Incurious George

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) has made a couple appearances in the last week defending the mayor’s decision to delay releasing budget numbers for a couple months. Here are a couple representative slices.

* On Sunday, he appeared with Ald. Joe Moore (49th) on the underappreciated Fox Chicago Sunday.

Moore: What [City Hall] need[s] to do is what a lot of progressive companies are doing these days – bring labor to the table right away and just open the books.”

Cardenas: We’ll see the numbers.

Moore: When? When we’re asked to take it or leave it? [Daley’s] holding press conferences telling us how dire the situation is. Show us how dire it is.

Cardenas: Everyone wants to rush into it. It’s bad. It’s bad.

Moore: Trust is earned. The way to earn trust is to open up the books.

A few days previously, Cardenas appeared on a Chicago Tonight panel moderated by Carol Marin with aldermen Patrick O’Connor (40th) and Sandi Jackson.

Marin: What’s left to look at? Where does the mystery lie?

O’Connor: [blah blah blah].

Marin: Give me three places [where cuts can be made].

Cardenas: Health care costs, give some of the money back. Operations in terms of work rules that apply to all union employees. [such as one-man truck rules]. Police, move cops back to the street.

Marin: How much money would that save?

Cardenas: It could save millions of dollars.


A) So could switching to GEICO.
B) Maybe start charging downtown workers for each extra bag they carry.
C) How ’bout we put aldermen back on the street?


Marin: The mayor has now shrunk your deliberative time. He’s not even going to give you this stuff until September.

O’Connor: It’s not like we are going to be excluded from the process over the next couple of weeks . . . the city council isn’t going to sit back and say we’ll wait until until you feed us again.

Marin: The city council is pretty much a rubber stamp . . . today you rubber-stamped the cuts [the mayor put forward].


Maybe save by using smaller rubber stamps?


Cardenas: [The budget information] is not going to be released to the press or the public to be digested, but we’ll be working on it.

O’Connor: There will be plenty of time for public comment, plenty of time for public debate.


Yes. After the budget is passed.


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