CHICAGO — At a much-anticipated City Council meeting Wednesday, Mayor Lightfoot and alderman were at odds over several issues.
An ordinance to change the name of Lake Shore Drive pitted aldermen who support Mayor Lightfoot against the mayor’s City Council foes.
Over Lightfoot’s objection, Alderman David Moore has been pushing to rename Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the man recognized as the founder of Chicago.
The cost to taxpayers is $2.5 million and at a previous meeting, Mayor Lightfoot tried to block the ordinance.
On Wednesday, Ald. Brian Hopkins moved to delay the vote and that set off Ald. Moore — who fired back and immediately blocked City Council’s entire agenda.
“I defer and publish everything,” yelled Moore.
After the meeting concluded, Mayor Lightfoot stated support for honoring du Sable but not changing the name of Lake Shore Drive.
“There’s a lot of folks who oppose any changing of Lake Shore Drive, it’s one of the most iconic assets that the city has,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “When you say Lake Shore Drive, people know you’re talking about Chicago.”
The mayor and the City Council are also feuding over police reform. A majority of the aldermen said they back a civilian board whose members would have the power over the police budget, union contract negotiations and the power to hire and fire the superintendent.
On Monday, Mayor Lightfoot finally released her plan which would create an advisory board with the mayor maintain final say over police matters. There was no movement on police reform during the meeting.
Before the City Council feud, Lightfoot mayor introduced a pandemic relief package for businesses and consumers. Among the highlights are; $10 million in grants for those hurt by the pandemic, extending the cap on third-party delivery fees and eliminating barriers for non-violent ex-offenders to drive public vehicles or get hospitality jobs.
Alderman Raymond Lopez sent the measure to the Rules Committee, where ordinances are often sent to die.
“Alderman Lopez may not care about the urgency of helping our small businesses and moving things forward,” Lightfoot said. “But the rest of us do and we will.”
Lightfoot raised eyebrows when it was revealed that her ordinance would ban liquor store alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
“We’re trying to be responsive to the quality of life issues that many neighborhoods have flagged while also the aldermen have flagged for us,” Lightfoot said.
The next full City Council meeting is scheduled for June 23.