CHICAGO (CBS) — Now that his controversial construction financing plans have passed the City Council, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he does not mind if the aldermen make a couple more changes.
As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Mayor Emanuel says he cooperated with aldermen on the way to get their approval of his plan to finance city construction projects with private money.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
He counted 16 aldermanic suggestions he wrote into the ordinance establishing the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, which the City Council approved Tuesday. But he responded to requests for more oversight and transparency by issuing an executive order.
Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) questioned that move.
“I think you can write it as an executive order, but I’ve got to ask you,” she said. “If it’s good enough for an order, why can’t it be the ordinance?”
The mayor responded when he met with reporters after the special City Council meeting Tuesday. He says the oversight provision can indeed be added to the ordinance in the future.
“Ordinances are living documents,” Emanuel said. “If they want to come back and make those changes, they can. There’s no prohibition against it at all.”
The planned trust will have five major banks lead an effort to invest $1.7 billion in private financing to upgrade city infrastructure. It is part of a greater plan worth more than $7 billion to renew the city’s crumbling infrastructure.
A board of five people appointed by the mayor will be empowered to decide how the majority of the money is spent. The City Council will only have oversight when city assets, properties or money are involved. Projects involving public schools, parks, or public transit would be exempt from City Council approval.
So far, Emanuel says, only energy retrofits are slated to be financed by the trust.
Aldermen approved the plan by a vote of 41-7 Tuesday.