ALDERMEN HAIRSTON AND SAWYER PROPOSE RE-EXAMINATION OF CITY CONTRACTING OFFERS

ALDERMEN HAIRSTON AND SAWYER PROPOSE RE-EXAMINATION OF CITY CONTRACTING OFFERS

Today Aldermen Leslie Hairston of the 5th Ward and Roderick T. Sawyer of the 6th Ward call on the city to re-examine parts of its third quarter Requests for Proposals. (RFPs) In these difficult economic times for the city there is a lack of oversight and examination that generally occurs in the contracting opportunities that are proposed by the City of Chicago.
To highlight one example the Alderman point out the 3rd Quarter RFP of $10-$15 million dollars for tree planting throughout the city. The Alderman are proposing a 20% reduction in this RFP where the $3 million dollars saved would be used to implement adding 5 seasonal trucks to the Department of Forestry, while also adding 5 full time crews to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Electricity.
“While tree planting is important to maintain the environmental stability of our area we need to proceed with it logically,” Alderman Hairston said, “Pressing forward on aggressive tree planting while we have reduced the Department of Forestry to a bare bones staff for maintenance is the wrong way forward.”
“Furthermore we need to examine the city’s overall tree policy,” Alderman Sawyer added, “We need to be aggressive about replacing much of our aging tree population with the species of tree that is more conducive to urban areas and therefore protects our sidewalks and sewer infrastructure in the future.”
“I ran for office on the platform that I see tree trimming and appropriate lighting as public safety issues,” Alderman Sawyer added, “and I think it’s time we prioritized the safety of our citizens in the budget. As much as I generally oppose using one time funding to solve budget issues I believe it is called for in this instance for two reasons. First, the Department of Forestry has such a tremendous backlog that emergency actions are necessary to get the problem under control, and second, the problem with the Bureau of Electricity is mostly one of infrastructure. We only need a temporary solution to the maintenance issue if we address the aging lighting infrastructure with the same sort of plan being proposed to update our city’s sewer system.”
“Also it’s important that we remain more diligent about exactly which contracts the city is paying out and for how much.” Alderman Hairston concluded, “Cuts should have to go across the board, and neighborhood service priorities shouldn’t always be shortchanged to make the numbers work. ”

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