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Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Time to End the Aurora Housing Authority (AHA) Scheme to Rebuild the Jericho Circle Slum NOW

As the Jericho Circle crisis, created by the Slumlords of Aurora Housing Authority (AHA), continues to unfold with their scheme to exploit the community, taxpayers and schools for generations to come, our viewers have expressed concern over recent statements by Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and his aides saying they were "considering" what their position would be on supporting tax credits after public statements for several months the mayor strongly opposed any plan to rebuild Jericho Circle.

Last week, West Aurora School District 129 Superintendent Dr. James Rydland sent a letter to Weisner stating his concerns and urging the mayor not to support any application by AHA for tax credits.

Alderman Rick Lawrence, who has been strongly advocating ways to end the crisis at Jericho Circle and reform AHA, has issued the following letter to the public and Mayor Weisner:

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The question shouldn't be whether Mayor Weisner will or won't write an official letter of support for the Aurora Housing Authority (AHA)'s tax credit application to Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to rebuild Jericho Circle.

The more important question is why he has failed thus far to send a letter to IHDA stating the overwhelming opposition from the community and himself?

As the controversy over Jericho Circle has swirled for the past year, Tom Weisner has made many statements to the media, pounded his chest, demanded AHA to "stop the freight train" but he has yet to take action to protect taxpayers, schools and community, which have overwhelmingly opposed any scheme to rebuild Jericho Circle after decades of chronic crisis.

  • The mayor has not used his authority to remove members (that he appointed in the first place) of the AHA Board responsible for misleading the community that HUD was "requiring the rebuilding of Jericho Circle."
  • Since the AHA scheme was revealed they are pushing forward to rebuild Jericho Circle, the new board members the mayor has appointed have voted against his stated position.
  • The mayor has allowed his staff to continue to confuse the legal requirements of "Fair Housing" by HUD with the subjective views of "Affordable Housing."
  • Tom Weisner's own written consolidated plan for the City of Aurora still includes the Jericho Circle site listed for housing and he has refused to remove it, saying it was "premature" even though he made statements opposed to any housing on the site.
HUD officials have made it clear repeatedly.  They are not requiring Jericho Circle to be rebuilt or any expansion.  They have said this is a "local issue and decision not required by HUD."  They further stated after visiting the site "it is not an appropriate location for any housing development."

Meanwhile, during the mayor's inaction and diversion of a task force to "study" affordable housing, AHA has not only moved full speed ahead on their scheme, but they have accelerated their timeline.  AHA hasn't waited for the mayor to study anything.

When Tom Weisner decides a project should not proceed, as illustrated by his decision to kill the Hampton Suites Hotel project on Route 59 that would have provided commercial economic development at zero cost to taxpayers, he was prepared to use all tools, lawyers and consultants necessary, knowing it would result in legal action against the city.

But, for a project the community, schools and taxpayers overwhelmingly oppose, what is he waiting for to send an official letter consistent with his statements?

Mr. Weisner, enough talk, it's time to put action behind your public statements, protect the taxpayers of Aurora and "stop the freight train" by AHA now without any further delay.

Alderman Rick Lawrence


Anonymous said...

Why is the mayor even thinking about whether he should or shouldn't support tax credits for something HE said he opposes and knows the whole community rejects??? Am I missing something? What's going on?

Anonymous said...

To 1:14 pm

He's trying to avoid a potential lawsuit from the Shriver Center on Poverty.

The mayor is in a tough spot. He loses either way he goes.

BTW - What happened to Brian's local lawsuit that was supposed to stop this "freight train"?

Anonymous said...

If the Mayor would have acted immediately he would not be in this position. The only reason the Shriver center is involved is, the board he appointed brought them in. That is being used as more cover from the Mayor.
If he would have removed this from his plan a year ago HUD would not have funded the AHA until they conformed with the Mayor's plan. Since the plans are identical the Mayor can not use that argument.
He has always behind the scene wanted this built, he has sent a year trying to find something that he can point to as forcing him into this. He's a liar.

Anonymous said...

Why does a tax supported entity need Tax Credits anyway? Looks like more comingling of private and public funds to me. This always leads to corruption. Just ask Jack Abramhoff.

Anonymous said...

Why does a tax supported entity need Tax Credits anyway? Looks like more comingling of private and public funds to me. This always leads to corruption. Just ask Jack Abramhoff.

Anonymous said...

the mayor isn't in a tough spot. there's absolutely no basis for a lawsuit by the shriver center. it's just a ploy to setup an excuse to say "we had to build it or we would have got sued."

the mayor will be run out of this city if Jericho Circle is going to get rebuilt.

Anonymous said...

Well how about that. Once again "Old Media" with actual reporters and investigators, real journalists, scoops Openline. I guess Openline just hasn't had time to copy & paste.