Emanuel Unveils Major Budget Cut On First Full Day

UPDATED 05/17/11 7:24 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Making good on a campaign promise to cut the city budget, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday outlined a plan to save $75 million in 2011 through a series of salary cuts for senior managers and other cost-saving measures.

“I don’t want time wasted to get there,” Emanuel said. “If everyone will give a little, no one will have to give too much.” CBS 2’s Jay Levine reports.

Emanuel ordered department commissioners to cut their payroll by 10 percent—either through salary cuts, staff reductions or a combination of both. While the 10 percent cut is not negotiable, Emanuel is leaving it up to the department chiefs to determine the best way to get there. He said the cuts will save about $5.5 million.

Most of those savings will be made through attrition or by not filling open positions.

The biggest savings will come from better management of grant programs. Emanuel said the city’s poor management of grant dollars is wasting $31 million a year—forcing taxpayers to pick up the difference.

Emanuel said city managers failed to follow-up on securing the second installments of grant money for projects—forcing the city to use tax money to make up the difference.

That’s money that could have been used to fix city infrastructure, the mayor said.

The new mayor also asked Chicago’s law firms to help defend the city against litigation by providing discounted—or pro bono rates. The city also will rely more in in-house lawyers to handle the cases, resulting in a $3 million savings.

New York City is using a similar model that has saved the city $10 million, Emanuel said.

Another $17.5 million in savings can be achieved by reviewing and eliminating what Emanuel called non-essential contracts with outside vendors.

Emanuel says he already found unsigned contracts left over from Daley administration, and may not sign them. He may instead earmark that money for elsewhere.

The remainder of the savings will be achieved through a variety of other measures, including:

• Better management of construction projects between the departments of Water Management and the Transportation; ($5 million savings)

• Cutting the number of vehicles used by city workers and replacing older vehicles with more fuel-efficient ones; ($1.5 million)

• Eliminating unused rental space; ($5 million)

• Eliminating redundant offices, specifically in the areas of information technology, procurement and payroll ($3.5 million); and

• Improving workplace safety to reduce the number of city workers who are being paid while not on the job due to injury ($500,000).

“These $75 million worth of immediate savings to the 2011 budget are only the beginning,” Emanuel said in announcing the cuts at the Chicago Department of Fleet Management Tuesday morning. “They pave the way toward a leaner budget for the 2012 fiscal year, and they also send, in my view, an unmistakable message — I’m committed to stabilizing the city’s finances in order to secure Chicago’s long-term economic future.

“For Chicago to continue to thrive as a business hub, every stakeholder will need to approach the deficit reduction with seriousness of purpose, and a willingness to consider new ideas and new ways of doing business.”

Emanuel says the 2012 budget deficit is between $587 million and $700 million.

Yesterday, Emanuel also issued a new series of government ethics rules.

New Mayor Returns To Campaign Stomping Grounds
Earlier in the day, Emanuel hugged, and was hugged, and he had smiles and words of encouragement for kids headed to school at the CTA terminal at 95th Street and the Dan Ryan.

“Their faces are filled with optimism, and if I can just impart — but you know, look, there’s something you impart, but there’s something they give me, which is to remember why I ran for office; why I wanted to be mayor,” he said at the terminal. “This is a sense of my responsibility to them and their parents about making sure our schools are safe and strong, our streets are safe and our finances are stable so we can have a bright future, and I see in their faces a bright future for the city of Chicago.”

How did he feel on his first full day on the job?

“Energized, because I’m coming back to a place where I always received not only great warmth and reception, but you’ve got to remember… the voices you’re going to take to the fifth floor,” Emanuel told WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The people at the station appreciated it.

“He’s on the ‘L’ — that’s great!” said Alexis Mayweather. “Reuniting with the public — that’s good, I like to see that.”

Emanuel visited the stop five times during his campaign.

“I am proud to lead a city united in common purpose, and driven by a common thirst for change,” Emanuel said.

  • Fed up tax payer

    Does that include the new, custom-made green and white highway signage with Welcome to Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel that cost the tax payers of Cook County $5,000 per sign. Just another Blago. Nice.

    • glen whitten

      Should a Republican sue to have him removed because he was not eligible to be Mayor because the laws in Chicago were specific about residency to be eligible to run for mayor. Owning property does not make one a resident.

      • Craig Brockman

        Why does a Republican have to be the plaintiff? Why can’t any honest Democrat do it? Wait, Democrat and honesty in Chicago don’t go hand in hand!

      • sometimeago

        More politicians equals more scams.

        Search tax regulations for “excluded income”
        ECFR dot GPOACCESS dot GOV
        (Title 26)

        Or just Google excluded income.

        Notice section 861, only “Foreign earned income” is taxable for American citizens.

        26 CFR 1.861-8T(d)(2)(ii)
        Read it, then see the paragraph which comes after, (d)(2)(iii)

        Don’t be dumb sheeple, read your tax law. You’re being scammed by politicians.

      • Bill Hardecker

        This has already been hashed out by the courts…the answer was yes. We may not like the answer, but it is what it is.

  • Jim

    I think that everyone should “provide” to society in 1 way or another. Give them all jobs cleaning the streets and/or cutting the grass. If they actually have to work they may leave the state.

    • Rob

      Because the unions control all the street cleaning and grass cutting jobs.

  • Bill

    Why does it take so many decades for Dems to decide to make cuts? Why not make reasonable decisions about spending as time goes on?


      Because you CAN’T spell liberalism without L-I-E-S http://www.cashill.com

      • mike

        And Conservative is an anagram for Craven Soviet, what’s your point?

      • oarsman

        I think he meant to say that Rahm is an anagram for harm.

      • ignorantallegory

        and you can’t spell republican without P-U-B-E

    • wesevans

      Too busy buying votes until the other peoples(Tax Payers) money runs out.

    • jack t

      You answereed your own question, Becauase they are Demorats.
      You need to bring in Republican to clean up their financial messes, like a mother wiping a babies butt

    • jack t

      You answereed your own question, They are DemoRats.
      You need to bring in Republican to clean up their financial messes, like a mother wiping a babies butt

  • John Gault

    Acting fiscally conservative will smooth over the fact that your civil liberties are slowly and incrementally being taken away.

    • T

      Who is John Gault noodles? If you read the book it was John Galt.

      • thedrake

        galt gault ?? must be a liberal here more interested in spelling than content

      • ScooTee

        @thedrake: must be a conservative more worried about trying to make a liberal look dumb than the content

  • ahem

    I don’t trust this character any further than I can throw a grand piano.

  • Typical Bait and Bait

    Typical Obama Democrat flash over substance. $75 million in savings? What is Chicago’s budget deficit $587 million. 12.8% of the deficit and maybe 1% of the budget. BFD! I am sure you can get more than that just out of alderman’s graft.

  • oldtimer1001

    Do you really trust a product of big government?

    • DemocRAT Code Broken

  • Jay robin

    Hey Chicago, you guys elected him and MaObama, so choke on both of them.

  • Eagle35

    Just a ruse. He will cut budget and then he will ask his buddy Obama for more Federal money so the entire nation has to pay for Liberal, tax and spend Chicago. I can’t believe this thug was elected.

  • Jimbo

    Illinois general obligation bonds are rated A1, with a negative outlook, by Moody’s. This is the lowest among the 50 states. Illinois’ fiscal woes have translated into another dubious distinction for the state: A newly released analysis by Moody’s Investors Service ranks Illinois among the five states with the highest debt and pension funding needs. Yep, time to move.

    • Chicagoan

      Agreed. This state is unfortunately going into the sewers due to unions and corrupt politics.

      Moving seems to be the only way to save my money for my family’s future instead of paying for corrupt incompetent governments.

  • Maldonaddor

    Are they gona be hiring the unemployed so we will have a chance to have some food to eat while we pay our taxes to fix the aldermans salaries and the big shots that get so much money in their warchest?
    Does anyone knows when are they gona hire some unemployed people?

    • BigBoa

      Dude.,,,, haven’t you heard?? This is another RECOVERY SUMMER!!

      Just like the last one……. haven’t you heard? McDonald’s just hired 50,000 people!! YES….. remember when Bush was in office,,, unemployment at 4% and the marxists said “yes, there are jobs,,, but they aren’t GOOD JOBS with GOOD PAY”….? They were referring to jobs at McDonald’s apparently…..

  • Sameold Sameold

    Wait a minute. The only city employee quoted in the story: ” I support him, I campaigned for him”. I guess there is no change after all.

  • gary hall

    @ Glen WhittenLaws don’t apply to Dems who are smarter than the rest of us.

  • Atlas Shrugged

    Let’s see;
    * Budget cuts
    * Lobbying reform
    * Hope and Change

    Sound like anyone we know?? Now all we need is for the tiny little man to claim the most transparent administration in history.

    Chicago thugery at it’s best !!

  • Joan

    All you union members who supported Rahm get ready for the ride of your lives. Rahm is bringing in men from the east coast to run his departments. These men have no ties with Chicago and have no loyalties to its employees. Rahm selected them for one thing and one thing only – to chop heads.

  • CebVA

    Let’s see – you’re a Democrat running on an agenda of “change.” But wait, the last guy was also a democrat. So, are you admitting the democrat way of doing things needs “change?”

    Now we talk about a tiny bit of cutting. What do you bet it is high profile, must-have services like police and fire – or maybe schools? If you don’t like that, they will say the only solution is to raise taxes. How dumb can people be to fall for this?

  • Frank

    I can’t believe what I am seeing. Everyone of the above comments are negative, yet you all probably voted for this idiot. The new mayor is just another Chicago crook. I am TOTALLY ashamed of being from Illinois.

  • Sam Vaughn

    Pure propaganda. Any time a Democrat say’s they’re going to make cuts, is quite frankly a bald faced lie!

  • David Smith

    Smoke and mirrors; the mintature cuts will be in infatructure and all the social programs and give aways that by greedy liberal votes will stay in tack.

    • BigBoa

      Of course,,,, marxists NEVER cut giveaways…… especially if they’re using another person’s money…….

  • freecheese

    This will be interesting to see how “Da’ guys down at ‘da union hall” will react to city job cuts. Prepare for the nasty ! Betcha’ da union guys win !

  • Lee

    ” “The better education means I have someone to help pay my Social Security,” added Leonard McGee ”

    Hmmmm. A Rahm supporter is most interested in getting his way paid by another’s work.
    I guess there’s no surprise there.

  • Aeon

    Did I hear the new Mayor’s Residence is a penthouse at the top of Trump Tower? Unbelievable.

    • Therese

      Hey Aeon
      Where did you hear this? I thought he built a home in Ravenswood?

      • BigBoa

        AH HAHAHA!! LOOK who you’re talking about….

        He probably has BOTH!!!

  • Hank Warren

    No money for US citizens (via dual Israeli citizen Rahm) but plenty of money to support endless Wars for Israel, it all started nearly a decade ago under a false flag attack.
    9/11 and Israel, here:

    • BigBoa


      God you people get to be annoying……..

      WHY don’t you tell the f’in MUSLIMS to stop declaring “jihad” on the rest of the world,,, ,maybe there will be less need for war….. Besides…. the mighty Boa thought you marxist liberals LOVE war now that you have the mighty warrior Obozo flying around shooting rogue international criminals…..


  • Jim

    A lot of fluff, not much substance, the M.O. of today’s Chicago/Illinois Democrates.

  • Craigster

    Are you kidding me? $75 million is spit in the ocean for a city the size of Chicago. A cut of this size is hardly worthy of being championed as an major accomplishment.

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