Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Great Sell Off
We haven’t heard much of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel lately, but it appears he’s in hot water again, and has angered a lot of community groups. Mayor Emanuel plans to have five global financial companies lend the city $1.7 billion to help rebuild deteriorating infrastructure has elicited the ire of a coalition of community groups that call the move the “Great Chicago Sell-Off,” the Chicago Sun Times reports.
“Rahm’s trust fund would require revenue streams to repay the big banks and financiers, which means higher user fees,” said Amisha Patel, executive director of the group, the Grassroots Collaborative.
“The Chicago Infrastructure Trust would enable global financiers to lend Chicago millions of dollars in projects that would guarantee their profits while leaving Chicago working families on the hook,” Patel told the Chicago Sun Times.
The Grassroots Collaborative has demanded that city aldermen reject Emanuel’s plan because the city already is saddled by too much debt. The coalition, instead, argued that Chicago must find innovative ways to rebuild the city’s infrastructure that do not require general obligation bonds backed by property tax increases.
Lecturing Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott, Hairston said that the city’s inordinate level of debt makes it imperative to find other ways to rebuild Chicago’s crumbling infrastructure that do not require property tax increases. “If we rely only on the tools we already have — our general obligation tax base — that puts more pressure on our [bond] ratings than if we can identify alternatives ways of getting these projects off the ground,” Scott said.
Aldermen who took a political beating for their quickie-approval of the 75-year, $1.15 billion deal that privatized Chicago parking meters did not relish the idea of doing it all again. Instead they asked why the mayor was in such a hurry to set up the Infrastructure Trust and why approval couldn’t wait until more oversight guarantees were put in place.
But after 5 hours of discussion, the Finance Committee approved the revolutionary change in the way the city funds public works projects by a relatively narrow vote of 11 to 7.
Tags: Aldermen pressured, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Finance Committee, five global financial companies lend the city $1.7 billion, Grassroots Collaborative, Great Chicago Sell-Off, Lecturing Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott, The Chicago Infrastructure Trust
This entry was posted on Friday, April 20th, 2012 at 6:02 pm and is filed under Finance and Business, General, In the News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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