Rebuilding plan passes
04/25/2012 10:00 PM
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is building a new Chicago.
The city council voted 41-7 to approve the infrastructure trust that will help fund city rebuilding projects with private investments.
“We cannot have a 21st century city on a 20th century foundation,” Emanuel said, both before the vote and after the City Council meeting on Tuesday.
The vote was preceded by two attempts to amend the plan to increase oversight over the status of the public-works projects, one by Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and the other by Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).
The motions failed when Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th) moved to table the items and won both votes.
The plan was originally proposed by the mayor on March 1 and, according to discussions among the Council members, has undergone 16 changes in the eight weeks leading up to the vote.
Even Waguespack and Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd), two of the seven naysayers in the final vote, said that they agree with the concept.
“I’m happy, in a way,” Waguespack said. “My issue is that of speed and preventing the same bad paths from the past.”
The trust will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which will allow citizens to request some undisclosed information for parts of the project, and to open meetings laws.
The first project proposed by the mayor will include retrofitting certain city buildings for energy efficiency. The mayor’s office expects this will reduce energy costs by $20 million each year.
“There won’t be a shortage of ideas,” Emanuel said. “As the trust and others have ideas, we’ll debate them.”