Emanuel: City Council Cannot Be a Rubber Stamp

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 23, 2011 10:00PM

When he was finished shaking hands at the 95th Street CTA terminal, Mayor-elect Emanuel turned his attention to transition. At his first post-election news conference at the Union League Club, Emanuel said that City Council, which has been rumbling about its new-found post-Daley independence from the moment Daley announced he wasn't seeking a seventh term, cannot file in lockstep behind him once he's sworn in.

“They cannot be a rubber stamp. That’s unacceptable. The challenges are too big. They can’t be what they were in the last few years. They don’t want it. The city doesn’t want it. ... I was a former legislator. I don’t want it."

At the same time, Emanuel indicated that he would become more involved in some of the ward runoff elections in an effort to shape City Council to his liking. Emanuel said that City Council cannot return to the "extremes" of a voting entirely in concert with the mayor or to the "Council Wars" days of Harold Washington and the Vrdolyak 29. "I ask them to be the partners in reform." he said. "I am open to different roads to take to the objective I’ve set out.”

Other items of note from the press conference: Emanuel reiterated his intention to dump Police Superintendent Jody Weis and said he would not become involved in the State Legislature's spring session. Referencing that Mayor Daley's time in office expires May 16, Emanuel said Chicago has "one mayor at a time."