Tim Degnan Obituary Chicago, Richard M. Daley’s advisor, Tim Degnan, has died
- by Alex Danvers
Tim Degnan Obituary, Death – Degnan, 54, is the man to see at City Hall despite being virtually unknown outside of the city’s political establishment. A New Age godfather leader and political buff, he serves as both Daley’s main connection to his Bridgeport roots and the main conduit between the mayoral circuit and the frequently sluggish bureaucracy, according to a 1995 profile by Crain. He’s the ultimate loyalist, a contemporary of the mayor who has surrendered his own ego and mostly dedicated his career to the Daley cause, in a bargain that exaggerates the concept. Their mutual trust is at an absolute absolute, and their frequencies are completely aligned.
Early in the 1990s, after legislation in Springfield was approved that would have allowed McCormick Place to expand, Degnan quickly put together a group of politicians, including two Chicago Republicans, who were open to what City Hall wanted her to be able to do. It was assembled, as Claypool recalls. That was one of many pivotal moments. The bond between Daley and Degnan is second-generation; they grew up a mile apart in the Bridgeport area at the time that Francis “Bud” Degnan, Degnan’s father, was also employed by the city as a roads commissioner and road climber. Richard J. Daley was the mayor at the time. Hygiene.
Timothy Francis Degnan was appointed district commissioner for the 11th District, attended the Illinois Institute of Technology to study civil engineering, and, in typical Chicago style, received a recommendation for a post in the city’s newly established IT department. At some point, he settled into a home on Patriarch Daley’s street. He was set to succeed his father as acting commissioner of Streets & San when, in 1979, newly elected Mayor Jane Byrne named him to the position. However, he lost his job after it came to light that the bank he worked for had given him a loan to pay off gambling debts by investing the money in data processing.
Degnan filled Daley’s vacated Senate seat after aiding in his 1980 election as Cook County Attorney. Late in the decade, when Daley was elected mayor, Degnan accompanied him to City Hall.
According to John Doerrer, who joined the administration and later held the same title as Degnan, director of interstate affairs, “in the first five years of the Daley administration, he got stuff through the city council that created the foundation for the following 20 years.” People “forget that when Rich Daley came in he had a narrow advice margin of 26-24.” Degnan was “aware of how to handle it.” Brother of the mayor William Daley stated to Crain’s in 1995 that “any CEO, whether in business or politics, needs someone like Tim who anticipates the demands of the (CEO). Rich and Tim take up this responsibility. You two are so well acquainted. He is trustworthy yet not at fault.
Degnan’s mistrust of the media heightened after reading about gambling debts. Steve Neal, a political reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, stated in 1992: “Degnan is so secretive that when asked about the weather, his jaw aches.” Mike Royko had written a story about it. In 1991, Degnan, Bedore, and Kruesi made a rare public appearance when they convened a press conference to try to settle a dispute between Daley and City Treasurer Miriam Santos over the mayor’s attempt to maintain her ex-officio status on the city’s pensions board.
Crain Degnan’s lockjaw started to relax after weeks of experimenting with the profile. “I strive to give individuals my complete attention. I’m flexible, even if I’m from Bridgeport,” he remarked of his negotiating approach, which frequently involved keeping quiet during protracted discussions, posing a crucial topic, and then assuring a predetermined consensus. I enjoy finishing projects, he declared. “I prefer to see the mayor make progress,”
Degnan also made a financial investment in a suburban construction supply business, which he protected from city contracts. Getting the product delivered on time and keeping prices low are quite comparable to small enterprises and politics, he said. “I made a mistake with the gambling problem a long time ago, and I learned from it,” the person said.
A coworker who worked on the Crain’s profile recounted Degnan’s direct instruction to a bureaucrat: “Look, that’s not in your plan for next year. Today’s agenda item is that. Even the long-serving Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, understood the message. Tim approaches me and inquires, “You want to help us, don’t you? ” In 1995, Madigan told Crain’s. “He presents me with some paper” (a draft bill). See that word there? Remove the F-word from that area. We created. Its power, according to Madigan, “lies in its simplicity.”
Degnan also gave Paul Vallas, who was now running for mayor and had taken over the budget, some thought as Bedore and Claypool’s replacements. Not everything went Daley or Degnan’s way; proposals for a third Chicago airport on Lake Calumet were among the failures. Degnan stated about the profile, “It’s simply frustrating to go that path and put that much efforts into it and see it fall apart.” Chicago’s casino was yet another flop. “There is no doubt that I believe we could have handled the casino complex better. I occasionally mistrust that opportunity,” he remarked.
Degnan served as a political counselor to then-Senator Jeremiah Joyce on a number of campaigns, including Rod Blagojevich’s 1996 bid for Congress, after leaving City Hall in the mid-1990s. Until about ten years ago, Degnan also worked for the Northbrook, Illinois-based Glenrock construction company, according to his son. He was still skilled at using it.
Tim Degnan Obituary, Death – Degnan, 54, is the man to see at City Hall despite being virtually unknown outside of the city’s political establishment. A New Age godfather leader and political buff, he serves as both Daley’s main connection to his Bridgeport roots and the main conduit between the mayoral circuit and the frequently…