Fioretti calls for 35 member City Council, term limits
September 6, 2012

Alderman Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward) believes Chicago would do fine with just 35 aldermen instead of 50 — especially now that workers are handling garbage pickup and street cleaning on a system of ten “grids” instead of 50 wards.

“I proposed a grid system about three and a half years ago,” said Fioretti, who wonders if other City services would be delivered better on a grid, rather than ward, system.

“Right now, I’ve hired three people to do surveys to assess how much we’d save by doing these housekeeping jobs on a grid system independent of ward boundaries. “I do know that if we were to replace all the street lighting in Chicago right now, the system would last for the next 75 to 90 years and cost us $3 billion,” Fioretti said.

While that may sound like a lot of money, it amounts to small change when seen as a long-term investment, Fioretti said. “And we’d put people to work for the next five years replacing the street lighting system and making the City more energy efficient.”

Besides a smaller City Council, Fioretti is calling for term limits. “Just look at the 2nd Ward and all we’ve done so far” in fewer than two terms, he said. “If they [aldermen] have got to stick around and wait years to get anything done, they should not be aldermen in the first place.”

Fioretti admitted he probably has “made some waves” downtown with such “maverick” views.

— Patrick Butler