Sunday, November 05, 2006

Imitation: The finest form of flattery

What a creative alderman we have in the 43rd Ward.

In July, after citywide media showed me talking about Vi Daley's huge ticketing error in the Diversey Harbor area of Lakeview, she turned around and publicly claimed credit for fixing it. She didn't even thank me for discovering and correcting it. I had already spent three days dealing with Bill Kenan at the Department of Revenue, who promised me the problem would be fixed, long before Vi Daley got the phone call from Fox 32 informing her about the problem.

Now, to help deal with ticketing issues, Vi Daley has put very expensive cameras on the cleaning trucks, to boost punishment for a hopelessly unfair system. Since she's so lazy she doesn't put signs up more than a few hours before ticketing, I had a better plan: tell people about street cleaning a couple of days earlier, and maybe they'll move their cars more often. It won't cost the city a penny more.

To help people, I just released a new service, the 43rd Ward Street Cleaning Early Warning System. People who park on the street can enter an e-mail address and a list of blocks they park on, and my software notifies them three days in advance of when their blocks are about to be cleaned. Pretty good idea, right?

But, lo and behold! Look what just appeared in Vi Daley's e-newsletter, about two hours after we'd finished blitzing cars throughout the ward with our notice:

Alderman Vi Daley will unveil her new web-site in the coming days. One major change was suggested by a resident who regularly uses the calendar. [That must be me! You're welcome, Vi.] You will be able to enter your address and receive email notices about up-coming street-cleaning on your block. We hope to extend it to include notices about re-paving, movie shoots and possibly, snow removal.

I coded alongside volunteers to develop my package. Vi will probably use her deep slush fund, composed of our own Democratic Party money and developer kickbacks, to finance a cheap imitation. Or is she going to use taxpayer money? That would be pretty wasteful, since there's already a product out there: mine. But you know she likes using your taxes in this way.

I'll also take my 72-hour advance notice ordinance to City Council the day I take office. In my ordinance, the city will be forced to put up signage at least 72 hours in advance and keep tight records. If they don't put up signs enough in advance, they can't legally issue tickets. Simple, huh? Why didn't Vi Daley come up with it? Now let's watch as she introduces this ordinance moments before the February election, then claims credit for it. Or maybe she'll get Mayor Daley, or some other alderman, to do it for her so it's not so obvious.

Vi Daley can't come up with one creative idea, so she has to steal from others. Some people lead, others follow. What kind of alderman do you want, a leader or a follower?

(Read my position statement on this issue, which includes other ideas that Vi Daley will probably steal)


Post a Comment

<< Home