Message of the Day – A Headline


I found this headline in the Chicago Sun-Times.

It was under the face of Cook County Board Chairman Todd Stoeger.

“TRUST ME”

it says in big bold letters.

It applies not only to Stroeger in his lust for higher taxes, but to the message so far given by McHenry County College board members concerning its proposed baseball stadium.

A large part of the board does not want anyone questioning its judgment about the baseball stadium’s subsidizing the project.

Given the dismal record of stadiums elsewhere, a lot of us are not in a trusting mood.

Quoting a Russian folk saying, President Ronald Reagan advised,

I can even go that far.

Show me the feasibility study that Equity One’s Mark Houser did of his baseball-promoting buddy Pete Heitman’s projections.

Subject them to outside scrutiny for the first time.

While I am no expert in baseball, as Heitman was so kind as to point out to me at the last MCC meeting (“You don’t know anything about baseball.”), I have been examining numbers governmental since 1965.

The college held no public meetings about the baseball stadium until Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission member Vincent Esposito suggested some would be a good idea.

Well, tonight at 6, MCC is holding a board meeting at the college.

If you were not in a trusting mode during the run-up to the Crystal Lake City Council defeat of the college’s re-zoning proposal, you might want to attend.

And sign up to speak your piece at the beginning of the meeting.

Since Huntley and other county towns are now courting Heitman, you might want to encourage the trustees to let those towns go it on their own.

If the members of their ruling board are willing to listen to Heitman’s, Houser’s and Frontier League Commission Bill Lee’s pitch in public, so be it.

Just don’t ask me to help subsidize this private entertain enterprise. I have better uses for my tax dollars.

MCC does not even have to be involved in building a baseball stadium in Huntley, McHenry or Woodstock. (Algonquin is also interested, but Algonquin is not in the college tax district.)

I believe only if the board hears in its own boardroom what you think about its proposal is it likely to ask some outsider like Lake Forest College sports economist Robert A. Baade or someone with similar credentials to check out Heitman’s projections.

And, if you don’t think they ought to be in the entertainment business at all, tell them that.

After all, if you look at the vision statement etched in glass on the boardroom wall, you will find not a hint that entertainment is part of the college’s mission.

And, tell them anything else you think appropriate.


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