Lightfoot Will Issue Order To Dismantle 'Aldermanic Prerogative'

Craig Dellimore
May 14, 2019 - 3:22 pm
Chicago City Hall

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot and her team scheduled meetings with aldermen Tuesday to brief them on her planned executive order to end so-called aldermanic privilege. 

Also known as “aldermanic prerogative,” the de facto practice has tended to give aldermen veto power over projects within their own wards. Lightfoot campaigned in part on doing away with the privilege, which she said fostered corruption.

Lightfoot is set to issue an executive order when she takes office next week. Under her plan, city departments will deal with permits and the like instead of aldermanic offices.

The former federal prosecutor tells WBBM Newsradio she’s also looking at City Council committee budgets. For example, she said, the Finance Committee once chaired by federally charged Ald. Ed Burke apparently has a $2.3 million budget.

The next closest committee is for the budget; that panel gets $560,000.

Some Chicago aldermen have quietly—and not so quietly—complained that Lightfoot hasn’t told them much about her plans. One says he texted congratulations to Lightfoot after her election victory and still hadn’t heard back.

Lightfoot said she talked with several of them about her overall intentions. She said she knows who she wants for Finance Committee chairman and who she wants as "floor leader." She said she’s not ready to announce the names yet.