The [Thursday] Papers
"A new report released [Wednesday] found little tracking or enforcement of taxpayer subsidized private development projects that had promised job creation," the Illinois Public Interest Research Group says.
"The analysis by the watchdog group Illinois PIRG comes one year after Mayor Emanuel's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Reform Panel released recommendations for how to fix the wasteful economic development program and underscores the need to implement reform to protect taxpayers.
The findings show that among projects that promised to create the most jobs, there are unacceptably low levels of tracking and enforcement:
"Illinois PIRG is calling on the Mayor to implement his Reform Panel's recommendations that would create a standard set of metrics to track the progress and measure success of TIF projects and review performance regularly.
"Mayor Emanuel has showed us a year ago that he is committed to TIF reform by creating this Panel, and their proposed reforms would move the city in the right direction," said Hailey Witt, Field Director for Illinois PIRG. "But it's not enough to have these ideas on paper. The City Council should step up and pass an ordinance that the Task Force recommendations must be put in place."
* Out of 21 projects with some kind of jobs goal, 15 (71 percent) did not provide annual evidence that the jobs goals were being met, but the city asked only two of the projects to give money back.
Rahm Emanuel preaches an awful lot about accountability, but is he willing to point the microscope at himself?
It might be easier to swallow if, again, Rahm followed his own advice. It wouldn't be snitching, for example, but helping if Rahm would let us in on the answers to questions like these:
* How exactly did it come to be that Don Tomczak's illegal patronage troops ended up working on your behalf in the 2002 congressional race that launched your elective career?
* Who hired Angelo Torres? It wasn't on your watch, but we still deserve to know.
* Transparency is not snitching. Why won't you comply with FOIA requests?
* Why do you refuse to mention Richard M. Daley's name when criticizing the mistakes of the past? It wouldn't be snitching, you know. Just helping.
Right. That's about as believable as that now-discredited NATO economic impact study.
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Posted on August 30, 2012
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