January 1, 2011


New Beginnings
by Gertrude B. McClain

It's only the beginning now
...a pathway yet unknown
At times the sound of other steps
...sometimes we walk alone

The best beginnings of our lives
May sometimes end in sorrow
But even on our darkest days
The sun will shine tomorrow.

So we must do our very best
Whatever life may bring
And look beyond the winter chill
To smell the breath of spring.

Into each life will always come
A time to start anew
A new beginning for each heart
As fresh as morning dew.

Although the cares of life are great
And hands are bowed so low
The storms of life will leave behind
The wonder of a rainbow.

The years will never take away
Our chance to start anew
It's only the beginning now
So dreams can still come true.

Happy New Year from the Crew.

December 23, 2010

Have A Very Merry Christmas!

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
-Roy L. Smith

To our faithful PRU readers and other drop-ins, we wish you all a joyful holiday!

PS To our kind and gracious Santa at last Monday night's meeting -- thank you very much for the generous gesture. We hope you and yours have a great Christmas.

December 22, 2010

City Council 12-20-2010 Video!

And a jolly good time was had by all, if you're a fan of clusterf#%&$!

The PRU Crew would like to point out that we strongly believe, on the issue of voting to appeal from the decision of the chair regarding his ruling on the motion to reconsider being out of order, the Council is in violation of the law.

In support of our belief, we offer --

Appeals that cannot be entertained

Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised states that "when the chair rules on a question about which there cannot possibly be two reasonable opinions, an appeal would be dilatory and is not allowed." Demeter's Manual recommends using the mnemonic devices F, T, R, L and J, O, D to remember that no appeals can be taken from the Chair's rulings which arise out of known Facts, evident Truths, established Rules or operative Laws, but can be taken only from rulings which are based on his personal Judgment, Opinion or Discretion.
The City's Zoning law, an established operative law, providing fact, truth and rule is unequivocally clear -

H. Limitations on denials

"No application for a variance which has been denied by the City Council or Zoning Board of Appeals shall be reconsidered for a period of one (1) year from that date of denial."

And we note the City Attorney's opinion on the matter. We also note the City Council's lack of understanding the necessary fine point of the language denying an application versus preventing applicants from coming before the public body more than once in a given year. It is reasonable to deny repetition of specific applications while allowing applicants to submit as many different applications before the public body as he or she can possibly muster.

So gentlemen of the City Council, if you are going to cite and follow the rules provided for by Robert's Rules of Order and the City's laws, then it appears you've once again screwed the legal pooch.

December 20, 2010

Hey Baby, What's Your Sign?

For our faithful PRU readers, who've had the dubious privilege of attending a meeting in the City Council chamber at City Hall, you may have noticed there are signs on either side of the Council horseshoe -- No Citizens Beyond This Point.

The PRU Crew feels very strongly, we need new signs. See above.

The practical effect of the new signs may be reducing the number of Alderdunces allowed to sit at the Council horseshoe, but the voters of Park Ridge have already shown their approval for reducing their representation. What could possibly go wrong?

For those interested in watching the smaller, more efficient Council in action -- there's another City Council meeting tonight, set to begin at 7:30 pm. If you're interested, you can review the revised agenda (.pdf) and then send Ald. Allspaghetti and possibly Ald. assWsol a thank you note -- so much for Allspaghetti's continual harping on talking issues to death! The Council is reportedly set to entertain a motion to reconsider the Hoffman Homes project (.pdf) proposed for Touhy Avenue. Because as we are all learning, "no" does not mean "no."

The meeting will also include another veto (.pdf) from Mayor Schmidtzkrieg -- this time, of the Police Chiefski's salary. Approval of the proposed City Manager's contract (.pdf), is also up for discussion and a vote, and we look forward to more unsubstantiated claims by those expected to whine their way through discussion of suspending the City's Facade Improvement Program (.pdf).

B.O.H.I.C.A. humbug.

December 17, 2010

COW 12-13-10 Video!

The City managed to get last Monday's COW meeting video posted by this morning -- damn thing's been up all day but has only gotten 20 views. Come on, people! Take the weekend to relax and give your local government some of your time and attention!

There's more fun yet to come at the next City Council meeting on Monday night!

December 16, 2010

Bah Humbug Grab Bag!

The PRU Crew is in a bad mood. Sorry. Not really.

For our faithful PRU readers who look forward to viewing the City Council meeting videos, it appears you may have to wait longer than usual. The City did manage, after 48 hours, to post a 3 minute video of the Special City Council meeting -- aren't they all? -- from Monday night, but hasn't managed to post the video of the regular City Council meeting as of 10:00 AM this morning. We may have thought somebody would get a clue and realize that 3 video views in 24 hours means people aren't very interested in what's been made available, and are instead waiting for something more substantive than the Council rubber stamping approval of the tax levy. Apparently not.

The PRU Crew is wondering if any of the people posing as our representatives in local government have bothered to inquire about the delay.

For our faithful PRU readers who thought there was any hope of city officials getting the message through your majority votes on referendums, guess again. As covered in an online article by one of the local rags, we learn "no" does not mean "no." Just ask the O'Hare Airport Commission people -- they'll explain it!

And remember,
way back when, we explained why Police Dept. brass was willing to keep on keepin' on with "the golden fleece boy, who answered the siren's call - hi there, Hoopty Lou, how's it going in traffic? - [who] can be kept safe for future use as a PRPD pitchman; there are not too many coppers with the ability to speak and write impressive sounding bullshit as well as Hoopty Lou can."

A new proposal for renovation and expansion of the Park Ridge Police Dept. was offered for review at the City Council's budget workshop on Tuesday night. And the PRU Crew now understands very well why no supporting documents were included on the City website for review prior to the meeting.

The PRU Crew is again wondering if any of the people posing as our representatives in local government have bothered to inquire about the lack of supporting documents being made available for public review -- and the limited demands of the law should not be an acceptable excuse.

Covered in another online article in one of the local rags is the anatomy of a travesty. While the PRU Crew more than understands the legal questions, as well as the risk of precedence, we cannot get past how thoroughly and completely the City process screwed the Vine Ave. residents.

We don't know what the answer is, but we know we haven't heard it yet. And we strongly encourage the City Council and staff to find a way to make those residents whole. What has happened to them, throughout this saga, is unacceptable and should never be allowed to happen again.

Finally, the Park Ridge Recreation and Park District Board will be meeting tonight (agenda .pdf). They are scheduled to go into closed session, which is expected to last a very very very long time. We hope the discussion includes talking really really really bad about these people!!!

In all seriousness, we wish calm heads and reasoned consideration for the Park Board as they contend with the task ahead -- it's certainly a loss, but not the end of the PRRPD world as we know it.

Good luck.

December 13, 2010

Have Some! And a Welcome Note!

Have Some Cow pie!

For our faithful PRU readers who may want to take a break from the holiday madness, may we suggest some madness of a different sort? How about a COW meeting!

If you're up for some assorted madness, you can attend tonight's
City Council COW meeting -- the agenda (.pdf) offers topics for discussion and action on subjects for every City Council committee!

The PRU Crew is very interested in hearing the discussions on a number of issues. We feel the pending agreement with Lutheran General Hospital, on the issue of the parking garage tax, should be of extreme interest to the people of Park Ridge. And we look forward to learning precisely what community health care services the City has been providing, in addition to ambulance and paramedic services, since the community groups listed on exhibit A (last page) of
the supporting documents (.pdf) are not City-provided community health services. But the PRU Crew is mighty intrigued by the idea of being able to contract for the rescinding of tax ordinances and then earmarking payments to government for preferred program support!

We're also wondering about Lutheran General Hospital's ability to use the proposed agreement to help satisfy legal requirements for providing charity care.

The PRU Crew expects the Mayor and City Council will support the addition of "advice and consent of the City Council" when reviewing department head hiring, and express approval of the City Council, by vote, of severance payments. And we feel this is a cluster f%$# waiting to happen. If history provides any instruction and-or insight, it is likely this Mayor and City Council would have approved the extra severance payment made to the former Director of Economic Development, while voting against any extra severance payment to the former Director of Community Development. And their doing so would have been highly subjective and rife with personal sentiments. But hey, discrimination lawsuits are always interesting!

Finally, we expect the residents on Vine Ave.,
seeking reimbursement for engineering costs (.pdf), may want to be prepared to bend over and grab their ankles. But some of the residents on Bonita Drive may have better luck with the City Council, right after explaining what they are really after is enforcement of the current truck parking ordinance -- versus the inexplicably stupid cover memo (.pdf) which states, "There seems to be two groups of thought – one believes the restrictions on truck parking should be stronger and the other group believes they aren’t strong enough." Just more of the same nonsense of the continuing saga of Meatgate and one family's adventures in local government!

Welcome Note!

Today was the first day candidates for local office could submit their petitions for inclusion on the ballot for the upcoming spring elections.

We're told, as of noon today, current Aldermen Joseph Sweeney (1st ward) and Rich DiPietro (2nd ward) have submitted their petitions to the City Clerk for inclusion on the ballot.

We're also told relative newcomers to the fun that is local City of Park Ridge government, Franklin Ramirez (7th ward), Sal Raspanti (4th ward), and Dan Knight (5th ward), have also submitted their petitions to the City Clerk for inclusion on the ballot in the same aforementioned elections.

Welcome! The PRU Crew is very much looking forward to your campaigns!