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The Mechanics
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Daley Mon Dec 08 2008

Day by Daley, Monday 08 December

You should've been gone, Knowing how I made you feel; And I should've been gone, After all your words of steel. Oh I must've been a dreamer, And I must've been someone else, And we should've been over (by now).

Oh Daley, our love holds on, holds on! Oh Daley, our love holds on, holds on.

mike | Dec 6, 2008 3:55:33 AM For Chief Economist! Dan Mihalopoulos et al report on the Mayor "scoffing" at critics of his unbelievably short-sighted and devil-may-care-(about future generations of Chicagoans) deal to privatize the city's parking meters. A commenter on the Tribune story prepares Mayor Daley his lunch:

A meter making $2 an hour would make $80 during a 40 hour work week. Thats $4160 a year (52 weeks) for a single meter. There are 34,264 meters in the city. That works out to 142,538,240.00 a year, if these meters are only used 9-5, Monday thru Friday. The 1.2 billion would been made by the city in around 8 years. Not even figuring for inflation, the new owner of our parking meters figures to make at least 12 billion over the next 75 years.Now if you DO figure in inflation, at a 100 year average of around 3% a year..in 33 years you're looking at 18 billion, in 66 years you're would have earned about 27 billion, and this is using conservative estimates. 1.2 billion for 75 years? The city's economist must have gone to a Chicago public school.

Posted by: mike | Dec 6, 2008 3:55:33 AM


That's a dis. Although to be fair, it is not as though all the meters are being used at this rate all the time. Still, dis.

Joravsky, the Olympics and Something That Rhymes With "BIFs." Ben Joravsky's last piece in the Reader discussed the current hornswaggling (that's right, hornswaggling) over the supposed benefits of an Olympic Games coming to Chicago:

Furthermore, Daley has done a masterful job--and you really have to give him credit for this one--of shielding the public from any specific details of his Olympics plans: almost no one knows enough about them to decide whether the games would be a boon or a boondoggle. When colleagues in the media ask me why I don't join the Tribune and Sun-Times in cheering on Daley's Olympic crusade, I always flip it around: With so many fundamental questions about the cost still unasked, must less answered, how in the world can anyone responsibly support it?


We couldn't agree with you more, friend. In fact, many of these arguments can be found made by me nearly six months ago here. Of course, I've taken it a step further and, working with a team of other people, put together No Games Chicago to try to help educate Chicagoans about the likely devastation an Olympics would bring.

But Mr. Joravsky touches on something I didn't and we haven't at No Games, which is -- I'll give you one guess -- TIFs. Joravsky has done more than anyone else in media -- and possibly anyone else anywhere -- to bring to light the serious issue of TIFs and their effect on the city's fiscal and political health, and he's right to point out that the Mayor's unfettered access to those funds would likely become a crutch to make sure the city could finance the always-more-expensive-than-you-expected Olympic games preparations.

I've long suspected that Daley would pay most of these bills with the property taxes he's been hoarding in the tax increment financing accounts, as well as the millions he stashed after selling off assets like downtown parking garages, the Skyway, and Midway Airport. But given the gloom and doom budget talk coming out of City Hall these days, I think even the mayor realizes there's a limit to how much property taxes will give him to spend.


Wow, it all sounds so worth it, doesn't it? And to think, after hosting that Olympics, sinking into debt, wiping out neighborhoods, and ignoring needed infrastructure spending elsewhere, we could finally be on par with now-world-class cities like Sydney, Australia, and Atlanta, Georgia. No more taking guff from those Olympic-hosting snobs from Montreal, either.

Now here, just in case my intro didn't get the song in your head, is Steve Perry.


 
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