Emanuel, Burke Bury Hatchet Amid City Budget Deficit

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — It was good news-bad news for Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel on Friday as new city budget numbers emerged.

He’s facing a $587 million budget deficit when he takes office May 16, but it could have been much worse.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the next mayor plans to dig himself out of the hole with help from Ald. Ed Burke, who backed Emanuel opponent Gery Chico in the mayoral election.

Burke and Emanuel had a summit around the kitchen table at Ald. Pat O’Connor’s Northwest Side home. They reportedly agreed there was no time to waste on political squabbling.

They also ultimately agreed that Burke, whose knowledge of budget matters is unparalleled, would retain his powerful post as Finance Committee chairman. That virtually eliminates the possibility of a council war.

“I was never convinced there was going to be a clash of the Titans,” Ald. Joe Moore said. “Both Ed Burke and Rahm Emanuel are smart men. They understand the challenges facing the city today and they understand it’s in neither of their political interests as well as the interests of the city for them to do battle.”

The apparent truce between the incoming mayor and the city’s most powerful alderman was apparently brokered by Mayor Daley’s floor leader, O’Connor, who will reportedly fill that role for Emanuel.

He’ll take office as the financial picture is brightening somewhat, with deficit projections coming down. The city’s unreserved cash balance is $65 million more than expected.

“It’s moving in the right direction,” Daley budget director Gene Munin told reporters Friday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Munin says the post-season appearances of two Chicago sports teams, the Blackhawks and the Bulls, have helped by generating an additional $180,000 per game. The Hawks were phased out early, but the Bulls continue in the second round of their league’s playoffs.

“We certainly hope the Bulls keep playing well into June, and it would be nice to see the Cubs and Sox win and sell more tickets as well,” Munin said.

Emanuel has pledged another $75 million in cuts after he takes office, but that still leaves a $500 million hole which, by law, must be eliminated by the end of the year.

  • tom Sharp

    If Burke is so knowledgeable about the budget he should have no trouble finding big savings in each alderman’s ward budget, especially his own! Then he can cut all the $500 to $1000/day consultants and have the people whose job the consultants were doing work for a living and save another bundle. Finally, he can cut the TIFF scams and waste along with da Mayor’s retirement police protection and cars, and the budget should be balanced!

    • http://cislak.wordpress.com Therese

      I must Tom I do agree with you.

  • jim

    The city is certainly in a big whole.. Who was minding the store until now? OH…. And who’s knowledge on how to handle the deficit does Rahm need?

    • Georgianne

      Um, the article says Burke’s knowledge on budgets matters is unparalleled and and he would retain his powerful post as finance committee chairman.

      At least we have someone familiar with our case now? Straightening it all out?

  • N. Martin harkness

    Yeah. If my company went this far in the red, I’d want to look at my finances,,starting at the top. The top is a fortress.

    With his real power, he openly voted his choice. Truly American.

    I wish he’d wallop Lisa and Mikey with a howdy ya do humiliation just once, but good.

  • marlapp

    meet the new boss, same as the old boss……. and his stooges too

  • annie

    We want all our public officials to get along well and work for the city of Chicago. We are paying them well so work hard in the name of God.

  • Mike

    They also need to cut out the special programs for minorities.

  • http://cislak.wordpress.com Therese

    After all is said and done I think our mayor elect is going to do a good job, he certainly is no push over.

    • tom Sharp

      Gee, let’s see Therese: Rahm keeps the loser Daley appointed to run the City Colleges in spite of wide-spread complaints from faculty and students, Rahm keeps Burke on the Budget, probably the biggest crook in a Council full of crooks, Rahm lets Daley have a 5-man security team and two cars for personal use, etc. I’d say he is just trying to copy da ex-mayor and is indeed a pushover for the powers that be!

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/05/11/emanuel-announces-city-council-reorganization-plan/ Emanuel Announces City Council Reorganization Plan « CBS Chicago

    […] Powerful Finance Committee Chairman Ald. Edward Burke (14th) will keep his post. […]

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