Yes, “is.” Emails obtained by Michael and Misty Haji-Sheikh of Preserve Our Neighborhoods show that even though collaborators ultimately rejected formal incorporation of College Town Partners in May 2014, the intention remained to suck sweet, sweet tax dollars out of City of DeKalb via Tax Increment Financing (not even getting into NIU and use of the NIU Foundation, though we definitely should at some point). There is no reason to believe the schemes were dropped, especially now that the mastermind has wormed his way onto the NIU Board of Trustees.
Yes, “schemes.” How else to describe the dreams of a local banker (and longtime Sanitary District trustee, by the way) to transform a college-adjacent neighborhood and get DeKalb to pay for the project. He apparently is so persuasive that the other officials involved, including our mayor and city manager, went along with him for months though their status absolutely precluded participation as partners in a private entity intent on spending public money over which they exert control. It was a gargantuan conflict of interest; we should find ourselves shaken by the apparent ignorance or disregard of their duties to the public while they spent oodles of staff time and other resources to bring them to the brink of a formal agreement without council’s prior authorization.
Click here to read the email indicating that College Town Partners might have been buried, but not outright killed. If the Shodeen people ever get their hotel and apartments approved, look for CTP to dig up the undead baby, give it a costume change and present it as the inevitable and desirable retail counterpart to Shodeen’s residential development.
Zombies are slated to meet at 5 p.m. at the Holmes Student Center at NIU, then walk along Lincoln Highway, Annie Glidden Road, Lucinda Avenue and along the DeKalb Nature Trail near the East Lagoon.
Brown said Saturday’s walk is a test-run and he hopes to help organize another one closer to Halloween. He said he was surprised by the response and support the event has gotten not only from students, but from people in the community.
The Zombies of DeKalb group is planning a walk the evening of April 16. Over 500 people have signed up so far.
The organizers are the most thoughtful of undeadheads. They have a long list of guidelines for the walk, including admonishments not to hold up traffic while street-crossing (shuffle faster!) nor to bleed on DeKalb sidewalks.
OK, I’m outing myself as a Halloween-o-phile. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple months.
If we want to get NIU students, local teens and hip families downtown, DeKalb should host a zombie walk during Halloween weekend. Locate zombie headquarters at the Egyptian Theatre to tie into its Amenti Haunted House, and develop fabulous downtown discounts for people dressing the part. Recruit bands to play “Thriller” and “Monster Mash.”
If this idea has legs (and/or braynz), remember where you heard it first. ;-)