By John Byrne
2:37 PM CDT, October 9, 2012
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today said it's been five months since his administration has talked with Chicago Cubs representatives about Wrigley Field renovations.
Word of the status of the ballpark talks came out as Emanuel discussed his ongoing spat with Gov. Pat Quinn over the governor’s selection to run the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.
The governor wants his chief spokeswoman, former TV reporter Kelly Kraft, to lead the stadium authority. Kraft filed for personal bankruptcy three years ago, a matter the governor's office said has been resolved. Emanuel suggests someone with more financial expertise.
Today, the mayor said it’s “not true” that he hopes to get his own nominee appointed as executive director of the authority in order to facilitate a deal to have the agency float publicly financed bonds to pay for repairs to the crumbling landmark ballpark.
Asked whether there are any public funds he would support using to fix up Wrigley Field, Emanuel said “We haven’t had any conversations in about five months.”
The mayor sought to cast the issue as one where he's “making sure the taxpayers of the city of Chicago are protected.”
Using the sports facilities authority to help pay for fixes to the Cubs park hasn’t been discussed, the mayor said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s not even on the table,” Emanuel said during an unrelated news conference.
The stadium authority’s seven-member board is responsible for picking a new executive director and were supposed to interview candidates Monday. The panel, made up of four Quinn appointees and three designated by Emanuel, met behind closed doors but adjourned without taking action. The board is scheduled to reconvene next month.
The mayor said he doesn't expect his latest disagreement with the governor to derail their negotiations over a Chicago casino. "I don't think that's how the governor would view it. He'll make that call," Emanuel said.
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