No ethics, no leadership, no thinking, no plan, same epic failure.No Embarrassment, No Apology, No Guilt, No Remorse, No Shame.
"My maternal great-grandmother died on a roadside after crossing the border with her children during the Mexican War," Vargas, 51, said.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Southtown Star.
#21 May 25, 2013
#22 May 25, 2013
We had this for twenty eight years under Peloquin and Frasor, Is there any other way?
#23 May 25, 2013
The new mayor's position is undecided about everything except paint.
#24 May 25, 2013
The same empty well.
#25 May 25, 2013
Watch the paint dry.
#26 May 25, 2013
It is time for the new mayor to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the office he currently holds, demonstrate his ability to deliver more than lip service, and excuses to the people.
#27 May 25, 2013
I agree, unfortunately Mayor Vargas put buffers in place! Mayor Pro Tem Alderman Jenco will handle all queries for Mayor Vargas. Treasurer Biloto will make decisions on any payout up to $20,000.00. Without council approval per the Finance Committee Chaired by Alderman Nancy Rita. Stand by, more of your rights will be taken from you. Any other decisions will be made by those who got Attorney Mayor Vargas elected. Forget about any transparency.
#28 May 26, 2013
During this honeymoon phase, it is in the best interest of all, to deliver the state of the municipality report. This should not be difficult for those in office who have had time to plan and get the house in order.
#29 May 26, 2013
Tsk ..Tsk ..Tsk. All ye Naysayers of the Honorable Mayor Vargas.
We had our chance to elect real leadership and failed. Only 3000 "voters" showed up and the election was taken from us.
So be it - let's get actively involved in the city. Attend council meetings. Organize groups within the wards. Write OpEds to The Forum.
Vargas is a Democrat. Rita is a Democrat. Obama is a Democrat.
Look at the stae our our country and see Blue Island's "Hope& Change".
Let's all get more active than just on this forum!
Blue Island is OUR home town!
#30 May 26, 2013
Realistically 4-5 properties in Blue Island are in some stage of foreclosure on each block. For sales signs not necessarily included.
#31 May 26, 2013
4 out of 5 properties on every single block in Blue Island is in some phase of foreclosures? Foreclosures are a problem no doubt but is is overstated for the purpose of scaring people and making the situation look worse that it is. Shame on all you nay-sayers. Quit kvetching and pitch in to make positive changes.
#32 May 26, 2013
BI's designation "Hardest Hit" coupled with Blue Island's position in one of the top spots deserves to be taken very seriously.
#33 May 26, 2013
By a 13-1 vote, the City of Blue Island adopted Illinois FIRST Complete Streets ORDINANCE - a historic moment for our community.
The new ordinance applies to ALL streets, in EVERY ward.
New road improvements are required to provide facilities that make the roadway convenient for ALL users. This includes pedestrians and bicyclists, but also handicapped, the elderly, youth - as the ordinance states, accommodating all ages and abilities.
Key routes near schools, parks, commuter stations, as well as all arterial roads have been prioritized by the City. The design of these streets will be assisted by the Plan Commission, providing a forum for public involvement.
#34 May 26, 2013
You get the feeling, he would rather be some where else. He had over twenty years to speak up and correct the problems. But he decided to be just another face in the crowd.
#35 May 26, 2013
It seems the "new" mayor can not recall, what he's done for the past twenty something years.
#36 May 27, 2013
The "new" mayor was more concerned with being the"first" Mexican mayor than improving the community.
#37 May 27, 2013
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: New land bank will be catalyst for change
As part of their ongoing commitment to improving the southern suburbs, the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and several of its member communities recently created the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority to help facilitate the redevelopment of vacant, foreclosed and under-utilized commercial and residential properties in the Southland.
The South Suburban Land Bank was formed as a regional economic development tool for municipalities with limited resources and limited staffing, to legally hold, manage and facilitate the redevelopment of targeted properties.
The SSLBDA will act as a catalyst for community development through strategic partnerships with developers, community organizations, banks and local governments to improve the quality of life, stabilize the tax base, and enhance economic activities that promote sustainable, healthy and stable communities in a manner consistent with local plans and priorities.
The South Suburban Land Bank was formed through an intergovernmental agreement between Blue Island, Oak Forest and Park Forest, and was made possible with assistance from the SSMMA and its partners, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provided the initial funding for the organization. The land bank is able to work within all 42 member communities of the SSMMA, but is encouraging municipalities to formally join the land bank for additional benefits.
The land bank is now operational and has begun strategically targeting properties and development projects. One of the first priorities of the land bank will be to help address the thousands of vacant and abandoned homes throughout the Southland. These homes can become dangerous safety hazards and can harbor criminal activity. This depresses property values of the surrounding neighborhood, and discourages investment.
To stem the tide of blight and vacancy, the land bank will assist communities in renovating these homes and reoccupying them with owner occupants and responsible residents.
In addition to the challenges facing the Southland due to the housing crisis and massive residential vacancies, the struggling economy has been further hampered by a declining base of businesses and viable commercial properties. The loss of these businesses and the abandonment of many commercial properties have resulted in a loss of both jobs and tax revenues for the communities.
The land bank is committed to assisting businesses in finding and retaining viable locations in the southern suburbs to help retain and create new job opportunities, and to lessen the real estate tax burden on area homeowners.
The South Suburban Land Bank will build on the collaborative efforts of the SSMMA, the Chicago Southland Housing and Community Development Collaborative, and the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation. The land bank will also support other neighborhood revitalization efforts with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the National Community Stabilization Trust, the IKE Program and the newly formed Cook County Land Bank to strategically promote quality housing and economic development opportunities in the Southland.
For more information on the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority, please visit www.SSLBDA.org or contact Executive Director Russell Rydin.
#38 May 27, 2013
1904 W. 174th Street, East Hazel Crest IL 60429
www.SSLBDA.org SOUTH SUBURBAN LAND BANK AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
May 20, 2013 AT 3:00 PM
SSMMA Offices at 1904 West 174th Street, East Hazel Crest, IL
2. Approval of April 8, 2013 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes Dotson
3. Executive Directors Report - Rydin
1. Welcome and Introductions Dotson/Rydin
4. Legal Denzin
 NCST National Community Stabilization Trust
 Properties/ Acquisitions/ Projects
 Recruiting New Land Bank Member Communities
 Policies and Procedures
5. Resolution to approve Executive Director Authorization Rydin/Dotson
6. Other/General Discussion - All
7. Next Meeting June 17th at 3:00 PM - Dotson
8. Closed Session--5 ILCS 120/2(c)(If Necessary)
a) 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5)--The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body,
pursuant to section 2(c)(5) of the Open Meetings Act.
b) 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1)--Appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or
dismissal of specific employees, pursuant to Section 2(c)(1) of the Open Meetings Act
c) 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(11)--Litigation, when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the public body
has been filed and is pending before court, pursuant to Section 2(c)(11) of the Open Meetings Act 9.
Adjourn at approximately 5:00 PM Dotson
#39 May 27, 2013
Board discussion regarding Rydins concerns about the agreement
Reimbursement Kingma thought that there was a built in amount for expenses. Denzin noted that this was for things like payroll taxes. He suggested that there could be items that the Board would have to approve before reimbursed. Paesel described the reimbursements that he gets from SSMMA - approximately $500/month for cell phone and local travel. Not included in this amount is out of state travel for conferences, etc. Board members suggested $10,500 per month to include ED salary as well as the cost of cell phone and local travel. Any additional travel would have to be approved prior to expenditure. Denzin suggested that this be kept as broad as possible. Include a line that all reimbursements need to be pre-approved. For extraordinary costs they would be approved by a work order change. Dotson will communicate with Rydin regarding the intent of the additional $500, this will be to cover the cost of typical incidentals and avoid the need for multiple work order changes. Termination off the table because Rydin seems to be accepting that it is an at will position.
Insurance responsibility of the independent contractor. Always Board assumption that this will be paid by ED out of his fees.
Priorities no problem that his salary is the first priority subject to the conditions of any grant received. Approve the contract subject to Dotson and Denzin final negotiations.
#40 May 27, 2013
5. Next Steps
a. Memorandum of Understanding
Denzin original idea to establish MOU with each community with which the land bank works. The ED should make the development of individual community MOUs a priority.
Denzin stated that some banks are more willing to donate money to a 501c3 organization, rather than public agencies. The CDBG application should be okay because the land bank is a local government agency. The SSLBDA does have the ability to become a 501c3 at some point. It will take some time and would need to be defined separately from the land bank. Denzin noted that if there are agencies that need this it would be appropriate to discuss this. In other cases, we just need to clarify that this is a local government agency.
Denzin informed the Board that the land bank needs to get an EIN for tax purposes, and he is working on it. Klaff asked what are we going to do for an operating account for the land bank? The land bank needs its own bank account. Paesel agreed that this is one of the first things that must be done. Denzin agreed that it is necessary to obtain an EIN for these purposes. Paesel also noted that the Board should establish criteria for selecting a bank, e.g., a bank that is working with the land bank. Denzin noted that there are other criteria for where local governments can deposit their funds, and these should also be taken into consideration.
Denzin has had discussions with the Cook County Department of Revenue regarding the existence of the land bank and that we will be filing for tax exempt status when we acquire property. As long as PTAX local government forms are filed, properties are held for future economic government, and each is filed with a copy of the land bank IGA, the Department of Revenue agreed that land bank properties will be tax exempt.
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