Ongoing tension between Mayor Emanuel, Ald. Bob Fioretti over TIF funds

August 20, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The ribbon cutting to celebrate the South Loop's expanded and renovated Jones Prep High School was a big deal in the city's second ward:

"This is an incredible moment," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

But conspicuously absent for the incredible moment in the second ward was Alderman Bob Fioretti, who says he wasn't invited.


"I found about 45 minutes before it happened. The mayor just doesn't want to be seen with members of the City Council that express different views," said Alderman Bob Fioretti.

"He will, obviously, nobody gets in his way. If he wants to talk he'll obviously will have his opinion," said Emanuel.

Emanuel and Fioretti have not agreed on many issues including the re-mapping of the second ward that totally separated the two-term alderman from what had been his voters on the Near South and West Sides.

Fioretti also has sided with critics of Emanuel's education policies on school closings policies and using the tax increment financing surplus to shore up the CPS budget.

"There's no doubt about it that money for from these TIFs should go back to the Chicago Public Schools system," said Fioretti.

The mayor said raiding the TIF surplus for schools would not make a big difference.

"Let's assume we did the TIF surplus, it would cost $25 per kid," said Emanuel.

Fioretti is a recent cancer survivor and has not decided if he'll run in 2015 in the newly-formed second ward, some other ward, or maybe, he said, for Emanuel's job.

"Every day I receive encouragement to run for mayor but I'm looking at what needs to be done and how best to serve the people of this city," said Fioretti.

Fioretti said there will be another ribbon cutting on Thursday at Jones Prep High School and the public is invited. He also said not to expect the mayor to show up for this ceremony, because Emanuel will get booed.

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