* As I already told you, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s own poll shows his job approval at 79 percent. His operation released more poll numbers late yesterday…
[B]y a 48%-to-41% margin, Chicagoans now believe the city is headed in the right direction — a lousy economy notwithstanding. That’s up from a 31%-55% split in a similar survey taken in September.
On key issues, about seven in 10 Chicagoans approve of Mr. Emanuel’s handling of budget matters, crime, schools and the economy.
A total of 82% find him to be a “strong leader” compared to “just” 70% who say he’s honest.
You gotta wonder how many Chicagoans feel the same about Illinois’ direction and Gov. Pat Quinn.
*** UPDATE *** Lynn Sweet ran the actual polling memo…
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
Voters have tremendous confidence in Emanuel’s ability to handle the most pressing issues facing Chicago, especially tackling the budget crisis. By a 73-23 margin, they approve of his job performance on this key issue.
The Mayor also receives high marks on fighting crime, improving education, and strengthening the economy. The support for Emanuel’s performance on these issues cuts across racial and neighborhood lines.
Table 2: Mayor Emanuel’s Approval Rating on Key Issues
Approve - Disapprove
Addressing the budget crisis 73 - 23
Fighting crime and keeping your neighborhood safe 72 - 24
Improving education in the city 69 - 24
Strengthening Chicago’s economy 70 - 25
Voters have a well-formed impression of the Mayor and give him very high marks on key personal attributes, including leadership, conviction, management, and honesty.
Table 3: Mayor Emanuel’s Personal Attributes
Total Describes Well
Is a strong leader 82
Fights for what’s right for Chicago 76
Is an effective manager 79
* He’s certainly doing many of the right things. For instance, Gov. Quinn hasn’t yet really addressed the state’s huge number of paid boards and commissions. From an Emanuel press release…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel [yesterday] announced a 50% reduction of compensation received by members of City boards and commissions, saving taxpayers over $314,000 a year.
“Those chosen to represent the interests of the people of Chicago lend their time and expertise to serve the public,” said Mayor Emanuel. “My administration is committed to using taxpayer funds wisely and responsibly to deliver the highest-quality services in the most efficient way possible.”
In July, the Mayor set the goal of cutting City board and commission compensation in half and tasked his Chief of Staff with conducting an extensive review of these stipends. Today, the Mayor also implemented a new compensation policy, which goes into effect immediately, tying stipend payments to meeting attendance.
The boards impacted by this reduction in compensation are the Building Board of Appeals; the Human Resources Board; the Chicago Police Board; the Zoning Board of Appeals and the License Appeal Commission. Prior to this review, the Mayor eliminated the stipends paid to members of the City’s Cable Commission and Board of Local Improvements.
* Emanuel announced a series of TIF district reforms yesterday as well…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel made it clear Monday that the city will continue to rely on special taxing districts as an economic development tool, even as he tries to wash away the stain of public criticism that marred them in recent years.
The mayor plans to establish specific benchmarks that tax increment finance districts, known as TIFs, must meet to continue receiving the same level of property tax dollars — or any at all.
The standards will be crafted to help meet the goals of a 5- to 10-year citywide economic development plan, Emanuel said. Now the hard work begins: The city has to draw up both the economic plan and the benchmarks for goals like job creation, private investment, property value increases, worker training and new affordable housing.
* Mark Brown is a bit skeptical, however…
Chicago now has 165 TIF districts encompassing 10 percent of the city’s property tax base and 30 percent of its geographic area.
That’s one reason I’m not as impressed about Emanuel slowing the growth of TIFs. There aren’t many places left to put them.
* Congressman Quigley was far more impressed…
Congressman Mike Quigley, who as a county board member criticized Daley’s use of TIFs, called Emanuel’s report a move away from abuses of the program.
“It’s a good day,” Quigley said. “I’m not after Rich at this point in time, but this report is in such sharp contrast with past TIF policy.”
* Kind of a misleading lede…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel faced a boisterous and sometimes angry crowd Monday night during the first of two “Town Hall” meetings to discuss ways to plug the city’s $635 million 2012 budget shortfall.
* The anger, as it turns out, came from a few people whose ox had been gored…
Mental health advocates questioned the new mayor about his decision to privatize seven primary health clinics. And traffic aides who were laid off last month greeted Emanuel with boos, with one man in the audience even calling the mayor a “liar.”
It wasn’t just “mental health advocates” who were upset about the privatization…
“I wonder where you got the idea it would be a good idea to privatize health services,” said Maria Randazzo, a laid off traffic control aide.
* Interesting nugget…
“Can you stop printing the mayor and elected officials’ names on doors, buildings, etc.?” read City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, who acted as the moderator of the event.
The mayor replied ‘yeah’ to that suggestion, but sounded skeptical it would make a dent in the city’s financial problems.
Gov. Quinn criticized Emanuel for this practice last week.
* The strength of public criticism, however, is likely to ramp up..
Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s not giving up on getting a longer school day this school year even though the teachers union has said no to a two percent cost of living raise to do it.
Emanuel is not taking ‘thanks but no thanks’ for an answer from the teachers union. He’s vowing to keep trying because he thinks the public is behind him. [..]
Meaning, his school board will impose a longer school day and year if the teachers don’t come around.