New Aldermen Get Council Training From Burke

Call it training day for city council newbies.

All 18 new Chicago aldermen met Friday in 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke's offices for an all-day training session, most of it behind closed doors. Their staffs tagged along for a separate class. City Treasurer Stephanie Neeley stopped in to explain what her office can do "for small businesses in their wards" and other financial advice.

Though the aldermen will be sworn in May 16, the first official council meeting is expected for May 18. It's also thought that Chicago's council will downsize the number of committees from 19 to 15 or 16.

Burke says "it's up to 26 aldermen" to vote for him as Finance Chairman, but he likely will retain the chairmanship.

Emanuel and Burke, the two most powerful politicians in Chicago, had a rather contentious relationship during the mayoral election, what with Burke backing Gery Chico for the job. By April 13, they still hadn't spoken since Emanuel was swept into office Feb. 22.

But they're back on track after a meeting last month, and it is believed that once the new council is reorganized, Burke will retain his post.

Emanuel, along with City Clerk-elect Susana Mendoza and Treasurer Stephanie Neely, will be sworn in May 16 at Pritzker Pavilion.

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