Lightfoot Vows ‘No More Water Shutoffs,’ Plans To Cut City Council Committee Budgets When She’s Mayor – CBS Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) — Lori Lightfoot won’t be sworn in as mayor until Monday, but after receiving a report from her transition advisory team on Friday, she pledged to make one drastic change: eliminating water shutoffs for struggling homeowners.
Lightfoot said the city’s budgets don’t make any sense, and she vowed to do something about it. Her transition team began presenting their policy recommendations on Friday to help shape Lightfoot’s vision for the city. She didn’t lay out a comprehensive policy plan, but did say a few key things about her plans as mayor.
Lightfoot said her first official move after her inauguration on Monday will be signing an executive order ending the practice of aldermanic privilege, which gives aldermen power to block or initiate actions like zoning in their ward.
The mayor-elect said she also would direct the city’s Water Department to stop shutting off service to homeowners who fall into financial struggles, calling it tantamount to eviction and “throwing them into the street.”
“There will be no more water shutoffs,” Lightfoot said.
She also said she would cut the budgets of City Council committees, and use the money saved to televise committee meetings.
“The Finance Committee had a budget of $2.3 million, and then it went down from there. The next highest budget was the Budget Committee that had a budget of about $560,000,” she said. “There was no rhyme or reason other than politics as to how those budgets were formed.”
Lightfoot said her team looked into the Budget Committee’s spending, and found it routinely went hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget.
She also said she has spoken to committee chairs, and told them they would no longer be allowed to hire friends and relatives on the city payroll.