In This Issue:
CHICAGO CHANGES LEADERSHIP ROLES
After winning her election for State Comptroller, former Chicago City Clerk, Susana Mendoza, was sworn in to office on December 5, 2016. A week later, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed then Director of the Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs (LCGA), Anna Valencia, to the post. Clerk Valencia will serve out the rest of the term pending City Council approval. Her first order of business will be gather information about whether the office should be combined with the city Comptroller’s office. In addition, she will be working on a municipal ID program to aid residents who traditionally have difficulty getting state-issued identification in securing certain social services and other government resources. Clerk Valencia will serve until the next city election which will be held in 2019.
Filling the spot left vacant by the City Clerk appointment, Mayor Emanuel also appointed the current Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), Maria Guerra Lapacek, as Director of LCGA. Commissioner Guerra Lapacek is a veteran of LCGA and will be the key floor leader for all of Mayor Emanuel’s initiatives in City Council. Replacing the Commissioner will be Samantha Fields. Fields is currently the Deputy Director of LCGA and has been instrumental in moving the Mayor’s agenda forward in City Council. Fields’ appointment is also pending City Council approval. Both Guerra Lapacek and Fields are expected to start in their new roles in January.
COOK COUNTY SHUFFLES THE COMMITTEE DECK
After the unexpected passing of 6th District Commissioner Joan Murphy, Cook County Board President appointed Edward M. Moody to replace her. Previously with House Speaker Michael J. Madigan’s 13th Ward Organization, Commissioner Moody will finish out former Commissioner Murphy’s term, and plans to run in the next election. His first controversial vote was in support of the sweetened beverage tax.
As Commissioner Moody’s appointment does not extend to Commissioner Murphy’s committee seats, President Preckwinkle was in a position to make some changes to committee appointments. Of note are the following changes: Commissioner Moody will now become the Vice Chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, Commissioner Luis Arroyo, Jr. will become the Chair of Labor and Commissioner Deborah Sims will now become Vice Chair of Zoning and Building.
NOTABLE LEGISLATION THAT WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE IN 2017
2016 was a busy year for both the Chicago City Council and the Cook County Board. Please note and plan for the following ordinances to become effective on the following dates:
Chicago Floor Tax on Checkout Bags
Cook County Floor Tax on Sweetened Beverages
Chicago Minimum Wage Increase to $11/hour
CITY COUNCIL AND COOK COUNTY ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
Committee: Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards
Last month, the sponsors introduced a proposal that would have required restaurants with drive-through facilities to renew their special use permits for the drive-through every 5 years if the drive-through was open from midnight to 7am. After considering some of the concerns and practicalities of having to renew these permits, the sponsors have decided to change the proposal. This new introduction would require the inside of the restaurant to be open any time the drive-through facility is open.
There is a concern among the sponsors that patrons are becoming a nuisance in parking lots of restaurants that are not open, but that have drive-through facilities that are serving customers. This becomes an issue for the neighbors and the sponsors feel that such restaurants have not taken precautions to adequately address the activity. This proposal will likely be heard in committee in January.
Sponsor: Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward)
Committee: License and Consumer Protection
This initiative proposes to extend the amount of time that a food truck can serve customers while in a designated food truck parking area from the current 2 hours to 6 hours. Food truck operators have complained that 2 hours is not enough time to get up and running to serve customers when actually cooking on the truck. This change will give the truck owners a better opportunity to make a profit while legally parked in a designated parking area.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 25, 2017.
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