The following Letter to the Editor expresses the views of the author; Patch merely provides a forum for opinions.
In regard to the open letter to the editor from Katie Schneider and Iwona Filipiak of the Niles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, dated May 23, 2012, I wish to disagree with most of it if not all of it.
The Village of states it is a policy guide in making any decisions that might come up (page 1). It is being treated as a mandate to spend and fulfill all of its goals in stone by misguided and zealous village officials. Village officials two years ago said it was a guide for policy, not actions.
It has made a metamorphosis into what appears to be projects and spending programs that have taken on a life of their own justified by this bible. It reminds me of the Soviet Union's Five Year Plans that had to be scrapped every three years.
I say let the free market decide and design the future of business in Niles, not a committee of political insiders and lawn chair economists prognosticating their visions, goals, and desires for the year 2030. Common sense at any point in time is the criteria for planning and running our country, not, let's say, the visions of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter. I'm sure we will not run out of common sense and be led by scatterbrains in 2030.
One of my observations of this plan is that it is more restrictive and will lead to more government interference and regulations and is an outline for municipal uniformity.
Niles, Illinois; Niles, Michigan, Niles, Ohio what's the difference they must all look alike.
The Niles Chamber of Commerce supported the Shopping District tax proposal. Really? Did all the members vote on this? Did the butchers, bakers and candle stick makers get any information on what was in this plan? Would you want your competition to get easy taxpayer money? What about the bankers and other financial wizards who are your members?
Golf Mill has not provided answers to any of the pertinent questions I have asked. Your words seem to indicate your financially oriented members are endorsing this financial deal without any operating, ownership or financial statements. Are they know nothing bankers, making loans with only a handshake?
Build a beautiful shopping district and they will come.
Produce a television series and they will tune in.
Serve a liver and onion hot dog and they will salivate
Build the Yugo 11 and they will drive.
Logical, isn't it?
In the free market, customers will choose the best products at the best prices in the styles they want, not necessarily in the most attractive shopping center.
Golf Mill needs help. Really? Why? They've been in business for over 50 years in a great retail location with prime rents, and low vacancies. If you can't make it here you can't make it anywhere.
I think the Niles Chamber of Commerce should consider an intervention, sit down and have a chat with Golf Mill, tell them it's maybe time for them to move on. Sell out or do an Equity Swap with a large exchange-traded real estate investment trust, or just sell out to new ownership who have the money, expertise and relationships that will be better able to run this business without a taxpayer handout.
I applaud who were able to properly grasp the facts, think clearly, and reject the self-inflicted blight and reject the business district tax scheme for Golf Mill.
The Niles Chamber of Commerce is acting like crony capitalists looking for a hand out of taxpayer money to provide capital your members lack or have withdrawn rather than invest or reinvest on their own. Your pandering for taxpayer money on behalf of Golf Mill and your other members is an example of the 1%ers trying to legally extract wealth from the 99%ers who are in many cases struggling to get by financially. To me you are presenting yourselves as a handshaking, backslapping, special interest group lobbying for government money (ultimately provided by taxpayers locally and far away thru grants, etc.). You should be ashamed of yourselves. Get focused, pitch in your own resources and hard work, try being independent, not interdependent.
We've seen the three man dog and pony slide show last August, the eight person tag team in February, the guided tour in March, our village manager toiling away on village time to cobble together a tax district ordinance for a blighted area that hadn't been declared blighted, now we have this home team endorsement and lobbying, what's next for this cat of nine lives?
I sense that the entourage of contingency funded consultants, real estate agents, and lawyers are still hovering around and in some way contributed to your literary work.