Expired Meter 2011 Election Endorsements
The endorsements pertain to the issues of parking and driving only. We do not believe that any educated voter should make their voting decision based on just one issue. However, we do believe the topics we cover here are important one and a Chicago or Chicago area politician needs to have a good understanding of these issues.
Mayor: Miguel del Valle
Of the four major mayoral candidates left in the race, only Miguel del Valle has the background, experience and vision to address parking and driving issues that challenge Chicago.
Del Valle, who is currently City Clerk, has first hand knowledge of these issues through the city vehicle sticker program his department administers. Each year in office, he has improved this program.
The department under his leadership brought the city into the 21st century giving drivers the ability to purchase city stickers online and combined residential permit parking stickers with city stickers so drivers had only one sticker to put on their windshields.
In addition, del Valle is against the parking meter lease deal. But he doesn’t embrace the hair-brained ideas of other candidates. He has the most realistic approach to trying to wiggle out of the contract which includes working with IVI-IPO and their lawsuit challenging the state constitutionality of the deal.
Del Valle also has ideas on easing the burden of parking enforcement and fines on drivers as well as being the strongest proponent of red light camera reform of all the candidates.
While Gery Chico and Carol Mosley Braun have thoughts on these issues, it is del Valle who seems to understand the full spectrum of driving/parking issues that Chicagoans face.
City Clerk: Susana Mendoza
Rep. Susana Mendoza has lots of ideas for the Clerk’s office.
While the City Clerk’s office does more than just administer the city’s city sticker and residential permit parking program, we like the ideas she has for the office.
Her major idea for city stickers is to sell advertising on the back of the stickers and use proceeds to lower the cost of the now $75 fee. While we feel the revenue projections realized from selling ads are a bit overly optimistic, we applaud her creative thinking on this idea.
Opponent Patricia Horton’s proposed idea of allowing drivers in congested parts of the city to park on city owned vacant lots for a minimal fee and avoid excessive ticketing sounds alluring. However, it seems to be an idea out of the purview of the office and perhaps a concept that may be ultimately unworkable.
We like Mendoza’s ideas and her energy and hope she will continue to bring the type of improvements to the office her predecessor Miguel del Valle has over the past few years.
1st Ward: Proco “Joe” Moreno
Dedicated to his constituents and concerned about driving issues in his ward, Moreno debuted the city’s only text messaging system to warn constituents of when street sweeping was imminent on their streets. More recently, Moreno put his money where his mouth is and spent $10,000 of his own money to help plow alleys in the 1st ward.
5th Ward: Leslie Hairston
Hairston voted no on the parking meter lease deal and has been trying to setup parking privileges for constituents in certain park district parking lots.
27th Ward: Tom Courtney
Courtney is a lawyer working on a lawsuit against the parking meter lease deal. He also wants to use ward menu money to provide constituents with free legal help which would include assistance with fighting parking and red light tickets.
Incumbent alderman Walter Burnett voted for the parking meter lease deal and seems somewhat uninterested in parking and driving issues.
Courtney is the easy choice.
32nd Ward: Scott Waguespack
What can you say?
Scott Waguespack is perhaps the most pragmatic lawmaker on driving and parking issues in the entire city.
Not only did he vote no on the catastrophic parking meter lease deal, he was the loudest most strident voice opposing the contract. He argued tirelessly against it and even today, still hopes undo or weaken the meter deal however possible.
He’s a proponent of residential parking permit reform, understands the importance of using engineering standards to improve unsafe intersections and even personally works with streets and sanitation crews to keep ward streets clean.
We like politicians like Waguespack who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
Waguespack gets our strongest endorsement for another term.
35th Ward: Rey Colon
Another no vote on the meter lease deal.
Colon gets our approval for another term.
37th Ward: Shanika Finley
Finley is opposed to red light cameras, opposed the parking meter lease deal and is interested in reforms of the city’s parking enforcement program.
Incumbent Emma Mitts voted for the meter lease deal.
Finley gets the nod from us.
43rd Ward: Charles “Chuck” Eastwood
Eastwood has spent the last 15 years of his professional life as Chief of Staff for retiring 43rd ward alderman Vi Daley. He spent a good part of his time dealing with parking issues in the ward and even spent time helping constituents fight their tickets.
Eastwood’s our choice in a crowded field.
44th Ward: Tom Tunney
Tunney deals with a lot of parking and driving issues in his ward. Within the ward is Wrigley Field and the largest RPP zone in the city. With all these parking challenges from one of the most congested wards in the city, Tunney and his staff address these issues intelligently and responsibly.
While Tunney did vote for the meter lease deal, his views after the fact sound like those of a man who regrets his vote.
We choose Tunney.
45th Ward: Michael Fitzgerald Ward
Mr. Ward opposes Chicago’s red light camera program and understands the importance of driving issues. He’s another politician who puts his money where his mouth is when, using his own money, rented a ton of snow removing equipment in the aftermath of the big blizzard to clear snow packed side streets in his ward.
Ward gets our endorsement.
46th Ward: James Cappleman
The 46th ward is a parking challenged place. Cappleman knows the ward well and wants common sense solutions to parking and driving issues in his ward.
He will make a fine replacement for Helen Schiller.
49th Ward: Joe Moore
We like Joe Moore.
After the park district announced its move to begin installing parking meters at two lakefront parking lots in his ward, leaving many drivers with no place to park overnight, Moore moved to use a portion of his menu money to keep those parking spots free for his constituents.
Moore is another alderman who sincerely regrets his vote on the parking meter lease deal. If we recall correctly, he considers it the worst vote of his political career. It’s hard to dislike politicians who admit their mistakes.
Moore has certainly earned another term in the 49th
50th Ward: Ahmed Khan
Sure he’s young, but we don’t care.
At 26, Khan seems to have a better understanding of the parking and driving issues in his ward than incumbent Bernie Stone.
Stone voted for the meter lease deal. In fact he was a vocal proponent of it. But now he seems to be trying to walk it back.
Stone tells Campaign for Liberty he’s opposed to red light cameras and voted against them when the first RLC legislation was proposed.
Despite these views, we feel, at the age of 83 Stone’s time is over.
Khan would be a welcome addition to the city council.
Schaumburg Mayor: Brian Costin
One of Chicagoland’s most famous (or infamous) red light camera opponents. He helped get Schaumburg to remove an RLC installed near Woodfield Mall that generated oodles of money very rapidly for rolling right turns on red.
Now Brian is running for mayor in that suburban town.
Costin would be a great mayor.
Although Schaumburg’s elections are not until April, we strongly endorse Costin for Mayor of Schaumburg.