Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Roger Molski's Record of Failure

Flossmoor's Missing Mayor, Roger Molski, sent out a postcard last week claiming "Record Commercial Development." Like all things that Molski does, the truth really depends on the definition (and the time frame). But there should be no doubt that Molski is continuing to gloss over his responsibility for bringing of blight to our downtown commercial district -- four years before our current economic crisis!

Our Missing Mayor wants you to believe that his record is one of accomplishment when it is actually one of dramatic failure. Really, what has he done in the past four years to be proud of?

At the May 2005 meeting where he was sworn in, Roger Molski pushed through the proposed "development" on the 2600 block of Flossmoor Road. You probably see the huge empty lot that Molski brought us every day. It's a dark hole in our commercial district.

One month later, in June 2005, Molski told us that "he expects ground to be broken by the end of the summer." The Flossmoor Square development was the centerpiece of Molski's development philosophy -- a philosophy that clearly failed.

Two and a half years later, the project remained "stalled," and even had the Southtown Star editorialize on the blight Roger Molski had brought to Flossmoor:

An empty lot near Flossmoor's downtown area is a reminder of a building project that's been in the works for more than two years, but hasn't happened yet. -- December 9, 2007

Four years later, the Daily Southtown featured Flossmoor's blight in its "Arrested Development" story:

Though a groundbreaking was slated for spring 2008, construction is stalled as plans still are being finalized, according to Patrick Finn, assistant village manager in Flossmoor.

Roger Molski introduced Chuck Bruti at May 2005 meeting as "his friend." He said that he'd known Bruti for years, and he mentioned that he -- our Missing Mayor -- had suggested to Bruti the development of the property where five thriving businesses had to be destroyed and removed from our tax roles.

This sounds like Blagojevich cronyism. Molski was looking out for his friends, not looking out for the village. Old school machine politics right here in Flossmoor.

Had the mayor done due diligence -- or even shown an bit of judgment -- he would have known that this project would sit idle for the past three-plus years (I predicted it at the very meeting that Molski pushed the project through). It was said that Bruti was having trouble with other projects. And if he was having trouble during the go-go period of economic development, there was no way he would be able to continue in the stingy credit environment we have now.

But Molski was trying to help his friend. He even waved Flossmoor's zoning code to help his friend.

What did Flossmoor get out of it? Well, we've lost money. The five businesses that paid property and other taxes are now gone. The large parcel in the heart of our commercial district remains empty -- four years later. The actual prospects of development are low, especially as long as Molski is mayor.

Of course, Molski has moved on. He's trying to divert our attention from his record of failure by pushing the development of a store that will sell liquor across from Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Think about it. Roger Molski wants to turn H-F into a party school!

These two developments -- blight in the middle of our commercial district and alcohol to be sold across the street from H-F -- creates a tremendous downward pressure on our property values. Instead of being insulated from the rest of the South Suburbs, Molski is working hard to turn Flossmoor into another Harvey, another Robbins. It's not simply that Molski exhibits poor judgment, it's that he just doesn't care about Flossmoor anymore. If re-elected this time, it's hard to see how Molski serves out the full term.


Anonymous said...

As a lifelong Flossmoor resident, I'm glad you are exposing our current mayor's behavior - thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am also a lifelong resident of Flossmoor. It is definitely time for change. It is hardbreaking to see Flossmoor losing the prestige and curb appeal it had in the past. Also, it is time to replace our ordinance officers with professionals who are willing to get off their butts and enforce the village ordinances.