City Council Time Sheet Out of Balance

City Council quickly approves ordinance that will cost taxpayers

Media coverage of soon-to-be Sen. Roland Burris visiting the Chicago City Council on Tuesday told the story of an embattled appointee who rose above the fray, waited out the process and finally began packing his bags to head to Washington.

"For more than 40 minutes, Burris sat beaming in the VIP box in the City Council Chambers," Fran Spielman reported in Wednesday's Sun-Times.

Aldermen from across the city made statements of support for Burris, with Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward) saying that Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Burris "gave integrity back to the process." 

The time spent was surely a boost to Burris, and offered the Council a chance to give him a royal send-off.  But it was time that the council didn't spend debating other pressing issues facing city government.

That slight was illustrated in the Chicago Reader's "City Clout" blog on Wednesday, when writer Mick Dumke noted that compared to the 40 minutes the Council spent congratulating Burris, it spent exactly zero time debating an ordinance that puts a portion of the cost of the 2016 Olympics squarely on the shoulders of taxpayers -- contrary to what the Mayor and the Olympic Committee had previously told residents.

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