Thursday, November 20, 2008

City Council passes Daley's 2009 budget

Mayor Daley’s $6 billion 2009 budget — precariously balanced with 635 or fewer layoffs, slow police hiring and $52.5 million worth of taxes, fines and fees — sailed through the City Council Wednesday amid concern about even tougher times ahead.

The final vote was 49-1 after a two-hour debate. Last year, a Daley budget that included a record $276.5 million in tax and fee increases, including the largest property tax increase in Chicago history, drew 13 dissenting votes.

"Is this problem over yet? Absolutely not," said Budget Committee Chairman Carrie Austin (34th), warning that the worst financial crisis of Daley’s 20-year reign "will get worse before it gets better."

"I’m concerned about the revenue projections in this budget and whether they are realistic…What tricks do we have up our sleeve next year?" said Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd), warning that "nickel and dime" tax and fee increases won’t cut it.

With an unreserved corporate fund balance of just $1.5 million, Chicago has precious little wiggle room.
Clout City has Ald. Lyle on record about the recently passed city budget...
Sixth Ward alderman Freddrenna Lyle described it as a “bad-news budget” but said the council had fought for and won important revisions since the mayor introduced it last month. “We’ve done our homework,” she said. But the Fourth Ward’s Toni Preckwinkle didn’t think she and her colleagues had done enough homework. She called for an additional week of budget hearings next year. “How can we run through 40 departments in two weeks?” she asked. “I don’t think it leads to a very thoughtful process.”
Clout St did a live blog. I wasn't able to do a live blog but I was at least able to watch a few minutes of the City Council meeting yesterday thru the City Clerk website.

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