Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shiller For City Council Financial Analyst? Sun-Times Says "The Fix Is In" & "Unwise Choice"

For those who still follow the exploits of former 46th Ward alderman (and current lobbyist) Helen Shiller, here's the latest on her quest to become the City Council's independent financial analyst.  The Sun-Times isn't enthusiastic about the rumors, going as far as saying that "the fix is in" to select Shiller because she is familiar to some members of the council, specifically Carrie Austin, who is lobbying for her to get the job.

The Sun-Times has a persuasive editorial on why Shiller is a bad choice for the job:
"If it turns out that Shiller is the best candidate, so be it. But let’s be blunt: There is no way possible, if the search is honest and thorough, that Shiller is the best the Council can do. 
It is unwise to hire a former alderman for the job, no matter how qualified, because the point is to bring in a seasoned analyst to City Council, someone with an outside, independent perspective.  [...] 
A well-qualified financial analyst is there to help aldermen, to analyze their revenue ideas, to poke holes in the mayor’s proposals. The goal is to arm aldermen with information, not to tell them how to vote.
For this important job, find the best person."
The entire editorial is here.

Update:  Ms. Shiller has responded with a rebuttal that's longer than the editorial.  Read it here.


  1. Hey what a perfect idea: I will do a take off ala Mr IP Pirate:

    Rahm likes the idea: "Why in my right mind would I want someone like Helen without much of a background in financial systems or the ability to hire someone who actually knows how to spell the word analyze in a position of power? Its not like we really plan do anything with the analysis out of that office anyway."

    Most of the City Council likes the idea to: "We always like Helen even when we didn't like Helen. Her kookie socialist ideas took the pressure off of us to act like we know what we're doing."

    James Cappleman likes the idea too: "I can just see Denice Davis as her second lieutenant, she's a regular genius. Why one day I heard her talking about the square to the second power of the minimum wage, multiplied by the number of millennial condo owners that have moved to the 46th ward equals the circumference of a baseball bat divided by TIF funds used to build affordable housing."

    Helen's son: "If that guy over in the Assessors office can hire his family, I don't see why mom can't make sure I'm taken care of. Taking care of strip club zoning issues makes me an overachiever. Did I mention I am a lawyer."

    Helen says: "Retirement is so boring."

  2. What a horrible idea. If she handles the City Council Financial Analyst position the way she ran the 46th ward, there will never be any resolutions. She is divisive, biased and can not be impartial. Not to mention all of her questionable connections. This is part of the reason why Chicago can't seem to pull it together.

  3. The "Run on Sentence" Strikes Back.

    Helen Shiller responds to the Sun Times editorial.

    Read it here.

    Or try to read it. Shiller canNOT write worth a damn. She should get her son, Brendan the Gambler, to help her. I've unfortunately read some of his legal briefs over the years and he can write "legalese" very well. If he can turn off the "legalese", and I assume he can, he should proofread and rewrite mama's writing. Her writing is an embarrASSment.

    I also like the assertion from Alderman Austin that the job is part time. Helen is great at part time jobs. Six figure salary, boost to her pension, part time hours, gets to hire her slackeys as aides, sounds like a plan!

    Alderman Pawar is a decent guy. An idealistic technocrat at heart, but by pushing for this "office" to be opened he has basically tossed about 1/2 million dollars a year into the toilet. No way in hell are Rahm or his allies on the council going to allow a truly independent analyst to hold that position. Someone like Pawar would be good for the job, but he's a bit preoccupied planning his Mayoral 2023 run.

    Shiller proved her willingness to bend to the machine when she cut her deal with Daley and there's no reason to believe she's found her independent voice again. Given how badly she writes she should find one voice and work on improving it.

    Me? I'm going to suggest the city council give me the 500 grand a year and I will head over to Sonic, grab a few burgers and shakes, and then come home and dump the money into my toilet. Then I will let the food work itself through my system and give the money a fine "burial" at sea--flush--cue Tidy Bowl Man. I'm thinking lemon fresh.

  4. Ok, there are just some ideas that you dismiss the minute they are out there and laugh that they escaped. This is one. As a 15 year home owner in Sheridan Park, I've experienced Helen's brand of financial analysis. As an individual who has managed $60m budgets, I believe I know what it takes and Helen does not have an adequate skill set. If Helen is seriously considered for this position, it speaks volumes about Rahm.

    Helen the other you aldermen you say have recommended this position for you are blowing smoke up your a**.

  5. I hope you're right CLady, but in reality the criteria for this job is NOT embarrassing Rahm or the council. Make no waves so to speak.

    I put her odds at getting the job at fifty fifty.

    and the beat goes on...........

  6. It's not Rahm's decision. (It is his decision whether or not to pay any attention to the recommendations of the person who eventually gets the job.) It's a committee of seven aldermen who will choose the person. That group includes Carrie Austin ---- she's actively backing Shiller's selection. Another is Ald. Pawar, who is now Helen's alderman.