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BGA Report Asks Why We Need So Many Aldermen

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 17, 2010 4:00PM

City Council (via City of Chicago Website)

Did you know that, once upon a lonesome, there were 70 aldermen representing 35 wards in Chicago? That's one of the many tidbits you'll learn from a recent Better Government Association report that reopens the argument of whether we really need 50.

The BGA crunches the numbers of municipal government representation per alderman in major metropolitan cities. Chicago's 50 aldermen represent an average of 57,025 residents. Compare that to the 164,547 constituents represented by each of New York City's 51 City Council seats, or the 255,458 constituents served per city council seat in Los Angeles.

With a projected budget of $24.5 million to run City Council, the BGA suggests that reducing the number of aldermen would save the city $2.7 million in salary, with further savings from consolidating aldermanic staffs. It's an engaging read and we're going to go back to to catch some things we missed.