...And That's My Opinion©

By Sandy Goldman

The Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon


To Begin:


Hey now, I think it is reprehensible that so many of the USA Olympic medal winners do not seem to know the words to the American National Anthem. Watch them. Even if their mouths move, they don’t form any words.


Second Thought:


 How come neither Condo Queen Connie Abels, nor Joe Moore presented any copies of the Lake Front Protection Ordinance or the much touted, but little seen’ Sheridan Road Plan at the 7015 Sheridan meeting? What where they hiding?  Inquiring minds want to know.  Maybe an UNHOLY ALLIANCE!  Abels/Reza Toulabi  (owner of the property south of Connie’s home and of Reza’s restaurants) for future development and J. Moore for contributions (present and future). Just asking?


Number Three:


In the spirit of recently past Valentine’s Day I sent a mended whole heart to Craig Gernhardt and the Broken Heart of Morse. Not to be confused with the pink puffy plush heart in the window of Joe Moore’s campaign office at Greenleaf and Ravenswood.


Issue 3A


How many of the candidates actually authorized or contributed to the storefront? Why David Orr?  Do we need to ask…Mayor Orr? 


In 4th Place:  


The reason Joe Moore wins year after year is not that he has more expertise nor community understanding but that he has more money. It was revealed to me several campaigns ago by many well known political advisors that it takes a minimum of $200,000.00 to run a campaign. Do we wonder why Joe is cozy with developers?


Issue Five:


It amuses me that so many R.P activists think they have input into the multi-story building northeast of the intersection of Howard and Chicago (Clark Street in Chicago).  It’s in Evanston !! How much input did Evanston have in the forlorn Gateway development? As a matter of fact how much input did the community of Rogers Park REALLY have in those plans. What Ho! DevCorp and J. Moore. Questions…Questions. Questions!


Number Six: 


What an interesting political combination: Michael Harrington and Don Gordon. But see issue 4. Quanto Dinero? How much Money? Vie viel gelt? Good luck guys. I’ve been there before, starting in 1979: fruitful ideas but fruitless, futile monetary backing. The Orr (less than overwhelming in 1979) victory and the Preston defeat to Carol Rounen begat Schakowsky (with dubious financial backing) which birthed Moore/Fagus and here we are…. money, money, money…spelled d-e-v-e-l-o-p-e-r-s and c-o-n-t-r-i-b-u-t-i-o-n-s.  After all, this is Rogers Park and all is for sale. Now everyone go find your CD and sing with me,  ”Money Makes The World Go Round”, or maybe Money Makes The Ward Stand Still.


Lucky Seven:


If you were J. Jones, the gambling wife of hockey star Wayne Gretsky how much would you bet on the Abels/Toulabi// J.J. Banks combine winning their zoning change request at Alderman Banks’ Zoning Committee?


Double four (eight the hard way):


To all the newbies in R.P who are calling for an “a plan”, let me tell you in my 48 years in R.P there have been dozens of plans. Some of them were for specific areas—usually the Howard area, including one by the prominent Arthur Rubloff & Co..   Most of them were political palaver; two were worthwhile. Erudite, professional planners, i.e. architects, builders, philosophers, traffic experts, economists, sociologists and psychologists, lakefront experts, CTA executive traffic planner, and construction company owners, developed them. The problem was that while these plans were well founded they were poorly funded and finally failed away


The most recent was a plan called “Rogers Park in the Year 2000” in 1996 (not to be confused with the newsletter of the same name which did adopt it as the masthead). This study was conducted by Mike Realmuto (now of the firm of Realmuto, Steffen Schwein, 833 W. Chicago Ave.) and the Planning and Development Committee of the Rogers Park Community Council (RPCC) altho as time has revealed, not supported by them or any other community organization. Perhaps the full report may be available somewhere.  If some one has a printing facility, I have both an original and an unbound copy of the plan.  Call me.




What was the other? Well it was also a product of the P&D committee of the RPCC. They divided the community into eight sections and studied each one, held hearings in each section of Rogers Park, revised the plan accordingly and then presented a complete report/plan for all of Rogers Park. This was in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s. Many (10) of the RPCC’s recommendations for our lakefront became the basis of the 14 “basic policies, which shall govern present and future development programs for Chicago’s lakefront….” (The Lakefront Protection Ordinance). While I was not on the P&D committee, I was on the Board of Directors who adopted this plan. It was awesome!! But it was, once again, a futile exercise because of the absence/lack of community or organizational commitment. 


Number 10:


Much as I would wish it were different, to the best of my knowledge there are no city, state or federal laws, amendments, ordinances nor any other statutes governing the creation or procedures of an Alderman’s Zoning and Advisory Committee. The committee is selected at the favor/pleasure of the Alderman and it operates at his/her desire. Also, much as I hate to acknowledge it, Joe Moore is one of the few in the City Council who have such a committee even though he does not always follow their opinions. Calling for restructure of the committee or for reformulation of its procedures can only fall on deaf ears.


Alderman Mary Ann Smith (48th) on the other hand has chosen to be bound by the vote of her 48th Ward Zoning and Planning Committee. Isn’t that interesting!! The problem there in the 48th Ward (or any other ward who might have chosen to be bound by the Zoning Committee) is who is making the decision, the Alderman or the committee? Who did the people vote for and who will ultimately be responsible at election time?  It’s an opportunity for an Aldermanic copout on an unpopular decision as in “ The devil made me do it”.


Now when I come down from the mountain….


...And that's my opinion.

And I'm Sandy Goldman

Send me your e-mail address or those of others who would be interested and I'll add them to my rapidly growing database of readers.

To Read Other Opinions - Click Here

E-mail Sandy:  smgoldman@ameritech.net