CHICAGO — After a heated exchange led to an abrupt end to a city council meeting on Wednesday, some aldermen are taking issue with Chicago’s mayor.
Now, a group of council members is demanding that the mayor “follow the rules.”
The notion comes after a back-and-forth between Lori Lightfoot and Ald. Jeanette Taylor. The disagreement occurred after the council was ready to vote on the plan to rename Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable. The mayor went out of the regular order of business, however, and first called for a vote on her new corporation counsel.
Ald. Raymond Lopez and Ald. Jeanette Taylor – unhappy with the move – motioned to delay it.
“In light of everything going on with Ms. Anjanette Young, Alderman Taylor and I move to defer and publish this item,” Ald. Lopez said on Wednesday.
The mayor became upset and the meeting was cut short without any resolution of the city’s business.
After the meeting, the mayor blamed city council members. She blasted them in a meeting, saying in part, a “small group” “brazenly created a spectacle,” which resulted in a “disservice to their constituents,” describing those maneuvers as “cynical actions.”
On Thursday, 22 members of the council fired back in an open letter to the mayor criticizing her leadership and imploring her to honor and consistently follow the council’s rules of order. They wrote to Lightfoot, “on numerous occasions, rulings made by you have been inconsistent and in direct contradiction with the rules,” calling her style an ‘unacceptable and illegal manipulation of our democratic process.”
“I hope that Mayor Lightfoot gets this letter and understands that she is accountable to the public as well as the city council,” said Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez of the 25th Ward.
Siggco-Lopez signed the letter, and urged the mayor to discuss with, rather than dicate to the council.
“It was really sad to see the interaction, especially with one of her colleagues where she felt attacked that this was a personal matter rather than being a discussion of policy,” he said.
The council is scheduled to meet Friday to take up the unfinished business from Wednesday.