Mayor, Can You Spare a Dime?

You may have seen the article recently that  Mayor Daley’s poll numbers are down.  That’s the bad news for Hizzoner.  The good news for the mayor is that, at this point, he has no credible challenger.  And he has a history of pulling off strong performances on Election Day.

According to the poll, one of the things that’s really sticking in people’s craws is the parking meter fiasco–how the city leased the system and all of a sudden people were stuck with a new system that was a lot more expensive than the old one was and a pain in the neck to use.

Yesterday, I saw something that got my attention.  A well-dressed man who appeared to be in his late-20s or early thirties was walking down Lincoln Avenue systematically checking every parking pay station checking for change in the pay box.  He didn’t appear to find any in the brief time I observed him.

This got me thinking.  It may be a sign of the times when someone who is well-dressed is systematically foraging for change in public.  And if he’s a Chicago voter, is he reminded of the bleak economy each time he looks for spare change and does he associate hard times with the mayor?  If so, that’s not a connection any smart politician would want.  And no one has ever accused Hizzoner of not falling into that category.

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  • tim

    Phil, look at Hyde Park. Streets still look like 1980 Chicago. Were the parking fees supposed to help maintain them?

  • Wow Phil,

    We wish you had gotten his contact info, so that we could hire him to sell fruit on the corners of our “food desert community”. oh darn..he could have made some extra change:-((

  • You should have told him he’s more likely to find change on the street and sidewalk. That’s where I look. It adds up enough so that I can trade it for quarters for the laundry machines I use. The most rewarding experience was after I picked up 2 pennies from an indoor “street” where I work now. I expected to add them to my stash. But later on, a customer was seeking 5 pennies for his young daughter for some project that meant a lot to her, and the cashier I happened to be near didn’t have them. I gave the little girl my 2 pennies explaining it was all the pennies I had on me. They really appreciated it.