Taxpayers have had enough

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Sometimes when things are written down and clearly laid out, they appear to be more understandable and stark than verbal appeals, regurgitations and explanations. So hopefully the following facts and figures will remove the greed mote from the Chicago ald

Sometimes when things are written down and clearly laid out, they appear to be more understandable and stark than verbal appeals, regurgitations and explanations. So hopefully the following facts and figures will remove the greed mote from the Chicago aldermen’s eyes and help them to see that not only should they have not voted affirmatively to give themselves a pay raise, now is not the economic time to even broach the subject.

We’re all bracing for next Wednesday’s announcement from Mayor Richard M. Daley, where he is expected to give grim news of a whopping $420 million deficit in next year’s city budget.

There may be many sleepless nights for city workers in the coming weeks, especially within the Department of Streets and Sanitation, as it is believed that some 1,000 city jobs–maybe one third of them coming from Streets and Sanitation will be cut, thousands more vacant city positions will be eliminated and City Hall will continue holding fast on hiring more critically needed police officers.

But the news won’t be wretched for the city’s aldermen, save for six of them, who opted to give themselves a pay raise next fiscal year. The city’s 50 aldermen were able to choose whether or not they’d bump their $104,101 salary up to $110,556 effective next fiscal year. Only six turned down the raise. So apparently the budget is only cash-strapped for some.

Alderman, have some mercy. Middle-class Chicagoans’ financial knees continue to buckle as local and national governments continue to ride their back.

After all, they were just recently committed to bailing out the Wall Street gluttons whose avarice devastated some of your wards and evicted countless numbers of your constituents.

Keep in mind that, nationally, we’ve already seen some of the highest job loss numbers ever. Then there are those other antagonizing economic caveats that just won’t seem to go away: gas is still over $4 a gallon, food costs are nearly unfathomable, and oh yeah, Chicago has the highest sales tax in the country at 10.25 percent.

Wall Street will be on Recovery Road soon. But your constituents on Halsted Street and on Austin Avenue will have to ride out this economic tide, continuing to struggle to make ends meet, living with the daily anxiety of ‘will it be me next’ on the jobs chopping block or hoping they can maintain their bills so that they are not swallowed up by the credit monster who has, of late, become stingy and overly scrutinizing.

It does them no good to see their city council gobbling up a taxpayer-funded pay increase while they are struggling to hold on to their jobs.

Aldermen, give Chicago residents a mental and financial break.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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