Thursday, March 21, 2013

Venal Chicago alderman could force Cubs to move to suburbs

Author outside Wrigley
Could a stubborn and venal Chicago alderman who seems to care more about rooftop owners that charge customers to peek into Wrigley Field than the Cubs themselves. While the Northsiders aren't threatening to bolt the Chicago area, political mishandling force the Cubs out of the city into the suburbs. There is a precedent. Inept pols chased the Dodgers out of Brooklyn six decades ago.

Even Obama's Svengali, Cub fan David Axelrod, is fed up.

From the Chicago Tribune:
As the Chicago Cubs owners try to seal a deal to renovate Wrigley Field, Ald. Thomas Tunney finds himself portrayed as the big obstacle to getting it done.

The veteran 44th Ward alderman has gone to bat for the concerns of the rooftop owners who've long supported his campaign fund and the neighborhood residents who elected him as he tries to help Mayor Rahm Emanuel finalize an agreement.

With negotiations continuing ahead of an April 1 deadline declared by Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, the pressure has mounted as fast as the storylines being pushed: The Cubs are engaged in early talks with Rosemont and DuPage County about relocating. Tunney wants to move Wrigley's iconic scoreboard and put in a giant video screen. Political consultant David Axelrod notes on Twitter that he's tired of the rooftop owners and "the ward pols they own."

The artificial deadline, the carefully leaked tidbits and the specter of relocation are out of the well-worn playbook used by sports owners to win a stadium deal. They also have helped paint Tunney as the bad guy standing in the way of a $500 million deal to rehab the stadium, build a hotel and create a plaza. The projects would generate $19 million a year in new city, county and state tax revenue, without taxpayer support, according to Ricketts family estimates.
Tunney is a liberal Democrat.

The alderman who represents the ward just north of Tunney's ward, James Capplemen, tried to prevent the Salvation Army from feeding the poor in his ward.

What a city.

Chicago aldermen have traditionally possessed enormous power over renovation, construction, and zoning changes in their wards. There are two many alderman in the city--50 of them--and they have too much power.

Related posts:

Chicago alderman orders Salvation Army to stop feeding the poor in his ward--UPDATED

Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field

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