August 15, 2008

What Huberman Did NOT Discuss Last Week

Dear Neighbors,

This article from today’s Chicago Tribune sheds some light on plans by the CTA, Evanston, and Skokie to build new north suburban transit stations and increase service on the Skokie Swift line.

Last week we heard nothing at all about this from the CTA’s Ron Huberman when he came to Gale School to ask Rogers Park residents to agree to a $4.4 million donation to the CTA from our local Howard/Paulina TIF fund. Most of us who spoke at the meeting objected. We raised concerns that the request would empty our TIF account. Although this TIF will collect over $1 million a year until it expires in 2011, a $4.4 million gift to the CTA leaves us with less money to spend on our own Rogers Park community development needs.

We repeatedly suggested that the northern suburbs should kick in funds to help meet the CTA’s Howard Street Station project cost over runs. The station is a regional hub. Our neighbors to the north and northwest depend on it. They should help pay for it too. I recall Huberman only responded that the CTA had asked, but he explained that getting these municipalities to help the CTA was a dead end proposition.

Now we learn that the CTA plans to build more stations and increase its service – but specifically to serve north suburban riders. I find this news more than curious. Actually, in light of Huberman’s presentation to us, the terms duplicitous and lack of transparency come to mind.

Peace, Michael J. Harrington


Toni said...

Maybe we shoud mass mail bottles of Windex and paper towels to our government agencies....clean up the grime and let the light shine through?

Michael J. Harrington said...

Here's an entirely different local government services item. Our 49th Ward's Streets and Sanitation Department Superintendent Mike Erickson is now retired, and served his last day today.

Erickson was wonderfully responsive to residents and did a great job. Like his renowned predecessor, the late Bill Norkett, Erickson could always be spotted regularly patrolling our ward for problems and jumping out of his city SUV to shovel up trash from our streets and gutters. Best wishes to him!

Greg Wagner is now in place as our new superintendent and I hope he will carry on the tradition of service.

Fargo said...

Well said, Michael. I'd like to know why Rogers Park should be paying for these improvements when Evanston and Skokie benefit significantly from them but are not asked to pay. This is about as clear as mud.

marcum said...

Why can't the CTA just charge EXTRA for riders accessing stations in Skokie or Evanston??