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Tunney's Wrigley Double-Speak

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 15, 2009 7:20PM

Photo by the mel
An alderman who says one thing in private and something else in public? Considered us floored. Ald. Tom Tunney is the latest political figure to come under a bit of scrutiny over perception versus reality. To hear him talk about his proposal of shutting down vendors within a certain radius of Wrigley Field, it's all about safety. Last month, Tunney told the Trib, "It's a public safety issue. You can't walk to the park." Behind closed doors is another matter though.

Last night, Tunney welcomed many of the vendors to a closed-door meeting, away from the prying ears of journalists, but several of the attendees related what Tunney said. According to a recording of the meeting obtained by the Tribune, Tunney admitted that he had complaints from area businesses which also spurred him into action.

"We don't necessarily need people coming in ... and then doing whatever they want to do in the community and then leaving the community," Tunney said, according to the recording. "There are other businesses here that have vested interests 365 days a year that have worked hard and they want to protect their business."

In one example, Tunney referred to a business complaining about competition.

" 'What if a vendor was selling cinnamon rolls outside of Ann Sather? How happy would you be about that?' " Tunney, owner of the Ann Sather restaurants, quoted the other business owner as saying.

Well, Ann Sather cinnamon rolls are pretty damn delicious. Either way, whether the ordinance is approved or not, it seems unlikely anything will go into effect before the end of this baseball season. [Tribune, NBC 5]