Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicago's Mayor Daley Suggests Shutting City Offices To Save Money

This is the grand idea to save money in Chicago. Mayor Richard Daley, a Democrat, thinks that shutting non-essential offices for six days over two years will help save the city some $20 million.

The City of Chicago has a budget hole of $500 million.
CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports that Mayor Daley says he's facing a budget shortfall of nearly a half-billion dollars. He's already moved to cut 2,500 jobs from city hall's payroll. Now he's going to shut it down - along with other non-essential facilities on the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. That will save $20 million.

The mayor's announcement Tuesday followed behind the scenes bargaining in which labor unions rejected the idea of taking unpaid days off while city services continued as normal. So Daley made an end run around them. He said all but the most essential city functions would shut down - and city workers would not be paid - on three days during the upcoming holiday season.

"The economic crisis in this country is getting worse and worse every day, and that's what you see in every headline in any major newspaper – locally, nationally and internationally," Mayor Daley said. "And it's gonna get worse next year."
It's time that the City of Chicago, and cities around the nation realize that spending money hand over fist for nonessential programs and that unions are a big reason that the costs for governance have spiraled out of control. Union demands and rich contract deals tie municipality hands and limit where they can cut their budgets in lean times.

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