Monday, June 22, 2009

Joe Moore Says "F--- You!" to Pigeons

Chicago's 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore loves to act generously - with your money. Today, he gleefully announced that he is spending your tax dollars to help stop pigeons from pooping on people as they walk under Metra viaducts (overpasses). In an email blast to residents of his ward Moore wrote, "Now every Metra viaduct in the 49th Ward, from Howard Street south to Pratt Boulevard, has rows of plastic spikes that prevent pigeons from roosting on ledges over the sidewalks." The email had the cute headline, "Pigeons Evicted From Metra Underpasses." (See Moore's full email text below.) PETA will not be happy about this. The homeless pigeons problem in Rogers Park just got worse, and it was paid for with your city tax dollars. I'm all in favor of less pigeon poop, but Moore is abusing his aldermanic menu money by spending it on things that menu money is not really intended for. It is also hypocritical in the case of the Metra pigeons, because while Moore crows about the anti-pigeon spikes he "sponsored" with your money, pigeons continue to unload their bowels on people passing under the CTA viaducts at Jarvis and Morse. Moore talks about the ten Metra viaducts in his ward, but what about his nearly 20 pigeon-infested CTA viaducts? "Menu money" is given to each alderman for the purpose of improving a ward's infrastructure. In 2009, they each got about $1.5 million. That money is supposed to be spent "at his or her discretion on alleys, street paving, curbs, sidewalks, lighting, and traffic signals. Your Aldermen should base his or her decisions on the community's most pressing needs as voiced by area residents," according to Neighborhood Capital Budget Group. It has to be noted that pigeon poop is hardly a "pressing need." I supposed that on a technicality the pigeon spikes could be considered an infrastructure improvement. Seriously, though, aren't there more pressing needs in Rogers Park's 49th Ward? Yes, of course there are. But Moore has pressing need of his own today. He'd like to divert attention away from his disturbing behavior at the IVI-IPO dinner on June 20. Alderman Moore was denied entrance to a V.I.P. reception because he didn't have a ticket. He yelled "F--- You!" at one of the organizers but was still denied entrance. Moore stormed out, his entourage of minions in tow, tails between their legs. As Moore was leaving, he passed Governor Pat Quinn and growled "This is pay to play!" at him. (See "Joe Moore Loses His Mind At IVI-IPO Dinner.") So, a happy email blast about reducing pigeon poop is just what the doctor ordered. Public relations concerning pigeons sure beats eating crow. Recently, Ald. Moore used menu money to buy some goodwill from a handful of his Rogers Park constituency by allocating about $90,000 from his annual "menu money" to cover parking in a Chicago Park District lot along the lakefront. What that means is that 99.99 percent of the rest of his ward still has a severe shortage of parking, but the rest of us are subsidizing the parking of a handful. No matter, Moore got some great headlines by spending your tax dollars to subsidize parking for a few people. Rogers Park Progress, a blog that writes about "Community, Spaces, & Transport on Chicago’s Far North Side," put it very well on June 12 when they wrote the following: Even Alderman Moore himself admits that menu money is typically set aside for “ward infrastructure, such as streets, alleys, sidewalks, street lights and the like.” But since that stuff’s all pretty much in mint condition around here, no harm in earmarking about 7.5% of the fund annually to appease the few at the expense of the many. (Full Post...) So today, June 22, Moore brags that he is spending more of that infrastructure improvement money to appease a few more people as they dodge pigeon crap at Metra stations. We've held back from asking the obvious question: Why is aldermanic menu money paying for what should be a Metra expense? Following is the full text from Moore's June 22 email blast (pigeon photos added by me): Pigeons Evicted From Metra Underpasses Dear Neighbor, 49th Ward residents will no longer have to carry umbrellas or wear wide-brimmed hats when walking under Rogers Park Metra viaducts thanks to the installation of new "pigeon spikes." Pigeons have nested under the Metra viaducts for years, creating an unsightly and unsanitary mess. Now every Metra viaduct in the 49th Ward, from Howard Street south to Pratt Boulevard, has rows of plastic spikes that prevent pigeons from roosting on ledges over the sidewalks. The spikes do not harm the birds; they simply prevent them from roosting. I sponsored the installation of the pigeon spikes after investigating various alternatives to addressing the pigeon problem and the droppings that accompany the birds. The spikes proved to be the most cost-effective and permanent solution to the problem. Union Pacific authorities gave the City permission to install the spikes, and I sponsored the installation from my aldermanic menu money--the discretionary fund for infrastructure improvements--at a total cost of $40,000 for all ten Metra viaducts in the ward. To my knowledge, we are the first ward in the city to sponsor the installation under train viaducts of these pigeon control devices. The pigeon spikes hopefully will lower our clean-up costs and make travelling by foot under the viaducts a little more pleasant. Please let my office and me know if you think the new pigeon spikes are working. Sincerely, Joe Moore P.S. This unusually rainy month has caused me to reschedule my Satellite Service Office outings on several occasions. I plan to complete my latest round of Satellite Service offices tomorrow and Wednesday, weather permitting, of course. Look for me tomorrow (Tuesday, June 23rd) from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Lunt entrance to the Morse El, and the same times on Wednesday at the Greenleaf entrance to the Rogers Park Metra stop. My staff and I will be there to give away free coffee and donuts and take service requests. Leave a Comment... See Our Online Store Chicago News Bench RSS Feed We're on Twitter...