Chicago Green Jobs


Daley and the Stimulus Funds
March 5, 2009, 3:51 am
Filed under: Stimulus Bill

The stimulus bill requires Washington to distribute money to the states for transit projects no later than March 10th.  For those of you following along at home, that’s just 6 days away.  And yet Mayor Daley has not yet submitted Chicago’s list of “shovel ready” projects to either Washington or us civilians.  So what’s the story?

Let’s review the dollars at stake. For transit, the state of Illinois has a pot of $429 million to divide. This $429 million is the money that must be applied for by March 10th. For other expenditures, Illinois has $506 million to share out. The deadlines here vary, but they are also coming up soon.

Chicago’s not going to get all those millions, but it’s a good bet that we’ll get a decent chunk of it. So what did we decide to do with it? Well, it’s hard to say, because “we” in this case is “Mayor Daley,” and he’s not talking. Why not, you ask? According to Daley, “We did not put that out publicly because once you start putting it out publicly, you know, the newspapers, the media is going to be ripping it apart.” Yup, that’s pretty much how democracy works! This is my first year in Chicago, and after the Blagojevich and Burris festivities I’m beginning to get the hang of how things roll here. But it’s still disappointing.

Le sigh. So what can we piece together? General outlines: repair for roads and transit lines, weatherization for homes, solar panel installation, and school and fixing sewer lines. And one specific detail: Mayor Daley has said that he wants $50 million to expand O’Hare.

As irritating as Daley’s lack of transparency is, we can rest assured that we’ll get the details soon – there’s no way that the mayor will let millions slip away from the city for lack of a little paperwork. Watch this space – we should have more details by the 10th.

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1 Comment so far
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More airplanes? Just what Chicago needs.

Comment by masaccio




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