CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s term ends in May, but some of his agency heads will continue their positions once the new mayor takes over. It can cost taxpayers thousands to replace them, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and two mayoral candidates are engaged in a war of words over the issue.
“It’s unprecedented a mayor leaving office and burdening the next mayor with those,” candidate Bill Daley said.
On Tuesday, Daley called on Emanuel to revisit the contracts he extended to Chicago agency heads.
“If the next mayor who the public elects decides to change people, then some of those people have a golden parachute,” Daley said.
In some cases, Emanuel’s agency heads would be paid a handsome sum or “golden parachute” if they are terminated.
Susana Mendoza also came out against the contracts, and issued the following statement:
“Golden parachutes are a waste of taxpayer dollars and an abuse of power. This must stop and should be left in the past.”
Bob Fioretti questioned the legality of the contracts.
“The contracts are void ab initio. Anybody that thinks these are corporate board entities are fooling themselves. This is pure arrogance by this administration,” Fioretti said.
Emanuel’s office had no response — they don’t comment on campaign proposals.
Also on the trail, Mendoza has picked a fight with Daley. She linked him to his brother Mayor Richard M. Daley’s 75-year parking meter lease deal.
Five of the leading candidates in the polls for the race went head-to-head Monday during a televised WTTW forum, and Mendoza and Daley were two of those participating. The night’s sharpest exchange came when Mendoza picked a fight with Daley, not just over the highly unpopular parking meter deal, but also over his insurance test.
“He said he didn’t cheat on his test. He had someone else cheat on his test. This is how it works when you have the privilege and the name of a Daley,” Mendoza said.
She also said the meter deal was “good business” for his family, but not Chicagoans.
On Tuesday, Daley hit back.
“If you go back and read the clips, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure — totally separate operation than where my son worked. It has nothing to do with him, OK? So she’s trying to, as most politicians who run for office, mesh some — Donald Trump does this as well as anyone — and it looks like Susana is taking a lead from him — mesh a few almost truths and then make a charge,” Daley said.
Daley said the deal was not done the right way.
“If I was in a position like it was during the economic crisis that I was faced with one of two choices, fire 5,000 people including fire and police or raise property taxes when so many people were going under, I’d look at every option out there. Would I have done that deal the same way? No?” Daley said.
Daley also worked in one more jab at Mendoza.
“If Susana was so concerned about my honestly or values why did she call me up two years ago to ask for $5,000 for her campaign?” Daley said.
On Tuesday evening, Toni Preckwinkle and the Chicago Teachers Union gathered for a rally called “Women’s Rally: Be Fair to Toni.”
“The idea that Toni Preckwinkle, among the most powerful elected officials in Illinois is now playing the victim, is simply stunning.”