DonGordon49 | Chicago Reader

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Re: “RIP Wrigleyville. Welcome to Rickettsville.

Having grown up in the shadows of Wrigley (literally) well before it became Wrigleyville and having suffered through summers of watching old man Wrigley use the Cubs as a a tax haven for his personal wealth, I believe I have earned the right to criticize Ryan Smith.

First, I will criticize his journalism, though. Either this article is about the gentrifying of the neighborhood and the ballpark or it's about politics and the Rickets' family's love of Trump, but to try to make it about both is to fail equally on each and to wander off topic - "RIP Wrigleyville." I'll stick, however, to criticizing his flawed analysis of the changes to the neighborhood and the ballpark.

The real story behind all of this is the preservation of the ballpark for the next 100 years. What Smith doesn't mention is that the Cubs' success aside, it wasn't that long ago that developers were drooling over the prospects of tearing down our cherished crumbling cathedral and replacing it with a mall and upscale housing - until the Rickets bought the team.

Though I'm not crazy about all the changes being done to the ballpark - the neighborhood became "Rush Street North" long before the Rickets bought the team - I will trade these changes to preserving our cathedral of baseball any day of the week. The writing was on the ivy walls the day the lights went on at Wrigley, so get over it! The soul of the ballpark is still in tack and the feeling of awe and wonder is still there every time one walks up the stairs into the stands.

I might remind Smith of Tom Wolfe's admonition that one can't go home again and as one who spent his entire childhood and teenage years growing up in the 'hood I never expect to. And personally, I can't wait to have my first burger and beer at "Craft and Cuisine" https://www.parkatwrigley.com//craft-and-c… and take in the aura of the best damn ballpark in baseball that I know now will be around for my kids and my grandkids thanks to the Rickets' family!

53 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by DonGordon49 on 04/06/2017 at 9:56 AM

Re: “Emanuel blows off another FOIA request for video of a fatal police shooting

So much for Transparency...

"The principle by which those affected by administrative decisions and legislation are made aware of the basic facts and figures as well as the mechanisms and processes of their government. This information must be presented in a way that is accessible, comprehensible, and enticing, thus motivating citizens to engage in the dialogue necessary to improve the efficiencies of government and mitigate corruption. It is the duty of our elected representatives and of civil servants to act in such ways as to enable this transparency."
https://www.prometheusbooks.com/index.php?…

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by DonGordon49 on 12/14/2015 at 5:40 PM

Re: “The truth and fiction in Mayor Rahm's budget speech

In addition to there being over $700 million in uncommitted TIF funds sitting in the surplus, no one to my knowledge has released the numbers as to what additional property tax revenue would be available in 2016 if a complete moratorium were put in place so that the tax revenue being siphoned off would return to the respective agencies.

Over 30% of the city's properties are under TIF's - some of those like LaSalle Street are the most expensive properties in the city. Transparency in government dictates that as citizens we should know what that number is BEFORE the city imposes any increase in property taxes.

And... IMHO, the city must consider a city income tax BEFORE asking home owners to ante up more money. Since property taxes are based on property values and NOT the homeowners income or ability to pay, further increasing property taxes on anyone stands to be highly regressive.

A city income tax burden not only falls on those who can afford it, it also addresses the issue of taxing those who live in the suburbs but work in the city, take their income back to the 'burbs and spend it there.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by DonGordon49 on 09/25/2015 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Chicago is desperate for cash, so why's the mayor expanding another TIF district?

I've been saying this for months now - we must be prepared to take the city to court!

If the Mayor and his loyal lap dog minions go ahead with a property tax increase without shutting down the TIF program then we the taxpayers need to take the city to court and refuse to pay ANY property taxes until they do. It doesn't matter whether the TIF is in a truly blighted area or not, we cannot afford to continue this program until our financial house is in order.

Let me put it this way. The mayor is running up his credit card to fix up the front lawn in hopes that it will increase the value of the house, while there's no money to pay the mortgage and the bank is about to foreclose on it. How stupid are our mayor and his knee-jerk aldermen? Allow me to answer that rhetorical question... VERY STUPID!

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by DonGordon49 on 08/09/2015 at 11:21 AM

Re: “Looking for Rahm's hidden TIF stash

Over $700 million of uncommitted dollars in the TIF slush fund. Until that money is made available there better NOT be a property tax increase. AND... if he and his minions in the City Council attempt it without draining the TIF surplus then we as citizens need to bring a lawsuit against the city to stop it. Seriously!

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by DonGordon49 on 07/25/2015 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Rahm's reelection campaign is largely funded by people outside Chicago

And Alderman Moore's (49) campaign is largely funded (nearly 75%) by people outside the ward. In fact, since 1999 (first year that information is available online) Moore has raised nearly $4 million dollars - yes, that's a 4 with 6 zeros - for his campaigns as alderman, spending nearly $1 million dollars in ONE campaign when I ran against him in 2007. Of the $4 million again nearly 75% of those funds have come from outside the ward. It's not just Rahm whose comfortable with those outside the city/ward buying an election, it's often the aldermen as well - and certainly ours here in the 49th ward falls into that category.

Posted by DonGordon49 on 02/15/2015 at 12:46 PM

Re: “If Rahm airs his campaign ads enough, will voters believe they're true?

Hey Ben, I remember that movie well! And you couldn't have picked a more appropriate analogy! It's perfect! But voters need to remember this. Like our Alderman Moore here in the 49th who has said that he supports Rahm for re-election because he agrees with "the substance" of what our mayor has done and has voted with him 97% of the time, it's about more than just dumping Rahm. February 24th is not just Fire Rahm Day, but also Fire Moore Day and every other rubber stamp alderman in the City Council who has enabled Mayor 1%...

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by DonGordon49 on 01/23/2015 at 8:23 AM

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