(CBS) – Aldermen held a hearing for people living near Midway Airport who say the sound-dampening windows the city installed are stinking up their homes.
Something was missing: Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans.
CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Evans was missing Wednesday, despite a summons issued by the Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee. That infuriated some aldermen and homeowners who have been complaining about the toxic-smelling windows.
Aldermen and dozens of residents were hoping to get answers from Evans. She failed to show up, sending a deputy, Aaron Framme, instead.
“We take this issue very seriously, and our actions are aimed at addressing the concerns of the homeowners as quickly and as thoroughly as possible,” Frame said, reading from a prepared statement.
“Apparently, it’s not important enough to the Department of Aviation to have the commissioner comply with an order of the city council to be present, is that correct?” demanded Ald. Ed Burke.
Frame said Evans had a prior commitment.
Burke shot back: “Does she think her prior commitments are more important than the safety and the security of the good people who live out here, worried about the air that their children and their parents and their spouses are breathing?”
“Alderman, I don’t want to speak for the commissioner,” Framme said.
Ald. Ray Lopez noted: “This woman is paid $300,000 a year to run our airports, plus a bonus. I don’t care what her previous engagements were, and I think it’s outrageous that she’s not here today.”
Frame said the city has received 86 complaints so far from the Midway Airport area. The city has hired a private company to advise the department how to test the windows and possibly the air quality of some of the homes.
Attendees were shown reports from the 2 Investigators about the problems experienced by some of the residents whose homes were installed with the special windows, which are meant to reduce noise.
The man whose now-defunct company made the windows tells Zekman he doesn’t know why some homes are reporting the toxic-smelling odors. He says it’s not the manufacturer’s fault.