Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thompson-Kelly goes from worst to best week ever

Indeed, it's a sad day when the likes of Ann Thompson can outshoot the old clout-master Lenny Jacobson in a showdown. Truly, Lenny is losing his Kung Fu grip if he lost this one.

The Southgate/Church School votes appeared to be tipped in Jacobson's favor after an unflattering story about Thompson's cash advance from a park district credit card at a casino surfaced last week. Lucky for her, few read the weekly that chronicled the would-be scandal, but I'm sure she had to tolerate a little friendly ribbing from her counterparts that read the rag solely out of vanity. Thompson apparently declined to comment for the article unless the Times would snitch on their source. They wouldn't, but the timing almost suggests who may have been behind the tip.

No one is more surprised than me that Jacobson has deviated from his usual pro-union position to oppose the Village of Southgate development, even though it means "hundreds" of short-term union jobs. As I mentioned months ago, his support may have been assured if Landwhite had offered to include a bar in its plans for the apartments to secure Lenny's beverage-association consent. Ah well, they didn't need him anyway; not when they had the rest of the city's wards breathing a sigh of relief that the low-income, soon-to-be slum wouldn't be in their backyards.

For once, though, Lenny actually had some legitimate arguments. The site, nestled on the edge of town right next to the bypass and 11th Street, is best suited for truck stops and tractor pulls. It's not a quiet place you or I would want to live the good life. And despite the claim rents will range from about $600-$900, let's face it, it's just gonna wind up being a place to raise welfare babies, and we've already got no shortage of 'hoods like that. It's just gonna make those existing places even worse.

The major selling point: The city won't have to directly subsidize either development. That's right, Landwhite will put up $800,000 of its own money, while the remaining $24,000,000 will be spread out among the entire nation's taxpayers, not just Rockford's; federal money well spent to buy more blight so that Larry can justify more TIF districts. Maybe he'll decide the existing TIF will become so blighted that he'll have to declare another one on top of it. Two pots on the same burner to steal from! Fucking brilliant. I've gotta take tea with this guy.

As for the Church School shithole, there's not a single old person who deserves to spend the rest of their days in that neighborhood, even if it has the occasional police presence of an overworked cop taking a breather to fill out a report there. The building should just be razed.

Thompson just got the only bone the administration is gonna throw her for a long time, and she should have picked a better battle. Well played, Mr. Mayor. While she was at it, she is also likely to have pissed off Scott Christiansen's right-hand-token-black-man, Earl Dotson, Jr., whose dad lost Church School to the city after she turned her back on him so that a few white men could make a buck instead. Tsk, tsk, Annie.

Now her favors are used up, so she will have no leverage if the city decides to take MFT bucks from her ward. If that happens, you can thank Aunt Thom-pson for fucking up (downscaling) the long-awaited West State Street upgrades. Or, since the city has a habit of moving the public's money wherever it wants, perhaps the Morgan Street Bridge will suffer instead. That is, until a full school bus, or fire truck with only three fire fighters, fails to traverse it without falling through.

1 comment:

  1. Imagine what $24,000,000 in Federal Money could have done if it was teamed with Habitat for Humanity and RUM?

    At $100,000 per home new build, that is 240 new homes. In this market with a flood of repo’d homes, why refurbing would even be a better use of this Federal land grant…

    Why, just think of it… 154 new units under the current plan for rental appartments for $24,800,000 – OR 200 to 400 new home owners contributing property tax revenue. 200 – 400 new homeowners contributing to the communities “communitas.”

    Truly too bad that our elected representatives cannot think “out of the box.”