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The [Wednesday] Papers


Hey, here's my latest Op-Ed for Crain's - please read, comment and share.

Steve Rhodes' latest Op-Ed for Crain's.

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Budget Bummers
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to raise fines against businesses that don't shovel sidewalks as part of his 2016 budget," the Tribune reports.

"The proposal, part of the annual city management ordinance, would hike the potential fine from $50 to $500. Emanuel also wants to increase fines for anyone piling snow in a fashion that blocks the public way - including bike lanes and racks, bus stops or building entrances - from a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $100 to a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $500."

As much as I like a shoveled sidewalk, this is obviously about raising revenue from every nook and cranny of the city imaginable. Given that, wouldn't it be more efficient to simply enact a Our Budget Is Fucked Tax and just send everyone a bill to cover the tab?

To wit:

"Such penalties are rarely enforced, however. The city issued just 226 tickets for snow removal issues during the winter of 2014-15, according to the Department of Transportation."

By my math, that means the city stands to collect $113,000 from snow removal tickets this year compared to $11,300 last year. Of course, the city can step up enforcement - but that comes with its own costs, doesn't it? The real result is creating even more anger out there that the city is nickel-and-diming everybody to death.


From the Sun-Times:

"You're tightening the time-line for the removal. You're making it harder . . . If there's a foot of snow, they should have more time to clean it . . . I don't want the city running around writing tickets," said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th)

Demanding that the harsher snow removal penalties be made clearer, Hairston added, "We know how people get dinged with the boots. We know how they get dinged with not parking 13 inches from the curb. As long as we're doing it, we may as well do it correctly and allow people to know what to expect."

Holt said property owners will still get an "opportunity to dig out" from major snowstorms.

"What we're talking about here is really intending to address the people who don't ever shovel their sidewalks. Particularly those businesses and those large apartment buildings that don't make an effort to keep the right of way clear and make passage for pedestrians," Holt said.

Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld added, "We take into consideration the practical realities of the weather. And our first step is always to issue warnings."

If it's really about clean sidewalks, maybe the city should offer to provide snow removal services to repeat offenders for a fee. Turn it into a real profit center and be heroes at the same time.


I know this is just about the least important budget issue to kvetch about. I really don't know why it's sticking in my craw.


Back to the Tribune:

"Emanuel also introduced language to tie fees for heavy truck permits to the consumer price index, so they would increase or decrease each year depending on the rate of inflation."

For God's sake, why?

"Currently, the cost for an overweight truck permit is $50 to $150 for a single trip or $500 to $2,250 monthly, according to city records."

I don't like this, either. It just sounds fishy.


Back To The Future
A dumb, stupid, horrible movie predictably embraced by America.






A sampling.




The Beachwood Tip Line: Kvetch.


Posted on October 21, 2015

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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