CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayoral candidate Gery Chico reportedly wants to get rid of the offices of the city clerk and the city treasurer, calling the posts a waste of taxpayer money.
Chico told the Chicago Sun-Times that the city could save $7 million to $9 million a year by abolishing the two offices. He said the two positions have been used in the past to balance the mayoral ticket and now they should be used to balance the budget.
The Sun-Times quoted Chico as saying “City Clerk — what does the city clerk do? They give you city stickers.”
Chico claimed it would be cheaper to let Chicagoans get their vehicle stickers from retail stores, the same way they can get iPass tollway transponders at local stores.
One of Chico’s rivals in the race for mayor is City Clerk Miguel del Valle, who ridiculed Chico’s proposal.
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“I’m a bit surprised that Gery Chico, who was the mayor’s chief of staff for a few years, does not seem to know the function of the office of city clerk.”
Del Valle pointed out that the city clerk also maintains City Council records and serves as a public access point for city government information.
“It is a system of checks and balances,” del Valle said, adding that taxpayers wouldn’t want all that power in the hands of only the mayor.
Del Valle also said that the city clerk’s and city treasurer’s offices were created by the Illinois General Assembly and it would take a change in state law to abolish those offices. He disputed that getting rid of those offices would save the city money because the responsibility for selling vehicle stickers and parking permits and keeping City Council records would have to be transferred to another city office, along with the employees to do the work.
The clerk’s office brings in $100 million in city revenue, while running on a budget of only $8 million, Del Valle said.