Daley Tosses Out Street-Cleaning Plan

Some aldermen say grid system will leave mess behind for them to cleanup

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    NEWSLETTERS

    theexpiredmeter.com
    Fewer street sweepers mean more headaches for Chicago aldermen.

    Mayor Daley's sweeping change is creating a dust-up among aldermen. 

    In the past, each of Chicago's 50 wards had its own street sweeper that could be managed by the alderman. Now Daley wantsto reduce the fleet as part of cost-cutting plan he calls long overdue, the Sun-Times reports..

    Under his plan, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will assign 33 sweepers to cleanup equal sections of the city based on the grid system.

    "It's efficiency and saving money. If I can only go up to Ohio Street and not cross, people say, 'Why can't you cross? Well, that's a different ward,' Daley said.  It's a grid system. ...Instead of stopping at one block, you keep going another block or two blocks or three blocks. ... It's like a library. A library doesn't serve one [ward]. It serves the whole community."

    Aldermen, who are up for re-election next year and fearful of voter retaliation, want to maintain the status quo.

    "I want to keep control of that sweeper. I want to be able to keep control of the criticism that may come to me when they say that the streets are not clean," said 20th-ward Ald. Willie Cochran, to the paper.

    "Sometimes you have a certain area that's a lot dirtier than other areas. So, you ask the street sweeper to go back a couple times," said 33rd-ward Ald. Richard Mell to the paper. "Once they start on that grid system, you're never gonna have control over it anymore,"

    Not everyone sees the mayor usurping their power.

    Ald. Robert Fioretti, 2nd, urged regularly for Streets and Sanitation to change course from ward-by-ward to street-by-street.

    "We're gonna run this city like a business. It needs to be clean all across the city - not just certain sections," Fioretti said.

    The controversial change will place the newly assigned 17 sweepers on garbage duty to cover what Streets and San calls its "most critical service."

    This latest cost-cutting move may give fed-up Chicago residents another reason to give aldermen and the mayor the big heave-ho next year.