Rahm Emanuel Considers Cutting City Council Seats in Half

March 25, 2011  |  

(Chicago Sun Times) — Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has broached a touchy subject during private meetings with aldermen to solicit their ideas on budget and ethics reform: cutting the nation’s second-largest City Council in half.  Several aldermen, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were stunned when Emanuel opened the discussion by asking them point-blank, “What do you think about going down to 25 aldermen?”  It was a bold opening line for a mayor-elect who will need every vote he can get to reorganize the Council, pass his programs and solve a budget and pension crisis that literally has Chicago on the brink of bankruptcy.  “I just sat there. I didn’t say a word,” one alderman said.  Another alderman said he did not take offense at Emanuel’s suggestion, even though the idea would threaten half the City Council with extinction.

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