Amazon’s Massive Chicago-Area Expansion Was Fueled By $741 Million From Taxpayers

The Selling Of The Southland: The WBEZ/BGA Study On The Expansion Of Amazon “Fulfillment Centers And The Impact On South Suburban Communities

This excellent but troubling story came out last fall.  Many of us talked about the negative impact of the negotiations between the behemoth and local governments, but the story hid in plain sight, like many other questionable local deals. There was a letter from five local mayors endorsing my opponent in the Rich Township Supervisor’s race.  One of the many scurrilous mailers that they put out talks about my raising taxes in the Township. That’s a lie, it never happened. However, two of those mayors account for a staggering $190 million dollars of local and County tax abatements in their Amazon deals.  Some of these deals involve local residents being in hock over 20 years. No value added, no using the funds for real economic development; money just gone. Ironically, the flat Township levy and this multi million dollar giveaway are both in the public record.  The difference is, the media and a watchdog group had to conduct a study to bring this to the public.  The budget, levy and audit of the Township is on the Township website. 

Story: 
https://www.wbez.org/stories/amazons-massive-chicago-area-expansion-was-fueled-by-741-million-from-taxpayers/300fa829-1b71-4d9e-a2f4-1776e88d4cb3
Spreadsheet of the projects and what was given to Amazon: 
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1umM8Q9Zyf511N68rjY8AyYAlWuu6eRf1ktaHlZGlE74/edit#gid=0

Questions Regarding Rich Township Road District and Lucinda Property Management

To: Township Residents and Interested Parties

From: The Integrity Party of Rich Township

Date: March 20, 2021

RE: Questions re: Rich Township Road District and Lucinda Property Management

With early voting beginning on Monday, we wanted to bring to your attention questions and concerns about the expenditure of taxpayer funds by Highway Commissioner Calvin Jordan. These are issues that should be examined before Rich Township voters head to the polls.

On December 10, 2020, Supervisor Riley, who is also the head of our slate, sent Highway Commissioner Jordan a letter requesting information about invoices from a company named Lucinda Property Management to the Rich Township Road District. After examination of some of the invoices, Supervisor Riley noticed that the work that Lucinda was hired to perform on behalf of the Road District was done on private property. The properties were in both incorporated and unincorporated areas of the Township, as well as outside of it. According to Illinois law, taxpayer dollars may only be used for public purposes. Taxpayer dollars are not to be used by public officials to provide private services on private property. In the December 10 letter, Supervisor Riley asked Commissioner Jordan to confirm why the work of Lucinda was needed and in what way it was for public purposes. As of the date of this memo, Jordan has not responded to the letter. His non-response should be very concerning. 


Attached please find the letter that Supervisor Riley sent Jordan on December 10, 2020, which was obtained by a citizen via a Freedom of information Act request sent to the Township. Additionally, please find a Corporation/LLC search showing that Lucinda only became an LLC on December 29, 2020, 19 days after Supervisor, Rileys December 10 inquiry.

Integrity in government is something that we know you take seriously. We believe in it so much we named our slate the Integrity Party because we pledge to continue Supervisor Riley!s practice of ethical,

transparent, and good government that protects Rich Township residents while delivering quality services at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.

In the proceeding weeks, you have received scurrilous push polls and defamatory mailings, not based on fact, but falsehoods and a lack of respect for your intelligence. Responses to those accusations can be found at alriley.com. That type of offensive politics cannot erase decades of advocacy and achievement in the public record. We know that is not the way you want to be represented.

We are presenting you with these documents in the hopes that you will ask questions and draw your own conclusions. There are other concerns which will be forthcoming. Financial malfeasance on behalf of the Township will greatly diminish the reputation of the Southland and those who enabled it. Please feel free to reach out to any member of our slate to discuss further.

VIEW DOCUMENTS

In solidarity for Rich Township,

The Integrity Party of Rich Township

Representative Riley and local leaders endorse David Bonner

Representative Riley thinks it very important for people to have trust in their government and trust in their elected officials. South suburban elected officials have worked together and collaborated on many issues facing the Southland. Many people have said that we want someone we can trust; just like we trusted you.

The candidate that Representative Riley is backing is David Bonner from Matteson. David has supported many elected officials in the south suburbs for years. He started walking door to door when he was in high school. David is also supported by Congresswoman Robin Kelly and the late Rich Township Democratic Organization Township Democratic Committeeman Tim Bradford.

David Bonner is no stranger to Springfield having worked as an Assistant Attorney General at the Attorney General’s office. He represented state officials and employees in state and federal court and prosecuting employers for violating state labor laws. As the Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, he represented Cook County officials and employees in civil rights lawsuits. He is currently working as a legal advisor at the U.S. Army Inspector General at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Column: Democrats pay respects to Rich Township’s Tim Bradford, 1942-2017

Daily Southtown:  December 5, 2017 by Ted Slowik

I’ve only been in this role as columnist for about two years, but in that short time Tim Bradford of Olympia Fields became a trusted source.

Bradford, 75, died Friday, the same day paperwork for the March primary was filed on his behalf for a fifth term as Rich Township Democratic Committeeman.

“We lost a great man and public servant, who was devoted to making Rich Township a better place for his constituents,” Cook County assessor and Democratic Chairman Joseph Berrios said in a statement. “Tim was an institution in Cook County and he will be missed by all.”

I met Bradford, a Chicago native, a few days before the Nov. 8, 2016 presidential election. He called at the last minute to invite me to his political fundraiser at the Matteson Holiday Inn. Speakers included U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who won the state’s other Senate seat a few days later.

Bradford impressed me as an old-school, get-out-the-vote operative. He won me over with charm and straight talk. He seemed like a genuinely good person.

“Some people obtain great personal sustenance from helping others before themselves,” state Rep. and Rich Township Supervisor Al Riley wrote in a tribute he shared on social media Saturday. “It’s a view into their own humanity, their very soul. Such was Tim Bradford.”

I also respected Bradford’s influence as a political power broker. He served as township committeeman since 2002 and rose through the ranks to become first vice chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party.

He served in an appointed position as Rich Township administrator and held two elected offices, as Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner since 2014 and for 30 years as a commissioner and past president of the Olympia Fields Park District Board.

On June 16, the park district dedicated the Bradford Barn, a restored 1917 structure at Sgt. Means Park available to rent for receptions and other functions.

“We’re so happy we were able to do that,” said Denise Will, park district executive director. “We’re all going to miss him.”

On May 30, the Illinois General Assembly adopted a resolution sponsored by Riley that congratulated Bradford upon the dedication and recognized his longtime community service.

Bradford served in a senior management position with Quaker Oats for 25 years, the resolution said, and he later became a successful entrepreneur.

His ventures included an interest in a St. Louis-based Miller Beer distributorship and as owner of the Docks Fish food franchise, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District said in a statement Monday.

“His success in the field of sales and marketing forged his path as a dedicated leader in the south suburban political community and the Democratic Party,” the MWRD said.

More recently, Bradford devoted his time to government and politics. He became known as “The Godfather” of south suburban politics, family members said.

“After retirement, Timothy Bradford began his next career in public service, a passion that had always been important to him,” the General Assembly resolution said.

He volunteered with numerous civic and business organizations, including the Rich Township High School District 227 advisory board, the Great Lakes Bank advisory board, and as president of the Matteson Rotary Club.

Bradford also served on the Iron Oaks Environmental Learning Center Joint Committee between the Olympia Fields Park District and the Homewood Flossmoor Park District, the state resolution said.

“Timothy Bradford has been a tireless leader in the Southland for almost four decades and a dedicated member of the Olympia Fields community,” the resolution said.

Co-sponsors of the resolution included representatives Anthony DeLuca D-Chicago Heights; William Davis, D-Hazel Crest; and Bob Rita, D-Blue Island.

In his heartfelt tribute shared on Saturday, Riley wrote that Bradford was raised on Chicago’s West Side and set out “to help change the social and political landscape of the south suburbs.

“Fighting racial steering, developing affirmative marketing ordinances, helping local government and community based organizations, encouraging people to run for office, (and) promoting racial ethnic and gender inclusiveness” were among Bradford’s accomplishments, Riley wrote.

Bradford showcased his political prominence in June when Rich Township hosted one of the first forums featuring Democrats running for governor.

I found Bradford to be straightforward and helpful in September 2016, when Democratic Party officials convened to choose a replacement to serve out the term of Cook County Commissioner Joan Murphy, who died while in office. Ed Moody, D-6th, of Crestwood, was chosen from among nine applicants.

I last spoke to Bradford a couple weeks ago when I sought his reaction to Moody’s decision to not seek election to the county board in 2018. He told me he enjoyed talking politics with me, but never mentioned his health.

“He had had some medical issues over the past year,” Riley told me.

By law, Gov. Bruce Rauner will appoint someone to serve out the remainder of Bradford’s MWRD term, which ends in 2020.

Bradford won re-election in April to another six-year term on the Olympia Fields Park District board. The board will likely choose a replacement and appoint someone to serve until the next consolidated election in spring 2019, Will told me.

It’s unclear whether Bradford’s name will appear on ballots March 20 for the township committeeman position. A representative for Cook County Clerk David Orr did not immediately respond to my requests for comment.

The MWRD, Illinois Sierra Club and several elected officials offered condolences to Bradford’s family in social media posts over the weekend.

“Our county is forever diminished by his absence,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said on Twitter.

Mourners sharing condolences included Cook County Board members, Chicago aldermen and other MWRD commissioners.

“Tim Bradford my friend, my bulldog. You will be missed,” U.S. Rep Robin Kelly, D-Matteson, said on Twitter.

Bradford and his wife of more than 50 years, Mary Ann, raised four children and were grandparents of eight, the MWRD said in its statement.

“Tim was a dedicated public servant and advocate for the environment,” MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos said in the statement. “He was a mentor to some and friend to many. He touched countless lives, and he will not be forgotten.”

Bradford graduated from Crane High School in Chicago, said his daughter, Cherise Montgomery. He was an athlete in high school and later coached youth basketball for many years, she said.

Visitation for Bradford will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, 18400 S. Pulaski Road, Country Club Hills. A wake will be held 9:30 a.m. Saturday at New Faith Baptist Church International, 25 Central Ave., Matteson, followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m.

News Story Link:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/opinion/ct-sta-slowik-tim-bradford-st-1206-20171205-story.html