Mayor Emanuel jacks up Misericordia's water bills | Bleader

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mayor Emanuel jacks up Misericordia's water bills

Posted By on 12.06.11 at 11:30 AM

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I've got to give Sister Rosemary Connelly credit for having the guts to tell Mayor Emanuel like it is in regards to the whole water-sewer bill hike.

It happened at last week's breakfast fund-raiser for Misericordia, the north-side home for the disabled that Sister Connelly runs.

I didn't make the gathering. But it was like I was there cause I read Abdon Pallasch's very funny account in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Great job, Abdon. Hey, Bright One—give that man a raise!

Sister Connelly started off talking about the time Mayor Emanuel hit her with the s word. It happened at—well, let's let Connelly/Pallasch tell the story . . .

"`Every time I met Rahm in public, he told me he was afraid of me,' Connelly said. `The last time I met him right before the inauguration, he said, and I quote—please remember the bad word used is his not mine—"You scare me s-h-i-t-l-e-s-s,"' Connelly said, spelling out the last word of the quote."

According to Pallasch, the crowd "roared with laughter."

In retrospect, I think Sister Connelly got off kind of easy. At least Mayor Emanuel didn't tell her—"fuck you!"—like he did to Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union.

Perhaps Mayor Rahm still has enough restraint to refrain from dropping the f-bomb on a nun.

The sister went on to point out that despite supposedly being so afraid of her, Mayor Emanuel did away with the water bill exemption not-for-profits, like Misericordia, used to get.

"To show you how courageous this man is, despite his fear, he is going to charge Misericordia for water, which will add to our projected $13 million debt. We are one of the top users of water in Chicago. You see, we are very clean. The 610 children and adults along with the staff who live here use much water, especially those who are non-ambulatory and can do nothing for themselves. Sometimes we have to bathe them several times a day."

I feel your pain, Sister Connelly. My own humble little water-sewer bill has gone up from $328 in 2007 to $502 this year. Thanks to Mayor Emanuel's latest water-sewer hike I'll probably be paying an estimated $1,000 in 2017.

Oh, and did I mention that the City Council unanimously voted for Mayor E's water-sewer hike? Well, they did.

Why is the water-sewer bill going up so much? As Mick and I explained, at least $75 million in water and sewer funds pays for stuff that has nothing to do with water or sewer. Mick and I call this the water and sewer slush fund.

As opposed to the TIF slush fund, which pays for stuff like, oh just to pick one example, $15 million to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

I know it seems cruel to jack up the water bills on homes for the disabled—and schlubs like me—while doling out millions to millionaires.

This is what passes for reform in Mayor Emanuel's Chicago.

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