Tuesday, September 01, 2015

SPOOKED: Uptown Alderman Live Tweets Ideas From Budget-Saving Meeting (But He Leaves One Out)

Cut the size of the Chicago City Council in half.

Uptown Alderman James Cappleman failed to include that idea from a citizen in his live Tweet of a city budget-cutting brainstorming meeting last week.

The alderman happily Tweeted a dozen other ideas garnered from the audience. But, somehow, he couldn't bring himself to Tweeting the idea that maybe—just maybe—he and 24 other alderman should find another job.

Perhaps he was so stunned by the idea that he temporarily lost control of his Tweet-related motor skills.

Chicago’s 50 aldermen are each paid an annual salary of over $100,000.

They also each receive a $1 million fund to spend on community projects in virtually any way they wish. They get a pension and money to spend on staff, office space, and expenses.

Oh, yes. And the job is mandated by law to be part-time employment.

By comparison, the Los Angeles City Council has just 15 members even though the city’s population is 40% greater than Chicago.

New York City, with three times as many residents as Chicago, has just one more seat on its city council—51.

Slashing the size of Chicago’s council sounds like a grand idea.

Here are the ideas that the alderman found suitable for sharing with the public on Twiter:
• Using crowd sharing to pay for large public benefits like big new parks
• Citizen led efficiency and watchdog group
• Incentivize employees to reduce waste
• Movable solar panels to power street lights
• Reduce the number of employees on City of Chicago garbage trucks
• Have means testing for senior discounts
• Increase fees for street fairs that close  streets and require police and streets and sanitation
• Legalize marijuana to increase revenue for the City of Chicago
• Have a Chicago casino
• Have licenses for bicycles to increase city revenues
• Make sure amusement tax money is coming back to the 46th Ward
• Recommendation to use TIF funds to reduce the City of Chicago budget deficit
• Enforce current laws by ticketing for things like dogs off leash, littering, and shoveling in winter to increase revenue

The alderman did include the idea in a meeting re-cap that was emailed to constituents. The only other idea in the email that didn't get Tweeted live: "Bring down the costs of hiring police officers by relying on them mainly to address crime and have other staff with responsibilities of only ticketing."
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31 comments:

  1. All of the suggestions Cappleman had are basically fee increases. Nothing to actually address endemic waste in city government. I'd love to see a 50% reduction in aldermen. I'd love to see a 10% headcount reduction in city government.

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    1. Even setting this unaudited $1M aside, cutting 25 aldermen, their pension, support staff, office space, etc you're probably conservatively looking at $250k a year which is over $6M. It wouldn't surprise me if the true number is actually double that. It won't happen, but that's exactly the kind of low hanging fruit that probably exists all over the city.

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  2. Reduce the number of alderman and use that money to hire a few more cops.

    What about other cities? Houston city council people get 62k a year, there are 16 total. NYC pays their members 112k, Dallas members get 60k, Ft. Worth pays 25k per year and Austin pays their members 69k, but they are full time positions. San Antonio, number 7 in population in the country pays there council members $1,040 a year. They claim they work 50-60 hours a week and have been crying over their pay lately. Most are a far cry from Chicago's 100k plus. If other cities can have less alderman/council people and pay less, Chicago certainly could too.

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    1. Good idea!

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    2. Great ideas by all. Keep in mind these salaries don't include speculated kickbacks either. These numbers need to be cut and increase the police force now.

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  3. More fees, more taxes, more laws and forcing cops to work their understaffed hours ticketing petty crime while making more than the average citizen. Of course they don't have to worry about being shot, robbed, accosted, beaten, mugged, and so on because they get to use their stipends for personal protection.

    Things need to change and these people need to go. Just for the simple fact they put their cushy lined pockets above our safety.

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  4. You wouldn't have a budget problem if they would ditch the TIF program diverting money from schools to luxury real estate developers AND tax financial transactions, but you will never see those discussed because Cappleman and Rahm are bribed up the ying yang by the real estate industry and financial industry (think Ken Griffin)

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  5. Cappleman is moving the 46th Ward forward. Thank you James!!!

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  6. Everything goes through 311 these days. You don't need aldermen any longer, except, of course, to shake people down regarding zoning issues.

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    1. You're not kidding! I stopped by district 19 to ask a question about an issue we are having with youths loitering in our alley and he said to call my alderman and call 911 often. Cappleman's office hung up on me- thanks, you suck worse than Tunney did.

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  7. If the city can consolidate police districts, they can also consolidate the city council! Bunch of clowns.

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  8. Capplemans and Tunneys could consolidate into each other, and then maybe even cancel each other out.

    Seriously ... these bozos receive $1M *each* for use as they please? Is there any accountability on how these funds are spent? Any websites to view such information? Amazing. No, wait, it's not amazing; it's Chicago.

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    1. Dear God in Heaven Above ... don't pluralize Tunney and Cappleman (Tunneys and Capplemans). Lord knows, one of each is way more than enough.

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    2. LOL. With just the two I can see a feature film such as "The Aldermen that Ate Chicago". The two headed monster played by Tunny/Cappleman. But we must have a part for King Rahm. Maybe the part of the mad scientist controlling the overall mass destruction.

      I wish CWB would add a like feature, as there are some good comments made on this forum.

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  9. "• Using crowd sharing to pay for large public benefits like big new parks"

    Pardon me, but just what the fuck does that even mean???

    Let me take a guess....does it mean that Chicago Alderman James Cappleman is unable to distinguish between meaningful content and stupid-ass drivel????

    Hey, what do I win?

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    1. He wants you to give more money via a crowd funding site to pay for new stuff and hopes people are stupid enough to go along with it. Ya, know like all those taxes aren't enough. This brain wants people to donate more money on top of their massive tax bill to pay for items taxes should cover. Even a small child wouldn't propose such a ridiculous idea. It would be laughable if not so sad this guy is the elected representative. This guy is an idiot.

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    2. Ah yes....now it all makes complete sense. 'Crowd Sharing' is the same thing as 'Crowd Funding'.
      I am humbled in the presence of such intellectual capacity.
      So let's think this one through real quick - Millennium Park cost a half a billion (even though the original estimate was under $200 million). And that was a decade ago.
      Let's say we 'crowd share' just three parks. Decent size. One north. One west. One south. Forget the 'need' part. Forget things like cost over-runs.
      In today's money that's $600 million.
      All we need is a crowd-sourced pledge of $200 from every man, woman and child in the city. Every one. So 'Average Family With Three Kids'....sign up here with that $1000 pledge. And don't forget to pay.
      Bonus Question: What city's taxpayers foot the bill for the maintenance of all these great ideas? Or is that 'Crowd Shared' as well?
      Stupid-ass drivel.
      I'll ask again: What did I win?

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  10. "Movable solar panels to power street lights"

    I get the sense that solar power doesn't work well when the street lights need to be on because, well, how do I put this in terms he could understand, because solar power does not work when they sun goes down, you nimrod.

    These people are tax payer funded clowns. How and why on earth can the electorate keep voting them into office?

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    1. They do make solar powered street lights, they have a battery pack, some powered by wind too. Pretty neat actually, but who would pay for these high tech new solar street lights (about $6,500 each)? You guessed it! Our generous donations through crowd funding of course. So save your spare change and big bills, Cappleman wants us to use our donations to buy fancy solar street lights, new parks and his trip to Bermuda. http://www.gizmag.com/eolgreen-solar-wind-streetlights/35689/

      In a place like the Detroit area where there are no streetlights in certain areas of the metro, the solar lights make sense for their situation, much like they do in very rural areas and some 3rd world countries. There was an article about Highland Park, Michigan working on a plan to buy some of these solar street lights. This is probably where he stole the idea. http://midwestenergynews.com/2015/05/28/detroit-area-community-reclaims-its-streets-with-solar-power/

      Bozo is turning over in his grave.

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  11. If the city of Chicago makes me pay to get a license to ride my bicycle, I'm gonna drive, take cabs and take the bus. That ought to help with congestion in the city. I flat out refuse to pay one nickle to any city to simply ride my bike. WTF!

    Add that to all the reasons people will be propelled to leave this beautiful but ridiculous city. The politicians better figure out fast how to stop wasting money before there are no taxpayers left. They continue to push all reasonable people out. Enough!

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    1. I fail to see why cyclists shouldn't help pay too. Sure, their usage has less of an impact on roads than cars, and should be taken into consideration, but cyclists use the same roads that cars do. Why shouldn't they pay?

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    2. Less than half? Try a mere fraction and to be fair to car drivers, trucks do the most damage.

      Anyway, many cyclists drive and vise versa. And those that don't still pay taxes.

      http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/05/debunking-the-myth-that-only-drivers-pay-for-roads/393134/

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    3. If the cops enforced traffic laws, and the city collected fines, from the bicyclists who habitually blow stop signs and red lights and zip along sidewalks and cut off pedestrians, at even $50 a pop, this city would take in millions of dollars. Just this afternoon some moron blew the stop sign at Halsted-Cornelia, barely missed an elderly woman in the crosswalk, while a police officer in his vehicle (going the SAME direction as the biker) did nothing. Last week a biker at Addison and Halsted zip around my left of my car and turned right, in front of me, ever so narrowly avoiding a nasty accident. I feel however that if I had clipped him off because of his antics, blame would have been assigned to me. The non-enforcement of bicycle laws in this city really sucks pond water, you know?

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  12. Sunday I saw Rahm at the Chicago Triathlon leaving the area in a 4 SUV caravan. Four! And they probably violated the speed limit and red lights all the way home.

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  13. At least we have a ban on plastic bags.

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  14. Lets get someone out and start ticketing all those Comcast/RCN/AT&T trucks that park illegally (or without paying) in our crosswalks, fire zones, tow zones, and metered spots with their flashing yellow light and two magical orange cones that seem to repel parking enforcement.

    $1,000 day idea right there.

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    1. Bah, they need to do their job. Nowhere to park. The delivery trucks (FedEx, UPS, USPS) all do the same thing. Gotta grease the commerce machine when it makes sense.

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  15. Chicago needs to stop wasting millions on stupid projects. Wasting 320 million on a new train station and tracks, just to save people a few minutes, is ridiculous. I'd rather see that money go to hiring new officers so I can feel safe just being at the train station. Safety should be the city's first priority. If you're afraid of being late somewhere because of the congestion at the belmont stop.....leave 5 minutes earlier

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  16. Only in politics can a person who is completely incompetent like Cappleman get away with collecting a salary while asking others how he should do his job. The rest of us, with real jobs, are expected to use our own skills and experience to perform our tasks.

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    1. Well said.
      You get my vote for comment of the day!

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  17. Cut the City Council down to 20 or 25 members. Do we really 50 people for a part time job of cutting ribbons and unveiling new street signs?

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