- Brian Jackson/Sun-Times Media
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed his new parking meter agreement through the City Council
They did it again.
For the last four and a half years, Chicago aldermen have been admitting that they messed up. In retrospect, they said, the city’s 2008 parking meter privatization deal was approved too hastily, for too little money, with too many costly provisions buried deep in hundreds of pages of legalese.
After hearing from angry constituents, one alderman after another declared that they’d learned to stay clear of long-term agreements whose consequences and costs weren’t fully clear. Some even vowed to pursue every angle possible to retool or undo the deal, perhaps by buying back the street-parking system or challenging the contract in court. Rahm Emanuel made the same pledges as he took over the mayor’s office.
Instead, at Emanuel’s behest, the City Council voted 39 to 11 Wednesday to approve a slightly reworked version of the deal that locks in privatized street parking for the next seven decades.