Mayor Rahm Emanuel skirted a pair of hot button issues today, declining to weigh in on the city’s $6.2 million settlement with anti-war protesters and the flap over the design of the new city stickers.
The twin topics are two of the biggest stories in town right now, but the mayor didn’t want to go there while taking reporters’ questions at a gun control event on the Far South Side.
The mayor was asked about City Clerk Susana Mendoza’s Wednesday decision to scrap the winning city sticker design amid concerns from some quarters that the 15-year-old artist drew gang signs into the piece.
“That was yesterday. Those that dealt with that issue as it relates to the sticker made their decision,” Emanuel said about the outcome. “My job is to focus on what I think is essential for the city: stronger schools, safer streets, stable finances, creating a quality of life for all of our city and all of our residents. and that’s what I’m focused on.”
Asked about the issue again later in the news conference, Emanuel said “I’ve answered that,” and took another question.
At another point, Emanuel was asked how the settlement with more than 800 plaintiffs in federal court stemming from mass arrests during a 2003 demonstration against the Iraq war would affect Chicago Police Department procedures. Emanuel stepped aside for Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who talked about important lessons police have learned about how best to deal with large groups of protesters.
When the Tribune asked Emanuel to share his opinion on the settlement, the mayor said “You’ve got that,” and ended the news conference.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times