The Chicago Tribune reports today that the City Council now, five months later, wants to have hearings about the late-night, rush-rush, badly-managed parking meter privitization they pushed through in December:
Less than five months after the Chicago City Council quickly and overwhelmingly approved the deal, aldermen buffeted by public complaints pushed a slew of ordinances Wednesday targeting the $1.2 billion lease of Chicago's parking meters to a private company.
One measure calls for hearings to examine the deal, which ushered in dramatic rate hikes at 36,000 meters across the city. Another would halt rate increases until all meters are uprooted and replaced with "pay and display" equipment allowing motorists to pay with credit cards and place tickets on their dashboards. Yet a third would require a 30-day waiting period before aldermen could approve any plan to privatize city assets.
The proposals appear aimed at giving aldermen political cover amid widespread discontent and technical problems as the parking meter system transitions to private control.
Not that people don't carry around buckets-full of quarters wherever they go. Not that charging the same price for parking all the time and throughout the city fails to take account of the fundamental principles of demand economics. No, now let's have hearings.
I can't tell whether they were stupid or if they all got paid off. That's how badly they handled this. (Usually in Chicago the politicians aren't actually stupid, they just lose IQ points when confronted with fat envelopes.)