CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago aldermen on Wednesday heard the public’s concerns about proposed cuts in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2012 budget.
As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, the aldermen heard from those who wanted to keep library hours and mental health centers from being cut.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
Also, Office of Emergency Management and Communications supervisor Shanita Carter talked about the consequences of laying off already understaffed and overworked 911 call takers.
“That means that the city of Chicago is in dire trouble, because they will not be getting proper service,” Carter said. “In the higher-crime communities there’s already a delay of service – in which one of them I live – and so there’s going to be a further delay of service. As far as the supervisory thing goes, they’re trying to lay off not only the call-takers, but the supervisors. The supervisors are the people there to help train our call-takers; to keep them motivated; to keep them going. They’re overworked. They’re burned out.”
Carter says the supervisors cannot be stretched thinner than they already are.
Earlier this week, 28 aldermen signed a letter of concern over city budget cuts, saying some of them go too far. Cuts to the OEMC were of particular concern, as were cuts to the libraries, Emanuel’s which would result in the layoffs of scores of employees.
Some aldermen are also wary the proposed closure of six of the city’s 12 mental health clinics, and cuts to the city’s graffiti removal program.
The aldermen said they are working on alternative cuts, but on Wednesday, they offered no ideas on what areas should be cut in order to save the areas they would like to see preserved.
The mayor’s budget also calls for the closure of three police stations and the merging of some Police and Fire department functions, a “congestion premium” on parking at downtown garages during rush hour, and an increase in water rates.
The budget slashes 510 middle or senior managers for a savings of $34 million, and cuts 776 vacant positions.