Tackle affordable housing without HUD's help

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John Murtagh

The plan is to add two stories to the Comcast building and build 51 identical rooms, all about 450 square feet, on three floors. Retail businesses, building staff facilities, and a public community room occupy the first floor.

The rooms would rent for about $700 dollars a month, have space for a bed, the tenants' belongings, some appliances, a closet, shower and a small kitchen. The amenities are limited. There is no gym, pool, or gathering place or space.

When Interfaith Housing Development Corporation of Chicago (IHDC) announced they were going to build housing at the Comcast building in June, 2008, their representative said, "We're looking at trying to replace the housing at the [West Cook] YMCA. That's really how this all started." Fifteen months later, Interfaith's plan collapsed when the YMCA announced they were not moving and that their 120-bed housing for permanent, transient and homeless singles would remain open.

Trapped by its failure to anticipate that the YMCA might not move, Interfaith had a decision to make. Do they abandon the development, redesign it, or repackage it with a new customer profile? With pre-development money already invested, Oak Park Housing Authority (OPHA) on board, and several village officials receptive to the idea, Interfaith chose to change the profile.

The Interfaith decision, made without demand research, defied the results of a survey, conducted by the village and a HUD consulting team during the summer of 2009. The survey determined that the village's affordable housing demand was for senior and handicapped apartments, and two- and three-bedroom homes or apartments. Only 20 percent of the community leaders and housing experts thought there was a need for "efficiency" housing. In November 2009, the Oak Park Five-Year Consolidated Plan and 2010 Annual Action Plan were published without a recommendation for efficiency or single housing.

Interfaith's decision was about money. The 51-room plan was the only housing configuration that was profitable. The development had to be abandoned or go forward as singles only. (This is verified in the OPHA minutes of September 2009.)

The new Interfaith marketing plan was simple: No longer was it a replacement for the YMCA's SRO. It was now billed as affordable apartments. Many residents saw the new plan as a solution to many Oak Park problems. Others saw it as a solution without a problem. Who is right can only be answered by the village board and HUD.

Oak Park commissions and the public reviewed the plan during the later part of 2010. The commissions blessed the development while the public was less willing to embrace it. The development proposal was then sent to the OP Plan Commission with board instructions that they were to restrict recommendations to changes in zoning. The commission approved the zoning variances with addenda (not yet published), added an Oak Park Residents Preference section, and sent the development to the board for a vote that is now scheduled for May 16.

The development goes to the board lacking a professional marketing or business plan, a residents' criteria, a survey of Madison businesses, recent neighborhood demographic trends, input from other communities or OP business or independent community leaders, long term strategy (40 years — the life of the development), an incomplete environmental study, parking and traffic studies, minimal financing detail, a negative survey conducted by Neighbors for Madison Renewal, and no plan on how to get Oak Park Residence Preference approval from HUD.

It does not have to be this way.

Many communities do not use federal money to finance housing developments. They have determined that using HUD makes financing easier but at the loss of creative solutions, flexibility in planning, and reduced control of the development throughout its useful life. They want local ownership with less bureaucracy.

Oak Park is famous for its willingness to take risks to maintain its independence and unique character. Are we ready to outsource our village's core values to the federal government without at least studying the possibility that there is a better and more secure way to address the challenges of affordable housing in our village?

Reader Comments

242 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

OP  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 4:12 PM

Love is in the air. Ahh Thats why I live here. Its a refreshing breath. Positivity goes so much farther than the alternative. :-)

j.oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 4:04 PM

@Curious: I always have trouble following her logic. re wealthy sections of town, the board decided a while back to restrict the size of homes, using F.A.R., so that a home cannot be more than 10% larger than the home next to it....all because of the big new home on division (North South street?) by Mann School. I have been in OP for a while now, and I am always baffled by it.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 3:33 PM

@ J.oak park - I caught Lueck's comment that we wouldn't be having a conversation about having an all wealthy area. She alluded to the fact that it would be ok to have a wealthy area, and an area that wasn't. I thought it was a little odd that she thought it is not appropriate to ask if placing another apartment building in an area that already contains more apartments and affordable housing, is good planning.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 2:02 PM

The building was originally built as a Cadillac showroom and repair facility in 1928. It was designed to have cars parked on the upper floors via an elevator system, so the elevator shaft and supporting structure already exist. I'm not an engineer, but I'd have to believe that this building is much easier to fit with a modern passenger elevator than retrofitting a building that never had an elevator on it's blueprint.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 2:02 PM

Great ideas are flowing out of the energy generated by the board last night. I am fascinated by both the Montessori School and Day Care Center ideas. The availability of schools and day care centers in a commercial district is enticing for businesses as it is an amenity that supportive of employee recruiting and retention. If Oak Park and Madison become a commercial and shopping district, this type initiative has power.

OP  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 1:49 PM

Welcome to the neighborhood. I look forward to the block parties.

J.oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 1:46 PM

if the comcast building is going to be an entire gut job, I have never been inside, which I imagine it will...won't they be installing a new elevator? there are many elevator/lift installers and I am sure a retrofit could be done on Garfield, or any other building. Heck there is a lift/Elevator in Village Hall and Ridgeland Commons.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 1:24 PM

@Jim - my previous post could have been clearer. The thing that makes the Comcast building unique, per the applicant's own comments, is the elevator. The Comcast project would be the ONLY affordable housing project w/ an elevator started in over 20 years. So why ignore the opportunity to make ALL of the units accessible and use a unique attribute of the building to serve a specific population who requires an elevator?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 1:17 PM

Thanks for the info, John. I'm not sure the vacant building on Garfield could be equipped to address special needs. Does anyone know what is going on with that property? The rehab project seems to have come to halt. VOP should demand the owner take action or put the building up for sale.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 1:14 PM

If affordable housing in an elevator building is unique in OP, why is ANY need OTHER than the disabled or elderly even being discussed? 5-10 units won't put a dent in this area of proven demand, but 51 units would be a game changer. Why not focus this development on a proven need?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 1:00 PM

Meridith Hill's comments last night re the challenge faced by disabled students coming out of high school is important. The Over the Rainbow association based in Evanston serves the adult handicapped in an appropriate manner that recognizes that continued education to the handicapped is critical to their success. Over the Rainbow (http://www.otrassn.org) showed interest in the current Oak Park development and might be a fit for OP's needs. http://www.otrassn.org. Is Comcast Bldg a fit?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:44 PM

I'm not sure that's true Marco. I'm not sure the preference couldn't be changed. It's a good question.

Marco  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:29 PM

Jim, I believe everybody would be in favor for that, but the proposal is what it is or nothing.

J.oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:28 PM

@Jim, that young woman was a pleasure to watch and listen to. Wonderful young lady and a wonderful representative for Oak Park. Staggering statistic, 50 to 100 students per year. I hope that we could do better for supportive housing, in Oak Park, than a redo of a car dealership on a busy street with no room for green space for our citizens. The long empty building on Garfield would be great: near transportation and a park, a big downside is the expressway. Brava to the young woman.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:18 PM

The young woman who spoke in favor of the project provided some very interesting information. 50-100 disabled/challenged students graduate from OP-RF annually. If the Comcast building was designed and designated to serve the needs of the disabled, Oak Park would be providing a terrific opportunity for independent living.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:17 PM

I caught the Lueck comment. I think she's comparing apples to oranges. The high income northwest portion of OP is the result of free market activity. The proposal for the old Comcast building is social engineering.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:12 PM

Well, from what Gladys Jordan told us during the tour is that the preference is determined by the local partner - OP Housing Authority - not Interfaith. My understanding is the preference could be different than today's planned work and live in OP. For example, there is an Interfaith building that has a preference for low-income "grand families". My belief based on the village studies over the past 3-4 years is the preference should be Senior first, disabled second.

J.oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:08 PM

I wonder if anyone else caught the comment from Lueck about not having this conversation on the north west side of oak park? There was a similar conversation, with the public not happy with the Sertus project: too dense, not enough parking, not a fit for the area, too high and no demonstrative need for the project...alas the village board approved that project, and despite that fact that there was a hard deadline for funding the board extended the deadline and broke the open meeting act. shame.

J.oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:03 PM

Thanks, Patricia. That is what I thought. My understanding is that the type of funding that interfaith was seeking would mandate the type of resident that would be at the comcast building. That the desire of the board or the citizens or the builder is trumped by the government funding. At least that is what i read in the OPHA posting on their website about the project.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 11:52 AM

J. oak park, to answer your question, no, this information is not on the website today. A miss. It will be added to frequently asked questions. Here's the question/answer: But isn't it just like Mills Tower, The Oaks, Ryan Farrelly Apartments, or the Heritage House? %u2022No, they are affordable housing for seniors/disabled - populations that most need assistance in Oak Park.

O........P  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 11:04 AM

J. Your focus is still in the wrong area. They arent housing criminals. This isnt a jail, its a home.

J.oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 10:20 AM

Hi Patricia, good job last night. Does your website explain the difference between the Oaks and the comcast project? R. Johnson says he lives by the Oaks and there are no problems...but won't the occupant profile be very different in the comcast project? And isn't the Oaks in a very different type of location? much more residential, I think. Thanks for all your efforts on this project.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 10:18 AM

Oak Park - Welcoming with open arms

Patricia O"Shea  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 9:47 AM

Agreed, and I especially appreciate the board looking into my process questions.

Marco  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 7:51 AM

I too was most impressed by the board. Good job, and I retract the fix is in. The applicants looked a little nervous. Now vote it down so we can move on.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 6:19 AM

OP Board - I may not have been as staunch a critic as John, but I've made my comments. I too was most impressed with last night's proceedings. I would like to commend the board for taking an objective and comprehensive approach in considering the proposal. My opinion on the project may not have changed, but my faith in the process and in our elected officials been strengthened considerably. Thank you.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:45 AM

OP Board - I don't hesitate to criticize so the same should go for kudos. I was very impressed to find out tonight how much effort the members had put into thoroughly reviewing the Plan Com evidence on the Madison Housing Development. It was very evident that they had studied closely the Finding of Facts, but more importantly the transcripts of PlanCom's meetings. That take a lot of time and efforts. Also impressive was the quality of the questions they raise. So here's kudos from a critic.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 12:10 PM

I am a REPUBLICAN and I live in North Oak Park. I don not like TAXES. I want to CUT them. I cant stand the Park District. I have old cars on my property and too many animals. My taxes are very low. I do love OP.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 11:07 AM

Fraud post @12:04am. Still using tactics out of the Karl Rove playbook. Hey, Phoney! Why not use this scam on "OP"? Of course, that would be like talking to yourself!

O........P  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:06 AM

Ready to welcome our new neighbors

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 12:04 AM

What's important is that we find a balance and hope this project takes an approach that will meet the immediate areas concerns into account while not losing the integrity of what is being proposed.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 10:53 PM

Patricia, It will interesting to see where this item is placed on the agenda. Public testimony will be permitted prior to the board's discussion. Let's hope the matter comes up early in the evening. I look forward to hearing your comments.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 10:03 PM

I think it's important for people who care about this to show up at the Village Board meeting tomorrow. I hope to see many there. I also hope to get the answer to the question on why Interfaith was allowed to use the findings of fact to submit an early application to move forward. It hasn't been pointed out yet, but the the findings of fact were only released after Mr. Vietti let is slip in an email that he had the document which resulted in residents demanding it be published.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 7:48 PM

Katherine - The only problem I have with Interfaith people is their poor judgment in picking a partner. Solan,of the OPHA felt he had this battle won before it even started and made a lot of mistakes. For instance; a month before Interfaith was to meet with the OPHA Board to formalize a deal(2009) which was touted as a Y SRO replacement, Perry asked Solan if he was sure the Y was moving from the village. Solan said they will be gone in 2 or 3 years. The Y announced it was staying 6 mo. later.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 7:38 PM

Ridiculous. I'll be Facebook verified until the troll gets tired.

PMO  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 6:19 PM

"The ONLY thing we have to fear......is fear itself"-FDR 1932.

O........P  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 5:16 PM

OR, do you feel you can control the FUTURE by taking precautions and actions into your own hands?

O........P  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 5:14 PM

If you did. Based on your facts or logic...they are obese. 2/3 of all kids are obese. If your children are really young they will become obese. If you havent had children- DONT, they also have a huge chance of being diabetic too.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 5:09 PM

OP (not O.....P - let's get real), you've repeatedly refused to identify yourself. Why would I get into a conversation about whether I have a family with you? It sort of creeps me out that you'd even ask.

O........P  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 4:39 PM

Chris, So just becasue Ray Johnson chimes in doesn't allow ANYONE to assume the VILLAGE is hiding anything becasue you haven't heard them reply to a newspaper comment section. Get real. How can there be any FACTS that apply to this project? IT hasn't been built. All those same "facts" were avail for all of the other projects Interfaith has done. I'm glad you have all the facts and can see and KNOW the future. You must be different than anyone in this world. Do you have children?

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 4:24 PM

OP: Still calling the world flat, huh, OP? Documented facts aren't BS, although many would label your unsupported assertions and generalizations as such. Oh, and the Village chimes in on conversation here regularly. Ray Johnson's ID is even Facebook verified, so I have a high level of confidence that it's really Trustee Johnson when he posts.

O........P  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 3:42 PM

P.O'S, Do you mean an explanation why you create fear out of NOTHING, like Dubya? We will overcome fear and darkness with LIGHT! Lead the way.

P O'Shea  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 1:42 PM

I would welcome an explanation anywhere. It doesn't have to be here.

O........P  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 1:22 PM

Who brings up all the BS? YOU and ALL the opponents. The Village will never chime in here as an official communication to the community. FYI. I am glad that OP has singles rooms at the Y. The Y is at capacity and turns folks away. Maybe there is available senior housing in OP? Just b/c there is more than one need doesnt mean you cant fill more than one. Senior has clearly been fulfilled much more than singles. Just sayin!

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 1:15 PM

meant to say how it went down...

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 1:13 PM

Kathleen, I fear you're right. At this point, I just want the Village to explain why it went down. The silence to me means they have something to hide. I just want to know why the findings of fact were released to Interfaith before the public. Why that is ok. I'm feeling kind of screwed here.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 1:11 PM

You make more of a fool of yourself = name calling

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 1:10 PM

OP, that is just not true. Have you visited www.madisonprojectinfo.com?It is completely fact based and not centered around mudslinging or fear. If anything that's been your mode of operating. OP does have low income singles housing at the YMCA. We didn't make up the need for Senior housing - it came DIRECTLY from the recommendations of the agency who chooses the preference and is apparently ignoring their own research.

OP  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 12:57 PM

Oak Park has NO SINGLES HOUSING. I hope that will change. We lead by example. Winnetka, Wilmette, Chicago and more and more to come.

OP  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 12:53 PM

Not only the Oaks, but AUSTIN BLVD!! john, stop while your ahead. You make more of a fool of yourself the more you dig. Dont vote for Perry. LoL. FYI, there are low income singles too. Everyone isnt born OLD! The opposition has from the beginning reverted to mudslinging, negativity and fear. Oak Park is way above that and will rise to the top and NOT stoop to the bottom like so many want. G.W. used fear to fend off our supposed enemies and see how well that worked for him and our country.

kathleen from OP  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 12:18 PM

It is disturbing to learn that Perry Vieth of Interfaith appears to be a VOP insider. Back room deals and conflict of interest??? I sincerely hope that this is not what it appears to be.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 10:58 AM

You failed to mention that The Oakes is a residence for senior housing. Every one in OP lives next to or near senior housing. And there will have to be more in the next two decades. OPHA has been stating, to their credit, that additional senior housing is Oak Park's highest housing priority. Of course that is before Solan became infatuated with singles housing. Check out https://sites.google.com/site/concernedmadisonoakpark. There is lots of info there on the need for senior housing.

OP  

Posted: May 15th, 2011 12:22 AM

Those apostrophes are considered 1 character of the 500. Space is precious. Just sayin

The Voice from OP  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 7:30 PM

@OP: Let's hope Jesus forgives your poor punctuation and moral superiority.

Ken from Oak Park  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 7:29 PM

Strange that OP and Oak Parker make the same grammatical mistakes and have similar writing styles. Coincidence?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 6:37 PM

Pessimist = name calling Also, just cause it's driving me nuts, should be "You are or you're", not your. I've refrained from pointing it out for weeks, but just can't hold out any longer.

Sock Puppets are Funny from Oak Park  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 6:24 PM

I have long felt that "OP" is probably a sock puppet for Perry Vietti and that "Oak Parker" is a probably sock puppet for either Ray Johnson or David Pope. Which is both hilarious and chilling in that they seem to be the only two in favor of the development (but with no rationale other than their moral superiority) and attack anyone who has any concerns. In the end, I don't care who they are...but they are symbols for everything wrong in this village. And with this project. Very sad.

OP  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 6:05 PM

john, since your such a pessimist and 1/2 full kind of person: You are going to lose. Why hope or work for anything else. Game over. Good bye. Rubber Stamp!!!

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 5:55 PM

OP Thinking that Patricia O'Shea or I would benefit from your wisdom is a stretchhhhhhhh.

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 5:37 PM

THANK YOU.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 5:31 PM

I'm going to refrain from responding to angry posts from people hiding behind anonymity.

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 5:21 PM

O'Shea, Your a sham. Admit it. Why was the Benson issue EVEN brought up??? You insinuate so mush garbage, its pathetic. You are like a stopped huge truck on a 2 lane street and all the traffic has to go around it and it backs up traffic for miles in BOTH directions!! Learn how to be a part of the process in a PRODUCTIVE manner and everyone benefits-EVEN YOU and YOUR DAD!

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 5:09 PM

Let's bring the conversation back to the real question. How did a document being physically edited at March 16 meeting (findings of fact) get finalized and relased to a non-Oak Park agency (Interfaith - allowing Interfaith to use it to pre-submit for financing on the project) (1) before it was released to the citizens of Oak Park and (2)before the final version was approved at a public meeting?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 4:57 PM

@R. Johnson continued: In the 3rd post on the topic I was correcting your charge of my suggesting nefariousity (yes I know that's not a word, but it should be) by telling you that my assumption was in fact that Benson quit. I never said I didn't believe you. So why are you so fiercely defensive?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 4:56 PM

@R.Johnson,Why are you so defensive here? In my last post I was just correcting your assumption about my thoughts/intentio. In my first post on Benson I said, "interesting". In the 2nd post on the topic you corrected my assumption that he was changing commissions informing that he is taking on a 2nd. You could have stopped there, but chose to charge me with suggesting "some kind of nefarious action by the board". (cont)

Doubting Thomas from Oak Park  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 4:45 PM

@OP: So what if you're wrong about those things you're calling "FACTS"? It's all too easy to call someone a NIMBHY and tell them to "have faith"...it's much harder to face the prospect of potentially putting your family in danger or the loss of equity and be motivated to ask tough questions. It's what responsible neighbors (and villages, and municipal Boards) do. The prospect of ANY tax dollars being spent to potentially damage a neighborhood is nothing short of mind-blowing.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 4:36 PM

John, I didn't receive the e-mail but appreciate you posting it. Sounds like more gibberish from Trustee Lueck. Her comments during the board's discussion of the S. Marion St. and Oak Park Ave. projects were nonsensical. I'll expect to hear more of the same when the Comcast proposal comes before the trustees.

john murtagh  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 4:16 PM

Trustee Lueck sent an e-mail to the Citizens of Oak Park which summarizes the Madison Housing Development into 55 words. GEE, AREN'T SOME MISSION? LUECK QUOTE "Those of you in favor site the consistency with Oak Park values, the need for affordable housing, the architectural improvements, the added vibrancy to Madison street%u2014all of which are strengths of this project. Those of you opposed site the density, the lack of parking, the ambiguous retail market%u2014all of which are legitimate concerns."

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 4:01 PM

Dear Mr. Trustee Johnson. Boy how I miss those days when you called me John and I called you Ray. There is a cliche of officials in Oak Park that believe the public is a huge pain in the butt for having a differing views on government accountability, thorough and objective studies, meaningful dialog (unlike the censorship at the Buzz Cafe and 1-22-10 board meeting), and transparency. The cliche goal is to ensure that dissent is governed by an OP Not In My Back Yard mentality.

Ray Johnson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 3:29 PM

@ Mr. Murtagh -- I am smiling at your reference to me as a NIMBY, when I live immediately next door to the Oakes, a development for low-income residents. @ Ms. O'Shea (Murtagh) -- Mr. Benson remains on the Plan Commission and CDCAC, so I'm not sure why you continue to suggest otherwise.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 2:57 PM

Democracy 101 won't help, John. Voter apathy and decades of single party rule keep Oak Park from being a true democracy. There are no consequences to the Trustees for any action the Village Board takes. I do like the suggestion that the building, when rubber stamped, be named for one or more of the Trustees to tie their legacy to the success of the project.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 2:54 PM

OP - Those are all opinions, not facts. Were you to locate stats on crime rates before / after for other similar projects in similar neighborhoods (and Interfaith has none, so don't bother...) THEN you would be citing facts. Property value isn't high on my list of concerns, but others asked Interfaith to share the cost of an impact study to back their claim values wouldn't decline. They refused. The village is obligated to protect values, but they haven't done any study either.

OP  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 2:20 PM

Your correct john, Village Hall was worse than what the impact of the Interfaith project will be.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 2:17 PM

OP, I am not sure that your comparison of the impact of village hall and public housing on property value is apt, but I can sure see why you think that way.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 2:14 PM

Ray Johnson is OP's ultimate NIMBY. He will say, do,and encourage any behavior that ensure that the desires of the Inner Circle of elected, appointed, and aligned (the housing partners) are protected from criticism. His NIMBYISM puts the elusive village processes and policies above the rights of residents who choose not ride on the Johnson NIMBY Train. The village mantra is that public input is valued. That is; if it conforms to the governing viewpoints. Ray needs a course in Democracy 101.

OP  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 2:04 PM

Don't worry Chris, The FACT is your HOME Value WONT go down if they build this project. Crime wont go up in the immediate area if they build this project. The people or the project will NOT negatively impact the immediate area after its built. There are some FACTS for you. Current Village Hall was built in the 70's. They took OUT one side of the 500 blocks of Taylor and Lombard. Guess what, people live there and have ever since. Homes have even been sold on those blocks.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 1:46 PM

(con't): I've realized that anyone who isn't OP or part of his/her "silent majority" is automatically wrong in OP's misguided world. Don't bother with facts, stats, logic or quotes. The ONLY thing that matters is what OP thinks.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 1:45 PM

OP - definition from wikipedia: "NIMBY refers implicitly to debates of development generally or to a specific case. As such, their use is inherently contentious. The term is usually applied to opponents of a development, implying that they have narrow, selfish, or myopic views." Your defense doesn't dull the impact of the use of the term, and it's absolutely mean and dismissive in tone. As is implying that a 5 year resident can't understand politics in OP, as if that person is an outsider.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 1:28 PM

Meant jumbling....stupid iPad.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 1:28 PM

Op, read the stuff below again on the findings of fact. You're mumbling it up.. On the turning tricks...from testimony to the plan commission.

OP  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 12:54 PM

O'Shea, The board isnt HIDING anything, nor were they trying to HIDE anything!!! Hello. You tried to sling mud at the OPHA too with your turning tricks statements!! BS is what that is. Pure and simple. NOW you are trying to say the Village is in the wrong based on a false "technicality". Get real. After the Plan Commission meeting they had time to collect the findings of facts BEFORE the Village Board meeting.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 10:50 AM

5 years should be enough time to understand a community. How many years do you have to live in OP to understand "how things are done here" OP? Is it you who decides who is an "outsider" (which I consider name calling by the way)

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 10:45 AM

OP, a board just recently dinged by the state for being outside of process should explain how the findings of fact were approved when it escapes common sense vs what has happened which is silence. Yes, there is doubt and lack of trust, but the board created that lack of trust through their past action. Therefore in my opinion they should be going out of their way now to be transparent and regain citizens trust.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 10:37 AM

Actually Mr. Johnson, I was guessing he quit based on how I saw him treated publically by other commission members who talked over him and dismissed his opinions.

Marco  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 10:37 AM

5 years experience should get you a college degree or maybe even the presidency, but not the inner working of the oak park village. You know you shouldn't mix vicodins with wine. I think OP is short for opposite. That could be your super hero name. Opposite man. Probably a sox fan too.

OP  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 8:45 AM

(con't) They chime in about process and how the Village has done this and that OUTSIDE of the normal operating process. They used words like "cruel" to describe how the home would be like for the residents. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Clearly 5 yrs of Oak Park will not give you a real sense of how things are done here. O'Shea even said before the Village election on April 5th that she was voting only for the people who were in opposition to this project.

OP  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 8:40 AM

Chris, The term NIMBY was used to demonstrate the overall feeling and comments that were being used in opposition to this project. It was used to show a mentality not so much a person or persons. I'm glad O'Shea chimed in, but I do disagree with one thing. My mean and dismissive tone??? The tone ans spirit which O'Shea and Murtagh have used from the beginning has been condescending, purely negative, closed minded, and blaming. They even go so far as to have people think there is a conspiracy!

Ray Johnson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 7:53 AM

Ms. O'Shea - Mark Benson serves on two commissions, Community Development Citizen Advisory Commission (CDCAC) and the Plan Commission. His reappointment has nothing to do with the Plan Commission. You've jumped to a conclusion which is inaccurate and worse, suggested some kind of nefarious action by the board. We don't "remove" commissioners based on their vote history.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 7:39 AM

I'll admit OP that I resorted to things like "Mayor of Wrongville" out of frustration at the name calling you do and your mean and dismissive tone. Chris missed some of your gems. That was wrong of me and I'll refrain from going down to that level going forward.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 6:53 AM

OP: I'm not going to split hairs over name calling. NIMBY is not so much a statement of fact but a derogatory term, etc., etc. etc. I think you know what you are doing.

OP  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 4:32 AM

Chris, Ask O'Shea about name calling. I need not supply evidence. Your a smart guy. NIMBY is a term meaning NOT IN MY BACK YARD. More of a collective term used for local neighbors that dispute something that they dont want in their neighborhood, but would have it somewhere else. POS are P. O Shea's initials, which they use. Missy refers to a younger person.Lastly. I NEVER refereed to anyone as a racist! Look closely at my posts.Someone else may have used that term and I spoke to it.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 1:35 AM

Mark Benson had 2 yrs left on his Plan Con term. Bright guy.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 10:18 PM

NIMBY, racist, POS, Missy. That's just a few of the names you've called people to get a rise and you sling it around like grade school playground material. I think the facts leave you feeling threatened because, for whatever reason, you are incapable of developing a logical, fact based position. You irrationally lash out at people and call them names hoping to discredit them. Sounds more like you're bitter to me, OP. What happened to "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you?"

OP  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 8:55 PM

Chris , You are hallucinating again. I haven't called anybody a name. You seem to be a bitter person who cant get there toy. Dont worry, you'll be alright.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 8:23 PM

OP, thanks for all of your name calling and unsubstantiated claims. Shady politics are alive and well in Oak Park. It must be the voice of the silent majority speaking. Oh wait, are they silent if they speak?

OP  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 8:11 PM

O'Shea, Thanks for all your help and involvement regarding this project in your community. Its people like you who will make it a better project than it otherwise would have been. Keep your eye on the prize. Cheers

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 7:54 PM

20 questions the board should be able to answer about the Comcast project can be found at Www.Madisonprojectinfo.com

OP  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 7:33 PM

David, Jesus gave his life for YOU, not to have you pay for anything. Its free. Thats the beauty!

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 7:32 PM

Interesting. Mark Benson, one of two dissenting Plan Commission members on the Comcast issue is being reappointed to a new commission. I wonder why.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 7:22 PM

I am astounded by this and by the lack of response. I really liked everyone I met on the tour...I can't imagine that the people I met and talked to think this mode of operating is ok.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 6:51 PM

May 16 Agenda - Yep, it is on the OPV website and the legal issue surrounding the pre-dated Finding of Facts were ignored. They will allow discussion of documents that are not in the public record. Using approved records would delay the developer is pursuit of 15-20 million dollar. HUD has cut its 2011 Capital Fund by 43% vs 2010. If delayed; maybe OP misses the change to jump on the HUD dole. Can't let those destitute neighborhoods beat us. Oh so sad.

Dave Heidorn from Oak Park  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 4:21 PM

Thank you for proving my point, OP. Your "Christianity" is filled with judgement and contempt. Like all fundamentalists, those who do not share your view are below you. Please show us the Bible passage where Jesus tells you to do good works for which others must pay. And have the strength of faith to state your name. If you are correct, why hide in fear? Shine your light, OP.

OP  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 12:41 PM

God still loves you David

Dave Heidorn from Oak Park  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 9:39 AM

50% of Chicago mortgages are under water. Vietti and Solan masterfully played the insider OP politics to further their careers at the expense of Madison-Grove families. How many families already battered by bad gov't economic decisions will never recover from this new disaster? Who will buy their homes, Ascension members who decided others should pay for their Christianity? Vietti, Solan, Ascension could care less. Does one Board member have the balls to oppose this sad failure of democracy?

Dave Heidorn from Oak Park  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 9:17 AM

50 percent of Chicago homeowners are underwater on the mortgages. Solanz,

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 7:51 AM

I'd like to see an explanation from the Village on the minutes before drawing conclusions. If the document is not part of the public record the discussion on 5/16 must not happen until the correct documentation has been filed. I'd expect that our Trustees will keep these proceedings legitimate and transparent, right?

Marco  

Posted: May 13th, 2011 7:41 AM

You would think with several years to collaborate they would of had a better plan, or did they not think there would be such opposition. The fix is in, the only thing left is to have a split vote say 4-3 so its looks oh so close. come clean makes the town look bad.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 9:32 PM

I'd really like to hear an explanation from the village on what John Murtagh is saying. When changes to the document were made during the meeting, and the meeting ended early so people could get to St. Patrick's Day festivities, how did a final copy get approved? Was it being red-lined on the main screen?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 8:21 PM

Pres Pope-I was denied the draft minutes of the PlanCom Mtg of 3/17/11 because they were not approved; thus not public record. Also the Finding of Facts(dated 3/17/11-Madison Housing Development) did not receive final approval. Many changes were made to the document by commissioners at that mtg. Chair Bolte said at the mtg. that it would take considerable time to edit the document. Without "final" Facts of Finding or minutes in the public record, is the 5/16/11 Devel. discussion legal?

OP  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 8:19 AM

Thanks john, the OPHA is a wonderful organization( group ) that has done really good things in our Village. I have all the confidences moving forward that it will not change a bit. I'm glad to finally see some progress from items that were discussed in 2007.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 1:25 AM

Pres. Pope appointed Vietti to the OPHA Board in 03, 2 yrs after Solan was app'd OPHA Director. Vietti was the Interfaith COO. In 07, Vietti-Solan were members of the YMCA Affordable Hous. Preservation Analysis, a study on whether the Y should be converted to supportive housing. Trustee Marsey a team member stated "A Chicago-based supportive housing organization is considering a mixed market-rate and affordable housing building at the site,..." The report determined it was not feasible. CONT 1-3

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 1:21 AM

In 10/07 Solan stated: "The next key ingredient will be, is there a developer out there, most likely a not-for-profit developer, who will come forward and put together a proposal that will be sufficiently attractive to the YMCA." In early 2008, Vietti and Solan decided to use Comcast Building for supportive housing (Vietti's Plan Com testimony.) In June 2008, Vietti announced that Interfaith would build housing in the Comcast Building to replace the Y's SRO. CONT 2-3

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 1:19 AM

In March 2009 at an OPHA board Mtg, Solan reassured Vieti that the YMCA would be sold and gone within 3-5 years. In June 2009, the OPHA board voted to enter a partnership with Interfaith and in July, 2009 Vietti resigned from the board with one year left on his term. In September 2009, the Y announced that it would not be moving and would be keeping its SRO open. Vietti-Solan then decided to change the customer profile for its SRO designed housing. Who contracted who? Who knows?

epic lulz  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 12:57 AM

OP sez: "What about all the posters who are against this project? Where is the cries to have themselves revealed? OP Res, Curious George, epic lulz..." OP, you're so deranged you even view people who view the project favorably as opponents. Perhaps it's time you stfu. You're only harming the project with your inane incessant, and oh so ever insulting, babbling.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:45 PM

Basic logic eludes you! It's a waste of typing to try.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:31 PM

Either your on site trusted mgr was derelict in their duties or it didnt even happen. Either way I dont blame the OPHA for it, and neither should you.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:28 PM

My point from the beginning. THANK YOU. Unproven facts provided by "yourside"

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:23 PM

I'm sure the person turning tricks wasn't dumb enough to do it during hours that the resident manager was there. It's like blaming a dorm floor manager for someone drinking in their room while the dorm floor manager was at class. But now we're getting into speculation and I don't want to do that.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:11 PM

They are the ON SIGHT eyes and ears. They get their rents subsidized or paid for in exchange for DOING THEIR JOB!!

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:06 PM

Do you drink? You seem to get angrier as the day goes on.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:02 PM

Yes OP. You did miss something. The thing about resident managers (which is the approach for the Comcast building) is they are neither intended to nor required to be there 24/7. They live in the building, hold regular jobs outside of the building and are basically there to call the police when they see a problem.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 10:41 PM

You are a joke O'Shea. Now she was turning tricks off property? I think the person who you trusted, CLEARLY wasnt doing what they are paid to do!! HELLO. Did I miss something.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:57 PM

Please don't put words in my mouth. I, like the silent majority, can represent what I believe just fine myself. I believe that people were lined up outside of an OPHA door waiting for a young girl who was turning tricks because someone I trust was the resident manager at the time. Is OPHA culpable? That's a bigger question. I do however think the agency has a responsiblity to prevent or resolve that type of situation. It would be great to hear what steps they took. Might get some support.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:46 PM

If you see crime, call it in. DUH. Show me the police records where it puts the blame on the OPHA's shoulders for these alleged activities. I'm sure you feel they were conspiring ? Good night and good laughs Missy.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 1:21 PM

Instead of just denying what happened "alleged", maybe talk about what the IDHA does and will do in the future to prevent this sort of occurrence? I invite the sharing of information. I am ready to listen.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 12:52 PM

The OPHA's record SPEAKS FOR itself. Theres your facts. They are the group that Interfaith teamed up with to choose the resident make up. Enough facts for me. You can not bring them down to your level, even if it was "alleged" in testimony.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 12:16 PM

OP: Yes, I think it is appropriate, even essential, for anyone on either side of the debate to cite any information provided in the public testimony when discussing this project. I would strongly encourage you to use this information yourself, as it would validate your opinions with fact. Without the testimony and documents that the village has publicly posted we're reduced to opinions. Opinions are great, but sound public policy and business decisions are made based on facts.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:19 AM

An OP, your broad generalizations "everyone", "the silent majority", etc. are getting tiring. Get your masses who support here to speak up and provide some stats! I've done my due diligence and research. You should too if you expect your words to be respected. Otherwise it's just words backed up with nothing (which is kind of your M.O.).

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:14 AM

I just have to say, OP gave me a giggle. I assume the "missy" is an attempt to put me in my place because I have the nerve to question government and government agencies. I'm nearly 40 years old. Even my parents haven't called me "missy" for a good 20 years. Thanks for the laugh OP.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:17 AM

Chris, so I guess you feel it OK to bring it up when referencing OPHA's credibility? Not.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:15 AM

What about all the posters who are against this project? Where is the cries to have themselves revealed? OP Res, Curious George, epic lulz, marco, j.oakpark,urbandictionary.com????? Most importantly...Who are you?

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:15 AM

OP - that testimony is on the public record and a part of the Planning Commission testimony. Are you telling me it didn't happen?

klmn from op  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:08 AM

so many anonymous postings are annoying. Reveal yourself.

OP  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:01 AM

Who tried to drag the OPHA in the mud by bringing up "tricks in the basement". Get serious. People do not agree with you. Clearly Interfaith has a proven successful track record. I'm not sure what REALLY scares you, but you use every possible objection from process, to speaking for residents, to declaring it pork barrel to many others that make you feel like you are the superior being and anyone that is in favor is less than Chris Koertge. Your style and approach do nothing to help.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 7:44 AM

(con't): So, instead of just slamming me/us on the reply, OP, why don't you tell us what YOU believe? I suspect that our beliefs are closer than you realize and that we really only differ on the merits of this project.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 7:43 AM

(con't): I believe in an integrated community and an equal opportunity for all. That's why I paid a HUGE premium to own a home in Oak Park. I believe in affordable housing, but I believe that this project is flawed. It's a pork barrel grab that only benefits the partners. It's a housing model outdated by 20-30 years that stigmatizes its residents, and it doesn't serve the documented needs of the community. I believe that bad projects threaten a balance that makes Oak Park great.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 7:35 AM

OP - Do you know anything about my beliefs? I continue to provide documented facts to back virtually every comment I make. You provide nothing but opinions, despite repeated requests to back your opinions with fact. I don't think I've seen a single citation on ANYTHING you've posted. You've called the opposition names including NIMBY and racist. You've repeatedly ignored requests to identify yourself to make this a respectable debate among neighbors. Who's the pig in the mud here, OP?

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:35 PM

Reality is reality and YOU cant change that missy

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:31 PM

You're the one who cited Chris's beliefs. There was nothing in his post about beliefs. I was a bit dramatic to show how HUGE a jump it was to say ANYTHING about Chris's beliefs. First you put words into the mouths of the silent majority. Now Chris.

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:26 PM

I will NOT play with the pigs in the mud.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:22 PM

I didn't hear (read) Chris say anything about beliefs. Unless you're saying that OPHA believes turning tricks in basements is ok. I'm guessing that's not what you're saying. So what do you mean by Chris's beliefs?

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 10:59 PM

The OPHA has a GREAT track record. Now Chris has turned on the OPHA because they dont have his beliefs. Unbelievable. You cant change realty my friend. Sorry.

Brad Farrar from Oak Park  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 10:24 PM

We've heard statements about how the building will be populated by teachers firefighters, day-care workers, and veterans yet it seems they have no research to support this and no way to deliver on it. I've heard Mr. Vietti repeatedly point to an IHDC building in "Lakeview" as a comparable development to this single adult building that is actually seniors-only housing in Uptown. This is a 40-year commitment for OP. There is too much risk involved to just hope and trust that things will work out.

Brad Farrar from Oak Park  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 10:21 PM

Continuing on the trust thread: Oak Park is being asked to take a lot on trust with this project, but I've read and heard a number of things that shake that trust. Interfaith and OPHA have repeatedly promoted the idea of giving preference to those who live and work in Oak Park yet have also given testimony that they will not be able to deliver on this because of HUD regulations. (I'm interested to see how they deal with the Plan Commission's requirement on this). [more...]

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 9:31 PM

There's something lacking in that logic, OP. I should trust OPHA because Interfaith trusts them? I heard testimony about, among other problems, tricks being turned in the basement of an OPHA building. That doesn't serve as the strongest character reference. Hearing Perry Vietti commit to backing down if they hit heavy resistance from the neighbors, yet continue to push this project despite that resistance doesn't build trust either.

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 7:45 PM

john, I know you like definitions and all, but the OPHA is the group that the developer( Interfaith) has teamed up with to determine the make up of residents who will occupy this building. Thats why you should trust the OPHA. There is PLENTY of availability at some of the senior housing centers in OP. Just call

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 6:25 PM

OP, you have a strange obsession for anything preceded by OP. Franky, I find it OPressive. OPHA is not a part of the village. It is a Illinois Municipal Corporation responsible for distributing federal funds. OPHA is not listed in the any village directories, meeting schedules, or OPtoptenlists. You are risking you chance to win the OP Annual Award for Person Most Likely to Kill Himself with a Keyboard.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 3:22 PM

OP, Patricia already provided a link to the village study that shows the greatest documented need as affordable housing for low income seniors. Can you point us to any published data to the contrary?

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 3:11 PM

I trust the OPHA. So should YOU. Not all seniors need senior housing. Clearly there are plenty of "older" Oak Parker's who live in the homes and apartments they occupied for many many years.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 3:05 PM

OP, I'm just citing the village's strategic planning. I assume that is done is a pretty scientific manner. If we spent all of our money based on gut feelings, Lord knows where we would be in Oak Park. This is a 40 year commitment. It deserves careful consideration and it should be directly aligned with the Village's strategic plans and assessments of greatest need. With an aging baby boomer population, are you sure we have plenty of senior housing?

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:59 PM

There is MORE than ample amount of senior living in OP. There is nothing for low income singles. Cant a person just get ahead?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:42 PM

OP, my comparison was to say...we're doing pretty well in the area of low income. I'm all for building something there with Interfaith. Since the OPHA chooses the preference - I think it should be Seniors - Oak Park's highest documented priority.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:37 PM

OP - Not so fast. Per Perry Vietti's own testimony, the Comcast building is NOT transitional housing. It is a long term solution. So this development does not meet the needs in item #3. If this were transitional housing there would be a significantly higher need for supportive services than Catholic Charities is ready to provide. All supportive services are to be specific to employment under the proposal. Nice try, wrong answer again. You're a bit late to the fact finding, OP.

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:36 PM

Not quite sure how comparing vouchers to Berwyn and Cicero have any place in this project. Clearly the OPHA has spoken loud and clear and I think they have their hand on the pulse. They NOT only know OP housing but regional housing as well. Disabled is a broad term.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:30 PM

Bingo. Thanks OP. The proposed Comcast developement gives no preference for those with a disability. Problem not solved.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:29 PM

Oops - technical difficulties

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:29 PM

Here's why it's lower priority per village studies. Again, quoting the report." According to a 2004 report produced by the Chicago Fair Housing Alliance, Oak Park has the highest number of voucher holders, 473 or 4.7% of the total rental units than any of the surrounding suburbs in the region. Berwyn has 100 voucher holders (1.3%) and Cicero has 289 (2.8%).

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:29 PM

Here's why it's lower priority per village studies. Again, quoting the report." According to a 2004 report produced by the Chicago Fair Housing Alliance, Oak Park has the highest number of voucher holders, 473 or 4.7% of the total rental units than any of the surrounding suburbs in the region. Berwyn has 100 voucher holders (1.3%) and Cicero has 289 (2.8%).

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:29 PM

Here's why it's lower priority per village studies. Again, quoting the report." According to a 2004 report produced by the Chicago Fair Housing Alliance, Oak Park has the highest number of voucher holders, 473 or 4.7% of the total rental units than any of the surrounding suburbs in the region. Berwyn has 100 voucher holders (1.3%) and Cicero has 289 (2.8%).

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:20 PM

If it's covered, why would it still be listed as a priority? Don't know how you go about strategic planning, but I don't usually start with the things that are already done. Please OP, assume some intelligence when you work the spin.

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 2:11 PM

BINGO. Thanks Patricia. 3)Transitional housing for low-income residents and disabled. Thankfully we have the 1st two covered.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 12:25 PM

I was just uploading docs to www.madisonprojectinfo.com so people can see documented village housing priorities. The (updated in 2010) Report on Affordable Housing Strategies by the Housing Programs Advisory Committee identifies the need in Oak Park as 1) Housing appropriate for seniors living in OP 2)Rental housing for families earning below 80% of the area median income 3)Transitional housing for low-income residents and disabled 4) Assistance for first-time homebuyers 5)Foreclosure.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:48 AM

OP: Have you reviewed any of the Village's documents on this subject? They show NO DOCUMENTED NEED for a government funded option for the low income single working person. This has been cited repeatedly. Do you have some sort of "secret study" that contradicts what the Village published (and paid for with my tax dollars), or is this too a matter of the opinion of the Silent Majority?

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:30 AM

Chris, We have the Oak Park Arms, Belmont Villages, Holly Court, Heritage House, Mills Tower and the Oaks for SENIORS. Not sure how many residents in total that is. We have [ 0 ] Zero government funded options for the low income single working persons. I don't look at the available apartments as a viable solution since it is not mandatory for any private owner to have to take any of these folks who may have sub par credit or sufficient working history or income to qualify. SRO'S not included.

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:23 AM

One body, one vote.

The Silent Majority  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:14 AM

OP. Please stop representing us. Thankyouverymuch.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:13 AM

(con't): If I were to steal a bunch of money and build a church with it, does that make it right? Would you be proud of that church for decades after it were built if you knew how it was funded?

Chris Koertge  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:12 AM

OP - You are completely missing the point. This is a blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars. There is no proven need for the project, so the proposal represents misuse of $15 million in Fed funds. Oak Park has actually SPENT money determining who needs affordable housing and it isn't this population. That money, OP taxpayer dollars, was clearly wasted if it is subsequently ignored. Even if the project is a home run, which I doubt, I will have lingering issue it.

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:02 AM

Chris, I believe whatever the outcome of this site and the process, you will come to be satisfied with it. I have faith. You may be a doubting Thomas, but not I sir.

Bored Now from OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 11:00 AM

OP just keeps fiddling while our neighborhoods are at risk. Any bets on when the first felony happens after the building opens? I say within 30 days...a murder within the first year...open air drug market next door within two years....

Chris Koertge  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 10:59 AM

The Silent Majority believes OP is former Worldcom CEO Bernie Ebbers, so I guess I'm debating with a convicted felon sitting in a cell in Louisiana. So much for my unwillingness to debate a faceless opponent. I guess I can't sit on my hands and be silent like the majority of Oak Park.

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 10:55 AM

Its about doing the "Wright" thing. Oak Park has a great track record with doing such and I hope this project will be no different.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 10:31 AM

OP: That might be the most ridiculous statement you've made yet. If the majority is silent then they forgo their opportunity to be heard in this debate. Isn't that just common sense? You could also state that the silent majority believes that the world flat, but I can provide solid evidence to the contrary.

Ken from Oak Park  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 10:07 AM

OP: Once again your flimsy statements have no factual basis whatsoever. Chris sites actual data and you're pointing to....??

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 9:59 AM

Chris, real simple. The SILENT majority of greater OAK PARK.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 9:56 AM

OP: Wrong again. Please reference the Neighbors for Madison Renewal survey. The results there are clear - over 60% opposed with a sample size of 342. You're the only one on oakpark.com supporting this project. If the only survey done shows the neighbors against AND you're the only one posting in support of the development, where's the majority who SUPPORT this project? Once again the facts completely elude you, but I've come to expect that by now.

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 9:47 AM

Simple. Just ask the current residents at the other Interfaith homes. "Warehousing poor people" is YOUR description. I prefer giving an affordable home to those that are deserving of one more appropriate. Again, I like how you speak for the residents as an objection to the project. Nice decoy NIMBY. Chris, the ONLY overwhelming majority against this project is on the WJ site. It may only consist of 5 people at most. Not quite the majority I was looking for.

Decimus  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 9:21 AM

OP, you are a shill and an idiot. A truly fatal combination. The project is bad policy because it is not good for the proposed residents. How can warehousing the poor possibly make you feel good about yourself?

Chris Koertge  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 8:16 AM

When the people, against this project by an overwhelming majority, can't have their way because a couple of individuals have leveraged, possibly abused, their positions in the community to push their personal agendas I call it a MASSIVE failure of the process.

Marco  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 7:59 AM

I think you are smoking craker jacks.

PMO  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 7:46 AM

OP, your comments just underscore that you don't have a leg to stand on. I can't believe the powers that be haven't asked you to pipe down yet. LOL

OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 7:18 AM

When people can't have their way....it must be the process. Would OP Resident have a problem with the super majority if the Plan Commission had voted down the proposal? Me thinks not. As for O'Shea, the dog and pony show is all your comments and opinions. I prefer cracker jacks.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 1:14 AM

Thanks, Craig. I still don't understand the rationale of requiring a super majority. A simple majority qualifies for all other board actions. Our elected officials serve at the people's will but this policy seems to supercede a democratic process. Why give the Planning Commission this power? Who benefits from this application to the Building Code? The residents/community as a whole or any individual?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 12:37 AM

I am against this because the village is not following its own analysis with this development. I've been waiting for someone to tell me why the commission and village would do such a thing. I was ready to give the benefit of the doubt since the fact are buried in a document hundreds of pages long. Now I think it's being intentionally ignored. Nothing would surprise me now. And honestly, the commission process seems like a dog and pony show - without the pleasure of cotton candy or popcorn

patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 12:31 AM

Mr. Rouse, it seems really convenient that the findings of fact don't require minutes to be valid. Is that always the case oe just when the Village wants to push something through? I mean come on. Let's be straight here. If Mr. Vietti hadn't let it slip that Interfaith used the finding if fact in their application to the IHDA in April it wouldn't have been published today. It's not like a fair and equitable publishing of info happened here.

patricia o'shea  

Posted: May 10th, 2011 12:24 AM

She says anonymously...

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:15 PM

Know the process BEFORE you complain about it or make accusations about the Village not living up to their obligations. It seems like this has been a learning experience for so many of you opponents-yet the mud has been flung and there needs to be some apologies made.

Chris Koertge  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 9:37 PM

It's gutless to call your neighbors NIMBYs and racists from behind a screen name, so I'm done directly engaging OP until I know who I'm talking to. OP should own up to his/her comments or step aside, although I'll admit the latter would make for a pretty quiet conversation since OP is the only proponent backing the project on this website.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 9:17 PM

How does the residents know that the Fact-finding was approved without minutes? How does the board know that the Fact-finding was approved without minutes? How does the Plan Com know the Fact-finding document is correct when they were making changes as they went? EXACTLY WHAT WAS THE DATE THAT THE FINAL FACT-FINDING WAS RECEIVED FROM THE ATTORNEY?

Craig Chesney from Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 8:52 PM

cont...Any action taken by the Board of Trustees pursuant to Section 2.2.7(C)1 shall require the concurrence of a majority of the Village President and Trustees; however, if the planned development fails to receive the approval of the designated hearing commission or committee, the ordinance shall not be approved except by a favorable vote of two thirds of the President and Board of Trustees.

Craig Chesney from Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 8:51 PM

OP Resident - It is in the building code. This is how it reads. Within 60 days of receipt of the report and recommendation of the designated hearing commission, and without further public hearing, the Board of Trustees may deny the application, refer the application to the designated hearing commission for further review, postpone further consideration pending the submittal of additional information (including any application requirements previously waived by the Village Planner or designated hearing commission) and/or adopt a zoning ordinance approving the planned-development permit subject to conditions and/or allowances.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 8:00 PM

Thanks, Steve. I'm sure there's an answer out there somewhere. Does anyone know why there must be a super majority vote by the trustees to overrule the Plan Commission? Village boards have not accepted citizen committee recommendations in the past, so this seems to be a very unusual and unique policy. A super majority was not required for the trustees to vote down a referendum that a majority of voters supported. It's difficult to understand the purpose of requiring the super majority.

Steven Rouse from OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 7:46 PM

John: The minutes are not required for Board meeting only the Findings. OP Resident I have no idea regarding the super majority requirement, my guess is deference to Comissions and their hard work and effort in holding the numerous hearings necessary to properly decide the issue, but that could be just my self serving take on things.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 6:16 PM

John, I'm not sure Ray Heise got involved in the processing of your request. I do think Clerk Powell is not the person who has the final say on FOIA. Her office receives the requests but no action is to be taken without Law Dept. approval. This is not unique to Powell's adminstration. Both Virginia Cassin & Sondra Sokol left the decision to Ray Heise. That's how it worked at Village Hall for 30 years. He's got his fans & detractors but has too much influence and little restraint.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 5:51 PM

I sent an e-mail to Teresa Powell last Wednesday asking her for a copy for Fact-finding, Plan Com Recommendations, and the May 16th minutes. She responded that unapproved minutes would not be released and that "We are checking on how to respond to your request." On Friday, I sent an FOIA as I am aware of how things can disappear in Vil-hall. She, same day replied that Craig Fallor would provide FF that day or early next week. I have no way of knowing if Heise got involved.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 4:40 PM

Is Village Clerk Powell able to provide any details on how this particular FOI request was processed? Take us step-by-step so we can understand. Did she make the call or defer to the Law Dept. for approval before releasing the document? I've asked before for info and would still like to know from her what percentage of the FOI requests her office receives are submitted to the Village Attorney for review? My experience is Ray Heise makes the final call but Powell has claimed that is not true.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 4:39 PM

Am I correct that the Plan Commission cannot be used by the village board in discussion of the Madison Housing Development until the March 17, 2011 minutes are approved?

Teresa Powell  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 4:30 PM

Regarding the minutes of the Plan Commission, minutes of a meeting are generally approved at the next meeting of the PC. There was no meeting in April, so the March 17 minutes will be approved at the PC meeting of Thursday, May 19. Under the Illinois Open Meetings Act, unapproved minutes cannot be released until approved.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 4:21 PM

Steve, I don't think you answered my question regarding the reason a super majority vote by the Village Board is required. What's the thought process behind this requirement? If you have a minute, I would sure would appreciate an explanation. Thanks for your input.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 4:06 PM

Here's the thing on process. It has to work both ways! If a village board asks residents to follow processes to the letter (e.g. parking, permits, etc.), it must also follow its own processes(closed door meetings, approving documents/minutes), etc.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 3:57 PM

Steve: There are no minutes for the 3/17. If the Fact-finding was approved on 3/17/2011 as well as the 20 or so recommendations, there is no public record. That means there is no plan commission approved documents to be submitted to the village board on 5/16/11 meeting. The board should withdraw the item from the agenda.

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 3:17 PM

GGPP, Yes. Yes. Yes

Steven Rouse from OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 3:08 PM

John: We approved the Findings at our last meeting, in public, at Village Hall during our reqular meeting time. The minutes are a seperate issue. We will not approve the minutes until we meet again. Ask Craig for any transcript of the meeting approving the Findings. People were in attendence when the Findings were approved, I do not know exactly who or what side they represented. Op Resident is correct I am volunteer apointed commissioner, that is why we only make recommondations to the Board.

Marco  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:58 PM

The best comment by Mr Rouse. "We should build this now because there wont be any room later when Madison recovers." Talk about horse before the cart, This will most certanly prevent new buisnesses as well as new home buyers from the area. Just from the stigma alone, and could very well be a great building. will not matter.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:56 PM

Steve - when did the Plan Com approve the Fact-finding? It certainly did not happen on 3/17/11. The Plan Commission did not meet in April and is not scheduled to meet until after the May 16, 2011 board meeting. The Fact-finding approval does not appear to have occurred in public. Am I right about that? If so; then the village board will not have approved Factfinding or Approved PLan Com Recommendations when they begin their review next Monday. There are no approved 3/17/11 minutes.

j.oakpark  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:48 PM

maybe Steve Rouse can also answer how many plan commissioners are VMA members or directors? when steve rouse was the head of the zoning board of appeals he was a board member with the VMA

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:45 PM

OP- so you have established that it is better for low-income people to live in Oak Park as opposed to Austin. This isn't news. Is this project good for current Oak Park residents, and their families?

OP Resident  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:29 PM

Steven Rouse may be able to explain the procedure to a lay person. Why does it take a super majority of the Village Board to reject the Plan Commision decision? How does this fit in with an open and democratic process? The PC members are not elected and only accountable to those who placed them in these positions. Can't they simply be used as rubber stamps for politicians while at the same time providing cover for these elected officials who are unwilling to take the heat?

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:19 PM

Check out the Trib local piece.http://triblocal.com/oak-park-river-forest/2011/05/09/trustees-tour-interfaith-facilities-in-chicago/

PMO  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:15 PM

Yes and am really curious to hear your thoughts (and for you to admit who you are).

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:10 PM

Did you see me there O'Shea?

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 2:06 PM

Sorry george. I disagree with you. Oak Park will only make this project prosper even more. What makes for a better environment for the residents: one where they come out into a neighborhood where drugs are being sold and there isnt much going on or one in which they walk out their door to the greenest Walgreens in the country, tons of commercial along Madison to work at and a community with fun , entertaining things to do. Involve yourself george.

Curious George from Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:59 PM

OP - your focus has never been whether this development is appropriate for Oak Park. This type of development is appropriate for destitute neighborhoods that are desperate for any developemnt dollars. If low-income housing improved suburban housing prices, every municipality would be trying to build it. It doesn't. They aren't trying to build it.

Steven Rouse from OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:56 PM

John M. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law is a document that the Plan Commission's attorney drafts and then it is reworked with input from the PC and then voted on. The doc includes the facts necessary to support the application and the elements necessary to grant the relief from the Code for the PUD. It also includes the restrictions we placed on the property. It will be recorded against the property assuming approval by the Board. The Board can reject by super majority the PC rec.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:51 PM

Did you go on the tour OP?

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:45 PM

Vacant lots and building VS. thriving residential building. There's your impact study. You father was complaining on how the findings of facts prob cost the Village thousands. Yet we need an impact study to figure out what I'm not sure.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:42 PM

I would believe that if there was an impact study completed by the applicants or the Village. What you are saying is an opinion which are like....we all have one.

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:37 PM

If COMCAST didnt lower your property values THIS will certainly NOT either. I think your chances of this increasing your values is much better. Happy selling.

J.oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:28 PM

@ OP: Umm assuming quality is far from assuring quality. Thank you for the info, Patricia on the one year lease and the kitchen. Neither of which make the project any better, at least to me. All who live near the project: should the building become a nuisance property you can appeal your property taxes and get a lower rate from cook county. not a great trade off, and for that i am sorry.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:22 PM

I was told that the APPROVED (by who)Plan Com Factfinding was mailed to me today. The document is 46 pages. That is hardly a massive document considering the Plan Com minutes totaled about 50 pages. I have to believe the Fact-finding has been summarized, redacted,and purified. It can't contain twenty hours of testimony, missing commission reports, and the evidentiary documents and correspondence submitted at the hearing. Maybe the 46 page use a very, very, very small font and no punctuation.

PMO  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:18 PM

I understand that you think you're clever because you figured out who I am (I'm sure that was challenging since I use my name...Linked In shows me who looks at my profile by the way.). Note it is not just me and my father here speaking out against this project. You however - at least on this board - are more or less alone.

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 1:12 PM

Whether the Y SRO'S stay or go, the people who dwell there could upgrade. No? Assuming they qualify. Thank you again Patricia and your relatives for making this project a more complete and thorough one. Kudos for putting your money where your mouth is.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 12:49 PM

J., it is a one year lease and there are kitchens.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 12:48 PM

Ok OP. Let me break this down. (1) Oak Park defines need for SRO due to projected closing of YMCA (2) YMCA doesn't close so project changed to low income "apts". (3) I ask plan wasn't changed to housing for seniors or families since SRO need is gone and project was redesigned.(4) You say YMCA SRO is going away.(5) I say if that's true, why aren't we following inital plan of building SRO.(6) You act confused at the point blank request for evidence and continue to mislead with "upgrade" claims.

j.oakpark  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 12:47 PM

here is a link to current Y supportive housing: http://www.ymcachicago.org/programs/housing I have heard in the past the the Y would like to get out of the SRO business, from a former Y executive. It would be interesting if Jan Pate to chime in. The SRO question is a good one: will the comcast project be a month to month or 1 year lease deal? will they have kitchens? eating out three meals a day will not be cheap... particularity in oak park.

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 12:11 PM

I dont believe the comcast project is being developed as a SRO. It has baths and kitchen areas. Very different than the SRO model. They shut the LaGrange YMCA SRO's months if not a yr before closing that location. It has since been torn down. I think the current residents that work and live at the Y would be great candidates to "upgrade"

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:49 AM

cont. When I was 21 I wanted out of the dorms. (In fact, I went off campus Junior year!) Apartment buildings I have lived in haven't seemed designed around the easiest way to keep them clean. The one bedroom apartments I saw were more spacious than I expected. if the residents were allowed to paint (not sure about that), they could be made warm and inviting. Between the dorm like feeling and the required "in your face" caseworkers. This is not a typical apt bldg.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:45 AM

J. I did go on the tour. I thought that the projects were the nicest thing in the neighborhood. However the neighborhoods we toured look much different our neighborhoods in Oak park. The thing that hit me the most was the inside. When I was 21 and was making 21,000 a year, I wouldn't have wanted to live there. It felt like a dorm. Bright lighting, white/cream walls and linoleum floors, an elevator that had a poorly masked smell. It was clean, but it didn't feel like an apt building.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:28 AM

Where did you get your information OP? If this is the claim, I would like to validate it. Are you saying the YMCA plans to close the SRO? If that's what you're saying, when? And if that is true, why isn't the Comcast being developed as a SRO as it was originally planned?

OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 11:24 AM

The YMCA is moving away from the SO model. I wouldnt be surprised if they move out their residents sooner rather than later. I think the OP Y is the last one in the area with the SRO's. I think a new penny is a new penny. Why glass half empty?

J.Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 10:48 AM

I am with you, Patricia. Did you go on the tour this weekend? I have not made the tours due to other commitments. That said, given enough notice i can shine an old penny to make it look like new. I lived near similar projects, when living in the city, and i can tell you the intentions were good the execution was bad. I would like tot see the fact finding paper published, here and now. NO waiting, No requesting. Thanks for this link: https://sites.google.com/site/concernedmadisonoakpark/frequently-asked-questions

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 9th, 2011 10:28 AM

On Comcast: I'm willing to put the name calling aside to get to the important issues. It seemed the name calling derailed this thread. I'd like to talk more about the fact that this project was born of a need for single rooms space due to the YMCA going away. Now that the YMCA isn't going away, why hasn't the strategy been changed to align with the results of the analysis the village commissioned on housing? That's what I really really want to know. Who else feels that way?

urbandictionary.com  

Posted: May 4th, 2011 7:41 AM

No but OP repeatedly called you POS knowing exactly what it means.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 4th, 2011 7:19 AM

To be fair, that was the first time OP called me Pat, but there is a history of exploiting the fact that I am willing to be transparent with my name. (sorry for the typos last night readers - posting from an iPad is a pain.)

OP Guy  

Posted: May 4th, 2011 2:08 AM

Well articulated, John.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 4th, 2011 12:20 AM

OP - It is cruel and rude to intentionally use a variant of a person name that you know they don't like; especially after you have been told more than once by Patricia that she does not like the name Pat. It is easy to be cruel and rude when you hide behind a pseudonym. My advise OP is "Grow Up."

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 4th, 2011 12:05 AM

Hi Dan 1)I like the publisher/reporter style. Spread it! 2) People on both sides have used vile terms in the debate, but the finger-pointing being limited to the opposition is unfair. 3)To date the review process has been one-sided. I hope that the board will be above that. 4)The tour was great but the poverty in the neighborhoods brings tears to the eye. 5) I can't understand how OP would ask for money from the Fed for its poor when there is such desperate poverty just a couple of miles away.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 11:53 PM

I didn't say where Imlive OP, I saidbthe NIMBY argument is a lazy one.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 11:49 PM

Oh man please don't call me Pat. It's like nails on a chalkboard.

OP  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 11:42 PM

Pat, I didn't realize you lived in the area of this development. Maybe the tour could have calmed your fears. I think this will really improve your neighborhood and not hurt it. I wish you nothing but happiness in the future weather this gets built or not. Blessed day to you.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 11:37 PM

Got anything other than Nimby OP? I've been asking for weeks now. I'll give it another shot. I didn't agree with Dan Haley's piece, but at least he has facts. You have nothing but accusations and empty (sometimes rhyming which is cool) "inspiration".

OP  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 11:32 PM

john, what are you REALLY afraid of? These issues you bring up seem to be decoys and you wont directly say what your afraid of. The people wont bite and they might even help us as a community become even more diverse. Wake up to the fact that this is 2011 and we are NOT stuck in the 1950's!!

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