Mayor Richard M. Daley today announced a package of initiatives - including shutting down non-safety related city services for three days in 2008 and three in 2009 - that will provide $62 million for the city's corporate fund budget.
"Throughout this tough economy I have challenged my staff to continue to find ways to manage the limited resources of government more efficiently - so that we can protect all our taxpayers, but particularly our working families and those Chicagoans who are most in need," Daley said in a City Hall news conference.
"This year we must reduce spending for the everyday operations of government if we're to balance our budget. Today, I am announcing that we will implement a number of initiatives to further help us cut spending so that we can balance our City's budget during these tough economic times," Daley said.
"They are consistent with my commitment to put better management ahead of turning to taxpayers for more or cutting jobs and reducing services. And, they build on the many steps we've already taken this year to get ahead of our nation's slowing economy," Daley added.
Partial Government Shutdown Days
The first step will be a partial shut-down of City government for three days in 2008 and three days in 2009. In 2008, City government would close the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. In 2009, it would be the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
All City employees would be off work and unpaid on those days, except for police and fire personnel, 911 employees and a small number of others who normally work on a holiday.
Those are mainly in the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, and the Departments of Aviation, Water and Streets and Sanitation and the Department of Family and Supportive Services.
The total savings for the six days is $19.8 million, including $12.6 million in the corporate fund.
Next, the 2009 budget will eliminate a total of 1,346 vacancies - including 818 in the corporate fund - at a savings of $48.5 million across all funds, and $29 million in the corporate fund.
Continuing 2008 Management Steps in 2009 to Earn Savings
In 2009, the City will also continue to benefit from management improvements announced throughout 2008, at an expected savings of $10 million. This will include savings in 2009 from the voluntary severance program, and ongoing savings from contract renegotiations.
Additional 2009 Management Steps
The City will put in place for 2009 additional management improvements that will generate or save more than $10 million.
These will include:
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"The budget I will present tomorrow will address our challenges head on, but in a way that puts people first," Daley said.
"I know that no one will be completely satisfied with our recommendations. But, if we work together and responsibly cut spending this year, we'll be taking an important step toward addressing the financial challenges we'll still face in the years ahead," he said.