Rahm Prosmises Hot Air
For a guy with zero political capital, he just keeps overdrawing at the bank:
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his emissaries are trying to persuade a fractured Friends of the Parks board to drop its lawsuit blocking construction of the Lucas Museum near Soldier Field by dangling support for an even bigger lakefront dream: the “Last Four Miles” of lakefront parkland.
In 2009, Friends of the Parks marked the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s Plan for Chicago by unveiling a visionary sequel that would add 525 acres of lakefront parkland and extend public access to Lake Michigan from the Evanston border all the way south to the Indiana border.
It was called the “The Last Four Miles Plan” because that’s how much new lakefront parkland it would take to fill in the gaps — from 71st to 95th streets on the south and from Hollywood to Howard Street on the north.
Devised by architects, urban planners and engineers after years of community workshops, the plan had a $450 million price tag, but no apparent source of funding.
No funding? No problem! Rahm is going to lend his support:
- Now, top mayoral aides and intermediaries are dangling Emanuel’s formidable support for a plan that could easily take 20 years to complete for City Hall’s more immediate concern: keeping movie mogul George Lucas’ interactive museum in Chicago.
Emanuel already has raised property taxes by $588 million for police and fire pensions and school construction. He has offered to raise property taxes by an additional, $175 million for teacher pensions. He also needs a new funding source to save the Municipal Employees Pension fund, the city’s largest.
With all of those financial pressures closing in on Chicago, it’s not clear how much money Emanuel could devote to the noble goal of creating more lakefront parkland or where that money would come from.
Here's a hint - the money will come from nowhere. Rahm is going to make yet another empty promise with some vague deadline somewhere down the road and it'll be one of those "unfulfilled visions" that people talked about back in the day before every taxpayer left Illinois and it became the cratered wasteland of the mid-21st century.
Labels: money questions