Outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is accustomed to seeing his legislative proposals sail through City Council like a 747 hurrying out of O'Hare. He isn't used to seeing a council member introduce legislation that would limit his power over local government operations. So today's council meeting must have been an especially bad one for Daley.
According to the Tribune's initial report on the meeting, an ordinance designed to assist renters facing displacement when a developer is converting their unit from rental to condo was sent back to committee. Protests from the real estate development industry sank the bill. That's a pretty disappointing outcome for legislation that, if passed, wouldn't even immediately help renters because virtually no rentals are being converted in condos in the present real estate market, unlike during the middle part of the decade. The city's Condo Conversion Task Force, which met 10 times over a two-year period starting in 2007 and included real estate firms, came up with the recomendations that underlie the proposed bill. "We heard nothing, and then at the last minute. Again, it puts the real estate industry not in a good light, because this was all discussed prior," the Tribune reported Daley saying.
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), meanwhile, introduced an ordinance today that would allow the council's Committee on Finance to review all city contracts worth more than $500,000. The council has not provided a check over executive-branch contracting since Daley took office in 1989.