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City Council Passes on TIF Sunshine Proposal

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Mar 16, 2009 8:45PM

Ald. Flores (left) and Waguespack (right)
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Chicago City Council has passed on a proposal that would have made TIF documents available for public view. The bill's sponsors, Aldermen Manny Flores (1st) and Scott Waguespack (32nd), had accumulated a list of 20 council members (themselves included) in support of the package, but the bill was still tabled. The Reader's Mike Dumke breaks it down:

In fact, no one--no alderman or member of the public--argued against a proposed ordinance that would require the city to do it, and several media and technology experts even offered to help out for free.

But this being the Chicago City Council, where almost nothing moves forward without the imprimatur of the mayor, the proposal was tabled without a vote.

"We've gathered quite a bit of information here today, and I think we have a lot of loose ends to tie up with our law department, and I think we've heard some recommendations from other aldermen, so we're going to hold this," said 39th Ward alderman Margaret Laurino, chairman of the council's Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development, which held the meeting in conjunction with the Committee on Finance. Laurino, who said she liked the intent of the proposal but had concerns about the cost and logistics, offered no timetable for when it would be considered again.

Still, the pair of Flores and Waguespack remain hopeful of their bill's chance. Flores told Dumke, "We'll continue to advocate and work on the legislation. I think we're both cautiously optimistic."