Reporting Mike Parker
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The feisty fired traffic aide who stood up to Mayor Rahm Emanuel at his city budget town meeting Monday night, is now telling more of her story to CBS 2.
As CBS 2′s Mike Parker reports, Maria Randazzo’s 6 ½-year job as a traffic aide in the Loop and at O’Hare International Airport ended abruptly when the city laid off 72 traffic aides earlier this month.
“They took our badges and ID and sent everybody home,” she said.
Monday night, Randazzo and scores of other laid-off traffic aides voiced their anger at Emanuel at a town hall meeting. The subject was the Mayor’s steps to erase $600 million worth of red ink in the city budget.
Randazzo asked why the aides were let go when they bring in $2.5 million in revenue.
Emanuel reminded them of a campaign promise.
“I told everybody I would be about the city taxpayers, not the city payroll,” he said.
Randazzo told the Mayor, “I don’t have insurance, I don’t have the money to pay my bills. How can you not really answer that? I don’t think you understand how much you hurt me.”
Randazzo said she wasn’t frightened or intimidated, although she “wasn’t sure what to expect from him cause I never met him.”
The mayor told her, “I don’t relish these choices.”
She said she was disappointed by his lack of sympathy.
“Maybe he doesn’t like it when my co-workers start yelling at him. I don’t know. He didn’t want to spend time with us,” Randazzo said.
Randazzo said she hopes to talk with Emanuel again. She’d like to try to convince him to start laying off managers, instead of those she calls “the poor people.”
The Mayor said Monday night that he’s not finished cutting and that managers are in his sights.
There’ll be another town hall meeting about the budget Wednesday night at Malcolm X College.