Showing posts with label third airport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label third airport. Show all posts

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pat Quinn like all the rest

With the signing of the State of Illinois' $31 billion "Illinois Jobs Now" bill Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn just restarted the clock on a project for which time should have long ago run out. The bill steers another $110.5million toward the third airport project, near Peotone.

Illinois Governor proves to be no different than predecessors

With the signing of the State of Illinois' $31 billion "Illinois Jobs Now" bill Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn just rewound the clock on a project for which time should have long ago run out. The bill steers another $110.5 million toward the third airport project.

Billed as a jobs creator, that money will go toward buying the remainder of the land the state has been unable to obtain from folks who have vowed to fight to keep their land, homes, and farms -- unwilling sellers. How does that create jobs?

The only possible explanation for throwing good money after bad for a forty-year old project void of forward progress, is that Quinn is continuing similar practices of his predecessors -- jobs for favorite supporters: lawyers who will try to push eminent domain on innocent families; consultants who will to try to hide the project's lack of need; public relations specialists who will explore every angle in an effort to paint a rosy picture of the project; and of course investors who also contribute to public officials' campaigns for promise of a piece of the action when an airport is built, if it ever is. Perhaps some of those professionals are part of the 10.3 percent of Illinois' unemployed.

Many believed Pat Quinn would be different than his predecessors -- one who is serving time in a federal penetentiary and another who awaits his day in court. It looks like nothing has changed except the names.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Van Guilder vs. Glasgow - case dismissed

Judge throws out Van Guilder civil rights suit

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit this month against Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow.
The suit was in retribution for Glasgow doing his job – as is his duty – “to investigate facts and determine whether an offense has been committed,” according to the court.

Glasgow was sued in his individual capacity. Under state law, Glasgow is considered a state official, rather than county or local official. According to the court, the Illinois State Lawsuit Immunity Act provides that the state cannot be sued unless one of a limited number of exceptions applies.

The suit was filed by Rocquin Van Guilder, of Lowell, Indiana. Van Guilder was the former property manager and ex-vice president at Hanson Professional Services, the agency contracted by the Illinois Department of Transportation for managing the state-owned property set aside for a proposed airport in eastern Will County. Prior to his working for Hanson, Van Guilder worked for Earth Tech, formerly TAMS, the IDOT’s airport consultant. Van Guilder had since 1988 been the project manager for the South Suburban Airport project.

Van Guilder attempted to sue Glasgow for malicious prosecution, because Glasgow brought charges against Van Guilder and his son, Lee, who worked for his father. The suit was filed in Chicago’s Northern District Court in April 2007; just two months after the two were acquitted in a Will County court room for a misdemeanor property damage lawsuit brought by Glasgow.

Van Guilder, who claimed he suffered monetary loss and expenses, humiliation, damage to his reputation, pain, suffering, fear and anxiety, was asking for an amount in excess of $200,000 in compensatory damages and $1,000 in punitive damages.

Van Guilder’s claim that Glasgow initiated charges against him and his son for political reasons and for public relations purposes so as to bolster his standing with his constituents just didn’t pan out.

Glasgow charged the Van Guilders after a Dec. 1, 2006 incident when, in defiance of landowner Mark Baugh, a subcontractor hired by Hanson, drove heavy equipment across Baugh’s farm field.

Glasgow’s attorney Martin W. McMannaman of Lowis & Gellen LLP, Chicago, filed a motion in June to dismiss the case because as a public official and prosecutor, Glasgow enjoys immunity from prosecution.
District Court Judge Ruben Castillo held that Glasgow was immune from prosecution.

According to the court, “Under Illinois law, the state’s attorney is vested with exclusive discretion to determine whether to initiate criminal charges, and to decide which charges to bring.”

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Does Chicagoland really need another airport?

In the May 25 Tribune transportation section special, "O'Hare: Built in a year," David Young draws a contrast between the rapid construction of O'Hare Airport a half century ago and today's protracted efforts to build public works projects. He cites the current O'Hare expansion and planning for "the region's proposed third airport near south suburban Peotone."

A little noticed advantage of long lead times is that policymakers have the opportunity to reconsider the initial premise before final decisions are literally cast in concrete. Two decades since Illinois taxpayers began footing the bill for Peotone "studies," the question remains whether there's any public benefit to paving over the farm fields of eastern Will County.

Clearly, it's wrong to describe Peotone as the "region's proposed third airport." In a 1988 report, IDOT acknowledged the state of Wisconsin's contention that Milwaukee's Mitchell Field, which serves many people from northern Illinois, is the third regional airport. In a 2008 report, IDOT acknowledged the state of Indiana's contention that Gary-Chicago Airport - a Midway-like facility that has yet to attract regularly scheduled commercial passenger service - is the region's third airport.

Does Chicagoland really need a fifth regional airport?

The Illinois General Assembly should commission an independent study that considers all local infrastructure costs, as well as actual and projected revenue losses that would result from IDOT's plans to remove up to 35 square miles of eastern Will County real estate from the tax rolls. The study should evaluate airport-related costs and benefits based on various scenarios, including an assumption that a Peotone airport would attract no daily commercial passenger service for many years, if ever.

—Patti Schoenbeck, Monee Township Supervisor, Monee

—Brian Cann, Will Township Supervisor, Peotone

—Bob Howard, Washington Township Supervisor, Beecher