Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as he prepares to leave office next year, keeps proffering fabulous parting gifts to billionaires, futurists and developers. And the fanciful forays keep filling his legacy with backfires and false starts.
There were incentives exceeding $2 billion (from the city and state) if only Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos would build his so-called “second headquarters” here. There was the announcement that Emanuel had selected Elon Musk and his Boring Co. to build a high-speed underground conveyance from downtown to O’Hare International Airport.
And now, in an unfolding saga, there is Emanuel’s push to offer tax incentives and other help so Chicago-based developer Sterling Bay will move forward on a planned $6 billion project called Lincoln Yards.
The track record so far on Emanuel’s late-term temptations is spotty at best.
Read the rest at chicagotribune.com.
David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.
Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.
Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.
More by David Greising