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Today’s quotable

Monday, Mar 27, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Daily Herald editorial

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes bristled a bit on Monday when a speaker during the village board’s commenting period suggested he and other officials would benefit personally if the Bears end up anchoring a $5 billion redevelopment at the former Arlington Park property.

Hayes called the comments “offensive,” and he’s right. And the exchange highlights an unfortunate tendency in all our politics — a rush to find some sinister personal motive behind every action elected leaders take that contradicts one’s own point of view.

It’s a notion worth reflection as we head into the final stretch of the campaign for local municipal and school offices in the suburbs.

To be sure, history, local and otherwise, teaches us to recognize the temptations that abound in overseeing vast sums of taxpayer and development dollars, and to watch carefully to ensure that officials, whether the cause is fundamental greed or the lure of the moment, don’t succumb.

But there is an important difference between cautious oversight and assumed corruption. When we step over the line from the former to the latter, we degrade our public discussions and weaken our public institutions.

It’s a pretty good editorial, so go read the rest.

       

13 Comments
  1. - rtov - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:06 am:

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. - phocion - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:09 am:

    Good stuff. Assuming improper motives rather than a difference of opinion is an affliction that is unfortunately endemic to political discourse, no matter which party or faction.


  3. - Watchful eye. - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:16 am:

    Or covering for blatant corruption like the kind that’s on trial right now.


  4. - Jocko - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:19 am:

    ==difference between cautious oversight and assumed corruption==

    Red light cameras would like a word.


  5. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:24 am:

    Mayor Hayes and the Village board members were quite clear when they unanimously voted down the proposal banning taxpayer subsidies for the Arlington Park redevelopment they would not make a deal that was bad for Arlington Heights taxpayers.

    They promised residents would have a chance to weigh in, yet some assume it’s a bad deal before they even see the details


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:34 am:

    You can state that attacks on integrity of officials in this very singular instance and overall is unhelpful in governance…

    … and realize too that the horrific Gillespie Bears Bailout Bill that school boards are looking for lobbyist in hopes to oppose(?)

    The Bears can build this facility without a single dime.

    - Lucky Pierre - made it perfectly clear it’s about revenues.

    Revenues means profits in this case. The finding for the facility, as - LP - stated, has been done for THREE others… privately.

    I perfectly and clearly laid out what I felt needed to happen for me to be even a “maybe”… and a 40 year (4-0 year) windfall for the Bears on surrounding areas along with other “goodies” only designed to enhance profits and leaving Chicago and the Chicago Park District on the hook for bonding, leaving the lease early as the appetizer…

    Not one nickel.

    Let “AH” find a way outside the “GA” to help the Billionaire Bears reap more revenues without any state support of the endeavor… No corruption necessary to insert on such a horrific deal.

    Ask the Ricketts… the Wirtzes and Reinsdorfs …

    Why should the Billionare Bears, when they can easily afford it… be different than the others?

    They shouldn’t.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:36 am:

    === it’s a bad deal before they even see the details===

    Narrator: Gillespie filed the bill,

    Or…

    Why should this GA pass your Bears Bailout Bill if it’s an 11th hour “dropped on the desk, no one read it” fiasco… hurting taxpayers for a sweetheart deal for “chosen billionaires”

    Amirite, - LP -, did I quote you right… I guess I can look and get it spot on if you prefer.


  8. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:36 am:

    =Or covering for blatant corruption like the kind that’s on trial right now.=

    I don’t want to spoil this for you, but the folks on trial right now are not public officials. They are former corporate execs and lobbyists.

    =Assuming improper motives rather than a difference of opinion is an affliction that is unfortunately endemic to political discourse,=

    Everytime I have been involved with a School Board referendum, there is always a group that thinks the Board has some kind of scam going and is going to financially benefit. It is a tired old story.


  9. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 11:02 am:

    “… and to watch carefully to ensure that officials, whether the cause is fundamental greed or the lure of the moment, don’t succumb.”

    While the commenting citizen went “a bridge too far” in choice of language (would have been OK with saying “politically benefit”), Illinois is replete with examples of the citizenry being sold out. From red light cameras to Big Bill Thompson’s 2 safety deposit boxes, in March 1944, 13 years after he left office, with $1.84M ($31.8M 2023).

    The BLS inflation calculators only go back to 1913. If someone can work on Gov. Matteson’s shenanigans, that would be interesting for comparison purposes.


  10. - Annonin' - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 11:06 am:

    Sadly the DH firewall blocks reading of the full editorial, but it is unlikely to shed any light on the mayoral claim of wanting to keep horse racing alive in what was the best tracks in the US. The slate is blank. Same goes for JB, Sen. Durbin, etc. etc. One only needs to take on a brief spin off Rte.53 at Euclid or NW Highway to see plenty of existing empty office and commercial space. The Bear’s gambit only grows that surplus. some new tax break scheme should be slow walked.


  11. - Flyin'Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 11:20 am:

    What JS Mill said about school boards.

    Anytime a board is attempting to implement anything some collection of mooks are convinced the board members are personally going to benefit.

    It happens, sure, but not nearly as often as the conspiracy lovers would like to think.


  12. - Jibba - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 12:23 pm:

    It is perfectly valid to ask officials if they will benefit personally, but it should be asked and answered respectfully.


  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 4:43 pm:

    ==It is perfectly valid to ask officials if they will benefit personally==

    If you have some sort of basis to believe such a thing, then I guess. But I don’t think it’s valid to do it just because.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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