From today's Sun-Times...
Chicago aldermen ridiculed and condemned a federal hiring monitor on Friday for awarding $75,000 to the son of the City Council's elder statesman as compensation for a 2003 aldermanic election that was stacked against him.Has Jay Stone ever worked for the city? Should he get a settlement from the city only because he had to face a ward political machine mostly manned by city workers? And why aren't the aldermen trying to go after the corruption that is a cause & effect of rigging city hiring?
Federal monitor Noelle Brennan believed Stone's claim that he didn't stand a chance against then-Ald. Ted Matlak (32nd) because Matlak had the support of a political army of city workers commanded on city time by now-convicted former First Deputy Water Commissioner Donald Tomczak.
Veteran aldermen begged to differ. They argued that Stone "never stood a chance, period" because he was a lousy candidate.
By giving Stone $75,000, Brennan deprived more worthy applicants of more substantial settlements, the aldermen said. "We've got potholes to fix. We spend $20 million on snow removal, and the federal monitor decides in her infinite wisdom to give somebody $75,000 because they lost an election? Can I sign up for that program?" said Ald. Tom Allen (38th).
I haven't read that Mr. Stone ever worked for the city. Stone surely should not have gotten a settlement for only being a political candidate facing a political machine of city workers. Hopefully someone can provide an answer for the third question I posed, because the best I can do is that the aldermen on Chicago's city council aren't willing to tackle this issue.
Many of the aldermen are correct in opposing this. Indeed a lot of Aldermen are correct that this money could go towards providing services to Chicago residents. Still if the city is tired of these payouts, I wish they could address the underlying causes.