* When people complain how difficult it is to start a business in Chicago without the right political grease, this is what they mean. A proposed $57 million, 102,000-square-foot Ford dealership has been held up for months because of one Chicago alderman…
City Council Zoning Committee Chairman Danny Solis, 25th, has twice held up a vote on a needed rezoning, requesting that Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Co. provide another dealership opportunity for a Latino — a specific Latino, who just happens to be a large campaign contributor to Mr. Solis’ ward organization. But Ford says it isn’t awarding new dealerships to anyone, and Fox, a division of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based FMG Holdings LLC, is a relatively small firm busy on the proposed 32nd Ward project.
* But the dealership company has had enough of the games and has set a deadline, according to Greg Hinz…
“Oct. 1 is the final deadline,” Monica Sekulich, senior vice president and general counsel at Fox Motors, told me in a phone conversation. “This entire situation has been quite surprising to us.”
Yeah, surprising. To an outsider, these stupid games are stupefying. Chicagoans have learned to live with it, but that’s ridiculous.
Mayor Emanuel has finally stepped in and is pushing for approval, so this project should be a “go.” But why would it need the big dog’s intervention in the first place? How many other job-creating Chicago projects are being held up for political reasons that fly below MRE’s radar? I’m betting lots.
…Adding… Via a commenter, an example of how the Chicago way is not always confined only to Chicago…
An effort by Gail Simpson to keep another business from selling alcohol in Ward 2 was defeated by her fellow aldermen Wednesday night.
By a 7-1 vote, the Springfield City Council approved a liquor license for Scandals at its new location at 1031 S. 11th St. in the old Touch of Class Sports Bar and Grill location. The bar/restaurant has been open only for food service for weeks.
Scandals used to be downtown.
Last week, Simpson put the brakes on the liquor license by chiding the other council members for thinking they knew better than her what’s best for her ward. […]
Brenda Protz, who identified herself as a friend of the owners, told the council she was concerned the anti-license effort was based on discrimination.
Protz pointed out that both owners of Scandals are gay.
Simpson, who is black, rejected that contention, saying her opposition had nothing to do with the business catering to gay people and was strictly about alcohol.