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Friday, November 18, 2011

Slumlords of Aurora Housing Authority (AHA) Threaten Community to Force Rebuilding of Slum to Enrich Cronies, Contractors, Crooks at Taxpayer Expense

The Slumlords of Aurora Housing Authority (AHA) have disregarded the community's overwhelming opposition by moving full speed ahead with their scheme to rebuild the Jericho Circle slum on Aurora's near west side to enrich cronies, contractors and crooks at taxpayer expense.

This week, the Board of Slumlords voted unanimously (Henry Champen was not present) to push forward with the scheme and a master development agreement, including obtaining tax credits to enrich developers, which include former HUD officials who are now in the business of exploiting the poor and needy at taxpayer expense.

Even more bizarre, the AHA is demanding the City of Aurora provide a letter of support for their slum scheme.

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner has repeatedly said the city opposes any attempt by AHA or its slum partners, but AHA says the city has done nothing to stop them.

Patrice McGinn, the high-priced out-of-town consultant girl hired by AHA to exploit taxpayers, who has multiple conflict-of-interests, insists that the AHA will not "stop the freight train" as the mayor urged.

In fact, since the mayor demanded the resignations of AHA Slumlord Chairman Little Al Schuler and sidekick Bill Burns as taxpayers, the school district and elected officials made it clear the community overwhelmingly opposes any expansion of public housing and the Jericho Circle slum, AHA has accelerated their scheme.

AHA says they have been in discussions with the city on designs and plans for the project and want to advance it for City Council approval, which is required for the project to proceed since a special-use permit exists for the current slum.

Jennifer K. Soule, the so-called attorney for AHA, has warned that if the city council rejects the AHA's plans, taxpayers and the community would be targeted for liability.

Threatening taxpayers and the community?  Let us build our slum to enrich cronies, contractors and crooks or...ELSE?

Alderman Rick Lawrence, who's ward contains the slum with the chronic crisis associated with it, has led the community's concerns against the project.  He says AHA's threats are just scare tactics and a sign of their desperation.

"I will not allow the community, schools and taxpayers to be threatened and continue to be exploited."

City spokesperson, Carie Anne Ergo, once again says "the mayor is opposed to the project."

Lawrence has been urging the mayor to change the city's consolidated plan to remove housing from the Jericho Circle site.

When asked if the city has changed the city's consolidated plan, Ergo responded "well, the mayor opposes the project."

According to the Illinois Development Housing Authority (IDHA), the city has not formally opposed the project.

When asked why the city has not formally objected with IDHA, Ergo responded "well, the mayor opposes the project."

According to sources, Weisner's most recent appointee to the board, Mattie Coble, who had been living in Jericho Circle, has been given a "nice, large house" for relocation along with travel at taxpayer expense and other special attention.  She has voted in favor of the scheme to rebuild the slum that she previously had voiced was not a place for any family to live.

Ergo did not respond.

If the project comes to the Aurora City Council for a vote, two city council members, Abigail Schuler and Scheketa Hart-Burns, would have to recuse themselves due their relationships with the Slumlords.

Previously, Wegman Construction had been selected in a no-bid secret process to build the project.  Terry Bohr, head of Wegman Construction, said his company backed off the project when they "learned" of the opposition.

However, sources say that was just a stall tactic as a way was determined to proceed ahead with the residential slum.

Wegman Construction has no residential construction experience, but is frequently part of taxpayer-funded projects involving Aurora.

Meanwhile, there are reportedly 22 residents still living in the Jericho Circle slum.

As AHA delayed the efforts for relocation, they continued to collect thousands per taxpayer expense.

Aurora's future is at a critical crossroad.

Will it allow a chronic crisis to be repeated for current and future generations or will it stop the schemes to build slums, exploit the poor and needy while enriching cronies, contractors and crooks?

We urge the City of Aurora to IMMEDIATELY change the city's consolidated plan and REMOVE housing from the Jericho Circle site so this crisis comes to an end.

NOTE:  the following have been identified as having a role to support or advance Aurora Housing Authority's scheme to exploit the poor, needy and taxpayers:

Jennifer Soule
Fred D'Escoto
Sharon Coyle
Kathy Bettcher
Prairie State Legal
Jean Federman
Patrice McGinn
Terry Bohr
Wegman Construction
Al Schuler
Bill Burns
Gerry Jones
Marjorie Wiliams
Joseph Galvan
Jackie Richie
Orlando Cabrerra
Welton Smith
Floyd May
Richard Ginnetti
Tom Gallas
Stephanie Kifowit
Abigail Schuler


Anonymous said...

Openline, give up. This will be built. Weisners opposition has been a charade. He talks tough but he doesnt control the board. If he was really against it he would load that board with NO votes. He has not done that when given the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

If this proceeds, Weisner should resign. No more excuses from the mayor.

Anonymous said...

The WHIZZ is using the OBAMA school of community organizer handboook. First confuse the issue and then say one thing and do another. Ever notice how the DEMOCRATS can't seem to answer a point blank question without refering to something or someone completely unrelated to the subject?

Anonymous said...

6:43 ever notice how you can't discuss any issue w/o bringing someone into it who has nothing to do w/ it? In other words, doing exactly what you're accusing others of? Obama has nothing to do w/ this situation. Keep the focus where it belongs, on the AHA and Weisner.

Anonymous said...

Kind of new here. Moved to Aurora and started to follow the political scene, is it just me or are the people of Aurora the most uninvolved in the country? I asked my neighbors and they do not know who their alderman is, who is one the school board, and the don't go to city council meetings. I went to one an it was a ghost town.

I have lived in a few communities and they all seemed more involved. I am just renting here, because I think it is good to try a place out before you buy near the golf course off of Orchard Road. I like the area and this Woodman's grocery store(neat place).

But my neighbors don't talk about what is going on in the city and seem disconnected. Most go shopping down Orchard road toward Montgomery or up Randall Road into Batavia and Geneva.

If people don't want the AHA why are they not fighting it? I called my Alderman and got no response. And what type of city has an Alderman named "Whitey". I asked and his name is John Peters, but he goes by Whitey? What is up with that?

So is it just me, or do people really not care?


Anonymous said...

That's the Aurora way. For instance, City Council meetings still are not televised(I think). Clearly, City Government wants to keep their dealings as secret as possible. Especially, Police and Fire Dept. wages. A lot of Aurorans aren't supposed to be here, alot are just working-class people who want to work and be left alone and not get too involved in other matters. The non-involvement leads to the City to get away with overspending and stupid spending. Like overpaying for a plot of downtown land that the Casino wanted the City to buy so no one would else would buy it. The City has also gotten into the resataraunt and bar business in Downtown Aurora to the tune of at least 3-4 million dollars. Most Cities would not even think about such wasteful spending but it's okay in Aurora where there is no viable opposition.

Anonymous said...

I read this:

but it's okay in Aurora where there is no viable opposition.

I did some research. Last election you had this Myles guy and Matthews guy who ran in he 5th and at large, both seemed to have solid positions, especially Matthews. Why did they not win?

Anonymous said...


I am new here, this fall, but I have always been active in my community. My ward Alderman is John Peters. I have researched things and I feel he is useless. The one thing he does, is basically a bribe, he takes tax dollars from the whole city and uses them in his ward for a once a year free large object garbage collections so you can rid of your old refrigerators etc. And it costs a fortune.

So here is my question, do you have to live here a long time to be accepted if you run for Alderman or could I potentially be successful if I ran against him in 3 years?

Or should I really look at moving on if this city is bad as some seem to indicate.


Anonymous said...

Well Jim, in a short time you have learned what most of us in "Whitey's" Ward know. He is useless and does not return phone calls. The phone call thing is repeated by most who have tried. He never answers and you won't ever here back from him. His claim on re-election was to continue the success of the Orchard Road development. Nothing new has gone in in over 4 years, And a new business replacing one that goes out of business doesn't count. Myles tried to beat Peters but he didn't spend enough time meeting the ward to win. Had he gone door to door to introduce himself it might have gone a long way. Short answer, most people don't give a shit, and in my opinion move on, this town is a crap hole.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response - much appreciated,


Anonymous said...

Aurora has been in the real estate business for at least the last 20 years. Just ask a guy named Meisch. Seems as though the council and past mayors just love to tax the people to buy into failed or failing real estate deals. Meisch was the only alderman caught but I'm sure that a fat little broad from the west side made a lot of money being alderman along with a few mayors. Indirectly the head of the Local Urban league just loves our current mayor and his many "gifts" to her real estate empire. And the beat goes on.