Aurora's Third Ward Alderman Stephanie Kifowit, who finished in last place during an unsuccessful attempt to run for Mayor of Aurora (81% voted against her) in 2009, has continued to veer off-track when it comes to the best interests of taxpayers.
At Tuesday's Aurora City Council meeting, Kifowit aggressively pushed to give away almost $200,000 at taxpayer expense to her friends, the McCue family, who own Copley Mansion on the near west side, to move and renovate a junk house on Downer Place.
Kifowit, who also donated $1,500 of taxpayer funds to a private club on the same night, said funds being given to the McCue family weren't taxdollars.
They came from gaming tax revenue and taxpayer-funded grants, but somehow weren't taxdollars.
Aurora's finance director, Brian Caputo, says taxdollars, including gaming taxes, are taxdollars.
Alderman Rick Lawrence and Alderman Whitey Peters both objected to the use of taxpayer funds for what was a private transaction the city found itself in the middle of.
Kifowit's argument was even more odd when you consider she said by giving away these funds, we would make sure the house was saved and "put back on the tax rolls."
However, it already exists on the tax rolls (see proof here) and was supposed to be paying over $8,000 last year in property taxes as a rental property owned by New England Church.
With the city getting about $2,000 annually for their portion of property taxes, it would take approximately 100 years for the city to break-even, according to Alderman Rick Lawrence and Alderman Whitey Peters.
Alderman Lawrence, who's 4th Ward is home to the city lot being given away for $1, says in this time of fiscal challenges, saving $200,000 would have been a wiser choice, but there's nothing stopping anyone from saving the junk house on their own without involving taxpayers.
Further complicating the matter is the fact the city refused to sell the same city lot to Our Savior Church, which has pending litigation against the city.
Alderman Lawrence and Mayor Tom Weisner have been encouraging negotiations between Our Savior Church and the McCue's to come up with a solution to the properties they own next to the same city-owned lot.
Meanwhile, those negotiations have not resulted in an agreeable solution between Our Savior and the McCue's. Most believe proceeding with this junk house move will make that solution more difficult now.
If any future solution involves writing another large check from the city, at least they can count on Stephanie Kifowit to support spending it.
After all, it's not taxdollars according to her.