Greising: Could Daley's Plan to Shrink City Council Reduce Corruption in Chicago?

Chicago mayoral candidate Bill Daley proposed a bold plan to shrink the City Council from 50 to 15 aldermen. Would it help end corruption?

Chicago mayoral candidate Bill Daley. (David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

Candidates for Chicago mayor — all 14 of them — have scrambled to be reformer-in-chief ever since the feds brought a corruption charge against Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, earlier this month.

Then there’s Bill Daley. He has signed on to the reform-minded group think, too. But Daley is taking it one step further with his proposal to reduce the size of the City Council from 50 to 15 members. Credit where it’s due: In mid-December another candidate, former Ald. Bob Fioretti, introduced to this campaign the perennial suggestion that Chicago cut its council to 25 members.

Earlier this month, Daley one-upped (or is it 10-downed?) Fioretti with his more dramatic call for a 15-member council. Daley went a step further Tuesday, calling for a citywide referendum in 2020.

Whether Daley’s idea can win popular support, only time will tell. There has been no evident public groundswell. And some aldermen already are critiquing the notion. After all, it would put their jobs on the line.

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