The Fourth of July showed once again that Mayor Daley's priorities are not those of his city.
Taxes have gone up, spending has gone up, but we still do not have enough sworn police officers on the job to effectively handle a crowd.
On July 3, 2008, two individuals were shot in the Loop. That follows a pattern of fights and shootings in prior years during the Taste of Chicago. You would think that after twenty years, Mayor Daley would learn that, for the Taste of Chicago and for the July 3 and July 4 fireworks, the City needs police officers on the scene and ready to respond.
Traffic control this year was worse then ever. For reasons that remain unclear, east/west streets, including Grand and Illinois, were allowed to remain open. On both nights following the fireworks, those streets were filled with pedestrians and with cars trying to edge their way through the people. No sworn officers were seen. Instead, the job was left to incompetent traffic control aides who added nothing.
A competent mayor would have seen to it that those streets were closed, that pedestrian and car traffic was coordinated so that the streets did not re-open until the pedestrian flow had slowed, and most importantly, that uniformed, sworn officers were on the job.
Too bad that after twenty years, Mayor Daley still hasn't learned how to make a city work.