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City of Chicago to Pay Fine for Hubris

By Scott Smith in News on Sep 19, 2006 4:59PM

Mayor Daley must long for the halcyon days of 2003. Back then, he didn’t have to exert himself by exercising a veto, he just got the City Council to do what he wanted with a wave of his hand. And when he wanted to close an airport, 2006_09_meigs.jpghe just sent a coupla guys out ‘dere to bulldoze the t’ing. But this is 2006. And not only does he have vetos to levy and Jesse Jackson Jr. on his ass about it, but he’s also got a hefty fine to pay.

The Chicago Tribune’s transportation reporter Jon Hilkevitch reports that the city will pay the FAA $33,000 for bulldozing Meigs Field without giving the proper 30 days' notice. This was the maximum fine allowed, which is $1100 per day. Note to mayors who have 30 grand lying around and an airport that’s bugging them: the 2003 FAA Authorization Bill included the “Meigs Legacy provision” which now makes the maximum fine $10,000 a day.

The city will also have to repay one million dollars to O’Hare and Midway since general revenue funds were diverted from those airports to perform an extreme makeover on Meigs to transform it into Fantasy … er, Northerly Island.

Daley’s rationale for closing Meigs was to prevent Chicago from being the target of a terrorist attack. But don’t terrorists try to prevent us from living our daily lives by doing things like disrupting regular air travel? Just askin’.