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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Waubonsee College President Christine Sobek Boasts About Getting Mayor Tom Weisner to Exploit Aurora Taxpayers in Scheme of Hypocrisy

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner's recent rants and attacks on education have continued, from trying to justify why he exploited millions from children and classrooms on the east side of Aurora to a flip-flop on how money from a slush fund belongs to elected officials instead of taxpayers to plotting ahead for the scheme to buy the old Waubonsee College campus building in downtown Aurora to bail out Waubonsee and certain school districts at the expense of East Aurora taxpayers.

Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon was in Aurora on Friday to tour the "new" Waubonsee College Campus, that sits on prime riverfront property removed from tax rolls and "donated" to a school with its own separate taxing body that includes communities outside Aurora and only serves a portion of Aurora.

Wait, in Weisner's justification to exploit millions from East Aurora children, didn't he rant about the city shouldn't be helping education that has a separate taxing body and how it wouldn't be "fair" since the facility wouldn't be accessible to ALL of the city?

Waubonsee College, not only got millions in land, but the city then as part of another scheme to bailout the YWCA, spent $7 million of Aurora taxpayer funds to give them parking on what they call a "temporary parking lot" since the Weisner administration was too incompetent to require a parking solution BEFORE approving the new downtown campus.

DuPage County residents of Aurora, who pay significant taxes to fund Weisner's wild spending habits, don't get to use the facility funded by Aurora taxpayers.

While Aurora taxpayers have given millions in land and parking to Waubonsee, the college's separate taxing district includes many communities outside Aurora, who are eligible to use the Aurora taxpayer's expense, even though not all of Aurora can use it.

So, is this hypocrisy from Weisner?

"It's different" says Carie Ergo, the mayor's spokesgirl who is paid over $160,000 per year to come up with lame excuses for the mayor.

Why would Weisner, who says it's not the city's responsibility to help education when it comes to local schools, selectively help Waubonsee College?

Could it be that as part of the scheme, Waubonsee "coincidentally" chose Cordogan Clark to design and Wegman Construction to build the "new" campus?

Of course, it's just a "coincidence" they are among mayor's top campaign cronies and the mayor's son "coincidentally" got a job with one of them.

It's also just a "coincidence" that Cordogan Clark and Wegman get almost ALL city contracts.

Coincidentally, another of the mayor's top campaign cronies, Ragu Nayak, who owns the Old Copley Hospital as one of the schemes coordinated by Weisner, was arrested by the Feds.

Weisner is very smart, according to himself (coincidentally).  In fact, he was so smart on the deal for the new Waubonsee campus, he completely ignored what to do about the old Waubonsee building in downtown Aurora.

No problem as long as the mayor has your money...Weisner wants to bailout Waubonsee from that with the millions he just exploited from the East Aurora children.

What?  East Aurora children and taxpayers will be subsidizing the rich Waubonsee College district so the mayor can keep his deal with them?


But, what about how the city isn't supposed to be helping education and how it's not "fair" for Aurora taxpayers to benefit something that isn't available to all?

Oh, that's all different, remember?

But, wait, it gets worse.

How could it get worse?

The old Waubonsee campus building in Aurora is the former Carson Pirie Scott building.

Dan Hites, who owns property in downtown Aurora, points out the city bought the old Carson building and then renovated it, donating it for the purpose of Waubonsee.

Now, the city would buy it twice and Waubonsee would charge Aurora taxpayers for something it got for free?

How does that make sense, Mr. Mayor?

Since Weisner couldn't answer and his spokesgirl ducked under a desk, we asked Waubonsee College President Christine Sobek to explain, but she was busy boasting to Lt. Governor Sheila Simon how the college was able to get a "deal" on the new campus, parking and even has something in the works to unload their old building...saving Waubonsee an estimated $15-20 million they didn't have to spend.

All at the expense of the Aurora taxpayer, thanks to Tom Weisner.

Maybe it's time to invite the College of DuPage to build a campus in Aurora for those DuPage taxpayers that didn't get to benefit from Weisner's wild spending spree on Waubonsee.

Sorry, no special deals for College of DuPage...unless, of course, they would be willing to have it designed and constructed by the mayor's cronies, who make sure the mayor stays in power.


Anonymous said...

Indict those Waubonsee crooks.

Anonymous said...

Indict those Waubonsee crooks!

Anonymous said...

This is a huge problem with how this community operates: Too many Government taxing bodies that support each others relentless expansion.

Whenever the voters stymie one Government agency another kicks in funds to get the project moving so it appears to be found money. And now they have firmly entrenched their croupiers rake into the Federal Government. More an more Federal money if flowing into Aurora for projects of dubious merit, more Section 8 Housing, TIFF districts etc.

And the same narrow group of people are taxed time and again to the enrichment of a very select few in this community.

Kevin L. Mathews

Anonymous said...

Your a joke Rick Lawrence. A total Clown. said...

Whereas I don’t mind Openline citing me, please include the disclaimers- the fact is that Aurora bought and paid for the buildout and furnishing of the old campus; how and if they ever were paid back is in question.

Openline has touched upon one of my favorite topics (All my friends and acquaintances need not read further and can stop groaning)- Waubonsee Community College and the demise of downtown Aurora. In my opinion the largest reason downtown Aurora is in such bad condition is because of WCC’s policies.

Senator Moynahan once said that everyone has a right to their own opinion, but not their own facts. So let’s start with some facts. The past and present parking needs of Waubonsee’s Aurora Campus (WAC) were set by a parking study done several years ago. In the study they used a 19.4% of capacity figure to determine WCC’s parking usage. Or in WCC’s case about 350 parking spaces; manageable using the Stolp garage plus some street parking. This was based on WCC’s input of 1000 capacity for the old downtown campus, 120 staff, plus a small number for visitors. This was also based on a campus size of about 40,000 square feet.

However, in verify the study results with the Walker people (and reading the details in the actual report) I found that the survey should have used the total enrollment and not the capacity of the Aurora Campus. WCC’s old Aurora campus is actually 80,000sqft, and had about 3400 students enrolled. Revising the Walker Study to using enrollment figures and not capacity shows that their parking demand was CLOSER TO 750 SPACES- FOUR HUNDRED MORE THAN THE 350 ESTIMATED IN THE REPORT! The new campus’s future enrollment can reach 5000 enrolled students which would mean that WAC needs about 1200 parking spaces; Aurora last fall leased them a total of 465 for four years at $100,000 a year. Further, both these estimates could be way off because WAC does not include numerous programs in their enrollment figure; i.e. their remedial drivers ed course had over 17,000 students!

The past effect of this is that for over ten years WAC’s students have been taking all the parking away from downtown businesses. The recent past result is that the city has forgone about $500,000 in revenue from WAC- the four year difference in the erroneous parking needs estimate and the corrected estimate, times the purported price per spot over four years. This at a time when the city is scrambling for money.

WAC has exasperated this extreme lack of parking by their enrollment policies. Facts- 87% of WAC’s 2011 fall enrollment were students in English as a Second Language (ESL) and GED (up from 83 % at the old campus). Factoring in the unreported drivers ed course students into the enrollment figures would reveal that 93% of students taking courses at WAC are taking remedial education classes- only 7% are taking college courses; can WAC actually be called a “college” campus? Fact- WCC has set up a separate but equal campus structure; the Sugar Grove Campus is about 70% Caucasian, 20% Hispanic, WAC is almost the opposite. Opinion- this is a major violation of civil rights laws. Fact-WAC limits enrollment of college students to residents within its district; however, they allow anyone taking ESL/GED courses to register. Result- WCC is discriminating against Aurora college students and forcing them to drive out to the outlying Sugar Grove campus while directing ESL/GED students (even from DuPage and other counties) to the WAC. Fact- if stats on median family income are applied to the student composition of WAC it is shown that their estimated income is about $24K whereas the national poverty level is about $22k and Aurora’s population is about $54K. A typical franchise requires $40k to locate within a neighborhood.

In short, by not providing sufficient parking and marketing to a segment of the population with the lowest discretionary income, WCC has devastated the economy in downtown by replacing possible customers with poverty level students. You can e-mail me to get the full report.

Anonymous said...

Keven is right. Just look at the collusion between AU and the west side school district with there early childhood "learning" center and middle school that used to be termed "lab school". Taxpayers paying for building at AU or AU paying for west side education? Pretty those bureaucrats. This is how the teachers get such high salaries.

Anonymous said...

Waubonsee should donate he building to the children of Aurora. They are a school the other four school Districts are a school why should money change hands.