Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) argues planned construction of the Barack Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s Southside shortchanges taxpayers.
“When Obama first sold this plan to Illinois it was said that privately-funded contributions would cover the cost,” Ives said. “Now all we hear is that it will cost more than we were told and taxpayers will be left to cover it all.”
Illinois needs tax money to repair roads, bridges and other much-needed infrastructure projects, Ives said.
President Barack Obama | Wiki Commons
Initial estimates put the price tag for the center around $172 million. However, recent projections have ballooned to approximately $224 million. Ives said taxpayers are also in danger of being abused in other ways.
“This center isn’t a priority for taxpayers and Obama has shown us through his campaigns that he’s capable of raising plenty of money,” she said. “Why not use those sources again? He’s already said that this won’t be a presidential library, but a center to expand his political influence and indoctrinate more people into his way of thinking. Why are we using taxpayer money for that?”
Ives believes the center will also usurp valuable park space at a time when green space is already limited.
In the end, Ives said she is hopeful that those publicly opposed to the plan have the chance to be heard and “rational thinking” wins out.
“I’m hoping all these challenges from people will make a difference and those people so desperate to preserve and save their neighborhood will get what they want,” she said.