Rahm Running Scared Orders Entire City on Alert ... Rahm orders city on 'full alert' in Safe Passages nonsense

In what is becoming an international spectacle, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel or, to many, "Murder Mayor" as he is called in some circles, is deploying all city departments until further notice to be deployed on all Safe Passage routes in the first few weeks when school starts for the Chicago Public Schools. Teachers and other staff began their work on August 22, with the children arriving on August 26.

One of the thousand City of Chicago "Safe Passages" signs that have gone up since Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered the Chicago Board of Education to close 50 of the city's real public schools. The Board complied with Rahm's orders at its May 22, 2013 meeting, and since then, agencies of the City of Chicago, including the police, have been scrambled on Rahm's order to make sure that "Safe Passage" is safe -- at least for the first days of school (which begins for children on August 26). Substance photo by David Vance. A well informed police blog, Second City Cop, is reporting that orders are going out this weekend for not only Chicago Police redeployments but all city departments to be part of the Mayors damage control in case something happens during the hours that children go back-and-forth to school each day.

The Safe Passage routes are the outcrop of the Mayor's closing of 50 plus schools in one year the greatest number of public schools in American history in one city. Although there were months of "hearings" and other activities, from October 2012 when the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 ended and Emanuel made Barbara Byrd Bennett the school system's "Chief Executive Officer," informed sources knew that Rahm wanted his administration to meet his quota -- fifty schools.

The burdens on the police are part of what has been poured on city workers -- mostly those who do not have union contracts. Since August 23, Barbara Byrd Bennett has ordered non union central and "Network" office workers to don their scrubs or blue jeans and go out to certain schools for "beautification" work.

The "beautification" people were ordered, by a memo from Byrd Bennett's Chief of Staff Bob Boik, to report (well dressed this time) to schools on August 26 to make sure that "welcoming" goes well. Boik, who was brought to Chicago 18 months ago by Byrd Bennett after he worked with her to destroy the Detroit public schools, is currently paid $165,000 per year. (When the Board hired Boik, they also voted to pay him a $12,000 "relocation allowance" to move from Detroit to Chicago. At its July 24 meeting, the Board voted, once again, to keep the minutes of its "executive sessions" secret, so members of the public are blocked from learning the logic behind the hiring of Boik by Emanuel's school board).

Boik's latest orders to administrators and office people implies that they have nothing better to do with their time at work than "beautification" or helping principals with "welcoming." Principals have told Substance, off the record, that they do not want the extra CPS people in their buildings, and would prefer to have gotten enough staff to run their schools. One principal, who asked to remain anonymous, compared the "Beautification" and "Welcoming" people to the staff who were deployed during last year's strike to the scab schools. "We didn't need them, and we wound up with more adults in the building than children," the principal told Substance.

The full text of the Report is below. What is more disturbing are two facts.

-- The depletion of capacity to provide city services to prevent violence due to policy decisions on a unilateral basis without discussion of authority from the City Council or citizens of Chicago is very troubling since these closing were not necessary in the first place.

-- Second and most important is the clear fact that this redeployment will cost the city of Chicago millions of dollars in man hours and overtime. Yet we hear the constant drum beat of a city that is on the brink of bankruptcy. So it begs the question: Are we really broke or is Mayor 1% lying to us again to cover his ass?

Safe Passage – Spare no Expense. Sunday, August 25, 2013

This is getting ridiculous.

First up, the Safe Passage orders are ridiculously long and involved. Seems the entire day watches in select Districts are getting shifted around. If they move your start time by more than 2 hours, you're entitled to a bit of cash per the Contract. Your Unit Rep of the FOP can help you on that front. Word is all the PPO's and maybe even the recruits are involved, too.

Second, they're sending a few hundred non-essential personnel from HQ to 007 and 011 to make sure that the Safe Passage has an incident-free week at least, two weeks on the outside. Where do they keep digging up these "non-essential" persons? We thought they emptied out HQ during the last two purges. Guess they missed a few, because we still can't find parking when we go down for our regularly scheduled IAD dates.

Third, we saw the order for something like 40 or more pieces of fire apparatus to be deployed on Safe Passage routes. We assume they'll be free to leave should the next Great Chicago Fire break out, and you know everyone loves a firefighter. But this is getting ridiculous.

And finally, the City is telling non union employees from all departments that they will be assigned to a Safe Passage for 2 weeks (from 0600 to 0900) before reporting to their regular job for the day. Streets, Water, Park District, Sewers, etc. The City mean EVERYONE will have a spot to park and watch the children on their way to school. That means all sorts of regular city services will be delayed at least the first 3 hours of the day and the delays will most likely stack up all week. If they have to complete certain projects or pickups like garbage, is that going to mean another pile of overtime money burned through in short order?

Everything about this screams, "Overkill!"


August 25, 2013 at 2:23 PM

By: Kati Gilson, NBCT

beautification people

They came to our school in suits. They were glad all they had to do was paint a few signs. Many actually were asked to move boxes, furniture, etc. Do these people think that magical elves show up to do this? Nope it's the teachers. My friend Kelvin came and scraped and scrubbed and moved stuff where it needed to go as did myself and my fabulous teacher assistant. Hope they enjoyed going back to their office jobs. God forbid any of them should sweat.

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