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Done deal: Huberman to replace Duncan at CPS

(This is Saturday's and Sunday's updated post bumped to today with the latest info and a new head. This way we keep the thoughtful comments in one place.)

So now Crain's, the Sun-Times and the Tribune are all reporting: It's a done deal. Daley has found his schools superintendent in Huberman -- the same guy he's turned to before to take other tough jobs in monolithic city organizations.

Over the last three-plus days since this post first went up, you folks have made some thoughtful comments on this subject, so there's not much more new for me to say. Let me just recap some of your salient points.

  • Ron was getting some good stuff done in the 21 months he led the CTA. I don't like that he can't stay and complete the job. It causes problems when you don't have continuity. It would have been good to see him finish big his initiatives, such as improvements in rider communications and performance management.
  • Starting over again at the CTA after only two years is a step backward for Chicago.
  • Ron once described the CTA as the most difficult job he'd had to date, even harder than working as Daley's Chief of Staff. Wait til he sees the mess that is CPS.
  • That sucks. It really shows how Daley prioritizes the CTA. A holding pen for rising stars like Huberman, or a dumping ground for falling ones, like Kruesi.

The Sun-Times story notes that there will be a huge power vacuum at the top of CTA management with Huberman's departure, and CTA Board President Carole Brown's attempts to get a job in Barack's administration.

Good God, y'all.

From Saturday (Jan. 24) and Sunday (Jan. 25) posts:

UPDATE: Daley himself confirms that he has talked about the superintentent job with Huberman.

Mayor Daley is considering naming CTA President Ron Huberman as the new Chicago Public Schools superintendent, according to Chicago Tribune sources. Ron has no comment.

The schools top job opened up when President Barack Obama named Arne Duncan his Education Secretary. While Duncan once was criticized for not having a rich enough schools background (since he was never a teacher), he certainly had more school experience than Huberman does.

Duncan's educational background (per MK's request, from Wikipedia):

Duncan has extensive experience in educational policy and management, but has not been a teacher. In 1992, Duncan became director of the Ariel Education Initiative, a program to enhance educational opportunities for children on Chicago's South Side that was started by John W. Rogers, Jr., and in 1998 he joined the Chicago Public Schools. He became Deputy Chief of Staff for former Schools CEO Paul Vallas in 1999. In 1996, along with Rogers, he was part of a network that funded and supported Ariel Community Academy.

Ron has no educational experience.

While I don't necessarily think the CTA president must have transit experience like some around here do, I do believe schools management experience is crucial for a schools superintendent.

Daley reportedly has considered 150 folks for the job. We'll just have to see who gets the nod -- reportedly to come next week.


Eeeh... Huberman has done well with the CTA, but he's not an educator. Then again, neither was Duncan, or Vallas. It's not a good move, but Daley has shown that education isn't his strong suit, either.

Ron seems to do a good job at any challenge given him. That said, it's unfortunate that it appears Daley thinks Huberman is the only person in the entire city that can take on these tough assignments.

Well, the only person other than the other 149 he's considering.

"but Daley has shown that education isn't his strong suit, either"

If you are going to make a statement like that, especially if it goes against the conventional wisdom, one would think you would make the slightest effort to give your reasoning. If you can't be bothered to support your opinion with anything then one would obviously have to conclude it isn't worth much. Paul Vallas, Daley's first schools chief (after Daley took control of the CPS) was haralded by many, many people as really being the first person to make significant positive reforms of any urban school system in the country. The test scores showed that he caused a very strong improvement. His next chief, Arne Duncan, is well-regarded enough for the President of the United States to choose him as Secretary of Education. So if you are going to say that "Daley has shown that education isn't his strong suit" you need to convince everyone that all this conventional wisdem is wrong. And you cannot do that if you just make a hit-and-run insult without making the slightest effort to back it up.

"While Duncan once was criticized for not having a rich enough schools background, when named Chicago schools super he certainly had more schools experience than Huberman does. Ron has none."

What schools experience did Duncan have at the time he was named to that position? I always thought he spent all of his previous career in different fields but I could be wrong. And I am too lazy to look it up right now (but not as lazy as Pratfall who stated an opinion without bothering to give any reason). I don't think that lacking experience working in the education field is neccessarally a bad thing. It seems to me that Vallas and Duncan both showed that having an outsider's perspective can be very beneficial. What is important is that these people recognize their limitations and rely on people who have more experience to make certain decisions.

I am not at all convinced that Huberman would be a good schools chief. Unlike Duncan, he seems to make every decision with the eye towards his political future. He seems more interested in looking good to the public than in doing good. And he has made populist statements (like his statement about the Chicago Card being mostly used by wealthy people) that would have horrific effects if applied to a school system. And while he seems to have done some good things, I think overall he has been a fairly mediocore CTA President (for reasons I have stated before).

If Huberman's willing to take on Daley's love of the TIF slush funds that drain hundreds of millions of dollars from schools and other civic projects, I'd support him. Until this happens, it's hard to argue that Daley has any interest in or support for education.

Ron Huberman seems like a competent choice to me. The most important qualities to look for in a CPS CEO are administrative and leadership skills. You want someone who is able to see the big picture and focus on long term goals.

I don't know if Ron Huberman is the right man for the job, but nothing I know about him tells me he's the wrong man.

So the only thing that matters, Bob S., is the current amount of money going to the schools? I guess it is unimportant what the school system does with this money and whether they come up with innovative practices to help children learn. Perhaps the Chicago Public Schools could use more money but, for Christ's sake, money is not everything. Why is it so hard for people to understand that? On another blog, I was even called a "jackass" for simply pointing out that the city's closure of four of twelve mental health clinics doesn't neccessarally mean these people will not have the same services available to them.

As for your TIF comments, I don't know what you mean by "slush funds". The TIF dollers are used to spur development so that more tax revenue can be generated in the future. Sometimes it is worthwhile to take short term pain for long term gain. We are very fortunate to live in a city with one of the few mayors who is less interested in short term popularity than he is about the long term future of the city. Are TIF districts used too much? Yes. Should there be reforms in the way they are chosen? Yes. But it is absurd to say they are "slush funds" and act as if how much of this money currently goes to the schools is more important than whether people are learning.

[We are very fortunate to live in a city with one of the few mayors who is less interested in short term popularity than he is about the long term future of the city.]

Obviously I don't know what drives the majority of mayors in this country (and neither does MK, of course; not sure what makes him comfortable with this kind of casual defamation), but for better or worse I do think this is an accurate evaluation of Daley.

As for the matter at hand, I don't think educational experience is terribly important as such. But I think the superintendent of one of the nation's largest school systems should have some measure of educational *expertise*. There's a lot more to running a school system than managing a bureaucracy.

I don't know how much of a chance Huberman has at this job, since the article won't go any further than saying he's being "considered" which can mean anything. But it sure looks like a hard pick to defend, if it indeed comes to pass.

I wonder if he'll produce controversial statistics backing up any supposed improvements that happen during his tenure.

I have to disagree, strannix. The Olympics? Short-term gain at the expense of the long-term future. 99-year sweetheart deals for parking meters and toll roads? The very definition of short-term gain at the expense of the long-term future. The Block 37 fiasco? Short-term gain (but only for developers) at the expense of the long-term future. The highest sales tax in the country while many national and international corporations receive sweetheart tax deals to move to or stay in the city? Short-term gain at the expense of the long-term future. The TIF system that diverts hundreds of millions of dollars from schools, parks, pothole repairs, snow removal, and infrastructure maintenance? Short-term gain at the expense of the long-term future.

Let's look at corruption. The patronage system? Fixed elections? The illegal Children's Museum move? The overnight destruction of Meigs Field, turned in part (also illegally) into a private, for-profit concert venue?

So sure, Daley's utterly uninterested in short-term popularity. But I'm a little surprised that someone I know to be as intelligent as you are would think the city will be better off in the long term for his record as mayor.

The patronage system is neccessary to ensure that the city has him as mayor. Yes, there are many negatives to a city being run that way. It discourages debate and discussion over decisions. But I think the positives outweigh the negatives. Imagine if Daley didn't exist and there was an election for mayor. Who do you think would be running? Do you think any of them would be good at the job? Of course not. Look at the city counil, for Christ's sake. It is populated by people such as Joe Moore, Burton Neturious, Bernie Stone, and Dorthey Tillmon (Yes, Neturious and Tillmon were recently defeated but they both served for decades. And they were defeated, by the way, for the wrong reasons.). These people are passing ordinances about things they are not involved in such as foreign policy, for Christ's sake. When they do things for which they actually have juristication over they involve such things regulating what we should eat or what types of bags we should be allowed to use at a grocery store.

What really displayed to me how horrible the city would be if they were running it themselves was the passage of the big box ordinace. If Daley hadn't been there to veto that it would have had an atroucious effect on the amount of jobs here. That was a socialist ordinace and it would have drove many, many businesses and jobs away, both current and future. And all for reasons that make zero sense. Those are the jobs that people start out at. What the wage means for someone with a family of year doesn't make a difference. The people with those jobs are not the sole earners in a family of four. At the time of that controversy, it became clear to me that as much as I dislike aspects of the autocratic nature of city government it is a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

The demographics of the city guarantee that it would not be run effectively if the politicians had to be as concerned about public opinion as most other places. It is a transitional place for most residents. A huge percentage of the residents either are people who come here during and/or after college before their kids need to go to school or they are immigrants who come here as a gateway before having enough money to move somewhere else. In either case, these people don't have much incentives to care about the long term future of the city. So they get drowned out by those who do plan to live here for their entire lives. And most of them (for whatever reason) are very far to the left and not normally interested in practical decisions. Obviously, there are exceptions to these demographics. I am one. But they are the overwhelming majority and this is what causes the need for the patronage system.

With the exception of the parking meter lease, Bob S., I don't quite understand why you say your examples illustrate Daley's sacrifice of the the long term for the short term. The Olympics will not be for almost a decade, for Christ's sakes. And the purpose, of course, is to generate enormous publicity for the city that should increase tourism for many, many years. More people in the world, after all watch the olympics than anything else. The tax incentives for corparations to move here (which are done by just about every state and major city in the country) are for the purpose of creating jobs well into the future by sacrificing a little of today's tax revenue. The Block 37 thing occured because Daley and company didn't think things through. It had nothing to do with any short term gains (since you mention "short term gains" for developers I'll mention the original developer of that went bankrupt). Had it been successful, it would have been for what Daley believed was a long term benefit. We already discussed TIFs.

I have a feeling I might get slammed now.

If RonH can come in and remove the slow zones in the fabulous non-functional new student information and scheduling system that CPS forced on us last year and which has made our lives a living hell, have at it. If he can eliminate the patronage and make-work jobs at 125 S. LaSalle and elsewhere in the bureaucracy, more power to him. I'd welcome someone truly challenging the CTU, but if it's RonH I hope he doesn't think it's going to be as easy as negotiating the concessions he got from CTA's many unions, and apparently that wasn't all that easy.

My concern is that he has shown over-confidence in thinking he knows more than he does and that his management acumen and fresh perspective are all he needs to get the job done. The fact that he's never stayed in any management position for more than two years is also a little troubling. It shows a careerism and lack of concern about the enterprise at hand. Educators have dealt with enough carpetbaggers over the years.

Barbara Eason-Watkins was the real educational leader under Duncan and should be given an opportunity to be in charge. She taught for many years, became an administrator and has a doctorate. I'm not saying that any of these is an absolute prerequisite, but it helps. There are so many competing programs and initiatives intended to improve student achievement. Someone with professional experience needs to sift through all of it. If Daley passes her over in favor of the Boy Wonder, it will be a major show of professional disrespect to Eason-Watkins and CPS would probably lose her, which would be a shame.

My greatest concern, however, is that the Tattler faithful could lose their favorite whipping boy. Maybe someone will start the CPS Tattler to give everyone an outlet.

Did I say LaSalle? I meant Clark. Maybe I failed the map-reading exercise when I took the Illinois State Board of Ed Test of Basic Skills.

[But I'm a little surprised that someone I know to be as intelligent as you are would think the city will be better off in the long term for his record as mayor.]

Yeah, I know it's an unusual position to take. But I also don't think most of the examples you gave were plausible examples of short-term gain. High sales taxes provide short-term popularity?

And many of them are things that I'm not even sure are bad. Besides the predictable wailing over Daley's strongarm tactics, for example, no one's ever given me an explanation of why the Children's Museum is so terrible.

As it happens, I do strongly disagree with the selling off of public assets, but it's also hard for me to hold that against Daley too much. It was more or less inevitable given that we live in a society that places almost no value in civic investment, and it seems that it likely would have happened no matter who was mayor.

I'll tell you what I don't like about the Children's Museum. First of all it's a crappy over-priced Chuck E Cheese w/o the pizza. My then-four-year-old niece was bored when I took her there. It cost me $18 to take her there to be bored, and almost cost me more because you have to enter and exit through the gift shop. Actually it did cost me a little more, since I had to distract her with a trip to McDonalds to get her out of the shop.

So great, let's take this museum and move it to land that it is illegal to build on and is not anywhere near public transit except for a Metra station.

Do you know what happens at Daley Bi? Kids play for free out in the weather. Sometimes it's structured play with Park District supervison, and sometimes it's just play. I'd prefer they got to run around in the sunshine and do what they want to charging admission for them to go down in a hole in the ground to be 'enriched.'

Perhaps RonH is preparing for his potential job as a leader of educators by making sure that at least one CTA Alert per week is written in Shakespearan English.

>Jan 26 - 28
>Mon to Wed
>9:30am to 2:30pm, daily
>#36 Broadway Temporary Reroute

>How doest this affect my trip?

I'm not making this up. It's actually a cut and paste from the CTA weekday service email alert. I wish the answer had been: Forsooth, the bus of Broadway shall over the State St. bridge no more for days.

I'm not convinced that the Olympics would bring tourist dollars to Chicago over a long stretch of time. Most cities that host the Olympics end up with expensive, empty buildings afterwards, and don't even turn a profit on the Games.

I think Daley wants to bring the Olympics here because they'll feed his massive ego. All of his short-term plans to raise money (leasing Midway, the parking meter deal, etc.) are not designed with residents' best interests at heart. They're set up to make the city look like it's flush with enough cash to overspend on the Games.

The city council is ineffective because the machine keeps filling seats with people who'll kowtow to Daley.

I'd rather see Huberman do a so-so job of managing the CTA, than see what he can do with the Chicago Public Schools. If Daley names him to the superintendent post, it'll be an instance of Daley rewarding loyalty over compentency and know-how.

You did make one good point, MK: that the degree of labor exploitation required by capitalism would be impossible in a truly democratic society.

Huberman is a good choice and would be a good role model for students.He actually tries to do a good job and if he doesn't succeed,it's not because the problems were too big but because he was too small.

[The city council is ineffective because the machine keeps filling seats with people who'll kowtow to Daley.]

A familiar complaint, but to me it's just a way of making Daley's support with voters sound more sisnister than it really is.

[You did make one good point, MK: that the degree of labor exploitation required by capitalism would be impossible in a truly democratic society.]

Funny. But I have the feeling he won't understand that he even made this point.

Reminds me of a time a few weeks ago when he said something to the effect that our economic system gives us a big advantage over European countries with similar standards of living.

These things just go right over his head.

I don't know if Huberman would be any good as schools superintendent, but he's done a really good job with the CTA, why take a risk of messing that one good thing up?

Hey, I'm one of those voters who has repeatedly re-elected Daley. Our votes aren't fake, our ballots need no stuffing, our votes are real! Daley does have a long-term agenda in mind for Chicago, just because you don't like it doesn't mean he doesn't have one. I can't imagine anyone else in Chicago politics competently running this city.

Well, at the risk of letting thoughts on transit intrude on a wildly nebulous discussion of Mayor Daley's tenure, I'd argue that the CTA illustrates the best and worst of the Mayor's tendencies. On the one hand, you have Kruesi, who ran the CTA as an outpost of the mayor's patronage and pinstripe patronage operation. But the slow zone crap and the continuing budget crisis began to create real heat for the mayor, so he sent in a better manager to fix things.

This is exactly what happened with Vallas, after years of using the schools as a patronage pool. And it's what happened at the CPD when Kline was finally brought in after a decade of "people don't understand why Chicago isn't New York. We're just more violent here." Overnight, the murder rate plummeted.

The Mayor certainly has a cynical side, willing to fill whole departments (Streets and San, Water) with people who aren't particularly interested in doing their jobs, but pay the right people back. I mean, has no one here heard the names Sorich, Katalinic and Tomczak? These are close aides to the mayor who are now in prison.

But on the other hand, Vallas/Duncan and Kline brought real change to two of the most important bureaucracies in the city, Police and Schools. I think the Mayor perceived Weis as another blue-chip appointment, but he hasn't worked out because he lost control of the department to the chronic whiners, and arguably because he hasn't had enough authority to actually clean out the clout-babies.

This is no doubt high on the mayor's mind right now, and it may have convinced him that having a good administrator is critical, making Huberman's star rise even higher.

I think it'd be unfortunate, since Huberman's job isn't done at CTA, and it would mean more turmoil at an agency that's only had a serious, capable manager for under two years. Who would go there?

I'd like to see a blue-chip educator found instead. But I can see the logic in moving Huberman, unfortunately.

Wow. Thanks, jake and strannix, you just made my day, lol. Unfortunately, MK's already composing several paragraphs about how that's not what he meant and about how dense you are and how sad you'll be all your lives long for believing such things.

But to get back to the thread's topic: I would very much dislike for Huberman to leave CTA for CPS. Behind all of the statistics that Rusty claims are meaningless and designed to make it look like Ron's doing a fantastic job lies the reality that he is, in fact, doing a pretty decent job. Now, the grain of salt there is that more people are riding the CTA than ever before, and as such the general public and our elected reps are taking it more seriously on the city and state level - with the exception of a certain governor, to be sure.

Beyond that, yes, we all know and can see that Daley put Humberman in his current position to do whatever it takes to make the CTA less of an embarassment to him (and thus the city), employing his skills as a shrewd bureaucrat, rather than as a forward-thinking transit administrator. But so what? The general consensus here and out there seems to be that trains are faster, buses and trains are cleaner, and overall change for the better is happening faster and in more directions than we could've imagined a decade or two ago, and I think that's due in no small part to Ron's insistance as CEO that the CTA be more efficient, accountable, and productive with what resources - however meager - are already at the agency's disposal. Yeah, there's still a long way to go (bunched buses, leaky roofs), and there will be hiccups along the way (Block 37), but there's definitely positive momentum that would be lost if Huberman left for the CPS after only a couple years.

I'm glad Jake made your day, Kiel. But unfortunetely his comment doesn't really make any sense. But that's OK. There is nothing wrong with being put in a good mood by something that isn't correct.

I'm not sure exactly what Jake means by "labor expoitation". My best guess, based on reading his opinions about these things on his blog and elsewhere, is he is simply referring to workers being paid at their jobs. He believes that it is wrong for there to be employers and employees because this is a hierarchial structure. He believes that everyone in the country should be paid exactly the same ane everyone should do every job they can. The example he used (not me, him) was that surgeons should also work as janitors. So Keil, perhaps you are having second thoughts about thinking that Jake said something that got to the truth of the matter.

Without knowing exactly what Jake means by labor expoitation it is somewhat tough to conclude what his comment meant about what I said. My guess is he seems to be suggesting that if there were pure elections without corruption and the influence of special interests then those with views closer to his will be elected. And they apperently would create laws that restrict corporate activities. But I am a bit confused about this. In the aldermatic election after the big box ordinace was defeated there were many people who lost their races because they were against the ordincace. This was despite the fact that polls have shown that the majority of people in their districts believed that having these stores was a good thing. The reason they lost was because a special interest, the labor unions, was able to raise money and mobilize support for their preferred candadates and they used lies to convince people the big boxes would have effects that they wouldn't. But that special interest resulted in something that Jake thinks is positive. Or perhaps Jake doesn't believe that labor unions are special intersts.

I was disappointed to read about this yesterday, but for purely selfish reasons: Ron's done such a good job making the CTA useful again, I don't want to see him taken away from us when he's barely gotten a chance to get started! I mean, the welds are barely cool on the rails they fixed to eliminate the slow zones that they have... Give us a little more time, yeah?

(I sound like such a fangirl, sorry. I am a pragmatist, honest, and I'm not /actually/ convinced that Huberman is the second coming. It's just... I mean, after we all suffered Kreusi for so long, I'm just so ready to be impressed!)

[Or perhaps Jake doesn't believe that labor unions are special intersts.]

I can't and won't speak for Jake here, but I think it's particularly ironic that, for someone so dead-set against economic populism, you're more than happy to resort to populist rhetoric like the disparagement of "special interests."

But again, I doubt you really understand what you're saying half the time.

[But unfortunetely his comment doesn't really make any sense.]

Sure it does. You said very plainly that the "demographics" of the city prevent politicians from taking a wise course of action unless they break with the will of the people:

[The demographics of the city guarantee that it would not be run effectively if the politicians had to be as concerned about public opinion as most other places.]

And you said this in the context of a conversation about people working low-paying jobs. It's clear enough that the "demographics" you were talking about were people who don't make a lot of money.

Hence, it's clear that you were saying that if politicians had to worry about "public opinion," they'd be charting a course of economic populism (or as you'd term it, "socialism"), which you believe to be ineffective.

Ergo, in order to keep your preferred economic model in place, the will of the people - specifically, low-income workers -needs to be subverted to some degree.

Now, reasonable people can differ on the merits of all this, but you can't really call it "a truly democratic" city government, since as you explicitly state, public opinion is being ignored. And you can't really say it's not "labor exploitation," since your scheme involves deliberately subverting the will of low-income workers in order to keep their wages low.

"I think it's particularly ironic that, for someone so dead-set against economic populism, you're more than happy to resort to populist rhetoric like the disparagement of "special interests.""

I really am not dispariging "special interests". I was simply pointing out the hypocracy of Jake's apparent argument that a major problem with elections is they have the influence of special interests when he is a strong supporter on one of these interests. I actually think, for the most part, the influence of money in politics is good. Fair elections are not simply about what the majority believes. It is important to consider the intensity of preferences on issues. And campaign contributions is a good way to help lawmakers become aware of a how a reletively small group of people believe a law being considered may cause tremendous pain. That is at least as important to consider as when a large majority have a particular opinion that they don't care very much about. So I have no problem with both corporations and labor unions influencing politicians. I think the policies being pushed by the labor unions would be detrimental to the future but it is usually good that they have their voice. It falls on the rest of us to make sure that the politicians do not blindy cave-in to the union's demands.

"And you said this in the context of a conversation about people working low-paying jobs. It's clear enough that the "demographics" you were talking about were people who don't make a lot of money.

Hence, it's clear that you were saying that if politicians had to worry about "public opinion," they'd be charting a course of economic populism (or as you'd term it, "socialism"), which you believe to be ineffective.

Ergo, in order to keep your preferred economic model in place, the will of the people - specifically, low-income workers -needs to be subverted to some degree."

No, I wasn't just talking about low income workers. In fact, I think I have seen polls that showed that most low income people in the city opposed the big box ordinace. The problem is the unions were able to mobilize those supported the ordinace to go to the polls. Remember, the aldermanic elections occur when there is no other races on the ballot. So the people who vote in these races generally must be very motivated to go to the polls. The people who do are certainly not just low income people. Nor are they just union people. There are many knee-jerk liberals who have a quick emotional reaction that causes them to agree with the arguments made by unions that big box stores are negative, even though those arguments were downright false and incorrect. So the strong organizations of the unions, not the will of the people, were what caused the big box ordinace to almost get enacted.

And no, there is no contradiction in anything I said in this post.

I can't believe we are talking about this.

Capitalism is not about subverting anyone. Umm Che was executed in Columbia for murdering people. The USSR lost the Cold War. The Bulls were awesome until Jordan left. George Bush really sucked. Barack Obama is President now and hes pretty cool. Any other 20th/21st century notes you need catching up with?

TOPIC: How many of us make more than $100K??

Well, .... On the one hand, you have Kruesi, who ran the CTA as an outpost of the mayor's patronage and pinstripe patronage operation. ....

Well, ryanwc, I'd posit that your argument is flawed because it is based on incorrect information.

I'd go further and say that in the less-than-two-years that Huberman has been at the CTA, he has brought over far more City Hall rejects and patronage soldiers than Kruesi did in his almost 10 years.

Don't think that's possible? Ask Kevin to request and publish a list of Kruesi's management hires and a list of Huberman's hires.

Then to make it even more interesting, someone should request a list of how many CTA employees make more than $100,000 compared to 2 years ago. I bet it's increased at least 50% - and most of them will be the same folks that are on Huberman's hiring list.

Start with his VP of Powerpoints, his VP of statistical manipulation (I mean, performance management), VP of failed projects (also known as Bus Rapid Transit), and his three new heads of his marketing and customer information.

Someone posted a list here a few months ago of at least 10 Huberman hires who were making $120K to $145K. I bet it's grown longer.

ryanwc: Jody Weis was brought in as police superintendent to impress the IOC Lords of the Rings so that Daley can get the Olympics.
The Little King figured that a FBI guy would show that Chicago knows how to handle terrorists.

But Weis can't even get the cops here to obey traffic laws!
Today Hilkevich writes another of his useless columns, this time on how bus drivers run red lights & the cameras catch them, but the drivers don't pay the ticket, the CTA does.

But then he ignores that Chicago cops totally ignore red lights & never get any tickets.
People see the big huge bus, but they don't see the cop that decides at the last minute to go around all the cars & blow through the light on the wrong side of the street!

Everyone in the city knows buses run red lights, but it's usually not in dangerous situations.

Meigs Field is not a private, for profit thing. It is leased by the Park District and Chicago makes money.

And I vote for Daley because he mostly keeps the city the way I like it. He's not perfect, but he is not short-sighted for the most part. But, certainly one of the things that keeps him in power is keeping anyone remotely powerful from getting ahead. There will be a real power vacuum when he retires.

For what it's worth, Stephen, a city official confirmed to me that I'd voted in a city election in which I did not set foot in a poll. My landlord at the time was the ward boss' best friend.

If you want documentation of ballots filled out in advance for eligible voters likely not to vote, see www.zelchenko.com/book . Many other abuses are also documented there.

Anyway, Huberman's one of 150 candidates and apparently on the short list. But no one's thinking about who the replacement might be. Any of you wonks got any thoughts?

[Umm Che was executed in Columbia for murdering people.]

Actually Bolivia.

I'm with "I want a raise" and want to see how many $100K folks are at CTA and how many are Huberman hires. My bet is that it'll be far worse that Kruesi.

The good thing about Huberman going to CPS is that he'll take his cronies with him. There are some good cronies and some I can't believe have anything to do with Huberman for they can neither perform nor manage.

It's now confirmed that Huberman is going to run the schools.

That sucks. It really shows how Daley prioritizes the CTA. A holding pen for rising stars like Huberman, or a dumping ground for falling ones, like Kruesi.

Of course, Daley is so disconnected from CTA riders he probably has no idea how bad it was, how much better it has gotten--especially under Huberman--and how bad we all know it me get again once Huberman is no longer there to crack the whip of reform.

This is really terrible, terrible news for the CTA. My respect for Daley just dropped down a few notches. There were other great, education-aware candidates. Daley should have chosen one of them.

How long has Huberman been in charge of the CTA? I wasn't living here during his precedessor's era.

I don't like that he can't stay and complete the job. It causes problems when you don't have continuity.

See, I knew this would happen. That's why I kept my nose to the grindstone at work today rather than posting to the Tattler. Pretty soon RonH will be monitoring our every move. Really hope the Boy Wonder keeps his ears open and his mouth closed until he knows what's going on. He once described CTA the most difficult job he'd had to date, even harder than working as Daley's Chief of Staff. Wait til he sees the mess that is CPS. Closing the achievement gap is not like repairing slow zones, even after ten years of neglect. Can't wait for the PowerPoints!!

At the press conference two years ago when Daley announced that RonH would be taking over the CTA, Ron made a comment that he had driven a bus in college and that might give him some perspective in running CTA. Really hoping he doesn't say something at the press conference tomorrow about how he went to school once, so he should be ok running CPS.

Does Huberman gets his Police Pension if he moves over to Schools?

Just kidding, his pension is peanuts in the grand scheme of things and he seems to be making progress at the CTA. Give him a raise if he truly deserves one but starting over again at the CTA after only 2 years is a step backward for Chicago.

The interesting question is,
Why would Huberman want the schools job? More money, more prestige? Is he setup better for a mayoral run with the CPS job. Or is the CTA a sinking ship and he wants out while the getting's good. I just would like to know what the angle is.

"Is he setup better for a mayoral run with the CPS job."

Duh. Huberman has always been running for mayor. He clearly wants to inherit Daley's throne. Daley is around 65 and likely cannot be there for more than a decade or so more. It has always been clear to me that Huberman thinks about being mayor around once every few hours at least. And being in charge of CPS is the logical steping stone.

Unfortunetely, I don't think Huberman is like Daley or Duncan. It seems to me that the first priority of the two of them is to make a difference and improve the things they are leading. Huberman is more on the level of someone like Mitt Romney. Every decision he makes seems to have a purpose of making himself look good to the public. We saw this when he immedietely agreed to ban video game advertising when confronted by some right wing lunatics who believe that video games are what causes all the social problems. And remember, Huberman PRAISED Blagojevich's senior free ride stunt immedietely after it was imposed. He completely misjudged the political atmosphere and thought that it was something that would be popular and that he'd better get behind it. He reversed himself only after it became clear that this wasn't the case. These finger-in-the-wind actions are not what is needed for a mayor or for a school distict head.

At the CTA, he has done some good things (such as improve bus reliability), made obvious decisions that people act as if he was some sort of genious for doing (fixing track that caused derailments and neccessitated trains operating at around 25% of their normal speed), made some very poor choices (removing incentives for people to use the most efficiant form of payments as well as his his support for bus rapid transit), and engaged in very poor PR blunders (such as essentually declaring he would solve all communication problems by hiring someone with the job os "Vice President of Customer Communication", who apperantly has attempted to justify his positon by simply reworded all the customer notices to use awkward language such as "how does this affect me"). I would say his record at the CTA, contrary to the prevailing wisdom, is mixed at best. And my prediction is he will not make a good CPS head and will end up making enough bad decisions to cause him to be forced to resign if approxemetely one and a half to three years.

Rick: I doubt the CTA is a sinking ship as it's the linchpin in the bid for the Olympics that Daley so desperately wants. The Lords Of The Rings have certainly said so privately to Daley & publicly hinted at it!
The real problem is who replaces him!
I wouldn't put it past Daley to bring back that pile of shit Kruesi.
But my guess is Rosemary Andolino who's currently running O'Hare for Mayor Shortshanks!

I agree with you, MK, that Huberman has some Romney like qualities but my question is what's so great about the CPS job?
How does taking that gig help Huberman advance his career? It seems to me that Huberman's UofC "Management By The Metrics" philosophy is much more apropos at the CTA than the CPS. And it seems he's more likely to have success staying where he is and thus protecting his image and his place as Daley's heir


You're kidding me! You think they'd put in charge the west-side bloc's contracts person from O'Hare?

Andolino is connected. And I don't mean that her ankle bone's connected to her leg bone. She was put up for a run for State Rep. by DeLeo's organization.

Promote the woman who was in charge of the runway to nowhere, the one that was built "to increase capacity" at O'Hare, but amazingly didn't, to run CTA? I guess the future will be bright for pourers of concrete and a handful of electricians who don't like coming in to work everyday, but prefer their paychecks crisp, because the withholding makes everything aboveboard.

She's even got a Rezko connection!! God help us.

Hubie baby doesn't have a choice. The Mayor made him and he goes where he's sent.

That being said, I don't think it will be a huge loss. As long as the next CTA boss is competent it will be fine. The plans take so long (fix slow zones, clean up trains, etc.) to implement most of Ron's "ideas" were short-term and didn't require long range planning. CTA will save on some salaries when the cronies go to CPS.

I don't just think Huberman is "running for mayor" -- I think Daley may be essentially annointing him as a successor.

in addition to seeing ron's over $100K list, I would also like it if each of the kruesi-bashers would tell us if they were CTA customers before he took over in 1997. I doubt it. CTA in 2007, despite its difficulties, was far far better than in 1997. It's one thing to be in charge for 20 months and generate a lot of buzz on short term initiatives, and quite another to be at the helm for 10 years and sustain initiatives over that long of a period. Keep in mind that even 5 years into Kruesi's term he was much lauded in the press for all of his accomplishments and professionalizing CTA's management. His villification started in earnest when he told the truth and said CTA needed more funding. Meanwhile, one of the past two CTA heads is still working behind the scenes to continue to get resources for CTA, while the other has stopped even thinking of CTA.

I think JP's right. To Huberman's credit, he's an administrator, adept at moving things around to get things done. Isn't the position he's taking considered a CEO-level gig? It's business, not education. By the same token, there are plenty of other administrators who can fill his shoes.

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