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The Mechanics
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Aldermen Tue Dec 01 2009

Alderman Flores Talks Budget, Part 1

I sat down with First Ward Alderman Manny Flores last week to discuss the budget and some other issues facing his ward, which encompasses parts of Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Bucktown and Humboldt Park.

Alderman Flores and I discussed his opinion on the structural problems with the city budget, highlighting pension obligations and the reliance on property taxes as a funding source for much of the budget. The alderman laid out a general idea that a new process that seeks a new formula for funding, particularly around pension obligations, would be necessary if we are to avoid not only budget shortfalls but the reliance on privatization as a solution.

I mentioned to Alderman Flores that Mayor Daley has made the statement that the federal government should look to Chicago's leasing of public assets as a model for how to address budget shortfalls. His response, including a discussion of the rumored leasing of the water system (he went on to discuss, again in very general terms, what he sees as a fix for the pension system problems):

On whether there is adequate social services spending in the budget as it stands:

"Is there something that could be done with this budget to win a 'yes' vote from you?"

"Looking at the budget, do you think the city's non-supervisory payroll is too large? Too many non-supervisory employees?"

We also discussed Renaissance 2010 and the exploitation of day laborers, but that's for part 2.

 
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Syntax / December 2, 2009 11:28 AM

Alderman Flores is an incredibly effective alderman with a clear command of the issues.

The only thing he could do now to screw up his reputation in the community is create the appearance that he is beholden to Joe Berrios and Dick Mell.

Otherwise, this guy would make one hell of a mayor or congressman.

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