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Vote no on referendum

Updated: December 3, 2012 6:36AM

The grassroots watchdog group Illinois Citizens to Protect the Public Commons warns about the long-term consequences of voting to support Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s binding referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot in Chicago. The question voters are being asked is “Should the city of Chicago have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers, who have not opted out of such program.” A simple majority of those voting ”Yes” on the question would empower the city to proceed with its plan.

As part of the mayor’s rush to educate the public about the proposed referendum, the city has conducted four hearings during the two weeks before the vote. At Tuesday’s forum at Truman College, presented by city consultants, The Delta Institute’s Tom Cushing, and Mark Pruitt, former director of the Illinois Power Agency, explained the city’s vision and process for the plan. Questions from the audience confirmed that the city’s major criteria is based on ‘price” and so the group feels the city’s plan will jeopardize the longer-term sustainable and renewable energy of wind, solar, or geothermal.

“We feel that if the city’s priority is price, then it will be the death knell to the 30 new energy retailers which have come to Illinois to create lots of jobs in renewable energy and give an unfair advantage to dirty energy companies like Constellation Energy a subsidiary of Exelon, whose main electricity comes from nuclear and coal” claims Dr. Lora Chamberlain, coalition member of ICCPC.

Furthermore, if the city gets the approval to proceed, the savings are likely to be short-lived, because the two major suppliers to Illinois residential customers Amiren and ComEd have contracts which will expire in December and May 2013, and their new contracts are likely to offer lower prices to customers. Since 2007 Illinois residents can enter into contracts with alternative energy suppliers and achieve savings on price, and/or greener energy at their choosing.

Clare Tobin, coalition member adds, “How can you justify giving the city so much power with so little time being given to the voters to make an informed decision on the consequences“?

Whether the criteria is “price” or creating more “competition” in the electricity market, or the long-term viability of “renewables.” the city’s plan is not worth taking the risk. For these reasons Illinois Coalition to Protect the Public Commons urges Chicagoans to vote “No” on the referendum on Nov. 6.

Charles Paidock, Bridgeport

Closing the gap

The CPS and Rahm Emanuel’s plan to bribe parents with $25 Walgreens gift card to come to pick up their child’s report card is a new low for Chicago. He states we need to close the gap between “a parent and a teacher, a gap between the parent and the principal.”

What about the monumental gap between the parent and their child? How much money will Emanuel bribe parents to close that gap? How sad is that?

Lawrence Dudzik, Mokena

Do we get a card, too?

I along with my wife have raised two daughters. Throughout their educational years, we have attended all parent teacher conferences, picked up report cards and ensured all homework assignments were done on time. How silly of us to believe this was part of our parental responsibilites. Can I now apply for a $25 gift card from Walgreens since my children are responsible adults?

Michael T. Malone,

Garfield Ridge

A fine critic

Early in my career, Pat Bruno set me straight about restaurant critics and how to act around them. “Act like we are not here and don’t make a big deal.” He was right and the lessons he taught me throughout the years helped me in so many ways. He was tough when he didn’t know you, but once you gained his respect and showed the same to him he was always there for you. The last time I saw him October of 2011, he was going to start a blog and I was honored to be able to help. He stopped answering my e-mails a couple months later and I knew he was very ill.

I am honored to have known the man behind the menu and those who broke bread with him I’m sure feel the same.

Ken Karlson, marketing director for Catch 35 Seafood & Premium Steaks

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