The O'Hare Airport/Bensenville Swindle

Worth 30 pieces of silver?

"O'Hare Expansion Fight Grounded for Good," announced an NBC Channel 5 headline on the Chicago television station's website. "City will pay Bensenville $16 million"

Well, not quite yet "for good;" there's still a major church-state fight working its way up to the Supreme Court over whether Chicago can ride roughshod over a religion's right maintain an undisturbed cemetery, in conformance with its tenets, in the path of the expansion plan's most southern runway. Ignore it if you will, but the high court's decision in the suit by St. John's United Church of Christ opposing Chicago's plans to relocate the 160-year-old St. Johannes Cemetery could turn out to be precedent-setting in the hot debate over separation of church and state.

 But that's a story for another day.

Today's story is how cheaply the new administration in Bensenville sold out to Chicago to end the village's long and righteous struggle to stop the city from tearing up the entire east side of town for a runway that might never be built. The agreement was announced with great fanfare on Monday by the Chicago Aviation Department and Bensenville's turncoat village president Frank Soto.

For the $16 million, Bensenville will lose some 600 taxpaying-homes and businesses, surrender millions of dollars of street, utility and infrastructure improvements that the village has sunk into the east side neighborhood, and wave goodbye to the largest and best managed tract of affordable housing in DuPage County. Will someone please calculate how a measly $16 million makes up for more than 100 years of investment?

Read more in the Chicago Daily Observer

Comments

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  • It took 3 elections to finally defame, and slander past village president John Geils enough to where enough people started to actually believe the tripe they were being fed. The taking of homes and business property is not yet done. Remember, there is still a ring road to build, and the approval of some plan that wont impact all the busineses which line the Irving and York road intersection.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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