Monday, June 29, 2009

Give me liberty or give me--another hearing on the parking meters

Posted By on 06.29.09 at 11:57 AM

In December, 49th Ward alderman Joe Moore joined with 44 of his colleagues to sign off on the parking meter lease deal after just two days of "review," but since then he’s characterized the vote as one of the worst of his career and attempted to “repent” for it. In April he led a call for hearings on the financial analysis and bidding process that led up to the deal, and this morning he sent an e-mail to constituents announcing that the hearings are finally scheduled for this Thursday, July 2.

That’s eight months after the deal was cut and approved--and some of the money received in it already spent--but Moore gives his best Thomas Paine impression in arguing that democracy itself is at stake in the push to find out more. The lease agreement “should serve as a wake-up call for the City Council to begin to assert its role as a true independent legislative body rather than a branch of the Mayor's office,” he writes.

Moore wants to believe that the revolution has already started. He notes that the council recently passed an ordinance requiring a 15-day waiting period before the approval of any other long-term asset lease. “The City Council, of course, does not need a law requiring a review period; it simply could exercise the power it already has to delay and review any measure proposed by the Mayor's office,” he writes.

So why did they pass such an ordinance anyway? “Like the mass murderer who scrawls on the wall, ‘Stop me before I kill again,’ my colleagues in adopting this ordinance are essentially saying, ‘Stop me before I rubber stamp again!’”

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