Mayor's allies avert vote on TIF reform that would block $1.5B for mega projects

A city council committee abruptly recessed Monday after progressive aldermen appeared to have the votes to pass a long-stalled ordinance that would block Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to use $1.5 billion in tax increment financing subsidies to unlock the development potential of four mega projects.

Such "quorum calls" are normally requested by anti-administration aldermen when fewer than a majority of a committee members are present.

But at Monday's Finance Committee meeting, it was Chairman Edward Burke (14th Ward) who suggested taking attendance - to avoid a vote that could have gone against the outgoing mayor.

"If someone were to call for a quorum, I suspect it would fail," said Burke, who was chairing his first committee meeting since the unprecedented Nov. 29 federal raid on his ward and city hall offices.

Retiring 39th Ward Alderman Marge Laurino then requested a quorum call, while 11th Ward Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson hustled out of the city council chambers.

Only 12 aldermen were present - three short of a quorum. Burke then recessed until Tuesday morning.

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