Chicago okays $2.7 bln in bond sales amid credit rating warnings

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago taxi drivers oppose ride-share firms’ airport access.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s much-hyped exemption plan to protect some homeowners from the bite of what would be the largest city property tax increase in modern history failed to materialize Thursday as city officials continue to draft a measure that could pass the General Assembly.

The Chicago Tribune filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that Mayor Rahm Emanuel violated state open records laws by refusing to release communications about city business conducted through private emails and text messages.Welcome to Clout Street: Morning Spin, our new weekday feature to catch you up with what’s going on in government and politics from Chicago to Springfield.CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago taxi drivers are promising more protests in opposition to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed taxi fee hikes and plan to allow ride-share companies to do business at the city’s two international airports. The Illinois House, back at the Capitol after several weeks away, held a hearing to learn the broad outline of the plan, which calls for increasing the exemption to shield owners of homes worth $250,000 or less from paying more in city property taxes.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, asks a judge to order the mayor to comply with a state Freedom of Information Act request from the Tribune and produce the documents. Cheryl Miller of Cab Drivers United claims Emanuel’s proposal will allow services like Uber and Lyft access to the airports without “playing by the same rules” as licensed cabdrivers. The lawsuit also seeks to have Emanuel declared in violation of the Illinois Local Records Act for failing to preserve emails and texts he sent or received while doing city business. Miller noted that cab drivers go to school to receive a chauffeur’s license, undergo extensive background checks and drug tests, and their cabs are inspected twice a year by a city-approved garage. Chicago’s archetypal mayor is a throwback from an era when the city’s political machine hummed with great fervor and was led by a strong-willed boss who worked his magic through a patronage system.

Now the machine pretty much has been dismantled and the boss has been transformed into a chief executive who derives his power from raising millions of dollars, some of which goes toward supporting aldermen who will walk in lockstep with him, and attempting to bounce others who won’t. That acknowledgment was greeted by staunch opposition from business groups who argued it was an unfair cost shift that would only make it more difficult for them to operate just as the city’s economy and job market have started to bounce back. We are compelled, therefore, to go to court for the second time in three months to force the city’s compliance.” The use of personal email and text messages by government officials is raising growing concern across the country from advocates for government transparency, who say the officials use them to circumvent so-called sunshine laws and avoid scrutiny of the media and the public. Proco “Joe” Moreno, 1st, says he will introduce an ordinance to provide money back to households making less than $100,000 on a sliding scale based on the assessed value of the homes. Aldermen will host town hall meetings with constituents to mull the merit of the hike. (The city does have a massive police and fire pension shortfall.) But it’s unlikely that the budget that eventually passes will be vastly different from the one the mayor has proposed.

Hillary Clinton has been dogged during her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination by her use of a personal email account, and a server at her home while secretary of state. And although voters want a strong mayor who has the connections to bring swag to the city, they also want their aldermen to fix matters that hit close to home.

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th, will bring forward his own proposal to give rebates pegged to the household income and number of people living in owner-occupied homes. The mayor says he instead wants to protect residents by increasing the homeowner exemption on their property taxes, but he will need help from state lawmakers and Gov. Schlossberg, who was not commenting on the Tribune’s lawsuit in particular, said that she encourages clients to do government business on government devices, and that many municipalities have policies that require it, but some municipalities do not.

Bruce Rauner to make that happen, hardly a sure thing amid the partisan gridlock in Springfield. *Aldermen are set to consider another $225 million in so-called scoop-and-toss borrowing, the much-criticized practice of issuing new long-term bonds to pay off old long-term debts. Emanuel has vowed to eliminate these “gimmicks” by 2019, but his administration asked for the latest round as part of a larger $500 million bond issuance to help the city make ends meet this year. In his budget address, Emanuel said he’s phasing out scoop and toss — a financial geek phrase that is now part of Chicago political lexicon following the Chicago Tribune’s “Broken Bonds” series — with $125 million planned for next year. *Approval of a measure to allow the food carts that are ubiquitous in Latino neighborhoods to operate legally for the first time. During the first term of Mayor Harold Washington, a progressive who had a more conciliatory approach, the council staged an ugly feud with a level of nastiness and gridlock that was epic. According to a University of Illinois at Chicago analysis — called “Rahm Emanuel’s Rubber Stamp City Council” — 36 of the city’s 50 aldermen voted with the mayor at least 90 percent of the time during his first term, from 2011 to 2014.

The two-year licenses would cost $350, and vendors would have to prepare food in commercial kitchens before hitting the streets under the ordinance proposed by Ald. Roberto Maldonado, 26th, who said he buys from the vendors every Sunday after church. *And the council likely will sign off on an ordinance that would allow developers to construct more buildings with fewer or no parking spaces. Winning approval during the Springfield stalemate between Democrats who rule the legislature and want a tax hike to avoid deep budget cuts and Republican Gov. Aldermen at first resisted, but are now on board after Emanuel gave them more control over the approval process. (John Byrne and Hal Dardick) *Illinois House is in today. Daley) raised $7 million running a presidential-style (campaign),” said Simpson, a former Chicago alderman. “And Rahm raised $32 million last time, and his (political action committee) raised $5 million, which was used to support or defeat aldermanic candidates.

Rauner has been chilly to Emanuel’s exemption idea as he pushes his own plan to freeze property taxes statewide in conjunction with limiting collective bargaining rights for unions. When you give money to candidates, that keeps them as rubber stamps.” The mayor is strong because aldermen tend not to focus on the big picture of running the city. Read more about that here. *Mayor Rahm Emanuel will make one of his semi-regular appearances on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight.” It airs a little after 7 p.m. on Ch. 11. He’s also scheduled to take reporters’ questions after the City Council meeting, attend an afternoon school event in River North and an art opening at the Garfield Park Conservatory in the evening. *The Cubs and city government will unveil a new ballpark near Lane Tech High School.

If the law isn’t approved, the city would end up more than $200 million in the hole next year. “If the final budget that is adopted by the end of the calendar year fails to cover the larger pension payments with an identifiable and reliable revenue source, it would likely strain the (city’s bond) rating — potentially resulting in the rating being lowered by multiple notches,” S&P warned, raising the prospect that it could join Moody’s Investors Service in giving the city a junk bond credit rating. “Given the uncertainty regarding the reform of its police, fire, municipal and laborers pension plans, we expect city management to consider contingency plans for addressing its pension liabilities,” S&P added in its statement. Days before he delivered the budget, he dispatched several aldermen to fan out and support the proposed garbage-hauling fee on single-family homes, duplexes and four-flats. The park district said the new park will be open to the public, but also used by Chicago Public Schools baseball teams and serve as a host site for the state playoffs. Wood is scheduled to toss out a ceremonial first pitch, though it’s unlikely he’ll return to the roster in time for the playoffs. (Juan Perez Jr.) *When Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday — a first for a pope — each lawmaker has a ticket for a guest to sit in the House gallery. Kidwell’s request sought emails, text messages and other electronic communications between Jan. 1, 2015, and June 30, 2015, related to the city’s scandal-plagued red light camera program.

We have to wonder: Will the aldermen engage in a sparring match with this mayor and, for example, get more police officers beyond the 300 the mayor proposes moving from desk duty to the streets? The Tribune, in its reporting, has sought to learn more about Sacks’ role in advising the mayor on economic development and other public policy issues. Michael Noland of Elgin got the backing of the Kane County Democratic Party organization in his bid for the nomination in the open-seat northwest and west suburban 8th Congressional District race. Noland, first elected to the state Senate in 2006, said the party’s backing will help put the “boots on the ground we need to be successful.” (Rick Pearson) *Funeral arrangements for state Rep.

In a phone interview last year with DNAInfo, Emanuel said he used a flip phone to talk business and handled emails on a separate device. “I have to do emails and be on the phone at the same time,” he said. “I’m finishing an email right now as we’re talking. … I’ve got another phone, a smartphone.” Last May, he told the Tribune that teachers union head Karen Lewis had given him some ideas and “I texted her back. According to the lawsuit, 139 emails over a two-month period were released, and nearly half of those were “form invitations to the dedication of Maggie Daley Park,” with only 64 considered by the Tribune to be “potentially substantive.” The magazine says Duncan’s “transformed the policy landscape for 100,000 schools and 5,000 colleges” as he’s “unleashed a huge backlash” against testing and the federal government’s policy influence. On Wednesday, the party reported $93,600 from 18 donors, including $21,600 from Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, $20,000 from the beer distributors and $10,000 each from the operating engineers and a Nicor Gas-associated holding company.

Police: Student stabbed at Baltimore high school dies

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police Identify Student Killed In City School Stabbing.

Baltimore police spokesman T.J. The teen had been in class on the third floor of the school building in the 1300 block of McCulloh Street when a sophomore went into the classroom and stabbed him at approximately noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24, police reported. Police said Sunday that investigators are collaborating with the state’s attorney’s office to file additional charges now that the victim has died. Crawford remains in police custody, officials reported. “It’s a tragedy anytime we have someone killed in an act of violence, even moreso when it’s a child.

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