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October 17, 2007

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Hugh

THANKS FOR THE AUDIO!

The aldermen have the budget documents in front of them. These same documents are also available to the general public on the City web site under the Department of Budget and Management.

But the alderman are not happy with that alone. About 80% of these hearings are aldermen asking a Dept head questions, often in the form of a request for a list or report, over & above the budget documents. The Dept. heads reply with the formulaic response, "We will provide that to you through the chair."

For example, the Black aldermen want break-downs of head count by race and gender, and lists of contractors. Other aldermen want details of the claimed efficiencies so they can get some ammo to help defend their reform cred in prep for voting in favor of Daley's budget.

But why are such questions so hard to ask and get answered?

Why is our legislative branch only asking these questions of the executive branch in October?

Do Daley's departments only respond when asked for stuff in front of a microphone in Council chambers at budget time?

Most of what they are asking seems like information they and we should be receiving on an ongoing basis throughout the year. It's like the budget hearings are a massive FOIA party for the aldermen.

Hugh

Aviation notes

NO questions on O'Hare expansion budget overruns.

The aldermen are hands-off a dept that net net brings in tax revenue, sales, fuel, departure.

A minor blip in the love-fest when Aviation Chair and major piece of work Levar asks the Commission of Aviation if the whole homeland security thing has blown over enough that we can maybe loose the plastic knives in the airport food courts, and go back to real flatware, he's having trouble cutting through the rubber chicken.

Hugh

Aviation

No questions on ethics conflicts in contracts.

Inspector probes O'Hare terminal deal

Chief's son worked for company hired to manage it

October 15, 2007

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter suntimes.com

Chicago's inspector general has launched a sweeping investigation to determine whether the company that manages O'Hare Airport's international terminal got favored treatment because the city's terminal operations chief had an ethical conflict.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/603471,CST-NWS-ohare15.article

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