Years ago there was a hothead who came to a city council meeting and called Mayor Pat Moran "Mayor Moron." WhenI heard that I immediately rose to the mayor's defense.
I'd likely do the same today but not without a momentary pause after a huge boner Moran pulled at a Gateway Technical College candidate forum.
Moran, who has been a supporter of law enforcement, legitimately assailed the current city administration over staffing levels in certain areas of the city. The point is plausible in that the city hasn't adequately staffed for growth and expansion.
But Moran went further to point out just where, when and how many officers are assigned to that area. While I understand his point, making that information so specific could work to endanger the safety of officers and citizens working there. In essence he just told criminals where and when they might have a better chance of not being caught.
With five people slaughtered over the weekend in another Chicago suburb during what appears to be a botched strip mall robbery one can legitimately wonder what on earth Moran was thinking -- or even if he was thinking. What he did was absolutely incredible.
I share Moran's concern over adequate staffing but the point could haved been made in a better way without compromising the safety of officers and citizens. A voter could also legitlmately question whether Moran is seriously interested in public safety issues or if he is just pandering to voters now that he's a candidate -- a very plausible point since once could plausibly demand an answer from Moran as to where he's been on this issue in the 16 years since he walked out of the mayor's office. Is it a problem to him now that he's a candidate?
Moran also displays pandering stripes when he attacks the present city administration for spending money on cultural improvements, trying to pit that against public safety. On the surface it's a good question but someone who has been mayor should know that in order to spend money you first have to make it and sometimes to make it you have to spend it. If you attract people to the community who spend money here that money can be used to help fund city services. That's a basic point Moran doesn't tell people -- and he deserves to be called out on that.
Years ago Marion Barry, a controversial Washington, D.C. mayor, would get flamed by his core constituency for paying attention to the city's more affluent third ward. Barry would defend himself by pointing out that the city needed the revenue generated from the more affluent part of the city to fund services throughout the community, especially in more impoverished areas.
Barry was right. Moran is wrong.