Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Daley's Farewell Gift To The Neighborhoods

We all learned a lot about aldermanic menu money during the recent campaigns (all together now:  it can't be used to pay for services, but it can be used for infrastructure items).

Now that money will buy less, thanks to our outgoing Mayor:

"In the final days of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s long tenure, his administration is raising the prices on some items in the so-called “aldermanic menu,” effectively reducing the ability of City Council members to deliver infrastructure improvements to their wards.

For years, Daley’s “Neighborhoods Alive” program has buttressed his popularity and helped keep aldermen in line with his agenda. Under the initiative, each alderman receives a pot of more than $1.3 million to dole out pork projects. For every upgrade that an alderman picks from the menu, the administration deducts a set amount from the council member’s allocation.

The costs charged against aldermanic “allowances” are set to rise this year for several popular menu items, including repaving streets and alleys, constructing new curbs and gutters, putting in new street lights and installing speed humps, according to documents obtained by the Chicago News Cooperative."

Read the entire story here.  And hey, Richie, thanks a lot.  Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.

1 comment:

  1. Good lord, if you've been paying attention (not that the reporter seemed to) asphalt prices have spiked over the past few years, at least in part, because it's made from petroleum aka oil.


    So what's the poster's point - aldermanic menu costs should not reflect increases in materials prices?

    That's a terrible article right from the headline about "Pork", when it's really talking about money spent to repave streets and alleys and rebuild curbs. Bigger question is why have aldermen felt so beholden to a Mayor who gives them roughly a whopping $2 per month per resident for ward infrastructure.

    I'm sure there are tens of millions in budget fluff that new aldermen can find, but discretionary dollars for aldermen to allocate to pressing infrastructure needs in their own wards, isn't even in the same galaxy as dubious budget tricks like TIFs and parking meter privitization.