October 7, 2008

Park District Re-Naming Gale Park Tomorrow

Park District is to rename Gale Park tomorrow.

The issue is: the Park District is not following their own rules in the process.

“We hope that this effort continues to inspire and educate the residents of communities with the renamed parks,” said Timothy J. Mitchell, general superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. “Each park site that is selected for renaming is located within a 3-mile radius of where one of the women lived, worked or performed community service.” Source of Mitchell’s quote and another version of not following their own rule of residency or employment in the community

I’m not bypassing the rules – the Park District is doing a very good job without my assistance.

However, in an email today, a Park District employee stated the “guideline was never adopted as a formal part of our naming process, and it has never been a requirement that a park be named for someone who specifically lived in that neighborhood.”

Then what’s the point or purpose of having a 3 mile radius guideline I ask?

It’s really difficult being a ‘team player’ when surrounded by greedy, grabby players who would just as soon rip the shirt off your back as not. Like many, my property tax bill landed in the mailbox – a little bit for this and a little bit for that. Yet are any of us being respected and listened to for our contributions? Line item to the Park District, line items to the payroll of city employees, line items to hell and back but who is listening?

Yesterday the little red message light was on my work phone. I accessed the voicemail system to hear Joe Moore leaving a garbled cell phone message about renaming Gale Park on Wednesday and to call him. I have no idea what bad cell area he was calling from or if he was standing by a microwave but it was garbled. I returned the call and left a message. I left another just before I left work too.

Flash back to June 5, 2008 when some of us council members were summoned to the ward office for a ‘renaming committee’ meeting. There for the first time, I met Elizabeth Vitell and Dorothy Gregory who had been invited by Joe. That’s the day he dropped the Gale Fiasco in our laps at the very end of the meeting, remember? Joe stated he’d spoken with the Park District and asked for an extension to get community input on the renaming process.

The committee met again at RPCC and worked up a draft to send to principals of elementary schools in late August. Actually, some of us brainstormed and Ms Vitell typed up the document on her computer. It was to be sent to Betsy at the Ward office. It was to be sent to the schools in late August for 6th or 7th graders to do research on famous deceased women in the Chicago area, preferably women who contributed to the Rogers Park area. Joe was to do an email blast outlining how the students would research, make their presentations and the ward could vote on the finalists. The naming would be a community event.

Well, in yesterdays garbled message, Joe just wanted to let me and others know that the Park District was going ahead, by-passing Joe’s alleged stay on the naming from the summer and re-naming Gale to Willye White Park at tomorrows board meeting. The meeting is being held at 2210 West Pershing Road so hopefully many people with parks complaints can’t attend and it can be business as usual. It’s a combined budget meeting too! (I hope Mr. Mitchell has recuperated from whatever ailed him since he couldn’t attend many or any of the other budget meetings.)

Flash forward to this morning: Joe was meeting/greeting/registering voters. He always wants to avoid me…and sometimes I feel the same way but I asked if he received my messages. I simply told him the truth – told him to ask Ms. Vitell and Ms. Gregory why the ball was dropped. He was informed that Ms Vitell sent an email to Eva that more or less blamed the Gale Fiasco as a reason to ‘do nothing’. In true form, Joe mentioned the Park District is unhappy about another lawsuit and would I know about that? I stated the matter at hand is renaming Gale and the fact that he invited the duo to interject their ideas and run the show – ask them, ask Betsy who was copied on the 9/23 email from Vitell.

Vitell stated in part that she didn’t take any action regarding sending the information we worked up to the schools. Her reasoning was that a committee had been formed of several members (she named three and the rest of us were etc. – i.e. no names). She further stated in part that the whole project fell “by the wayside due to the controversy over the Boys and Girls Club”.

As I stated yesterday and this morning – the matter at hand is renaming the park no matter who resided in the building, a private organization or a public entity or Sarah Palin. Joe asked for a respite on the push by a certain Park District board member who wanted Gale named for his late friend. So one must assume the Joe, Vitell and Gregory decided that the renaming process was over when the building opened as a public facility without communicating to the council. Not real logical thinking for two lawyers is it?

Not being able to handle the truth, our Joe became sophomoric and said “That’s right Toni, it’s always someone else’s fault isn’t it?” In this case, yes Joe, I don’t have the document and I don’t have access to send Ward 49 email blasts on your behalf! Typical of the man whom I contribute money to via taxes, he said ‘Well, why don’t you go there tomorrow and make a stink?”

No, why don’t you Joe – you love bucking the system so much!

Just remember we’re all contributing to the Park Districts hard times

And we’re contributing to our ward employee, Joe Moore

The least he could do is discuss an issue without a threatening demeanor laced with accusations and etc. with anyone who is contributing to his paycheck.

Willye White contributed not only to the world of female athletes, she contributed to girls and young women of all ethnic backgrounds as a role model, but that isn’t the issue at all.

The issue is: the Park District is not following their own rules in the process.

“We hope that this effort continues to inspire and educate the residents of communities with the renamed parks,” said Timothy J. Mitchell, general superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. “Each park site that is selected for renaming is located within a 3-mile radius of where one of the women lived, worked or performed community service.” Source of Mitchell’s quote


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3 comments:

Rogers said...

It is beyond comprehension that this deplorable loaf stands around with a box of donuts under the false pretense of inviting people to request ward services.

Pity the 49th ward resident who actually makes such a request, only to be met by Joe's empty, confused stare.

That pear-shaped loser and his staff of imbeciles ought to inquire about jobs at the post office. I'm told you can get paid for doing even less real work there.

Toni said...

Well, lets hope he's waking up. At least he made a show at the park district meeting - motive not yet known.

Life is difficult enough without every damn step on private turf having to be a battlefield.

I live here too said...

Who is/was Willey White? Was she local, or active in the NOH area? I have not heard of her before.