Saturday, January 20, 2007

The New Aurora - no Burnham on the Fox

Take a look at the pictures in The Beacon's story of Shodeen's plans for the new downtown Aurora. It's huge and doesn't look like it does anything to take advantage of the river front.

They should have considered Burnham and Ward's fight to keep the lake-front forever open, free and clear posts on Chip Valor's charges that the planning process was sure far less than clear or free,

Now, Chip Valor, a local businessman who is familiar with Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner's methods from dealing with him in early 1990's on the Downer Place Lofts project when Weisner was a city employee, has come forward with serious complaints and wants to see the city void the deals made with Shodeen.

Valor says Weisner's office ignored other proposals and ideas for the land and instead had an exclusive process with Shodeen. The city is also accused of violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act, which should come as no surprise to those familiar with the Weisner administration.
I'm not reflexively anti-development. We in metro Chicago constantly tear down and build anew. But developers best remember one attraction for many of us who moved out here were the long walks and bike rides along the Fox. We're losing that now in many spots.


Anonymous,  1:46 AM has done a spectacular job of exposing what is going on in the second largest city in Illinois.

Under Mayor Tom Weisner, Aurora seems to be aiming to become second to none when it comes to cronyism and allegations of corruption, insider deals and pay-to-play politics. US Atty Patrick Fitzgerald should put a branch office there.

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