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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Parking Meter Windfall

When is Mayor Daley finally going to take off his mask, and let everyone see that he is really George Bush? The fire sale of Chicago's revenue-generating assets continued yesterday when Daley announced the sale of the parking meters to a private company.

The City Council's Finance Committee is scheduled to debate the parking meter lease agreement Wednesday, with a final vote of the full council expected Thursday. Aldermen have given quick and overwhelming approval to all of Daley's groundbreaking privatization efforts in recent years, eagerly accepting enormous checks for long-term leases of the Chicago Skyway toll road ($1.83 billion), downtown parking garages ($563 million) and Midway International Airport ($2.5 billion).
If you wanted to know where the old Republican style of government went, it's home and safe in Chicago. Sure, you could be responsible and try to cut the administrative fat from the budget, or throw out the TIF districts, but why do that? No, just sell off future revenue to a private company that will raise rates drastically on everyone. See, you're not raising taxes. You're just mortgaging the future of the city- until 2016, when we get the Olympics and it rains lollipops and puppy dogs and we all rent our homes for outrageous sums.

Yeah, right.

The CTA is still available, but hasn't attracted interest from private hands because it needs no further push toward full-tilt disaster.

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