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City Council OK's Daley's '09 Budget

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Nov 19, 2008 8:45PM


The Chicago City Council passed the city budget today with a 49 - 1 vote. Ald. Billy Ocasio (26th) cast the only dissenting vote. Mayor Daley’s hard-times budget will cut no more than 770 city jobs, down from the nearly 1000 originally proposed. The plan will also raise parking taxes, raise amusement taxes and charge fees on private dumpsters.

Many of the aldermen hailed it as a responsible budget, doing more work with fewer resources, but there were still a number of complaints, especially about the proposed fee on private dumpsters, which will go into effect in April 2009. During the discussions leading up to the vote, Ald. Ocasio lamented that Daley “believes everything and everyone is expendable,” and he said the city does not provide enough services for his ward, which includes parts of Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Hermosa and West Town.

Other issues raised by the council:

  • Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) said that he doubted that the budget’s series of “nickel and dime” programs would prevent a budget shortfall in the coming years.
  • Ald. James Balcer (11th) pleaded with the chamber to remember that those city employees that will be laid off will still need to find jobs, emotionally saying he knows what it’s like to be unemployed. “That is the most important thing to me: helping these people find jobs. I will support the budget, but remember the people,” Balcer said.
  • Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said, “If I could vote no and save their jobs, I would, but that’s not going to save their jobs.”

As expected, the bulk of the layoffs will hit the Department of Streets and Sanitation. Check out the rest of the highlights here.

Photo and story by Samantha Abernethy