Why I am voting for Rick Caruso for mayor. Voters explain their choice
I am thrilled to be working for city of Chicago, and I believe that Mayor Daley’s administration has done a phenomenal job putting our city on course. I know him very well and he and the rest of the administration have helped lead the city through a difficult time.
The city is in bad shape, with many of Chicago’s long-vacant buildings in need of rehab, its infrastructure a shambles, its economy in poor shape, with too many jobs at risk, and its crime problem growing worse by the day. I believe I was one of the few to oppose Mayor Daley’s economic development plan, which included a tax on the wealthy and I opposed it even more because it would have hurt the poor more. And I voted against the tax-increment financing proposal that would go to pay for his plan.
The city does need to make some changes, not the least of which will be to hire and promote police leadership. For years, former police chief Paddy Gee and his predecessor Jerry Rodriguez did not fire bad police chiefs and they did not hire high-quality officers, which is a serious problem. It is clear that they continue to hire political people and it looks like they are doing it with the hope that they can get elected sooner. It would be great if they could put pressure on Mr. Rodriguez, for example, to get rid of him.
I support the police budget increase from $250 million to $500 million and the new police academy building, something they could have gotten done several years ago.
And I do believe that it is in the city’s interest to have a high-quality police department leadership. To put it bluntly, the police department needs to clean house.
But Mayor Daley has chosen political appointees who need to go. Chief of Staff William Mone has done great work, but he should be gone. The police and fire chiefs need to stay and be promoted out of their positions, and I believe Chief Willie Williams should be relieved of his duties, for he would be best suited to be the new police chief. And the rest of Mr. Daley’s political appointees — Jim Smith, Ron Nerney