One citizen's take on the Dick that makes Chicago tick.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Did you enjoy Monday's "reduced-service" day? It looks like some people didn't get the memo about Mayor Daley shutting down the city: :
You could not get a library book or see a doctor in a city health clinic Monday in Chicago, but you could pay a parking ticket or fight to un-boot your car, provided you'd wait in a line long enough for an amusement park ride. Cops, firemen and privatized parking meters were working, however, even if nothing else was.

From a security guard answering phones in the mayor's office at City Hall to a harried staff collecting payments of fines at one of the few city offices open Monday, confusion and frustration reigned in the City that Works, which by design wasn't officially working at all.
I love that the Department of Revenue is an "essential service" now that King Richard has run our city into the red. Gotta have the city workers out there making him some money, even as the rest of the city is completely shut down to save $8 million. I also noticed that my neighborhood is only getting one side of its streets scrubbed, since one of our street cleaning days happened to fall on Monday. I would have thought Daley would keep up with the street cleaning so he wouldn't miss out on all those parking tickets he gets from his lovely street cleaning scheme. Funny, even when those worthless street sweepers come through, my street is still covered in garbage and dirt.

And, in case you missed it, Neil Steinberg at the Sun-Times had some nice words for Mayor Daley - Maybe Games Can Skip Mondays:
Every time a pothole opens up in the street, or an L train runs late, or a piece of old chewing gum is left on the sidewalk, Chicagoans must fight off an overwhelming urge to rush up to the mayor, hold the sooty fingertip of an otherwise pristine white glove under his nose and screech, "How is Chicago supposed to put on the 2016 Olympics when you can't even take care of THIS???"

Which is wrong because we never apply that logic to our personal lives ("How are we supposed to throw Nathan a bar mitzvah party in 2014 if we can't even clean our garage now?") Also pointless because Daley is a foaming fanatic when it comes to the Olympics. This is life or death to him -- we simply must get the Olympics, in his view, we must, and if we don't, should the Olympics go to Rio, or wherever, don't be surprised if our mayor utterly snaps, and slips into some fugue state where he believes the Olympics are here anyway. Can't you just see him? A broken and pathetic figure, sitting by himself on a folding metal chair in an empty Washington Park, cheering imaginary runners as they fly by in his shattered mind.

Still, obvious though the point is, sometimes this job entails stating the obvious, and today, "reduced-service day" in Chicago, somebody has to say it: If we can't even keep the city open on a Monday in August, if we can't even allow Chicagoans to check out a book or drop by a shabby CHA senior center, then how exactly are we going to mount a world-awing spectacle that will top all those Chinese drummers? Remember, we not only want to host the Olympics, but we have to do a bang-up job of it. What's the point of going through all this and getting the Games, only to botch them? "Remember the Olympic Opening Ceremony in Chicago? That bit with the six trained dogs doing somersaults? That was swell."

The die is cast. We'll find out in October whether we will host the 2016 Olympics. Until then, The City That Works doesn't. At least not today.

Here's my bet: If any city could attempt to save money by giving its employees a few days off -- there are others to come -- only to end up spending MORE money than it would have spent without the sabbaticals, that city is Chicago. Mark my words: By the time they tote up the overtime, doing the work that should have been done Monday, and the lawsuits from citizens who needed some service and didn't get it, plus the amount stolen because whoever normally watches the chicken coop on Monday was home watching, "Jeopardy," it'll end up costing us more. Just wait
Also, NBC Chicago reporter Steve Rhodes takes on Chicago aldermen and their expense accounts in a wonderfully titled piece - Aldermen Buy the Darndest Things (It's not Easy Being a Dolt):

Pity the poor alderman.

These people are paid a paltry $110,556 salary to do everything the mayor tells them to do, and they're supplemented by a measly $73,280 expense account.

Sure, that expense account alone is more than the typical Chicagoan makes, but aldermen have a tough job.

And, in light of last week's announcement that CPS will be raising our taxes, be sure to check out this article - Whose Fault is the CPS Budget Crisis?. Seems like there is plenty of blame to go around, including Mayor Daley and his wonderful TIF scheme.

Lastly, for your viewing pleasure, check out this video featuring 1980's Chicago:

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