Mayor Daley Speaks!

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 5, 2009 3:20PM

2009_1_mayor_daley.jpg Mayor Daley addressed the media Wednesday evening in his typically candid fashion, taking on lazy city workers, "shovel-ready" projects for the pending federal economic recovery bill and criticism from Fith Congressional District candidates over his plan to privatize Midway Airport. Defending his sell of off city assets, including Midway, Daley said city workers are "clock watchers" who don't care about customers. "They're not customer-related. They're gonna leave at 5 o'clock. They're gonna leave at 4:30 or 4:00. I'm sorry. We're on a time clock. They walk out. But, in the private sector, when you have a customer, you're gonna stay there making sure they're happy and satisfied," Daley told the press. "We can't compete with the private sector. The private sector has a complete idea of who your customers are. Government doesn't have customers. They only have citizens."

But city workers weren't the only targets of his wrath. Referring to criticisms by State Rep. John Fritchey and other Democratic congressional hopefuls over his plan to turn Midway over to private operators, he suggested that they need to re-examine their priorities. "I think they should go back to business school and try to figure out what they should be doing," Daley said. "I think they'd better realize they are running for Congress and they should really think outside the box ... You want creative people in government. You don't want non-creative people [who] say, 'Keep taxing them.' Maybe that's what they want to do."

But when it came time to speak to which projects, specifically, he would apply federal recovery funds, the mayor was mum. "Yes, we do, we have our list, we've been talking to people. We did not put that out publicly because once you start putting it out publicly, you know, the newspapers, the media is going to be ripping it apart," Daley said. "It's very controversial. Yes, we have ready projects from the Board of Education to the City Colleges to the Park District to the CTA and the city of Chicago. Oh yes. Us and New York decided not to do that. We thought we could go directly into the federal bureaucracies and the different departments." When asked why he wouldn't reveal those projects to the press, the mayor responded "Read some of your newspapers. Heh heh."