Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Children's Museum vote passes 33-16

A bad way to run a city is for a powerful mayor to coerce perfectly reasonable aldermen to totally disregard the obvious facts of an issue through threats and pressure. You are hearing the sound of 33 aldermen ignore the basic fact that Grant Park is hardly the only proposed alternative for the Children's Museum. A few highlights:
  • Ocasio: It's the back yard of our city.
  • Shiller: "It belongs in the center of Chicago." (That's surely an option. Even Brendan Reilly acknowledges the possibility. Just not in Grant Park.)
  • Fioretti: It's irrelevant. What's important is that kids are being killed and we need to stop the violence. (Nonsequitur.)
  • Ed Smith: "If you give your word, you've got to stay with it." (Even if you witness debate that should make you change your mind? That's interesting.)
  • Cardenas: The media has caused this division in our council. They should stop the spin about how we're taking green space away.
  • Balcer: Isn't this a great country?
  • Lyle: If everyone else is using their clout, why shouldn't the Chidren's Museum? Arguments against it are "not intellectually sound."
  • Burnett: Was hoping that we'd be able to "just stay out of it except to just come down and vote, the way we do." (The inveterate feudal lord also sucks up to Daley: "I commend you" for letting us change the name of the park from your dad's park to the Children's Museum park.)
  • Carothers: Reilly's got to be crazy for turning down a children's museum in his ward! (Distracting us from the main point. It's already in his ward. Reilly probably wants to keep it in his ward, just not there.)
  • Jackson: "Saddened" that it's leaving Navy Pier, but also that they're spending so much time on this issue instead of the violence. (Diverting the debate.)
  • Burke: Ward decision rules for an "unobstructed view" of the lake. This does not obstruct the view. (The only rational counterargument of the bunch - but he's still purely motivated by politics, as he has always been one of Daley's greatest allies. The rest of his commentary was on Burke's charming cop-turned-pseudointellectual historian, and also on boasting about his wife's power as a Supreme Court justice.)
  • Banks: "Land grab" is nonsensical and it doesn't make any sense, since the Park District still owns the land. We're on "firm legal footing."
The two most powerful and dangerous characters on the City Council are Burke and Banks, who know the law and always construe it strictly or liberally, depending on how it may accrue to their political advantage.

Any emotional appeal about kids deserving their share of downtown is irrelevant, since nobody is disputing that. In fact, many alternative places downtown have been proposed. This is foremost about Grant Park's and the lakefront's special status.

Any discussion about aldermanic privilege is not important either, and it never should be. All we should be talking about is reason and fairness. And that's not what we were hearing today.


Blogger Kevin said...

Who were the 16 brave dissenters? And who was the absentee/abstainer?

Neither of the major papers thought it valuable to post the vote breakdown.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Joining Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) in voting “no” were Aldermen: Manny Flores (1st); Pat Dowell (3rd); Toni Preckwinkle (4th); Leslie Hairston (5th); Sandi Jackson (7th); Sharon Dixon (24th); Ed Smith (28th); Scott Waguespack (32nd); Rey Colon (35th); Tom Allen (38th); Brian Doherty (41st); Vi Daley (43rd); Tom Tunney (44th); Eugene Schulter (47th) and Joe Moore (49th).

All other aldermen voted “yes,” except Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) who did not attend the meeting.

-From the Sun Times

3:39 PM  
Blogger Peter Zelchenko said...

Thanks for posting that. Hats off to Vi Daley, by the way, for doing the right thing. The more I know her, the more I see that she has a good deal of intelligence, knowledge, experience, and reason, but I think she often follows rather than leads -- that is, she can be manipulated too easily. She did the right thing this time.

7:03 PM  

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