Photo: Mayor Richard M. Daley says farewell to "best job in America."
Thursday, Chicago’s Mayor Daley presided over his last City Council meeting. The emotional farewell had the mayor he “loved every minute” of his public service job.
“I love Chicago more than you can imagine. It’s been a great honor for me to serve with humility,” the soon-to-be former Mayor Daley said. “Thirty-two years on a schedule. I loved every minute of public service. It’s a great calling. … I don’t know if I could rest. I’m not one who just sits around. I’ll be doing things.”
When asked if he would miss his job he said, “Anything that you love and you have passion about — sure you miss it because you give your heart and soul into it, your body and your mind. You give everything possible to make the city [better]. ... You have to have passion. It isn’t a 9-to-5 job. It isn’t posters. It isn’t headlines. You have to really love the city regardless of what is said about you and what people may do. Just move forward. That’s why I never went on tangents. I always stayed focused on what I wanted to accomplish.”
The mayor even mentioned that he’d miss the media, even if they did print stories about corruption at City Hall.
“I’ve enjoyed it. You have a job to do. ... I understand that. I’ve always understood that. ... This press has been very open to me continually. I don’t designate that, today you can ask a question and tomorrow, you can’t,” he said.
A smiling Daley even joked that driving himself will be interesting, admitting he hasn’t done so since 1980. Laughing, he said, “That’s gonna be something. That’ll be an experience. [Watch me] go down Michigan Avenue.”
So with emotion in his words, Mayor Daley bid farewell to what he called the “best job in America.”