Forrest Claypool

Who is He: In 1984 Claypool assisted David Axelrod in founding Axelrod and Associates. He was managing partner at the company until 1989. He served as Mayor Daley’s Chief of Staff for two years before being appointed CEO of the Chicago Park district in 1993. He returned to his post as Chief of Staff in 1996 and assisted in Daley’s 1998 re-election. Four years later he ran for Cook County Board and made his reform platform apparent through his dealings with then Cook County Board President John Stroger. In 2006, he made a run at the Cook County Board President position but was defeated by Stroger in the primary election. He served as a member of the Obama campaign’s media team in 2008.

City Salary: Claypool's salary is undisclosed.

Goals: Following Emanuel’s pledge to hold the line on CTA fares, Claypool will meticulously search CTA operations with the goal of increasing efficiency. He will attempt not to decrease service and will also try to fulfill Emanuel’s campaign promise of extending the CTA’s Red Line on the South Side and rebuild the Red Line on the North Side.

Challenges: Claypool, like the previous two CTA presidents, has no experience in transportation. In order to accomplish Emanuel’s goals he will need to use his reformer attitude and a fresh set of eyes to bring innovation to the CTA. After massive layoffs and increased pension and healthcare contributions, Claypool will need to be attentive to the needs of CTA employees, whose union contracts expire December 31st.


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