Monday, September 11, 2006

Take That, City Council

Lord Jesus.

The Honorable Richard M. Daley exercised his first ever veto today.

He did so against the big box ordinance passed by the city council on July 26th.

He has upped the ante in what proves to be a thoroughly entertaining fight between big box retailers, labor unions, Hizzoner & a rebellious city council.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is theatre of the highest magnitude. It don't get no better than this.

You may remember my post about my feelings on this big box brouhaha.

I hypothesize that the drama didn't jump off until Wal-mesee didn't pay the proper respect to the powers that be in our fair city and tried to do an end run around the "Chicago way" of doing business.

Some say that the ordinance is racially motivated as no one raised a peep about big box retailers when they were springing up like mushrooms on the north side but the minute the urban emerging markets were being probed (that's corporate speak for minority neighborhoods) the drama started.

Whether you believe either one, a mixture of the two or have a theory of your own this is gonna get messy.

But the bottom line is a sister still can't get reasonably priced goods and services within walking distance of the flat

I'd like to see the author of the big box ordinance, Alderman Joe Moore, schlep everything he needs to live and function on the bus or in a cart

1 comment:

Paradise said...


Actually, people up here on the far North Side, namely Rogers Park, said a LOT about big box stores, half for, half against, and both sides are quite vehement in their positions on the matter.

My attitude toward them tends, as you know, to be extremely negative, due mostly to the fact that they are artifacts of suburbia that DESTROY the urban, fine-grained character of a neighborhood and increase car dependence.

However, I'm not one to deny people shopping choices,and feel we have no right to do this, so my attitude has been that they are welcome as long as they honor the neighborhood aesthetic and build facilities that fit in with a dense urban neighborhood, which means a decent-looking building that fronts the street, not one with a parking lot big enough to have its own zip code: and is not so ludicrously overscaled in relation to surrounding structures that they are overwhelmed and the appearance of the area is destroyed.

Therefore, I will happily have a Target, as they build attractive, appropriately scaled stores, and I would like to have one nearby. Walmart, however, is notorious for its complete disregard for the concerns of area residents everywhere they build, and they are equally known for building a superstore 5 miles down the road from an existing store, just to abondon the first facility, leaving it empty and deteriorating. This, and the fact that they NEVER build without TIF funding or a 20-year tax abatement, or some other tax-funded gift, is one of the reasons so many communities are fighting them.

I also believe that they are NOT entitled to be subsidized, via TIF funds and tax abatements and other publicly-funded gimmes, by the smaller businesses they are destroying. You shouldn't have to pay taxes to subsidize your competition.

The residents of other areas are, IMO, entitled to their own choices in the matter, and if they want a huge, barnlike structure of stupifying ugliness looming over their neighborhood, that is their call, as far as I'm concerned.

The "living wage" ordinance was, on the face of it, a boon to low earners, but it would have actually worked to push jobs out to the burbs, and no one with any idea of economics should favor it. It's bad enough to have to work for $8 an hour without having to take 3 buses to get to a job in the burbs because all the jobs have left the city because of the increasingly hostile business climate.

I'm glad Hizzoner finally summoned the gall to oppose our worthless AlderMoron on his idiotic initiatives, and only wonder why Daley didn't veto the fois gras ban that has made this city the laughingstock of the world, earning our fair city the nickname, "The nanny city".

I hope we in RP can get rid of JoMo this coming election, but I'm not hopeful, if only because we cannot seem to unite behind a particular candidate. It looks, at this point, as though the vote against Joe will be split between 3 candidates, which means that he will win. I hope things don't turn out that way but that is how it looks at this point.