Daley’s neglected big picture

Mr. Daley’s classy and necessary decision to hang it up after 21 years in office was the right move — for himself and for Chicago. It truly is time for someone fresh and new to lead this great but troubled city. – Greg Hinz

The reign of Richard II was, in many ways, fine for Chicago. Yes, the city turned a corner from the post-industrial abyss it faced in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the right mayor to consolidate a broad political coalition and manage some truly remarkable shifts in the city’s demographics and economic base, but the wrong mayor for a new era of governance that requires extending those gains through smarter government.

Mayor Daley completely lacked any notion of strategic thinking and openly defied any outcomes-based planning. His small-bore, project-focused mentality prevented policies from taking root. He rewarded political connections and shrewd negotiations, not actual lasting change; he focused on what could be done this month, discouraging anyone from dreaming about the next decade.

Lynn Becker doesn’t mince words, either: How can you preserve and rebuild a great city on a single man’s whims?

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