Yesterday, I told you I would share the questions that Round Lake Mayor and Democratic Party state senate candidate Bill Gentes put forth while considering whether a minor league baseball stadium would be an asset for his town.
I thought folks in Huntley, McHenry, Woodstock (plus whatever town whose leader is too shy to admit talks with Heitman) might like to ask their councilmen, alderman or trustees what answers they have gotten to them.
Gentes put a poll on his blog and found 78% of those responding favored building a ballpark. 133 voted.
1.How much economic benefit does a minor league team bring to a municipality?
2.What are the costs of building a stadium?
3.What kind of stadium would be appropriate for the area?
4.How would we attract a team if we got past the first two questions and what would be the form of agreement it would take?
“Question’s 1 and 2 (I have put them in bold face type and enlarged them) on the post were not able to be answered so we moved on,”
Gentes emailed me.
These questions were posted February 28, 2007. There is an earlier on dated January 28, 2007.
Does that time frame ring a bell with anyone but me?
Mark Houser signed a contract to do a “feasibility study for the development of baseball stadium/indoor sports center complex on the McHenry County College campus” on September 27, 2007.
On March 12, 2008, McHenry County Blog revealed the baseball stadium was on the footprint of the Health, Wellness and Athletic Center displayed in the MCC library. The next day, the Northwest Herald ran a front page story with Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley praising it the idea to the skies.
On March 20, 2008, the two, plus Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee, were making their pitch behind closed doors to the MCC Board.
Does it seem strange to anyone that Round Lake’s mayor would make the possibility of a baseball stadium public on his blog and solicit taxpayer opinion and publish internet comments below his articles, while our junior college board would not even print accurate content from those who took the time to come to its meeting and make a public, in person comment?
Here’s the most negative comment found below the mayor’s first article: “I say “no” to a baseball team, since there is the very real danger of the taxpayers end up getting stuck with the bill for these kind of projects.
And if a Village offers special tax incentives to a team, again, we get little return, and more congestion, traffic, etc. “
In any event, Heitman and Houser were making their pitch to Round Lake the same time they were after the taxpayers of McHenry County College to finance their deal.
There are some English words for such behavior, not all of which can be used in polite company.
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The photo is of baseball promoter Pete Heitman.