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Mayor Daley in the News

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 6, 2008 10:20PM

2007_4_daley.JPGMayor Daley sure is busy. Or at least chatty.

Yesterday Mayor Daley said he asked the Cook County Board of Review to reopen the appeals process for a special two-week period, March 17-31, for homeowners who feel that their property tax has been assessed too high as a result of the downturn in the housing market. The City has given the board of review data about which areas have seen declining home values, and it will also assist owners of homes and small apartment buildings with their appeals. "For years we've argued that Cook County's property-tax system is broken and puts property owners who are struggling to make ends meet... at a disadvantage," Daley told the press yesterday. "That's why in these tough economic times... I believe our leaders in Cook County can be even more aggressive when it comes to protecting struggling homeowners and businesses."

Daley also weighed in on the controversy surrounding the sale of Wrigley Field, rejecting the notion that the historic ballpark's landmark status needed to be removed in order for the state to acquire and renovate the structure. "I'm not going to be the mayor saying, 'OK, we're going to relax on the historic aspect of Wrigley Field. Mayor Daley says it'll be torn down.' That'll be a great headline for the Sun-Times," Daley told the paper. "I'm not going to do that. You're not going to get that from me. . . . I'm a White Sox fan. I'm not going to say, 'We're going to change Wrigley Field.' That would be the end of me."

The mayor's demands that the city crack down on motorists that endanger bikers cleared a City Council committee yesterday, but not without some demands from aldermen. Traffic Committee members said that they would like to see the city take a hard look at renegade bikers that flout the law. “One of the things that highlighted was the fact that laws should also be obeyed by the bicyclist. Here, we’re highlighting the motor vehicle obeying the law. Are we also going to insist that bicyclists obey the rules of the road?” said Ald. Bernard Stone (50th).

And finally, the Daley administration announced yesterday that it has signed a new, two-year, $21.2 million deal with a firm to manage Midway Airport. Skyline Management is replacing Midway Airport Management, who has managed the airport since 2001, and who's senior management includes Elzie Higginbottom, Daley's a top fundraiser for the Mayor. Skyline Management is an equal partnership of three firms, Chicago-based Diverse Facility Solutions, Florida-based AvAir Professional Services and Houston-based Linc Facility Services. The city issued a Request for Qualifications (PDF) last month, setting in motion a process for the long-term concession and lease of the airport. That lease could yeild the city billions of dollars to shore up pensions and make infrastructure improvements.