Random thoughts. Courageous aldermen?


The Chicago city council voted 40-10 yesterday to raise water and sewer taxes to over $200 a year (after already imposing a garbage tax and a huge property tax increase) on the working families of Chicago.

Only Aldermen Leslie Hairston, 5th; Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th; Patrick Daley Thompson, 11th; Toni Foulkes, 16th; David Moore, 17th; Chris Taliaferro, 29th; Scott Waguespack, 32nd; Gilbert Villegas, 36th; Anthony Napolitano, 41st; and John Arena, 45th voted no.

If you live in Chicago and your alderman’s name isn’t on that list, your alderman just screwed you with Rahmonomics.

Rahmonomics: Feed the rich and starve the poor and working families of the City.

The reason for these taxes is that for a long time the Mayor and the city council did not pay their share into the pension systems of city employees. Now the courts have said that the bill is due.

The screw-job is that city employees, those who are members of the pension systems that were robbed of contactual obligated payments, are the very taxpayers who will foot the bill along with the rest of the working families of the city.

The rich? Fuhgettaboutit.

From the Tribune:

From his dais overlooking the City Council, Emanuel applauded the aldermen who voted in favor of the tax for being “politically courageous.”

But in praising them, he also offered an insult of sorts by suggesting their roles aren’t memorable ones.

“While individually you may not be remembered, … your collective willingness to finally step up and do this changed the financial picture of the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.

“Courageous” is not the word that comes to my mind.

By the way, my alderman, self-proclaimed Progressive (who I worked for, raised money for and voted for), Carlos Rosa, switched his vote from no to yes. I wonder what prompted his “courageous” sudden change of heart.

Again from the Trib:

At least six aldermen were approached personally by the mayor, with Emanuel offering them additional local street repairs, more cops in their wards or other city improvements or legislative trades in exchange for a “yes” vote on the water and sewer tax, said several sources with direct knowledge of the private discussions.

Asked afterward what he did to persuade aldermen to support the new water tax, Emanuel acknowledged the apparent horse trading with aldermen.

“There’s no secrets here,” Emanuel said. “You approach each alderman based on their interests, based on where they are, things they would like to work on together, and I’ve talked to them and worked with them on a basis of what I think is in the overall interests of the city, as well as in their interests of what they would like to see — the economic growth, job improvement, the quality of life improvement in the wards that they are responsible for — and I respect that.”

Asked for specifics on those talks with aldermen, Emanuel laughed and responded, “Are you kidding me?”


7 Replies to “Random thoughts. Courageous aldermen?”

  1. I just read the news this morning, & was curious that Ald. Rosa’s name was not on the no list. Thanks for clarifying his “position,” Fred.
    As always, I just have to use Jonathan Pelto’s “wait, what?!”

  2. The rich? Fuhgettaboutit.

    The rich don’t use city water or sewer services? Yeah, I know: it’s not confiscation, so it doesn’t work for you; line up those kulaks and we’ll fix this pronto.

    1. A 13% property tax hike and $300 a year for garbage and water fees on working folks? Real money. For millionaires? Not so much. That’s why it’s called regressive, Akvida.

  3. OK so the original money that was supposed to have been in the pension fund was given a holiday from its due date. And now the new tax money has been approved for the pension fund. What guarantee does the taxpayer have that this newly intended money will actually be used to help with the pension fund? Somewhere up the road can our beloved Mayor round up another vote from concerned and courageous alderman and have that money re-routed to something of higher priority like perhaps a new parking facility for the soon-to-be South Loop Basketball Stadium that De Paul will be primarily using?

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