Bernstein for 48th Ward Alderman

Independent – A Thinker – A Leader – Giving the Ward Back to All Its Residents
Contact: Philip Bernstein Phone: 312.593.4416 E-Mail: bernsteinfor48@gmail.com

bernsteinforalderman.com

Press Release
48th Ward Aldermanic Candidate Opposes Cubs Financing Plan Plan Would Hurt Services and Programs within the 48th Ward
Chicago, November 23, 2010: Philip Bernstein, businessman and professional economist and a candidate for Alderman in the 48th Ward today issued a position statement regarding the proposed Cubs financing plan for an upgrade of Wrigley Field. This plan would use amusement tax revenue to pay the principal and interest on a $200 million plus bond issue by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. “If elected Alderman, and if this proposal is brought to City Council, I will vote against it and lobby my colleagues to vote against it as bad for the 48th Ward and the city”. Under the plan, increased amusement tax revenue from increased ticket prices would be sufficient to cover the financing, according to the Ricketts family. If not, the Cubs ownership proposes to utilize a component of the already existing hotel tax to cover the shortfall. Either way, the taxpayer and the citizens of Chicago are being called upon to fund a single beneficiary private business with tax revenue that was intended for public projects throughout the city. “This clearly jeopardizes the funding of existing and potential services and programs within the 48th Ward, and the whole of the city of Chicago. It re-directs a component of this tax revenue which would normally flow to the 48th Ward for the benefit of our community to simply benefit the owner of Wrigley Field” Bernstein said. “Taxpayer generated revenue should not be used to enhance the assets of successful private businesses” said candidate Bernstein. “Rather, the revenue should be allocated to projects throughout the city of Chicago that will produce the highest return for the greatest number of residents. There are more than an abundance of necessary infrastructure and public services that are desperately in need of funds, which currently aren’t available. To allocate this scarce revenue to an ongoing, viable, profitable private enterprise is outrageous” said Bernstein. “Mr. Ricketts and his family are trading upon the goodwill of the residents of Chicago to put forth a proposition that benefits them, and only them. The rationale that the family would then invest in re-development in the area if the deal went through shows them to be shrewd, but not acting in the best interests of the citizens. The re-development benefit would only increase the asset base of the family, while the city would not share in the increase in value of Wrigley Field after it was enhanced” Bernstein said. “And shockingly, the Ricketts family has put forth no comprehensive economic impact assessment that even attempts to quantify the benefits of their total project, and justify public involvement in it. I suggest that the reason they didn’t is simply because the net increase in benefits to the area would be minimal at best: in all likelihood, the area already is operating at or near capacity, and any new business venture would simply result in a re-distribution of expenditures in the area, not new ones” Bernstein continued. Just as shockingly, there is word that the state Senate will be putting forth this proposal for a vote in the near future. This without any analysis; without any rationale. One more instance of business as usual in a state that is already verging on bankruptcy. The decision making process is broken. It needs to be fixed before it is too late.

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Philip Bernstein has over 35 years of successful business experience and service at senior management levels of the Federal government. He has owned and operated his own business since 1994, all without subsidy from the taxpayers. Bernstein has pledged to donate 1/3 of his aldermanic salary to charitable endeavors within the 48th Ward. He has pledged to field a staff demanding accountability, and committed to problem solving and issue resolution, while insuring that government services to the community are maximized. He will enhance the economic activity in the ward and insure that crime is reduced by demanding that all perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And he will listen to the voices and concerns of all residents, not just the select few insiders, and self-appointed “representatives of the community” as is the case today. In short, he will invigorate democratic process and principles in the 48th Ward.