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TIF, School Board Ordinances Spark Heated City Council Debate

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CHICAGO (CBS) – An attempted end run around Mayor Emanuel’s opposition to two proposals led to some sparks on the City Council floor today.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports that by a better than 3 to 1 margin, Alderman voted down an attempt to consider ordinances that would create an elected school board and send surplus tax-increment financing money back to the neighborhoods.

Aldermen like Leslie Hairston were thwarted in their attempt to bring the ordinances to a vote on the floor.

“What happened to transparency? What happened to calling things up in committee?” said Hairston.

But Alderman Latasha Thomas noted Rules Committee Chairman Michelle Harris she wasn’t formally asked for a hearing.

Alderman John Arena mainly tried to get the TIF measure out of committee.

“Why are taxpayer dollars sitting year after year in accounts unused? That money will go back to the taxing bodies,” said Arena.

But Mayor Emanuel says the money is put to good use.

“Of the funds there, close to 75 percent of the dollars go to schools, parks, libraries, streetscape, mass transit,” said Emanuel.