A decade later, Aurora, Illinois is on an incredible roll thanks to corrupt Mayor Tom Weisner's leadership and example.
Highest taxes in the region, 150% increase in shootings, reverse economic development, increased poverty, decreasing school performance, massive debt, spreading blight, skyrocketing labor costs and corruption second to none.
But, wait...there's more.
Aurora's new $163 million police palace, $40 million book warehouse, $25 million mosquito park will all negatively impact taxpayers for many years to come with debt and taxes at the same revenue-generating taxpayers flee both the city and fiscally-failed state of Illinois. We even have a bridge to nowhere coming.
Those who remain will pay a higher percentage for the mess created of the past decade of corruption, incompetence, failed leadership, looking the other way, rubber stamps and status-quo.
Given all this, if you choose to remain long-term in a city dying where zombies and cronies are rewarded instead of those are smart, talented and independent, be advised you have been warned.
Leave ASAP unless you want to die in a dying city full of corruption and incompetence.
Don't think it's dead?
Shodeen project. Dead.
Restaurant Row. Dead.
Old Copley. Dead.
West side economic development. Dead.
East side economic development. Dead.
Lake Street. Dead.
Cub Foods. Dead.
Downtown convention center. Dead.
Hampton Hotel on Rt 59. Dead.
River Street Plaza's progress. Dead.
Cosmopolitan store to replace dead Lowe's started only a few months ago. Dead.
Hollywood Casino revenue? It's been dying for years and will be fully dead, too.
We have an lengthy list of many more dead ideas, dead plans, dead projects and dead results.
Don't say you weren't warned.
Don't wait for the city to be officially declared dead by Detroit or some dead city society.
And don't be fooled by the random "uptick" or someone foolish who spouts "let's be gladiators."
Aurora is already dead, it's just some refuse to recognize it while the decay is underway (and visible) in many parts.
You won't see the corrupt mayor, his overpaid spokespeople (Carie Ergo, Clayton Muhammad), incompetent staff (Alayne Weingartz, Bill Wiet, Brian Caputo), corrupt boss and cronies at the Dunham Fund (Robert Vaughan, Vicki Morcos, Mike Morcus, Stuart Beach), boss at home (Marilyn), crony architect (John Cordogan), crony cops and ex-cops (Kristen Ziman, Joe Groom, Chris Tunney, Michael Nila), crony contractor friends (Wally Mundy, Wegman Construction), rubber stamps on city council (Bob O'Connor, Mike Saville, Rick Mervine), labor goons (Chuck "Shorty" Anderson, Mark Guethle), local fishwrap cronies (Denise Crosby, Steve Lord, John Russell) or incompetent area legislator representatives (Stephanie Kifowit, Linda Holmes, Linda Chapa), or many other local nitwits talk about any of this because they lack courage, competence or basic integrity to stand up, speak up and do anything while their pockets are stuffed with your taxdollars or they profit from the exploitation, destruction and death of this city.
There's many more. Lots of people have looked the other way. Lots just went along for the ride. As tempting as it is, don't get mad at them.
Some of them will be held accountable, some of them will end up in prison like Tom Weisner's close friend Ragu Nayak or buddy Blago. And, almost all of them will end up going straight to hell.
Instead, congratulate them on a decade of their collective effort to finally make Aurora second to none and get the recognition it deserves.
Aurora named one of America's Top 10 Worst Places to Retire