We Get City Council Crumbs

Cry me a river

Even as members of the Chicago City Council do their usual moaning and groaning about the mayor bypassing them on such major decisions as privatizing parking meters, selling an airport, and hosting the Olympics, they're doing a bang-up job on that ordinance limiting dog ownership in the city to five.

Where do these guys come up with this stuff?

We know six-dog homes are a huge problem right now, mainly because you don't want so many dogs per family falling into our potholes, but still.

And it's not as if the safety of babies isn't important, but since when are suspicious sippy cups within the jurisdiction of a city council that can't read a budget, much less a scientific report about a chemical they can't pronounce that the FDA insists is safe? Are they that bored that they have to look around for issues to take up?

Here's an idea: Attend your freakin' committee meetings, for godsakes!

Or maybe put yourself to use trying to solve the Drew Peterson cases.

Because you're not earning your pay as it is.

"How many of us read the stuff we do get, OK?" Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), the man who gave us Rod Blagojevich, said after the council approved a 75-year lease after just three days of consideration without even reading it. "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?"

Maybe you should pass an ordinance requiring bigger fonts on future proposals that come before you, then.

Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) says the council is a "partners [with Daley] in our own marginalization."

But has Preckwinkle, truly one of the smarter and more independent-minded aldermen, ever really stood up and led an effort to turn things around? No, although she did meet with the mayor before deciding to run for the Cook County Board presidency. If she wins, expect competence but not reform.

And Ald. Billy Ocasio (26th) is so frustrated with the council's marginalization it's kind of cute. He's leaving to go work for the governor.

But I'll never forget the time I was on a Chicago Tonight panel sitting between Ocasio and Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) talking about the city council signing off on the mayor's Olympic bid without reading the legislation before them. Lyle explained that they were taking it on faith. Ocasio inexplicably used Millennium Park as an example that the city could build venues on-time and on-budget.

Maybe we're wrong, though, about the council giving more consideration to this new dog ordinance than the Olympics and parking meters. Cmon, they aren't going to read the dog ordinance either before passing it.

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

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