Mayor: “I Made a Mistake”

Emanuel says he was wrong to say emphatically that some security measures put in place during the NATO/G8 summits would be temporary

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday said he "made a mistake" when he said emphatically last month that some security measures put in place during the NATO/G8 summits would be temporary.

"New Year’s resolution. I made a mistake. Real simple, OK? I thought when I answered the question I was answering the question about contracting, OK? So, if I made a mistake, I bear the responsibility," Emanuel said when pressed on the subject.

Last month, the mayor said sweeping security measures and contracting for the dual summits -- scheduled for May 15 through May 22 -- would be temporary for the "unique event." Among them: hiking fines for protestors who break the law and amending the hours of the city's public parks, beaches and playgrounds.

"It gives us the capacity to orderly organize it and host it, and then it's a one-time, only for the G8 and NATO, and that's it. It's not -- you guys, you know that," he said at the time.

But he backtracked on Tuesday, saying changes to park and beaches closures may not be rolled back once the summits are over.

"As it relates to the hours associated with parks and beaches, I believe that's temporary but I want to be accurate and I'm going to get you the information," he said.

What will remain temporary, Emanuel said, are the contracting rule changes he wants to prevent those deals from getting mired in bureaucracy. 

Permanent, he said, are the increases in fines for those who resist police. The current fines are between $25 and $500. During the summits, Emanuel proposed that fines start at $500 and jump to $1,000.

"In 20 years the fee structure has not been updated. That's going to go and become permanent," said Emanuel.

The rule changes aren't sitting well with protesters who say the restrictions would actually cause the very discord they were designed to prevent.

The Chicago City Council still has to approve Emanuel's proposed changes.

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