Chicago Aldermen earn pay raise with vital neighborhood programs

by barry pearce on 7/26/06

Ald. Burton NatarusIn case there’s a grudging soul out there who doesn’t think Chicago’s fine aldermen deserve the four-year raise they today added to their nearly 100k salaries, let us remind you of the vital issues these civil servants have been tackling – the treatment of elephants, the treatment of ducks, the preparation of fast food…Need we go on?

Sure, corruption is rampant at every level of city government and we can’t create a recycling program that works, but our aldermen are spending their time and our taxes on more important issues. Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd) proves the point in today’s Sun-Times, where he explains why it’s vital that dogs not be allowed to sit on sidewalks near their owners at outdoor cafes.

We wholeheartedly support the pay increase, which has been cleverly tied to the cost of living to disguise the actual amount. On a day when yet another city worker headed to the slammer for corruption (which scandal? Today it was, let’s see, …Hired Truck), we figure anything that raises the cost of graft must be good. Surely, aldermen with higher incomes will have higher prices, and that should make us all sleep better.

Speaking metaphorically, as he often does, Ald. Natarus summed up the situation at City Hall with the sort of rhetorical flourish that would make our founding fathers proud:

“When dogs or animals are around food, they become wild. They become uncontrollable. What is to stop a dog from leaping up on a table while somebody is eating a hamburger and trying to get the hamburger away from the individual? What if you have two or three dogs in the outdoor cafe, and they start a fight over food?

“They not only fight over the food. They’re going to bite somebody. It’s also unsanitary. What is to stop the dogs from defecating and urinating on the floor of the outdoor cafe? That’s not healthy. How obnoxious.”

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken July 27, 2006 at 9:01 AM

Don’t forget the suppression of job opportunities for thier constituency by voting for the Big Box ordinance.


Michael Austin July 27, 2006 at 3:15 PM

Don’t forget those brown honorary street signs, either. Just because you’ve never heard of the people listed on the signs–except for Hugh Hefner and Studs Terkel–and just because you can’t begin to pronounce half of their names doesn’t mean they don’t deserve an honorary street name designation.

And who do you think does the research on those signs, finding suitable candidates — the alderpeoples’ assistants? Oh, no — that work is done at the top.

It’s a Dog Eat Dog world out there (dogs eat hamburgers, too, and they become wild). Let’s keep these cats fat.

Ye Nifty Fifty: I see your raise, and raise you back!


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