City CFO Lois Scott Lays Out Road Map for Success at Chamber Board Meeting
Chicago - In a room full of some of Chicago’s most esteemed business leaders, City of Chicago CFO Lois Scott implored the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to unite in addressing Chicago’s pension reform issue.
“Leaders need to take a look at tough issues like this and say ‘we can’t ignore this anymore',” Scott said. “This is too important.”
The City of Chicago has developed a road map for tackling a pension reform issue that has grown increasingly critical over the past few months. During her address, Scott emphasized that insolvency of pension funds in Chicago is dead ahead, and investment returns will not save the system. She pointed out that Chicago’s economy cannot sustain jumps in property taxes and other taxes, which would act as a deterrent to businesses looking to relocate or expand here. She made it clear that employers and taxpayers have done nothing wrong.
“The pension issue dwarfs everything we want to do as a community, and we have to wrestle it,” Scott said. “We have to protect our taxpayers.”
What should Chicago’s business community do to take on this challenge? In Scott’s view, Chicago’s business leaders need to spread the word emphasizing the importance of this issue, help elected officials understand the problem to act on it, and unite around these core ideas and press on them.
Pension reform will be addressed again in Springfield in the Fall veto session. The Chamber has adopted a resolution making the city and county pension crisis its top legislative priority.
In addition to Lois Scott’s address, Board Chairman Scott Swanson, President of Charter One and RBS Citizens, Illinois and Michigan, recapped last month’s Annual Meeting of Membership and looked ahead to the Chamber’s upcoming Burnham Award Dinner, which will honor Ellen M. Costello, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Corp and U.S. Country Head.
Swanson also delivered a public policy report, which featured several of the Chamber’s key legislative priorities going forward, including a Chicago casino, the Cook County sales tax rollback, and the mobile food trucks ordinance.
To close the meeting, Kelly O’Brien, the Chamber’s Senior Vice President for Economic Development, delivered a report on the recently developed Tri-State Alliance, which was created in response to the release of the OECD’s groundbreaking economic analysis of the Tri-State Chicago Metropolitan Region.
According to O’Brien, the OECD study was just Phase One of the plan to increase the Tri-State region’s global competitiveness. Phase Two will be creating and executing an implementation plan based on the OECD’s findings.
For more information on the Tri-State Alliance, click here.