CN February 7 2019

Our guest this week is Mayoral contender Bob Fioretti, the former alderman of the second Ward.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

On the role Danny Solis played in carving up the second Ward, moving Fioretti’s Ward away from where he lived – and why the mayor and the re-mapping aldermen did it:

But you see what happened in the 2ndWard in the areas that we’re in now that went to, and the North when they moved me all the way up North my ward, the historic black ward was chopped up for about five or six different wards, and a large portion of that went to Danny Solis and a large portion went to Walter Burnett, people who will never challenge a developer. I think the whole aim was to make sure that development went the way the developers wanted and the campaign contributions went to the aldermen. I think you may know that I made a pledge when I first ran not to accept developer money. I turned back $100,000 in my first year, but some of these things that we see that Danny Solis was ruling on down here it was all campaign contributions.

On how he’d raise enough money to fund municipal pensions without raising property taxes further:

First of all six years ago I proposed a commuter tax, 1% of a commuter tax on people that live in Indiana, Wisconsin and the suburbs. They come into this city to work and they can write it off on their federal income taxes. It would generate $300-million. All that would have to go to the pension fund. That’s a measure of equality, a justice and they come into this city they want safe streets, good streets, ambulance services, fire, the whole bit. You know and where do they spend their money? They go back to wherever their homes are and they pay property taxes in those suburbs, those counties, those different states. They don’t spend it here, the vast majority. I am not in favor of raising any more taxes on anybody in the City of Chicago and we have to look at ways to close this gap…Video poker would probably bring in about $75-million at this point.

On why he doesn’t think Lincoln Yards is a good idea at all.

I haven’t looked at the wind studies, shadow studies or traffic studies because I don’t think any have really been done in this area. I think the people that live here and near that area understand how congested it will be at this point. There’s really no transportation options in that area. There really is no schools so what are we building? A city without a structure really and it’s our taxpayer money that’s going to help this developer. They can fend for themselves. It’s another scheme and it’s another payoff scheme as the mayor is leaving office to help his friends and that’s all this is.

The surprising revelation that Bob Fioretti seems to be endorsing the construction of the Peotone airport, and that he believes Governor Pritzker might get it built.

Uh, you know the state owns a lot of land. They better figure out what they’re going to do, and who knows under this governor because he’s going to be listening to the mayor and maybe the speaker as to whether or not they will acquire the final 10%.

Ken:             So would Mayor Fioretti be in favor of a Peotone airport?

Bob F:          You know I’m going to have to sit down on all the airports because I think we need a better way to utilize from Rockford to Gary and the airports in between for cargo reasons, for other reasons. You know it’s one thing to say oh yeah, we finished all this off. You know maybe we should be using Rockford for cargo or even we can’t find a user at Gary International. We’re spending $5-million a year over there, our taxpayer money for that compact that was signed in the 1990s, so what are we doing?

You can watch the entire show by tapping the image above.

You can listen to the conversation on SoundCloud.

You can read a transcript of the conversation here:CN transcript Feb 7 2019

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About Ken

Ken's the host of Chicago Newsroom. A former news director, reporter and radio program host, he's also a past Vice President of the Chicago Headline Club.
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