Nothing “Fair” About Public Services For Private Developments


Readers of this blog know that one of our major pet peeves –stuck in there one step below corruption and one step above stupidity – is greed masquerading as need.

That’s why we’ve written some nasty posts about “freeloaders” (shorthand for residents looking to get something for free or with a heavy subsidy from their fellow taxpayers) and “parasites” (shorthand for non-residents looking to scam a freebie or subsidy from local taxpayers). We especially like to apply those terms to folks who portray themselves as needy when it’s pretty obvious they’re just being greedy.

So we were a bit dismayed to see how residents of several Park Ridge housing developments seem to once again be aspiring to “freeloader” status in seeking do-overs of deals done decades ago.

At last Monday (November 24) night’s City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, Mr. Lee Tate, ostensibly representing the residents of the Park Ridge Pointe development, showed up to once again offer to the City ownership of what we understand to currently be, by law, Park Ridge Pointe’s “private” property: its streets, curbs, sidewalks, fire hydrants, sewers, etc.

That offer to turn over property isn’t any altruistic gift by the Park Ridge Pointers, however.

The quid pro quo for that offer is that the City would start providing certain City services that up until now have been provided and paid for by Pointe residents themselves under the terms of a legal deal cut by the Pointe’s developer in order to get City permission to build the Pointe the way the developer wanted – with narrower streets, shorter setbacks and non-compliance with other then-code requirements that enabled the developer to wring more units, greater density and greater profit out of the site.

In other words, the residents of Park Ridge Pointe currently are doing the right thing by paying for services they are legally obligated to pay, yet they seem intent on becoming…wait for it…freeloaders…by welching on those obligations.

If the City Council lets them.

Starting at 2:27:20 of the meeting video, Mr. Tate invokes “the Fairness of Taxation” before adopting a best-defense-is-a-good-offense strategy by claiming, incredibly, that “the City…is the freeloader” in this situation because it has been getting full-boat City taxes from the unit owners in these private developments while not providing services like snow removal, street repair, etc.

There’s nothing “unfair” about that, however, nor is the City anything close to a “freeloader.”

The City already lived up to its part of that legal bargain decades ago by permitting the construction of residences (homes/condos/townhouses) in these “private” developments that wouldn’t even have been built except for the developers’ agreements to keep all the streets and infrastructure “private” and to undertake, apparently in perpetuity, their maintenance/repair/replacement – a legal bargain that the current residents are trying to weasel out of after decades of performance.

To hear Mr. Tate tell it at last Monday’s COW, however, he and his fellow residents/aspiring freeloaders were victims of outright snookery by the City.

How? Because the City didn’t tell them at the time they bought their homes/units that they weren’t getting these City services.

As we understand it, Park Ridge Pointe’s (and every other developments’) legal obligations for privately obtaining those certain public services normally provided by the City is reflected in each development’s homeowners’ association documents AND in the title documents that are a matter of public record and given to buyers as part of every real estate purchase. Any competent real estate broker and any competent real estate attorney should have known about those obligations and should have explained them to the purchasers of units in those developments at or before closing.

Mr. Tate and every other one of those residents, therefore, knew or should have known what obligations they were buying into. If they didn’t, shame on them. And shame on their brokers and attorneys if those professionals didn’t properly inform their clients.

In neither event, however, should it be the City’s problem. It also shouldn’t be the City’s job to bail out careless buyers and/or incompetent brokers and attorneys.

So if it’s “fairness” the folks in Park Ridge Pointe, Bristol Court, and all those other similarly-situated developments want, it’s time they realized – and time the City Council told them in no uncertain terms – that they’ve already got it; and that they have had it for decades.  Truth be told, the fact that they are living in non-code compliant housing is proof of it.

But if these folks think they’ve got valid legal claims against the City in this regard, they should hire themselves an attorney and file those claims rather than continuing to browbeat the Council into letting them welch on the deals that were cut decades ago and that they legally agreed to when they bought their units.  And they should most definitely stop trying to become freeloaders.

There are enough of those already.

To read or post comments, click on title.

10 comments so far

Mr. Tate (Park Ridge Pointe) and Alderman Mazzuca (Bristol Court) must have got together with a marketing firm and came up with their “fairness” sell.

But as most BS political ploys, their goal is the opposite. It is UNfair to every single family homeowner in Park Ride. Why should we subsidize the condo’s owner services in which they signed a contract for??!! I can’t say Park Ridge is overflowing with city services now, so the condo owners want us to ever spread those services even more?

Here’s FAIR; Next time you buy property, find a better Realtor or Lawyer.

WTF is going on in this city. Right now, taxpayers are asked to alter multiple decade old agreements to appease PARASITES. We have Mayfield wanting free sewers, Aldermen wanting their own residences improved by the city, Full-Day Kindergarten, and non-residents enjoying our library and schools for free.

Please tell me where all this money is coming from? I may have missed the article on our surplus due to the TIF?

I’ll say this: Any alderman supporting giving away city services to condos will draw a challenger. This will be a question in this cycles election as well.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Make sure you keep the terminology straight: “Parasites” are non-residents schemers, “freeloaders” are the resident version.

And folks who are sick and tired of both freeloaders and parasites should consider giving atomic wedgies to anybody whose argument for some special interest benefit or other includes the words “I pay taxes” – an almost unfailing indication that they are looking for benefits well in excess of the taxes they pay.

The danger that I see is if Mazzuca and Milissis can sway two others to offer a compromise that gives each development some but not all of the services they want, principal and law be damned.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you watch the video you will hear Tate say the Pointers are looking for “all or nothing” – although we’d bet the ranch that they’d take anything the Council would give them because their claims are 24 karat bogus.

As for compromises, most of them are a tragic combination of the worst parts of two separate ideas, neither of which is deserving of adoption on its own merit.

Your all-or-nothing attitude toward compromise shows a lamentable lack of long-term, big-picture perspective, emotional maturity, and regard for the democratic process. Perhaps even a bit of mental laziness? So go ahead and shut down the government here or anywhere else you can manage it: you don’t believe in the notion anyway.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh, goody…you found your Psych 101 textbook in the basement. Now look for your copy of “I’m Okay, You’re Okay.”

As for the “democratic process,” it’s designed to operate on the basis of an up/down, win/lose voting process; i.e., “all-or-nothing” decisions. Unfortunately, the truly mentally lazy – and Springfield is just loaded with them, sitting in the Capitol building – come up with half-baked ideas that they know can’t (or shouldn’t) win, but that they propose solely so that they can horse-trade with other mentally lazy types who have their own half-baked ideas that can’t (or shouldn’t) win. That way, the fingerprints of all the mentally lazy types on both sides of the aisle end up on the FUBAR legislation that such horse-trading produces.

Except, of course, in those cases where Madigan and Cullerton don’t even care whether or not they have Republican fingerprints on a stupid/corrupt bill.

12/4 7:56am – “Compromise” would indicate that the city would get something from the Condo free loaders in exchange for the services. Ummmm….unless they turn over their “common space” over to the city, and we develop commercial property on it, there is no win here for the city.

There is no compromise wanted from Mazzuca, Millissis, and Tate… They want the city (TAXPAYERS) to come in and improve their property value. Millissis is a freaking lawyer. Did he not read his contract when he purchased? Mazzuca is the smartest person in Park Ridge, just ask him! On a side note, his veiled shot at the salt purchase $$, during by Public Works, during his story time speech, was extremely pompous, off-putting and unprofessional.

Honestly, I’m disgusting by this issue coming up, especially by the elected officials. Both of the Alderman have proved to be untrustworthy on any issue, since they both now have created this unholy alliance to for self-gain.

I’ve read on this blog how this city council is so responsible…isn’t this article a big kick in the u know what. I guess being the tallest midget gets you praise locally.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ald. Milissis doesn’t live in any of these developments, so he would not have needed to read those title and association documents. And Ald. Mazzuca is smarter and better, at least when it comes to understanding and drilling down into business-type matters (however infuriating that can sometimes be) than probably 3-4 members, combined, of any city council between 2000 and May 2011.

As for this Council being the “tallest midget,” watch the videos of the meetings of the other three bodies of mostly (Park Board) or entirely (School Districts) bobbleheads and you’ll want to hold a parade for the Council. Had this Mayor and this Council been sitting in City Hall between 2001 and 2006, there’s no chance that the City would have signed onto either an unqualified Uptown TIF district or the ridiculous financial deal the City cut with the developers of the Uptown project.

That the best you can do? Seriously? If history is cyclical, you represent the “two steps back” section of the process.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thirty-plus years of Illinois legislative history, with the corresponding disasters under Dem General Assemblies but 3 different Republican governors, prove our point in spades.

But if you want to demonstrate the courage of your ostensible convictions and come out of the closet of anonymity, we’d be happy to debate any of these points with you, in person, in any local forum of your choice.


See, now if you agreed with everything he says it would be OK to be anonymous. He would never even mention it. Hell, he might even compliment you. But disagree with him or say something he disagrees with and being anonymous becomes not having courage.

That is unless you are one of these supposed other people involved with this blog who shall remain nameless. Somehow them not coming forward is noble, I guess.

Then of course there is the simple fact that if he did not allow anon comments there would be no posts on this thread. On the last thread, rather than 34 comments, all there would be was the Mayor’s movie update.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hey, if you don’t like they way we run this blog there’s always Park Ridge Underground. Oops…thats been shut down for almost 4 years. Or you could go to the Park Ridge Citizens Online, which is a fine site…but, oh wait, it’s a Facebook page so you’d have to come out of the closet for that one.

You see, the same anonymity rules apply equally to smart people with thoughtful positions on local issues, and to folks like you and 9:37. It’s just that we have no good reason to call out the smart people with thoughtful comments.

Speaking of which, “Meet John Doe” is on TCM (Comcast 319) tonight at 9.

EDITOR’S NOTE: All you have to do is fine “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” and you’ve hit the trifecta!

Its worth a shot if you own a condo in one of these places. You don’t get anything in life if you don’t ask or fight for something. Its your right to disagree of course but most of the people living in these development’s really don’t care what you think. I mean no disrespect by that I am just stating a fact. If anything Garbage pickup would be nice…..

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sure it is, Steve. So is pocketing that extra five-spot the cashier mistakenly gives you, so long as you don’t get caught.

But you’re wrong when you say that the freeloaders and parasites don’t care what we think. They care about it anytime somebody calls them out on their freeloading/parasitic behavior, because cockroaches hate sunlight. And that’s why our posts about freeloaders and parasites draw so many critical comments, thank you very little.

What about contracts and covenants don’t these development people understand? If you buy a house with a particular setback, you’re stuck with it. Same goes for the utility and other easements that crisscross your property.

But let’s not accept responsibility for our actions, inactions and negligence, especially if we can stick our neighbors with the bill.

Steve at 9:16.

Garbage pick-up is something the City does cover for these places. That was covered at the last P&R COW.

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