Now that we’ve had a few days to grasp the enormity of Mayor Daley’s stunning announcement that he will not be seeking re-election in 2011, our thoughts turn to what his leaving means to the CTA.
My assessment: Very hard to tell.
First, let’s free your minds of any notion that CTA Board Chairman Terry Petersen will run for mayor.
Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. There are too many other better-known and better-funded African-Americans out there, such as the dynamic duo – the Jackson couple. And I would put former CTA Board Chair Valerie Jarrett ahead of Petersen on that list. And she probably won’t run either.
Then there’s CTA President Richard Rodriguez. And no, I don’t think he’s running for mayor. However, there is the question of how long he might keep his job after a new mayor takes over.
Personally, I think he’s been doing a decent enough job that he wouldn’t have a target on his back right after the election. Unlike, say, Police Supt. Jody Weis. (Sorry, no pun intended.)
But eventually, I would expect a new mayor to name his own guy or gal to lead the nation’s second largest transit system. That’s only natural. Some people around here think that person should have more transit experience than the last two or three presidents. While that would be nice, I think the biggest qualification is solid experience in running a huge agency and dealing in a political environment.
What do you think?