A consensus has emerged that the pending ordinance bringing the Chicago City Council under the jurisdiction of City Inspector General Joe Ferguson is long overdue. Extending the IG’s scope provides necessary oversight of the legislative branch, replacing the toothless office of the legislative inspector general.
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The concern that broadening the IG’s jurisdiction violates separation of powers has not proven to be problematic in other U.S. cities with similar arrangements, nor has this impeded the Federal Bureau of Investigation from investigating fairly allegations of wrongdoing by members of Congress.
In addition, IG Ferguson indicates that his office dismisses more than 70 percent of the complaints it receives, demonstrating that aldermen needn’t fear unfounded or politically motivated allegations.
The Union League Club of Chicago shares the opinion of the Chicago Sun-Times in its Jan. 8 editorial “Put Council Under Lens of Effective Inspector General”) and urges all aldermen — a majority of whom are already cosponsors of this ordinance — to support transparency and accountability by voting for this critical measure at the City Council’s Feb. 10 meeting.
William J. Nissen. chairman, Public Affairs Committee
Union League Club of Chicago
I was a teacher in Chicago for 35 years. After looking at the proposed contract, it should come as no surprise that it was rejected. Over the three years, teachers would receive raises totaling 8.75 percent but give back the pension pickup amounting to 7 percent. That would leave teachers with a three year raise totaling 1.75 percent.
The worst part of this deal is that this is not the critical issue with regard to money. The major questions are where the funding will come from and how it will be distributed. Recently it was reported that the board intended to spend $60 million on one high school. Meanwhile the school I taught at for 32 years cannot provide its students with even the most basic necessities, such as duplicating paper.
The major hurdle that must be overcome is the funding of public education in the future. This burden has to be laid at the doorstep of our current governor. Like most of his ilk, his intent is to break all public unions. It appears his intent is to reduce all public workers to minions, as he has done in the private sector.
Daniel Pupo, Bellwood
If ever the term “circle the wagons” came screaming into reality, it is the investigation of those officers who were involved in the cover-up of the killing of David Koschman. Those individuals who swore by that sacred oath “We serve and protect” have made a mockery of that motto.
Two investigations failed to find the truth. Finally a special grand jury led by Dan Webb exposed what none of us who wear or have worn that uniform wanted to believe and that was a selected few decided that clout and personal gain comes before upholding a sacred oath.
How can this department move forward without closure to this investigation? It hurts to have to say these words, but those rotten apples will continue to taint an entire department until they are exposed and punished for the injustices they have heaped upon a grieving mother and the rest of all the good men and woman who believe that “We serve and protect” has meaning other then serving and protecting people with clout and each other.
Bob Angone, South Loop
Regarding a Nov. 13 article by Kevin Beese, “Science Makes STEM Fun at Western Springs”: Collaborative efforts by foundations and universities are paramount to preparing our youth for the dominant high-tech job market that awaits them.
As director of the Brinker Education Initiative, a college scholarship fundraising and advocacy nonprofit project for Chicago Hispanics/Latinos who excel in STEM, I know these joint efforts must also increase their focus on Chicago’s aspiring Latino students.
Ambitious Latino-Americans are the largest, youngest, and fastest-growing U.S. and Chicago demographic, and represent the largest number of new recruits in our high-tech Armed Forces. This emerging Latino majority must be prepared to take over STEM-related careers
Studies show that a two-year associate’s degree more often than not earns more lifetime income than a four-year non-STEM degree. The same is true of a four-year STEM degree’s higher income earning potential compared with a Ph.D. in a non-STEM field.
Expanded collaborative civic and corporate efforts in STEM will indeed be helpful to Chicago’s hopeful Latino students and millennials.
Harry S. Brinker, III, Loop
The Super Bowl reminds us of the primary requirement for all winning teams — and that is the concept of ensemble.
That central principle emphasizes that groups — athletic, cultural, and other — have more in common than most people might imagine.
All effective ensembles, whether football teams, string quartets, families, organizations, and even nations of the world, strive to function increasingly well in ensemble.
Doing so increases the chances that a group will succeed, thrive, and perhaps even prevail.
Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View