09/07/2010 05:26 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mayor Daley's Chicago Legacy: From CPS Command To Parking Meter Sale (PHOTOS)

After 21 years of Mayor Daley, many Chicagoans find it hard to believe that there will be a new person in charge as of May 16, 2011.

The speculation surrounding potential mayoral candidates will likely continue through November--when the list of candidates will be finalized--but there will also be a lot of discussion about Daley's legacy.

As the Associated Press reported Tuesday, Daley has presided over some of the most dramatic changes in Chicago history:

"He assumed command of the floundering school system in 1995 and replaced entrenched bureaucrats with tough, results-oriented administrators. Homework became mandatory, and the "social promotion" of underperforming students was halted. Test scores climbed steadily.

Daley also was the catalyst for a citywide facelift. West Side slums were cleared, new green space was created, a theater district came to life in the north Loop, and Navy Pier became a colorful playground complete with boat rides and a giant Ferris wheel.

Critics have grumbled that in some ways Daley's Chicago was run much as it had been under his father, who was the boss of Chicago's Democratic machine for two decades. They pointed to City Hall scandals and lucrative contracts for the mayor's friends as well as chronic corruption and police brutality cases.

Daley's constituents came to know him as an intense, nervous figure who was never fully comfortable on the speaker's platform. As with his father, the current mayor's rhetoric is at times tangled.

He nevertheless remained popular, winning elections by overwhelming margins."

We rounded up some of Daley's best (and worst) moments here, but there are many, many more. Feel free to tell us what we missed.