Chicago hosting its investor conference today. Begins with talk btwn CFO Jennie Bennett and Mayor Lightfoot. More than 375 bondholders in attendance (virtually), a record high, Bennett says. City has also invited more than 80 real estate developers. #muniland
"intensify. At some point it’s my hope everyone involved will get serious and come to the table, we know what the solutions are but we lack the political will…it’s not enough if we don’t attack core problem which is a pension system that’s unsustainable in its current state"
investor asks what's biggest hurdle city faces over near term to upward fiscal trajectory. Lightfoot: "Pensions pensions pensions." Says she and other mayors across the state need to use their bully pulpit to "force a reckoning with Springfield." #muniland
Investor asks if Springfield has offered any help w/ city's pension costs, etc. Lightfoot says no. "Springfield can’t keep doing this to us. They have to listen to us. we’re suffering the same way the state is and we can’t keep shouldering the burden of unfunded mandates."
===@RoyalPratt - Mayor Lori Lightfoot is speaking at an investors conference and calling for Springfield to do something on pensions. This is a recurring talking point for the mayor, who has not yet outlined what she would like state lawmakers and the governor to do. · 11:03 AM · 5/6/21===
Lightfoot lacks the vision, smarts, savvy, and honesty to the governing and politics needed to look at this and be a major fulcrum to any changes… that could/would be legal.
She can make speeches all day long but it doesn’t change one big fact: Chicago asked to control their various pension systems; they were granted that control by the Legislature and made just as big or bigger mess of it than Springfield did on the other pension systems.
Not saying a mayor who knew how to work the legislative system couldn’t get some relief, but this mayor is mostly clueless on influencing legislative action.
Interesting that she invited commercial developers to the meeting.
Investing in Chicago real estate, today, means entering a marketplace in which property taxes and/or sales taxes necessarily have to increase.
The threat of those increases have to be factored into any investment or development.
CME’s announcement that they are closing most of their pit trading is not surprising. But with most law firms operating remotely, and now CME shuttering their pits, the business traffic downtown could be a long time returning.
The promise of higher taxes doesn’t help the real estate equation.
“The problem is not going away, it’s only going to intensify.” Why would you say that at an investor conference? That’s like a salesman at the Ford dealership telling a prospective buyer that the Ford Pinto they may want to buy could explode in a fireball in a rear-end collision.
=== “The problem is not going away, it’s only going to intensify.” Why would you say that at an investor conference? That’s like a salesman at the Ford dealership telling a prospective buyer that the Ford Pinto they may want to buy could explode in a fireball in a rear-end collision.===
Raunerism isn’t partisan.
Talking down assets and your own, in this case city, governing level and the muni, county, state… is deemed “good”
It’s like embracing yourself as a failure… but blaming the job itself as a failing task.
Anyone else remember when she was a partner at Mayer Brown and the firm’s managing partner called the ratings agencies asking them to downgrade Illinois bonds. And during the time Mayer Brown was under contract to be bond counsel for the state? Good times.
And yet Springfield just increased the firefighter pension by $30 million annually. Chicago definitely deserves most of the blame for the current situation, but Springfield hasn’t been a great partner either. Like I said I know Lori rubs people the wrong way, but maybe there’s a legitimate reason why she’s frustrated with Springfield.
===Chicago definitely deserves most of the blame for the current situation, but Springfield hasn’t been a great partner either. Like I said I know Lori rubs people the wrong way, but maybe there’s a legitimate reason why she’s frustrated with Springfield.===
Lightfoot, Crew, Staff were far too late to the party to really grasp or understand what was going on and the bill passed and was signed by sheer incompetence
Lightfoot, Crew, Staff have alienated so many people and have so few allies that when a bill comes up that she feels will hurt the city on the merits, no one will consider her thoughts to policy, no matter where the bill is in its process.
Not sure what to say to this. It seems the Mayor’s negatives mount as time goes on. She just wasn’t ready for the job and she’s not ready for the various ongoing issues that won’t be solved during her current term which ends in ‘23.
@OW - A quarter of Springfield directly represents Chicago. It’s disappointing they can’t get past their personal frustrations with Lightfoot, because her concerns would be shared by any other mayor of Chicago. Just way too many egos in the room.
“It’s disappointing they can’t get past their personal frustrations with Lightfoot,”
Their frustrations aren’t personal as much as her unwillingness to understand how Springfield works. They want her to be genuinely willing to negotiate and compromise. She is the one with the earned reputation of being unwilling to work with folks because of personal grudges/frustrations.
==It’s disappointing they can’t get past their personal frustrations with Lightfoot==
It’s not that at all. Many of the lawmakers liked her- and more to the point, thought she was a rising star to which they oughtta hitch their wagons.
But her shop in Springfield hasn’t been great. Lawmakers get inconsistent messages from the Mayor’s Office, when they hear from it at all. Meanwhile, she’s alienated a fair amount of Aldermen, who talk to their corresponding legislators more than she does.
The mess is a lot of her own making.
- thisjustinagain - Thursday, May 6, 21 @ 1:25 pm:
Lightfoot steps on her self-planted landmine yet again. Now she thinks investors are gonna arm-twist Springfield into doing “something” to fix Chicago’s pension mess, but refuses to actually say what she wants done. She and her staff left the starting gate tripping over themselves, and they continue to do so. The staff that are leaving are tired of dealing with her, and her failure to understand anything about relating to Springfield, let alone alderpersons.
=It’s disappointing they can’t get past their personal frustrations with Lightfoot=
I’m not sure that casting it as a personal frustration is accurate. It seems that the mayor doesn’t want to help herself. Most legislators, and particularly Democratic ones, understand the importance of Chicago to our state. She needs to work with these legislators and the governor not at cross purposes. No matter how “right” you think you may be it means nothing if you can’t convince others. We certainly witnessed that with our last governor.
Lori Lightfoot would be a great legislator. Great pontificator and quick to call things out. She’s a horrible executive. Doesn’t know when to shut up or make friends. Lori is a great mix of two besties: RAhm and Rauner.
Personally, Id prefer a world where the unit that grants the salary is responsible for the pension cost. But that is not feasible in Illinois today and would cause massive problems with property tax rates.
Perhaps you need to read for comprehension. A solution has been proposed many times by many commenters, in this thread and others. You have to pay the legacy debt. And as unpopular as it may be you need to raise the revenue to do so. Lightfoot does not want to raise taxes so she defines the problem as “Springfield.”
For those clinging to a constitutional amendment, please stop. Even if the Pension Clause is removed, the Illinois Supreme Court is likely to find that vested pensions are protected by the contract clause.