Fresh Perspectives: Freshman alderman reflect on their first round of budget hearings
With a $600-million property tax hike, monthly garbage-collection fees and controversial proposals about ride-sharing all on the table, the pressure is on for Chicago aldermen.
But for Chicago’s newest crop of council members, who aren’t yet familiar with the process, the pressure can seem even higher. As freshmen Ald. Milly Santiago (31) put it on the council floor, “The honeymoon is over.”
Every year, aldermen face about two weeks of hearings, where they get the opportunity to question bosses and top staff from every city department about the next year’s budget.
And, as some members of the new group will tell you, the process seemed a bit “overwhelming” at times.
Listen below to hear the lessons they’ve learned, and even some tough love, for the council’s senior members.
Lauren Chooljian covers Chicago politics for WBEZ. Follow her @laurenchooljian.