Meter Deal Remix A Slam Dunk For Approval Wednesday

A sign protesting high parking meter prices hangs outside a home in West Lakeview back in 2009.

It should be no surprise to anyone following the progress of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s parking meter lease remix that it should pass without much effort at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

Despite the best efforts of the Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), Ald. John Arena (45th) and other members of the Chicago Progress Reform Coalition, as well as Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) to convince other council members the renegotiated deal is a bad one, the votes are just not there to derail it.

Even up until Wednesday morning’s meeting, sources say the Mayor’s minions were working to pick off any votes they could from fence sitting aldermen with the threat of political retribution.

Based on questions during four days of hearings on the revised meter deal, most aldermen were torn between the financial savings on one hand and free Sundays and extended hours on the other.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the lure of the financial savings seems to be winning out and most aldermen will vote yes Wednesday.

The Sun-Times essentially is reporting the same thing–aldermen are not happy with the deal, but don’t want to pass up the chance to save millions of dollars.

A few others are weighing in on the meter deal.

Chicago Sun-Times Mark Brown says, begrudgingly, we should take the deal in Wednesday’s paper.

Although the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board is much more glowing about the Mayor’s efforts in their editorial supporting the plan.

Perhaps the only dissenting voice in the media is the Reader’s Mick Dumke. He believes, much like attorney Clint Krislov, the lead attorney on an ongoing lawsuit challenging the legality of the original meter deal, that passing revisions to it will inoculate it against any possible future legal challenges.

8 Responses to Meter Deal Remix A Slam Dunk For Approval Wednesday

  1. Drew says:

    Making threats of any type; political retribution or otherwise is grounds for instant termination from city employment as well as Felony Making threats to a City Worker charges. You can also qualify it as an Ethics violation that the IG IS empowered to investigate.

    Time to get 175k signatures Geek. We need to run me for mayor.

  2. Jeff says:

    How many times is the City Council going to buy this same bag of magic beans? And when will the voters wake up and realize they have been sold down the river — TWICE — for the benefit of the Abu Dhabi parking pirates who own CPM? More Millions in extra profits for the Parking Ponzi Profiteers. More Misery for Chicago. What a disgrace this city’s politics have become.

  3. Jeff says:

    The Reader’s coverage is especially illuminating here. In essence the Reader points out that our 2-face Mayor is in bed with the very law firm (Winston and Strawn) that is representing CPM in the lawsuit to overturn the parking meter deal. Emanuel essentially walked away from joining that lawsuit, and even filed a brief supporting CPM’s arguments in that lawsuit. At the same time, Winston and Strawn was giving Emanuel almost $100,000 in campaign cash. Why on earth is the US attorney not investigating this??

  4. Drew says:

    Let’s sum it up…

    While Illinois State law prohibits Municipal Bankruptcy…

    The Home Rule Clause of the 1979 Illinois Constitution allows all municipalities over 25k residents to enforce and interpret all state laws as they want.

    So in a nut shell…

    If Rahm had the Citizens best interest in mind…

    He could declare Municipal Bankruptcy Chapter 9 and would be able to legally walk away from the Meter Lease, the Skyway Lease and the Parking Lots Lease and be legally exempt from having to repay the monies that were paid to the city by the Concessionaires.

    The Downside to Chapter 9 Bankruptcy is that all City/Union Contracts would become Null and Void and have to be re-negotiated. But all Current City Union employees would be protected from termination during that re-negotiation.

  5. B says:

    And when will the voters wake up and realize they have been sold down the river — TWICE — for the benefit of the Abu Dhabi parking pirates who own CPM?

    They won’t. In a few more years this will all be normalized and few will even remember the way it used to be.

    What? The city used to own the parking meters and you fed them with coins at each parking place? Free parking after 9pm? A street festival didn’t come with millions of dollars in charges for the lost parking? Conspiracy theory it will be. We will have always had to pay a giant corporation to park on city streets. The old way will be as foreign as watering plants.

  6. Pete says:

    City officials only pretend to despise the meter deal. Really they love it. All the way to the bank.

  7. lpbfoot says:

    DREW–Thanks for also beating the municipal bankruptcy drum. I also agree with this approach & would love to see the city do it. I mean we’re headed down that path anyway, but given Chicago’s tax rate is so high to begin with (property taxes, sales taxes, city stickers, hotel taxes, parking taxes, etc.), I don’t see how we couldn’t quickly recover… But, alas, we’ll squander even more tax $$$ before others realize this is our only option…

    I’m curious to know why IL state law applies for municipal bankruptcy anyway. After all, BK is a Federal law, and Federal trumps State (even trumping a state constitution). Unless there’s a clause in BK Chapter 9 that says “municipalities can file unless state law prohibits it”, I can’t see how state law plays an impact… I bet some business-friendly states would love to pass their own “nobody in this state can file bankruptcy”, but such laws would be instantly deemed unenforceable/trumped.

    Plus, I agree that we do get the benefit of getting rid of many of our legacy costs, rewriting union contracts, etc…

  8. Drew says:

    Illinois doesn’t out right ban it…the State government has specific conditions set before a city can file.

    I couldn’t find those conditions while doing my research….so I just pointed out that Home Rule Clause = End run around State Law.

    I don’t want my Labor Contract re-written…I make nice money doing what I do for the city. The Shit I deal with every day..the threats…the piss poor attitudes….I earn what they pay me and I actually deserve commission on top of it because of how well I do my damn job.

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