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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 1:35 am 
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jack t ripper wrote:
How on Earth could those idiots not close the gap while Trump is in office? Every week my retirement software tells me I can retire 2 months earlier. :lol:

Every public employee union hack should vote for Trump. He's the only chance they got. :lol:


How?

Well this is a start:
Quote:
Gov. J.B. Pritzker's proposed fiscal 2020 budget actually would deepen the hole by not making $800 million in required pension contributions now. But he says he'll more than catch up later, with the state shifting some assets to the pension funds and guaranteeing them a cut of billions of dollars of income from his proposed new graduated income tax—presuming the tax is approved by lawmakers and then voters in a 2020 referendum.


Skip paying now in the hopes that fairy dust will fall from the sky at some point in the future and make everything alright.

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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:17 am 
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https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/20 ... airly.html

Quote:
July 21, 2019

Hilarious! Cook county pol who fixed a parking ticket for his pal claims he did it to make sure all Latinos are treated fairly

By Thomas Lifson

It’s the Chicago way! On steroids, combining corrupt personal politics with ethnic group preferences. Fighting for the oppressed, one fixed parking ticket at a time.

The Chicago Sun-Times did a little digging when the Cook County Inspector General issued a report last week, and discovered who was the unnamed commissioner featured in that report. Rachel Hinton writes::

After his pal tried to clout his way out of a parking ticket by uttering that classic Chicago question, “Do you know who I am?” Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. didn’t hesitate to intervene and use his political weight to get the ticket tossed out.

t doesn’t hurt that that friend whose ticket Arroyo helped to get voided was Luis Pena, who Arroyo said is the 36th Ward superintendent for Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) — who is also Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s City Council floor leader.

But Arroyo on Friday insisted he wasn’t just protecting his buddy, but all Latinos. He said he stepped in to make sure “[Latinos] are being treated fairly by our officers. That goes for all Latinos in Cook County, not just someone I know.”


Evidently, Commissioner Pena believes that anyone with a Hispanic surname is immune from parking tickets. Sorry, whites, whites, blacks, Asians, and interracial folks.

Fixing parking tickets may be the bottom of the barrel when it comes to politicians using their clout to benefit themselves and their buddies. It’s corrupt. Sp is the regime of ethnic preferences that so many progressives seem to want.

Put them together, and you get the corrupt politics of Cook County and Chicago – the only major metropolitan area on the country losing population.


Cronyism....it's the Chicago Way.

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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:33 am 
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Quote:
... He said he stepped in to make sure “[Latinos] are being treated fairly by our officers ...


So he's sort of a "street walkin magistrate !!??" I didn't know we had those sorts of jobs !!! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:32 am 
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jwilkerson wrote:
Quote:
... He said he stepped in to make sure “[Latinos] are being treated fairly by our officers ...


So he's sort of a "street walkin magistrate !!??" I didn't know we had those sorts of jobs !!! :lol:


Politicians in Chicago and Cook County do seem to operate under the understanding that they have unlimited Plenipotentiary powers to do whatever they see fit.

Former Chicago Alderman Dorothy Tillman was a good example of that.

During one session of the Chicago City Council she opened up her purse, pulled out a pistol and was waving it around.
IIRC, she was arrested for doing so, as she did not have a permit.
In her defense (and I think it worked) that she had the legal right to do under under some obscure Chicago municipal ordinance from the mid 1800's. At that time, the Chicago Police Department was rather small and alderman (elected city council members) were entitled to be armed so as to assist the police.

She was also well known for her wearing of hats...

Image

Image



so much so that her biography is titled: Hang Onto Your Hats - A Pictorial Journey of Dorothy Wright Tillman

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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:55 pm 
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https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/bre ... story.html

Quote:
Labor Day violence: Shootings sharply up as fewer Chicago police officers deployed on streets than last year

By ALICE YIN
CHICAGO TRIBUNE |
SEP 03, 2019 | 9:10 AM

Gun violence in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend rose sharply this year with at least 44 people shot, nine of them killed, as Chicago police deployed hundreds of fewer officers than last year.

The Grand Crossing and Chicago Lawn police districts on the South Side were hit with the most violence, each reporting seven people shot from Friday night to early Tuesday. In two of the shootings on the South Side, at least four people were wounded in each attack.

The youngest person killed was 15-year-old Dovantae Jackson, who was gunned down early Sunday in front of his home in Austin. During a vigil for the boy the next day, another 15-year-old was wounded in the Longwood Manor neighborhood on the Far South Side. The oldest person shot was a 52-year-old man in the Rosemoor neighborhood on the Far South Side.

Shootings were reported as far south as Morgan Park on the Far South Side, and in Humboldt Park and Austin to the northwest and west. No shootings were reported on the North or Near North sides.

Ahead of the three-day weekend, Chicago police superintendent said his department planned to deploy 1,000 additional officers, down 400 from last year, noting that Labor Day weekend “hasn’t been quite as taxing as the previous two holidays."

“This past summer we saw the lowest levels of violence since 2014,” Johnson said at a news conference. “We still have far too many families victimized by senseless violence. While progress is being made, we’re nowhere near where we need to be in terms of creating a culture of accountability.”

By Tuesday morning, the toll from the holiday weekend toll far exceeded last year’s, when 27 were shot, seven fatally, according to Tribune data.


Other recent Labor Day weekends have seen even greater violence. At least 45 people were shot, seven fatally, in 2017. And in 2016, a notoriously brutal year for gun violence in the city, a staggering 63 were shot, 13 fatally.

Multiple-victim shootings were down this weekend compared to earlier this summer — a goal expressed by Johnson. But instances of shooters aiming at large crowds outside still terrorized blocks of the city.

Before the sun went down Saturday, two people were killed and three others were wounded in the West Englewood neighborhood, officials said. The five had gathered on a front porch in the 7100 block of South Paulina Street about 5:50 p.m. when a gunman in a dark-colored vehicle opened fire, according to police.

Authorities said a 32-year-old man and a 26-year-old man were killed. A 25-year-old woman, a 27-year-old man and a 38-year-old man were wounded.

In the Washington Park neighborhood, four men were shot during an outdoor party late Monday. They were gathered with others outside in the 6200 block of South King Drive when two gunmen jumped out of a white Ford Explorer, opened fire and fled, police said. All were expected to survive.

L. Saint Hugh Saint Clair, 53, said it was warm out when he passed the party on his way to Washington Park. He heard a long stream of gunshots, then saw several ambulances in front of the crowd.

“I just drove by and everything was OK, so this is sad.” Saint Clair said. “They really didn’t care who they hit, as long as they hit somebody.”

Saint Clair said he was alarmed at the trend of large parties on the South Side ending in shootings. “It’s kind of like a hate crime,” he said. “The hate you have on a get-together to just shoot to injure and kill people. When y’all going to stop?”

The last homicide of the weekend occurred Tuesday morning in the Gresham neighborhood on the South Side. A 32-year-old man was found shot in the head about 1:20 a.m. on a sidewalk in the 8500 block of South Aberdeen Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

On Sunday morning, two people were killed in the Archer Heights neighborhood on the Southwest Side. The men were driving in the 5100 block of South Pulaski Road when someone in a passing car opened fire. Christopher Smith, 37, of Monee, and an unidentified man were pronounced dead, authorities said.

Other attacks:

-- A 27-year-old man died in a shooting at a house party Sunday morning in the West Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side. He was with others in the 6100 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue when at least one person inside opened fire about 2:50 a.m. He was hit several times and a 34-year-old woman, not believed to be a target, was shot in the foot, police said.

-- Another fatal attack happened Saturday morning in a double shooting in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Shortly after 4:40 a.m., someone in a vehicle opened fire and hit a 17-year-old boy and 23-year-old man. The boy, Angel Perez, suffered wounds to the chest and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

-- The first deadly shooting of the weekend happened shortly after 12:20 a.m. Saturday in the South Chicago neighborhood in the 8700 block of South Burley Avenue. Officers found 42-year-old Willie Coker with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. He was standing outside with a group of people when shots were fired. Coker was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

ayin@chicagotribune.com

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Alice Yin works the overnight shift at the Tribune, responsible for covering whatever breaks. She is a Medill School of Journalism graduate and was a statehouse reporter for the Associated Press in Michigan before being hired last summer by the Sun-Times. Alice likes to explore new restaurants, go jogging and frequent bookshops.



Gun violence is down, so we will deploy fewer officers than last year say Chicago Police Chief.
Labor Weekend shootings significantly higher than last year. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:21 am 
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Yet another example of the corruption that is the hallmark of Illinois:

Quote:
Federal agents raid Springfield, Cicero offices of Illinois Sen. Martin Sandoval, source says

By JASON MEISNER, JAMIE MUNKS and RAY LONG
CHICAGO TRIBUNE |
SEP 24, 2019 | 8:07 PM

Federal agents on Tuesday raided the Springfield and Cicero offices of longtime Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval as well as his family’s Southwest Side home as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Investigators are looking into allegations Sandoval used his official position to steer business to at least one company in exchange for kickbacks, a source with knowledge of the case told the Chicago Tribune.

No criminal charges had been filed. Sandoval, who has been in office for 17 years and chairs the influential Senate Transportation Committee, could not be reached on Tuesday, and calls to his office were not returned.

In what has become a familiar scene in Illinois, FBI and IRS agents spent hours behind closed doors in Sandoval’s offices in the state capitol, where an agent stationed in a nearby hallway turned back a Tribune reporter seeking comment.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m., at least eight men left the Senate Democratic offices carrying cardboard boxes, two brown bags labeled “evidence” and what appeared to be a desktop computer wrapped in plastic. News cameras rolled as the agents left the building, loaded the material into two SUVs and drove off.

At about the same time nearly 200 miles away, agents executed search warrants at Sandoval’s district office in the 5800 block of West 35th Street in Cicero, as well as his longtime family home in Gage Park, sources told the Tribune.

A man who answered the door at Sandoval’s brick, three-story building Tuesday said the legislator was not home. Later, two officials with duty belts and handcuffs came out of the home to get wheeled hand trucks, taking them inside. One identified himself as from the IRS criminal division.


An FBI spokesman confirmed that agents were at the capitol conducting “authorized law enforcement activity,” but declined to comment further.

The raids marked the latest in a slew of ongoing public corruption probes that have sent shock waves from City Hall to Springfield over the past 10 months.

In November 2018, the FBI took over the City Hall offices of longtime Ald. Edward Burke, who at the time was the powerful chairman of the Finance Committee, and papered over windows with brown butcher paper before leaving down a back staircase with computers and files. Burke has since been indicted on sweeping racketeering charges alleging he used his clout to steer business to his private law firm. He has pleaded not guilty.

In June, a similar scene played out when agents executed search warrants at the Far South Side ward office of influential Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, the second longest-serving active member of the City Council. Austin has not been charged.

Sandoval is also the second state senator to come under the cloud of a federal investigation.

Last month, his colleague Sen. Thomas E. Cullerton of Villa Park was indicted on embezzlement charges alleging he pocketed almost $275,000 in salary and benefits from the Teamsters union despite doing little or no work. Cullerton has pleaded not guilty.

Born in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the city’s South Side, Sandoval, 55, first won election to the Senate in 2002 with the support of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and the now-defunct Hispanic Democratic Organization, a patronage army that crumbled amid a federal investigation into hiring practices at City Hall.

Controversy has often dogged Sandoval’s political career. In 2011, Sandoval was among a handful of lawmakers whose legislative scholarship records were reviewed by federal authorities after state education officials sent them over. The centuryold scholarship program, long riddled with abuse, eventually was abolished.

Last month, Sandoval faced national criticism after photos showing a man pointing a fake gun used as a novelty beverage dispenser at someone wearing a mask depicting President Donald Trump were taken at a political fundraiser hosted by the senator and posted on social media.

Sandoval apologized, said he wasn’t aware of the incident when it occurred and blamed it on a vendor hired to provide music and entertainment.

Sandoval currently makes $80,038 as a legislator, including a stipend of $10,574 for his committee chairmanship, state records show.

He serves a Southwest Side district that shares half of its territory with powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who has worked with Sandoval over the years on a variety of legislative issues but also been at odds with the senator at times.

In the March 2018 Democratic primary, Sandoval supported the candidacy of his daughter, Angie Sandoval, for the county board seat vacated by Jesus “Chuy” Garcia when he ran for Congress. Madigan’s 13th Ward organization, however, went with the victorious Alma Anaya, who was supported by Garcia.

As Senate transportation chairman, Sandoval was positioned to play a key role in implementing the massive $45 billion construction program pushed through the General Assembly and signed into law by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier this year.

Image
State Sen. Martin Sandoval outside a Chicago elementary school on Aug. 31, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

But his position on the committee has also drawn criticism. In 2015 and 2016, Sandoval interceded on behalf of a campaign donor that stood to make millions off red light cameras at an intersection straddling Oak Brook and Oakbrook Terrace, the Tribune has reported.

The Illinois Department of Transportation originally said the intersection was too safe to need cameras, but Sandoval asked IDOT to change its mind. At one point, Sandoval told IDOT he wanted to help the agency but “wasn’t getting the type of cooperation on his issues that he would like to see,” according to emails uncovered by the newspaper.

IDOT then approved Oakbrook Terrace’s application.

Meanwhile, Safespeed, the company that had lobbied for the cameras, and its owners collectively donated tens of thousands of dollars to Sandoval’s campaign coffers, including one contribution for $10,000 in September 2016 that at the time was the largest single donation the firm had given anyone.


Oak Brook later passed an ordinance complaining the cameras were part of a process that sought to "corrupt local law enforcement” and enrich political leaders, but the village eventually dropped a lawsuit seeking to ban the cameras from the corner.

Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci told the Tribune on Tuesday that the village has not received any requests for information from federal authorities related to the camera controversy.

The chief critic of the deal — Oak Brook council member Michael Manzo — said he still believes the cameras should be taken down. When asked if he’s spoken with the FBI, he declined comment.

More recently, Sandoval was named in a federal lawsuit alleging the senator used his influence as Transportation Committee chairman to get his son a job in 2016 as a community relations representative at Pace Suburban Bus Service.

The plaintiff, Lawrence Gress of Dowers Grove, alleged he was subjected to a “sham interview” and passed over for the job in favor of Sandoval’s son, Martin Sandoval II, who is some 40 years younger and vastly less experienced.

Pace has denied the allegations, which include a civil racketeering conspiracy. An attorney for Sandoval could not be reached immediately.

With Tuesday’s raids, Sandoval became the latest political associate of Madigan to face federal scrutiny.

In mid-May, the FBI raided the homes of former lobbyist Mike McClain of Quincy, a longtime Madigan confidant, and ex-23rd Ward Ald. Michael Zalewski.

The information the FBI was seeking included records of communications among Madigan, McClain and Zalewski related to attempts to get ComEd lobbying work for Zalewski, the Tribune has reported.

Sandoval’s daughter, Angie, works for ComEd as a senior account representative.

Also in mid-May, the FBI raided the Chicago home of Ald. Marty Quinn’s brother, Kevin Quinn, a political and government operative Madigan parted ways with last year amid sexual harassment allegations. One source told the Tribune the federal government showed an interest in computers in Kevin Quinn’s home.

Last month, the Tribune disclosed that a Cook County grand jury has subpoenaed election records regarding the reelection bid of Madigan’s handpicked Ald. Marty Quinn, who serves in the Southwest Side ward where Madigan has reigned as committeeman for decades.

Sandoval’s political connection to Madigan was solidified in 2011, when his Senate district was redrawn following the census to overlap with Madigan’s House district.

Under the mapmaking, which Madigan oversaw with Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago — a distant cousin to Thomas Cullerton — the speaker was placed in a growing Latino district on the Southwest Side.

At the time, Sandoval embraced the move.

“The Irish and the Latinos have had a long history of shared immigrant values, hard work ethic and religious faith,” Sandoval told the Tribune in 2011. “We’re both White Sox fans, and now we’ll share a majority Hispanic district. I look forward to having the Madigans over for a traditional home-style Mexican barbecue."

Chicago Tribune’s Dan Petrella, Joe Mahr and William Lee contributed.

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com

rlong@chicagotribune.com

jmunks@chicagotribune.com



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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:17 am 
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https://www.chicagotribune.com/investig ... story.html

Quote:
Rahm Emanuel raised taxes to get city worker pension funds on a ‘path to solvency.’ The shortfall still ballooned by $7 billion.

By Hal Dardick and Juan Perez Jr.

Chicago Tribune |
Oct 03, 2019 | 7:10 AM

A record-high property tax increase. A new tax on water and sewer service. A higher 911 emergency fee on telephone lines.

Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s series of tax hikes was painful, but he promised the extra money was part of a plan to get the woefully underfunded city worker pension funds on a “path to solvency.”

So what’s happened in the four years since taxpayers started digging deeper? The pension funds are actually worse off.

When Emanuel pushed through the tax hikes, the city worker retirement funds were about $23 billion short of what they needed to pay future retiree benefits. Now, they’re nearly $30 billion in the hole, a Tribune examination of pension fund reports shows.


There are three main reasons the gap widened by nearly $7 billion. By far the biggest is that the people who run the four retirement funds changed their economic assumptions. They reduced the amount they expect to earn by investing the money already on hand, and they increased how long they expect retirees will live and collect benefits.

Second, Emanuel’s plan put off the largest increases in pension contributions to get the system back on track until after he left office.

That meant even though the city was collecting as much as $822 million a year in new taxes for pensions as employees were kicking in more, it still wasn’t enough to cover the cost of retirement benefits going out. Emanuel said raising taxes any higher at that time could have hurt the city’s economy.

And third, pension fund investments didn’t meet their expected rate of return in recent years.

“(Chicago’s) pensions are the most poorly funded of the largest U.S. cities,” the Standard & Poor’s bond rating agency stated in a Sept. 23 report on pension funds across the nation. The annual contributions to pay off pension debt in cities like Chicago make it tougher to spend money on “priority services and infrastructure investment,” the report concluded.

It is against that backdrop that Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office. The biggest increase in pension contributions for the city comes during the next four years, posing a huge challenge. She’ll have to come up with an additional $989 million a year for pensions by 2023, according to her administration’s projections. If there’s a downturn in the economy that affects pension investments, that figure could go even higher.

It’s the "single most pressing fiscal issue Chicago faces,” the nonpartisan Civic Federation budget watchdog group stated in a March report.

How Lightfoot grapples with pension funding — as well as city worker pay hikes next year — could have a significant impact on taxpayers. While a Chicago casino and help from Springfield could solve some of the problem, further tax hikes and additional borrowing also are on the table.

History of neglect

For decades, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley and his predecessors did not contribute enough money to prevent city worker pension funds from losing ground. That allowed them to maintain city services without pushing politically unpopular tax increases — even as they further sweetened pension benefits for employees.

Recessions also caused the funds to lose money on their investments, and analysts increased their estimates of what would be needed to cover retiree benefits over the long haul.
By the time Emanuel took office in 2011, all four pension funds were on paths to run out of money as soon as 2030.

The Illinois Supreme Court consistently has ruled the state constitution doesn’t allow for pension benefits to be cut. So Emanuel turned to a series of tax and fee hikes. The monthly 911 fee was increased to free up money for the laborers pension. Property taxes were raised for police and fire pensions. A new water and sewer tax was enacted for the municipal workers pension.

Emanuel also went to Springfield and won new pension payment schedules for the four funds. For the first five years, the city would pay more than it had been into the pension system but not enough to prevent the overall shortfall from growing.

That strategy also meant the heaviest financial lift would start in 2020, when Emanuel either would be entering a third term or there would be a new mayor. Emanuel said he set up the 40-year payment schedule that way because raising taxes too fast could thwart the city’s rebounding economy in the wake of the Great Recession.

The biggest spike in pension costs is from 2020 through 2023, when the city’s contributions to the four funds are projected to rise from about $1.3 billion to nearly $2.3 billion a year. The increase begins next year, when payments to the police and fire funds are expected to rise by $281.2 million. For the municipal and laborers funds, payments increase in 2022, when the city will need an additional $370 million a year to cover the tab.

Why the pension debt keeps rising

Here’s the math on how the pension debt increased by nearly $7 billion from 2015 to 2018: about $5.8 billion is from the changed economic assumptions by the pension boards, and the remaining $1.1 billion is due to the city ramping up to the larger contributions over the last four years and investment returns that didn’t meet expectations. That’s according to the Tribune’s examination of pension fund reports.

Let’s look at the assumptions. The pension boards figured they would earn around 7.5% to 8% annually by investing the money collected from the city as well as employee paychecks.

Many experts criticized that as too high, and in recent years each of the four funds lowered expectations to a range of 6.75% to 7.25%. That led the pension boards to increase the amount of money they figure they’ll need to have invested to cover future benefits.


The analysts also took into account that retired workers are living longer and collecting more in lifetime benefits. That means the amount of money being spent by the pension funds would increase.

In addition, the pension system has less money in the four funds overall. That’s due in part to lower-than-expected investment returns. Last year was a particularly bad year. The funds lost between 5.5% and 6.6% of the total investments, according to their year-end accountings.

All of that means that at the end of 2018, the pension funds had about 23% of what they need for full funding, compared with about 30.5% when Emanuel’s first pension tax increase went into effect. The higher debt of nearly $30 billion comes to about $11,043 for each city resident.


The city’s overall pension debt is expected to continue to grow well into the 2030s. That’s because even with the higher payments required each year by state law, the city and employees still won’t be contributing enough money to cover the cost of benefits that are paid out.

“In the case of unfunded pension liabilities, elected officials traditionally have liked these backloaded pension ramps," said Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. "It frees up revenue in your current budget to spend on current needs while deferring the actual cost of paying the debt owed to the system to future administrations. Sort of ideal political solution, right? Not a very good practical solution.”

Backloading the payments also boosts the overall, long-term taxpayer cost of ensuring the pension funds have enough money to meet their obligations to retired city workers.

“The unfunded liability is going to continue to grow,” said Sarah Wetmore, research director at the Civic Federation. “Every year (the city) doesn’t contribute enough, it costs more in the long run.”

Eventually, however, there’s expected to be enough money going into the pension funds to start shrinking the debt. The city will be kicking in significantly more. And as city employee wages grow with inflation, so too will their pension contributions. Workers pay between 8.5% and 11.5% percent of their salaries toward pension costs.

Potential Fixes

Lightfoot has yet to say how she’ll raise the money to increase how much the city puts into the pension systems.

At a recent investors conference, Lightfoot noted that increasing property taxes is her “biggest” power to raise revenue as mayor and said it remains on the table. She’s also aware it’ll be unpopular.

“I’ll tell you one thing that I hear from people all across the city: They’ll tolerate almost any other tax, but they don’t want their property taxes raised," Lightfoot said.

Two other major ideas to fund pensions are in the mix. Both are less than sure bets. One is a Chicago casino and the other is borrowing.



Continued below due to length

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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:18 am 
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Quote:
Lawmakers and Gov. J.B. Pritzker approved a casino for the city as part of a massive gambling expansion this year, and the city’s share of the proceeds is earmarked for police and fire pension fund payments.

But a study released in August concluded that the tax rates set by the state were too high to attract a casino investor. Getting lawmakers to adjust the rate will be politically tricky, and even then, it is not likely to quickly raise the kind of money the city needs in 2020 to make its police and fire pension contributions.

The other idea is a pension obligation bond, which one expert said is “basically placing a bet on the stock market.” The city would borrow money and pump it into the retirement funds, which would then invest it. The hope is that the investment returns would outpace the costs of paying off the money that was borrowed.

Lightfoot hasn’t ruled it out, but she has rejected the idea of a massive $10 billion bond issue that surfaced during the Emanuel administration.

The Civic Federation’s Wetmore called the idea “risky,” because if earnings on pension investments don’t keep pace with the interest due on the bond debt, the city could end up owing even more.

Martire, of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, endorses the idea.

“There’s no way the city of Chicago either has the revenue to put that additional money in (the pension funds), nor could feasibly raise it from the revenue sources available to them, including the property tax, because there’d be a revolt," Martire said. “So how do you bridge that gap?”

He points to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. It looked at the performance of pension obligation bonds from 1985 through 2014. On average, the pension investment return outpaced the bond interest costs by 1.5%, the study concluded.

"This not incurring new debt,” he said. “It is refinancing your debt at a lower interest cost. That saves taxpayer money.”

The study, however, also noted that pension obligation bonds “involve considerable timing risk," given that those issued right before the Great Recession ended up being “a net drain on government revenues.”

hdardick@chicagotribune.com

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Hal Dardick
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Hal Dardick investigates politics, government finances and taxes for the Chicago Tribune. He previously covered Chicago and Cook County government at the paper, after many years reporting on suburban politics, courts and crime as a freelance and wire-service reporter. He’s a former collegiate gymnast who likes real jazz, good food and fine wine.


Juan Perez Jr. is a Metro reporter for the Chicago Tribune -- and is a proud graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Before joining the Tribune, he covered city issues for the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. Juan can often be spotted making disgruntled faces before, during and after area sporting events.






What an amazing accomplishment for former Mayor Rahm "Never let a crisis go to waste" Emanuel......he passes "A record-high property tax increase. A new tax on water and sewer service. A higher 911 emergency fee on telephone lines", all to fix the pension fund shortfalls, yet when he leaves the city's pension funds are worse off than when he came in.

I feel sorry for the average Chicagoan....the current retired pension recipients, the future recipients, and most of all for the Chicago taxpayers that are on the hook.

All but one of my family members no longer live in Chicago....so they are shielded from this (but not from the similarly troubled state budget/pension problems).
My brother still lives in the city AND is a city employee....who someday hopes to collect on the pension that he will owed when he retires.

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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:49 pm 
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https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2019/11/0 ... l-due-gun/

Quote:
On-Duty Police Officer Ejected From Chicago Hospital Due To His Gun


Posted at 5:00 pm on November 6, 2019 by Tom Knighton

No one is surprised to learn that the city of Chicago and most of its inhabitants aren’t fans of firearms. City governments are often reflective of the communities themselves, so to call Chicago anti-gun is a fairly accurate assessment of not just the government but the community as a whole.

However, even most anti-gunners contend that police should probably still have guns. After all, bad people are still going to do bad things and even they would kind of like the guys we task to stop those bad people actually have the means to stop them.

Unless, of course, you’re in Chicago.

While no one really seems to be pushing to disarm Chicago police across the board, there are those who think police should be disarmed while in uniform in certain situations.

This morning I stopped by “Presence St. Joseph’s Hospital” on the 2900 block of Lake Shore Drive to visit slain police officer Rick Francis’s partner, Norm K. (019 – Retired) who recently had a heart attack and as of Friday was still in ICU. After stopping by ICU mid morning today I was instructed that Norm had been moved to another floor. In addition to that the nurse also made aware that the hospital has a strick [sic] policy against persons or in this case, police officers possessing firearms on the premises while not responding to a call for service…

Now I realize this probably isn’t the first incident to have ever occurred… Sporting venues etc. have similar policies. But it was my first along with the fact I was working within my District, in full uniform with a marked vehicle parked out front… To say I stuck out like a sore thumb would be an under statement.

Debating whether to return to the 1st floor and surrender my service revolver to security was not something I was comfortable with… After all, no one from security or otherwise was conducting any kind of searches for weapons from ordinary citizens coming in off the street… No metal detectors were in place. With that knowledge I simply took the elevator up to the appropriate floor to visit with one of our own… unsure exactly what transpired next I can only surmise that the ICU nurse who not only told me which floor/bed Norm was in, obviously made the call down to security to inform them exactly where I was more than likely headed.


Security then arrived to escort him off the premises.

The officer noted that security was also unarmed. Apparently, their method of responding to a bad guy with a gun was to use harsh language. Or maybe they figured if they asked very nicely, the bad guy will stop being bad.

Whatever.

Of course, bad people don’t necessarily avoid hospitals. It was less than a year ago when a maniac opened fire outside of Chicago Mercy Hospital. In that incident, a Chicago police officer and two other people were killed, this despite hospitals being off-limits for firearms according to state law.

Generally, however, such regulations don’t apply to on-duty police officers.

Apparently, though, Presence St. Joseph’s Hospital doesn’t really care about the safety of their patients or visitors since not even their security was armed. I hate to break it to them, signs and good intentions don’t do squat in the grand scheme of things.




Additionally, this is from the original post by the police officer:
Quote:
I did asked the following question: "Had I surrendered my weapon and had let's say I ran into a situation what is it that you think I should do since your hospital policy has stripped me of my weapon"?

Your going to love her answer! "You will have to do like the rest of us, which is to Run and Hide" Shaking my head not believing what I had just heard, drove away wondering what if anything could be done...

http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2019/ ... again.html

I am quite familiar with this hospital.
I grew up within walking distance ( 0.4 miles) away from it. Lived there for 16 years and on more than one occasion either myself or my siblings visited this hospital with one ailment or another.


I did add the following comment at the end of the original linked article:

Quote:
One point that may be relevant to the above incident, that was not mentioned, is this: “Presence St. Joseph’s Hospital” is a Roman Catholic hospital. The management may have a policy against having firearms on the premises. My brother used to be a police officer for Loyola University in Chicago (He was NOT a "security guard" since he was required to attend the Illinois State Police Academy as a requirement of his job). Loyola U. is also Roman Catholic. Loyola had a policy AGAINST its police officers carrying firearms. As the Loyola North Shore campus is not one compact location, and has various buildings spread throughout the local neighborhood, his patrols took him through the local neighborhood. There were incidents where he chased down perpetrators such as purse snatchers and assaulters that were not strictly on university property but were within the "campus area". He had no firearms though and was only equipped with a billy club, mace and perhaps a taser (I am not positive about the taser).

So this prohibition against allowing firearms, even for police officers, may have more to do with the fact that the hospital is connected to the Roman Catholic Church.
(I can't say with any certainty that this is the case though, and I don't agree with the policy, but I just wanted to mention the possibility).


The neighborhood around Loyola was at the time my brother worked there (and I think still is) kinda of crappy.
So as a uniformed police officer (even just one for the university) my brother might never know if someone he was chasing or encountered was armed or not.
And all my brother had was a billy club, mace (and maybe a taser).

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- misattributed to Alexis De Tocqueville

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 Post subject: Re: Illinois: Greece on Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:40 pm 
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As information, the Oct. 17th incident that she is referring to is:

Quote:
Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired police Superintendent Eddie Johnson effective immediately Monday for intentionally misleading her and the public about his conduct when he was found asleep in his running vehicle at a stop sign after a late weeknight out in October.



and

Quote:
Officers responding to a 911 call found Johnson asleep in his parked car near his home at about 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 17. Officers let him drive home without testing for whether he had been drinking, a decision Johnson later defended, saying,"Someone asleep in a car doesn’t mean they’re impaired."

Johnson blamed the incident on his failure to take his blood pressure medication. After suffering a blood clot this past summer, he said his cardiologist had recently “adjusted” his medication. The superintendent said he removed the old medication from his weekly pillbox but had not yet obtained the new prescription.

Johnson said he had been tired after a long day at work that Wednesday but went out to dinner with friends at night. He said he felt ill as he drove home from the dinner.

“How can I explain it? It’s just your body kind of gives you a warning with the high blood pressure thing that you may pass out, so I pulled over, stopped and I just rested myself until that feeling passed," he said.

Johnson has not explained why he was driving home from a dinner engagement at 12:30 a.m., particularly on a day he said he felt fatigued.

Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, previously released a statement saying alcohol did not play a role in the incident.

But Johnson also admitted to Lightfoot that he had “a couple of drinks” with dinner, the mayor previously said.


https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics ... story.html

_________________
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
- misattributed to Alexis De Tocqueville

No representations made as to the accuracy of info in posted news articles or links


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