Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ald. Shiller Seeks Parking Meter Contract Cancellation

The Reader's "Clout City" has an article about the City Council turning its fury on the companies responsible for the parking meter fiasco of Aught Nine. Five and a half months after approving the deal, the aldermen haven't even laid eyes on the signed contracts. They're finally asking for them (and The Reader is throughfully supplying links - thanks, Freedom of Information Act!) Geez, the haphazard way business is conducted in this city... is it any wonder Chicago is broke?

Ald. Shiller is in the thick of things and wearing her "crusader cape," according to story. Too bad she wasn't around to cast a vote on the privatization plan when it came up in the Council to begin with.

"Flores, Hairston, and Helen Shiller demanded that before the next hearings the companies provide them with documentation of all communication between their staffs and city officials. They also said they wanted copies of the contract provided to them by the city, and they instructed the law department to study whether it could be canceled altogether. Jack Guthman, an attorney for Chicago Parking Meters, said pleasantly that he thought that was a bunch of bullshit."

Read the entire article here.

Photo courtesy of TheExpiredMeter.com.


  1. The phrase " a day late and a dollar short" comes to mind...

    BTW: anyone have change for a dollar? I need to feed the meter.

  2. our lovely bass-ackwards city counsel

  3. Is it getting close to election time or something for her to help....Too late Helen as your on your way out......

  4. This is an encouraging development. It's really something when Schulter essentially criticizes the Mayor, saying the deal was pushed through. (Btw, given the fast track nature of the deal, I would have abstained on the original vote, too).

    Give Hairston, Schiller and Flores a little credit. Especially Flores, whose retraction was anything but, "Chicagoans have been shortchanged. We have been shortchanged, and you were aware that we were being shortchanged. You undertook your own method of remediation without informing the city of Chicago as per required by the contract.”

  5. Suzanne,

    There's nothing courageous about jumping on someone else's bandwagon.

    Making demands after you stood silently by while the horse was leaving the paddock is gutless and irresponsible.

    Did she ever go on record as to why she decided to silence the voices of her constituents by not voting?

    What did she gain by giving Daley a pass on this?

    'Cuz you know damn well know she got something!

    Judicial support, maybe?

    She knows that people are pi**sed about the parking meter gig and hopes to gain cheap political points by joining the chorus of opposition.

    Once again, she's representing herself, not us.

    This is nothing more than political opportunism and requires additional scorn.

    Not credit.

  6. How we have not had a revolt in this country in the last few decades is beyond me.

    Everyday the Federal, State, and Local Governments find new fun ways to show ineptitude and arrogance. they pass "Stimulus" packages without reading them. They lease out tax payer property without reading the contract. They spend tax payer money irresponsibly by building monstrosities like Wilson Yard.

    So I second this..


  7. Only reason Schiller is suddenly opposing this: the "bead jewelry" dealers who drive in from the south side to conduct business in Uptown have started to complain about the increase in parking tickets and are threatening to move their business elsewhere. She doesn't want to disrupt the thriving retail structure of the neighborhood, nor deprive our locals of their "bead" addictions!

  8. "So I second this..


    Not Howard Roark? Think about it with respect to WY.

  9. The parking deal probably won't survive the next coming outrage.

    The new meters installed by LAZ Parking do not accept US Dollars. They don't accept paper currency of any kind. It's quarters or debit/credit cards.

    Did the council know this? Yes.
    Did the council try to stop this? No.

  10. How could Council have known about ANY of the parking meter deal?

    The ones who bothered to show up to vote admitted not having read it.

    And, what outrage?

    The aldermen are just posturing.

    When push comes to shove, they'll tuck their tails between their legs, fold up their crusader capes and do whatever the mayor tells them to do.

    Again, and again, and again.

  11. As I was walking and riding my bike through uptown today thats how I do my job of walking dogs. I noticed that none of the cars had tickets on them. Even thou they had been there all day when there was supposed to be street cleaning. I didn't see a single car with a ticket on it today. Does anyone know why?

  12. Getting a ticket at a meter has always been a "luck of the draw" situation. Sometimes the meter persons patrol very diligently (usually the last week of the month in order to make their "quota") and you're out of luck if even only 5 minutes overtime. Other days you can park without paying for hours and not be bothered, especially during bad weather.

    You pays (or not) your money and you takes your chances!

  13. Ken

    Maybe the city does not have enough money to print ticket books.

  14. Yo, I understand your disdain and that of others but this is still a promising development, at least as it appears now. What Schulter did is new and whether he or others are posturing really doesn't matter. What's more important (and more interesting, I think) is what smart advocates can do with this foothold. The way I see it, we can pry this door open or bitch about the hinges. Don’t get me wrong, the latter is valid strategy but more in and around a municipal election, which in this case is a political lifetime from now ;-))

  15. The Parking Meter take over has been a disaster at best. Most of the meters I have used i the last month have been so full of quarters, you can't put anymore in. Duh, either empty them more often or install them on top of 50 gallon barrels.
    The ones I used in Oldtown were $1.00 for 15 minutes. It's cheaper to use valet parking. The whole deal is a cluster *uck.

  16. I heard from an insider that the parking meter deal is sealed and there's no way it can be undone. The city already has its money. The aldermen making noise now are lamenting that they were so out of touch with their constituents and Helen has yet to learn that abstaining from a vote was worse than voting yes. What you see is panic and a hope that they could rescue their reputation a little. I don't think voters will forget about it at the next election.

    This system that allows for major decisions to be rushed through City Council has been an ongoing problem for decades. I wonder why Helen and other aldermen who've been in office for decades are only whining about it now?

    It appears to me that the longer a politician has been in office, the more comfortable they become with tolerating dysfunction. I hope voters now start demanding term limits.

  17. Suz, any response I have would pale compared to what just wondering put up there.

    I will add: I wonder why Helen and other aldermen who've been in office for decades are only whining about it now?They weren't prepared for the internet.

  18. Yes, I agree, it's just pathetic that there aren't enough Council members with the stones to stand up and say, "Hey, hold on there Mr. Mayor." But those that are standing up, while late, granted, may not necessarily be too late. Every contract worth its paper has a performance clause.

  19. You're talking about a group of people about whom a judge recently said aren't beholden to their own rules and by-laws.

    They're going to call out someone else on a procedural matter?

    You're absolutely right, though. On principal.

    Practical exercise will unfortunately have the last laugh.

  20. Let's ask Lake Effect News to dig in with us. Let's get copies of the documents these newly awakened Council members are clamoring for (if Ben at the Reader hasn't done it already) and see if there's a leverage point. If there is, let's get to work, ok?

  21. I'm all about getting to work; but, the leverage point is the municipal election.

    Granted, they're rigged; but, if we can get enough people aware and angry at the status quo, there's a chance.

    A slim chance, as we all know the election process is perverted and corrupted in this town; but a chance, none the less.

  22. Wait, how ironic this is. Didn't people demand to see the sign contract with Target.


  23. Want some more irony?

    Look at her quote from the Reader article:

    Shiller impatiently cut him short a few times. “Some of us, at least, were under the impression that we would have flexibility and we would be able to make changes and make it work based on the needs of our community,” she said. “We then discover, any time we raise any questions about making changes, that oh no, we’re either going to lose money or we can’t because it’s not in this agreement.”

    Ah, karma.