Two opposing aldermen utilized a procedural maneuver to postpone consideration of the ordinance until the next meeting on Wednesday, February 10. The BGA maintains its support for the ordinance in its current form and will continue to closely monitor developments.
The Chicago City Council is poised to consider an ordinance that is expected to vastly improve oversight and accountability of that legislative body. The measure, which was advanced by a committee Monday, is supported by the Better Government Association, which testified in behalf of expanding the powers of the city Inspector General to include the City Council.
The city’s Committee on Workforce Development and Audit unanimously approved an ordinance to expand the jurisdiction of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to include the Chicago City Council. Oversight of the City Council currently rests with a separate office, the Legislative Inspector General (LIG), whose authority is not nearly as powerful or expansive as the OIG.
The LIG position has been vacant since November of last year, effectively leaving the City Council without a legislative “cop on the beat”.
Related Article: City Council Factions Prepare For Inspector General Showdown
Alexandra Gilewicz, BGA policy associate, testified in favor of the merger ordinance. Blending the two inspector general offices will provide more efficient and effective supervision of aldermen and their staffs. It would put Chicago’s legislative monitoring on par with other major municipalities and would be a meaningful step in rebuilding public trust in local government, said Gilewicz.
The BGA supports independent, effective inspector general oversight at every level of government, she added.
A discussion and final vote on the ordinance is expected at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.