FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
At least eleven new aldermen joining the City Council in 2011 will have the opportunity to immediately start closing Chicago’s daunting budget gap, according to Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd). Ald Waguespack says that the two ordinances he has proposed could immediately become law and save taxpayers millions of dollars in the short term and billions of dollars in the long run. Waguespack will urge the new council to quickly move to pass the Asset Lease Protection Ordinance and the Contract Oversight Ordinance.
“As soon as they are sworn in, our new aldermen will have a chance to tackle the budget crisis. Passing these two ordinances will immediately save money, and an audit of the city books will further expose City Hall’s waste and inefficiency. Combined, these measures will save our city billions of dollars,” Waguespack said.
The Asset Lease Protection Ordinance, introduced in 2009, slows down the hasty approval process that contributed to the passage of the notorious Parking Meter deal. The Contract Oversight Ordinance, introduced in 2010, establishes a process whereby the City Council’s Committee on Finance reviews all city contracts for goods and services in excess of $500,000.
Waguespack predicted incoming alderman and their veteran colleagues will all agree that more dollars are needed to spend on infrastructure in their wards. He cited the $1.3 million in annual “menu money” allotted to aldermen, saying, “We’ve spent nearly every dime at our disposal, including nearly $1 million left unspent by my predecessor. But our neighborhoods need more of our tax dollars poured back into them. You could add another zero to the end of the annual allotment, and we’d put it to good use in the 32nd Ward. I’m sure the other 49 aldermen will concur. That is why we must stop the overall financial hemorrhaging.”
Ald. Waguespack concluded, “Until we address the underlying budget problems, our neighborhoods will continue to be under-served and taxpayers over-charged. I’m hopeful that the new council will have the wisdom and independence to root out waste, corruption, and mismanagement.”