Alderman Challenges City Council Committee Vote, Calling It Illegal

Craig Dellimore
December 07, 2018 - 9:31 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- An alderman from the Brighton Park area said he’s challenging a City Council Committee vote about gentrification that he said was improper; and there’s some tension over the matter.

The issue at hand is a pilot project to prevent poor people from being pushed out of changing neighborhoods. Alderman Raymond Lopez, 15th Ward, wanted to delay the vote.

"There's nothing wrong with waiting until you get more of the community involved, more input involved," Ald. Lopez said.

He asked if a quorum was present, but Housing Committee Chair Joe Moore didn’t take attendance.

"We recessed, which I am within my right as Chairman to do, and during the recess other aldermen, who were in the building, showed up, by that time Alderman Lopez had gone elsewhere," Moore said.

It was still not enough for a quorum.

Lopez said the votes the Housing Committee took after that meeting was restarted were invalid.

"And hopefully once this is deemed an illegal action, maybe we can actually get a corrected ordinance," he said.

But, Moore said it was all on the square. He said he panel’s actions were legal because he first recessed the meeting, and restarted it when Lopez was not in the room.

"We presumed the regular order of business. The alderman who suggested absence of quorum was no longer there," Moore said.

The rule said a quorum is "assumed" to be present unless someone on the committee challenges it. But, Lopez suggests Moore bent the rules to the point of breaking them because he didn't deal with the formal call for a quorum.

The lawyers will have to sort this out.