Government Conference Mayhem!
If you noticed the bunting along O'Hare Airport's arrival area, or see a bunch of goofy political-types gawking at Millenium Park, that would be a bunch of mayors and their aides in town for the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Conference. Mayor Richard M. Daley is a big supporter of the organization, and this year Chicago is playing host, giving mayors from around the country an opportunity to see our fair city and talk about best practices, or whatever it is they do.
Coincidentally, our other major local branch of government, the Cook County Board, is undergoing a slight upset about President John Stroger's plan to take seven other Commissioners and their staff to the annual National Association of Counties conference in Hawaii next month. The cost of sending so many people to this year's conference (next year Cook County hosts) hits a nerve in light of the County's big budget problems.
Commissioner Jerry Butler, who is going to the conference, summed it up best when he said, "I mean, let's be honest and frank about this. This is going to be a lot more pleasure than pain."
Expected County Board President candidates Forrest Claypool and Mike Quigley are both staying home rather than go to Hawaii.