Chicago’s disastrous parking meter deal was two mayors ago. Raise your hand if you’re still mad about it. I thought so.
The $1.2 billion the city collected upfront is long gone, but the private firm that controls the parking system holds a lease that doesn’t expire until 2083. Hourly parking costs quadrupled the first year.
Then-Mayor Richard M. Daley sprung this desperation deal on the City Council in 2008, with less than two days to deliberate and no Plan B. Aldermen were cornered. They approved the deal — only five voted no — because they were ill-equipped to push back. They still are.
That could change Wednesday, when an increasingly proactive City Council votes on an ordinance to strengthen the Council Office of Financial Analysis, or COFA.