WBEZ | city budget http://www.wbez.org/tags/city-budget Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Alderman says police overtime is main reason he voted against mayor's budget http://www.wbez.org/news/alderman-says-police-overtime-main-reason-he-voted-against-mayors-budget-111140 <p><div>Just four out of 50 aldermen voted not to approve Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s $7.3 billion budget for next year. 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack said the main reason he voted against it was unanswered questions about the Chicago Police Department&rsquo;s portion of the pie. More specifically, the department&rsquo;s growing overtime costs&mdash;and the lack of information on the expense.<p>Waguespack said over the last couple of years, he and other members of the self-titled Progressive Caucus repeatedly have asked both the budget office and the police department for more information on police overtime. And, during budget hearings last month, Waguespack directly asked Supt. Garry McCarthy for a month-by-month breakdown of overtime costs. The superintendent and budget committee chair agreed it was a request the police department could fulfill&mdash;but it didn&rsquo;t.</p>&ldquo;What we&rsquo;re just gonna vote yes, even though we don&rsquo;t know about $100 million worth of budgeting and specifics on it? That is unacceptable,&rdquo; Waguespack said. &ldquo;We actually have to vote on it, which really puts us in a horrible position.&rdquo;<p>Waguespack said he didn&rsquo;t receive anything from CPD or the city budget office on the issue before he cast his vote Wednesday. Waguespack also said he and others were mocked by fellow aldermen for asking about hiring more officers in lieu of spending millions on overtime. Other members of the council echoed the superintendent&rsquo;s stance that it would cost more to employ additional officers.</p>&ldquo;I found that pretty offensive,&rdquo; Waugespack said, &ldquo;especially when the police department superintendent himself could not provide details about how his budget worked from month to month.&rdquo;<p>Waguespack believes the lack of transparency on the subject shows that the police department is &ldquo;out of control&rdquo; in the way it&rsquo;s budgeting for overtime. In 2013, CPD budgeted $32 million for overtime but wound up spending over $100 million. This year&rsquo;s projected expense is $95 - $100 million, more than $20 million over what was budgeted.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think they&rsquo;re providing evidence to the people of the city that shows they should be allowed to continue doing this,&rdquo; Waguespack said, adding that it&rsquo;s bad policy to carry on this way.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chart.PNG" style="height: 172px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div></div><p>Waguespack was part of a group that last year supported an amendment to spend $25 million to hire 500 new cops to deal with violent crimes&mdash;but the plan was blocked in committee. Fellow Progressive Caucus member Ald. John Arena (45th) voted for that amendment too.&nbsp; He pointed out the trend to overspend on overtime during budget hearings last month&mdash;and asked Supt. Garry McCarthy if [the proposed] $71 million was going to be sufficient for next year?</p><p>&ldquo;You know what, alderman, I can&rsquo;t answer that...I really can&rsquo;t,&rdquo; McCarthy said. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t answer that next year we&rsquo;re going to do that much better. We&rsquo;re trying to knock it down. We&#39;re putting systems in place to do that, and slowly but surely I anticipate we&#39;re going to bring it under control.&rdquo;</p><p>WBEZ pressed the police department for an explanation as to why Waguespack&rsquo;s request was not fulfilled before the budget was called for a vote. CPD spokesman Martin Maloney wrote in a statement that the CPD receives numerous information request during the budget process. And that &ldquo;if any of these responses have not yet made it to the inquiring aldermen, they will be delivered soon.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p><em>Katie O&#39;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank">@katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/alderman-says-police-overtime-main-reason-he-voted-against-mayors-budget-111140 Tax breaks for commercial theater, taxes for nonprofits http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-01/tax-breaks-commercial-theater-taxes-nonprofits-96853 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-01/4824269613_f215ff6e1e.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="333" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-01/4824269613_f215ff6e1e.jpg" title="(Flickr/vincent ☆)" width="500"></p><p>The tax break for Broadway-bound shows may well attract more such shows to Chicago, and that may well be a point of pride for the city. But I can't help thinking these are insufficient reasons to offer a tax break to successful commercial theater producers, especially at a time when the property tax break enjoyed by nonprofit theater producers is under threat from Springfield as well as from the County Assessor's office.</p><p>Relatively few theaters will be affected by either of these proposals, so they're not worth fulminating against--and if they were, I've already done it.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-02-28/new-illinois-will-theaters-lose-property-tax-exemption-83067">Precisely a year ago I held forth on the subject of nonprofit taxes</a>; two months ago it was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-27/it-better-give-receive-live-theater-tax-credit-95138">the Broadway-in-Chicago giveaway</a>. When we debate the subject on Friday on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, Jonathan won't know what hit him.</p></p> Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-01/tax-breaks-commercial-theater-taxes-nonprofits-96853 Funding cuts threaten local homeless prevention programs http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-21/funding-cuts-threaten-local-homeless-prevention-programs-94228 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-21/2905921539_7d0a4d50a5_m.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Homeless prevention programs were feeling the funding squeeze at both the state and federal level. In 2009, programs had access to $11 million in state funds but the number steadily declined to reach the $1.5 million earmarked for this year. This week, several homeless prevention and advocacy organizations planned to release a survey which assessed the impact of these cuts on the local services they provide. According to a survey from the <a href="http://www.chicagohomeless.org/" target="_blank">Chicago Coalition for the Homeless</a>, over half of Illinois homeless prevention agencies will run out of funds by end of December.</p><p>Julie Dworkin, director of policy at the coalition, talked about the survey results. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> was also joined by Carl Wolf, executive director of <a href="http://www.respondnow.org/" target="_blank">Respond Now</a> to talk more about next steps for his south suburban agency as they faced shrinking funds.</p><p><em>Music Button: Robert Miles, "Antimony", from the album Thirteen, (Salt)</em><br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 21 Nov 2011 15:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-21/funding-cuts-threaten-local-homeless-prevention-programs-94228 Suburban mayors assess impact of city and county budgets for their residents http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-01/suburban-mayors-assess-costs-city-and-county-budgets-their-residents-936 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-01/6058497460_1ea0a0fb44_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The latest budgets from the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en.html">City of Chicago</a> and <a href="http://blog.cookcountygov.com/" target="_blank">Cook County</a> proposed challenging cuts along with new taxes and fees. Both put the squeeze on Chicago’s suburban neighbors in a number of ways.</p><p><a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/city/en/depts/mayor.html" target="_blank">Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s</a> city budget suggested a 3-year water rate increase to pay for Chicago’s aging infrastructure, which would hit suburbs that buy water from the city. Meanwhile <a href="http://www.cookcountygov.com/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_336_226_0_43/http%3B/www.cookcountygov.com/ccWeb.Leadership/LeadershipProfile.aspx?commiss_id=406" target="_blank">Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle</a> wanted residents of unincorporated areas to pay for county police services.</p><p>Edward Zabrocki, mayor of south suburban <a href="http://www.tinleypark.org/" target="_blank">Tinley Park</a>, and Gerald Turry, mayor of north suburban <a href="http://www.lincolnwoodil.org/" target="_blank">Lincolnwood</a>, joined<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss the suburban reaction to the city and county budgets.</p></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-01/suburban-mayors-assess-costs-city-and-county-budgets-their-residents-936 Emanuel makes budget changes to avoid laying off city workers - for now http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-makes-budget-changes-avoid-laying-city-workers-now-88628 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-01/By Bill Healy - 4-16-11 - Rahm Inauguration 0028.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Hundreds of city workers will avoid being laid off for the time being, as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday announced $20 million dollars in cost saving measures after a labor concession agreement was allowed to lapse.</p><p>Emanuel ordered a partial hiring freeze and said seven city-run health clinics will turn over primary care services to federally funded clinics. But the mayor added that he and labor unions still will have to agree to about $11 million in concessions in order to avoid 625 layoffs.</p><p>"I need them to be partners, " Emanuel said on Friday. "I am not interested in laying off the 625. It's a choice we have to make collectively. I don't like giving people pink slips."</p><p>Labor representatives are in the process of putting together their own cost-saving proposal, which they say should be ready in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, Emanuel said Friday he will not send out layoff notices until he has a chance to see the unions' suggestions.</p><p>"I'm not gonna send those out, because it would violate what I think is the spirit and environment and atmosphere I'm trying to construct where ... I want labor to be a partner," Emanuel said.</p><p>The sticky labor situation comes courtesy of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's administration, which relied on labor concessions to balance the full-year budget for 2011. But the temporary agreement Daley struck with the unions expired Thursday night, leaving Emanuel's team to come up with $31 million to fill out the second half of the year.</p><p>A spokesman for the Chicago Federation of Labor, a coaltion of unions representing city workers, didn't immediately return a phone call for comment after Emanuel's Friday morning press conference.</p><p>But in a statement sent earlier this week, the unions said the Emanuel administration has had "absolutely no negotiations" with unions about the expiration of the agreement, and a spokesman said they hadn't heard anything new as of early Friday morning.</p></p> Fri, 01 Jul 2011 15:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-makes-budget-changes-avoid-laying-city-workers-now-88628 Potential payday for firefighters highlights city's long-term pension problem http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-09/potential-payday-firefighters-highlights-citys-long-term-pension-problem <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Chicago fire Getty Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>It looks like today might be a big payday for Chicago firefighters. Earlier this week the Finance Committee recommended ponying up nearly four years of back pay&mdash;some $94 million in total. Meanwhile as the city scrambles to find money for that bill, it faces an even greater financial IOU &mdash; municipal employee pension obligations.<br /><br />And the city is operating under a tight deadline. If funding of pension obligations doesn&rsquo;t increase by 2015, the city will have to raise property taxes, according to a new law signed by Governor Quinn.<br /><br />DePaul University Economics professor <a target="_blank" href="http://samson.comtech.depaul.edu/faculty/member/Thomas/Mondschean/S/">Thomas Mondschean</a> joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to break down the math.</p><p><em>Music Button: Capsula, &quot;Mindfulness Intention&quot;, from the CD Sense of a Drop, (Waveform) </em></p></p> Wed, 09 Feb 2011 15:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-09/potential-payday-firefighters-highlights-citys-long-term-pension-problem