Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Report Card for Day One in Office...$75 Million in Cost Cuts.


Photo credit: Getty Images.

Chicago, Wednesday, May 18, 2011. This mayor does not waste time.  Yesterday, his first full day in office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced $75 million in savings to the City’s budget for fiscal year 2011. “These $75 million worth of immediate savings to the 2011 budget are only the beginning,” said Mayor Emanuel. “They pave the way to a leaner budget for the 2012 fiscal year. And they also send an unmistakable message: I am committed to stabilizing the City’s finances in order to secure Chicago’s long-term economic future.”

See what you think–agree or disagree–leave comments below. Here are his 10 cost-cutting proposals:
1. Cut Senior Management Payrolls –  $5.5 million.
Require commissioners to reduce senior management payroll by 10%. Commissioners will be able to realize savings either by lowering salaries or reducing number of senior staff positions.

2. Reduce Outside Legal Counsel Expenses –  $3.0 million.
Better utilize the Law Department’s in-house attorneys and rely less on outside counsel.

3. Merge Overlapping Functions Across Departments –  $3.5 million.
Consolidate finance, IT, procurement and HR functions across City Departments. This process has already begun with merger of the Fleet Management and General Services Departments.     

4. Freeze All Non-Essential Contract Spending – $17.5 million.
Pool procurement requirements to buy in bulk in collaboration with the County and other government agencies; freeze non-essential contracts.

5. Implement Real Estate and Energy Reductions – $5.0 million.
Cut back on energy consumption, janitorial services, leased space and other real estate costs. Philadelphia has achieved 10% savings in these categories through similar reduction efforts.

6. Rationalize and Reduce Vehicle Programs-  $1.5 million.
Reduce the number of vehicles maintained by the City and replace more of the aging fleet with fuel-efficient vehicles to realize additional energy savings.

7. Return 60 Laborers to Work – $0.5 million.
Expand return-to-work program by bringing 60 injured employees back on the job in less physically demanding roles.

8. Parking Enforcement &Traffic Control Coordination – $2.3 million.
Better coordinate departments that control traffic and collect parking enforcement revenue.

 9. Improve Grants Management- $31.2 million.
Rein in administrative costs associated with state & federal government grant funding. Reduce unspent grants — City left approximately $100 million in grants unspent from 2008 – 2010.

10. Dept. of Water Mgmt./CDOT Coordination – $5.0 million.
Better coordinate construction projects and street repairs between the Department of Water Management and the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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