Indiana Mayor — I’m Cool With 2 Chainz … He Doesn’t Attract Bad People Like …

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

City Council Scrambles for New Revenue in Wake of Pension Ruling.

Whether or not the cutting the power to the Chief Keef portion of Saturday’s Craze Fest was a direct violation of anyone’s First Amendment rights hinges solely on the contract Hammond and the promoter signed, legal experts say. Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday would not shut the door on a property tax increase to balance the city’s books and ease its reliance on heavy borrowing, saying taxpayers will have to wait until he unveils his budget proposal in September to find out. “People want certainty, but I believe in presenting a full budget with all parts in there,” Emanuel said when asked whether homeowners should expect a property tax increase. “And before I ask the taxpayers to put their hard-earned money on the line, I’ve got to make sure, as part of a budget, that the government and its bureaucracy and the way it does its business is also on the line.

Controversial rapper Chief Keef took to Twitter on Tuesday to say he’s out for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s job. “Vote for me!!!! … Yall gonna love me in the Office,” the 19-year-old tweeted.He returns to a fiscal situation that is bleaker than it was when he left, thanks to last week’s court ruling throwing out a law that cut benefits for many city retirees. On its surface, the city’s claim that it was shut down upon the appearance of Chief Keef’s hologram for “safety reasons” is spurious, according to Richard Garnett, law and political science professor for the University of Notre Dame. The social media posts are all part of the teenage rapper’s beef with Emanuel, whose office canceled a benefit concert that Chief Keef had been due to headline in July out of concerns for public safety, NBC reports. City Council is now scrambling to find ways to come up with billions of dollars in new revenue to fund the pension systems in the coming years. “We had another record-breaking year for hotels in the city of Chicago, and another record-breaking year in hotel revenue so we can continue to invest in our neighborhoods and our children and communities throughout the city of Chicago,” the Mayor said.

The First Amendment does allow for protection against danger, such as someone yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater where there is no fire, but it’s a narrow exception, Garnett said. “The general concern about safety is not enough,” Garnett said Tuesday. “You can’t preemptively cancel something because you ‘think’ there’s going to be danger. Earlier this month, Emanuel borrowed $1.1 billion, including $743 million in taxable debt on which the city will pay an interest rate of nearly 8 percent. He and other public officials broke ground on the new Marriott Marquis, a 40-story, 1,200-room hotel that will connect to McCormick Place, financed partially by $55 million in city Tax Increment Financing dollars. It can be invoked only in situations where (a person) is intending to incite violence immediately, like a speaker telling his audience ‘I want you to go across the street to this store and burn it to the ground,’ for example. “Clearly they weren’t worried about letting others perform, so my conclusion is unless there was a contractual deal, it’s a pretty clear violation, because the justification they offered shows the content doesn’t seem to have been a real concern,” Garnett said.

On Monday, Keef encouraged his Twitter followers to call Emanuel and “tell him to stay the f— off the people’s music,” providing them with a phone number to the city directory. Valparaiso University law school professor and its former dean, Ivan Bodensteiner, agreed whoever made the call to shut down the hologram likely did so preemptively.

Pat Dowell says it’s a public investment that’s well worth the money. “You’re not just going to have the hotel,” she said. “You’re going to have restaurants here, you’re going to have other hotels built nearby, entertainment venues along Motor Row, so there’s a spinoff benefit and the TIF money will pay for itself in probably about seven years.” The city’s perilous financial condition, driven by employee pension systems that are collectively $30 billion in debt, does not yet seem to be driving away private investment. “No matter what the solutions are to those fiscal issues, when you get a city that’s growing, building jobs, that’s a good thing and it’ll make those problems easier to solve, not harder to solve,” said Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson, who said he was “excited” about the expansion of his company’s brand in Chicago. Much of the borrowing was taxable because governments are not allowed to take advantage of cheaper tax-exempt rates when they borrow long term for short-term expenses. Emanuel was sworn in for his second term in May after winning a runoff mayoral election with 56 percent of the vote, and the next election is due in 2019. Did the contract preclude Chief Keef?” Steve Sersic, attorney for the Hammond Port Authority, which oversees the Wolf Lake Pavilion, described the contract between Craze Fest promoters and the city “as a license agreement that provides the city can revoke the license at any time for any reason, or no reason at all.” The contract also has an addendum that says the promoter must follow safety directives issued by the Hammond police, fire or any other emergency management services.

Emanuel plans to spend the borrowed money to cover debt payments due this year, bank fees tied to the city’s sinking credit and penalty payments on old deals. Department of Interior initiative to coordinate youth programs, Emanuel was asked at what point such high-cost borrowing becomes irresponsible when other options, such as raising property taxes, exist.

Watch a press conference following last Friday’s ruling with union representatives, retirees, and an attorney who worked on the plaintiffs’ behalf. The mayor responded by defending the large-scale borrowing as spreading some of the city’s short-term debt out over a longer period of time to deal with a financial morass he inherited from Daley. And there is a lot of money locked up in an inefficient system.” Also Tuesday, Emanuel addressed a Cook County judge’s decision last week to reject the city’s 2014 effort to reduce city worker pension benefits in exchange for a city guarantee to fund their retirement systems. The pension law covered the city’s municipal workers and laborers pension funds, and the administration has said it will appeal the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court.

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