Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Brings Changes

When I first met Naisy, I asked her why she was running. She basically told me she was entitled to be alderman. She had lived in the ward for 30 years. She'd worked in the Mayor's office, and hinted the idea to run came from there. Plus she's Asian American, and they're due.

Her logic did not resemble our earth logic.

I try to stay abreast of all the developments in this race. Not enough for JVM perhaps (I'm just a bystander), but enough to provide this place for people to kvetch. One of the things I do is visit everyone's websites regularly (Aftab's is up about 40% of the time I've looked). That gives me a good feel for them, so I notice when they get changed. Especially when there are major changes.

The New Year greets us with pretty substantial changes in Naisy's site. Not how it looks, although it could do with some improvement (looks like a cookie-cutter website to me). No, Naisy's changed what she says. Reason number one (as she told me) for running is gone. Kaput. Finito.

Her website used to say, "Naisy has lived in the West Ridge/Rogers Park area for over 30 years. Her family immigrated to the neighborhood from the Philippines when she was 3 years old. She now lives with her husband Ben, a Chicago police officer, raising their two young children, Benny and Levi." You can still find the cache of the old website by googling "About Naisy" and selecting the cache version (to the left of Similar pages at the very bottom).

This language has been changed to, "As a longtime resident of West Rogers Park," and, "Naisy’s family immigrated to the neighborhood from the Philippines when she was 3 years old. She now lives with her husband Ben, a Chicago police officer, raising their two young children, Benny and Levi in the same house where she grew up."

She lives in her parent's house? Is Naisy even a property taxpayer?

There's something going on around here. Something the voters of the 50th should hear. It doesn't make sense that Naisy would change "lived in the area for over 30 years" to "now lives in the same house where she grew up." It was the foundation of why she said she was running. That's bizarre. It doesn't make sense.


At January 02, 2007 2:00 PM, Anonymous curious said...

I'm curious how this is pertinent to whether or not Naisy will be an effective alderman. Js, you've focused a lot of your attention to blogging about Naisy. Have you added your 2 cents about how Brewer and Stone's pages haven't had much additional content. Have you broken down Brewer's use of language in his platform/issues/etc?

Correct me if I'm wrong but the last time I checked... voters make the vote, not a machine/website. A candidate's focus, as well as an alderman's, should be the people of the ward.

It's 2007. Isn't it about time you bring yourself a change in language. Get off the point of her website.

At January 02, 2007 2:09 PM, Anonymous curious said...

By the way, Js, since you also seem to be very gung-ho about Aftab, how about you let us know what his position is on ANY issues? They obviously don't exist on his website. While you're at it, you can tell us how he will be a good leader of the ward. Thank you.

At January 03, 2007 6:42 AM, Blogger JS in the 50th said...

Curious, I think you've put the cart before the horse. Naisy's changes in her rationale for running made me question if she really knew why she was running in the first place. I don't know, do you? She's ambitious, but what else? She told me that she was running because she lived in the ward for 30 years, now she's changed her mind?

I find her inability to stick to something fundamental cause for concern. If she promises to do something, will she keep her promise if lightning struck and she actually got elected? It goes to trust. I think the issue of whether Naisy can be trusted is pertinent.

I also suspect that many voters in the ward will be troubled if Naisy is not a property taxpayer. How can she understand our need for relief if Daddy pays her tax bill? Why should voters trust her with ward funds if she doesn't understand the pressing demands placed on our families' budgets?

This space offers plenty of opportunity for supporters on all sides to speak up. I'm proud that everyone seems annoyed with something written here. Feel welcome to add your own. My only rule is, don't lie. That shouldn't be hard to follow.

At January 03, 2007 10:38 AM, Anonymous curious said...

Js, thank you for your response to my feedback. I understand this is your blog but for someone who wants to know more about the race in general, I feel like I cannot turn to your blog, which only discusses biased opinions of Naisy Dolar's campaign and promotes Salman Aftab's yard signs and mail pieces. I'm trying to look for more content. I commend you for having an updated blog but wish to see an overall view of all the candidates.

Again, if you attach so much "what if's" to one simple change in language in her page... I want to know why aren't you concerned with Salman Aftab's page has no REAL CONTENT. What ARE his issues??

At January 03, 2007 1:18 PM, Anonymous Sal Aftab said...

Thank you for your inquiry. I'm more into mailings, phone calls and door to door visits. My next mailing will have my position on different issues but I agree with you that I should add more info on my web site.
I see myself as a hand on type of alderman in the trenches. To solicit and follow citizens and community groups' recommendations on City matters, I will take the time to attend the regular meetings of various groups in my ward. I’ll involve ward residents in planning by holding regular monthly meetings. I will have an interactive web site that encourages community input and a monthly (or bi-monthly) e-newsletter.
My top priorities for the Ward:
The inclusion of every one including those who voted against me.
A rational zoning plan: I believe that business and commercial development should be balanced with residential development in the ward. The 50th Ward is a mix of single-family homes and multi unit dwellings with business and commercial development along the major streets of Devon, Touhy, Howard and Western avenues. I believe we need to accentuate the many Indian and Middle Eastern Business that are located along Devon Avenue. We need the type of development flavor of China Town or Greek Town. Our ward is roughly 4 square miles with a population of roughly 60,000 people and over 20,000 households. Any residential development that occurs must maintain the character of the neighborhood, be environmentally friendly and not over burden our neighborhood infrastructure. Any new development must be accompanied by a parking plan. Property owners should be fully informed by my office in the event that we seek down zoning. My long-range plan for the development of the ward is to stabilize our current situation then make sure there is adequate parking for our residents and business community. The long-range plan is to see the 50th ward as vibrant as China Town or Greek Town. Any request for zoning changes will go through the normal process. The notification process must be changed. Currently the City is only required to notify residents within 250 feet of the subject property, and the city is only required to make one initial notification. I propose modifying this notification requirement to include all residents (not just property owners) within 500 feet and to give notification each time the item is brought up for discussion.
TIF: Accountability and Transparency in determining how TIF funds should be spent.
The alderman should have a tally sheet on his / her web site showing the amount of TIF Funds and how they are being spent with which vendors and in what areas of the TIF. The Tally Sheet should also show if any of the vendors are from with in any existing TIF areas either from the ward, the city or suburban area. There Must also be Equalized Assessment Value charts for the property in question showing the two previous years, the target year and each subsequent year for the life of the TIF. There is also a need to track the amount of sales tax revenue generated from the properties in question along the same yearly schedule as EAV’s. There should also be a report of city code violations, inspections and fines levied against properties in question for 3 years prior to the target year. This last step would show if there was added pressure on behalf of the city to get current property owners and businesses to relocate or close. Involvement of residents in planning and approval of future TIF districts:
If I have my way there will be no future TIF’s in Chicago until the current ones have run out and stopped draining money from our schools, parks and other governmental bodies. My office will hold public meetings and notice will be given to my constituents. I believe that is a function of an alderman to notify their residents of development. I will notify all business and property owners in a subject TIF area. I support terminating a TIF when the objectives of the TIF plan have been accomplished before the 23-year period is over.
Sufficient waste pickup and garbage cleanup in all areas of the ward.
Street maintenance commercial areas.
Fight against crime (drugs, prostitution, robberies, gang activities)
Improve the quality of public schools and after school recreational activates.
I’ll work to ease overcrowding and improve the quality of public schools and after school recreational activities.There is already a plan in the works to build a new school in the 50th Ward to ease the over crowding in Boone and Clinton School. I think, generally speaking, Chicago Public School system needs more teachers. I would encourage a program where new graduates would get a portion of their student loans forgiven as a result of teaching in the CPS system.
I will you work to improve maintenance and rehab of aging schools.
Schools need maintenance report cards with priority rankings. We also must adopt the idea that “facilities matter”. There is a need for a cost benefit analysis to determine if a facility is worth the cost of saving it.
In my opinion the City needs to get the parents involved in a child’s education. There needs to be viable after school programs to keep the kids out of trouble and in a healthy environment. There is a real need for discipline in the Chicago Public School system. Children should wear uniforms. There are no real consequences for a student failing or for a school failing the student. Today students see school as a big social gathering and not an opportunity to learn. We need to put the teachers back in charge in the classroom instead of the student.
Thanks againg for your interest in my campaign.

Sal Aftab

At January 05, 2007 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy cow, somebody bring Salman a bucket of water cuz he is on fire!

Salman, why don't you put that on your website? Would Tony Peraica disagree?

At January 08, 2007 12:58 PM, Anonymous FM said...

Mr. Aftab has a lot of clever rhetoric to explain why he's worthy of being the alderman of the 50th ward. At the same time, he has no political experience and seems to favor reform and civil improvememts only for those of his South Asian descent in what seems to perhaps be the most environmental "unfriendly" area in Chicagoland this side of Gary.

What I want to know is why Mr. Aftab is explaining his recommendations to improve the 50th ward on a blog ? What good will that do? Why is it not on his website ? Moreover, did he really write what he posted ? I suspect that perhaps his political strategy on the 50th ward appears to be the work of someone else. Because if anyone has spoken to Mr. Aftab or read his material on his website, he sounds rather primitive and boorish. And that is definitely someone who I would not wanting to lead my community.

At January 08, 2007 11:44 PM, Anonymous Tuyet said...

Salman Aftab is a gay basher. He should step aside because Naisy Dolar will represent Asians including south asians better than he ever could. Salman, step aside for Naisy! You're nothing.

At January 09, 2007 2:49 PM, Anonymous Dave D said...

Mr. Aftab is a meathead. He has know formal training or experience in politics; his education is suspect as he never provides us with his background; he claims that he is the editor of some Afghan news service, the Director of IT at a consulting firm as well as a journalist. How on earth do you juggle such hectic activities!? Furthermore, I have yet to see anything that he's written with a byline credited to him from a respectable media outlet.

He proposes a lot of solutions to the growing issues in and around West Devon, but doesn't support it with corroboration. His suggestion to improve schools and diminish gang activity is stating the obvious. Who doesn't want to provide that for their children? But how do you plan on paying for the expenses? One would assume that if you went to his website, you would receive legitimate answers. But there isn't anything except the same old slop on his visions and dreams. In addition, he has an arrest record as well as instigating verbal and physical altercations a dozen times, i.e. Pakistan Independence Day in Arlington Heights, Summer 2006.

This man is clearly an idiot if he thinks he can just waltz into this campaign and assume that the honest people of West Rogers park are going to pick someone who moved to this country just 10 years ago. Honestly people, is this someone who you want to represent you in the community ? I think not.

At January 09, 2007 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sal Aftab said
"I believe we need to accentuate the many Indian and Middle Eastern Business that are located along Devon Avenue."

fm said
" (Aftab)seems to favor reform and civil improvememts only for those of his South Asian descent"

dave d said
"But how do you (Aftab) plan on paying for the expenses?"

My comments ,for now, will stick with Devon Avenue development. Devon is in a TIF district, the very nature of a TIF creates surplus funds. That would explain how the expences would be paid for.
The other funding source would be the special assesment area that was just approved, and there is the facade improvement program that is available.

The ethnicity is Indian (South Asian) and Middle Eastern..that would include all those middle eastern countries and nation states that make up the region. It is truely one of the most unique ethnic (and religous for that matter) blends in the entire city. I think Sal hit the nail on the head by wanting to use that fact as a way to spur economic development and bring so many diverse people together for a common goal.

I believe Sal's ideas show a desire for Unity in the Community and using that to spark development.

posted by: Dave "Mad Dog" Madlener

At January 10, 2007 10:46 AM, Anonymous Dave D said...

Mad Dog, what Mr. Aftab is requesting to do is to to generate new business in an already congested area. TIF surplus is implemented in lower-rent areas. As investment in an area increases, the property of real-estate values rise. This, boys and girls, causes gentrification. What that basically means is that as the property in and around Devon increases the good folks of West Rogers Park will be victimized to higher rent, and slowly but surely, start to push them out of their own neighborhoods because of the higher cost of living and an increase of propery taxes.

Mr. Aftab claims that he wants to make West Rogers park similar to that of Chinatown. But Chinatown has retained its culture and uninqueness by not being hell-bent on building multiple new condos and other high-rises. This in itself has retained the spirit of the neighborhood. If he was going to work on a platform to reform West Rogers Park, he should be expressing a restoration project, one which can actually clean up the rather filthy streets of Devon and Western that have been ruined by the dilapidation of buildings and the lassiez faire attitude for any and all businesses to establish their physical shops within the vicinity. It's ridiculus.

At January 10, 2007 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave d said...
what Mr. Aftab is requesting to do is to to generate new business in an already congested area.

Sal Aftab said...
My long-range plan for the development of the ward is to stabilize our current situation then make sure there is adequate parking for our residents and business community.

dave d,
I know Sal made a long post, and you may be against him, which is your choice. Let me clearify for you and all the readers, Sal wants to Stabilize the current situation. No where does he mention building new. That is not mentioned once.

You make a good point about gentrification and Sal agrees with you 100%. Sal Aftab is against gentrification.

dave d, what you have done is mis represented Sal's stance on development. The TIF on Devon already exists, it is a matter of using those monies in the most wise way. The general idea is that by beautifying the area it attracts more customers, hence the businesses make more money.

With beautification, the property increases in value.....the tax rate itself stays the same....because the value of the property is worth more the amount of tax paid increases based on the increase in property value. Because the area has been beautified it now attracts more customers and businesses make more money. Their ability to pay taxes becomes easier.

It should also be clear that Mr. Aftab is against any new TIF's. He seems to believe that the creations of TIF's, over the last few years, have moved so far away from the original intent of the law that it is close to criminal.

Sal wants tranparency and accountability in development and citizen input throughout the process. He also requires an inventory (so to speak) of all code violations to see if city harrassment was involved.

I think it is refreshing to have a "non-politician" running for office. A fresh perspective is what the 50th Ward needs. The objective is elect a New alderman in the 50th Ward.

The challengers in this race have an unspoken pact. None of them will be bashing one another no matter how many times Uncle Bernie's people gets on a blog and try to pose as someone they are not.

I find it highly unlikely that a supporter of Naisy or Greg would use terms like "meathead" or "idiot" to describe a fellow challenger.

Bernie should have trained Alderman Troutman better on "how to take a bribe from a developer"

posted by: Mad Dog

At January 11, 2007 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A "non-politician"? Salman Aftab campaigned all summer long with Tony Peraica! I saw him marching down Devon with a big banner and a bullhorn! There is even a picture from the Tribune of him stroming on David Orr's office with Peraica!

Plus all those silly pictures on his website with politicians he gave money to. Salman Aftab is totally a politician. The Pakistani community doesn't even take him seriously! They describe Salman as a thug wth a bad temper.

And then there is the business of Salman's violent gay bashing incident a few years ago, covered by the nation. That is the first thing that comes up on Google when I searched for him!

The explanation that you and Salman like to give is not good enough. Whether or not Salman and that man have made up, Salman is obviously prone to violent outbursts and that is not acceptable. I'll take crazy Berny and his negligence as alderman over that any day.

At January 11, 2007 12:18 PM, Anonymous Dave D said...

I'll ditto that. Mad Dog you have to appreciate the severity of Mr. Aftab's crude and thug-like manner as Anonymous has described. Please look at the pictures from on November 8, 2006 and you'll see a hot-tempered, foaming at the mouth, Sal Aftab marching with Tony Peraica towards David Orr's office. I don't think it surprises anyone that he has a police record. But let's get back to our discussion.

"Any residential development that occurs must maintain the character of the neighborhood, be environmentally friendly and not over burden our neighborhood infrastructure. Any new development must be accompanied by a parking plan."

This is what Mr. Aftab wrote on this blog on January 3. Unless I can't infer things correctly, this is bluntly stating that Mr. Aftab is open to new residential establishments. He is also open to 'new development' so long that a parking lot is provided. This raises one point and a question:

My question: How do you plan on providing a parking lot for new businesses when there is scarcely any area (especially on Devon) that can be allotted for car occupancy ? This contradicts the presumed environmental stance Sal plans to take with the 50th ward. By allocating for more parking space, you're creating more of an opportunity for people to drive to West Rogers, thus exacerbating the alread horrific pollution that exists.

My point: Mr. Aftab is open to building new residential dwellings. This has been stated. Furthermore, if the TIF already exists than what's the reason to give the option on building ? If the money is already there, than you don't need new construction in the area.

I agree with your beautification point, which the entire 50th ward is in desparate need. But that was never conveyed in Mr. Aftab's blog, other than his ambiguous statement that "Any residential development that occurs must maintain the character of the neighborhood". What does that mean? The area has become a dump. I don't get it. Is that suppose to be the charm ?

For the record, I'm not an Alderman Stone adulator. If anything, he hasn't fared any better in his reign over the 50th. But I do believe that Greg or Naisy would do a much better job. Its too bad that you didn't represent either one of them Mad Dog, because you actually have communication skills compared to that tomato can you're supporting.

At January 12, 2007 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave d, now I see where we have misunderstood one anothers comments. I suppose that is the delayed nature of blogs.

The term "Tomato can" did crack me up a bit, a better choice than the others.

There is going to be new residential development in the 50th Ward no matter who is elected. Most of the residential lots are pretty cookie cutter with one house per lot. There are some odd balls like the corner of Lawndale and Granville (I believe). There is one home sitting on 3 lots, there is a zoning change in the works to move it from R-2 to TR-4. They want to build townhomes. Sal believes that when development occurs it should maintain the character of the neighborhood. In that neighborhood 3 single family homes would fit the neighborhood.

The new development was in reference to residential not commercial. Sal does not seem to advocate new development in an already over crowded area, but if, there is it should fit in with the existing structures.

dave d, polution ? and parking ? I really don't get where you are going on that one. There are some unique ways to create new parking spaces along the Devon business district.

Peraica ? yeah Sal was with Tony for the Nov election but from what I understand he was with Claypool in the Primary. Sal is a democrat, and he is reform minded, the move to Peraica was obvious for many many democrats and independants, but not enough......I'll go cry in my beer

A hot temper, The 50th needs a fighter that is passionate about the needs of their residents.

Thanks for the complement, I can communicate but I don't spell all that good.

Listen, if you really are not for Bernie and like either Greg or Nasy (obviously you don't care for Sal) focus your attention on hitting Bernie and hitting him hard.

The Challengers job in this campaign is to get their message out and get their votes, the other task is to beat the heck out of Bernie.......if everybody beats up on Bernie he won't get 50%+1. If the challengers do their job well enough (as a collective) it could be 2 challengers in a run off.

posted by: Mad Dog


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