the 1,500 or so Park Ridge parochial school students were in D-64 schools?

Dear Anon. at 9:11 a.m.:

Regarding your comment, “If you talk to the vast majority of actual users, families that actually have kids at the schools they are VERY happy with what they are getting.” I do not doubt your comment for a minute, because the actual users are paying only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the actual cost, with the majority of the cost being picked up by the other 2/3 of taxpayers who have no children in the schools. For the actual users, it’s a good value.

You were responding to *my* comment about “many of us questioning the value we’re getting for our money.” To make sure you understand, my entire comment from 8:29 a.m. was about Kettle – Pot’s “social contract”, i.e., the belief that everyone should be happy to pay whatever price for the schools because they benefit the entire community.

Well, while the actual users are happy, “the entire community” is asking why the property tax payments to D-64 and D-207 keep getting bigger and bigger. Note I did not say the schools were a total waste of money, but it’s hard not to wonder how much money they are wasting. The more they waste, the less we all have for our own purposes. I make no apology for wanting to spend or invest my hard-earned money on my own purposes.

Nor do I question the “social contract” whereby we all pay for schools in the community. It just seems that the school board — and “the vast majority of actual users” — take our contributions for granted. Once in a neighborhood conversation when I complained about how big my property tax payment was getting, a D-64 parent answered, very sarcastically, “Thank you!” That’s even worse than being taken for granted.

Lastly, it seems you must think I am someone who once put children through the public schools — it seems you must think that about me because of your comment “Funny how ‘so many of us’ reach that conclusion well after our own children have graduated.” Let me clarify that I have not ever, not now or probably ever will put a child through our local public schools.

Despite that, I am happy to continue paying for public education — as long as we stop the costs from spiraling out of control.

So all these people you know in town…let’s say the folks you have coffee with. Some of these people have to have had kids, right? Of this group, some had to use public schools. I mean not all of your friends sent their kids to private schools, right? And of this group, most of them were not regularly at school board meetings screaming and yelling….in fact I am sure most were very happy overall (within reason) with the education their kids received at D64/D207 at the “expense of the taxpayer”. I mean there have to be more than a handful of people that you know that fit into this category.

So how on earth do you deal with them?? I mean how can you be in the same room with them??? Do you scream FREELOADER at them at the top of your lungs??? Is there some sort of statute of limitations?? I guess so long as they bitch about schools and pensions and taxes now all their past sins are forgiven?? Or maybe there is a Blog PD and a face to face PD. As you live your life you, work with, eat, chat with, etc. who either do or have fit your definition of freeloaders “to a t”. If you have the same demeanor with these people as you do on this blog you could never maintain any relationships.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Most of their kids went through D-64 and Maine South when those schools were higher ranked and provided better value, at a lower cost – so they had no (or much less) reason to complain about over-paying for under-performance. That’s a much more recent phenomenon accelerated by School Board members who prefer to over-pay for under-performance, value be damned.

Thanks for your concern about this editor’s social life but he’s doing just fine with the friends and acquaintances he has, thank you.

you could give a moose a muffin instead, but we’d still have the issue of cost/benefit=value. That door has been opened, and properly so; now let’s get focused on suggesting/demanding/legislating some standards that will put us back in the North Shore-ish neck of the woods while still taking into consideration what populations and situations public schools handle that others do not. As I keep saying, let parents and students have some Yelp-ish input into teacher performance. Everybody on staff and at home knows who the good ones are, and who they aren’t. As long as teachers are not subjected to the unfair, personalized stuff that goes on routinely in the private sector, their job security should depend on excellence — and I don’t mean just in getting standardized test scores up. Sometimes helping kids who are falling through the cracks achieve mediocrity instead of utter despair is a real value. And helping brilliant kids not be troublesome because they’re bored is also a pretty useful skill. Let’s work on getting all Miss Doves and Mr. Chips, with a side of Dead Poet’s Society, and I think the test scores will go up in this aspirational community.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nonsense. “Miss Doves,” “Mr. Chips” and “John Keating”s aren’t needed when you have Chromebooks, new textbooks, Smartboards and iPads. And the Middle School Concept. Just ask the D-64 Board members, present and past.

The question was not a matter of concern. It was simply trying to understand. I was looking for clarity and received none, except who is or is not a freeloader is at the whim of the editor rather than any particular hard and fast rule and I knew that anyway.

They are OK because they had much less reason to complain…..hmmmmm….interesting. So it is OK to freeload so long as PD thinks there is nothing or actually less (what is the level exactly??) to complain about……let me write this down.

They sent their kids to public schools and, for reasons that you have already explained ad nauseam, were net user. Therefore they were freeloaders, period, end of discussion. They were getting an education for their kid(s) that was worth far more than what they were paying (of course one could make the argument that they are now paying for that and more in taxes not that the kids are gone, but I digress). That was the same back then as it is now. THat is , by it’s nature, PUBLIC education…..get the word public??

But now there is some arbitrary scale of value provided by a given institution that makes participating and taking advantage of the system and being a freeloader possible any yet still be considered a friend of the editor. If PD thinks their is “value” it is OK to freeload.

You should public a rule book.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Let’s start with the Merriam-Webster definition: “a person who is supported by or seeks support from another without making an adequate return.” Then let’s add “who constantly demands increasingly more from that other as an entitlement devoid of gratitude or regard for that other’s added burden.”

Yeah, that’s about right. And, yeah, we’re pretty sure you qualify.

Our beef isn’t with public education, it’s the lack of value that comes with over-paying for under-performing public education – a concept totally lost on freeloaders.

11:28, how do you reconcile “Yelp-ish input” that has any consequences with the teachers union and the collective bargaining agreement?

While I do not claim to be an expert on tenure and it’s pluses and minuses, I always laugh about these folks who say tenure means you can never get rid of a teacher. Teachers can be fired for not doing their job or being incompetent, just like in the private sector. It is just that there is a defined process and review that has been negotiated to take place. There is a guideline somewhere that they are evaluated on. This process may be arduous and a pain in the neck.

What I find so funny about the whole thing is it leaves me asking have any of these people tried to terminate someone in the private sector?? There may not be a defined process like in tenure but there are these little departments called…..HR……and legal…..that serve the same role as tenure. In my career after a promotion it has been the same dance. I evaluate who I now have reporting to me and make some difficult decisions. Then it is a process of looking at prior reviews which are often inaccurate) and building a “new case”. In the private sector it has taken be a year to terminate someone.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nonsense! The sole and whole reason BEHIND “tenure” is so employees CAN’T be fired “just like in the private sector.”

Is there some reason why you’re allowing people to hijack these posts?

It’s kind of annoying and frankly, I’m sick of it!

EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re right, our bad, and so are we.

So starting now we won’t post any more non-Association comments to this post, or Association-related comments that mention schools.

[We warned you, Mr./Ms. School Board member. Time to get back on topic]

How on earth someone could come to a blog, not just this blog but any blog, and complain when a discussion on a thread goes in a different direction than the original post is beyond me. The nature of a forum is a “conversation”. Do you scream “OFF TOPIC” when a person you are having lunch brings up a new subject???

EDITOR’S NOTE: We assume you are addressing the comment by anon on 09.15.14 4:55 pm, and our response. He/she can answer for him/herself.

Our response, however, is that we try not to have lunch with people who continually insist on changing topics – especially if the lunch was convened for the purpose of discussing a particular topic, just like a blog post is published to provoke a discussion of ITS topic. So when we’re engaged in a luncheon discussion of, say, strategies for containing ISIS, we don’t expect or gladly tolerate somebody jumping in with Starlin Castro’s batting average, or inquiring about the brand of tuna fish can on which Ted Williams’ head was placed for freezing.

Because this editor enjoys sparring with commentators in the hope that something useful may come of it, we have tended to tolerate and even tacitly encourage frolic and detour digressions – something Anon on 09.15.14 4:55 pm correctly noted and criticized. Accordingly, we will attempt to be more mindful of keeping comments on topic and, where necessary, not publishing comments from chronic violators…but with the standing offer that we will meet such commentator(s) face-to-face in any Park Ridge public venue and debate their off-topic comments, and give them an hour to draw a crowd.

What we are seeing here is what always happens when the pot keeps shrinking. We blame those who are too old, too young, too girly, too unraddled with ambition to fight back, and take it out of their hides instead of looking up on the hills to the castles from whence our ills actually come. In the golden, olden days, actual effective taxes — not just faux paperwork ones — were more than 50%, not 28% or 18% or whatever they’ve gotten it down to. So there was plenty of money for Kleenex and association plowing and all of that, from the common kitty. Now that we’re back in medieval times, we turn on the freeloaders at the bottom and in the middle. Just as the plan is supposed to work. Paranoid? You wish.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We assume your class warfare polemic relates to how the City is beating up on those poor oppressed Association residents who want a do-over even though they bought their residences with their water, sewer, plowing, etc. obligations spelled out in deeds, title commitments, Association declarations and/or City ordinances, right?

And it’s THOSE Association folks who you contend can’t afford to buy their school kids Kleenex despite Park Ridge having the 35th highest per-person income among Illinois’ 1,312 identifiable communities, right?

Seriously? Where is the empty refrigerator packing box you are living out of, so we can bring you some groceries?

We don’t think a 50% income tax, or even a 28% one, was what Jefferson had in mind when writing about that “wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, [but] shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

Then again, old dead white TJ – and all his old dead white colleagues like Washington, Adams, Madison and Hamilton – were no Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or even Barack Obama, now were they?

There are 45 comments on this thread, many of which are “off-topic”. What value has been gained by the dialogue is a varied opinion but people have had a chance to voice there positions.

Beyond that, the person who complained about “hijacking” is just plain wrong. Were they or anyone else denied a right to comment on the subject of your original post? No, of course they were not. It is not as if there is a limited amount of space for comment and all the off topic posters are eating up all that space. She/he can comment away to their hearts content and I am sure you would post their comments. There simply was not anyone (beyond those who posted) who felt a need, or had anything to add related to associations.

Here is an idea. Go ahead and enforce what you bitch about. Stop allowing off topic posts and anon commentators. You will be sitting in an echo chamber. Hell, even the person complaining about off-topic did so anonymously.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Off-topic comments distract from the post and the on-topic comments; and, to the extent the former substantially outnumber the latter, they discourage a reader from searching for the latter – like someone following a discussion about ISIS that keeps getting interrupted by the idiot that wants to discuss Ted Williams’ frozen head.

And since it’s our blog, we can do what we think is best. If you don’t like it, there’s always Park Ridge Underground.

“Shall not take from the mouth of LABOR the bread it has earned.”
Thought not.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wrong again – as can be seen from our 09.05.11 Labor Day post:

Lincoln begins by recognizing the primacy of labor.

Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

As Lincoln correctly noted in his own speech, ”that is the side the capitalist should hear,” before introducing the second half of Lincoln’s equation with: “Now, let the working man hear his side.”

Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits.

I hope you don’t stick with this plan to curtail off-topic comments, Pubster. Where people go with a convo is where their heads really are. I find it fascinating to see the evolution (not diversion) of threads. You are performing a public service with this forum as is, which I assume is your intent.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog isn’t intended to be a corner bar, or a Starbucks – where people go to discuss Starlin Castro’s batting average on the same footing with TIF debt and Chromebooks. If this editor can exercise such intellectual discipline, nothing less should be expected from the general public.

Who is responsible for leading the comments to d64 and chromebooks? Just look back at the first comment and pubdog himself’ seditious note which said in relevant part:

“Yes, this WAS just raised over Chromebooks. But the BIG difference is the Mayor and/or aldermen (perhaps even Mazzuca himself) had the integrity to raise the issue, seek a legal opinion, get one, and then act on it by Mazzuca recusing himself from participating as an alderman. The D-64 Board members, on the other hand, apparently DIDN’T raise the issue, DIDN’T seek a legal opinion, DIDN’T get one, and then voted for their own self-interest without even a second thought.

So comparing what Mazzuca did to what all those self-interested, conflicted-but-not-caring D-64 Board members did is pure sophistry and/or political tomfoolery on your part – which would explain why we don’r remember your voicing any criticism of the D-64 Board’s Chromebook decision. Then again, maybe you also were a beneficiary of the fruits of their disregarded conflict of interest.”

Pubdog always talks about taking responsibility. Here is his chance to do so in a smAll way. Or is he just unable to handle criticism to his motives and logic? You know the type of criticism he dishes out -he can dish out but apparently can’t handle so he cuts off the discussion. Takes his ball and runs home crying to mommy who refused to pay the insurance so he was not allowed to bring his chromebook home!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Per our response to anon on 09.15.14 4:55 pm asking why we’re “allowing people to hijack these posts” and his/her statement that he/she is “sick of it”:

EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re right, our bad, and so are we.

So starting now we won’t post any more non-Association comments to this post, or Association-related comments that mention schools.

But if you’re so big and brave, come out of the closet and let the readers know which of their D-64 Board members thinks the way you do.

What I am wondering is who the hell is 4:55. He/she sure has some real juice. I have been coming to the Watchdog for years. It is not about just this post. Many times (I might even hazard a guess at the majority of times) there are off topic posts on threads and often it takes the discussion in a different discussion than what PD originally posted.

Now this person comes and posts and says “I’m sick of it” and suddenly the world changes… that is some power!!

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have no idea who 4:55 is, nor do we care – just like we generally don’t care who any commentator is unless they try, through multiple anonymous comments, to create the false impression that there is a groundswell of support for a particular position or idea.

And 4:55’s idea – that off-topic comments are “kind of annoying” – is a correct one which we lost sight of in sparring with the anonymous D-64 Board member. So you just learned something from 4:55: a correct idea can have “power!!”

I’m certainly not trying to appear to be a different person with each post but I like giving readers a chuckle with “creative” names rather than just anonymous and I am just responding to each of your comments. Are we only allowed one comment? Or are each anonymous poster requires to identify themselves. You have IP addresses recorded so why would we be trying to appear groundswell? You just don’t like what you are hearing so you sensor the conversation accordingly. If it would remove the appearance of multiple posters ( though posting as anonymous each time could give same impression) I will use one “name” though it’s not as fun. How about “DDPDAOYGS”
Meaning don’t discredit pubdog s arguments or you ll get sensored. ?
Hoping to have kids someday since I gladly pay my fair share of taxes?
Or boring old anonymous?
Is that one taken on the master list that you keep of all your posters?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Of course you were using the “anonymous” and “anon” to hide from readers the fact that only one person was posting all those commments; and you stopped only after we outed you.

Oh, c’mon; whaddaya mean it’s not a corner bar? Since we don’t have intellectual salons around here, we depend on you to provide The Bar Where Nobody Knows Our Names.

And I still say that off-topic isn’t really. Because every post here is really about whether we are getting value for our tax dollars, and who actually constitutes a freeloader, and why. It’s a convo that should be happening on all political levels and isn’t.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you want off-topic conversations, go to “Cheers” on Oakton east of Prospect.

You buyin’?

EDITOR’S NOTE: No, we’re trying to kick the off-topic conversation habit.

Ok back on topic? As a condo owner in Bristol court, I see nothing wrong with association management doing their job and looking out for association paying unit owners and their interests. I could care less about what was agreed upon in 1976! Taxes where a lot cheaper back then as well. Things change just like laws and by laws and amendments and everything else in government. Don’t be naive about this mr editor. Nothing will change for condo owners unless people make some noise and go to bat for us. But you must rent and therefore not have any vested interest in getting a better deal on high property taxes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The legally binding obligation to pay for your own snow shoveling, hydrants, etc. came with the property. So whether you care about the deal cut in 1976 or not is irrelevant, because it’s still legally binding. If you don’t like it, litigate with the City. Or go beef about it to the developer(s), or to the folks who sold you the unit.

Renters in Bristol Court, Park Ridge Pointe, etc., all have landlords who can and will pass down such costs to their tenants. THAT’s the risk renters take when they rent one of these units affected by those City/Developer deals.

But you claim that those who want to change the legally binding agreement are free loaders?? What’s that about? That’s how the world works! I see nothing free loading about it. Are you telling me that you can’t understand why I wouldn’t want to pay high taxes for services that my association fee takes care of? Seriously? And if my association manager fights to change this we are being called free loaders? Wow! Thank you for educating me on the definition of free loading. What do you call people on welfare, food stamps, and housing vouchers? Because there must be an even better word for that! I would say homeowners are more of the free loaders since they get way more services than condo owners and we pay the same tax rate! I don’t question the legality of the system as it’s true the agreements are legally binding. I question your name calling of people who want to change it. They are only looking out for their best interests. Something rich people do all the time!

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Association members’ obligation to pay for services the rest of City homeowners get for their tax dollars is the product of valid contracts, deed restrictions and zoning exceptions. Presumably, the only reasons those Associations exist is because former City administrations gave the developers these terms and conditions.

So unless somebody held a gun to your head and forced you to buy your residence subject to those terms and conditions, you voluntarily accepted them. Those were the rules you signed onto, so what makes you so special that you should be entitled to walk away from obligations you voluntarily undertook?


Don’t be so offended. The fact is that if you live in PR, are alive and are not PD, he will find some way to label you a freeloader. I am a freeloader for paying my property taxes and sending my kids to public schools…….yippee!!!

In his twisted and demented way, he is correct, if one decides to be so silly as to look at it that way. Unless we all used every single city (or government) supplied “service” equally, which is virtually impossible, than one of us can label the other a freeloader. IT appears to make him feel better to use that word every chance he gets so just humor him.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Gee, and all this time we thought we were being polite in using “freeloader” instead of “parasite” –as that latter term was used by Thomas Jefferson in an 1824 letter to William Ludlow (“I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”); and by Kahlil Gibran (“Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you, or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country. If you are the first, then you are a parasite; if the second, then you are an oasis in the desert”) – which JFK echoed in his inaugural address.

Or maybe “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want a glass of milk” makes the concept more approachable for you.

pub, one solution to the freeloading is to end local control over education funding and instead send all the money to Springfield to divy up as it sees fit. a lot states do that including (R) states like Texas. less money to park ridge freeloaders and more money to charity school districts elsewhere.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Are you simply being silly, or ar you an illegitimate offspring of Mike Madigan?

a sidenote on the d64 chrome books. There is absolutely zero reason for a child to bring it home if they have a computer/internet at their residence. Everything they do is on their “cloud” and can be accessed from any computer anywhere. All those parents paid the $30. “insurance coverage” without being told this.

EDITOR’S NOTE: So the folks whose kids got free taxpayer-funded Chromebooks were improperly charged $30 for “insurance coverage”? Boo hoo.

I think 9:56 was saying that they are not needed outside of school unless the student does not have a pc/net at home.
It was not pitched that way.

The question Pub is how silly are you? You complain about freeloaders….

EDITOR’S NOTE: Not as silly as Sen. Andy Manar and his school funding “reform” bill. And the fact that he is Sen. Pres. John Cullerton’s former chief of staff automatically makes him the problem and not the solution…to anything and everything.

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