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August 31, 2008

Chicago Department of Water Management Bosses double dipping

Governor Blagojevich is on the right direction as he points to some politicians that enjoy two full time jobs, both on the public payroll. I have for quite some time brought to your attention John "Hired Trucks and Hiring Scandal" D'Amico and Rep. Luis Arroyo, both double-dipping deluxe. I have gone to The Capital Fax Blog and made many posts for years on this subject. Chicago Clout another top of the line Chicago Political website knocked this arrangement many times. John D'Amico family has a fuzzy past, mob dealings, and the Laurino family. Again, when I hear of John D'Amico, I want to watch the Godfather and watch the crime family go "legit". John D'Amico has enjoyed favorable promotions (rigged) and a pot full of cash when he ran for office. Hired Truck companies, Unions, liquor interests, gambling interests, and other shady goons came out of the woodwork to pony up. D'Amico has his State Rep. cards printed before he won the seat. City of Chicago Department of Water Management workers worked Election Day and the precincts. In pact election officials stopped D'Amico and his brother from breaking election laws. His goons still get preferential treatment in positions and overtime. John D'Amico is a "made" man at the Department of Water Management. $165,547.00 is a nice yearly sum for two part time jobs. As Chicago City workers face layoffs, D'Amico, a caulker, told Rich Miller of Capitol Fax "[Gov. Blagojevich said] "They fear their leader, Mr. Madigan, and if Mike Madigan tells them to vote a certain way, they will tell you privately, and I've had these discussions with a couple of state reps, one of whom said, 'I'm afraid if I vote for the jobs bill I'll be fired from my job at Streets and Sanitations [sic]. I'm afraid I'll lose my job.' " [...] D'Amico said he told the governor that he has been in the union for 26 years and there's no way he could be fired over a legislative issue unless they first canned a whole bunch of people with less seniority to get at him. Rep. D'Amico said he told the governor he opposed the capital plan because Mayor Daley was against it. D'Amico told me he informed the governor that he didn't fear losing his job over the capital bill. [...] A source close to [Congressman Rahm Emanuel] confirmed everything D'Amico said." What a great Guy! Right dudes! Rep. Luis Arroyo is a Mell guy and I like Mell. However my sources tell me Luis Arroyo enjoy fun and games near the offices of high ranking officials at the Jardine Plant, a great place to hide people doing nothing all day. I hope to give you more information on the projects administrator-manage jobs. John Daley's secretary enjoys the apx. $100,000.00 job doing data entry and the Tadin family enjoy two of the jobs. Right thing to do -- or is it revenge? DOUBLE-DIPPING | Critics say gov's bid to bar some lawmakers -- all of them Dems -- from holding 2nd posts done out of 'spite' August 31, BY CHRIS FUSCO Staff Reporter When Michael Frerichs won election to the Illinois Senate in 2006, he could have kept his job as Champaign County's auditor. But Frerichs quit the county post, largely because he didn't want voters in his Downstate district to perceive him as feasting at the public trough. "In my part of the state, if I tried to have both jobs, I eventually would have neither job," the Democrat explained. Not all Illinois lawmakers think like Frerichs, though. In the last decade, dozens have served in the General Assembly while also working city, county and township jobs. Now, however, Gov. Blagojevich wants to limit so-called double dipping by legislators as part of his controversial rewrite of a state ethics bill. In a letter to the General Assembly last week, the governor wrote that "dual government employment creates the potential for a conflict of interest because a legislator's duties to his or her constituents and his or her public employer are not always consistent." Blagojevich, however, isn't proposing an outright ban on the practice. Lawmakers who have other government jobs as elected officials, state university professors, police officers or firefighters could continue to hold those jobs. That would mean only half of the 20 lawmakers who have two government jobs would be forced to leave one of them, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows (see graphic). Nine of the 10 legislators who would be forced to quit a job are House Democrats -- a statistic that has prompting lawmakers in both parties to accuse the governor of using the double-dip issue to exact political revenge. House Democrats have staunchly opposed the governor's legislative priorities this year, even though they're in the same political party as Blagojevich. "The governor had no problem with us having these jobs before this year," said Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago), an employee of Chicago's Planning Department. "It's obvious he's targeting us out of spite." Legislators also are taking issue with Blagojevich's semantics, contending they can't technically double-dip because Illinois law prohibits them from being paid more than once by a public body during the same hour. Illinois is among seven states to handle dual employment this way, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states' rules vary widely (see map), reflecting the trick bag lawmakers are in when it comes to balancing conflicts of interest with their rights to earn a living. State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) said she earned less than 10 percent of her $52,081 salary as an administrative assistant at Cook County's Provident Hospital last year because she spent so much time in Springfield. Her legislative salary is $74,027. "I make no apologies," Flowers said. "If I have to have another job to make ends meet, so be it." Legislators also note that the General Assembly is supposed to be a part-time post and that many members work in the private sector. Sen. William Peterson (R-Long Grove) is among the 10 lawmakers who would be allowed to keep his second job under the governor's proposed rules. He has been the elected supervisor of Vernon Township for more than 30 years. Peterson, however, is not seeking re-election to his $83,804 Senate seat this fall so he can focus on his $90,000-a-year township job. The two jobs "worked well together until the last couple of years," when the spring legislative session went well beyond its traditional time limits, Peterson said. Peterson and other lawmakers predicted the Legislature will try to block the governor's rewrite before the end of the year. If lawmakers refuse to accept Blagojevich's changes but do not vote to block them, the original ethics bill they sent him would die. The double-dip rules mark an effort "to get back at the House Democrats," Peterson said. "Certainly it makes it even more so when he's exempting elected officials." Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero countered that politics has nothing to do with the governor's proposed rules. He also said it's fair to allow elected officials to keep their second jobs because they serve at the will of voters, not Mayor Daley or Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Working a city or county job could place legislators "in an awkward position" to choose between their bosses and their constituents on important issues, Guerrero said. Contributing: Dave McKinney

August 29, 2008

People Beg in the streets of Chicago, Homeless ranks swell

Homeless in Chicago Beg for help.jpg Democrats have always stood to help the little guy in Chicago. We join unions and hope to get ahead with hard work. Many people get left behind as the political forces are corrupted by gambling, corruption and criminal enterprise. I think all Chicago city employees should undergo drug testing. I mean, all employees including the Mayor and Aldermen. Mayor Daley should help employees with gambling problems. If you look at the picture you will see nice condos and vacant lots, an eyesore even in this nicer section of Chicago. This picture was taken at 3100 West Peterson; the man pictured has fallen on bad luck and begs in a wheelchair. You would think in Chicago we address these issues making sure there are jobs that pay with some self-respect. Obama made his self rather rich in a short amount of time and McCain forgets how many houses he owns. Corruption in Chicago sucks the life out of the poor and we watch those in power vacation and travel the globe. Ms. Obama made over $300,000.00 a year screwing the poor. Life is good at the top in Chicago; ask this guy what it is like beg? Let's fix Chicago, let us forget the Olympics, vacations, partying and, vice. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

Gas main ruptured by Department of Water Management 7530 W. Devon

Gas Main rupture.jpg When a gas main, in this case a 2" medium pressure line is gashed, the response includes Chicago Police, Chicago Fire, and the Gas Company. These situations can turn bad in an instant. The gas main can start on fire, the trees can light up, and soon house fires follow. I am glad no one was injured during this gas main break. Some foreman were given days off for these utility hits before. Remember, safety first at the Department of Water Management. Photo by Patrick McDonough

More Chicago Department of Water Management trucks break down

Wes Kochel Inc.jpg Last night I worked with an old buddy of mine, a well known foreman. We needed the Investigator crew to respond to an emergency as we popped a hole in the gas main with the backhoe. Standard procedure is to send an Investigator crew out to document the damage. It makes sense to take pictures when the bills are exchange between utility providers. I had fun teaching the Investigator on duty how to use his camera phone. Utilities are not always marked correctly and sub-contractors for the Department of Water Management should make sure this company pays when they mismark. I think the water department picks up the tab when they mess up. After the Investigator truck showed up, the truck broke down. Fleet Management could not repair it so they requested a tow. Wes Kochel Inc. showed up after a long wait. They are located in Will County, 25800 South Sunset Drive in Monee to be exact. According to Mapquest the drive from that address to 7534 West Devon in Chicago would be over an hour, about 50 miles. That is a lot of City workers waiting. I looked at the contract and they have about $800,000.00 in a DUR contract. http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/VCSearchWeb/org/cityofchicago/vcsearch/controller/vendors/disclosuresLink.do?vendorName=WES+KOCHEL+INC.#searchResults#searchResults DUR in Chicago means Depending upon Requirements (an open bid) I call them Depending upon who is running (for political office). I think Mr. Spatz the Commissioner of Water Management in Chicago (doing a much better job than those before him) should look into getting new trucks for the Department. The existing fleet is junk, and do not get tempted to lease the new trucks. (wink wink) Chicago should have a heavy duty tow truck available, I know one sits at the Central District garage at 39th and Ashland. Just have a driver hop in and off you go! And the privates are getting over a thousand a tow! Let's save money and save our jobs. Photo by Patrick McDonough

August 28, 2008

More of Mayor Daley's MBE in action fixing Chicago Sewers

City Construction.jpg Chicago City workers are facing the ax while Mayor Daley is in Denver partying while Barack Obama is kissing Joe Biden's wife on the lips. Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony or as the song goes. Chicago politicians were hugging and praying to God Obama gets the White House before Patrick Fitzgerald finds anymore corruption. Meanwhile I want to assure you, Chicago Clout is still uncovering corruption and waste. Yesterday I saw another one of Mayor Daley's contractors laughing it up in the middle of the street. I believe they were doing work for Mayor Daley's patronage heavy MBE "Hired Truck" replacement program called "Private Drain Program". In fact one of the pictures was of the workers making a muscleman pose, a chunky older man. I hope the Chicago Taxpayers enjoys the future city worker replacement. This company enjoys a massive multi-million dollar contract doing the work that private contractors did just a few years ago. http://216.146.77.178/objGW/OMImages/888/00002JNK/IMEDGE~1.PDF The original contract was for about 4,500,000.00, but the contract was upped another 2.5 million. It sure pays to be disadvantaged with Mayor Daley. Emil Jones a former sewer inspector benefited from this arrangement. This company also gives money to elections in the suburbs; maybe Chicago had an interest in elections in Stone Park. In this picture you will see a man wearing a City of Chicago employee uniform. The Chicago Department of Water Management has given away many city vests to private companies and the persons responsible should be fired for that foul act. City Construction Company, Inc. has a group of workers laughing and joking on Chicago's taxpayer's dime. I asked the company who sends the work assignment over to them, their secretary said, "They just fax them over". According to city documents Suzanne Kim handles that contract. I was told, "Charley Johnson sends the work over", by a man by the name of Mohammed of City Construction. I called the company and asked, "Are you Union?". She lady answering the phone said, "Not sure, I guess so". Hired Truck Scandal was loaded with non-union companies because many got around the law by claiming to be a MBE. I hope a City of Chicago Inspector signed off on the work completed, we will find out. When the City of Chicago is going broke, how can they hand away over $7,000.000.00 in just one contract affecting the North Side of Chicago? How can a contractor be disadvantaged with millions of dollars in Chicago Taxpayer's contracts? I guess it pays to be poor in Chicago? I also hope you go to this City of Chicago link and ask why the company is not on this list, http://www.cityofchicago.org/Transportation/contractors/ Photo by Patrick McDonough. Campaigning on the job Witness says Sorich told her to get out the vote for Daley, allies By Dan Mihalopoulos and Michael Higgins, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporters Laurie Cohen and Matt O'Connor contributed to this report May 18, 2006 In a meeting at his City Hall office, the patronage chief for Mayor Richard Daley directed Mary Jo Falcon and her group of Asian city workers to help the mayor's re-election effort, Falcon testified Wednesday. In election after election, Falcon said, Daley aide Robert Sorich instructed her group to walk Chicago's wards, knocking on doors to get out voters for the mayor and other candidates in North Side neighborhoods. "There were more Asians or immigrants in those precincts," Falcon told jurors in the federal corruption trial of Sorich and three other former Daley administration officials. As the prosecution's first witness, Falcon vividly detailed how she recruited her underlings in the city's Sewers and Water Management Departments for hands-on, street-level campaigning. Patronage hiring, a hallmark of the classic Chicago political machine, is at the center of the trial, and Falcon's testimony suggested a close link between politics and hiring. Sorich and his three co-defendants are accused of rigging city hiring and promotions in favor of pro-Daley political workers such as Falcon's foot soldiers, who helped politicians ranging from presidential contender Al Gore to Chicago aldermen. Shortly before Daley was re-elected in 1999, Falcon said, she met with Sorich and Suzanne Kim, a city official who led a Korean-American group of precinct workers. At the City Hall meeting in the mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, where Sorich worked, Falcon said Sorich asked the women to deploy their troops to the 39th Ward on the Far North Side for Daley. Falcon's group consisted of about 30 Asian-Americans, almost all of them city workers, she said. She would shut the door of her office, Falcon said, when she asked workers in her departments to campaign during their time off the job for the mayor and candidates he endorsed. "I would ask them to knock on doors" on weekends to ask people to vote for Daley, said Falcon, who was born in the Philippines. When Rahm Emanuel was running successfully for the Democratic congressional nomination, she again answered the call from Sorich: "They needed some Asians to be at a rally that the Korean-American group held, if I could bring some Filipinos there." Falcon made clear that her group and others sometimes worked for politicians that they did not even like. Falcon said she and Kim grudgingly agreed to commit their forces to help re-elect Ald. Patrick Levar (45th) "because Mr. Sorich asked us." Kim, now an assistant commissioner in the Water Management Department, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday. Falcon also said she used her city phone on paid time to organize workers to call voters for Lisa Madigan, now the Illinois attorney general. Jurors were shown a list that Falcon said she kept in a notebook. According to the list, Fleet Management Department workers helped make calls for Madigan on a Monday, Sewers Department workers on that Tuesday, Transportation Department workers on Wednesday and Water Department workers on Thursday. She never spoke to the mayor's official campaign managers in the 1999 or 2003 elections, and she could not name them, she testified. "I dealt with Robert Sorich," Falcon said. It was Sorich who received a city job application from a political worker in Falcon's group, she said. The Transportation Department soon gave the job seeker seasonal work, Falcon testified. She said she thanked Sorich. That was one of more than 10 meetings with Sorich to discuss how he could help her political allies "go forward"--the City Hall jargon for getting a job or a promotion, she said. Several city departments had their own pro-Daley political groups, which often were organized along racial lines, Falcon said. Daley, who has denied knowledge of any wrongdoing, was in China Wednesday. The city's top lawyer declined to comment. For years, the mayor denied suggestions that patronage hiring and machine politics remained alive in Chicago. "My political organization is myself," he said last year. On cross-examination, Sorich's lawyer, Thomas Anthony Durkin, questioned Falcon about Daley, eliciting her praise for the mayor. Falcon acknowledged that she liked the mayor, had been proud to introduce him at a public event and believed he favored diversity in hiring. She also acknowledged that prosecutors had asked her about what her higher-ups knew about hiring practices. But when Durkin asked whether prosecutors had ever asked whether Daley was involved in creating hiring lists, Falcon replied, "I don't remember that question, sir." Falcon said a grand juror had asked her that question. When Durkin asked for more detail, prosecutors objected and U.S. District Judge David Coar sustained their objection. Falcon testified Tuesday that she falsified documents to make sure that the city offered plum union posts to people on "blessed lists" from Sorich as well as his aide and co-defendant Timothy McCarthy. The practice ended and the city hired on merit only after it became clear that federal authorities were investigating possible City Hall corruption, she said Wednesday. Falcon told jurors she met last year with McCarthy, who had replaced Sorich, to discuss openings at the city's water purification plants. That time, she said, "He gave me names but also told me, `Go screen and just pick whoever I thought was best.'" Falcon resigned as the Water Management Department's personnel director in June. She testified under immunity from prosecution, saying she cooperated with authorities out of "fear of going to prison." She said when the FBI searched her city office last year, she did not think she had committed a crime, although she "thought there was something wrong with what I was doing." Falcon conceded that Sorich never told her to falsify records to get favored job candidates on the payroll. Sorich also did not tell her to lie on forms where she swore that hiring had been done in compliance with a decades-old federal court decree against patronage. She did it anyway, she said, "because that was my job and that was part of the culture."

Mayor Daley's private (pals) contractors take more city jobs.

Sumit Construction.jpg Sumit Construction Company Inc. is located in Skokie, Illinois. This young man is drilling holes in the concrete for rebar. Cicero Avenue in Chicago is a mess; the road is so bad you could bite your tongue with the large potholes. I thought this was a State of Illinois controlled road but I called Sumit and they told me the work was under a contract with the City of Chicago. I must admit the young man worked very hard, but I was concerned, he was all by himself in the middle of a major road. I thought it would be nice to have other people around should he get run over. Mayor Daley should reconsider all the privatization that is costing city workers their jobs. Mayor Daley fires workers for not living in the City so how can this be legal? It defies logic! The taxpayers are not saving money having contractors and workers located outside the city limits. They are not paying for the corruption and waste, they are profiting from it. I know it helps get elections rigged in the suburbs and extents clout beyond the Chicago City limits, but it immoral. Patronage continues through the use of contractors and patronage continues in the Daley Administration every day. Photo by Patrick McDonough

Chicago City Workers Set to lose jobs to Daley's Private Contractors

Big Johns.jpg Big John's Contractors Inc. is one contractor you will see on the Chicago public streets on a regular basis. When I worked for the Chicago Department of Water Management Central District, I found them on Ogden Avenue making sewer repairs. Now that I am back to the North District, I found them also making repairs at 3940 West Armitage. They were fixing a building sewer. I was concerned because they did not saw cut the ditch all the way down past the concrete. When they broke the concrete you can see pieces of concrete missing. I know the CDOT Inspectors have been writing up tickets for this violation. I felt sorry for these guys as they only had two workers on the job with no shoring (trench box) in the ditch. Also, Big John's is located in Westchester, Illinois, a long ride for these suburbanites to drive every day. Chicago City Workers are facing layoffs and Mayor Daley's patronage army is allowing contractors outside the city to take our work. Did a Chicago Inspector check this job? This company is not a signatory contractor with Plumbers Local 130. Journeyman's Plumbers Local 130 has a reported 700 members out of work, a record high. I did not see a permit on the property so I assuming this is part of Mayor Daley's sewer program. I called the Department of Water Management to get some information and they seemed incapable of handling the task. The man that answered the phone at 744-7001 told me to call procurement at 744-4900. Procurement said they have "Nothing to do with that". I knew that but ended up calling 311 and they will look into this matter. (Reference Number 08-01740201) The lady at 311 wondered why a non-city crew would be working in the street. I am looking into the private businesses that get free sewer work. Patronage can elect a president and make a man very wealthy. I think Mayor Daley should step away from the (oxygen) bar in Denver and get back home to help the taxpayers, does that man ever stop partying?

August 27, 2008

Mayor Daley failed to stop Sexual Harrassment in his Administration

Click on the story below by Fran Spielman to learn about the crazy Daley Administration. Thank you to the ladies at the Department of Water Management that brought this story to my attention. I hope the ladies that work for the City of Chicago keep close tabs on this. Patrick McDonough Inspector general in middle CITY HALL | Dispute between compliance chief and sex harassment officer August 21, 2008 BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter Last year, Mayor Daley created an Office of Compliance because he didn't trust his corruption-fighting inspector general to police city hiring. Inspector General David Hoffman protested, warning that the new office -- with powers strikingly similar to his own -- could undermine the "effectiveness and independence" of his office. Now, Office of Compliance director Anthony Boswell is at odds with the city's sexual harassment officer, and the dispute has landed in the lap of -- you guessed it -- David Hoffman. It happened after Boswell tried to fire Andra Gomberg for insubordination, claiming she failed to follow a new chain of command requiring her to report to three men, including Boswell. Gomberg took her case to Hoffman and Corporation Counsel Mara Georges. Gomberg claimed she was being punished for refusing Boswell's demand to rule as "unfounded" a sexual harassment complaint she considered to be legitimate. On Wednesday, the combatants weren't talking, and the mayor's office was characteristically tight-lipped. A top mayoral aide would say only that Gomberg has been temporarily transferred out of the Office of Compliance. "The sexual harassment office has been detailed back to the Department of Human Resources pending a review by the inspector general of a dispute regarding the handling of a sexual harassment complaint," said mayoral press secretary Jacquelyn Heard, refusing to reveal details. Gomberg is one of the longest-serving officials in a Daley Cabinet known for its turnover. In 1994, Daley agreed to make Chicago the nation's first major city to establish its own sexual harassment office and hired Gomberg to run it. At the time, the mayor signed an executive order designed to encourage city employees to report sexual harassment on the job. It was the product of more than a year of work by women's groups and legal experts. Before her appointment, Gomberg spent the previous 10 years resolving harassment complaints and enforcing anti-discrimination laws as an attorney for the U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights. Over the years, aldermen have complained repeatedly about the number of complaints not sustained and charged that employees file bogus sexual harassment complaints to get even with bosses who crack the whip. They have demanded penalties against workers who file false claims. Gomberg has steadfastly resisted such penalties, warning they could have a chilling effect on the willingness of victims to come forward.

August 24, 2008

Chicago Department of Water Management Boss Rest in Peace

James M. McKenna.jpg

August 22, 2008

State Workers lose their jobs to private contractors Emil Jones

Christy Webber Workers.jpg I had a prior post regarding the Christy Webber Landscapes that caused quite a bit of concern. When you attempt to show an issue or worry people get off track, so I would like to get us on track again. If Christy Webber's workers became Union that is a good thing for them, I hope they have a decent benefits package and health insurance. As the City of Chicago continues to privatize, many workers will continue to be placed in a very dangerous position. This is the Kennedy expressway in Chicago. Workers have gotten killed far too often and laws have been strengthened to force drivers to slow down. When you were driving on Chicago expressways years ago, state workers cut the grass. Those workers cost more because they had at least two big trucks to reduce the chance of workers getting run over. Lately, Christy Webber workers are working on the expressway with one little safety cone located near the trailer. This is an absolute disgrace and the workers should be protected at all costs. Privatization allows less oversight and fewer protections. I hope you contact Christy Webber and the unions her workers belong to. OSHA should not allow this to continue. Photo by Patrick McDonough

Mayor Daley's Department of Revenue keeps very busy

Chicago Department of Revenue.jpg Yesterday I had fun with my sons in downtown Chicago. Whenever I have time, I make sure I spend it with my children. My kids were quick to learn the tow trucks in Chicago run day and night. We watched tows in private lots also. The picture includes a Chicago Revenue employee, Michael, Patrick, and David McDonough. Mayor Daley has these city workers going almost non-stop. I am going to do a story on how Mayor Daley is having private towing companies (pony up for Barack Obama please) assist Revenue agents tow trucks. Many of these tow truck companies are located in the suburbs. Most of Mayor Daley's Chicago Department of Revenue employees work very hard at a difficult and dangerous job, but if you think Chicago millionaires want extra cars in their neighborhood, you are sadly mistaken! Watch out Chicago, the orders are out to crank out the tickets and tow the cars. Do you think Mayor Daley will privatize the parking meters? I do not think the 11th Ward would allow a cash business to slip out of their hands. Photo by Patrick McDonough

Vote for Barack Obama and see more jobs like this in Chicago

Chicago Christian Industrial League.jpg Mayor Daley must have picked up some good tips from the Chinese on how to privatize. This is a non-for-profit Chicago Christian Industrial League getting ready to replace Chicago Street and Sanitation workers. Richard J. Daley would never allow this but just like the Bush family the kids are never as smart as the old man. I heard through the grapevine that Alderman in Chicago are starting to see the results of failing to do their job. Chicago has fifty Aldermen that have failed to protect the working class of this city. Watch them do nothing as Chicago families continue to lose homes, while the rich continue to enjoy the good life. I hope many of you that have forgotten my predictions in the past, get ready to take non-union low paying jobs soon. Can we wait for the Chicago Olympics 2016 as Mayor Daley waves to us from his perch high above as we perform for free to entertain the billionaires of the world? Did you notice during the Olympic broadcast the host brought up Chicago several times for hosting the Olympics? How much did that cost? If Daley and Ryan can have that kind of influence, you must be impressed. (money) Just think if these Chicago leaders put forth that effort to fix the roads and infrastructure. Photo by Patrick McDonough

August 19, 2008

7016 North Clark Street Cave-in disaster Politics and Clout

North Clark.jpg I noticed in the paper today a clear and concise explanation of a near disaster in Alderman Joe Moore's Ward. I think Mayor Daley should put Fran Spielman in charge of the City. I cannot understand why the City of Chicago authorized a contractor to make repairs to a street they destroyed. I will explain the cause of this safety violation that could have caused lives if not for the heroic efforts of CPD Officer Harris. I do not know who would allow this company to make a major repair when the repair was far out of the scope of the contract and they are not an approved vendor for street repairs. The gas company far exceeded their authority when they asked the contractor to bring sand in. When I first went on the scene, I asked for backhoes and plates. I asked for dump trucks and a leak crew. I asked for tow trucks. The City of Chicago had only one tow truck on duty for the entire city. The driver does not have a key for the denver boot. As precious time was wasted, a supervisor had to be dispatched. That supervisor was not allowed to make a decision and waited for his supervisor to respond. That supervisor told us no crew could come out and the gas company would take over. (City of Chicago Gas Company?) Was it because of the overtime? Last Friday, a Foreman work sixteen hours straight(3:00p.m. until 7:00 a.m. and then was called in for more overtime Saturday morning! (About another 8 hours of overtime). Anyway, as time was wasting, the sand that was underneath the concrete and the asphalt continued to fall into the middle of the ditch. The ditch did not have shoring, even though this was a major street with truck and bus traffic. As the sand went away with every passing moment, the concrete became a ledge. Concrete may be strong but only when properly supported. The steel plating was far too short for the ditch and one plate was like a teeter totter. None of the plates had been pinned to the asphalt and no asphalt was placed at the start of the plates to avoid rough contact and sliding. Inspectors from Chicago should enforce the rules to avoid this disaster. The City of Chicago should inspect every open ditch on every street. Contractors with sub-standard rental equipment should not be taking apart major streets. Last but not least, the saw-cutting of our roads should be done by a registered company; saw cutting a few inches down destroys the concrete under the asphalt when you break out the concrete. Is Mayor Daley making sure contractors compact the soil before the concrete and asphalt patch is repaired? Will Mayor Daley check if this is a Union company? Did the Company hire a licensed Union Plumber to install the new water service? Were the workers hired by Boro's Plumbing competent and certified in trenches? Have any Plumbing Inspectors ever taken a gift from the company? I heard Boros Plumbing was a signatory member of Plumber's Local 130, but now they are non-union. Did this company pay prevailing wage when they worked outside the scope of the permit. I hope when this company is finished with the major repairs they show me a signed contract from the City of Chicago authorizing work far beyond the scope of the trench they asked for. The guy in charge of the scene to move the backhoe for Boros was "Dragon". I think Mayor Daley needs to look at how his Administration responds to decisions during a crisis! I think all the stores in the area that lost revenue and the problems it caused the Fire Station was a sin. The Chicago Police did a great job. The Department of Water Mangement workers did a outstanding job. I think politics and Clout had a major hand in the handling of this, I can't wait to testify. Photo by Patrick McDonough Trench mishap shuts N. Clark NO INJURIES | Plumber in the hole with 5 citations BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter A Skokie plumbing company has been slapped with five citations -- with fines ranging from $200- to $500-a-day -- for creating a hole on a busy North Side street big enough to swallow a CTA bus. The 7000 block of North Clark Street was closed to traffic at 10 a.m. Sunday and all day Monday after a metal plate covering an excavation trench made by Boro's Plumbing shifted, causing chunks of pavement to break off into the trench. Boro's Plumbing had a city permit to do a water tap for a new business at 7016 N. Clark. But the company was cited for not having metal plates large enough to cover the excavation hole, failing to fasten those plates correctly and neglecting to use a masonry saw to make a clean cut of the pavement and remove it. Each of the citations carries a fine ranging from $200 to $500. City Hall is also demanding that Boro's restore the street to the condition it was in prior to construction and compensate Chicago taxpayers for the formidable emergency response. Company officials could not be reached for comment. "Because the city responded so quickly and the street was blocked to traffic, no one was injured, and I'm not aware of any public or private property damage," said Brian Steele, spokesman for the Transportation Department. "Our inspector was at this location on Saturday and everything was in good order. [But] all it takes is for one vehicle to slam on the brakes" for metal plates to shift, especially when they're not fastened properly. Pat McDonough, a Water Management investigator assigned to the site, said the contractor's mistakes nearly caused a "major disaster." A piece of the street fell onto a 12-inch gas main, but did not break the main, he said. Parked cars were removed from the street, but one of them had a Denver boot and could not be moved. And a Chicago Police officer stopped a CTA bus "within 10 or 15 feet of the hole," McDonough said. "If the bus had gotten any closer, it definitely would have fallen into the ditch," McDonough said.

August 15, 2008

Mayor Daley's Answer to the Budget Woes, Rest and More Rest!

christywebberlandscapes.jpg The Chicago Alderman and Mayor Daley lied to the Chicago public for months. Mayor Daley went to China despite the massive budget deficit. To reduce the hemorrhaging, union leaders are going to cozy up to Daley, and sell jobs. Before anyone I know loses their job, we are going to fight to remove these clout contractors with no-bid, do nothing contracts. Enjoy this picture of Christy Webber landscapers enjoying the workday. Christy Webber is a scab non-union company that is well connected. They are on the "in" in Chicago politics. When Mayor Daley wants some flowers or sprucing up for VIPs visiting our broke city, he know who to call. Christy Webber made a fortune by cashing in on her "Disability", being a woman. I do not think after a certain amount of time or success, contractor should get a leg up because of their choice of sex partners, their sex, or race. The set asides in Chicago are corrupt and loaded with crime and clout. Mayor Daley should make every contractor bid on every job, large or small. Christy Webber does not deserve anymore no-bid work. Many of these companies pay their workers poorly with no benefits, just like the Hired Truck Program. I think it is time for Christy Webber to put on her overalls and start to act like a man and compete with the big guys. I think she could do it! Remember Chicago "Let's take a siesta" and rest. Now if city workers got caught doing this, what would happen? Fight for your jobs city workers! Photo by Patrick McDonough

Mayor Daley Budget is a Disgrace! City Workers Will Be Fired

Bannerville.jpg Many months ago, I told you Mayor Daley is running the City of Chicago into the Ground! Mayor Daley has no self control when it comes to spending. I made it clear; the City of Chicago is broke! Chicago Clout readers knew these 420 million dollars of debt was on the way with more debt in the horizon. Now that many Chicago City Workers will lose their jobs, it is time to fight back! If you are a Chicago City Worker and you lose your job, read my prescription for payback. Make a list of every contactor working at your department. Make a list of every sub-contractor working at your department. Then take the list and e-mail it here: chicagoclout@gmail.com I hope you enjoy this picture of Bannerville U.S.A. Bannerville puts up the banners on light poles and in the parks. I hope someone tells the Mayor of Chicago this is a luxury that is not needed. Chicago is so poorly run; the Daley Administration did not admit or know the City is heading into bankruptcy! I suggest the company that is located in Burr Ridge to move into the City of Chicago to keep our taxpayer money in the city. I also hope the Chicago city employees get a camera and start taking photos of contractors taking their job. In this picture you will see one guy busting his tail doing the work and another with his leg up on the door styling and profiling. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

August 13, 2008

Mayor Daley parties in China, Chicago poor have water turned off!!!

While Mayor Daley enjoys parties and rubs elbows with billionaires in China, his poor residents do not have money to pay the water bills. The City of Chicago Department of Water Management has even put their plumbers into full duty turning the water off. Special crews were formed, including Investigators, to assist in shutting off water. Patrick McDonough, an employee of the Department of Water Management has felt the brunt of shutting off the water as young children will not have water to flush the toilet. "I am grateful to Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times and ABC Channel 7 News for making people aware of the suffering in the Westside and Southside of Chicago", said McDonough. Families suffering water shutoffs can e-mail us at Chicago Clout to get assistance, we will help five families. Mayor Daley needs to come to the Westside of Chicago to witness the large amount of "For Sale" signs and vacant houses in Chicago. Patrick McDonough. 'Water bills need to be paid' 10-DAY WARNINGS | 70% increase in unpaid bills has crews flooding the city to shut off BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter/fspielman@suntimes.com The Daley administration has tripled the number of crews assigned to shut off water to delinquent Chicago customers in response to a 70 percent increase in water scofflaws over the last year. Normally, the city has one shut-off crew in each of the city's three water districts. Together, they cut off the spigot to as many as 50 delinquent customers each day. Since late June, there have been as many as nine crews averaging 150 shutoffs each day. They slap a bright orange "Notice of Water Service Termination" sticker on the delinquent property, warning the scofflaw of the amount that must be paid -- either in full or after setting up a payment plan. If the account is not settled within 10 days of the posting, water service is shut off. Water Department spokesman Tom LaPorte said the crackdown was ordered in response to a 70 percent increase in delinquent water bills. He offered no estimate on the amount of money owed. "We know these are hard times with rising prices for food and gasoline, but water bills need to be paid," LaPorte said. "We are very sympathetic to our customers' situations and will work with them to resolve past-due bills." The crackdown on water scofflaws follows Daley's controversial proposal to get tough on parking ticket deadbeats by lowering the boot threshold from three unpaid tickets to two. Chicago aldermen reacted angrily to the boot crackdown at a time when their constituents are struggling with home foreclosures, layoffs, food and fuel prices. But, they understood the need for water shutoffs. "It is draconian. But, you can't say it's not fair because it's owed. People need to come in and work out payment arrangements before they get these shut-off notices," said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th). "I've got a problem with it, but I also belong to the legislative body. We can't possibly raise any more property taxes. And we're facing layoffs." Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) added, "We need folks to pay for water that they use. . . . But, it's a bad economy. We need to be sensitive to how we collect. If we have a good payment plan -- and it doesn't have to be the current one -- then we meet them half-way."

August 11, 2008

New Chicago Clout Plumbing Show will air soon!

Chicago Clout is looking to do a show on Plumbing in Chicago! This will be a show that explains what the pitfalls of the Plumbing Trade in Chicagoland are. This show will help homeowners get true value from members of Plumber's Local 130. This show will help homeowners avoid phony Plumbers. Two hosts on the suggestion list are Chicago Plumbing Inspectors Pat Haran and Dennis Pienas. Please have them contact Chicago Clout. I am leaning towards Michael McGann. Please give your suggestions for a host of the show. Patrick McDonough.

August 7, 2008

Blogo Outs Double Dipping Chicago Politicians

Enjoy this nice little beauty, click here: http://cbs2chicago.com/local/truth.in.politics.2.789703.html Mike Flannery is getting smart to Chicago Politicians that are double dipping. Two Department of Water Management employees enjoy their second jobs a State Representatives. They also enjoyed their Shakman Violations that helped them get up the ladder. I think some people say "That's how we Roll". Chicago is broke, I told you that a long time ago. Mayor Daley is in China as Chicago rolls into bankruptcy. If the CTA tracks are falling apart, why would we need new trains? The phones are off the hook for double dippers, just ask John D'Amico. If you ever have been fired from Chicago for missing too many days off, just contact us. Patrick McDonough.

August 6, 2008

Chicago Water Department Operating Engineer Assaulted

Water Department Wars.jpg Today at around 8:30 a.m. a group of Chicago Department of Water Management employees were visited by the Chicago Police. I was exiting a restroom and was faced by two of Chicago's finest Police Officers. Both the Police Officers were demanding to know what happened and why. The best I can make of it was Saul "The Jew" Charak, an Operating Engineer of Local 150, was physically assaulted by a much younger laborer. Saul is a very nice man of 67 years of age. The City of Chicago has a policy of zero tolerance when it comes to workplace violence, unless you have Clout. Saul has been teased for his strong support of Bernie Stone and his religion. I have witnessed Saul teased for his religion. I hope the Chicago Department of Water Management will investigate this and take corrective measures. Someone should call Senator Munoz and find out who to call at the department to get the matter covered-up! Photo by Patrick McDonough.

Chicago Department of Water Management Visit by Chicago Police

Wabansia Wars 2.jpg The City of Chicago Department of Water Management had a visit by the Chicago Police today. We must stop Violence in the Workplace and have zero tolerance now! This happened in the Wabansia Yard at 3822 West Wabansia at about 8:30 a.m. today. More on this story above. Photo by Patrick McDonough

August 1, 2008

CHICAGO UNION CTA TRUCK DRIVERS PROTEST "TEAMSTERS UNITE"

CTA Dump Drivers 1.jpg July 31, 2008. Chicago Union truck drivers are getting the shaft from Mayor Daley and Ron Huberman. Every Union worker in Chicago needs a fair and decent contract to put food in the mouth of their children. The Drivers picketed in front of Teamsters City, they were supported by Angelo Fata, a leader for many Chicago teamsters working for the City of Chicago. Also standing up for the protesters was the "Fighting for the Future Slate", which might take the reins over at Teamsters Local 726. The last election is under Federal review. The local union is not doing its job and workers are getting the shaft. I suggest they picket at Mayor Daley's friends trucking company, Tadin. Tadin has many trucks that pay the workers by the load, and the Teamsters have not made this company clean up its act. Good Union jobs are leaving Chicago, and workers are wising up the Daley and the destruction of Union rights in Chicago. Wake up Chicago Union workers, Daley never saved a penny of taxpayer money and he is going to fire you soon. Dennis Gannon should ask why Tadin is non union. Patrick McDonough.