CHICAGO (CBS) — Aldermen warmly embrace the so called “menu program,” which gives each of the $1.3 million to spend on infrastructure projects in their neighborhoods.

Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson says it would be better and more equitable if city transportation officials managed that program in a coordinated way.

But Mayor Rahm Emanuel is siding with aldermen who want to keep more control.

“I have to think you want the neighborhood input, and you want the aldermanic input – I think that’s a good way to go,” Emanuel said. “And I don’t think those ideas should be generated out of downtown. I think they actually should come from the residents that make up our many, many different neighborhoods.”

But some aldermen in the more expansive wards on the South and West sides do complain that equal distribution of money to each ward shortchanges them – they simply have more miles of streets that need repaving.

Ferguson agrees with that.