Love him or hate him, you have to give Mayor Daley credit: he doesn't hide from the public. He ususally makes a half-dozen appearances a week throughout the city.
But what the Mayor sees, and what people who live in those neighborhoods see is often quite different.
A FOX Chicago News investigation found a small army of city workers from various departments swarming the places where the Mayor was planning a press conference. They were making the locations shiny and clean, picking up trash, slapping on fresh coats of paint, mowing the grass, trimming the hedges, and blowing leaves.
At Reavis Park on the South Side, we watched as crews put brand new nets on basketball hoops where there had been none.
At Tuley Park Fieldhouse, crews were so intent on making everything perfect that they even spray-painted the dead shrubs with green paint.
A former mayoral aide told us they jokingly call it "The Mayor's Rolling Beautification Committee."
Ald. Scott Waugespack (32nd) said it's a long-standing practice that needs to end.
"That is definitely over way over the top," said Waugespack. "If the mayor's pulling up and they're tricking him into thinking that this area is being taken care of, that's a fireable offense."
Mayoral spokesperson Jackie Heard says it's likely all that site prep is being ordered by nervous department heads who know the Mayor keeps a close eye on how the city looks.
"I don't believe at all that the mayor has an expectation that people are cleaning up for his arrival," she said. "Absolutely not."
She says the Mayor may not even be aware of what they're doing to please him. That could explain why we saw him putting his hand on a freshly-painted post.
The mayor is notorious for keeping notes when he sees something he doesn't like. He whipped them out when we asked about all the cleaning up before he arrives.
"I look at parks, trees down in Jackson Park, I look at abandoned cars," he said. "I question this, the graffiti over here. I do all this."
"I can understand how department heads are extremely attentive to detail, because they know that is his expectation," Heard said. "However the distinction is he expects the entire city to be clean, not just the places where he's stopping."
But two months later when we came back to Reavis Park to see if it was still as clean now as it was the day the mayor was here, we found a very different picture.
Three of the four new basketball nets were gone. The playground was strewn with garbage, broken glass, fast food wrappers, and little children dodging debris.
People in the park said they still see city crews on occasion, but they don't do much to clean up the park. One resident told us he'd love to see Mayor Daley come by again.
"I would love to see the Mayor, Obama, Jackson, the principal of Reavis School come here and have a barbecue," one said. "Because then it would look amazing."
What's amazing to Ald. Joe Moore (49th) is that in these times of budget cuts and layoffs, this practice continues.
"In this time of limited city resources, we need to make sure the priorities are driven not by where the mayor is attending, but what the greatest needs are," he said.