Video: Alden. Pat Dowell, Michele Smith, Chris Taliaferro and Gilbert Villegas discuss the riots in the Chicago Park District and more on Chicago Tonight. Check out part two of our discussion.
In the wake of the lifeguard sexual abuse and harassment scandal led by former Chicago Park District Superintendent Mike Kelly, 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith requested a house cleaning from the Chicago Park District Board.
Kelly resigned the same day Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for his resignation.
“I think Mike Kelly’s resignation is a good first step, but we’re still a long way from solving the problem,” said Smith. “We have to hear from all the victims and really get to the bottom of what happened here.
“I believe that further resignations are appropriate and probably also the chairman of the board.” [Avis Lavelle]. I think if possible, a brand new board of directors really needs to come in to clean the Park District house, ”said Smith, chairman of the city council’s committee on ethics and government oversight.
But 3. Ward Ald. Pat Dowell said there was no need to brush on the Chicago Park District board, especially since two new board members were approved last month.
They “have nothing to do with the Park District scandal so I believe these” [two] Directors, and perhaps others who remain on the board, should be able to stay and work with the new director, ”Dowell said.
Meanwhile, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown recently appeared before the city council to discuss the proposed police budget increase, but elected officials took him up on the pervasive violence in Chicago. Dowell said she hadn’t heard any new strategies from Brown for dealing with violence.
“Pointing fingers will never work,” said Dowell. “It’s not a dent in our problems.”
During his appearance on the city council, Brown also spoke about the turnover rate in the police force and the fact that only 10% who apply to be a police officer are accepted to continue the process.
“We assume we can fill the positions,” said Brown. “We don’t take the public safety impact of our vacancies lightly.”
36th district of Ald. Gilbert Villegas said that “people need to wake up with the crime problem in Chicago”.
“There is a problem here. There are five times as many murders and shootings as in New York, three times as many as in LA, ”said Villegas.
Smith, a former federal prosecutor, believes prosecutors need to be more aggressive and strict about gun ownership and gun violence.
Regarding Chicago, which is struggling to keep the bears at Soldier Field, Villegas said the city “will not give up the farm” to keep the bears.
Dowell added that the city needs to consider funding. “Times have changed and money is tight,” she said, adding that the team must step in if the bears are to build something in the city.
Video: Alden. Pat Dowell, Michele Smith, Chris Taliaferro and Gilbert Villegas discuss Chicago’s violence in “Chicago Tonight”. Check out part one of our discussion. (Produced by Alex Silets)