July 23, 2013
ALDERMAN RODERICK T. SAWYER RELEASES STATEMENT ON COUNCIL BUDGET OFFICE
Upon the Announcement of Mayoral support for the Independent Budget Office for the Chicago City Council, Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer (6th) released the following statement:
While I applaud the announcement of Mayoral support for a council budget office, it serves as only one part of creating a sustainable budget system that protects all of the citizens of Chicago. A budget office is necessary to evaluate all aspects of upcoming budget and privatization proposals, but without a codified process- such as the one that would be established through my Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance- there would be no venue available to consider the work and reports of this office.
Public hearings in the Committee on Budget and Government Operations, as mandated by the Privatization Ordinance, should be the venue where reports of the Council Budget Office as well as other experts are reviewed for consideration of future privatization deals. It is only through a full analysis of these initiatives can we expect the City Council to balance between short term savings on one part of the budget, without subjecting our communities to turmoil through the mass loss of employment and investment.
The triple downgrade of Chicago and the current situation in Detroit should serve as a call to action for those of us in the City Council. We must get our financial house in order; however plans that do not invest in our working people that live in every neighborhood of this city or invest in our children’s future are insufficient to the task at hand. To be clear, having a budget that balances on the suffering of our least fortunate is not a sustainable path forward for this nor any other American city. It will take a joint concerted effort to solve this problem, and for that the City Council needs the rules and the resources to be a full partner with the Administration. I hereby renew my call for a hearing on the Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance.