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City Council Unanimously Passes Emanuel's Inaugural Budget

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 16, 2011 8:40PM

Image Credit: misterbuckwheattree
Mayor Rahm Emanuel only needed 26 votes for his budget to pass today. He received those votes and then some.

The Chicago City Council, which spoke last autumn that whoever succeeded Richard Daley as mayor would find them to not be a rubber stamp, unanimously approved the mayor's budget this morning. Somewhere, Daley is likely giggling and keeping notes.

Both aldermen and the mayor will say they worked in concert. The 28 aldermen who endorsed a strongly worded letter to Emanuel about proposed budget cuts can point to the reversal of $10 million in proposed cuts by Emanuel to library, public health and other services. But aldermen held their noses and voted for major rate hikes in water and sewer fees that, as the Reader's Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke reported last week, will be diverted to cover other city spending.

After the vote, Emanuel and aldermen thanked each other for passing the budget. Emanuel thanked aldermen for "putting city taxpayers before the city payroll":

"We have a bright future, we have a strong future, this budget does not run away from that, it shapes it."

Aldermen, in kind, praised Emanuel for drafting a budget that didn't rely on dipping into so-called "rainy day funds" to balance.