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Question of the day

Thursday, Apr 28, 2005

As I noted in today’s Capitol Fax, the biennial “Taste of Chicago in Springfield” is next week and Mayor Daley will be in town for the festivities.

What do you think of the job that Daley has done so far? Is he one of the nation’s greatest mayors, as Time Magazine claimed, or is he something else? Be specific.

(PS: I’m closing on my house today, and will be busy as heck with many related tasks, plus dealing with the session, so blogging may be light after mid-morning. Comment Posse, please keep a close eye on things.)

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 7:04 am:

    I’m a Republican from the suburbs. I think Daley is a great Mayor. Imagine the post-Daley era. Racial tensions will be in full swing again - Daley has brought relative calm. He has also done a lot for the city’s status. Sure there have been some scandals and unions don’t get along with him but overall, he’s great for Chicago.


  2. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 7:07 am:

    Mayor Daley has been an effective steward of the bureaucracy. The power players are getting their juice, the unions are content, and the city has never looked better.

    City residents don’t seem to mind the rules they have to play by (in fact they enjoy them, since property values keep going up), so all is well here.


  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 7:07 am:

    Mayor Daley can safely be termed “Richard the Great.”

    Just as many a Roman emperor or medieval king, Richard Daley has ruled the city with a single-minded determination and vision, and has produced some real results in terms of the City’s clear rennaisance. Also like the despots of earlier times, the moniker attached is not all positive.

    Rampant corruption continues unabated, despite the powerful Mayor’s clear ability to send the signal that it must end.

    Generational poverty, combined with miserable education, is a many headed dragon that that Mayor cannot seem to slay.

    A potempkin village of dazzling architecture hides the wholesale blandness of yuppie high rises and destrutction of landmarks.

    These shortcomings are the subject of much grumbling among His subjects. Still, the lack of a clear alternative for Mayor, and the continuing beautification of desirable neighborhoods will hold the misgivings far from outright revolt.

    Richard the Great can remain Mayor at least until 2007, if that is His pleasure. And it will be.


  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 9:02 am:

    I will NEVER forgive this thug for the Miegs massacre. His bald-faced lying about doing it for “security” reasons just took the cake.


  5. - City Resident - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 9:11 am:

    We get the government we deserve.

    It matters not what the opinion polls say, people vote with their feet. And their feet are taking them to the polling places on election day and re-electing our Mayor by huge majorities. If things were as bad as the John Kasses, Fran Spielman’s, Greg Hinz’s et. al. of the world think (none of whom actually live in Chicago - by the way), there would be a revolt on election day and there would be good, viable candidates offering themselves up as a better choice. That has not and will not happen.

    White Chicago will not repeat the lesson learned in 1983 and split their votes. They have successfully co-oped the Latino’s into thinking they are “honorary” white folks so as to keep them from joining with the Blacks and running the city, notwithstanding the fact that latino wards produce the lowest vote totals in elections due to so many of their people being here illegally.

    The Mayor will have this job as long as he wants it. For the stability of the city’s sake, I hope he wants it for a long time !


  6. - Vanilla World - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 9:20 am:

    It is obvious he loves the city and when considering the mayors we’ve had between Richard I and II, it is also obvious we could do worst.


  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 10:02 am:

    All one has to do is stroll down any street in downtown to see the beauty he has created. I think he has done a great job


  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 11:04 am:

    “It is obvious he loves the city and when considering the mayors we’ve had between Richard I and II, it is also obvious we could do worst. “

    I presume you mean Jane Byrne, Mike Bilandic and Eugene Sawyer only and not Harold Washington, because he was the greatest mayor we have ever had.


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 11:50 am:

    The endless parade of scandals is too much. I don’t buy the “he may be a crook but he’s our crook” philosophy, or the notion that Chicagoans are of inherently weaker moral character, so this is the best we can do.

    Yes, we should be glad that Chicago’s job market is recovered from the decline in manufacturing, but I’ve got a tough time crediting the mayor for that. If Presidents and Governors can’t create jobs, mayors sure can’t.

    Chicago school reform is a failure and housing costs are out of control, which means the city has little to offer the middle class.

    And anybody who says “the unions are happy” has got rocks in their head. Didn’t you read Dennis Gannon’s latest quotes? The police, firefighters, and trades haven’t been happy for along time. Powerless and afraid ain’t the same as happy.


  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 11:57 am:

    This mayor gets things done. He has the ability to build consensus and overall, it is hard to argue with many of the results. The same power he wields to stifle and intimidate opposition results in the consensus, but also leads to a high degree of arrogance by the mayor and his staff. I could live without that. Loyal opposition is a healthy thing, but isn’t tolerated in Chicago.

    The worst job in politics is the next mayor of Chicago, whoever he or she may be (excepting another Daley brother perhaps). The bonds have been sold, property taxes and fees raised to the max for years to come to pay for the debt service, and things like flower boxes aren’t going to plant themselves when this mayor moves on.

    This mayor can get civic leaders to pony up millions for a new park. This mayor can force private companies to install wrought iron fences and bully landscaping companies to maintain his gardens in exchange for zoning ordinances that require businesses to provide nice landscaping. It is sheer force of will, and it is unique to him.

    The next mayor is screwed. The credit cards are max’d out, the city council will not be as easily intimidated, and school reform has peaked. And the business community isn’t going to let the new mayor force this stuff down their throats. It’s all downhill from here gang.

    As I said, it’s hard to argue with the results, but I take issue with the process and side effects that come from the arrogance of his administration.


  11. - I am not Len O'Conner - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 12:04 pm:

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.


  12. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 12:14 pm:

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.


  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 12:25 pm:

    He’s a great mayor and I hope he stays another 20 years. The source of his power is no mystery: there is no one else. For example, in NYC, they have term limits, which we obviously do not have here. So if a developer wants to do something he has to deal with Daley. There is no end-around. Also, scandals happen. It is a fact of life. As Chuang-tzu said, “Those who would have good government without its correlative misrule, and right without its correlative wrong, do not understand the principle of the universe.”


  14. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 1:17 pm:

    I like what the mayor has done with the city. I like the rooftop gardens, solar energy trials, planting of trees and plants, renovating the conservatories, Milleneum Park. I’m hoping that Northerly Island will be a jewel too when it’s done.


  15. - Also Anon - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 1:57 pm:

    From today’s Sun-Times:

    “In Chicago, for example, racial gaps in graduation rates increased between 1991 and 2001, according to the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. Between 1997 and 2004, the gap in reading and math scores also widened, a consortium analysis found. The consortium wasn’t involved with Neal’s study.”

    Doesn’t say much for the “education” mayor.


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 2:23 pm:

    I think it says alot about what little value african american’s place on education. We as black people give good lip service about valuing a good education, but when our kids know the words to every rap song but cannot conjugate a verb, recite the preamble to the Constitution, perform simple algebriac equations, we want to blame the Mayor for this ?

    The Mayor cannot be blamed because black and latino girls allow themselves to get knocked up. The Mayor cannot be blamed because kids would rather drop out of school and sell drugs.

    The Mayor has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new school buildings, computers, books, etc.

    As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water…..


  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 4:40 pm:

    Yes, but the mayor can be blamed for housing policies that force two parents two work, and single parents to work 2-3 jobs.

    And the mayor can be blamed for unemployment rates of 20-30% in some neighborhoods.

    And the mayor can be blamed for inadequate sex ed programs in schools, as well as inadequate math, science and reading curricula.

    Yes, the mayor has clout. He could have used it for the public good. Instead, he spent his elsewhere.

    Look at a map of the city sometime and where the city has invested in parks and greenspace. It’s indicative.

    Look at how the complaints of the black community are ignored when they want to close expressway ramps. Daley’s dad was the one who insisted the feds put those ramps there in the first place.

    How about bus routes and el routes? Don’t get me started.

    Daley’s been a good mayor for white chicago, the HDO, and anyone else connected.


  18. - PrairieStateDem - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 4:53 pm:

    The absurd anonymous sounds a lot like one of those conspiracy nutjobs who have too much time on their hands.

    Speaking from personal experience Avis LaVelle would never work for someone she did not belive to be a good stewart of the public trust. She has a fine career on her own above and beyond the Daley Admionstration…

    But according to the above post I( like everyone else) must be in on the conspiracy too.


  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 5:02 pm:

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.


  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 5:06 pm:

    I can’t understand what the problem is over Time’s glowing comments about Mayor Richard M. Daley. I suspect what happenned was a mixup in the Time Warner corporate empire. Obviously that article about Mayor “I dunno” (which is what he says when confronted with bad news, which has occurred with increasing frequency lately) was supposed to run in Time’s sister magazine in that corporate empire… MAD Magazine!


  21. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 5:13 pm:

    I love what Daley has done for the city but thank god I don’t live there anymore - too expensive. Great place to visit though, always have a wonderful time.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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