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City Council Expresses Outrage Over Parking Meter Measure They Approved

By Marcus Gilmer in News on May 19, 2009 9:00PM

Photo by ehfisher

Last week, the Reader followed up on its original investigation into the Parking Meter Privatization mess. Then, lo and behold, yesterday the City Council expressed outrage, dammit, at the deal, claiming that the city was "gypped" and "short-changed." Ohbytheway - the Council passed the original deal by a vote of 40-5. While those like License Committee Chairman Eugene Schulter (47th) lashed out - "I have never, ever seen such a rushed deal go through the City Council and ... hurt the taxpayers. ... Not to have a plan of action that was well thought-out was absolutely disgusting," - it should be kept int mind that the five who originally opposed the deal were: Alds. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), Leslie Hairston (5th), Billy Ocasio (26th), Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Rey Colon (35th).

The deal was infamous for the Daley Administration's short notice, handing the plan to the Council just a few days ahead of the vote, which prompted the classic response from Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), "How many of us read the stuff we do get, OK?. I try to. I try to. I try to. But being realistic, being realistic, it's like getting your insurance policy. It's small print, OK?" So while the Council seemingly has a gripe, at what point are they absolved of responsibility? In this case, sorry, no. That's why you're there, ladies and gentlemen, to hold the mayor accountable, not do his bidding and hope your outrage a few months down the line sways us. Not like this ever happens, but we're just sayin'.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters today, Daley accepted responsibility for the mess, saying, "I'll take the responsibility." We're sure he was completely genuine.