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City of Chicago Water Department snippets for March 8, 2010

The Department of Water Management had a visitor back at the Jardine Plant this morning. He was blocking the front entrance with his big black BMW. Rumor has it he smells a job opening at the Department of Water Management left open by a fired commissioner. I guess Mayor Daley might be pulling the race card in filling these openings instead of hiring a college educated licensed engineer. Mayor Daley has a habit of filling a position with someone of the same race which makes no sense. In a related story, Fran Spielman reported Alderman Austin does not want an Inspector General snooping around the Chicago City Council members. I think she might change her mind when she is done unloading more family and friends on the city payroll. The Department of Water Management has a mess in the payroll department with many city workers shortchanged on the paycheck week after week. Workers complained some payroll department employees are not trained or capable of handling the job. A large amount of complaints were unearthed in the files cabinets of a terminated water department employee. This is another version of the old "circular file". Bosses said they will get back to me soon, some employees leave at 3:00 p.m. and making less clouted workers stay until 3:30p.m. Thanks to the bosses in Central District for looking into this matter.

Comments

Pat: Please name names..let's get this backroom business out in the open

Hey Mister Patrick,

I want to know more about Carrie Austin, is it true that she has many family working at the city? What about lemuel austin? does he have that much clout? I want to talk to the inspector General how do I meet with him? would you walk with me when I make my complaint?

Daley: Day of reckoning for financial crisis

March 10, 2010

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Mayor Daley warned today that the day of reckoning has arrived for a financial crisis that’s choking local taxpayers: underfunded city pensions.

Daley said the 32-member pension commission he created more than two years ago will soon recommend solutions to the crisis that won’t be pretty or politically popular.

“I hope it’s controversial. It has to be. If it’s not controversial, then it’s not worth anything,” Daley said, acknowledging that “a lot of people will not be happy.”

“You can close your eyes. You can wait for another election. It’s not gonna go away. These are serious economic problems for taxpayers. … I’ve asked the unions [to make sacrifices]. I’m not blaming them. It’s everyone’s problem. [But] there are solutions out there, and they’d better realize we have to come to some solutions.”

Last fall, Daley responded to the Chicago Sun-Times’ “Pension Bonanza” series by saying he would entertain myriad solutions to get the pension monkey off taxpayers’ backs.

He cracked the door open to raising the retirement age from the current minimum of 50. He said he would consider raising employee contributions and implementing a two-tiered pension system that shifts newly-hired employees to the 401k plans favored by private industry.

Union leaders have long opposed a two-tier approach on grounds that it would create a caste system among rank-and-file members.

Today, Daley put another solution on the table that he had previously foreclosed: Modifying “double-dipping,” a practice that allows city employees to retire and collect a pension check from one government job while collecting a paycheck for another government job.

“Sometimes, people retire. I’ll be very frank. Some are very, very good managers, very good in their areas. Many times, they’ve been hired back. But, we have to re-look at that, too, and whether or not we re-hire them at full-salary,” he said.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall welcomed the mayor’s pledge to confront the ticking pension time-bomb.

As of December, 2008, before the stock market crash made matters worse, the firefighters pension fund had only 38 percent of the assets it needs to pay existing employees and retirees.

The situation was only slightly better for police (47 percent) and municipal employees (62 percent). Only the Laborers pension fund at 86 percent is close to the 90 percent that is considered healthy.

“The financial day of reckoning is very close. Some of these pension funds are going to run out of money within the decade,” said Msall, a member of the mayor’s pension commission.

“That raises multiple legal questions about who is responsible when the pensions no longer have money to pay their retirees. They would look to the city. And even before we got to that point, it would drag down the city’s bond rating and its ability to borrow money.”

Retiring Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon could not be reached for comment.

Just wondering if Daley's Nephew and Son returned their "We Need Pension Fund Money Uncle Dick" has been recouped in anyway with INTEREST (70 million) ...yet? Hard to believe a politian is allowed to think about or look at Municipal Pension Fund $ as if it was theirs or the publics ...let alone have access to it as Big D's family has.... Sounds like.... Revolution....if the law makers don't straighten out this pension mess...besides themselves...without hurting the ones that pay into the fund. The public some how should know the private sector pension plans for all union trades are paid for by their contractor employer (collective agreement) we Muni. Employee's pay out of our pockets....and Joe public thinks we have a money tree...There seems to be a lack of understanding and then finger pointing... Wonder how many pension's our politians are getting and does anyone play with their pension $ .... Just wondering?

if the city wants real pension reform. send the pension money into the multi employer plan like us guys on the outside. but that would be to easy. no money for the relatives. no votes come election time. they can't whip the citizens into a frenzy about how city pensions are the problem. coincidence? with an election coming its easy to pray on the fears of the taxpayers. sounds like mayor daley is gone to align himself with the tea bagers. good luck chicago. and good nite