|Yes, There Is A History Between Denham And Myself
Mike Macek, Candidate for Trustee - Pontoon Beach
Some have recently questioned if there is a history between Denham and myself. The answer is yes.
Fifteen years ago Denham thought he was untouchable, just as he does today. I was a Trustee for the
Village in 1994, Jim Denham at that time was a police officer holding the position of Assistant Police
Chief, but was Acting Chief as Chief Ballew was out on sick leave. Prior to having Police
Commissioners, the Village Trustees approved promotions as well as handling disciplinary matters.
Chief Denham did something that he should not have. He put the Village in a very bad situation,
exposing it to possible lawsuits, caused negative publicity area wide and was a major embarrassment to
the Village. He was suspended by the Mayor pending review by the Village Board. The Village Board
met several times in Executive Session as it was a personnel matter. The end result was that Denham
was demoted to the rank of Captain. This was decided on by the full Village Board, not one person.
After he was demoted one of his long time friends came to me and told me that I would never
be elected again (in Pontoon Beach) because of what I did to “poor Jim”. From that time on
Denham had a personal vendetta against each and every member of the Village Board. It’s my
personal belief, if he did today what he did back then, there could be Federal Charges and
major lawsuits against the Village.
As far as Madison goes I did not ever have anything to do with the Police Department. Madison was
under the Police Commissioner system. One of the responsibilities given to me was to create a City
Alarm Department which I did and it was very successful and is still being operated today 30 years after it
was started. One of my ideas was a city wide Cable T.V. System. I was given the go ahead to start on it
and designed and supervised construction of the system. There were some legal issues that needed to
be resolved first so it was decided to sell the system. It was sold to what is now Charter Cable with the
City coming out with a $330,000 profit in 1984.
I was appointed to my positions by the Mayor and confirmed by the Alderman. I was not an elected
official, I just did my job as directed by the Mayor and Alderman. Prior to me starting to work on
development and annexations, Madison was about 1 square mile. The administration gave me the job of
looking at options and implementing them. There were existing businesses and residences as well as
farm land in both unincorporated Madison and St. Clair Counties. A major annexation move was started
and Madison started to grow by leaps and bounds. There was a major increase in sales tax revenue.
Gateway Truck Stop was one of those businesses. At one time they were pumping close to a million
gallons of diesel fuel a month which produced major sales tax revenue. There were also 2 auto parts
yards which were annexed in, again more sale tax dollars. The Mayor I worked for retired in 1985 and
the newly elected mayor had his own ideas and people.
In 1989, 4 years after being replaced the same mayor asked me to come back. Because my family
settled down in a new home and new school district I was unable to move back to Madison so I accepted
the position of Management Consultant. This time my duties were Annexation and Development. Almost
immediately the St. Louis International Raceway, now Gateway International Raceway was annexed.
Shortly after that new owners purchased the track and we worked with them on a major expansion of the
facility. The city formed a TIF District to help them with qualifying costs. As part of the agreement the
city kept 25% of the TIF funds and the Race Track got 75% to cover the eligible costs. (Unlike
Mayor Denham’s Gateway Commerce TIF District where the Developers got 100% of the TIF
funds and the Village got nothing, not even the reimbursements of operating, start up costs,
attorney bills or maintenance costs.) Madison used their 25% to pay for a new fire station (over
$2,000,000 plus some specialized equipment), sanitary sewers for the East Madison, Cloverleaf and
Eagle park Road areas as well as some smaller residential and commercial areas, road improvements
were made and water lines were run. TIF funds are also used for the maintenance of streets within the
district. A far cry from the Gateway Commerce TIF, but yes the Village did get a new village Hall out of
the deal. The TIFs and Enterprise Zones I worked with in Madison showed results not just for the
businesses/developers (as in Pontoon Beach) but for the residents and taxpayers also.
One thing is for sure Pontoon Beach taxpayers can’t afford any more of the TIFs that Mayor Denham
promoted. One more thing to add to the Gateway Commerce TIF is the fact Edwardsville did not have to
go to such extremes to get warehouses built. After all was said the owners of the Gateway Commerce
Center choose to annex everything to Edwardsville. Out of all the development there Pontoon Beach has
only 4 buildings and there has been no new construction in the Village in about 6 years, yet construction
continues in Edwardsville and they even get property taxes from most of the buildings in their City not to
mention sale tax dollars from some of the businesses there.
Mayor Denham spent a lot of money during the last election saying I left something out of my resume and
I did although it was not intentional and it was corrected after our first piece of literature. When the
person that was drafting our literature asked for our information I gave him the Resume I was using for
work. Nothing was mentioned about me being a Trustee in the Village. Businesses really aren’t
interested in politics. As soon as I realized what I did the omission was corrected but that did not stop
the New Beginnings Party now Future Progress Party to send out 3 mailers just about this one thing.
They could not campaign on the real issues.
During my first 2 years of being Village Trustee a lot of accomplishments were made then I my health
gave out. I was far from being myself and hardly able to work. I had three doctors treating me at the same
time, trying everything, nothing seemed to work and none of them could determine what was wrong. I
finally went to a specialist that diagnosed me as having Reflex Sympathic Dystrophy Syndrome.
Treatments and proper medications were started and over a period of about 5 years I was able to go
back to work full time. And yes during that time especially at first I was not myself as I could barely stand
the pain and nothing within reason would stop it. I regret the way I acted and handled things. All I can say
I wasn’t myself and if you did not experience it you would not understand. I can just move forward, people
that really know me knew my accomplishments prior to that time and after my recovery. It’s no secret that
Denham uses these few years against me and really can’t say anything negative before or after the fact .
The bottom line is that he and his friends will do anything to keep me from being elected-
anything. (Rumors, lies and deceit).
He knows if I am elected he will have to start following the Village Codes and State Statues, his
frivolous spending habits would be scrutinized, his unauthorized borrowing between funds
and using tax dollars for purposes other than what they are intended for would stop.
Closed door illegal meetings would come to a end, people being appointed to positions that
are not qualified would be questioned as well as appointing people that live outside of the
Village to positions even though there are qualified Village residents that could be appointed.
The Denham administration has lived for 10 years without a system of checks and balances
and the taxpayers have paid dearly. It’s now time for the taxpayers to take control.