The Council’s Rules Committee is scheduled to meet an hour before today’s full City Council meeting to appoint Sophia King to the 4th Ward aldermanic seat vacated by Will Burns earlier this year.
The committee met briefly yesterday morning to give aldermen an opportunity to meet with King, but Committee Chair Michelle Harris (8) chose to recess the meeting, holding off on the official vote to confirm her to the seat until today. Harris said she wanted to give aldermen an opportunity to get to know her, so the vote would be quick.
After the Rules Committee confirms her appointment, it will advance to the full council, scheduled shortly after.
Highlights of Items Awaiting Council Approval
An amendment to the municipal code that would give the mayor a one-time exemption to circumvent the Police Board’s jurisdiction to recommend interim Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to a permanent post, as well as Johnson’s actual appointment to the post.
$6.45M in two police-related settlements. The larger of the two settlements, a $4.95 million payout, would go to the family of Philip Coleman. The suit names 13 police officers and one detention aide, and alleges their use of excessive force, which included tasing Coleman more than a dozen times, and refusal to take Coleman, who was experiencing a psychotic episode, to a hospital, as the cause of his death. $1.5 million will go to the family of Justin Cook, who died from suffocation after officers allegedly failed to administer his inhaler to him during an asthma attack.
Gate ground lease agreement with American Airlines at O’Hare Airport. The ordinance would allow the airline to begin construction on five new gates at the end of Terminal 3. The gates are known as the L Stringer Gates, with a total space of about 165,000 feet, comprised of new waiting areas and concession stands, among other amenities. The gates are scheduled to open in 2018, with the open bid for concessionaires scheduled for next year.
Financial Transparency Resolution. The resolution from Ald. John Arena (45) that the committee approved requests that the council draft an ordinance that would require more transparency and oversight for the city when it tries to enter into risky financial agreements with banks. More details on the ordinance to be introduced as a result of the resolution below.
Substitute Class 6(b) certification for Eli’s Cheesecake Company for the property located at 4350 N. Normandy Ave. and 6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr. The tax break would help support a roughly 38,000 sq ft addition to an existing 62,000 sq ft manufacturing and distribution facility in Ald. Nick Sposato’s 38th ward in the Read/Dunning TIF.
Amendment of muni code concerning parking of pickup trucks of residential and business streets. The ordinance sponsored by City Clerk Susana Mendoza would eliminate the requirement that non-commercial pickup trucks get a special sticker from the ward office in order to legally park on residential and commercial streets.
A $29 million sale of city-owned land (the former Malcolm X College CampusSite) for Rush University’s new medical academic village and a new training center for the Chicago Blackhawks. The sale is broken up into two ordinances – one for Rush (worth $17.5 million), and one for the Blackhawks(worth $11.7 million). The land sale didn’t make it to the floor last month, because two freshman aldermen–Gilbert Villegas (36) and Raymond Lopez(15)–threatened to use parliamentary procedure to block the item from a vote. The two wanted answers about City Colleges’ minority staffing and procurement.
Lifting the prohibition on the peddling of flowers: This ordinance, sponsored by Ald. Ed Burke (14), would make it legal for someone with a peddler’s license to sell flowers out of their cart or vehicle. The ban was put in place in 1943.
- Richard C. Ford II to the Chicago Emergency Telephone System Board; (Re-appointment of Benjamin Dieterich to the board)
- Andrea L. Yao to the Board of Local Improvements.
- Nicholas Delgado, Dwight Curtis, and Mae Whiteside to the Community Development Commission
Notable Expected Introductions
Paid Sick Leave – Members of the Progressive Caucus including Ald. Toni Foulkes (16), the Earned Sick Time Coalition, and Aldermen Joe Moreno (1) and Ameya Pawar (47) will hold a press conference at 9:00 a.m. today voicing support for a paid sick leave ordinance that, “will guarantee paid sick days off to some 400,000 Chicago workers beginning in 2017.” The ordinance was crafted to reflect recommendations from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Working Families Task Force and was developed over eight months. According to the draft of the ordinance, a covered employee who works at least 80 hours within any 120-day period shall be eligible for paid sick leave, capped at 40 hours per year. Leave would kick in after the 180th day of employment for new employees. The ordinance would take effect 90 days after passage from the full City Council.
Financial Transparency – This ordinance says the city can’t issue any bonds, note, or other non-fixed rate debt with a maturity of longer than 271 days without certain conditions being met. The city’s independent municipal advisor, Martin Luby, and the Council’s Office of Financial Analysis, headed by Ben Winick, would each be required prepare reports detailing the risks and whether issuing new debt is in the best interest of the city. City CFO Carole Brown would be required, 45 days before a City Council vote, to submit a plain-English summary of the issuance, and an annual report that describes the financial performance of each transaction.
Abolition of IPRA – Somewhat mirroring Police Accountability Task Force (PATF) recommendations leaked to the Chicago Tribune yesterday, Ald. Leslie Hairston (5) drafted an ordinance calls for the abolition of the Independent Police Review Authority. It would be replaced with a so-called, “Independent Citizen Police Monitor” that would open up police and misconduct data to the public, widen the scope of the Chief Administrator’s powers, and hasten the release of information and the conclusion of investigations. The Monitor’s office would maintain at least one full-time investigator for every 100 sworn officers in the Chicago Police Department. CPD has more than 12,000 sworn members, as of its 2010 annual report. The office’s budget would be roughly $21.7 million, more than double IPRA’s current appropriation.
FAIR COPS – Ald. Jason Ervin (28) plans to hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. this morning to discuss an ordinance that would put the departments that investigate allegations of police misconduct under the jurisdiction of the city’s Inspector General. The ordinance he plans to introduce is modeled after a similar measure first proposed by the Community Renewal Society in December. The ordinance establishes a Deputy Inspector General for Police Functions to be appointed by a five-member selection committee chosen by current IG Joe Ferguson. The Deputy IG has 20 listed powers, including the authority to: review, audit, collect, analyze, propose recommendations, and investigate any police-related matters under IPRA, Police Board, or CPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau. The concept of a police inspector general was also mentioned in the leaked executive summary of the PATF report. Several off-limits areas would also be open to public inspection, including reports on use of body cameras, contact cards, citizen complaints, and misconduct investigations, which would all be published on the OIG’s website. Similar to Hairston’s ordinance, the office would be funded by a portion of the Police Department’s $1.45 billion appropriation–no less than one percent, or approximately $14.6 million. There would be one full-time employee for every 250 sworn officers in the department.