With one foot out the door, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is showing boldness and ambition at a level not seen when he still had elections to worry about.
But just because Emanuel is presenting his ideas at the tail end of his eight-year mayoralty does not mean they should be considered dead on arrival.
Emanuel clearly believes he still has the political juice to bend events to his will — juice a newly elected mayor might not have — on political risks a new mayor might not take. If he’s right, then the citizens of Chicago can count themselves fortunate.
The mayor Wednesday called for a constitutional amendment to help fix the city’s and state’s pension problems and proposed selling bonds — in the past he has floated selling as much as $10 billion in bonds — that he said will lower the cost of paying Chicago’s pension obligations.
The idea for selling bonds, on the bet that the investment return would outpace the interest rates tied to repaying the debt, has appeal on paper. But people in Illinois have been burned by plans like this before.
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