Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mayor apologizes, sort of

In a budget hearing (Tuesday August 25) at the South Shore Country Club, Mayor Richard M. Daley veered off script when it came to taking responsibility for what many have called the "parking meter mess."

The prepared statement from the mayor that was circulated to the press, included the line "we screwed up" regarding the parking meter situation. However, the mayor chose not to read the statement as written and said, "I take responsibility for that. The implementation was not good at all from the city's side." In the end, the mayor believes the new parking meter arrangement will benefit the city financially.

The hearing also questioned what some see as Daley's single-mindedness in regard to the 2016 Olympic bid. The mayor acknowledged the general unease surrounding the bid and the costs involved, but said he's  "confident the city will make a profit, not one cost to Chicago taxpayers."

According to the mayor's office, the economic situation isn't looking too good. The mayor's office is predicting a $500 million budget deficit next year "because all revenue has gone down." Some Chicago merchants suggest that the 400 percent increase in meter rates might be a contributing factor.

For the full report on Tuesday's meeting click here.

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