Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Monday, October 21, 2019

Cook County GOP commissioner speaks out against set-aside contracts

Business

By Glenn Minnis | Oct 7, 2019


Cook County Republican Board Commissioner Sean Morrison

Cook County Republican Board Commissioner Sean Morrison has a simple but stern philosophy when it comes to the way Chicago business is conducted.

“When it comes to government spending, frankly I don’t care who wins the award but it has to be the best company providing the best service or products at the best and most competitive rate,” Morrison told Chicago City Wire. “All the other stuff doesn’t really matter.”

With Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently announcing her plans to carve out 'set-asides' for gay contractors who do business with the city, the question of what’s in Chicago’s best interest has become a hot topic. Set-aside contracts are typically offered to businesses that have fulfilled certain requirements.


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot | https://twitter.com/chicagosmayor

“Whenever there’s enterprise-zone stuff or any of these set-asides, for me the questions are always the same, and that’s what everyone should be worried about,” Morrison said. “I certainly wouldn’t want to overpay with a core provider simply because of any of the set-asides.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that about 8 percent of all Chicago residents now identify as gay, meaning the program Lightfoot has in mind would increase the overall percentage of the city’s adult population receiving set-asides on city contracts to a staggering 86.4 percent. Even some in the LGBTQ community have been slow to fully embrace Lightfoot’s latest proposal.

“The fact that the LGBTQ community has been discriminated against for decades does warrant a conversation,” Chicago Ald. Ray Lopez, a Gay Caucus member, told Wirepoints. “But I just don’t understand how [Lightfoot] can ensure that it’s not taking away from others who have also been disenfranchised.”

Through it all, Morrison keeps his focus on the only thing he insists should matter.

“What’s the best service and what’s the best price?” he said. “None of the other stuff matters and that’s the question I always have when it comes to stuff like this.”

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