Civic Federation President: City Is Near Insolvency

CHICAGO (WBBM) — The head of the government watchdog group the Civic Federation says the Chicago City Council is going to have to show some strength – and deliver bad news – if Chicago is to truly bring its budget under control.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, says there’s no avoiding some tough choices.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

The City of Chicago simply cannot afford to employ as many people as it has now, and it cannot deliver services at current levels, Msall says. Budget officials and the Council can find efficiencies, but there will have to be some tough choices, he says.

“The aldermen are going to have to bring their own ideas about modernizing city government and city services,” Msall said. “They’re going to have to stand up and say, ‘We can’t deliver all these services if it means we are going to bankrupt our city.

He warns also that the city is in dire financial straits.

“The city is precariously close to being insolvent,” Msall said. “When you have a total budget of about $6 billion, and you have a deficit on the operating side of over $500 million, and you are underfunding your pensions each year by somewhere of a like amount $500 (million) to $600 million a year, that is not sustainable.”

Msall is the guest on WBBM 780’s our “At Issue” program this weekend, and you can hear more of his comments Sunday at 9:30 am and 9:30 pm.

  • tom Sharp

    Less aldermen would be a good place to start saving money. The reported savings (@$13 million) for cutting 25 of them is grossly understated when you consider (the ward healers that would lose jobs, the rental space for offices, and the ghost payrollers that would be out of luck). Then there are the $500+/day “consultants” at places like CPS, the Police Department, City Hall etc that do nothing or, worse, tell people already working there how to do their jobs because they can’t do them. After that they can get rid of those silly planters full of trees and flowers that obstruct traffic in the middle of major streets and the crews that care for them. There around $100 million saved and I’m just starting!

  • thomas

    How about all the useless traffic aides in the Loop and the traffic aides supposedly helping guide traffic by the East Bank Club for the rich people of said club!
    I would never been able to cross Wacker at Madison today without those useless city employees! They were just standing around!

  • joe

    just fire all police hire private security for ten bucks an hour give people jobs ,hire private contractor fireman and this will save then you can give people who dont want to work and stay home a few hundred bucks a week thenthey wont steal so you wont need police

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