The City of Chicago, also known as The City of Mayor Richard M. Daley, has filed suit to strike down the Shakman decree.

The Shakman decree, a federal court decision established in 1983, outlaws the practice of doling out city jobs to people chosen by the mayor’s friends, political allies, and appointees. The decree stops the practice of patronage instead allowing for fair, unbiased and objective evaluations, which give everyone an even chance to get a good city government job based on the merits of experience, training, and education.

The mayor (the city) has said that Shakman isn’t needed anymore because he (the city) is already committed to fair, unbiased hiring practices and procedures, anyway.

This is in spite of the fact that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is in the process of investigating city-hiring practices. He has also charged several of the mayor’s friends and political allies with illegal hiring manipulations.

This is shocking and amazing to me. The mayor appoints (and has legal authority to appoint) the policy-makers, managers, and department heads that do the city’s (his) day-to-day oversight and administration of city operations.

After all, a city the size of Chicago, a budget as large as Chicago’s, and a work force as large as the city’s can not be directed by the laying on of just one man’s hands.

What is so shocking and amazing is that the mayor appoints political allies and friends whom he has personally known for years.

Presumably, these are appointees that he trusts; appointees whose credentials, abilities, integrity and loyalty he has personal knowledge and confidence in.

So is this a misuse and abuse to all the people of Chicago? Is the mayor so lacking in good judgment that he cannot pick good people?

Is the mayor so lacking that the people he appoints feel, or know, that he can be taken advantage of and stabbed in the back with their illegal manipulations? Is the mayor O.K. with their illegal manipulations? Is the mayor part and parcel with their illegal management behavior? Does the mayor wink and nod at their illegal misuse and abuse of authority? Does the mayor allow their misuse and abuse of authority for reasons of his own? Is he part of the problem? Or is HE the problem?

After all, scandal after scandal has been reported and the mayor always insists that each is merely an anomaly, a blip on the radar, an isolated event which he will take steps to address.

Scandal after scandal and Malfeasance after misfeasance. And now the City of Chicago, also known as the City of Mayor Richard M. Daley has filed suit to do away with the law against illegal hiring. What a mayor.

Speaking of which – why are so many programs designated, “The Mayor’s…” rather than “The City of Chicago…”?

We have The Mayor’s “Holiday Sports Festival”; “Office of Special Events”; and “Office of Workforce Development,” for instance.

Why aren’t these designated “The City of Chicago”? They are funded by dollars provided by average people. They are public programs and they are City of Chicago programs.

Chicago is not a plantation with the owner’s name branded on everything. It is not a feudal fiefdom passed down from father to son and the mayor is not a lord of the realm.

So, what do you think of the emperor’s same old clothes?