City Council, Chairman, Tom Burke discussed on Steve Dahl
Old finance committee, corral, let's welcome to the program alderman, Scott Wagga, Spag mister chairman. How are you, sir? I'm doing okay. How are you doing that? I'm doing very, very well for years, you've been the voice of dissent in the city council. Now you rule over maybe the most important committee. Tell us some of the some of the reforms, you intend to make. Let's start with the number of people that the format of chairman had working with him there, seventy six people working for them. Are you going to be able to keep all those people on as you move forward? No. And actually, you know, as the beginning of the year, they were down to about twenty seven and then most recently down to twelve and what the mayor asked me to do was really down to about a dozen or less people with the staff budget. That's essentially looks like it's going to be about a fifth of what former Charon Birkat. So I'm going to be asked to do a lot more being more transparent open about the committee with a lot less. You also want to stab inspector general oversight over each city council committee, is that true. Yeah. And that's something that we've been working on for several years. This goes way back of west. Both was twenty sixteen and we lost that moat by just two votes. And I think it's important to make sure that, you know, tax payers are seeing what's happening in the city council, and the finance committee is one place where a lot of those things happen with the city finances, but. Throughout the committee system. It's something where we're going to try to bring up again and see how the new aldermen have a feel for it. And if we can find a way to have the inspector at least helping out and looking at better ways to make the committee's more efficient. The new chairman of our finance committee is here. Alderman, Scott wagons back described to us some of the ways that alderman, Burke, ran his own fiefdom. Well, he you know, he, he did a lot of things that I think, over the years he was able to pull into his committee that came from the administrator, the executive side administrative tasks like running the workers comp program, and we all know that's about a ninety one hundred million dollar program. The audit recently came out, and that, that the inspector general was able to pull together with the comptroller's office. It's it's moved out of the workers comp program completely away from the finance committee, and what, what they showed in that audit was that there were no controls in place or very little controls to prevent the fraud, waste, and abuse that a lot of people think was going on for many years. And that's one that was probably the one big area where you we feel that we need to continue to have hearing on it. And really try to rein that activity ends make sure that it's, it's working right for everybody that has workers comp issues. But he's also, you know there were areas where. I think the aldermen had his outside business. We're going to try to put us back to that for all men where they are working against city taxpayers are in conflict, which city taxpayers. And that's, that's another big area where I think we're gonna change to think that's constitutional, though. I mean I understand you have your law firm deals in attacks appeals that, that seems Hanky to me into everybody pretty much. What is your restaurant, Tom Burke? There's, there's other elected officials that do it in different entities, or, or different government bodies, but we were saying aldermen Burke taking the role for teams and essentially abstaining from a lot of these everything from bond deals to real estate deals because he was somehow involved in them. And as we saw the indict the recent indictment, we now know how. Yeah. Would this extended baby restaurant, tours or people that have any other small business, and they decide to be citizen patriots and run for the city council? Are they going to have to divest themselves or put it in a blind trust? Or what do you see? No, I think right now what we're looking at is allowing people to continue to do that. Because if you're, you know, if you don't want a restaurant, or a small business, for instance, you're not really working at the best interest of the city taxpayers. That's when you're basically making money off of tax payers, by you know, fighting to reduce taxes, that should be paid in an appropriate manner, or if you're holding something over somebody's head, so that they are required to take you as the client when they have other business in front of the city council, and I don't think that would happen with small business owner as you get into some of those paperwork alderman, Scott, wagons spec here, the brand new chairman of the finance committee. How bad is a parking meter private privatization deal? Oh, that one. I've known from day, one was a really bad deal. But we've talked to the mayor about opening it up, or at least looking at the books to see if we could change it. I, I know just a few years ago, mayor Emanuel pop it open and try to make it better. But it ended up being better for the parking company. So I've talked to her mayor Lightfoot about that. And that's something that's on the table, but we're also looking at the issues of water shut off. And, you know, for everyday resonance, we're looking at the towing contracts that are in the city. So I have a laundry list of things that we're going to be looking at. Holding hearings on first, and we can bring people to table and question them and find out how these things have been working for many years. So it won't have everything to do with the finance committee. But there are a lot of areas of concern for everyday resonance that we need to look at what happened with the three point seven million dollars settlement, the vote that happened yesterday that was your first time presiding as chairman of the city council's finance guy. I'm seeing more described as a cracking communications and they just didn't really understand what they were they were settling. Well, yeah, I think there was some concern that aldermen were trying to, you know, make a little show things, and I didn't really take affront to that. I felt that people hadn't been L. Well, informed of what the settlement was, and it was essentially a, a case, where a man had injured three passenger business in his car and twenty fourteen back with the settlement that we were trying to pass instead of taxpayers potentially going to court and having exposure of up to twenty five million in court, the lot apartment had asked for settlement thirty three million little over three million dollars. And I think some of them it didn't take it seriously. Didn't realize the probably hundreds of hours, the law department and other lawyers have worked on it and voted tried to vote it down. We basically had to come back and, and revote on it to make sure that people understood, I voting for and got her favorable though, that that was. Today. Right. During the full council meeting, but it was a little bit of a in my first meeting. But, you know, I try to communicate with all these all them and make sure they know the facts. And once I think they did we had a good outcome alderman. Thank you very much, sir. We appreciate it..