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The [Thursday] Papers

Wednesday's column went up a bit late yesterday, so if you missed it, here's some Patrick Kane stuff.

Also recommended: @JulieDiCaro.

Private Benjamins
Chicagoans requesting the removal of gang graffiti or complaining about rats in their alleys would have their calls fielded by a private company rather than the city-run 311 operation under a proposal Mayor Rahm Emanuel floated Tuesday," the Tribune reports.

"His idea of privatizing the 311 call center came in his 2016 budget address, saying it would save the city 'about a million dollars a year' to replace union workers with outside contractors."

Why do I get the feeling we're about to get 211?

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"The mayor later said bringing in an outside operator would save the city the cost of making much-needed upgrades to the technology at the nonemergency information center, which would cost considerably more than the operations savings."

Wouldn't a private contractor seek to recover the cost of upgrades through its contract with the city?

There's both an operating, and then there's the long-term capital," he said. "Chicago invented 311. We need about $40 (million) to $50 million to modernize it in the coming years, which we don't have. So there's an operating cost savings of $1 million, we think appropriately. There's also a capital expenditure that only a private operator can do."

Well, the mayor has a way of finding $50 million at the drop of a hat when he wants to, so that's a real load. And again, a private contractor is going to recover the cost of modernization somehow. Rethinking 311 might be a good idea, but finding cheaper workers isn't necessarily the answer.

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"Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, said he's worried about giving a contract to a company that would provide the equipment and the manpower for such an important city service. And he wondered whether there would be real savings with a private contractor if the company had to factor in the cost of making technology upgrades."

I just said that!

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"Sawyer said that despite extensive discussion in recent weeks between members of the City Council and the Emanuel administration about the budget plan, many aldermen didn't learn about the proposal to privatize 311 until Monday night."

They should've called 311.

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"And the details were not spelled out in budget documents, which showed a proposed reduction of only about $237,000 on 311 services next year. It also showed the same number of employees. City budget spokeswoman Molly Poppe said only a small savings was reflected because the change would happen later in the year."

That makes no sense - the budget under consideration is for the whole year!

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Uber 311: The operator closest to you will return your call.

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Meet your new 311:

311_1.jpg

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P.S.:

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Pope Preaches About Global Warming While Church Leases Drilling Rights
"One U.S. archdiocese, Chicago, told Reuters it planned to review its energy shareholdings in light of the Pope's message."

I Am A Retail Warrior: Doggy Dress Code
"Let me remind you I work in a dog supply store," our very own Jane Harper writes. "It's a boutique, yes, but it's still a dog supply store. Pets are welcome, which means I do a lot of squatting down to scratch ears and I often come home covered in fur and drool."

Local Book Notes: RAT BIT SLEEPING CHILD!
Plus: Smell Chicago Later & Paging Doc Hollywood.

Bang'n On King Drive
Footworkin' the Billiken.

Fantasy Fix: Bad Luck vs. No Luck
Still buying Good Luck.

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Cutler's Dog Days
Daughter already a punchline.

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BeachBook

"Neighborhoods that were once considered hubs of relatively inexpensive motels and single-room apartments — Venice...

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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Dealers, owners feel frustrated and betrayed by VW scandal

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Thursday, September 24, 2015

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Pointed.



Permalink

Posted on September 24, 2015


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - 24 Hours With WYCC.
POLITICS - Wolfpack vs. Obama.
SPORTS - Joe Maddon's Magical Mystery Tour.

BOOKS - Why Al-Qaeda Is Still Strong.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mural Man.


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