Why Is Jackson Getting Away With This?

Seriously, how the hell is Jackson getting away with this nonsense?
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Let’s revisit Jackson’s plan in February 2006:

Under the new Intergovernmental Agreement, ALNAC’s Board of Directors will consist of nine members – at least five being Will County residents. During the construction phase, Cook County home-rule communities will hold four seats. After opening day, Cook loses one seat to a home-rule municipality from Kankakee County.

“In short, our plan gives Will County majority control before, during and after opening day,” Jackson said.

Specifically, ALNAC’s new governance structure is as follows:

* During the construction phase, the Board will be comprised of one appointee each from University Park, Park Forest, South Holland, Calumet Park and Elk Grove Village, plus four appointees by the Governor from Will County home-rule communities.

*After Opening Day, Elk Grove Village departs and is replaced by a Governor’s appointment from the Kankakee County home-rule communities.

Let’s add this from December 27, 2007 (Trib-Mclatchey article):

The repeal vote was a political victory for Jackson, who has quarreled with Weller for years over the details of the airport. And it came three months after Weller announced his retirement amid questions about his Nicaraguan land dealings and his relationship to an indicted defense contractor.

The amendment Weller guided through the GOP-controlled Congress in 2005 had required a majority of the members of the airport’s governing body be from Will County. It also would have made the airport comply with federal procurement guidelines instead of the state rules Jackson’s public-private partnership has followed.

Weller’s office could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

The horrors of federal procurement rules….

Of course, those wouldn’t work for ALNAC because as a compact, they are largely able to hand pick the developers instead of engaging in competitive bidding.  At best, the issues of pay to play are pot-kettle issues here with the ALNAC plan having plenty of room for the kind of mischief Jackson says he’s fighting.

More to the point, ALNAC’s plan gives two non-Will County communities the ability to sue to force expansion regardless of what Will County citizens want. Make no mistake about it, ALNAC is a scheme to keep control of a third airport in the hands of people who don’t live around it.  Trying to claim it’s all about pay-to-play ignores that ALNAC has the same potential problems, but with Cook County communities for a development project in Will County

Let’s revisit what Halvorson’s bill did:

(1) Four directors shall be appointed by the Will
County Executive, with the advice and consent of the Will
County Board; one of these 4 directors shall be a resident
of the 6 township eastern Will County area consisting of
the townships of Crete, Green Garden, Monee, Peotone,
Washington and Will;

(2) one director shall be appointed collectively by the
municipalities of Beecher, Crete, Monee, Peotone and
University Park; the selection procedure for this director
shall be as follows: the village president of each
municipality, with the advice and consent of the
municipality’s board of trustees, shall submit one
candidate for consideration within 30 days after the
effective date of this Act, and thereafter within 30 days
of any vacancy or expiration of the term of the board
member selected pursuant to this subsection; the
municipalities may, by intergovernmental agreement,
establish an open interview or other public hearing process
to review the candidates; the Board of each such
municipality shall vote, within 30 days of receipt of
candidate nominations, for one candidate; candidates
receiving the highest vote total shall be appointed to the
Board; in the event of a tie vote among the candidates
receiving the two highest vote totals, within 15 days of
receiving notice of the tie vote, the village presidents of
each municipality shall cast a vote for a single candidate
to break the tie; the failure of a municipality’s village
president or board to act within any of the time frames set
forth in this subsection shall forfeit that municipality’s
right to participate further in the selection and
appointment process for the Authority’s board position
then under consideration;
(3) one director shall be appointed by the Governor
upon the recommendation of the Cook County Township
Supervisors whose townships border Will County; the
director must reside in one of the Cook County Townships
that border Will County;

(4) one director shall be appointed by the Chairman of
the Kankakee County Board, with the advice and consent of
the Kankakee County Board.

(b) One of the directors appointed by the Will County
Executive, with the advice and consent of the Will County
Board, shall be designated and serve as the Board Chair.
(c) Each appointment shall be certified by the appointing
officer to the Secretary of State of Illinois and the Secretary
of the Authority.
(d) The appointing officers shall make their initial
appointments within 60 days after the effective date of this
Act. The failure of any appointment to be so made shall not
affect the establishment of the Authority or the exercise of
its powers.

3 thoughts on “Why Is Jackson Getting Away With This?

  1. Q: “Why Is Jackson Getting Away With This?”

    A, via The Hill: “Jackson said on WLS-890 AM’s “Don Wade and Roma” morning show…”

  2. Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission
    “Building Chicagoland’s Third Airport”

    Hon. Al McCowan, Chairman
    Hon. John Ostenburg, Vice Chairman

    Dear Editor:

    If all the demands for “local control” of the new airport weren’t so stubbornly uninformed, they’d be comical.

    State Sen. Debbie Halvorson and Congressman Jerry Weller sound like broken records when they repeat their only concern about the airport is “local control, local control, local control.”

    Guess what? The Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission is locally controlled.

    I am the chairman of ALNAC. I am also the mayor of University Park, a Will County community. I live in Will County. And I pay Will County taxes.

    ALNAC’s vice chairman is John Ostenburg. He is mayor of Park Forest, another Will County community.

    We formed ALNAC four years ago under the same state laws used by virtually every other airport commission in Illinois. In short, we didn’t seek special treatment in Springfield.

    More importantly, we designed a world-class airport (which IDOT adopted) and secured $300 million in private funds to pay for it, so Will County taxpayers won’t foot the bill.

    Finally, we opened ALNAC to all Will County mayors of home-rule municipalities, in accordance to state law and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s guidance.

    Park Forest and University Park border the airport. Our communities want an airport, but one that is friendly to the local environment. That’s why ALNAC is run by local elected officials, who are accountable to local voters, sensitive to local needs – and committed to creating 15,000 local jobs during the worst economy in a generation.

    Frankly, I cannot think of an airport with more ”local control.”

    But if anyone can prove that University Park is not in Will County, let me know. Then our residents can stop paying Will County taxes.

    Al McCowan
    Mayor of University Park and Chairman of ALNAC

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