...When Dick Mell resigned, “He maneuvered and used his clout to have his daughter appointed to his seat.” In addition, Mell had his own chief-of-staff appointed to his daughter’s former post in the statehouse. “Currently,” Wanat continued, “we are not represented by people we elected.”
Dick Mell has been a public advocate of patronage in city government, claiming that he helped put college students through school by getting them do-nothing jobs as bridge tenders along the Chicago River. So I asked Wanat: What’s so bad about patronage?
“If you give a person a job because of who they know rather than what they can do,” she said, “you’re going to end up with inefficient public services, money wasted, and public services that aren’t run well.”
Wanat said, “People are very frustrated with ‘the Chicago Way.’”
If you want to see Ald. Mell wax poetic about patronage, Ben Jowarky's posted video in The Reader in April 2014.