Millennium Park Rip Off!
Recently, the city of Chicago spent $475,000,000 to build it's Millennium Park. The project (which was supposed to be completed for the year 2000) wasn't completed until four years later in 2004. At a staggering cost of $475,000,000 to Chicago's citizens, the park soared $325,000,000 over the original budget of $150,000,000. How can a project cost 316% more than initially planned? Why did the project take an extra four years? One does not have to be an intellect to smell a dead rat here. I am not trying to be unkind, but there are many issues which need to be addressed (and should be).
I've lived in Chicago for all of my life. Chicago surely is a "windy city" when it comes to political smoke and mirrors and city-hall corruption. Scandal after scandal has plagued Chicago politicians for decades. Recently, the Chicago Sun-Times exposed a massive trucking scandal involving city contracts and employees under the Daley administration. As usual, politically connected families and friends were milking tax-payers dry. Every time a scandal is uncovered, the mayor declares his innocence and vows to get to the bottom of the matter. A few people are "fired" to appease the public, but they are just rehired into other cushy jobs as soon as the dust settles. The public buys it every time and the corruption continues. It's sad, but true...the average citizen calms down when someone gets fired. Unfortunately, firing a few people does nothing to return the hundreds-of-millions of dollars stolen from the public. Firing a few people does not rid the system of the big crooks at the top.
It's the perfect SCAM! Think about it. You're the top crook in the organization. You want to do illegal things to make money but don't want to get caught. So you surround yourself with well-paid fall guys to do all YOUR dirty work. If you get caught, you play dumb and blame one or more of your accomplices working under you. You may even fire them to appease the public's wrath. Then you have your buddies rehire those same fired people into other well paying jobs. Loyalty has it's payoffs. The crime continues and no one can touch you because there are several layers of accomplices under you. They take the blame, but are never punished. Clinton pardoned 200 such criminals in his last day of the Presidency. It is sickening!
What I just described is going on all across America. Leaders of corporations act so innocent (like they had no idea what was going on in their own company) and instead blame their employees. Enron is a good example. The employees take the rap in exchange for lots of money and benefits (or for fear of never having a decent job again). I see this in the government, corporations, the military, etc.
The federal government is even worse, stealing billions from the public. $59,000,000 vanished from the HUD department under the Clinton administration. The HUD kingpin in the theft was convicted in court, but Bill Clinton pardoned the criminal in his last day of the Presidency. Where's the money Mr. Clinton? What has happened to America? The saddest thing of all is that many Americans still uphold Clinton is a great guy; not in the eyes of decency.
So here we have the mega over budgeted and over scheduled Millennium Park finally finished in 2004. Where did all the money go Mr. Daley? Where did $475,000,000 go? I have seen the park and I surely don't see the value. $475,000,000??? I don't think so. It's obvious to me that we have been hood winked again as Chicagoans. While the threat of sky-rocketing property-tax increases hovers over the already burdened Chicago homeowners, hundreds-of-millions of dollars are squandered in the Millennium Park project. Common sense tells you that you don't spend more money when you're already in debt. Chicago is in debt! You pay your bills first. You buy what you NEED first. If there's anything left, then you buy the toys, parks and goodies later on. This problem is not just in Chicago, but it is definitely a big problem here. We have no business building a theme park with a sickening price tag. What was wrong with Grant Park? Chicago's tourism will not bring back the $475,000,000 lost on Millennium Park. We tax-payers ask again to the leaders of Chicago, where did that money go?
Furthermore, why should the State of Illinois be burdened with Chicago's failing public school system when we have $475,000,000 to burn? Would you give money to a financially irresponsible person? Chicago's management is irresponsible, Millennium Park alone proves that. It is sad to see such a large amount of money wasted on an unnecessary project while Chicago public schools are amongst the worst tin the country. While our neighborhood are filled with drug-dealers, we are told that the city cannot afford to hire more police officers. While our neighborhood are filled with teenagers with nothing but time on there hands to get into trouble, the city is building a nice park downtown. How sweet! So while teenagers are joining gangs and killing each other, the money that could be spent to build them thousands of community activity centers was spent on a lousy park, a park surrounded by massive traffic jams and dangerous conditions.
Where is your heart Mr. Daley? It surely is not for the people of Chicago. We don't need an inaccessible park downtown, we need local community centers where our young people can learn wood-working classes, educational projects and all sorts of constructive things. If nothing more, we drastically need more police protecting our neighborhoods at night. All that money wasted! $475,000,000 squandered away. I look at Millennium Park and I see a cheaply constructed joke. I don't see anything resembling a $475,000,000 project. I believe the money was squandered from tax-payers, but where did it all go? Did someone deliberately plan for the project to cost 316% more than it should have? Did someone deliberately plan for the project to take an extra four years? It would appear to be obvious. Isn't it coincidence that the park all of a sudden is finished a couple months after the trucking scandal was exposed and the mayor was caught with his pants down (again)? The mayor claims he'll get to the bottom of the matter. Please Mayor Daley, stop with the Bull. The problem is not at the bottom, it is at the top in your office.
The bottom line is that the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. I'm sick of hearing Mayor Daley and all the other useless politicians speak about helping the poor, yet the poor never get helped. The Chicago public school system is a joke, a total failure. All that money spent on Millennium Park could have went to the school system. What is going on? Why does Daley say one thing, but do another? He speaks of bettering Chicago's communities, but they do not get better. A few speed bumps here and there, a few trees here and there, a new road here and there...but what about the young people?
Chicago rakes in millions upon millions of dollars every year in parking tickets and fines alone. Where does all the money go? Chicago has all kinds of money, but it's going in the politicians pockets (and all their friends). Chicago aldermen each make well over $100,000 a year. That is absurd! No politician (who is supposed to be a public servant) should make that ridiculous amount of money. Do you know why they are paid so much? The answer is simply because they are bought off. They get paid very well to keep quiet...don't ask...don't tell. And the machine goes on...
Chicagoans are being ripped off big time. The Millennium Park is a big scam as far as I'm concerned. Even if city-planners can account for all the $475,000,000 (which I highly doubt), the money should not have been spent in a time of budget deficit and financial crisis. Either Mayor daily is an idiot or he's one brilliant criminal. If you or I did what he gets away with, we would go to jail. But who suffers? The children of Chicago, our communities. We are sick and tired of hearing about ghost payroll jobs, scandals, corruption and giant needless projects that rob Chicago of what it really needs...accountability. There is no accountability amongst the leaders of Chicago. They get away with wrong doing because they've learned how to manipulate public opinion. Fire a few people here and there, persecute the few troublemakers, spread a bunch of lies and Walla...no opposition.
All I see is cover-up, blame shifting and lies. I have a right to complain, I have been a citizen and a tax-payer of Chicago my entire life.
I'm also sick and tired of Mayor Daley blaming parents and Chicagoans for it's own dilemmas. I agree that parents are fully responsible for their children, but look at the ungodly disaster of a school system that these kids are going to. Did you ever imagine a day when children would have to pass through a metal detector each day to get into school? Those poor kids have their lockers broken into, are threatened with death, watch students have sex in the locker rooms, do drugs in the locker room, smoke cigarettes on school property...the teachers and security could care less. I agree that communities need to cooperate to make Chicago a better place to live, but please Mr. Mayor...STOP SPENDING our money on YOUR PROJECTS! Stop putting our money in YOUR POCKETS and the pockets of all your buddies and acquaintances. Stop stealing from us!!!
As taxes increase more and more, Daley wants to spend more and more. Are you mad? Or is it a plan to keep Chicago in debt to justify bilking home-owners for every dime you can? After Daley leaves office, another Mayor will take his spot and continue to rip off the tax-payers. It's time for people to say NO! Stop spending! No! You can't build that! No! I'd like to see each alderman get paid no more than $50,000 a year (which is far more than a PUBLIC SERVANT should make). They're not public servants, they're scavengers.
I am disgusted that $475,000,000 went for a lousy park instead of into the communities where it should have went. Furthermore, I don't even think the money went into the park. Millennium Park doesn't look like it cost more than $25,000,000 to me. I could have built it a whole lot cheaper. You can do a lot with $475,000,000! Come on Mr. Mayor, we weren't born yesterday. Where's the money? I realize that building projects are good in the sense that they create jobs, but were those jobs for Chicago's citizens or your friends in the suburbs? I think the Millennium Park is a big rip-off and a scam. I'd like to know where the money went. I'm curious what the city paid for the artists and designers of the junk on display in Millennium Park. The big mirror-egg is pathetic. Come on folks, children are failing school all over Chicago...where is the mayor's priorities? Our neighborhoods are in shambles, cars are being stolen, homes are being broken into, drug-dealers are EVERYWHERE! What is going on? Why aren't the courts prosecuting more of these street criminals? Why are so many law-breakers being set free? Why does hundreds-of-thousands of pounds of narcotics mysteriously vanish from Cook County Jail? Where did those drugs go? Evil!
The poor will stay poor because the rich don't want to help them, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately, this is the attitude of most of our elected officials as well (who are all rich). Politicians have a duty to ALL people, not just to the rich and well-to-do. Sadly, the poor are being neglected. Most abortions are in the poor neighborhoods. Most illegal-drugs are in the poor areas. Most rapes and violent crimes are in the poor areas. Poverty is a curse!!! You can't just blame the poor people Mr. Daley, they need help getting an education, decent jobs and affordable housing. All of which could have been provided for if you hadn't wasted the $475,000,000 on a stupid park. Now that's stupid! People are hurting, the park isn't going to help them. Next, I suppose your going to want to build a gambling casino downtown to morally plunder our city downhill even further.
Thank God that judgment day is coming. God will make everything right. The wicked will be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God (Psalm 9:17). I hope for your sake Mr. Daley that you're a born-again Christian, but I think not. Have you no heart? You give that "tough guy" image but you are not as tough as God, and He is the one you will have to answer to for neglecting the poor. The poor need your help, you have the power to help them. Stop wasting money on needless projects and start investing in the poor.
The Millennium Park is a rip off!