The Mayor Has Left The Building
On the long-awaited morning of October 21st (today) Mayor Daley delivered his 2010 budget recommendations. Then, incredibly, he would *not* take questions. Hmmm...so that's the reason he held those half-baked, "teaser" news conferences (See10/19 Blog entry); so we couldn't accuse him of not talking to reporters about the budget.
This is "transparency" in government? Gimme a break!!!
Facing a deficit in excess of $500 million, it was the most critical budget address hizzoner has given during his 20 years in office. As he promised in the teasers, the Mayor assured Chicagoans that there would be no tax or fee increases, that non-union city workers would be required to take 24 unpaid furlough days next year and that the administration would continue its support ($22 million) for several human services agencies.
What he did not say is that his administration would dip into the city's reserves (the storied "rainy day fund") to the tune of $370 million to meet the expense of running city government during 2010. Critics say that Daley will torpedo Chicago's credit rating by depleting the reserve. The mayor countered during his speech claiming there remained $730 million dollars in it. But what will the city do if it has to tap the reserves again for 2011? (Even, the Mayor says he believes the recession will continue next year and cause continued shortfalls in tax revenues)
Having decided last night that he would not answer any questions today, King Richard left the council chambers with his Royal Guard, reportedly jumped in his waiting mayormobile and sped away from the castle.
Just another day in the realm.