Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chicago City Council meeting today starting at 10AM

I just got wind of it. Some time for those of you who are interested to see it. Today is Mayor Daley's Budget Address. So that should be something worth watching for those of you who want to know something about that process.

Go here because the Tribune is handing you the Chicago City Clerk page on a platter.

10:50 AM - The Mayor's budget address has just concluded. He mentioned poverty a lot, he took a few swings at the situation in Springfield, and he mentioned the Olympic Bid.

Swings at Springfield are regarding the lack of action on the property tax cap. He wanted to emphasize that he wanted to find alternatives to finding revenue other than turning to the taxpayers. Close to the beginning he said he was presenting a balanced budget and said something very familiar because I took a course in Financial Management in Local Government, "Unlike the federal government that can run on a deficit, a municipality is required to have a balanced budget."

10:56 - Crain's already has a write up about the Mayor's Budget Message and it starts off with one word, "OUCH!!!"

Blaming bad economic times and Springfield infighting, Mayor Richard M. Daley on Wednesday rolled out nearly $200 million in proposed new tax hikes and fee increases to balance his 2008 budget.

Most notable is a requested $108-million increase in the city’s property tax levy — an item that is already stirring stiff opposition among aldermen and may require all of Mayor Daley’s legendary political muscle to pass.

Also on the table are new or increased fees on bottled water, phone usage, liquor and beer purchases, parking, and lease transactions. In addition, developers of major construction projects would be asked to pay a new first-time planning fee.

The combination of rising costs and other factors “has created a deficit of $196 million, which can be addressed only by further reducing costs, increasing revenues or both,” Mayor Daley told aldermen in his budget speech.

“We have a choice in this budget: Do we maintain city services and make the investments needed to keep Chicago moving forward, or do we cut services, make substantial layoffs and risk falling behind?” Mayor Daley asked. “I believe we have only one choice — we must keep Chicago moving forward.”

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