Thursday, May 10, 2012

Emanuel, suburban mayors join forces on pension reform -

Emanuel, suburban mayors join forces on pension reform -

 “Mayor after mayor, if they had a big box outside the doors in Springfield, are ready to tell them: ‘We’re going to drop the keys to city hall in that box. You guys have run the show for so long, maybe you’d like to run the city and village,’” Bennett said at a news conference at which Emanuel was joined by about two dozen municipal leaders. “That’s the financial crisis we all face.”

It was the third straight day Emanuel pressed the pension issue, following his Tuesday trip to Springfield to address members of the General Assembly and a Wednesday letter to the city employees who would take a pension hit under the austerity measures he has proposed.

Emanuel said lawmakers need to look past the pressure they’re getting from organized labor and make the tough decisions required to bring the state’s pensions into balance.

“I do think — and any mayor can add their voice on this — acting as if this is not difficult, but that if you just do what we’re doing now and that this is going to resolve itself, that is the most dishonest thing, the most irresponsible thing to do,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel said he isn’t willing to consider new revenue sources like tax increases or leasing Midway airport to help fund pensions because the structural problems with the system are too severe.

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