New City Ordinance: Untested Financial Arrangements

Ald. Scott Wauguespack (32nd Ward) announced in his newsletter this week that a new ordinance has been passed creating aldermanic oversight of financial instruments like the debt swaps that have all but bankrupted the City. To quote from his newsletter:
“The Chicago City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a major regulatory ordinance, sponsored by members of the Progressive Reform Caucus, designed to create oversight and transparency for untested financial arrangements like the so-called “toxic” interest rate swap deals that have plagued the City in recent years. The ordinance, which passed unanimously, will require an unprecedented level of transparency and disclosure on the part of the City. Under the ordinance, no long-term debt transactions or novel transactions that bear interest at a non-fixed rate for any part of its life, may be entered into by the City until several new criteria are met.
The ordinance will require a heightened level of scrutiny on debt transactions, an extended period for public notice and hearings, as well as two additional hearings regarding financial transactions covered by the ordinance: one before the Committee on Finance and one dedicated to addressing concerns of the public.
We believe this ordinance is another important step in allowing taxpayers to see how their dollars are used especially in this complex financial process. You can read the ordinance here.
Alderman John Arena and I also discussed this new ordinance in an op-ed here.
This news didn’t make Silverstein’s newsletter, but I think it’s an important development that 50th Ward residents should know about.
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