WBEZ | parking meter deal http://www.wbez.org/tags/parking-meter-deal Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago hourly parking to increase again in 2012 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-hourly-parking-increase-again-2012-95217 <p><p>Chicago's street parking rates are scheduled for another increase starting Jan. 2.</p><p>According to Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, the price to park in the Loop will jump to $5.75 an hour. That's up from $5 in 2011. Overnight parking will also increase to $2.85.</p><p>Hourly rates in business district outside of the Loop will go up to $3.50, and city's neighborhood rate will go up a quarter to $1.75.</p><p>Workers are scheduled to start changing the meters downtown first, eventually getting to the neighborhoods.</p><p>Loop parking rates have nearly doubled since the city privatized its meters in 2008, while rates outside the city are up $1.50. They're scheduled to continue going up through 2013.</p></p> Fri, 30 Dec 2011 20:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-hourly-parking-increase-again-2012-95217 The candidates' deal on the parking meter deal http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-16/candidates-deal-parking-meters-deal-82404 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/park-sign.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="266" width="400" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-16/park-sign.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Author>Owner</o:Author> <o:Version>11.9999</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->A friend of mine, echoing so many other friends of mine, recently wrote to say: &ldquo;My bottom line is the parking meters. Unless someone&rsquo;s going to do something about the parking meters, I can&rsquo;t even fathom voting for them.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">So here&rsquo;s the deal on the parking meters deal:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Miguel del Valle came up with a plan inspired by a series of <em><a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/features-cover-april-9-2009/Content?oid=1098561">Reader</a> </em>articles by Ben Joravsky.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;What became clear in that article was that Morgan Stanley, who negotiated the deal, did not register the lobbyists involved in the deal,&rdquo; says del Valle. &ldquo;And the lobbyists were on Morgan Stanley&rsquo;s payroll.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Chicago&rsquo;s ethics ordinance demands that lobbyists who negotiate contracts with the city be duly registered.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;We see that, as it stands right now, in the affidavit Morgan Stanley filled out, they state they had no lobbyist,&rdquo; says del Valle. &ldquo;That being the case, it stands that the city should be able to void the contract since they did, in fact, use lobbyists.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Del Valle took his case to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who has promised to look into it. He chuckles. &ldquo;Honestly, I don&rsquo;t think the ethics ordinance has ever been used for much in the past.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But does he honestly think this can undo the multimillion dollar deal?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m on record saying the only way of having any chance of renegotiating this lease is to get a court order to force them back to table,&rdquo; says del Valle. &ldquo;They have such a great deal, they&rsquo;re not coming back any other way. And I feel obligated to try to renegotiate the lease. It&rsquo;s a terrible deal for the citizens of Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p class="MsoNormal">And if the courts don&rsquo;t force their hand?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;Listen, the mayor&rsquo;s office has a lot of authority. Morgan Stanley is huge, but the parking meter lease is not their only deal with the city. As mayor, I will use my authority to strongly encourage them to come back to table,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;This lease will continue to be verycontroversial. The city completely surrendered authority for 75 years on how many meters we have, how many tickets need to be issued before a boot &ndash; I understand they have to be compensated for a decline in their revenue. But, look, we&rsquo;re paying the highest parking rates in the country right now, and they&rsquo;re going to go up 75 cents in January 2012, and another 75 cents in January 2013. We can at the very least talk about spreading that out a bit more. My position is that either we&rsquo;re going to do it through courts or through the political process, but one way or another, we&rsquo;re going to get them back to the table.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Del Valle points out that none of his rivals thinks the deal is a good one.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Del Valle can take credit for coming up with a possible way to realistically begin a new conversation about the meters contract but it was probably Carol Moseley Braun who in this campaign first called for voiding the deal. Problem is her campaign has not offered a strategy other than an online petition to &ldquo;cancel&rdquo; the deal &ndash; a petition that has absolutely zero legal or political weight.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Rahm Emanuel has mostly avoided talking directly about the deal, choosing, like Gery Chico, to focus more on protecting Chicago&rsquo;s reserves &ndash; there&rsquo;s about $75 million of meter money left. But, while Emanuel hasn&rsquo;t gone as far as del Valle in calling in the attorney general, he has indicated a willingness to take a second look.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&quot;I actually believe you can renegotiate sections of it, look at it top to bottom, have a fresh set of legal eyes to see if there are opportunities to see ways and terms to bring money back to the city . . .&quot; Emanuel told the <em>Tribune </em>Editorial board.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">How he might do that, he hasn&rsquo;t said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="">Gery Chico, however, has said exactly what he&rsquo;s going to do about the deal: Nothing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="">&quot;Candidates who say the city can sue Morgan Stanley or renegotiate this deal without returning money the city already spent are simply deceiving voters,&rdquo; he said when the question was posed to him in November after Braun made the deal an issue.</p><p>&ldquo;In 2008, our city missed the mark when it agreed to the parking meter deal. To add insult to injury, we barely have anything left to show for it,&rdquo; Chico said. &ldquo;Putting the city on the path to fiscal responsibility starts with protecting our long-term reserve funds.&rdquo;</p><p>His solution is to be found in a citizen ordinance he submitted called &ldquo;The Chicago Taxpayer and Credit Protection Ordinance&rdquo; &ndash; which doesn&rsquo;t have anything at all to do with the meters deal but puts the city&rsquo;s reserves in a lockbox so they can&rsquo;t be used to balance the city&rsquo;s budget. (A fine idea &ndash; so fine that all the other candidates espouse some version of it.)</p><p>But the parking meters deal?<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;;"><br /></span></p><p>In a nutshell:</p> <p>&nbsp;* del Valle is for forcing Morgan Stanley back to the table one way or another, and has requested a state investigation;</p><p>* Emanuel thinks some parts of the deal are renegotiable;</p><p>* Braun wants to walk away from it outright but has not explained how;</p><p>* and Chico, who&rsquo;s up to his ears in Daley&rsquo;s muck from so many years of being his go-to, says to leave the deal alone.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Feb 2011 08:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-16/candidates-deal-parking-meters-deal-82404 Danny Davis vows to reform City Hall http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-mayoral-election/danny-davis-vows-reform-city-hall <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Davis1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Congressman Danny Davis has pledged to reform key areas of city government if elected mayor of Chicago.</p> <div>Davis said he wants to see tax increment finance (TIF) money used for long term community development in struggling neighborhoods, rather than to benefit developers. Davis also said he would not use TIF money to fund Chicago Public Schools, one idea that has been proposed to help close the schools' $1 billion budget shortfall.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Davis, a former Chicago Alderman and Cook County commissioner, questioned what he called &ldquo;overnight deal making&rdquo; by the current administration, such as the bulldozing of Meigs Field and the leasing of the city&rsquo;s parking meters. He says the city&rsquo;s current contracting practices have resulted in &ldquo;scandal after scandal,&rdquo; and lack representation, especially for minority and women businesses.</div><div><br />Davis also pledged to invoke an existing city ordinance to stop paying legal fees for former Chicago police lieutenant Jon Burge, and would support a fair settlement for plaintiffs in the four remaining Burge torture cases.</div><p>When asked about whether he was concerned about the possibility of splitting the African-American vote with mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun, Davis said, &quot;In some instances we would be vying for the same voters and trying to get the same voter types to support us, so there is some concern.&quot;</p> <div>State Senator James Meeks (D-IL) stepped out of the mayor's race last week, citing concerns about dividing African-American votes.&nbsp;&nbsp;On&nbsp;Sunday, <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&amp;id=7865231">Meeks repeated his calls for the African-American community in&nbsp;Chicago to unite behind one candidate</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp; The prospect of a runoff election without a black candidate would be &quot;the worst thing we could possibly do for our city&quot;, said Meeks. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 27 Dec 2010 20:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-mayoral-election/danny-davis-vows-reform-city-hall