Here's a short overview on yesterdays meeting with the Tim Mitchell of the Park District, Joe Moore, Jim Ginderske, Dick and Dorothy Gregory, April Janney and Jim Pottinger of BGC, Rep. Julie Hamos aide, Angie, Boyd McDowell of The Seabury Foundation, FOTP and the Gale Park Council – more will come.
Opening scene: All parties gatherd at the table in a conference room in Aldermanic Chambers in City Hall. The meeting was the result of a request from Eva to Tim Mitchell to meet. In other words, the council, having been excluded had a few questions and the right to receive answers.
We heard first from Mitchell who spoke of two meetings with the 'group'. One in April (no date given) and one on June 16, 2008. He held up sheets (no photocopies for handouts) of program comparisons between the park district and BGC. When I asked about passouts later, Mr. Mitchell told me I could find the park districts programming on the website!
April Janney, BGC again discussed their mission and spoke of the issues surrounding school based clubs.
The Park Council had a very important document to read from Mr. Glass, Principal of Gale Academy. Joe interrupted Eva claiming this was an informal or casual meeting and we didn’t need any statements read! So we distributed photocopies of the letter. Noticing it was from Gale, Joe brushed it off lightly stating that ‘with a glance’ at the letter he can say that Mr. Glass is in favor of a BGC in Rogers Park. Joe stated that he had met with Mr. Glass in his office. It is my understanding that Mr. Glass was invited and attended a meeting at DevCorp North but Joe didn't mention that meeting.
What he may have missed was the salutation and certain contents of the Letter From The Principal of Gale Academy
The brackets note the important verbiage that Joe may have missed in his quick ‘glance’.
The counter arguments from Mitchell and Moore and Gregory were:
Gale doesn’t have the funds
Good principals leave and the next principal may not allow such leniency for the whole community.
Issues of the club operating on school holidays and weekends.
Gale Council considerations:
Gale has more square footage than the end result in the new building after the years of waiting and rising construction costs.
That summer programming would have been underway had the 'parties involved' utilized the larger Gale Annex with Mr. Glass full cooperation. The new public facility, run by the park district, could be a spill over on holidays and weekends when the school was closed. There could be a compromise to any issues.
Readers are intelligent enough to read and comprehend what Mr. Glass has written.
Joe, who took over the meeting kept denying the council proper ‘table time’ by ignoring our little hands raised in the air like children. When finally given my little turn, I asked both Mitchell and Moore my big questions.
Here we have two government entities meeting with other entities deciding to lease a public building designed for public use to a ‘vendor’, the Lathrop BGC. I asked why the council was EXCLUDED and why there were NO PUBLIC MEETINGS. Let's just say that Joe got angry and did his City Council thundering directed at me.
Joe referred to his email blasts to ‘4000+ constituents’. I asked how many people are in a ward – he didn’t respond - so I had to let those at the table know. There are usually 55k per ward.
In closing, IF there are financial items with Gale Academy that would give these government entities the excuse to lease this public building to Lathrop BGC…perhaps had this been an OPEN WORK between all parties involved, including the park council and the community at large, Rogers Parkers may have mounted a huge fundraiser for the school. Personally, I feel that any monies donated would be put to much better use than those raised for political campaigns. So if everyone at the secret table is so damned concerned about the children then perhaps they should have taken it to the community.
After the meeting I asked Ms. Janney of the BGC if I wanted to run over and use the exercise room one night after work, did I get my own club card? She responded that I’d have to pay my fee, sign in so they know who is in the building. That’s just like any exercise facility. But unless I didn’t understand her next sentence, she stated that I’d have to come with a group.
So the taxpaying adults may be expected to utilize their public facilities in groups.