Nothing Comes Easy Any More: Council Votes Delayed, Deferred and Failed
by Claudia Morell –

Yesterday’s Council meeting started with almost two hours of resolutions of praise: with a tribute to Rev. Clay Evans, praise for Marine Corps veterans, a celebration of Chinese New Year and Black History Month. Following the conclusion of regular business, aldermen took some time to say goodbye to Ald. Will Burns (4), who announced his resignation last week, although most highlighted how much they enjoyed him, despite rarely agreeing with him.

While the meeting started with platitudes and congratulations, the Chamber was infused with tension, as a number of important votes either failed, were delayed through parliamentary maneuvering or were closer than expected:

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tobacco ordinance failed to clear Council yesterday, despite last-minute concessions made to aldermen concerned about the black market of loose cigarette sales;
  • Ald. Michele Smith (43) and Ald. Ameya Pawar (47) took a hit yesterday, as well, with 29 of their colleagues voting to support a diluted version of their ethics reform plan to put the Inspector General in charge of policing aldermen;
  • Finance Committee Chair Ed Burke at the last minute held from consideration a $200 million water bond authorization that would pay for previous “toxic swap” deals;

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