The City of Chicago’s Department of Water Management has promoted numerous people due to loyalty to certain political armies. My concern is the possible event of cross contamination of the water supply. Chicago has an obligation to protect our water, not play politics. In the event of overtime, sometimes it is needed because we “Protect the Health of the Nation”. This quote is on the walls of Plumbers Journeyman’s Local 130 in Chicago. Remember, if you see a hazardous situation, or unsafe water conditions in Chicago, contact me. I promise to get your concerns in the right hands. Patrick McDonough.
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Mayor warns of budget shortfall
July 30, 2007 – Mayor Daley is warning of a budget deficit of more than $200 million by next year.
The Daley administration says the budget will be $217 million short. The city says increased personnel costs and a slowdown in revenues are to blame.
The mayor officially introduces his budget for 2008 in October.
Chicagoans avoided a tax increase last year, a year in which the mayor was running for re-election.
City’s pension funds growing weaker
(Crain’s) — The financial condition of the city’s employee pension funds continues to weaken, despite what until recently has been a booming stock market.
All four of Chicago’s pension funds lost ground in the year ended Dec. 31, with the “funded ratio” of assets to liabilities dropping to as low as 40% in the case of the firefighter’s fund.
The funds are in a “precarious position,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a tax watchdog group that for years has been warning of a looming pension crisis.
With the funds caught in a structural deficit in which costs are rising faster than income, “They need to increase contributions and significantly reduce benefits to bring costs down to an acceptable level,” Mr. Msall said.
Details about the lagging pension plans are contained in the city’s audited financial statement for 2006, which was released late Thursday.
The statement indicates that the funded ratio dropped one or two percentage points for each of the funds last year, with the police fund now having 49% of the assets needed to cover expected liabilities, the laborer’s fund 92% and the municipal fund 67%.
Most private-sector retirement funds try to maintain at least a 90% funded ratio.
The unfunded liability of the four funds together now totals $9.3 billion — up about $2 billion just since 2004.
A city spokeswoman noted that the figures reported in the financial statement actually are a five-year blended average that includes returns in 2001, when the stock market suffered sharp losses following the Sept. 11 attacks. The funds actually had a pretty good investment return in 2006, and by next year the city is “hopeful” of improvement in the funded ratio, the spokeswoman said.
The financial statement also disclosed that the unreserved balance in the city’s main operating account, the general fund, last year plunged from $56 million to $26.8 million, just 0.9% of annual general fund expenditures, as expenses grew and some revenues lagged.
The spokeswoman noted that the city can draw on a second reserve fund of $500 million, part of the proceeds from the long-term lease of the Chicago Skyway to a private consortium. But the Civic Federation’s Mr. Msall termed the 0.9% reserve “troubling” and “far below” the 5% reserve some experts recommend as prudent.
Former city Chief Financial Officer Dana Levenson has publicly warned that the city soon will need major revisions in its pension plans. But with Mayor Richard M. Daley needing union backing in his bid to lure the 2016 Olympics here, it is uncertain how hard the city will push the issue amid ongoing negotiations with employee unions for new contacts.
As previously reported, the city Thursday also ordered a second round of across-the-board cuts to balance its 2007 budget. The cuts amount to 2% of expenditures.
What would the city ‘save’, if EVERY CITY EMPLOYEE, including ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS and their STAFFS, were to take a 10% cut in their yearly pay?
(Response) My educated guess is about 10%
How about your un-educated guess?
In dollars, U.S.?
Why should a city plumberr who refused to co-operate with the Inspector General and received a six month, who takes to take photo while working, post half truths on a blog and then tries to cover his rule violations by claiming everthing was politically motivated be allowed to work Water Management?
(Response) You cannot spell and you do not make sense. Post your name oh stupid one, or post somewhere else.
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