Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, May15

  • MPC Report Proposes Solutions to Address Chicago Segregation (Tribune)
  • 1 Killed in I-57 Crash in University Park (ABC)
  • Driver Who Struck Pole in South Loop, Killing Passenger, Charged With Felony DUI (Tribune)
  • No Bail for Driver Who Fatally Struck Julia Callaway in Chatham (Tribune)
  • Man Critically Injured in Assault on Lakefront Trail Near Oak Street (ABC)
  • Metra Adjust BNSF Schedule But Still Plans Fewer Express Trains From Hinsdale (Tribune)
  • Progressive Railroading Looks at Chicago’s Ride-share Tax to Fund Transit Infrastructure

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  • FlamingoFresh

    Parking meter deal update: https://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/parking-meter-deal-keeps-getting-worse-for-city-as-meter-revenues-rise/

    When are the remaining alderman who were in favor of this getting voted out?

  • BlueFairlane

    It’s been a decade, so I’d say if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s not gonna. They’ll leave office whenever they die.

  • BlueFairlane

    Side note: I just noticed that John had to close the Jehovah’s Witness post to comments. I’d have given him extra points if when he closed it, he’d said, “There must be some kind of way out of here.”

  • FlamingoFresh

    As data and numbers continue to come out each year reminding us of how awful the deal is then I’d like to think there’s always a chance. We have nothing but time so just ignoring it and accepting it as a mistake and not holding anyone accountable will just drag this city down further and further in the grand scheme of things. We need to flip the mentality of that not just for these aldermen but for anyone else who holds power in the city and state. Lying down and just taking it is not going to get you anywhere.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Alas, that would be too simple.

    Chicago’s political tradition dictates that sitting aldermen retire shortly before a new election cycle, so that the Mayor can handpick a replacement. This replacement then has a huge leg up in the following election, but as (or more) importantly knows exactly who is buttering which side of their bread. This is how Chicago’s weak mayor-strong city council system has been undermined in practice.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Yeah, that thread was generating too much confusion — we couldn’t get no relief.

  • Jeremy

    Most people don’t pay attention.

  • planetshwoop

    A bunch of points.

    It is totally a crap deal, no question. But the trajectory we were on in 2008 is not the same as 2018 because they raised the rates (which wouldnt have happened before).

    Second, as is common with these deals, they issued debt to extract value from the financing they put up. The bonds are First Lien (senior secured). That means if the company no longer has any cash flows, the bond holders negotiate to get what they want.

    If you want the money back, buy some of the bonds.

    Third, it’s a contract. The city can work to negotiate a better deal than they’ve tried; they havent really tried. The city doesn’t have leverage, really, but it’s worth asking. Investors could understand if they’re getting paid but pensioners aren’t that they might have to renegotiate.

    Last, we are addicted to parking revenue. It will always be a big thorn in our side towards better transportation if we are dependent upon parking fees to fund the city.

  • Jeremy

    “they raised the rates (which wouldnt have happened before)”

    That was the problem. Daley and the aldermen needed the money, but didn’t have the backbone to raise the meter rates. By transferring that responsibility to LAZ, when people get upset with higher meter fees, Daley could just shrug his shoulders and say, “I didn’t raise the fees.”

  • rohmen

    Good points, especially on the rate-raising issue, which many suspected at the time was a huge Daley consideration in doing it.

    The problem with most arguments I see is the apparent belief that the deal would be thrown out if the City just stepped up and legally challenged it hard enough. It’s a bad deal for sure, but it’s not unconscionably bad, and the City was not manipulated or defrauded into doing it. There’s little to no chance it would ever get thrown out or even reformed by a court.

    Lastly, while it’s a bad deal, it’s really only as bad as it is because Daley spent a huge chunk of the $1 billion. If he hadn’t, and it had remained safely invested as planned with the City drawing a solid ROR off the $1 billion nut, we’d be in a much, much different situation.