Proposal feared as creating aldermen almighty
A proposed ordinance would give aldermen free rein to act by whichever way the wind in the Windy City is blowing, according to the CEO of Project Six.
The ordinance, initiated by Greg Mitchell, alderman of Chicago’s Ward 7, would require city departments to alert an alderman every time a license application is filed in their ward. The alderman could deny the application as long as he can provide a valid reason.
Project Six’s Faisal Khan, a former city of Chicago legislative inspector general, discussed his concerns about the ordinance Friday with Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson, the hosts of "Chicago’s Morning Answer" radio show.
“What this proposal will do is basically codify aldermanic privilege, making it legal for the aldermen to do whatever they want,” Khan said. “I’m not sure what is more stunning: that somebody actually put this on paper or the fact that they tried to defend it.”
Project Six is a non-profit that investigates government corruption in Chicago and the state of Illinois.
Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
Alderman Mitchell claims he proposed this ordinance to protect “residents from businesses that use ‘deceptive practices’ to renew licenses,” Khan wrote in a Crain’s Chicago Business article titled “Raise your hand if you think city aldermen need more power. Anyone? Anyone?”
In his article, Khan cited examples of what he described as city aldermen abusing their power.
Khan said Proco Joe Moreno, alderman of Ward 1, tried to stop Chick-fil-A from opening in his area because of its stance on the LGBT community. Bob Fioretti, former Ward 2 alderman, didn’t like the name of a restaurant in his area, so he blocked the business from putting up a new sign, Khan wrote.
Project Six is meant to help end such practices, Khan said.
“That’s why Chicago is emptying out: because people don’t want this anymore,” he said.
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