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Saturday, July 20

Gapers Block

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Part of the downside of writing a column like this, in which one covers local politics and much of the necessary information one must gather first-hand, is that one is prone to jump to conclusions, and then one is forced to eat one's words.

I've decided it's time to eat my words.

During the municipal elections of 2003, your humble columnist expressed serious doubts about the candidacy of one Manuel "Manny" Flores, an ambitious young lawyer originally from the airport suburb of Northlake, mainly because his candidacy was being characterized as a fight "against City Hall." In the interest of public purification and full disclosure, I said some of the following things:

The Ward itself has gained nothing by Flores' election, especially if he begins antagonizing The Mayor. (April 2, 2003)

[Mr. Flores is] a young pup...true, he was an assistant state's attorney, but that doesn't qualify him to run a growing, prosperous ward in the heart of Chicago. Flores will have to be content to sit and do nothing for four years while looking good doing it. His statements about reform and the future of the politics of the ward have shown him to be naive... (May 8, 2003)

I also may or may not have referred to him as a no-account.

To the end of eating my words, I went and spoke to Alderman Flores recently at his office next to the Congress Theater in Bucktown.

In his year in office, Alderman Flores has been very active -- and not just in a public relations sense -- in support of the issues once considered outside of his reach -- most notably the property tax cap, embodied in SB1498 -- and has shown a willingness to build coalitions with sitting, so-called "regular" aldermen and work with the Fifth Floor, too. For many political observers, this may be seen as a sort of concession, or "selling out" to the regular Chicago political establishment, and as such a risky political move.

In reality, Alderman Flores' actions and political manueverings since taking office are simply pragmatic, and prove him to be not, as one political columnist called him, "naive." That he has reached across the aisle to work with men like Alderman Ed Burke or Daniel Solis speaks to his dedication to improving services and the quality of life for the residents of the 1st Ward.

During the election, his campaign was characterized as being one "against City Hall," although the Alderman and his staff never tried to portray it as such, and were in fact careful to avoid doing so.

"Well, you know, in the campaign I think I always made it clear that it was one that -- we felt change was needed in the First Ward. I made a case to the voters that resulted in a pretty strong win April 1st," he told me.

Alderman Flores' campaign was forced to walk the fine line between being "pro-growth," to appease business interests, and "anti-development," to protect long-time residents and homeowners faced with skyrocketing property taxes. This raised the eyebrows of many observers. But Alderman Flores has been prodigious in his ability to walk that fine line. He pledged better city services -- which had noticeably deteriorated during Alderman Granato's tenure -- while also promising to push Springfield to aid in the creation of a cap for property taxes to slow gentrification.

Some saw these as hollow promises. "I was criticized at one point -- because people said, 'How can an Alderman be involved in such a daunting issue?' but we played a good role, and hopefully that will culminate in the passing of SB1498." The "good role" the Alderman played was to travel downstate along with Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) among others on a bus trip to lobby state politicians on the behalf of the bill, which brought press attention to the issue and forced the hand of many state representatives who were facing reelection in February.

Alderman Flores, befitting his promise to stand up for people whom he says were being "pushed around," also joined with other Aldermen to put pressure on Archibald Candies to improve the benefits package for laid-off Fannie May workers.

"We've dealt with the issue of the uninsured -- taken that battle on. With the issue of property taxes. And now we're dealing with the BankOne-J.P. Morgan merger and ensuring that communities, especially in the City of Chicago, continue to benefit with the relationship that we once had -- that we had with BankOne. We want to ensure that there's continued investment in all communities equally, not just in the affluent areas," he said.

His work with Alderman Burke -- who Alderman Flores referred to as "cutting edge" -- regarding the BankOne-J.P. merger is indicative of Alderman Flores' political acumen and dedication to building a a strong community in the somewhat fractured First Ward.

It has been quite a year for Manny Flores, one that points to a bright future for him and the First Ward.

So, sorry Alderman Flores.

GB store


J Meier / May 14, 2004 3:04 PM

Yet another local writer snowed by this hack. During the past year Alderman Flores has spent more time trying to get his name in the paper than doing anything of substance. All the issues you claim he's championed were the work of less self-congratulatory elected officials...that Flores attempts to take such a large portion of the credit has more to do with his loathsome sense of self worth than with his actual effectiveness. In fact, Flores has done nothing in the City Council other than introduce a couple of meaningless, cosmetic resolutions, which have no force of law.

In addition to the Alderman's willingness to make deals with every low-life faction within the ward, he has used his office, and city funds to give jobs to his neer-do-well releatives, as exemplified by his hiring of his Cousin as 1st Ward Streets and Sanatation Superintendent. If you are any sort of Journalist I suggest you find out how many hours the Alderman's Chief of Staff actually spent in the office serving constituants while she was out running a campaign for Water Reclamation District on city time.

Ramsin / May 15, 2004 1:25 PM

Mr. Flores is a freshman alderman, so his ability to introduce sweeping legislation is naturally limited. He's been in office one year. Before you can go around pushing through ordinances, you have to build a coalition of friendly aldermen, you have to feel your way into the various committees. You don't do that by grandstanding from day one.

He has gotten his name in the papers, in order to bring attention to issues he feels strongly about. Manny is, after all, a politician.

I happen to know that Xochitl ("So-She") Flores spent a lot of time in her office serving constituents. My sister worked with the Alderman's office on some other political business and Xochitl was her main contact there and communicated with her frequently.

Find me an Alderman in this city who doesn't have a relative or dear friend in a highly-placed office in their ward. Your classification of Alderman Flores' family as "neer-do-well's" is groundless and unfair unless you're going to back it up with something other than conjecture that Xochitl was never at the office.

Linda Cross / May 17, 2004 11:05 AM

What a joke. Other alderman do it so it must be ok. In spite of the fact that the alderman was quoted in a Sun-Times story by Debra Pickett saying that he would never do anything to help anyone he knew get a city job. It's not that he did it, it's that he's a liar. Given your obvious personal reasons for sucking up to the alderman and his staff, that disclosure should have been made at the top of the original story.

I love the part where you call on other people to back up facts, when you don't make any effort to do your homework. Many freshman alderman have at least drafted and introduced significant legislation during their first year in office. Ed Smith, Joe Moore and Walter Burnett all did. None of them employed a full time employee at city expense to get their names in the paper as Flores has done.

SM / May 17, 2004 2:03 PM

Wow. A guy suddenly writes something glowing about a do-nothing, self-serving alderman, and we come to find out a relative got a favorable outcome dealing with his office, and it was never disclosed in the original piece.

Jason Blair, welcome to Chicago!!!!

J Meier / May 17, 2004 5:16 PM

So when she's not running for office on city time, the alderman's Chief of Staff is busy doing "political business" with your sister. That would explain why constituants can't get anything done and only hear from the alderman's office when he's having another fundraiser.

It's obvious you don't live in the 1st Ward. The condition of the street and the garbage in the alleys and lots has increased since the alderman's very qualified Cousin (he has no experience in disposal issues but seems to enjoy flashing his city badge in bars) became Ward Superintendent.

But hey, he took a bus trip to Springfield to lobby for a bill that already had enough votes to pass....what a guy.

SD / May 17, 2004 7:32 PM

Flores came into my home, came into my business, and I'm embarrassed to say I bought his line of bull.

I've lived in and had businesses in several wards and have dealt with many ward offices and have never dealt with such arrogence and incompetence.

I made a huge mistake believing and voting for this guy. It will not happen again.

SD / May 17, 2004 7:32 PM

Flores came into my home, came into my business, and I'm embarrassed to say I bought his line of bull.

I've lived in and had businesses in several wards and have dealt with many ward offices and have never dealt with such arrogence and incompetence.

I made a huge mistake believing and voting for this guy. It will not happen again.

wilson / May 18, 2004 5:49 PM

I have a two-flat in Humboldt Park, and about three days after I contacted the ward super, the lot next to me was spotless. Admittedly, trash had been piling up there for some time. But they responded when called on.

But the property tax cap is just a hoax, a give-away to yuppies cloaked by tax relief for 'long-time residents'.

My neighborhood, like most of the gentrifying areas of the city, has more two and three-flats than single family homes. If you bought here more than 5 years ago, your mortgage is minuscule (2-flats buildings in H.P. were going for less than $150,000 back then, so mortgaging $130,000, you should have gotten away for $800/month.) The tax bill over here is still only about $300/month on an owner-occupied brick 2-flat, taking the home-owner exemption.

So the taxes and a 5-8 year old mortgage together add up only to a little more than the market rate rent for one apartment, meaning that 'old-timers' of more than 5 years ago can live in their unit for free by renting the other apartment.

The same would be true on a house where the mortgage is more than 10 years old.

So the idea that long-time owners are being "forced out" is false. There is a lot of upward pressure on rents in these neighborhoods, which is forcing tenants out, but that's a very different thing. The rents are going to go up at market rate regardless of whether anyone gives away a big bundle to the owners in the form of special tax breaks. The owners aren't being forced out. Many of them are cashing in and leaving, and then their friends feel sad that they've left, and talk about it as having been forced out. But the fact is, they're taking 150,000 profit margins for their misfortune.

I'm a yuppie, but I don't see any particular reason why I should pay less taxes for my $350K worth of real estate than somebody with, say, a 7-unit building in Austin on which he's struggling to make renovations for the good of his tenants. But that's what this bill does. I get a lower tax bill because of my horrendous bad luck in having bought my $350K of real estate a year ago when it was only worth $315K.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

josv / May 18, 2004 7:24 PM

Of course the property tax thing is a fraud.

First of all, if I've got a property tax issue I go to my county board member, my state Representative or state senator, the bodies that actually deal with property taxes.

I go to my alderman about trash pickup, but since Flores has been in I never know what day it's going to be, and I get to clean my alley after because it seems to be difficult to actually get the garbage in the truck.

I go to my alderman about the poorly constructed, ugly building going up on the block, but with Flores I don't get any answers. Although I notice he's had no problems cashing the checks from the contractor.

Glad you got your lot cleaned up, must have caught him on a day he wasn't lobbying the General Assembly.

wilson / May 19, 2004 1:43 AM

I'm flabbergasted at the idiocy of josv's post. I'll just mention that the majority of the property tax goes to city government and it's ill-disguised twin, the public school system, run by a board picked by the mayor and confirmed by the council. Talk to your senator if you like, but your bill is mostly courtesy your aldermen.

I didn't get my lot cleaned up. I got a vacant lot next door cleaned up. And I didn't call Flores. I called his ward superintendent -- the streets and san head in the ward. You're a chucklehead.

josv / May 19, 2004 2:40 AM

I wasn't talking about where the taxes go, I was talking about where the taxes are set. The city council is not a body that sets property taxes. I was not saying the city council doesn't waste money, I was pointing out how foolish it is to think that an individual alderman (especially one in a rubber stamp city council) has any input regarding the amount of our property tax bills. You can certainly blame them for the bloated city budget, but they don't set the property tax rate. I'm flabbergasted by your inability to understand the difference between legislative bodies that set property taxes versus those that don't.

And yes, I understand who the ward sup is, but given the general lack of quality service in the ward I consider him just an extension of the alderman, who, after all, hires that position. And "your lot" referred to the lot you mentioned in a general sense, rather than ownership of said lot.

As you can see, as the bigger man, I refrained from name calling.

wilson / May 19, 2004 10:14 PM

I should refrain from name-calling.

However, you need to go back to Government 101 and learn who's responsible for your tax bill.

The City Council passes a budget for the city. That budget includes a total spending figure and a tax levy, including a property tax levy of whatever amount they decide on. That tax levy is then divided up among the property owners of the city. The largest single share goes to CPS, but they are controlled by an appointed board - which is appointed by the Mayor with approval of the city council

The County Clerk's Office does the multiplication to figure out how much you'll pay, but the Clerk's Office can't actually raise or lower the amount. They simply take the amount the city and CPS asks for, and divide it up.

So you're just flat out wrong about state reps and senators. They decide how much INCOME tax you'll pay. But they have next to nothing to do with your property tax bill.

That's not the full story, as some property tax money also goes to the county and a few other taxing bodies, but overwhelmingly, it's the city and the CPS. They set the amount that is required, and taxpayers pay it.

It's this utter misunderstanding of how government and taxes work, combined with a willingness to lecture others about it, that made me flabbergasted. Again, I shouldn't have done the name-calling, and I'm sorry. But you really need to go look this stuff up before you start confusing the public.

I'm beginning to understand why our council is so horrendous -- even the voters who are interested enough to read about local politics on a blog have no idea who is responsible for the amount they pay. Scary!

Ramsin / May 21, 2004 5:03 AM

What a delightful storm in a teacup. I'll just respond en masse.

First of all, my integrity. You have no right to disparage it, and have no proof for anything you accuse me of. Your self-righteous indignation in demanding a disclosure is embarassing. I worded the thing about my sister and Xochitl poorly, and it was just weak anecdotal evidence, but I had no need to make any disclosure for several reasons:

1. My sister no longer has the job she had when she worked with Ald. Flores' office, which was in the capacity of an organization requesting simple assistance from the Alderman's office, not requesting a favor or getting anything fixed. Therefore, she nor I have anything at all to gain whether Ald. Flores loves or hates us.

2. My sister did not benefit personally, politically, or financially from the very minor relationship she very temporarily had with Ald. Flores' office.

3. I was not even aware my sister knew who Xochitl Flores was until after she read the article.

4. It is none of anybody's business what anybody in my family does ever, unless there is a personal or business conflict of interest for me. If my uncle was working on the John Kerry campaign, could I not endorse him?

5. Xochitl Flores is Alderman Flores' Chief of Staff, which is an administrative position in the office. If she was campaigning when she should have been working, Ald. Flores himself, I assume, would have been pretty upset.

6. There was no "favorable outcome." That you just flat out made up. Amazingly enough, when not-for-profit political organizations do work in the city, they often have to contact Alderman.

The aspersions you cast on Xochitl Flores are especially ridiculous. Do you have proof she was campaigning when she should have been working? Is that how she raised the $50,000 or so she raised for her campaign, about half of which came from transfers from other political committees (Ald. Gutierrez, Friends of Flores, etc.) much of it in loans, and presumably required little more than a phone call?

Secondly, let's clear something up here. Wilson, as infuriatingly usual, is right here. The city/CPS levy a property tax, which Cook County distributes; the assessor's office valuates a property and taxes it at a rate "determined" by the clerk.

One step at a time. The state does have a say in how a lesser governing body *can* tax. This is what I think some of you are missing: SB1498 was about VALUATION. Not RATES. It is about a process, not a tax itself.

SB1498 authorizes the state to impose a restriction on the manner in which a lesser body imposes its taxes. The property tax cap is not on the RATE, but on the VALUE OF THE HOME. The rate may be 16% forever; but that 16% is taken from a figure that cannot be 7% higher than it was in the previous valuation period.

Here's how it works: Every year, The Assessor's office evaluates one third of the property in Cook County, by parcels, using a mathematical formula to figure out the value of an individual home within that parcel (but it is uniform throughout the parcel). This is how they set PROPERTY VALUE. If a homeowner is unhappy, they can request an individual assessment. The Board of Review is the one that does much of the work in that respect. Then the State does an evaluation.

As we all know, the assessment for single-family residences to buildings with 7 or fewer residences is 16%.

"Sixteen percent of what" is where this bill comes in: 16% of the PROPERTY VALUE determined by the Cook County Assessor; and the State would be telling the assessor (which is within their jursidiction) that he or she cannot increase the VALUATION of a parcel by more than 7% in any given cycle. So, you're right in saying the State doesn't set the RATE; but they can influence how the VALUE is determined, which is the most important thing, really, since I'd rather my (hypothetical) $200,000 home didn't appreciate in value $30,000 (which is almost $5,000 additionally in taxes) unless I was planning to sell it right then; and if it does, I may be forced to sell it--albeit at a profit, but "forced to sell at a profit" still starts with "forced to sell."

Wilson, you know I love you, but the above is why your example is kind of misleading, about "long-time homeowners" having it easy; especially in certain areas where the increased property value doesn't reflect a sales value because of the condition of the home, so the profit is minimal, and much of it will go on a down payment on a home of equal or even lesser stature. In places like South Side proper, Bronzeville, and even Englewood and pockets of East Garfield Park, property values are increasingly very, very rapidly, faster than the rate of inflation or increased incomes in those areas. So if somebody's value jumps 25% in three years in Englewood, they may be forced to sell--but the sales value and the property value are very different. They may not be able to find any buyer at all, much less somebody willing to pay full price for a run-down old house on valuable land. Their best bet is land speculators and developers, who are notoriously unscrupulous. Drive through South Austin or West Garfield, and on every block you'll see signs that say, "Ug Buys Ugly Houses" or "We Buy Houses!"

So the Alderman was lobbying Springfield to pass the bill, the same way the following people lobbied for it:

Ald. Vi Daley (43rd)
Ald. Gene Schulter (47th)
Ald. Walter Burnett, Jr. (27th)
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th)
St.Rep. John Fritchey
St.Rep. Charles G. Morrow III
Cook County Assessor James Houlihan
The Reverend Jesse Jackson
Chicagoans United for Tax Relief
Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool

Third, your "evidence" about the deterioration of services is conjecture. The people I spoke to, some of which had lived in the area for decades, spoke glowingly of the services improvements since Granato. As someone writing a story on a deadline, all I can really go by is the general consensus; I spoke with a fair number of residents (more than a dozen) and a few community activists who said they were satisfied with services. A couple people said they didn't note a difference. One lady said her trash wasn't getting picked up. I don't have the resources to do a scientific phone poll, which is why I didn't say, "75% of residents say services are AWEsome!!!!"

So Alderman Flores appointed his cousin as Super of Streets and San. Perhaps not the most ethical thing ever, but it would appear the guy is getting his job done. If not, he would be a liability and logic would dictate in a service-oriented city, the Alderman would lose him. In that Pickett interview, he told a story about a political volunteer who came in and asked for help getting a job, and how uncomfortable that made him, and how that isn't how he wanted to do business. That is a quid pro quo (political help = job); hiring someone you trust--in this case a cousin--for an office is not. I'm not defending nepotism by Flores or anybody: I'm saying it isn't a damnable offense for somebody new to political office to surround himself with people he trusts and believes in.

Fourth, about the freshman aldermen: Joe Moore and Walter Burnett are both considered by various sources (The Chicago Reporter, Paul Green, ACORN) to be staunch Daley votes. In fact, the Sun-Times described Burnett as a "staunch mayoral ally," and Moore as an "Independent turned Daley ally." The Sun-Times made a point of gasping when Ald. Burnett criticized the Mayor on affordable housing issues. They *introduced* some legislation as freshman, but they also didn't rock the boat. They built coalitions and friendships and they deferred to the Mayor. The reality is that to deliver the best services and be the most effective, nowadays you have to "join the club" in Chicago politics, not shout at it from outside. Even Helen Shiller endorsed Daley in 2003. These aren't exactly nascent Dick Simpsons, are they? Generally fresh new aldermen make it a habit to ingratiate themselves a little before taking bold initiatives. Point of order, few aldermen at all introduce binding, city-wide ordinances; Ald. Ed Burke (14), Ald. Dick Mell (33), Ald. Burt Natarus (42), Deputy Mayor Solis (25), are the only really effective ones, with a few reformers occasionally making a push. I'll admit, I didn't slog through the ordinances introduced in 1983, when Ed Smith won office, to see if he introduced any legislation. But I do know he votes with Daley almost invariably.

Fifth: Apparently, you think a building in the First Ward is ugly. And, Ald. Flores (allegedly) accepted a campaign contribution from a contractor. This puts him in the very exclusive company of Every Politician In The History of The United States of America. Except, of course, Blair Hull. Sorry, had to sneak that in.

In summation, then:

Is Ald. Flores perfect? No. Does he do some self-aggrandizing? To answer that is to answer, "Is he a politician?" What kind of politician just humbly shuffles his feet and gives an "Aww shucks," when the cameras are nearby? Look, services are going to vary and opinions of a guy are going to vary. I live in the 25th Ward. Some people in parts of Pilsen hate Dany Solis and say he doesn't do ugatz for the 25th; others in other parts of Pilsen, or in Tri-Taylor, swear by the guy. Some flat-out adore him. I know my services are great, but I'll go down near 16th and Paulina and it looks like crap.

I wasn't "hoodwinked," by Manny Flores. I didn't like his candidacy from the get-go and was deeply suspicous of him, even after attending some campaign events. So the manipulative wiles you all seem to bestow upon him apparently had no effect on me. The upshot of my column here was that what I doubted about him--his sincerity--was wrong. He has put himself out there and worked for the issues he believes in. Services seem to have improved. Lobbying for SB 1498 was not nothing; it forced lots of State Reps to take a position publicly, and made the public aware of the issue. He does walk some fine lines--"pro-growth" and "anti-development" the most obvious--and he has three more years to prove he can do it. My point? I'm going to give the guy the benefit of the doubt after only one year in office.

We also learned something else very valuable. Wilson uses "chucklehead" as an insult.

Campos / August 14, 2004 5:35 PM

Alderman Flores is a liar and he has manipulated all of us into voting for him on promises he has ignored.

Forget about property taxes. No single alderman is going to have an effect on property taxes so that talk is meaningless.

Nepotism? Yes. Flores is guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

However, there are much bigger issues that Flores has failed to deliver on, yet were pivotal in his narrow margin win over Granato. Specifically, Flores got into office (and I will again stress that he barely did so over Granato) because he pledged a change from the corruption at City Hall. Setting aside the fact that nepotism flies directly in the face of such corruption, most people in the 1st ward could probably care less and don't endeavor to pass morale judgement on him for something that is more or less typical human nature--hiring a family member or friend--i.e., rewarding them for helping you get to where you got. No, let's be clear about how Flores is really much more corrupt than any of the alderman. How you ask? Well most of us expect some of the old school alderman to be in bed with developers and accept it as how things are and how certain things get done. However, Flores SPECIFICALLY made promises to all of us in the 1st ward that he would NOT be doing this and he squarely placed that type of conduct as the typical example of corruption at City Hall. So what is pretty-boy Manny doing now? Well he's catering hand and foot to some of the worst type of developers. I know of one example in particular that is a glaring testament to Flores' corruption. There is a property on the northwest corner of Logan Blvd. and Elston. It is an old, historic building with beautiful architecture, georgeously accented masonry work on the outside--something you won't see any of these cookie-cutter developers ever do today because it cuts into their profit margin and they have no concern for beautifying the City. The building is right across from the Target. The developer who owns this started tearing the thing down behind everybody's back. He claimed he had a permit for the demolition, but that is now in question and in any event he NEVER notified the community groups, neighbors (as required), and even now doesn't care about preserving this architectural landmark (yes, the City of Chicago declared this building a landmark). He's greedy. He doesn't even live in the 1st ward I am told. In fact, he doesn't even live in Chicago at all!!! Yet he would rape the City and its citizens of this beauty and our history. If we had more people like him around, Chicago would become Detroit and no one would visit and we'd have nothing to be proud of at all. I mean, come on, one of the biggest reasons people love Chicago is that it is THE greatest architectural city in the world. Most of the modern ages architecture is highlighted throughout the City, if not more or less invented here. Architects from around the world flock to Chicago. Tourists are a MAJOR source of revenue, which relieves our property tax burden--more so than if the City Council collectively sought to reduce our property taxes by some token amount--good luck with that by the way.

Anyway, back to Flores. Flores is very much in bed with this developer, who doesn't live in the first ward, who doesn't even live in Chicago (I'm told way off in the suburbs), who obviously could care less about Chicago, or the 1st Ward, or anything other than how fat his wallet is), who doesn't care about beatifying and preserving anything decent in Chicago, etc., and the proof that Flores is in bed with this guy is that Flores at first gave this guy the green light on all this (the guy was actually bragging about it and what a sucker Flores was, but now he complains about Flores because Flores fails to push his other permits through). Flores pretends to oppose this project now, but does so only passively. Flores makes no real effort to block this greedy user and defiler of the City, who would suck our hard earned money and property tax contributions (which will go up if he has his way and tears this building down) out to the suburbs, and to hell with all of us that actually live in the City. Be afraid of Flores because he looks good, and lies way too smoothly, and if he tells you he "opposes" something and claims he is leading some kind of march, the opposite is probably true because in the case of that property on the corner of Logan and Elston he will publicly oppose it, but privately push it.

If the property on the corner of Logan and Elston (a landmark, no less) gets torn down or otherwise developed, the blame can ONLY rest on one Manny Flores. He has the power to stop it, but doesn't, and instead lies to us about it. He's just not doing enough to make anyone believe he really wants to squash this greedy developer and defiler of our beloved City. The bottom line is, all that opposition to City Hall and the riddance of the corruption it the 1st ward was pure BS that Flores spewed to us. He wanted are vote and so he lied. Where is he now on a benchmark issue such as that property on Logan and Elston? He's in that developers pocket mining for future campaign funds and he's screwing all of us. Watch it be torn down. Put it on Flores and make sure you vote this liar out of office next election.

We won't forget!


Michael Madison / September 4, 2004 9:38 AM

Wow, I had no idea Flores was the alderman behind that whole thing. Campos, I know the building you are talking about. Flores and the City should be ashamed of themselves if one brick on that building gets moved. The fact that the developer doesn't even live in Chicago really burns me. I live in Flores' ward and what he is doing now on things like this is the opposite of what he promised he would do when we let him get into office. If that building gets torn down or modified in any way, I second the vote to remove Flores from office. At least Granato didn't hide the fact that he was corrupt, and truthfully, Jesse did one heck of a lot more in his first years in office that Flores has done to date. It's sad people have a short memory and are spurred on by twisted political views. Look at Flores' record vs. Granato's. At this point, since Flores is doing that kind of blatant in your face kind of corruption like on that building at Logan and Elston, I would go out of my way to join any campaign against him and for anybody else next term. Flores owes us his word and has a duty to represent the people of the 1st ward, not some out of town developer and the bottom line is that if he can't figure that much out and can't even make sure a Logan Square Landmark stays for all to enjoy, then he is just hurting all of us and doesn't care about the 1st ward or Chicago for that matter.

Michael Madison


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