Feb 032011
 

From 41 minutes to 48 hours

Let’s give credit where credit is due; the City Council did not cancel the Tuesday Feb 1st meeting. They could have because it was the night of the third heaviest snowfall event in recorded Chicago area history. If there ever was a reason for the City Council to take the night off, it would have been that night. But to their credit, there they were, ready to do the Peoples’ business at 7:06pm. Now keep in mind the meetings start at 7:00 sharp as the website and agenda show, but they can’t seem to get their act together to start on time. Not only do they keep those attending waiting, they also keep one of their own council members waiting; and that lone councilman who’s ready to get started at 7:00 sharp is Councilman Grant Wehrli. Maybe he’s better organized than the others, or maybe he doesn’t need to be stylishly late. Maybe he wants to get the People’s work done, and then get out at a reasonable time. Whatever the reason, let the record show that he is the only Council member ready to do business at the 7:00 start time. So if he is late in the future, we’ll cut him some slack, because he is the only council member who has proven he can actually get to work on time.

Let’s also give credit to the Council for two other points. First they concluded the meeting at 7:47; that just may be a record, 41 minutes from start to finish. Now it’s possible they were able to do this because Councilman Boyajian was a no-show. He may be the reason most meetings last about two hours and as long as five hours, but that would be giving him too much “credit”. If Councilman Furstenau would have been a no-show, the 41 minute meeting probably could have been completed in 20 minutes.  We think it’s more likely that snow blizzards have a way of keeping Council members focused.

Secondly to the Council’s credit, they tabled three agenda topics until upcoming Council meetings in order to allow interested citizens the chance to let their voices be heard. So the Council could have pushed their own decisions forward, but they didn’t, and for this reason they should be applauded.

There might be another reason the City Council concluded their meeting in a record-setting 41 minutes, and it might have to do with an Ordinance they approved in 2009 which requires the ‘removal of snow and ice on any public sidewalk or sidewalks abutting on or adjacent sidewalk or sidewalks to such lot or parcel of land when snow exceeds two inches in height…snow and/or ice removal must be done within 48 hours of the weather event.” In essence that means you, the homeowner has 48 hours to clear the sidewalk of snow and ice, or the snow and ice Gestapo will be sliding towards your door with a ticket for you in hand. It just might be that the Council members wanted to get a quick start to adhering to their own Ordinance.

So here’s a suggestion, if you live near a council member, the Mayor, the City Manager, or one of the other nine candidates running for City Council, check out their sidewalk at or after 3pm Friday February 4th to see if they have shoveled, or is this another example of an Ordinance which is not enforced, or worse yet, selectively enforced.

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