Monday, April 14, 2008

A church wants nothing to do with a politically manipulated land deal

This is a story from out in Aurora, Illinois from OpenLine...
Rev. Jesse Hawkins had a pretty good deal going. Sell part of the land his St. John's AME Church owns to Indian Prairie School District 204 for the new 3,000 student Metea Valley High School, keep part of the land for a new church and future campus expansion with plenty of money from the proceeds of the sale.

Except Aurora Mayor Thomas J. Weisner's buddy, State Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Plainfield?), decided to manipulate and interfere with the deal for reasons that have little to do with the future of children or a church and more to do with cronies, special buddies and campaign contributions.

A few days ago, citing "pressure" Midwest Generation announced it was backing out of selling the school district, which effectively kills the Eola site for the new high school AND the new church for the oldest African-American congregation in Aurora.
The minister is playing a form of hardball thus there is a twist...
...Rev. Hawkins says the church may be willing to sell all of its land, including its proposed church campus. That would still allow to generate millions from the land sale, but they would have to find an alternate location for their church.

This would make Midwest Generation's sale to the school district irrelevant giving the district enough land and, more specifically, knock down the Holmes-Weisner strategy of forcing the district to end up selling it to Holmes' buddies at Macon Corporation, who have another site they want to sell to the district.

Weisner (D-Florida), in political damage control (at taxpayer expense) claims he is "disappointed" the deal fell apart to build the new high school on Eola Road, but if this new twist goes through, it means his close buddy Linda Holmes gets foiled again.
I used to think we had it bad in Chicago, but looking at the state of things in Springfield perhaps I should have realized that this has certainly always been the way to do business in Illinois unfortunately. Ideally a change should be made although there is certainly no guarantee in any case.

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