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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