TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell System and GTE Telephone Operator?

Re: Bell System and GTE Telephone Operator?

mc (
Wed, 3 Aug 2005 10:55:43 -0400

> The Chicago Transit Atrocity -- oops, I mean 'Authority' was formed by
> an act of the Illinois Legislature in 1947 as a independent government
> in its own right (_not a government agency, but an actual government_)

Yes ... presumably a "district" that is administratively like a
county, but instead of governing a portion of the state the way a
county does, it governs a particular set of government services, and
has the authority to levy taxes in specified places. For example, we
have had a "school district" here (Clarke County, Ga.) for a long
time, to get around the problem that the county is small but the city
and county governments were not originally consolidated. There are
also "sewer districts" etc.

Definitely one of the odd points of American politics.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: In Chicago, in addition to the CTA or
Chicago Transit Authority (thus situated), there is also the CHA (or
Chicago Housing Authorty) which is a _true_ atrocity if there ever was
one. CHA has been in 'federal receivership' now for a few years due
to the unbelievably awful living conditions in the 'homes' and the
amount of crime on its property. Originally very nice _but plain_ living
accomodations, the CHA was started in 1941 and its first commissioner
was a woman who was a protege of Jane Addams of Hull House fame. CHA
was intended to be _temporary, transitional_ housing for needy people;
then after the second war ended, the idea was to provide _temporary,
transitional_ housing for military veterans returnin from military
duty. Since about 1960 or so, these high-rise (fifteen or twenty story
buildings; a cluster of a dozen or so in each location) have been
almost exclusively for black people; many of whom of course have
extensive criminal histories and their families; quite often the only
person in the 'home' (all seven or eight thousand of them in an
aggregate total) is the Mother. Nearly every one of them has one or
more sons or fathers currently in prison or recently released. The little
kids run around wild and rather delinquent as one would expect. The
television series of the 1970's, _Happy Times_ (written by Norman
Lear) is now in endless re-runs on TV-Land . The former commissioner
of the mess, a man named Charles Swibel, a rich, white older guy from
the northern suburbs had some problems of his own in keeping the CHA
money accounts in order, barely escaped going to prison himself, but
did get CHA tossed into federal recivership (a sort of bankruptcy
chapter used for governments) when the feds 'evicted' him from office.

Then there is the Chicago Park _District_ (rather than 'authority'),
started in the 1940's as well, with its own can of worms. And there
is the Chicago School _Board_ (also rather than 'authority') with the
same sort of government arrangements. When the school board came up
several million dollars unaccounted for, Mayor Daley (312-PIG-3000 if
you ever wish to dial him direct) had a solution for that; a whole new
layer of control called the Chicago Schools Finance Authority whose
only job was to make the School Board obey the law on deficit
spending. The Finance Authority has to sign off on the School Board
budget each year, and not approve it unless the school board has the
books in order. The board is apparently incapable or unwilling to
obey the law all on their own.

In his greed and unmitigated gall a few years ago, Mayor Daley and the
City Council got the notion of 'municipalizing' Commonwealth Edison,
the electric utility. So the people who run our transportation system,
our subsidized 'homes', our parks and our schools would then be in
charge of our nuclear power plants as well ... that did not go off
very well; the unwashed masses complained bitterly at the idea, but
most important, several very large industries who depend extensively
on their electrical power began making arrangements to _close up their
shops and split town_, unwilling to risk possible loss of electrical
service. At that point, Mayor Daley blinked and backed off. PAT]

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Charles Cryderman: "Re: Credit Reports, was Re: AT&T Customers Taken Over By Alltel"
Go to Previous message: John R Levine: "Looking For a Good International Conference Call Service"
May be in reply to: "Bell System and GTE Telephone Operator?"
Next in thread: "Re: Bell System and GTE Telephone Operator?"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page