12. Introduce a consolidated, comprehensive capital planning and management process
The best-planned cities develop a 25-year vision and prioritize investments into five-year capital improvement plans using a multitude of investment options, including leveraging private resources and capital. Using this framework, all investments will be maximized and sequenced to reach their full potential and deliver the best value to Chicago. An investment management center will plan, coordinate, and oversee all Chicago infrastructure projects across a multi-year horizon…
Sounds good at first blush, perhaps. Maximizing resources for the best of Chicago. But then you realize that banker Emanuel and his banker pals are talking about further privatizing Chicago’s assets for cash-flow purposes.
3. Reform [Tax Increment Financing]
The City will appoint a panel of experts and charge it with developing a policy for how the City invests these funds. The panel will identify return-on-investment performance goals for TIF districts and TIF-funded projects and develop guidelines for TIF transparency, including standards for an annual TIF report and audit, to be made public.
Anybody who’s been in Chicago long enough and has been paying attention (especially to the writing of Ben Jarovsky of the Chicago Reader) will realize that this promise isn’t really any sort of actual reform. Whenever a leader who uses TIF funds talks about making the use of TIF funds public, he doesn’t actually mean in a way that the public can actually access and grasp that information. Furthermore, this doesn’t seem to offer true reform of the Tax Increment Financing districts, funds, or how they’re used. In case you’re new to this conversation, a TIF fund was originally intended (or so we’re told) to help funnel business into blighted areas.