Morton Grove Melodrama – Part 1

And now, dear readers, another episode in the melodrama of Dubious Dan  DiMaria.

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There are many unsolved mysteries in life even though science, technology, and research have come a very long way. Although we may demand a logical explanation for these mysterious things, as of now we will have to settle for mere speculation.

One mystery that residents may never get a straight answer to is; Why did the Village  kill Pequod’s relocation to near the train station?

Morton Grove News has a theory that might shed some light on unraveling this great mystery by assembling the facts & making an educated guess on what happened.
 
Pequods, a long established and successful restaurant, along with TIF assistance from Morton Grove, was all set to start building a new restaurant across from the Train Station.

Then the village attorney ordered a Phase One EPA study done on the old Pequod’s property because the plan was to acquire it when the new restaurant was finished.

Having an EPA study done on any property that a municipality purchases is smart. It saves the tax payers from the liability of paying for a clean-up that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

The study showed traces of dry cleaning fluid on the Pequod’s property, which is strange because there was never a dry cleaner within blocks of that location. 000000villian001

Questions have been raised as to how dry cleaning fluid landed on the property when there was no record of any business that would use such chemicals anywhere near this parcel. This becomes a mystery worthy of the talents of the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.
 
Well, guess what Sherlock? The Village immediately canceled the agreement with Pequod’s on the grounds that they did not want to be liable for cleaning up the property. As logical as that sounds, the village did not do it’s due diligence in making that final decision.

TIF’s are created to improve blighted property and increase the tax base of the community. TIF funds are and have be used to clean up environmental concerns. Morton Grove never inquired about the cost to clean up the property or attempted to renegotiate the TIF agreement if Pequod’s had the property cleaned up.

Redevelopment near the train station just stopped!  

Why? Like Sherlock Holmes, Morton Grove News has a theory.

Shortly after taking complete control of the Morton Grove Action Party, Dan DiMaria, Bill Grear & Terry Liston started taking in political donations from several sources.

One of those political donors was Chaser’s, a village of Niles Bar. Dan DiMaria being a Niles Guy could have known the owners.

See one of many public records of political contributions at elections.il.gov/…re/ItemizedContrib.aspx

Why would a Bar in Niles be so generous to Morton Grove politicians?  Well, word has it that 000000villian002Chasers started negotiating with Morton Grove for TIF assistance in building a new bar in Morton Grove across from the train station!  

Out with the well established Morton Grove Restaurant and in with the Niles Bar, (incidentally creating direct competition with another well-established Morton Grove business, The Bringer Inn).

As of this date no final agreement has been publicized between the Village and Chaser’s.

Why?

Is the village waiting until after the upcoming election to spring this announcement on the unsuspecting residents?

Until shown otherwise, our theory is that the Village killed the Pequod’s deal as a reward for a big political donor.

And so, dear reader, tune in next week when we will explore if our villain, Dubious000000goofy-sidekick-002 Dan DiMaria has made any more unfulfilled promises… if Dubious Dan’s sidekick Babbling Billy, still moves his lips while he pretends to read… and if their trusty counselor,  Ophelia Ordinance finally realized that she only packed half a sandwich.

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The Game Is Rigged

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Hurry, hurry, hurry! I got it here and I’m gonna show it to ya free. So starts the “come on” speech of the old time carnival barker hoping to get the “rubes” onto the midway where the operators can separate the “marks” from their money.

When dishonest carnival game operators found someone who they could enticetinyest-show-on-earth00001 to keep playing their gaffed” game, they would then “mark” the individual by patting their back with a hand that had chalk on it. Other game operators would then look for these chalk marks and entice the individuals to also play their rigged game.

It seems as though the Action Party has “gaffed” not only the way the village is governed, but the way that candidates are chosen to run for office.

Breaking from long standing tradition, and taking a political lesson from Illinois power house Mike Madigan, (and other political bosses), The Action Party did not advertise or seek candidates to run for office in the spring election. This is a strange break from long-standing tradition. Nor did the Action Party screen any perspective candidates from their own party.

human-corndogIt was all prearranged by Dan DiMaria, Billy Grear andsnake-girl-00001 Terry Liston so they would not have any challenge to their complete control.

The Action Party has amassed what is considered a huge campaign fund by local political organizations standards. The methods and means they have used over the past four years are questionable at best and possibly illegal at worst. (We will be running a story on that in an upcoming edition).

Morton Grove now is a total political dictatorship.

You, the residents who live in and pay taxes to Morton Grove have had NO input who to vote for next April. It has all been locked up, rigged, gaffed… a done deal.

The Action Party, the sole Local Political Party has complete control of every elected office in Village government. They have once again thrown transparency and ethics away… but ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances. You might win a stuffed plaid cat.

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Selling the Soul of the Village

Very few people willingly sell their soul to the devil outright. In the Charlie Daniels’ song the price was a fiddle made of gold. You have to wonder what your mayor thinks is golden.
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The Devil is in the details of the Moretti’s agreement with the Village. Starting with who the Village purchased the property from all the way to the switcheroo deal the Village has given Moretti’s Restaurant where Morton Grove taxpayers to build and pay for it.
 
The Village purchased the property from a political donor to Dan DiMaria and the Action Party for $500,000 more than the donor paid less than a year earlier without doing its due diligence… only to find out later that the property is contaminated.
Then the Village (Action Party) Board makes a deal for the Village (taxpayers)to finance a Moretti’s Italian Restaurant and Gambling Café with a fifteen year mortgage (Zero interest loan) to the Village (Taxpayers) (Moretti’s is a political donor to the Action Party).
 
Moretti’s will pay off the fifteen year mortgage by simply being in business for fifteen years. After fifteen years in business without paying a dime of principle or interest Moretti’s get the property for free!
 
It gets better, (or worse, if you are a taxpayer).
 
When Moretti’s found out that the property was contaminated and would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up,they renegotiated the whole deal.
 
The Action Party Board of Trustees & Mayor upped the taxpayer’s money to Moretti’s to pay for the contamination problem taking care of for their political donor. Then they overlooked their other political donor buddy who sold them the property.
 
Morton Grovers are now stuck with an additional $300, 000 for clean up and with the other sweeteners for their contributors, the total may cost the taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars more in the end.
 
Does anyone see a problem here? Does anyone see collusion here? Does anyone wonder what Mayor DiMaria, Trustee Grear and Village Attorney Liston are thinking here?
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Mayor DiMaria killed the Pequoids deal to move across from the train station because of contamination of the original Pequoids property. In that deal the Village offered nothing for clean up,
 
WHY?
 
Is that because, Mayor DiMaria was working a deal to bring another of his political donors, Chaser’s from Niles, Ill  across from the train station?
 
Does anyone see a pattern here with the Village buying contaminated property without checking? …Or checking only when they want? …Or maybe indulging in a little “Pay for Play” because, like Rod Blagojavich, they had something bleeping golden that they weren’t gonna give away for free.

 

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Do your own research. Look at the village board meeting minutes of December 7, 2015 and October 10, 2016 for exact agreements.