Monday, July 28, 2014

Tuesday: The Return of Helen Shiller To City Government? (Updated)

For those who still follow the exploits of former 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller, here's a little tutorial on how Chicago works.  You can have a horrible job interview, you can be considered far from the best candidate for a job, but if you've worked with the people who are voting, they'll probably give you the job over better-qualified candidates.

Ms. Shiller has been pressing hard since at least last December to become the City Council Financial Analyst.  It's a newly created position for someone to analyze data for the aldermen, an office created to avoid another instance of the City Council voting for another lousy deal like the parking meters.  It pays $107K a year, more than she ever made as alderman, and presumably more than she's currently making as a lobbyist.  The office of financial oversight is the brainchild and baby of one of Uptown's three aldermen, Ameya Pawar of the 47th Ward.

According to the source who spoke with the Sun-Times, when it came time to interview with the selection committee, Ms. Shiller "rambled" (anyone surprised?)  Others of the nine or ten candidates for the job were far more specific about how they would approach their duties, according to the Sun-Times.  Some people think a former alderman shouldn't have the job, and that it should go to someone fresh, someone with no existing allegiances to City Council members.

Yet -- there are four votes needed to win the job.  And Ms. Shiller has three of them in hand.  She's got the support of her former colleagues, Alds. Carrie Austin, Ed Burke and Ray Suarez.

So tomorrow's the vote.  The other decision makers, whose votes aren't known, are Ald. Pawar (Ms. Shiller's own alderman); Ald. Pat McDowell; CTA Board Chair Carole Brown; and union leader Joe Pijanowski.

We do agree with Ald. Carrie Austin on one point:  "No one could be more expert than Helen because she knows our system. She has worked this system 20-some odd years."

Read the whole story in the Sun-Times, and see how the voting goes on Tuesday.


Update:  You didn't think there'd be anything like consensus over anything involving Helen Shiller, did you?  The selection committee is deadlocked -- three want Shiller, three want other candidates, and one said he or she will abstain from voting.  They'll be back at it in September to try to get someone chosen.

The real juicy bit is that Ald. Pawar, her own alderman, apparently has been lobbying against Ms. Shiller's fitness for the position.  And City Council doyenne Carrie Austin is livid about it.

As for the committee selection member who indicated that he or she would abstain from voting?  Wimp.  You have one job and that's to select a Financial Analyst for the City Council.  That's it.  If you can't do that, well, move on over and let someone who's willing to do that job take your seat.

Two articles of note:


  1. Well someone not named Shiller is happy about this possibility.

    Young Alderman Pawar is getting a lesson in true Chicago politics. He pushed to create this position and then too late seemingly realized that the fix may be in. He even touted Shiller in the beginning. I suspect after her "interview" he realized how naive he had been. Rambling? That's likely an understatement.

    It's an amazing world we live in where Ed "F'n" Burke endorses Shiller. Time and compromise have brought those two jaded old souls together.

    Now I'd be surprised if Rahm wanted Shiller in the position. Hell, I doubt he wants to even fund the position, but Shiller looks like ole' Chicago politics and he doesn't need that now.

    How do I get that message to Rahm?

    Let's see he's a control freak who likely tries to read every comment on himself on a daily basis.

    How do I "game" a google search so he sees this comment.



    rahm emmanuel



    9 1/2 fingers

    sheep bleating









    Bob Dylan

    hard rain



    Bill the Cat



    nuclear winter

    global warming

    A Hard Day's Night

  2. Oh and as for my prediction here it is:

    She won't get the job.

    I'd bet Rahm sees the downside to his political prospects of her getting the job.

    That being said..............I wouldn't bet much either way.

    Thanks Alderman Pawar. I hope you've learned your lesson. Now go over to Mariano's and sing a woeful song next to the piano on Saturday.

  3. Will she get another pension?

  4. If she does eventually gets this job or any other city job she would NOT get another pension. However, the higher salary would be taken into account when she stop working for the city and her pension would be based on that salary.

    Jason---AKA "It's Obama's Fault",

    I've always found it amusing when government employees advocate some form of non social issues libertarianism. Now I know you've had a dozen or so ID's since you've been posting here, but why not find one and stick to it? You ole' city employee you.

    What we saw today was likely the hand of Rahm. Having Shiller get this job months prior to the election would not serve his political interests. I sent him a dead alewife from Montrose Harbor yesterday to give him a message. Google Rahm and "dead fish" to see where that idea came from. Or perhaps I just sent the alewife to him in spirit as walking over to Ravenswood would annoy me. Gotta cross Ashland and all that damn traffic.

    1. Bluegills and crappies are just as good.

  5. What is your point IP? I AM a city employee, and proud of it! Is that some kind of sin? Yes, I am Jason. Everybody knows that. Sorry I work for the city. We recovered $1.3 million of taxpayer money last year. What did you do? Also, sorry if I think Shiller is not qualified for the position. Your brand is getting a little stale. Are you really pro Shiller getting this job?

  6. Anyway, Shiller is REALLY BAD for this for this job.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Jason,

      you complete me.

      We can agree that Shiller should NOT get this job.

      There are you happy now?

      Trolling isn't much, but there are times when it's very amusing. Is that as good as recovering 1.3 million in taxpayer money? Prolly not, but it has its moments!

      I just recently reread a biography of US Grant. Two of the pallbearers at his funeral were former confederate officers who fought directly against him. Perhaps as my urn is being dumped into the pond at the north end of Graceland you can say the last words:

      "He was nothing, but an asshole", It would be a fine epitaph.


      How much did your department spend recovering the money? Let me guess 2 million? It's a rhetorical question.

  8. Chicago has to eliminate the practice of appointing Alderman for "retirements" and make all positions be filled through general elections. I can think of 8 current alderman that first joined by being appointed to replace a relative or close family friend of another powerful city politician. WE NEED ELLIOT NESS BACK IN CHICAGO!