What if they held an election and nobody came?

Voter turnout for local elections, typically held in off-cycle years, has historically lagged behind state and federal races that take place in November, but recent results suggest it’s slowly becoming even worse.

If local turnout doesn’t improve, the implications could extend much further than the ballot box. Low-turnout elections typically aren’t representative of the electorate as a whole. Along with these facts, local politics mostly functions in an “equilibrium state” that isn’t conducive to generating voter interest.

Morton Grove was one of only two suburban municipalities to have a primary election this year. In that election, only 1,574 ballots were cast out of 14,660 registered voters in the
election.  The primary boiled down to a close race that separated the winners by only a couple of hundred of votes, at the most.

Action Party political boss Billy Grear said he was impressed with voter turnout, which totaled nearly 11%. hogwash

Long ago, political machines routinely mobilized a healthy cadre of voters with often predictable results. It appears that with voter disinterest and disengagement the Morton Grove political machine was able to accomplish it’s initial goal with less than 1,100 votes out of a possible 14,660, (which means that only 7.5% of those registered to vote decided at least three of the four April election results).

The residents of Morton Grove spoke, and we’re excited about the high level of involvement on behalf of the voters tonight,” Grear said. “We believe the best candidates were slated to win because we believe they operate in the best interests of the village.

Less than 8 out of 100 residents spoke in this election. High level of involvement Billy? What are you smoking?

 

Part of the problem is that most people in Morton Grove do not know the issues that plague the village and who would be best to correct them.

There are some basic questions you need to ask yourself:

scamming seniors

Are Morton Grove seniors receiving better services now than they were two years ago?
The current administration dismantled a program that worked and replaced it with… nothing. Thill, Minx & Witko say they share the mayor’s vision, so I guess the answer to this question is…NO!

All Inn  biggies 2

Does Morton Grove have a better quality of life today than it did two years ago? The current administration has increased both liquor licenses and video poker licenses creating a sleazy atmosphere. Thill, Minx & Witko say they share the mayor’s vision, so I guess the answer to THIS question is…NO!

 

money down the toilet

Do the residents of Morton Grove have more disposable income because of lower water bills and lower taxes than they did two years ago? The current administration has not communicated any plans to replace Chicago water with a more reasonable provider and they have raised the tax levy while the bond rating has gone down. Thill, Minx & Witko say they share the mayor’s vision and MINX WAS PART OF AN ADMINISTRATION THAT RAISED YOUR TAXES 28%! So, I guess the answer to THIS question is also, NO!

Empty Prairie View 1
Do the residents of Morton Grove have a local super market where they can shop for groceries like they did two years ago? The current administration has trumpeted great plans for the Prairie View shopping center, but it’s been all show and no go. Thill, Minx & Witko say they share the mayor’s vision, and we all know the answer to THIS question is…NO!

What system of government do we have here in Morton Grove?

By law, We have a weak Mayor strong village board system here in the village. In a weak-mayor-strong-village board system, the board is both a legislative and an executive body. Board members appoint administrative officials; they make policy; they serve as ex officio members of boards; and they prepare the budget.

The KING

If you watch the village board meetings you will understand just how strong this Mayor is. While the Mayor is supposed to be held responsible for his administering of the city this Mayor is never held responsible for anything. His total disdain for the village board is very evident in his treatment of them.

great leadership
As a result of Tuesday’s primary election, the mayor will control the  trustees who owe their  positions to him. He will be the political boss with the trustees little more than puppets dancing to his tune.

The folks in Morton Grove have one more chance to have someone beholden to them and not a political machine in Village government.

There is another contest in Morton Grove in that will give Morton Grove voters one more chance to have an independent voice on the village board. Library Board member Mark Albers is running as an independent for Village Trustee.

IMG_0717

He is not part of the current political machine and will represent only you, the people of Morton Grove… NOT  the political machine and its’ servants. He deserves your consideration. Check out his positions at his web site http://ma4mg.com

Don’t cross the boss!

DD puppet master

A  political flyer recently came into my mailbox. It was from the candidates running for the incumbent party in the primary election next week. It was an interesting, (to say the least), piece of writing where the  “endorsed” folks from the Action Party were making their pitch to the voters of Morton Grove.

In the “cover letter” they make the statement; “We are proud to have received the endorsement of the Action Party and Mayor DiMaria…” 2-17-15 quote

They later go on to say that they…”share the Mayors’ vision to move Morton Grove forward.” It tends to make you wonder if they’ve been living under a rock for the past two years!

In the accompanying flyer, they tell us that their vision includes: ” Maintain excellent services…” Do they mean like the excellent services that were provided at the senior center before this administration dismantled them? They claim to want to “improve streets”. Is that why this administration has squandered our hard-earned tax dollars on consultants while not budgeting for infrastructure improvements like street paving? They’re for “addressing flooding issues”… Can anyone tell me what this administration has done about flooding in the past two years?, (I think I hear crickets.) A promise to “keep property taxes low” is on their flyer. Really??? Then perhaps the incumbents can explain the increase in the levy in the last budget and maybe we can get an explanation from candidate Minx regarding the 28% increase she voted for while in office before. They claim to want to “reduce water rates”… If that was anything besides political hogwash, why hasn’t there been any movement toward reaching an agreement with Evanston to provide our water. At the current rate of increases that Chicago has promised our water bill will double within a few years. Finally, they want to “attract new stores & businesses”… Now there is the biggest whopper of them all! New businesses?

Do they mean like video poker palaces? All Inn  or maybe title loan (sharks)? Title Max  or maybe their still waiting to tell us about some big deal that has been worked out to bring a major retailer to Prairie View Shopping Center. After all, the mayor had this big meeting with the Canadian owners a few weeks ago… why haven’t we heard anything about that? MG Dominicks

One thing they have brought to our town are plenty of political signs… signs on foreclosed houses that sport red “violation” tags or notices of water shut off. Action sign-foreclosure house … signs plastered all over construction sites Action sign - construction I guess when you are the political boss in town, you can just get all those addresses to where to put the signs from the Village computer data base… might be an ethics violation, but who is gonna stop them? The village reminds me of a song from the 1970’s; “Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Blocking out the scenery and blowing my mind…

the_godfather_gold_puppet_strings What seems to matter, at least to the crew currently in charge, is keeping the political bosses happy. Follow the party line… let the “mayor” take credit for everything, don’t ask questions and, like they used to say in Mayor Daley’s Chicago; “Go along to get along”.

There was one truth in their mailing. It was in the last line of the letter; “Your vote will make a difference.”

On Tuesday, Feb 24th, ask yourself this one question; “Is Morton Grove a better place to live now than it was two years ago?” Your answer should determine your vote…VOTE WISELY!

Promise a gold mine then give them the shaft!

In early 2013, then candidate DiMaria sent out the following letter:

DiMaria mayoral letterDiMaria Mayor letter <—click this link to see a clearer copy

How quickly politicians forget the promises they make when they want your vote.

“ to set clear goals, and establish a plan to achieve those goals’  is what DiMaria promised!    Now he is issuing a 10 million dollar bond with no plan… after spending $50,000 for a master plan and another $50,000 to implement the master plan.

Does aboris-natashanyone know what the plan is? Sounds like the old Boris & Natasha  characters from Rocky & Bullwinkle;

“You got plan Boris? I always got plan Natasha! They never work, but I got plan!”

Outsourcing of senior programs  DiMaria voted for them and they cost the village nothing he  now successfully chased away, now we have total chaos and major expense to the tax payers.

 “I would have held town hall meetings so residents could get all of the available information, have their question answered , and expressed their views before any action was taken”

Did weMG Dominicks miss the town hall meeting talking about the 10 million dollar bond and what it will be used for?
Did we miss the meeting informing us about what is happening with the Dempster & Waukegan shopping center, (like where is the major food store that he touted)?  Did we miss the meeting on what is being done about the skyrocketing water bills? (Wasn’t there supposed to be some arrangement with Evanston? How is that going?

town-hall-meeting

There was one town hall meeting about guns and we were all told the village had no position on the issue… only to have a new ordinance released at 8:30 am the very next morning . I guess the whole Village Board and staff worked all night on it… or maybe it was an accomplished fact from the start and the meeting was just so much window dressing.

 “ I will support bringing new business to Morton Grove unless a proposed business would hurt property values or negatively impact our neighborhoods”

This the best promise of them all. DiMaria wanted to bring Tilted Kilt right in front of a new housing development, without even talking to them first!

All Inn   Title Max

How about all of the Video Poker Parlors around town? I am sure that won’t hurt the image of our town…. or the Auto Title Loan shark business on Dempster street  where the suckers can go to get the money to stuff into the video poker machines.

Good old Chicago-style boss politics are alive and well under Mr. DiMaria. Cleaning house of everyone who doesn’t kow-tow to you is certainly, how did you say it? A way to “to find common ground”.

And then, there is your statement of “Sharing the credit”.   Your name and only your name is on everything.

The village of Morton Grove has never had a bigger self promoter in its history.  You are a true P.T. Barnum  of a politician…  all show and no go,…all hat and no cattle… all promise and no performance

Yes Mr. DiMaria, you say “I have a very different Style“. Unfortunately, style may be all you have. There surely has been no substance what-so-ever!

In this upcoming election you will not find Mr. DiMarias’ name on the ballot, but make no mistake, this election is a referendum on the type of leadership, (or lack thereof), that we have had for the past two years. It is a question of whether or not we want Morton Grove to revert to it’s history as a wide open, anything goes home of gambling and debauchery as it was in its’ heyday during Prohibition or do we want to return to the reputation of one of the best places in the United States to raise a family?

That is the choice you will make in the upcoming election…choose wisely.

The senior center is a mess!

scamming seniors

After months of hearing from Village President DiMaria, and Trustees Grear and Witko that the Village would offer “improved, expanded, and exciting” programs, it offers nothing but confusion, chaos, and cancelled classes.

sad-unhappy face

After chasing away a top quality organization, the best the Village has been able to do to “expand and improve” programs, as D. DiMaria promised, is to copy exactly North Shore Senior Center’s schedule. The Village even took the names of NSSC’s programs, like Better Balance. Nothing was “expanded and enhanced,” just copied and messed up.

The Village President said in his October 27 letter to seniors that he had “engaged new partnerships with the Park District, Library, and other organizations” to provide senior programs. The Park District hired a new staff member last fall to run the senior programs at the Civic Center, but that apparently didn’t happen.

angry-senior lady

 

 

As for “other organizations,” Mather LifeWays just moved in to the offices at the Civic Center. They do only one luncheon a month for seniors at the Civic Center in return for that free office space.

What qualified personnel is actually running the programs at the Civic Center? The Fire Chief, as well as a finance department staff, are running the senior programs.

firehouse play center

How is the Fire Chief qualified to run senior programs, and, more importantly, who is running the fire department???

Remember, we pay for this staff through our property taxes.

Angry Old People

We deserve better, the sad thing is – we had better. This is not ”Moving Morton Grove Forward.” It’s backward!

Pie in the sky, (Pizza or otherwise)

4 and 20 blackbridsSing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.

 

 

 

 

 

Illinois has a long-held tradition of political pay to play. It has been said that our governors serve two terms… one in the State house and one in the Big house. And it’s not just our governors… but other politicians in lesser offices have continued this hallowed Illinois tradition of exchanging campaign cash for political favors.

Morton Grove seems to have it’s very own version of the Illinois pay-to-play dance. pay-to-play

A very, very cozy relationship exists between Mayor Dan DiMaria; Trustee Grear &  Ted,  the owner of Giordano’s Pizza.

TeDiMariaCommittee List Printable_Page_1d generously donated to DiMaria’s campaign, (see attached file, DiMaria Committee List Printable) when DiMaria was running for mayor.

Shortly after DiMaria became Mayor, the deal to build a new Pequods pizza restaurant near the train station was canceled by the village.
I guess Dan didn’t want his buddy Ted to have too much competition in the Pizza business.

The friendship and deals go back further. It was Dan DiMaria who prompted Ted to buy the property On Dempster Street next to the train tracks  to build a Tilted  Kilt restaurant. DiMaria pushed hard to bring in a swinging place with girls dressed to please the men .

But like most of the big deals Dan DiMaria talks about, it’s just talk. So he bailed out his buddy by having the village foot the bill for his pipe dream.

When you pay 1.5 million dollars for half the property located in a prime TIF district that the seller just bought for 1.2 Million dollars, ( giving him a $300.000 payday…) and him still holding a portion of the property it gives you a lot of clout.   Dan DiMaria had his inaugural party at Teds restaurant Giordano’s and the Village picked up the tab for over $500.00!

Weren’t you invited?  Pizza-Pie-In-The-Sky-300x244

Apparently, this also gives the Action Party the right to pollute the corner of Austin & Dempster and Giordano’s restaurant  with political signs.

geordono's action party signs 001  geordono's action party signs 004  So , in Morton Grove  everywhere you look,  you will see Action Party signs where somebody is beholden to Dan DiMaria or Bill Grear and breaking the village ethics code and  sign code.

geordono's action party signs 003  geordono's action party signs 002

They have signs everywhere.

 

Sign Pollution big time in front of  empty lots, abandoned houses, most construction sites.  Action signs Mango-SouthPark 007

Will they be up until April 7th?  That would mean almost three full months of politics!

 

 

 

 

It is apparent that nobody in the administration has a concern over it, but there is an ethics ordinance in Morton Grove

1-8-13: Code of Ethical Conduct…
B. Independent Judgment: My official Action shall be independent, impartial, and fair and shall be based on merit and substance of each case. I will use my office for the public good and not for my political or personal gain.

1-8-12: Code of Ethics;
Prohibited Political Activity;
1. Preparing for, organizing, or participating in any political meeting, political rally, political demonstration, or other political event
(Just a quick reminder, both Trustee Grear and Village Attorney Liston are officials of the Action Party)

Prohibitive Source:
.1. I seeking official action by an official or by an employee, or by the official or another employee directing that employee;

Having political signs is a violation  because   Giordano’s has a liquor license and has to be inspected by the village health dept.
Ted profited by selling land to the village while giving Mayor Dan DiMaria and the Action Party donations.

D. Prohibition of Political Contributions;
1. Any person or business entity whose contact(s), with the Village of Morton Grove is in aggregate annually more than twenty thousand dollars shall be prohibited any contributions.
A $1.5 million dollar contract to buy land with a $300,000 profit should be prohibited, (or at the very least investigated).

Enjoy the signs Morton Grove  You Paid For Them.  Putrid_Pizza_Artwork

Morton Grove Going (for) Broke!

Proverbs 6 6-9 “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest” 

antgrasstitle

Is The Party Over for the DiMaria Administration with the recent downgrading of the Village of Morton Grove Bond rating by Moody’s? Moodys downgrades MG bonds

Due to the already heavy debt load being carried by the village with its pension obligations of over eighty million dollars and narrow cash reserves do to the increase in spending since Dan DiMaria took office. The future for Morton Grove residents looks to be PAY PAY PAY more taxes.

The Village of Morton Grove is expected to issue an additional 10.3 million dollars in a bond in February 2015 ( with no plans released to the public for the use of that money)adding to an already troubling financial situation for the village.

Let’s add up the tally so far. Political bosses Mayor DiMaria and Trustee Grear are hell- bent on building a new Municipal Center  that would cost over 20 million dollars; an $80,000,000 pension obligation plus the $10,000,000 new bond; $6,000,000 existing debt that comes to $96,000,000 give or take a couple of million dollars.

The village of Morton Grove is in desperate need of a cheaper water source. Preliminary cost for infrastructure of a new water supplier is in the range of $100,000,000 plus.

Has there been any discussion about, or town hall meetings on how much debt the residents are looking at? Perhaps this is that not a glamorous enough  subject for the Mayor DiMaria to talk about. $200,000,000 is something that needs to be talked about! 

broke

Dan DiMaria’s background is as a Mortgage Broker, Commodities Trader, and Finance Professional. He should know better than risk the financial security of Morton Grove or is he following the path his Wall Street cronies took  in the past twenty years?

Wall Street has no moral conscience. No public values. Zero. Will never change. Why? Wall Street insiders have one goal: get personally rich.

Wall Street’s  gambling casino with a million “croupiers” manipulating  gaming tables 24/7, skimming a third of your returns off the top. You can’t win. They get richer pocketing millions by betting against average Americans who work all day. Yes, the games are fixed. They have zero morals. The house always wins. Always. 

Who will be the winners in Morton Grove? The consultants and the bond houses will reap the benefits. Who will be the losers? As usual, the Morton Grove taxpayers will lose.

The village trustees are supposed to be the watchdogs. It is their job to ask the questions before approving spending or borrowing. So far, under this administration, only two trustees have attempted to “put on the brakes” by voting no on the last budget. Coincidentally, they are the two trustees who have not been slated for reelection by the party in power. Political bosses don’t get mad, they get even.

There is a village board meeting coming up. It would make sense to attend and ask the hard questions. It’s YOUR money… not the Political Bosses private piggy bank.

going broke not an option

Information in this came  article came from Moody’s investors service

Power corrupts, absolute power is kinda neat!

Action arrogance

Monday found most Morton Grove residents digging out from  Super Bowl Sundays  snow storm that dropped over 14 inches of snow  on Morton Grove.

Village snow crews worked throughout the night to clear streets so residents could get to work.

Village snow crews were out plowing early Sunday morning and keep plowing until the early Monday morning grueling as it was.

The men who work for the village are experienced at plowing 24 hours nonstop, that is why Morton Grove is recognized for having great snow removal .

You would think that by 11:00 am Monday after plowing all night the village would let the guys have a break.

They had one more job to do. The Mayor, who parks on the street in front of his house,  needed his parking spot cleared. 

So the village sent over a plow and  several spots were plow out for the Mayor and his family. 

snow storm 2015 002 snow storm 2015 005 snow storm 2015 004 snow storm 2015 003

Did the Village send a plow over to clear in front of your  House?

 arrogance-cat

Power is great when you know how to use it!