Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Case for the 50th Ward

It is not uncommon for voters to vote for or against a candidate. Ideally, we want to vote for the best person for the job. But I'd like to offer an additional criteria: I'd like to challenge you to vote for the best person FOR THE WARD.

While a lot of attention has been spent on what the alderman does down at city hall, fundamentally, the work of the alderman is here in the neighborhood. In Chicago, the job of alderman is more one of ward manager than city legislator. Fixing potholes, water mains and sidewalks, keeping the ward clean, and eliminating rodents is not glamorous work, but that's the job we are electing.

One of the stories I remember about our Mayor is that, about a decade ago, he was still going out in the middle of the night, checking to see if an area was basically free of rats. Woe to the alderman who's ward was discovered to be rat-infested. The Mayor was known to dress down those who's ward didn't meet his standard of what a first-class city should be, sometimes publicly.

This reminds us of how strong the Mayor is in Chicago. For some, like the unions, this is bad, because it means that power is concentrated in the Mayor's office. The city council should be more independent of the Mayor. Absolute power is a dangerous thing, and it certainly makes corruption easier.

But there's a reason why we have aldermen and not city councilman. Aldermen are not merely our representatives on the city council, they are our ward managers. Aldermen effectively coordinate the delivery of city services in their ward. The alderman appoints the ward super, who "hangs out" at the alderman's office. The police captain always takes the alderman's call (or so he says). They control what kind of special events go on in the ward. They control zoning and development in the ward, and have real impact on our property taxes. The alderman has a much bigger say in local business, who stays and who comes in, than you might think.

The ward has changed a lot in the last couple of decades. It is no longer the neighborhood that Stone first served or in which Dolar grew up. Many new residents have come in and bought homes, especially during the housing boom. Many of these new residents have come from other wards where the alderman was more attentive to the appearance of the ward and the delivery of services. They do expect more from the alderman.

How you decide who's best for the ward depends on what message you want to send. While I am drawn to the notion of building competing centers of power, I'm not sure that I want one of those centers to be in Jesse Jackson's office (or SEIU's). And in a strong Mayoral system with aldermen instead of councilmen, I expect that a good alderman will focus on neighborhood needs. There's a lot to be done in the 50th Ward, there's a lot that has been neglected in the past few years.

We should "expect more for our ward." What you have to decide on Tuesday is who will be able to DO more for our ward. Consider this an open thread about what needs to be done in the ward in the next four years and who is best to be able to accomplish your goals for the ward. Try to keep it positive.

39 Comments:

At April 14, 2007 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mayor calls in complaints to 311 from his car.

 
At April 14, 2007 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone told me about allegations of voting misconduct on the part of Stone people during early voting. Have complaints been filed with documentation or is this gossip?

 
At April 14, 2007 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the flip side of aldermanic politics in magnet and selective enrollment schools: http://blogs.chicagoreader.com/politics/2007/04/14/matlak-gets-schooled/

 
At April 14, 2007 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite all the carping,lying,and libel/slandering against stone,the truly intelligent voters of the 50thward will re-elect Ald. Stone on Tuesday because they KNOW why they live here;Stone has made this one of Chicago's best neighborhoods and a living example of AMERICA at its BEST.The broad range of support ,across and within all of the ward's diverse communities,for Stone is a testament to his fine character and performance in office.

 
At April 15, 2007 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hit the PT Baer link to the Berny Stone show but it didn't work--show 375. Has anyone else been able to watch it? The show with the elecition lawyer Jim Nally was on --wish he was a candidate!

Avy spent about half the interview complaining about how he had been maligned on the internet and trying to get free legal advice relating to whether he had been libeled. Nally basically said in a very nice way that if you don't like sites, don't read them.

What was really weird was that the naisylies.org site kept flashing on the screen so I guess they are taking credit for it. That's surprising because it is so bad.

I did think Avy had a point about the meaness and zealotry of the anti-Stone people out there.

It did make we wish we still had the truly nonpartisan community group they talked about conducting debates.

 
At April 15, 2007 2:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received a Stone mailing today from Mayor Daley blasting the unions. I'm sure that at one time (and maybe still in some capacities) unions had a purpose but my slightly negative impression of them (it's become impossible to get rid of bad employees and the worst ones are always the stewards) has become full blown negative after all those mailings from the SEIU. They made themselves an easy target.

This fight between DAley and the unions is one to watch.

 
At April 15, 2007 2:42 AM, Anonymous p.t. baer said...

Jay, you may have finally solved our problem. If only you'd explained it to us sooner. If the job of alderman is as you describe, we shouldn't even have an election. We should just put an ad in the paper and hire the most qualified applicant. After all, an alderman is just an administrator, something like a customer service manager.

Other than this brilliant insight, there's just one interesting sentence in this overly long idiotic post: "While I am drawn to the notion of building competing centers of power, I'm not sure that I want one of those centers to be in Jesse Jackson's office (or SEIU's)."

That one sentence inspires a whole list of subjects to write about. If Jesse Jr. endorsed Naisy, why isn't she telling anyone about it? Why bury the announcement in the campaign website and never mention it again? Why are the Chicago Association of Realtors, the Chamber of Commerce and Wal-Mart valid centers of power, but not SEIU? What do you mean by "centers of power" anyway? It sounds to me something like having a voice in the decision making process.

Maybe you should just delete this post and try again.

 
At April 15, 2007 3:16 AM, Anonymous p.t. baer said...

Jay, here's something you left out of your description of aldermanic duties: protecting the ward from Islamic art.

On Friday, April 13, Bernie Stone himself went to 6224 N. California to stop work on an Islamic mural. A group of student volunteers is painting the mural on the side of a building on private property. He lied to the group by telling them they needed a sign permit (which they don't). See the mural project blog for more information.

Naisy, you'd better jump on this one fast.

 
At April 15, 2007 10:13 AM, Blogger Hugh said...

New Video: Stone Debates Stone: On Crime and Cameras

Point-Counterpoint: Bernard L. Stone, 79-year-old candidate for alderman from the 50th ward of Chicago, debates Bernard L. Stone, 79-year-old candidate for alderman from the 50th ward of Chicago, on the issues of crime and cameras.

Whatever your views on the severity of the crime problem in the 50th ward, or on efficacy of police cameras, you will find something to appreciate in the positions of Bernard L. Stone. Stone talks out of both sides of his mouth so much, he debates HIMSELF! Watch as Stone reverses course and then revises history.

 
At April 15, 2007 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The case for the 50th Ward:

1) Get an alderman that will listen to voters who voted for him or her(or NOT). The alderman doesn't have to agree but has to learn to work with those he or she doesn't agree with.

2) Run an office where people are not patronised or blown off. If the staff can't deal with the caller's question then take a page from how other offices (or even Macy's)are run and find someone else who can answer the question in a savvy and professional way. Don't criticise the caller.

3) Take a page from Joe Moore. Whether or not you care about how 49th ward is, he does come to meetings, does go to places where he is not 'man of the hour.' When Mr Stone couldn't legitimise a new community group that held two debates(with plenty of UNREHEARSED Q and A) he blew them off. Ditto for the debates held by RPCAN and the North Side Alliance.

4)The 50th ward deserves a chance to be more than that ward at the end of the city limits. People laugh when you tell them who the alderman is, they may not know the area but they KNOW the alderman.

5) 50th Ward needs better marketing to compete with surrounding areas. Andersonville and Lincoln Square/North Center didn't happen OVERNIGHT. A plan was made and chambers of commerce, businesses, residents AND the alderman etc had to work together to get their successful business areas.
6) Finally the 50th needs to identify and appreciate all the talented people who live in the ward-many work for some of the best known culturaland other organizations. The alderman should invite them into the ward to provide input.

 
At April 15, 2007 1:41 PM, Blogger Hugh said...

> ... there's a reason why we have aldermen and not city councilman

Yes, there is. it 's called Illinois State law, in particular the Illinois Municipal Code. Chicago has over 1/2 mil people and so is ineligible for a manager - councilmen form of government.

 
At April 15, 2007 1:44 PM, Blogger Hugh said...

> Aldermen are not merely our representatives on the city council, they are our ward managers. Aldermen effectively coordinate the delivery of city services in their ward.

This is cultural. There is no basis in City or state law for this conception of the alderman's job. The "alderman as garbage collector" is a myth promulgated by incumbents to distract voters from their total shirking of their statutory responsibilities for legislating, budgeting, and oversight of the executive.

 
At April 15, 2007 1:46 PM, Blogger Hugh said...

> The alderman appoints the ward super

If this is true, it is illegal.

 
At April 15, 2007 1:46 PM, Blogger Hugh said...

> They control what kind of special events go on in the ward.

What is your source on this?

 
At April 15, 2007 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've already made my case for the 50th Ward by voting for Naisy Dolar early.

Today I was driving through Highland Park and I saw lawn signs for various candidates there for City Government. I quipped to my wife: "Aren't suburban elections wonderful? I'll bet no one here is suggesting that the City of Highland Park will be destroyed if Candidate A isn't elected!"

Anyway, Aldertrack is predicting that Naisy will pull a slim victory and I can only pray this will happen. To borrow a line from Dan Gordon's campaign in the 49th Ward, "Let the Sun Shine on Our Ward!"

 
At April 15, 2007 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nobody has any idea who is going to win:
50th Ward
Russ Stewart: "Stone...will win with 53 percent"
Jay Stone: "My dad [Stone] won by over 2,000 votes. They're not going to beat my dad. You can book it."
Richard Carnahan: Narrow victory for [Stone]
AlderTrack: "The 'little pisher' [Dolar] will edge out the alter cocker"

 
At April 15, 2007 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I was driving through "Highland Park and I saw lawn signs for various candidates there for City Government. I quipped to my wife: "Aren't suburban elections wonderful? I'll bet no one here is suggesting that the City of Highland Park will be destroyed if Candidate A isn't elected!"

Ah, but they all grew up in West Rogers Park.

 
At April 16, 2007 12:02 AM, Blogger Hugh said...

> a strong Mayoral system

Your characterization of Chicago as having a strong mayoral system has no foundation in state or City law. In fact we have a strong council form of government in cities in Illinois. What you perceive as a strong mayoral system are the symptoms of a very sick local government. It is sick because of Stone and his cronies.

 
At April 16, 2007 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugh said...
> a strong Mayoral system

Your characterization of Chicago as having a strong mayoral system has no foundation in state or City law. In fact we have a strong council form of government in cities in Illinois. What you perceive as a strong mayoral system are the symptoms of a very sick local government. It is sick because of Stone and his cronies.

April 16, 2007 12:02 AM


So did nyone listen to Stone and Naisy on WLS Last Night.Naisy calls inbecause she waa not invited on and when sheg ets on she makes a fool of herself.

She levels a charge that Mike Noonon. Stone Campaign Manager is corrupt but can get any specifics arego any farther than seeing his corrupt. One Stone confronts her, She tries to change the subject and then hangs up.

Yes people that would be great leadership if Naisy won. That why shee needed to study for debates.

 
At April 16, 2007 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The MORRIS nazis are AT IT AGAIN accusing STone of ripping down the AMERICAN FLAG!!!! THEY DID IT THEMSELVEES!

 
At April 16, 2007 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So did nyone listen to Stone and Naisy on WLS Last Night."

So, there was actually sort of a debate? Is is recorded anywhere on line?

 
At April 16, 2007 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DOLAR CALLED IN TO AN INTERVIEW WITH STONE ON THE "TOM ROESER" PROGRAM ON WLS RADIO LAST NIGHT. SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO AMBUSH STONE INTO A "DEBATE";STONE EAGERLY AND GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTED HER "DEBATE BY AMBUSH CHALLENGE" AND PROVED ,OVER LIVE AM RADIO HOW SHE IS NOT ANYWHERE NEAR HIM IN KNOWLEDGE,FUTURE PLANNING,OR CITY MATTERS. DOLAR DEMONSTRATED THAT UNLESS SHE HAS A PRE-PREPARED AND PRACTICED SCRIPT, SHE CAN NOT THINK IMPROMPTU,A QUALITY ESSENTIAL FOR OUR REPRESENTATIVE TO CITY GOVERNMENT.TO TOP IT ALL OFF,ONCE DOLAR WENT INTO MELTDOWN SHE ABRUPTLY HUNG-UP IN ANGER MIFFING THE HOST AND HIS CO-MODERATOR,JOURNALIST RUSS STEWERT AND LEAVING ALD.STONE THE WINNER BY KNOCK-OUT!

 
At April 16, 2007 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE DESPERATION OF THE STONE HATERS IS CAUSING THEM TO BE IN A CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD,LOL,LMAO!NASTY NAISY'S RADIO AMBUSH OF STONE TURNED OUT TO BE HER AMBUSH OF HERSELF,LOL!SHE RAN-OFF THE AIR,HANGING UP WHEN SHE UNRAVELLED UNABLE TO ANSWER BASIC QUESTIONS,CLEARLY DEMONSTRATING THAT SHE CAN'T CARRY STONE'S BRIEFCASE. NOW, ADD TO THAT THE LATEST LIES AND LIBELS AGAINST STONE ON GOEBBEL'S DESCENDENT MORRIS' WRP SITE AND THE SIMILARITIES OF THE DOLAR CAMP TO THE TITANIC GROWS MORE APPARENT BY THE HOUR.

 
At April 16, 2007 1:32 PM, Anonymous Vote Dolar for Fairness in the 50th said...

The video is poor, but it's an interesting article from the Chicagoist blog:

http://www.chicagoist.com/archives/2007/04/16/painted_into_a_corner.php
April 16, 2007
Painted Into a Corner

Just days before he faces Naisy Dolar at the ballot box in Chicago's 50th Ward, Bernie Stone is facing a different kind of challenge in his ward: public art, and the tension it can create in the community. Muhammed Akbar, a British Muslim artist who is touring the US in conjunction with the Arts Council England for his “Arts and Islam” tour, came to Chicago this past weekend. For the Chicago portion of the tour, he had planned to paint the word "Peace" in both Arabic and English on the side of the Islamic Circle of North America mosque on Granville and California. Come Friday, however, Ali and his supporters, including children from the community that had come to help paint the wall were confronted by none other than Bernie Stone himself, telling them that they needed a permit for the sign, and it had to go through his office first.

City Ordinance 8-4-270 seems to address this situation; we have to wonder, however, if the authors of the ordinance intended it to apply to works of public art on private property, particularly religious institutions. Unfortunately, what started out as a simple misunderstanding flared up into a much stickier situation.

While Stone has some valid points, perhaps the most disturbing part of this video is the quote from the fellow to Stone's left, who told the artists "those guys [CFD] are pissed over there, they're saying how many firemen died in that thing and they got to see this every morning [the mural].”

Muhammed Akbar, the artist, told Chicagoist, "We were out here for a beautiful purpose, to create art and to bring diversity and color to the community. This feeling of unity and happiness was crushed not just by us being stopped from painting but by the frankly racist comments ... towards us. How many signs are there out there that are over 12 square feet and without a permit? Before this mural there was some real big banners that we never got permits for on that wall." We here at Chicagoist won't try to interpret the law for Alderman Stone, but we're troubled and saddened that one of our own city councilmen, who represents a community of many different faiths and ethnicities, and has an obligation to represent Chicago to the rest of the world, can't take a stand when such blatant racism is shoved not only in his face, but the faces of the community and its guests.

 
At April 16, 2007 4:17 PM, Blogger Hugh said...

Video Stone does NOT want you to see before you vote

Stone Debates Stone: On Crime and Cameras

Point-Counterpoint: Bernard L. Stone, 79-year-old candidate for alderman from the 50th ward of Chicago, debates Bernard L. Stone, 79-year-old candidate for alderman from the 50th ward of Chicago, on the issues of crime and cameras. Whatever your views on the severity of the crime problem in the 50th ward, or on efficacy of police cameras, you will find something to appreciate in the diverse positions of Bernard L. Stone. Watch as Stone reverses course and then revises history. (Video)

Stone to Push-Cart Vendors: GET THE HELL OUT!

Bernard L. Stone, 79-year-old candidate for alderman from the 50th ward of Chicago, shares his views on America, our ethnic melting pot, land of equal opportunity for all. Yet for some in the 50th ward, not so much. (Video) (Transcript)

Stone: On Democracy

Bernard L. Stone, 79-year-old candidate for alderman from the 50th ward of Chicago, shares his views on ballot initiatives, participatory democracy, and community process. (Video) (Transcript)

Stone: On Development: NO NEED for Community Zoning Board

Bernard L. Stone, 79-year-old candidate for alderman from the 50th ward of Chicago, shares his views on the relationship between campaign financing and development policy, on affordable housing, and on community involvement. (Video)

Stone: Soft on Corruption

Through his willful negligence of his oversight duties, Bernard L. Stone, 79-year old candidate for alderman of the 50th ward of Chicago, is an un-indicted co-conspirator in each and every City Hall scandal. (Video) (Transcript)

Tax Increment Financing Explained

Bernard L. Stone explains Tax Increment Financing. This interview is very significant because it is a unique example of an informed interviewer attempting to extract an honest explanation of TIF from a local elected official. (Video) (Transcript)

 
At April 16, 2007 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugh
you are pulling at straws in these last few hours.
How many times are you going to post the same Video over and over and over and over !!1

 
At April 16, 2007 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've tried to remain civil when it came down to bashing the candidates.
Although I am voting for Naisy, I have always tried to remain open to Stone's arguments and take the rumors of the "stolen signs" and bad mouthings for face value.
However, a few days ago my Naisy sign, along with several others on my block were taken.
Stone calls this the "dirtiest campaign" ever... which it very well may be, but I would hope that he also realizes that he also is at fault for this.
Regardless IF Stone should win tomorrow, he should note that this will most likely be his last term.
Too many people have seen his bad side, and unfortunately I am not convinced that he won't give his position to his daughter.
Should he give his position to his daughter I doubt she could run on her own merit during the next election. Although her father may still claim to represent the people of this ward, there is no way I am going to believe that his daughter does.
Its time for a change, and I believe the 50th ward is slowly but surely coming to realize that.

 
At April 16, 2007 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many may think its time for a change but if you listened to WLS News Radio last night you would know that person is not dolar. DOLAR WENT INTO MELTDOWN SHE ABRUPTLY HUNG-UP IN ANGER MIFFING THE HOST AND HIS CO-MODERATOR,JOURNALIST RUSS STEWERT AND LEAVING ALD.STONE THE WINNER BY KNOCK-OUT! Russ Stwart said stone won that debate!!! Thats why she did not debate Stone on April 12th. If she were on a stage she would have run off. I couldnt have someone like that support this ward.

 
At April 16, 2007 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know how you can tell who won the "debate" on the Tom Roeser show. Between the commercials and the shouting and static it was NOT clear. Someone asked a question-something about "comfortable in office?" Someone shouted something else and there were two interviewers(?) repeating things(questions??. Still there was a laugh: someone said "you could have debated her at least once Berny."

 
At April 16, 2007 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are several zoning inspectors from the Department of Buildings whose job it is to investigate sign violations. They are overwhelmed with work. If an alderman sees a sign going up as it happens, why shouldn't he intervene. The tape shows him treating the people politely and with respect.

 
At April 16, 2007 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can I hear the Roeser show?

 
At April 16, 2007 9:44 PM, Anonymous don't take hugh seriously said...

Hugh is really emptying his hatefilled mind today and tonite. This Hatemonger on ESTES is going deep into his bowels to come up with his BARRAGE OF LIES.

 
At April 16, 2007 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Hugh realize that everytime he has posted a link to avy meyer's NTNM site he is committing CRIMES.UNLIKE when HUGH accuses others of crimes he has dreamed up,HUGH is commiting real crimes,therefore, HUGH,your obsession has surely led you astray.Hugh just can't help himself ,and tonight he is libeling and slandering Stone with all he's got.

 
At April 17, 2007 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for Aftab supporting Stone because of his "care and concern" for the south asian community

liars one and all


"ICNA sponsored a mural with wordclass artist Mohammed Ali aka
aerosolarabic who wrote `peace' in both arabic and english. Everything
was … all » going wonderful as many people in the community were
showing up and supporting us until alderman Bernie Stone busted in and
told us to stop at the prompting of the Fire Dept. They told his very
rude chauffeur that 'those guys (CFD) are pissed, they say that after
all the people that got killed in New York and we have to look at that
everyday (the mural).' "


http://aerosolarabic.wordpress.com/


check the video out, its Berny and his thugs in action. the racist qoute, everything caught on video

Id like someone to post Aftab's mailers from the primary and then his mailers from this election.

He claimed Stone was inactive for 34 years, he would vote for anybody but stone, and stone has done NOTHING in this ward

then he turnscoat and claims Stone is a very good hardworking alderman.

good job aftab, good job

 
At April 18, 2007 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO ALL YOU STONE-HATERS: THE VOTERS HAVE SPOKEN AND NOW YOU SEE THAT ALL YOUR HATE ,LIES,AND VITRIOL COULDN'T BRING A GREAT MAN DOWN.TO ALL YOU BITTER,ANGRY PEOPLE WHO POSTED AND CAMPAIGNED WITH SUCH EVIL INTENT AGAINST BERNY STONE-LOLOLOLOL--LMAO. A SPECIAL GREETING TONIGHT TO HUGH,WILLOW,AND HENRY(HANK)MORRIS-AND THE MESSAGE THAT YES GOOD WILL TRIUMPH OVER EVIL AND LIES WON'T FOOL THE MAJORITY.

 
At April 18, 2007 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

POST ELECTION AWARDS

First the first thing we will blames on Stone that he has no control over..the comcast cable outage.

The person is most deserving of voting twice in the election..JS so he can vote for Stone and once for Dolar so he can continue to play both sides against each other

The most likely to get himself in legal trouble beacuse of all of his posts Hugh( better see who is knocking at your door)

I think Willow9 also needs a award but I cant think of one right now



Oh and last but not least Stone WINS,Stone WINS, Stone WINS, Stone WINS...no wait that the 50th Ward wins

 
At April 18, 2007 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WILLOW9
YOU CAN CRAWL UNDER THE STONE FOR 4 MORE YEARS !!!!
4 MORE YEARS !!!!
4 MORE YEARS !!!!

 
At April 18, 2007 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re:anon 7:10a.m.----hugh and rockafield can join her for a menage -a -hate!

 
At April 30, 2007 9:52 AM, Blogger Hugh said...

> ... that's the job we are electing

Jay,

This post of your was perhaps the saddest post anywhere on the election. It's sad because it's as if you didn't learn anything. For 6 months you ran a blog trying to spark conversation about our neighborhood, and then it the final hours you fall back on the old saw about "the garbage is being picked up." The fav line of incumbents, the old confuse-a-voter trick: alderman = ward super. Any rube could have made that naive, uninformed, unsophisticated post. This post would have made a dumb comment.

Very disappointing.

 

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