The mayor’s appointment of Andrea Yao to the Board of Local Improvements is the only non-routine item on the agenda for today’s Transportation Committee meeting. Yao, lead counsel to Feeding America, a national charity the operates food banks across the country, is the mayor’s fourth appointment to the board this year.

The five-member Board of Local Improvements oversees street infrastructure improvements necessitated by private development. Before a private developer can build anything along the public way, the board must approve the plans and financing. The appointment is directed to the Transportation Committee because the board serves under the capacity of the Department of Transportation.

Three other appointments to the Board were Christopher M. MichalekEdward T. McKinnie, Sr., and Paul Connolly. Michalek is a partner at consulting firm McGuire Woods, LLP, McKinnie, Sr. is the President of the Board of Directors for Black Contractors United, and Connolly is the recording secretary for Laborers Local Number 4.

Pedestrian and Traffic Safety

City Clerk Susana Mendoza is making good on a promise she made to aldermen during the budget hearings by letting pickup trucks park on residential streets. The Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety will meet at noon to consider an ordinance that would make it official. But so-called “junk vehicles”- any car with an unenclosed cargo bed that has been modified to increase the car’s capacity to transport of carry items – are still barred from city-streets. If the ordinance passes in committee and later by the full City Council, trucks with a curb weight of less than 8,000 pounds and not considered a commercial vehicle will be offered a spot on the curb should the owner pay for a city sticker. Ald. Brian Hopkins (2), Raymond Lopez (15), and Deb Mell (33) are listed as co-sponsors.

The other parking-related matter, also sponsored by Clerk Mendoza, would amend a recently-approved pilot program in the City Clerk’s Office that lets Realtors apply for a universal parking pass to park their cars in residentially-zoned streets. The change has to do with the transfer of the universal pass. The owner still needs to fill out an application with the City Clerk, but the ordinance removes the details of what is needed in that application.


A month after the Council’s Aviation Committee overwhelmingly voted against a plan to halt construction at O’Hare Airport, its members will meet again this afternoon to consider a ground lease agreement with American Airlines. The airliner is interested in leasing parts of the airport for the purposes of “developing, constructing, and operating five airline gates.” Those gates are referred to as the L Stringer Gates. American will pay a base rent of $369,000 a year, or $30,750 a month