Thursday, April 19, 2012

Remember that infrastructure trust plan by the Mayor...

[VIDEO] This past Monday, Aldermen Beale & Sawyer were quoted by ABC 7 on this infrastructure trust proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Beale actually is a member of the city council finance committee that we see meeting in this story!
[Chicago Chief Financial Officer Lois] Scott reminded the aldermen that the Chicago Federation is already on board.

"Labor leadership understands that the trust offers a rare opportunity for a win-win: Building critical infrastructure and creating union jobs around the city," said Scott.

"I think it's a good thing, but it's also something that we need to proceed with caution," said Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th Ward. "It could benefit us but it also could backfire."

Several aldermen, however, said they need more information before voting on the ordinance as soon as Wednesday.

"I'd like to have more questions answered, and I don't think we're going to get those answered in the next two days, that's my only concern," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward.

The city council met today and apparently a vote on this infrastructure trust is delayed until the next meeting
Mayor Rahm Emanuel put the brakes on his own plan to make a revolutionary change in the way Chicago funds its public works.

In a surprise move, a planned City Council vote on the so-called Infrastructure Trust was preemptively deferred by two mayoral allies: Aldermen Edward M. Burke (14th) and Patrick O’Connor (40th), the mayor’s floor leader.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Emanuel made it clear that the reprieve for opponents would be both short-lived and unproductive: The City Council will meet again on Tuesday to vote on the Infrastructure Trust when, all sides agree, the mayor will have the 26 votes he needs to pass the groundbreaking ordinance.

And although Emanuel plans to issue a pair of executive orders to appease his critics — one requiring a mission statement on each Trust-funded project, the other an annual report by an outside consultant on how the Trust is working — he said he is done making changes to the ordinance.

“From the first idea that we discussed on the Infrastructure Trust, to what I proposed, to the changes we made, it’s constantly about improving,” he said. “But I will not back away from building a new Chicago, putting people to work and allow a crumbling infrastructure to hold the city back.”

If he’s really intent on improving the ordinance, the mayor was asked, why not wait a few months, instead of a few days?

“In the time that we wait, we have costs going out the window literally at these old facilities that need to be weather-proofed and retro-fitted. And people who could be going to work aren’t going to work,” he said.
Mayor Emanuel sure doesn't believe in waiting, but then again he may be right about being concerned about costs!

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