Committee Votes To Preserve Some 'Aldermanic Prerogative'

Chicago City Hall
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A City Council committee has voted to remove one of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed limits on so-called aldermanic prerogative.

A provision in the proposed city budget would have ended the requirement that approvals of permanent signs need to be voted on by the City Council.Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosa Escareño assured Aldermen they could still weigh in.

But downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly said there’s no guarantee city officials wouldn’t approve, for example, flashing lights across from condos, without the provision for a full council vote.

He said aldermen want to protect their residents from the decisions of "nameless, faceless bureaucrats."The committee easily voted Monday to keep the council vote for such changes.

Lightfoot has tried to roll back aldermanic prerogative, or privilege – basically, an alderman’s power to approve steps in a development – to combat corruption and cronyism.

Many aldermen have said they know best what their constituents want in the wards.