By: Mark Glennon*

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Thursday announced Chicago’s new COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force.

Among the members named, listed below, I count just five who appear to have any economic or business credentials – Herencia, Hobson, Edelman, Cronin and Harris. None appears to have any expertise in insolvency. Additionally, the task force will by headed by Sam Skinner who has had a very, very long career in government and business. Let’s hope he is still at the top of his game.

  • Roberto Herencia, chairman of Byline Bank
  • Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments
  • Bob Reiter, Chicago Federation of Labor president
  • Jenny Scanlon, UL CEO
  • Evelyn Diaz, president of the Heartland Alliance
  • Karen Freeman Wilson, president and CEO of the Urban League of Chicago
  • Alexa James, executive director, of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chicago
  • Sandra Cordova Micek, CEO of WTTW | WFMT
  • Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman
  • Anton Seals, Grow Greater Englewood executive director
  • Daniel Cronin, DuPage County board chairman
  • Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County board president
  • Joseph T. Tamburino, Village of Hillside mayor
  • Ben Harris, executive director of the Kellogg Public-Private Initiative at Northwestern University
  • Ai-Jen Poo, co-founder of the National Domestic Worker’s Alliance
Kevyn Orr

Chicago needs the A-Team, not another task force. Here’s who Lightfoot should be calling: Kevyn Orr.

He was Detroit’s Emergency Manager during its bankruptcy. Tough, smart and experienced in the most complex insolvencies, his work for Detroit was exceptional.

If Chicago isn’t getting insolvency counsel from somebody like Orr it is guilty of fiscal nonfeasance. That includes assessment of whether bankruptcy would be best for all stakeholders.

Bankruptcy for Chicago and other municipalities would require authorization by the state. Most states have given their municipalities that option, but not Illinois. We earlier testified in Springfield in favor of it.

One key is getting the right emergency manager, or perhaps a financial control board would be right for Chicago. That would be a problem because, if Lightfoot had her say, that board would probably look much like her new Economic Recovery Task Force.

I am being a bit facetious in saying to call Orr. There are other top shelf insolvency experts here in Chicago, including some who battled with Orr in the Detroit proceeding.

Besides, Orr is probably booked up already. I expect very many municipalities across America are considering, and will be filing, for bankruptcy. Experts like Orr will rapidly become hard to find, and that will be major problem in itself.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.


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6 months ago

Joey Tamburino? hahahaha. Judging from all the empty storefronts out in Hillside he’s just the guy to counsel Chicago on restoring Chicago’s vibrancy.

Richard Poo Millersky
7 months ago

Danny Cronin? All he knows and cares about is DuPage County. He has no interest in Cook County, especially not Chicago!!

7 months ago

Mayor Lightfoot could not have picked a more qualified person to head the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force than Sam Skinner. As you stated, he has served in numerous capacities In both the public and private sectors with honor and integrity.

I have not doubt that he is well up to the task before him which may be toughest of all that he has chaired over his long and distinguished career.

Don Schollenberger

True believer
6 months ago
Reply to  Don Scholley

Sam Skinner is. RINO scum. He is only there to coordinate the needs of the combine which has destroyed Chicago. His appointment proves without a doubt that Lori is a lying hypocrite and actually a machine hack. She has kept Rahm insiders like Ferguson, who sold his soul for a contract, Carney at CDOT, janice Jackson at the failed CPS, Mike Kelly st the park district who is only there to insure Rahm’s donors c3 gets free city services for lollapooloza, Steve Berlin at Ethics who did Rahm’s bidding and is a yes man and many others. Lori also has… Read more »

dan Miller
7 months ago

This is the perfect team: with little experience in bankruptcy proceedings or municipal finance, the majority of this team will reject the concept of bankruptcy for Chicago from the get-go. I don’t see any path out of Chicago’s fiscal sink hole other than bankruptcy.

7 months ago

It’s all a show. The banks are in control. When they balk, then the city governemt will consider bankruptcy.

Richard Poo Milkersky
7 months ago

Isn’t Melody Hobson in California, with her husband George Lucas?

How can a Hillside Mayor help? Hillside is a small suburb, next to not so great Bellwood.

Anton Seals can’t even manage Englewood. Nobody can.

Karen Freeman Wilson was Gary, IN Mayor. She couldn’t manage Gary, lost Gary Roosevelt High School to Edison Corporation, who further ruined it, but were paid exorbitant salaries for doing nothing. She praised Richard Hatcher often and had a statue of him built.

Doesn’t Toni have her hands full running the Cook County Board and Democratic Party?

Oswegop Billy
7 months ago

I agree. I resided in Hillside. Mayor Joey Tamburino has his hands full with preventing Hillside becoming an extension of Maywood, like Bellwood and Broadview did.

True believer
7 months ago

Sam skinner is a complete total political hack. Also included are the typical fake community organizations losers looking for more free money. These include socialist hand out incompetent Anton seals and Ai Jen Poo

7 months ago

I submit the following to the new task force for their consideration. I attempted to compare the cost of living in Chicago as opposed to Nashville. My example was based on a couple that owns a $250,000 house with a taxable household income of $100,000. The Illinois state tax would be $4,700. The real estate tax would be $5,300. I found a Chicago house on Zillow realistically listed for $250,000 and it’s predicted to decrease in value by 5% ($12,500) in the next year. The Tennessee state tax would be $0. The real estate tax would be $2,400. I found… Read more »

7 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

The same value house in Rockford tax’s would be $11,043 and they probably paid $325K for it a number of years ago. My home was purchased for $184K in early 2008 (bad timing) and I paid approx $70K+ in tax’s not including the tax bill due soon. Value now at $172 was $157 in 2018. Total insanity!

7 months ago

No one from U of Chicago? Mayor of Hillside?

True beiiever
7 months ago
Reply to  nixit

The u of Chicago is an Obama loving commie school.

Old Spartan
7 months ago

Right on point Wirepoints. Not one single restructuring expert. There are twenty excellent law firms, accounting firms and consulting firms that the private sector uses in financisl crises– and a bunch of them with offices in Chicago. Zero indication the City has even talked to any of them. Not one person with any bankruptcy experience. Not even one person with any experience in reducing the expense side of a budget. And watch Pritzker’s pressers every day. Not one person with any business experience. Where is someone from DCEO, IDOT, the Revenue Dept, the Chamber of Commerce, the IMA, IRMA, the… Read more »

True Believer
7 months ago
Reply to  Old Spartan

It’s all incompetent affirmative action types. That’s what Chicago has become.

7 months ago

Anyone understand Bayesian Conditional probability? Anyone of them actually used it in their biz? This is more of the closed network. Even Skinner isn’t a free thinker

Illinois Entrepreneur
7 months ago

I read in a prior article about this “task force” some of the usual rumblings of “black and brown communities” and “worker protections.”

It sounds like another opportunity to gouge the local business community with more mandates, paid leave, and other freedom-stealing initiatives.

That should do wonders to help businesses rebound here in Chicago.