by Mick Dumke
Olympics In June, the International Olympic Committee will select Chicago as one of its four finalists for the 2016 games (the final finalist will be chosen in 2009). Mayor Daley will prepare to spend two more years explaining how the games will be financed without public tax dollars and why we need Frank Kruesi to carry the Olympic torch into Soldier Field.
TIFs TIFs, which collected $500 million in property taxes in 2006, will take in at least $600 million in 2007 and $800 million more in ’08. Mayor Daley and the aldermen who help decide how to spend the money will continue to insist it isn't a tax hike while creating new TIF districts for "blighted" sections of the Mag Mile.
Police misconduct After working through the final legal snags, loopholes, and kinks, the city will finally agree to settle the lawsuits accusing police of torture under former commander Jon Burge. Aldermen will be relieved to put this issue behind them so they only have to approve payouts for routine police beatings and shootings.
CTA bailout State leaders will find money to let the CTA avoid cutting all but a few bus routes on the city’s south and west sides while continuing to employ former aldermen, ousted mayoral aides, and other middle managers sent over from City Hall.
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger will remain the favorite scapegoat for anyone interested in playing reformer while providing jobs for his friends, cousins, in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Council progressives Reform-minded aldermen will realize they need some help organizing an independent caucus in the City Council and decide Mayor Daley is exactly the guy who can get it done.
New lease arrangements Having worked out a deal to lease Midway Airport for an infusion of cash into the city’s coffers, Mayor Daley will propose to lease Lake Michigan to DuPage County.