With Mayor Richard Daley ready to eclipse his father as the city's
longest-serving chief executive later this year and the 2011 municipal
elections quickly approaching, big media outlets have started to
examine broadly Hizzoner's 20-year record. The New Yorker's Evan Osnos' March profile was colorful but ultimately much too rosy. Today, Crain's
Greg Hinz and Steven R. Strahler published a much more critical -- and
compelling -- portrait of the Mayor's economic record. It's definitely worth your time.
Reviewing heaps of fiscal data, the pair of reporters came to a
conclusion that shouldn't surprise any city residents: While Daley has made
considerable investments in the neighborhoods in and around the Loop, few resources have funneled to the
city's outlying areas. What's worse, to
make those flashy investments, the city has mired itself in immense debt.
With the municipal elections less than a year away, Hinz and Strahler ask an important question: Is he "the right person to lead the city out of
a fiscal morass created in large part by his drive to make Chicago a
mecca for wealthy professionals and international corporations"?