Rahm Emanuel releases transition plan

May 10, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The mayor-elect took questions before reporters were able to see the 72-page transition plan. Copies were made available only online after the news conference was under way.

"In each section, it lays out what we'll do in the first 100 days and, if need be, the first year," said Emanuel.

By August 24 -- or 100 days from May 16 -- Emanuel promised to announce $75 million in spending cuts. He vowed the budget will be posted online by then, studies to streamline licensing and regulations will be completed and ethics reform to prevent city employees from becoming lobbyists will be in place.

After one year, Emanuel said hundreds more cops will be on to street duty. But his document does not say the officers will be newly hired as candidate Emanuel promised during the campaign. And provided that state law is changed, a system to evaluate teacher performance will be in place and beginning in September 2012, the public school day and year in Chicago will be lengthened.

"We're announcing some teachers who are winning awards for the Golden Apple, really good. Yet, I can't get them to maximize their skills with the shortest school day and school year," said Emanuel.

Illinois Policy Institute spokesman Dan Proft is not convinced that Emanuel will reform much of anything in city government.

"Reform is a word that's become completely meaningless by overuse...remember, Rahm Emanuel springs from the very system he says he's going to completely overhaul," Proft told ABC7.

Emanuel said Richard M. Daley did a great job as mayor for 22 years. Nonetheless, he pounded the podium when emphasizing the government Daley left behind must and will change.

"I will not accept the status quo when it comes to our schools. I will not accept the status quo when it comes to the safety of our streets and I will not accept the status quo. I will not accept the status quo to the city budget and finances and what we honor the people that pay the bills around here," said Emanuel.

Emanuel also announced a reduction in City Council committees -- from 19 to 16, saving about 10 percent of the council's cost. Alderman Ed Burke will remain finance committee chairman but with reduced responsibilities.

An Emanuel spokeswoman says the future of Burke's 24-hour security detail will be determined by the Chicago Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service.

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