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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

CTAs Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum… I mean Carol and Frank

OOOOOOOOh. I have never had my blood boil so much as it did tonight. Tonight was the public meeting about the Brown Line Renovations. It was at Lane Tech, but instead of taking public transport to get there (Western Bus)–I hopped in a cab. Bad, bad Leah.

When I got there I signed in–as apparently you do at community meetings and then did a lap in the Lane Tech Auditorium. It was nearly empty. “Shit,” I thought. Nobody cares. I said hello to the folks from my Chamber of Commerce and went to the bathroom. Then I wrote a couple questions down to be asked of the CTA. “Why is this the first public discussion?” and something less clear about the impact on small business. By the time business started the auditorium had filled with concerned citizens and business owners.

After much back-patting and quip making by the Priest, the Aldermen, and others–the CTA made a presentation. Nice of the CTA to make the most important slide–the one outlining each stations closures–impossible to read. Also nice of the guy to repeatedly ignore requests from the Public that he annunciate, speak more slowly, speak into the microphone, and make the presentation available to the entire auditorium.

It was so obvious that the CTA just came to APPEAR to be LISTENING, when in fact–the temporary closure of the Brown Line is a done deal. No discussion, no hearings, nothing. Done. In case the presentation wasn’t bad enough, then it was time for Carol Brown and Frank Kruesi to answer questions.

My question about “Why is this the first public discussion?” lead off the Q&A section. I got a little buzz from that, until I felt like it was used by Carol to put us down. “In fact,” she said, “this isn’t the first meeting. There was one on February 16 at Illinois Masonic.” (Not a direct quote, so don’t get your panties in a bundle for misquote. The spirit is there.)

From there it went downhill. I have never, in my life, seen such obvious “I don’t give a fuck about you people, your businesses or your community” than I saw tonight on that stage. If Ms. Lindsey (my fifth grade teacher) had been there, she would have marched on stage, grabbed Frank by his smug little face, stood him up and shook him. Then she would have reamed him out good for his body language, his rambling, his attitude, his TOTAL INABILITY to look anyone in the eye.

Carol was not much better. She couldn’t keep her left hand still–a sign that she was also lying.

Both are effective spinners and Frank began to fillibuster when the questions got hard. Talking in circles, repeating himself, saying the word MITIGATE at least 27 times over the course of the night.

Props to Rockwell Street for getting their grassroots shit together before the meeting. This is an area I really feel will be hit hard. After two years of promises by the CTA (I keep typing CYA), they attracted five new businesses to the area around the Brown Line Stop. Now their businesses risk closing, because the CTA has no moral or ethical grounds/reasons/values to keep their promises.

People opened businesses, bought houses, joined congregations, chose schools, started lives based on the promises of the fucking CTA. Now this government agency has no MORAL or ETHICAL backbone. They aren’t willing to say–we made a promise to TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY businesses, we are going to keep it.

Was anyone else there?

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