GARFIELD PARK — Living Chicagoans are no longer eligible for their very own brown and white honorary street sign, as aldermen moved to limit the honor in the wake of the controversy over a street sign honoring President Donald Trump.
But that did not stop Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) from beating the buzzer.
On the last day aldermen could propose honorary street signs under the old rules, the West Side alderman filed requests for 19 signs — one less than he would be allowed to propose during the next decade, now that the new regulations are in place.
Ervin, who was elected to his second term in 2015, said he didn't support the new rules, but voted for them anyway.
"I felt these deserved to move forward under the old rules and regulations," Ervin said in a statement.
"Although I voted for the changes to the law, I disagreed with aspects of it such as disallowing the honoring of living individuals who have made great contributions to our community," he said.
Fourteen of the honorary street signs proposed by Ervin that the City Council is all-but-certain to approve next month honor religious leaders and two honor community groups. Another honors his predecessor, former Ald. Ed H. Smith.
Two other aldermen filed ordinances to honor living Chicagoans with street signs, including actor Joe Mantegna and Gibson's restaurant owner Steve Lombardo.
The new regulations were designed to prevent aldermen "from making mistakes," said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), who authored the measure.
In addition to requiring that honored people be deceased, the new rules would require that the honorees "distinguished themselves by significant contributions to the city, state, nation, world," according to the measure.
In addition, the regulations would put a five-year limit on the honor, with the brown signs with white lettering coming down — unless the Council agrees to renew the honor.
In addition, aldermen would be limited to two honorary street sign requests — which cost between $600 and $1,000 — per year.
If adopted, the new rules would mean city crews would hit Chicago's streets in 2022 to remove all of the street signs not re-blessed by aldermen.