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Fixes ain’t free

Friday, Aug 23, 2019

* This story is a perfect example of why governors have been extremely reluctant to use taxpayer dollars to maintain the Thompson Center and the executive mansion

Days before lowering the boom on Chicago taxpayers to erase a $1 billion shortfall, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has signed off on a $220,000 remodeling of the mayor’s office on the fifth floor of City Hall. […]

In a statement issued in response to questions from the Sun-Times, the mayor’s office described the project as a “series of routine upgrades to the mayor’s office, the lobby and hallway into the mayor’s suite and the press briefing room” where news conferences are held.

Similar work has been going on all over City Hall for several years now “to replace outdated ceilings, lighting fixtures, old carpeting, etc.,” the mayor’s office said. […]

“This was one of the last locations needing to be done. Work also includes some minor flooring and counter replacement. This is a continuation of work … started in May in the Mayor’s Office, which consisted of painting, carpet replacement, and moving furniture in and out of the office.”

Could the timing have been better for “optics”? Yup. But this stuff costs money.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:14 am:

    But Rich, the Mayor won her election with such a large mandate didn’t you know that she is obviously right in everything she does, and all of her detractors are obviously wrong and/or corrupt? How dare you question her!!!!!


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:21 am:

    To the Post,

    The real is, if something needs to be done, you eat it, you own it, and get done what needs to “be” done.

    The strength of leaders and the use of political capital is a gift, it’s more telling when leaders do what needs to be done, even if it will be framed poorly, especially when long term benefits matter.

    Also, renovations are easier to explain then a large put age of furniture (creature comforts). Furniture can seem more frivolous than a renovation.


  3. - Downstate - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:21 am:

    Having visited IDOT offices several years ago in Springfield, I was embarrassed as to the condition of the space. I was in the Director’s office and thought, ‘My friend with a welding shop, has a nicer board room than this guy that controls a $4 billion budget’


  4. - Bertrum Cates - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:26 am:

    If $220,000 in capital improvements warrants a Sun-Times expose, I have a few story ideas.


  5. - Annonin' - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    Two fun facts
    The city hall version of blue room is one of the largest spaces in the Mayor’s office so they who cluck are “winners”
    And then this is Friday and the Mayor has been gone since….watchdogs?


  6. - A guy - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:43 am:

    Delayed maintenance always costs more in the long run and by the time it occurs, there’s usually little choice; stuff is just falling apart. This will blow over quickly.
    We’ve become so jaded that $220K just isn’t enough to get the Golden Retrievers to lift their heads anymore.


  7. - AnonAurora - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:43 am:

    Permanent upgrades and routine maintenance to official spaces doesn’t seem to extraordinary…

    No notes of $15000 espresso machines or closet saunas should really provide us reassurance not draw our scorn…


  8. - bury the lead much? - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    window dressing was funded by TIF$


  9. - Moe Berg - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    Pulitzer-quality journalism. $220k is 0.022% of $1 billion. (Please spare me the Dirksen inspired rebuttals - this is peanuts.)

    A nice follow on for the Sun-Times to yesterday’s horse track story in which they got played by a misinformed south suburban mayor and didn’t bother to read the bill themselves.


  10. - Just Me - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    How is redecoration of the Mayor’s Office and appropriate use of TIF dollars which is supposed to encourage economic development to the neighborhood?

    Furthermore, why on earth is there a TIF district in the loop? Those property taxes should be funding our schools, not the Mayor’s new carpet and drapes!


  11. - ChrisB - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 10:03 am:

    Yeah, but was it inspired by Downton Abbey?


  12. - NIU Grad - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    I wonder how long until this appears in a CTU press release.


  13. - efudd - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    No such thing as deferred/delayed maintenance.
    Ignore that service engine light for another thousand miles.
    Fix it now for some money or replace/rebuild later for a lot more.
    Same as it ever was.


  14. - Jose Abreu's Next Homerun - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    She’s back from vacation?


  15. - City Zen - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    ==This was one of the last locations needing to be done==

    So the boss went last. Isn’t that a good thing?


  16. - Bourbon Street - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    Those who complain about a long-overdue renovation of a government office should try working at one. East Berlin probably had more welcoming workplaces.


  17. - sharkette - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 1:09 pm:

    The winning bid contract states, prevailing wages required,
    this triples the cost. hello
    sell jrt, employees work virtual,
    put a casino there,
    use th3 800 million addiction funni money in the casino bill for locals working in the neighborhoods new addiction.
    let south and west siders who need jobs use the train to get there,, and tourists.
    in my day i worked 2 or 3 jobs,, and lived with friends,,vs expecting double salary rates for being an inexperienced worker,,,to pa my bills..
    geez what a concept,,


  18. - Demoralized - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    ==this triples the cost.==

    If you believe that then you believe the workers should be making a 1/3 of whatever the prevailing rate is. Is that really what you believe?

    ==being an inexperienced worker==

    Why would you believe the workers are inexperienced?


  19. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    It’s not news unless you can provide evidence that the work was un-needed, overpriced, extravagant or done by a brother-in-law. In other words, if the work was needed and it was done in a reasonable manner, Where’s the Beef?


  20. - City Zen - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    ==East Berlin probably had more welcoming workplaces.==

    So Jesse Sharkey and his Travelling Marxbury’s would feel right at home.


  21. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Aug 26, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    ==The winning bid contract states, prevailing wages required,
    this triples the cost. hello==

    It’s called “prevailing wage”, not “three times prevailing wage”

    hello.


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