Emanuel “Working On” Negating Parking Deal

Loyola Park was the site of a parking dispute in 2009, when the Chicago Park District announced it would charge for overnight parking there. Ald. Joe Moore was forced to spend $89,000 of his menu money to preserve free overnight parking for the congested neighborhood. 

Does Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel have a secret to rescue Chicago from the hated parking meter deal? That’s what he told an audience in Loyola Park this week, according to the News-Star, a neighborhood paper that covers the North Side.

The former congressman and White House chief of staff said he’s already got his transition team looking at the possibility of negating the unpopular contract that puts control of Chicago’s parking meters in private hands for the next 75 years.

“Know that I have people -- and more than one person -- working on this. I have some ideas and we’re exploring them,” Emanuel said.

Unlike Miguel del Valle, Emanuel didn’t campaign on overturning the parking deal. He did, however, tell the Chicago Tribune editorial board that “I actually believe you can renegotiate sections of it, look at it top to bottom, have a fresh set of legal eyes to see if there are opportunities to see ways and terms to bring money back to the city . . .”

He didn’t get any more specific then, and he’s not getting anymore specific now, but if Emanuel can weasel out of his predecessor’s biggest mistake, he’ll look like the greatest mayor since William Ogden.

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