Ald. Rugai's Street Sure Is Smooth

Next block over not so much

Guess which block in the 19th Ward features a resurfaced street smooth as glass?

If you didn't guess the block that the alderman lives on, you haven't lived in Chicago long.

Living on your alderman's block tends to pay dividends.

Just ask Ald. Virginia Rugai's neighbors in Beverly, on the 8900 block of South Bell. The street is shiny and "smooth as glass," CBS2 reports.

One block over, South Leavitt is marred with potholes.

"It's awful and it's been this way for the past 15-years," resident Matthew White told CBS2.

It turns out that's because Rugai allocated money to fix her street, but not the block over, despite years of resident's complaints.

Now, to be fair, Rugai says repairing Leavitt is a far more expensive proposition. "To really do it properly, you have to dig up that whole street and go down vary far, not just paving of the asphalt," she said. That, she estimates, would cost more than $600,000.

The price tag for resurfacing her own street was just over $60,000.

Besides, Rugai says she wasn't thinking of herself. "Absolutely no! Absolutely not," she told CBS2. "It was for my neighbors. I was doing fine driving on the previous street."

Well, somebody must have complained! 

Now Rugai says Leavitt will be resurfaced next year.

Makes sense. There's an election in 2011.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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