On the clock | Bleader

On the clock

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Richard M. Daley showed us again Wednesday that he's not just skilled at leading a big city. He's also great at time management.

Here's what he told reporters about why he didn't allow any debate on the repeal of the foie gras ban:

“We’ve [already] had so much debate on this—it’s gone on forever. And everybody knew how they were going to vote.”

That’s right: the mayor is so efficient that he can not only cut off debate when he senses we're about to talk ourselves silly—he can also take care of that time-consuming voting thing way in advance.

Next meeting, he might want to find a way to get the City Council to stop wasting so much time passing legislation.

And just in case he does consider making a few changes, he should reexamine how our $100,000-a-year aldermen spent their four hours at the council meeting Wednesday, just to see if he can discover any more places to streamline:

2 hours, 17 minutes: Introduction and passage of various resolutions praising high school honor students, recently passed city icons, and valiant crime fighters, accompanied by eloquent aldermanic speeches.

1 minute: Mayoral oration on how the media never wants to cover anything about all the good things good people do in Chicago every day.

45 minutes: Reports on recent activity by City Council committees as aldermen drift in and out of the council chambers, chat, read, and accept instruction from mayoral lobbyists.

0.5 minutes: Mayoral quashing of proposed resolution condemning the possibility of an invasion of Iran, on the grounds that it could make things complicated for Barack Obama.

30 minutes: Introduction of new appointments and proposed ordinances by the mayor’s office, most of them sent to various committees for "consideration."

7 minutes: Introduction of proposed ordinances by aldermen, most of them sent to various committees for "consideration."

0.5 minutes: Invitation to finance committee chairman Ed Burke to announce the date of the next full council meeting.

1 minute: Acceptance of invitation; announcement that the next full council meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 11, 2008, at 10:00 AM in City Council chambers.

8 minutes: Legislative sleight of hand by aldermen Tom Tunney and Richard Mell that results in abrupt introduction to the entire council of repeal of foie gras ban.

1 minute: Rendering of expert opinion on parliamentary procedure by alderman Burke confirming that alderman Joe Moore, the chief sponsor of the ban, has no legal right to defer a vote on the matter.

0.5 minutes: Mayoral demand that assistant city clerk call for a vote.

0.25 minutes: Brief pause in roll call vote prompted by shouting from alderman Moore [advance to 1:15 in the film clip] about the lack of opportunity to engage in a floor debate.

0.25 minutes: Mayoral demand that assistant city clerk continue the vote.

3 minutes: Continuation of roll call voting while alderman Moore protests in the background.

1 minute: Mayoral gloating over the 37-6 vote in favor of repealing the ban, mayoral mocking of “alderman Joe Foie Gras Moore.”

0.5 minutes: Pronouncement/curse by alderman Moore that others will someday be rolled over by the mayor in the same manner.

0.25 minutes: Adjournment of the meeting.

0.25 minutes: Satisfied mayoral pounding of the gavel.

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