Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Some people in the neighborhood have expressed concerns with DevCorp North and believe they are doing a disservice to this community. It is my feeling that many of these people are acting in a very reactionary way or perhaps have an agenda of their own . I have yet to see concrete evidence of malicious activity.

I would like to begin a conversation that is based simply on facts dealing with programs that DevCorp has begun and whether or not they were successes or failures. I believe it is important to have a true discussion without getting bogged down in petty details or conspiracy theories. We cannot improve this community by constantly breaking it down. We need to be realistic in our goals and create a culture that understands that people trying to improve Rogers Park will sometimes falter. Learning from these failures while still holding those in power accountable when we are dealing with issues of incompetence or negligence is paramount. It is possible to do these things without being inflammatory or vulgar. Actually, it is the only way to be effective.

18 comments:

Hugh said...

> ... concrete evidence ...

DevCorp North is part owner of the company that developed and owns Gateway Mall.

See the Limited Liability Company Operating Agreement of Combined-Development - Howard, L. L. C. dated December 19, 1996, and signed by Kevin O'Neil, then President of DevCorp North.

DevCorp North fails to disclose this asset on their legally required financial disclosures. See

DevCorp North 2003 IRS Form 990
DevCorp North 2002 IRS Form 990
DevCorp North 2001 IRS Form 990
DevCorp North 2000 IRS Form 990
DevCorp North 1999 IRS Form 990
DevCorp North 1998 IRS Form 990
DevCorp North 1997 IRS Form 990

Combined-Development - Howard, L. L. C. is an off-the-books partnership for DevCorp North.

Feel free to post if you have any questions, we can walk through it together.

Michael K said...

Hugh,

Thanks for posting. I am unsure that this is evidence of criminal activity or corruption as we have discussed on Craig's site.

I hope to hear more as you gather additional information. Believe me, if there really is something corrupt going on I will be one of the first to take the case to the proper authorities.

As you can tell by the tone on this page, I am trying to maintain a bit quieter tone than Craig. Don't get me wrong, when I want a fiery conversation I go to Craig's place but when I feel like being a bit more restrained I put it up here. Actually, I often post the same comments on both. Craig has even seen fit to put up one of my comments a few times. I know that my style is often considered boring and restrained these days but sometimes I need a little boring.

Cheers!

Hugh said...

>I hope to hear more as you gather additional information.

you mean beyond government filings prepared and signed by DevCorp North's officers?

Michael K said...

Exactly. Take them to the proper authorites and see what they say. I am not qualified to make judgements on someone's tax documents. Maybe you could start by taking them to a CPA or tax attorney and have them review them? Just an idea. Keep me updated on your efforts.

new on morse said...

I agree that it would be useful to get an expert opinion on this issue. I am going to call in a favor from a very qualified CPA I know - an auditer, in fact. If there is (or isn't) anything fishy he'll find it.

This may not satisfy those who feel that DevCorp should have been more forthcoming, even if we discover that they have followed the letter of the law...

We'll see...

nico's mom said...

"new on morse" is "nico's mom". Not sure why that other name popped up.

Michael K said...

Thanks for the follow up. It would be nice to know one way or another.

Hugh said...

>I am going to call in a favor from a very qualified CPA I know - an auditor

Oooo - financial statements. Very complicated. Best get an expert.

Oooo - zoning. Very complicated. Best left to experts.

You guys are re-enacting the Reformation in Rogers Park: authority vs. individual thought. Guys, there's absolutely nothing about the disclosures that is beyond you, I assure you.

>It would be nice to know one way or another.

You need an authority to tell you right from wrong? You seem to be taking an approach where you listen to the pro, listen to the con, you stack up one pile of evidence for, and one pile against, and see which pile is higher. What about thinking for yourselves?

Not all questions are amenable to resolution by authority. Sooner or later, you have to make certain decisions for yourself. No one can walk that road for you. You have to decide what you stand for. You have to weigh what you want to do in the context of your own values. Have more confidence in the abilities God gave you. Be patient with yourselves. Take your time.

Bring in Alan Greenspan if you want. Personally, I don't care what Peter Fitzgerald or Lisa Madigan thinks. For myself, I can't lend my name or time or money or energy to an charity that writes and testifies and pretends to be a "community group" and accommodates business by paying our least fortunate in food stamps while concealing corporate connections and making public money disappear and sucking resources out of our neighborhood. But maybe that's just me.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to think. Do what you want. Send them a check. Print off some of your posts from the "Broken Heart" and send them in and they'll invite you to join their Board. Seriously.

Michael K said...

It's called being thorough and responsible. That's how you get things done. Acting in a way that is contrary to evidence presented to you is not "thinking for yourself." That is called being ignorant. It's as if you have found yourself on a sinking ship but you decided long ago that this ship will not sink so you do nothing. Say hello to the fish.

And if they want me to join the board I would be thrilled. Then I could DO SOMETHING to change things not just talk it to death.

Hugh said...

DevCorp North asks us all to look the other way on too many things.

Michael K said...

Look, taking information that is vague at best and throwing around accusations is dangerous. I just found out today that MJH's campaign owes Craig $1100 and has owed it since 2003. They even appear to have omitted that on one of the forms and then it reappeared.

http://www.elections.state.il.us/CampaignDisclosure/CommitteeDetail.aspx?id=16910

Now, I could take that little factoid and start making all kinds of allegations. I won't though because it serves no purpose other than making me look foolish and reckless.

Hugh said...

> ... if they want me to join the board I would be thrilled.

Sounds like you've made up your mind.

Hugh said...

If I may be permitted a modicum of personal satisfaction when I can get it, I will count it a small victory that you used the SBOE search engine and even posted their URL.

Michael K said...

I'd like to take the reigns of a community oraganization if I thought I could make a difference in my neighborhood. I'd think you would feel the same.

Michael K said...

I use every resource I can get. I do believe I have you to thank for this one.

I studied anthropolgy in college and my wife is a journalist. I am big on research.

Hugh said...

> ... I could take that little factoid and start making all kinds of allegations. I won't though ...

you mean you won't other than posting it on two blogs?

Michael K said...

Have I used it to make any accusations? No. Just stating facts. I'll let people think for themselves on how to interpret the meaning of it.

nico's mom said...

Hugh - there is a lot more to getting to the bottom of DevCorp than reading the 990's. I'm sorry you aren't interested in pursuing this further. I intend to on my own time.

Although I hear your moral argument, I am also interested in what Madigan and Fitzgerald would say - not that I have a ton of confidence they would be interested in such small fish even if DevCorp did break the law. But that is a question for another day.