Ahead of the Decision Tomorrow
Steele Drops Bid for Stroger Seat, Activist Files LawsuitCook County Commissioner Bobbie Steele on Monday withdrew her name from consideration for County Board president in the November election, indicating party leaders will likely select the ailing incumbent's son, Ald. Todd Stroger.The County Board will meet Wednesday to pick an interim replacement from among its ranks. Commissioners say the selection appears to be narrowing to a choice between Steele and Forrest Claypool, Stroger's primary opponent, although other board members remain interested in the position.Also Monday, a political activist, Carl Hamilton, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking to have a judge order a new primary election, charging party officials conspired to hide Stroger's condition so they could choose his successor. Hamilton, who said he is the director of a political committee called Council on Voter Education and Voter Responsibility, filed the lawsuit without a lawyer. More from The Tribune
Stroger is Back in the Hospital
Sun Times--John Stroger, who recently resigned as Cook County Board president, is back in the hospital after suffering seizures. Stroger was re-admitted to the hospital Friday, though his family did not disclose until today that he had checked back in.
Stroger's family has been releasing few details of his medical condition since his stroke in March on the eve of the Democratic primary election, saying they wanted to respect his privacy.
Stroger's family denied a television report that he had suffered another stroke.
"He just went in for observation because of the seizures," said Bill Figel, a spokesman for Ald. Todd Stroger (8th), John Stroger's son.
Ald. Stroger, who will ask Cook County Democratic committeemen Tuesday to slate him to replace his father on the November general election ballot, said this afternoon that he has not talked much with his father about the election.
"He's been up and down," Todd Stroger said of his father. "I'm trying to let him take some of the stress off." more from suntimes.com.
49th Ward Committeeman David Fagus
.President of the County Board
All the local political news these days is really about one thing: the Cook County Board. Sure, there is the aftermath of a federal trial regarding the Daley administration and an investigation regarding the Blagojevich administration, but if you want to see passion and excitement, the only game in town is the County Board. Raw politics. Raw emotion. Raw power. Chicago style, for better or worse.
There is a great deal of posturing and positioning going on, some of it for the interim presidency of the Board, some of it for the Democratic nomination for this November's election and some for the County Board President's election in 2010.
As Committeeman, I have the responsibility to vote to fill any vacancy that occurs after the primary election. As I understand it, is a responsibility dictated by state law. All 80 Cook County Democratic Committeeman will share in this responsibility. I have received, spoken with and/or thought about several candidates. Some are in the race overtly, while others are covertly interested. I have heard and seen sentiment for several candidates, and I have not yet decided who I will support. My criteria is simple. I will be making a decision based on who has the best vision for the county government. I believe the next president must be committed to supporting the essential services of the county, and not balancing the budget on the backs of the poor, hungry, homeless and ill.
As in every election, it is a decision about leadership, goals and direction. I believe that public safety and public health are the most important missions for county government. There will be many different opinions about who is best suited to serve, but the vision I am looking for is not about politics and posturing. It is about providing the best and most efficient care to the neediest people of this county, and providing as much safety, security and justice as possible. John Stroger holds that view as a core and fundamental belief, and it shaped his vision for the county. That is why I supported him for re-election. Those same factors will govern my decision on whom to support to fill John Stroger's vacancy on the November ballot.
A few have been touting Forrest Claypool because he came in second. I like him. He was a bright and thoughtful candidate, and I expect we have not seen the last of him. The simple and unavoidable truth, however, is that the majority of Cook County voters in the March primary did not share his vision for the county. I don't subscribe to the theory that merely coming in second entitles you to a vacancy. Many Dorothy Brown supporters were disappointed when Mayor Daley didn't appoint her City Treasurer after Miriam Santos, the woman who defeated her for that office, was convicted in federal court. Rather than claim she was somehow "entitled" to be City Treasurer, Brown instead ran for Clerk of the Circuit Court, took her case to the people, and won that election overwhelmingly.
Frankly, I doubt that Claypool will seek to be a candidate for the party vacancy. On the other hand, he very well could be a candidate for the interim Presidency. I don't have a vote in that race, but given the situation the county is in, it would be good for both the county and Forrest Claypool if he takes that job, and it may position him well if he decides to fun for County Board President again in 2010.
Finally, we do not have a perfect County government, nor will we with whomever is the next Board President. Changes will come and improvements will happen slowly in any case. Most important, we should remember that government is there to serve the common good. It is a mission that requires good leadership, a strong sense of direction and, most importantly, a vision of where we are going and why we are going there. That is what we need in a President of the Cook County Board and that is who I will support.here's a recap of the Cook County Board issues and players from the Daily SouthtownCook County politics for dummies
Are you confused about what's happening on the Cook County Board? What do these congressmen and aldermen have to do with this? And why does it look like John Stroger's son is the heir apparent? more....
Aldermanic Candidate Don Gordon Opens Camapaign Headquarters
.On Sunday, the Don Gordon for 49th Ward Alderman Campaign headquarters officially opened with a two hour event featuring special guest comedian Aaron Freeman. The campaign office is located at 1600 West Morse Ave..
Is Ald.Moore on Target with 'Big Box'?
.Daley, Alderman Oppose Legislation
Though the fate of the controversial "big box" ordinance won't be decided until the next City Council meeting--at the earliest--the proposal may have claimed its first casualty this week when the construction of a Southwest Side Target store was put on hold.
Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) was irate Thursday after receiving a phone call earlier this week from the retailer. Though the fate of the controversial "big box" ordinance won't be decided until the next City Council meeting--at the earliest--the proposal may have claimed its first casualty this week when the construction of a Southwest Side Target store was put on hold. The retailer saying they were going to put off plans to open a store in her ward next year. Austin said outside a meeting of the Committee on Zoning that she thought Target would cancel its construction entirely if the ordinance passes. Such a pull-out, she said, would be a crushing blow to her community.
"It will be devastation for us because this is our best source of revenue," she said. "Our largest employer in the 34th ward is the police department; the second largest for us would be Jewel. We have no resources because we're at the city limits." Meanwhile, other aldermen--both proponents and opponents--weighed in on the ordinance, a divisive measure that calls for a minimum wage at retailers larger than 90,000 feet. So even while the bill is on the back burner, tensions remain simmering in the corridors of City Hall. Austin said she thought Target's seemingly sudden change was more than just an idle threat. And if Target pulls out of the planned shopping center, where it was slated to stand side-by-side with such large retailers as Home Depot and Circuit City, others will follow suit. "One goes with the other," she said. "If Target goes, I just feel like Home Depot will go too." Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who is also a small business owner and vocal opponent of "big box," added to Austin's criticism. He said the plan, which has been debated for many months, would ultimately lead to fewer jobs and hurt all businesses in the community--especially the small businesses it was designed to protect."You're telling employers that they need to pay $10 plus $3 in benefits," Tunney said. "If there's a Wal-Mart in the community, every business will be affected, sooner [rather] than later." Tunney owns three of the four Ann Sather restaurants on the North Side, where, he said, workers start at the minimum wage but have a chance to work up to better pay and benefits. On Thursday, Tunney said that the "big box" ordinance threatens to put him out of business because he would have to raise labor costs to keep workers from applying to larger stores. "If a Wal-Mart replaced Wrigley Field, every business in Lakeview would be paying $10 plus $3 and that shock on the system is going to reduce incentives for employers to open their doors," he said. "Ann Sather may just close," he added. "Our labor costs in the restaurant business is close to 40 percent now...We've got a property tax bill that has tripled. Now how much can you put on small business--especially if they own the real estate--before they say: 'Wait a second, I'm in the wrong business.'Instead Moore accused the measure's opponents, like Tunney, of talking tough to intimidate aldermen into voting down the proposal"I don't see how they could close," he said. "They're not affected by the ordinance." "All I can say is, Chicken Little is alive and well in the City of Chicago," he said. "Everyone's talking about the sky is going to fall...Since they have failed to beat the ordinance on its merits, they're now resorting to scare tactics."
Some Alderman AgreeAld. Leslie Hairston (5th) said she has a letter of intent from Target to build a new store at Marquette and Stony Island in her ward. But, the developer has told her the store is now “on hold” and that Target may close existing Chicago stores if the big box ordinance goes through. Hairston called it little more than a scare tactic. And even if the threat turns out to be real, she’s standing firm in support of organized labor.
“Wal-Mart and Target could pay their people a living wage. Then, we wouldn’t have this problem and people could actually live on the money they made,” Hairston said. “My position is my position. They’ll do what they have to do. I’ll do what I have to do. If they want to lose the more than $3 billion that is not being captured in my ward, that’s a bad business decision for them.”
Ald. Joe Moore (49th), chief sponsor of the big box ordinance, accused the tag team of Target and Wal-Mart of using “bullying tactics” to stop a train that has already left the station.“It’s an idle threat…They’re clearly trying to …initimidate members of the City Council. I am very hopeful that members will hold firm….The votes are still there,” Moore said. He predicted 33 votes for the ordinance, “maybe more,” even though Daley has been button-holding aldermen to try and stop it.
Note:Excerpts Courtesy of and Full Story from The Tribune and RedStreak
Here's the Ordinance
Big Box Living Wage - Substitute Ordinance and an Alert from the 49th Ward Service Office ALERT: FINANCE COMMITTEE PASSED BIG BOX LIVING WAGE ORDINANCE ON 6/21/2006 WITH MODIFICATIONS. VOTE BY FULL CITY COUNCIL EXPECTED 6/28/06 DID NOT OCCUR. MOTION WAS MADE TO DEFER AND PUBLISH. IT WILL RETURN FOR A VOTE ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 26 AT 10:00 AM. CALL 773.338.5796 FOR DETAILS.What Do You Think?.
Decision Set for July 19th
.Vote for Cook County Board president set for July 19Medill--A resolution to accept the resignation letter of the county board leader, who has not been seen by the public since he suffered a severe stroke in March, passed unanimously during the board's monthly meeting. The unanimity found throughout the Stroger tribute was quickly lost once the issue of the July 19th vote came on the table.Questions regarding the number of votes needed to elect an interim president were hotly contested. Chicago Democratic Board members Earlean Collins and Jerry Butler, the only two members to vote 'no', said they wanted a provision added stating that a minimum of nine votes must be required to name a new board leader. more...and from the TribuneSome Republicans have said that Claypool, who lost to Stroger in the March primary, could be an attractive alternative. If the 11 Democrats splinter on a choice, the five-member Republican voting bloc could play a pivotal role.Claypool said he is not campaigning for the job, but he would seek it if a consensus choice has not emerged by next Wednesday's meeting."I ran for this office. I care deeply about the issues involved in it," Claypool said. "It would be nice if there was a broad consensus. And I want to see if there is before I decide to submit my name."Daley wouldn't say whom he might support. more....and this from The Daily SouthtownCook County commissioner from the Southland says she has a cure for the county's "hiccups in the transition of power."
Elizabeth Doody Gorman (R-Orland Park) plans to introduce an ordinance today that would create a line of succession in case the office of president becomes permanently vacant.
Under the ordinance, the office would be inherited by the chairman of the finance committee, regardless of the person's political affiliation or years of service. Today, that would be John Daley, a brother of Mayor Richard Daley.
If the finance chairman declined the job, the most senior county board member would be named acting president, the ordinance states. Carl Hansen (R-Mount Prospect) holds the longest tenure.
The line of succession would prevent the "chaos and dissension" among commissioners that has ensued since President John Stroger had a stroke March 14 and disappeared from public life, Gorman said.
"We are the only government that I am aware of that does not have a line of succession," Gorman said. "I am trying to prevent any hiccups in the transition of power."Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston) said he doesn't think the board has authority to establish a line of succession. more.... .
ZALUC Agenda Revised
.Note: please scroll down for Agenda revision49TH WARD ZONING AND LAND USEADVISORY COMMITTEETuesday, July 11, 2006, 7PM AGENDA:Old BusinessSpecial Use Permit, 7644 North Sheridan Road.Further discussion on the proposal to open Island Groove Café and need to get a special use permit in order to get a tavern license at that location, which was formerly known as Biddy Mulligan’s.Here's some background:The Meeting from HowardWatchers and What Happened to the Beachview Development Project? from Rogers Park Review
Setback Variances7441 North Rogers AvenueLeilani Sulit and Ramil Seballos are presenting their proposal to build a 6 unit building on an RT4 lot currently developed with a single family home. The setback variance requests are for a 6’ front yard, instead of the required 15’ setback, 2’ west side yard, instead of the required 4.65’ setback, and the elimination of rear yard open space.A Report of the Community Meeting from Fargo ObserverNew BusinessZoning Amendment from B1-2 to B1-32001 West Howard StreetGus Rizakos and his architect, Irene Zemenides, will present the proposal to build a four-story 25 unit, mixed use building containing three storefront spaces. The lot is 13038 square feet. Today in The Dumpster Diary: Tasty Sub: Gone for Good?
Added to the Agenda ( either late Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning )Zoning Amendment from RT4 to C1-1 Lakefront Protection Ordinance Approval7138 North Sheridan Road.
Minhaz Lakhani, his contractor Dave Diamond and his attorney, Graham Grady, will present a proposal to teardown the existing accessory building containing the Subway Sandwich shop and build an automated Car Wash at the
location, which also contains a Citgo Gas Station..
ZALUC Agenda July 11
49TH WARD ZONING AND LAND USE
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Zoning Amendment from B1-2 to B1-3, 2001 West Howard Street.
Gus Rizakos and his architect, Irene Zemenides, will present the proposal to build a four-story 25 unit
mixed use building containing three storefront spaces. The lot is 13038 square feet.
Special Use Permit, 7644 North Sheridan Road.
Further discussion on the proposal to open Island Groove Café and need to get a special use permit in order
to get a tavern license at that location, which was formerly known as Biddy Mulligan’s.
Setback Variances, 7441 North Rogers Avenue.
Leilani Sulit and Ramil Seballos are presenting their proposal to build a 6 unit building on an RT4 lot
currently developed with a single family home. The setback variance requests are for a 6’ front yard,
instead of the required 15’ setback, 2’ west side yard, instead of the required 4.65’ setback, and the
elimination of rear yard open space.
RSVP TO MIKE LAND AT (773) 338 5796or http://www.ward49.com/
Rev. Jackson, Davis back Steele's bid for interim Cook pres.
(AP) — The saga over who should run the Cook County Board continued Thursday with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congressman Danny Davis and other politicians saying they support Commissioner Bobbie Steele's bid to take over as interim president.
Steele wouldn't say whether she hopes to replace retiring board president John Stroger on the November ballot, but Davis said he still is interested in the spot that Stroger wants to see go to his son, Chicago Alderman Todd Stroger.
It's the sort of political jockeying that has gone on since John Stroger suffered a stroke one week before winning the March primary. The powerful 77-year-old Democrat has not been seen or heard from publicly since then except through letters last week when he dropped his re-election bid and announced he would retire July 31 from the county board. more...
Sunday July 9th
.Coffee Talk with
State Representative Harry OstermanSUNDAY, July 9th
9am to noon
Cafe Ennui (6981 N. Sheridan Road).
Don Gordon to Open Campaign Office
49TH WARD ALDERMANIC CANDIDATE
ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS OPENING Chicago French chefs, comedian Aaron Freemen, and Rogers Park voters will join 49th Ward Aldermanic Candidate Don Gordon next week to celebrate the opening of his campaign headquarters on Morse Avenue.Friday, July 14 at 7pmA private Bastille Day Party and Gordon Headquarters Pre-Grand Opening event catered by French chef Didier Durand of Cyrano’s Bistrotand Chicago Chefs for Choice (http://www.cyranosbistrot.com/) will be held at Don Gordon's headquarters at 1600 W. Morse Ave., Chicago, IL. Tickets are $150 and available by calling 773.262.9473.Sunday, July 16 at 1pmOfficial Gordon Headquarters Grand Openingalso at1600 W. Morse Ave.features special guest comedian Aaron Freeman (www.aaronfreeman.com), The event is open to the public with food and refreshments.“Let The Sun Shine on Rogers Park” is the theme of Gordon’s campaign to deliver new leadership to boost community improvement in the 49TH ward and tackle longstanding challenges confronting residents in the far north side community.“Preventing crime, protecting our lakefront, and developing balanced housing are among the priorities that I will address as alderman. Our government shouldwork for us, and stay out of our bedrooms as well as our kitchens,” Gordon said, questioning the lack of attention to local problems by the ward’s current alderman who led a ban on the Chicago sale of the French delicacy Foie Gras.Don Gordon works as a professional project manager, volunteers as Executive Director of the Rogers Park Conservancy, and last year won the Friends of the Parks’ Community Advocacy Award. Gordon and his wife Bonnie have lived in Rogers Park for 30 years where they are raising their daughters.FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:Michael Harrington at 773.465.6666 or Email :mharrington@DonGordon.org Note: Press Release Sent to Rogers Park Review July 3, 2006 .