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The Week in WTF

1. Jean-Claude Brizard, WTF?

Maybe WTF has lost track of how these things are done, but Brizard's contract to run Chicago's schools is still being negotiated and the deal has secrets in it?


Isn't the deal supposed to be the same as the offer made by the boss?

The Boss: I'm offering x, y, z, a large heap of q plus 250 Gs per. You get all the pencils and copier toner you can steal.

You: Okay.

The teachers' union obviously wants to know what the juicy details are. And BTW, the school board apparently is still tinkering with a budget proposal (it's secret, too) that does not include the 4 percent teacher raises approved in the last contract. We seem to be missing a key fact here. Does the board think it can simply stiff the teachers on a contract it has already signed? There is a provision in the contract that allows for such a thing but the board would have to prove - probably in court - that it could not find the money.

Contracts aren't what they used to be.

2. Romantic CTA, WTF?

So Craigslist rates the CTA as the nation's most "romantic transit system."

We are speechless - and it takes a lot to make us speechless. Maybe their definition of romance involves rape, mob assaults, and knocking old women down the platform stairs. Love truly is in the air.

3. City salaries, WTF?

No good can come of this except the sheer pleasure of mischief.

Sure it's good to know how your money is being spent - except that it will most likely make you mad that to find out out and make city employees even madder because now you know how overpaid they are.

This attempt at candor has been tried elsewhere with mixed results. Local public unions usually scream so loud it makes your eyeballs bleed, and the well-meaning city leader has to pull them off the Internet before there's a mob action in his office.

In the meantime, though, let us enjoy the information. Cops and firefighters make between $75,000 and $85,000 for most jobs. That seems fair.

But we are most interested in how some jobs could pay what they do.

An "asphalt helper" gets $72,000. Some librarians get $74,000. "Sanitation laborers" get $72,000. "Truck drivers" in Streets & San make 70 Gs. An "accounting technician III" makes $73,800. The "deputy press secretary" in the mayor's offices makes $90,000. A "caulker" in Water Management gets $90,000.

Although everyone who works for the city probably believes they are underpaid and overworked, when these figures seep out to the rest of Illinois, whatever good vibes the city has with downstate municipalities will evaporate permanently.

Also, the next time the city pleads government poverty, some skeptic will get out this list and suggest about $10 kazillion in savings without even trying hard.

By the way, the city employs 300 people named Smith. And one named Zyskowski.

4. The Cubs, WTF?

Nobody has asked him specifically but don't you bet that after being shoved out the door with a boot in the tush, Ryne Sandberg is truly the happiest guy who didn't get his dream job managing the Cubs?

Mike Quade did get the job and though this team is not his fault, it's a smudge that will last a long time because it is so bad in so many ways. Ryne didn't dodge a bullet, he escaped a howitzer shell of career doom.


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 10, 2011

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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