Monday, February 8, 2010

John Stroger Thanks You for Driving with Care

On my way to work each morning, I pass this sign along Lawrence Avenue, just east of Austin Avenue:

I don't recall when, precisely, I first noticed this sign, but I do recall noticing one day about a year ago that it was hanging upside down (apparently because the bolt on the top had come out).

John Stroger hasn't served as Cook County Board President since June 2006—and, what's more, he's been dead since January 2008—so I figured it would just be a matter of time until the sign was removed. (For those unfamiliar with Cook County politics, the story of how the reins of powers were passed from John to his son Todd is an instructive primer.)

Silly me.

Instead, workers on the taxpayers' dime remounted the sign so that it once again appeared right side up, as it's pictured above.

Although I can't help but wonder, in light of last week's primary results, how long it will remain up.

I've written before about this sort of thing, which most people who grew up in and around Chicago likely take for granted—to wit, the ubiquitous appearance of names of elected office bigwigs on publicly financed signage.

I began to notice this when I first moved to Chicago in 1996 and saw "Mayor Daley's X Project" or "Mayor Daley's Y Task Force" or "Mayor Daley's Z Special Event" signs all over the place. (Although I must admit I've never seen a sign for "Mayor Daley's Rat-Infested Public Housing Complex".)

That's strange, I thought.

Little did I know that's just the way things are done around here.

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