October 14, 2008

Daley Announces 6 Days Partial Shutdown of City Government

Partial Shutdown and Other Management Improvements Will Provide $62 Million
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley today announced a package of initiatives - including shutting down non-safety related city services for three days in 2008 and three in 2009 - that will provide $62 million for the city's corporate fund budget.

"Throughout this tough economy I have challenged my staff to continue to find ways to manage the limited resources of government more efficiently - so that we can protect all our taxpayers, but particularly our working families and those Chicagoans who are most in need," Daley said in a City Hall news conference.

"This year we must reduce spending for the everyday operations of government if we're to balance our budget. Today, I am announcing that we will implement a number of initiatives to further help us cut spending so that we can balance our City's budget during these tough economic times," Daley said.

"They are consistent with my commitment to put better management ahead of turning to taxpayers for more or cutting jobs and reducing services. And, they build on the many steps we've already taken this year to get ahead of our nation's slowing economy," Daley added.

Partial Government Shutdown Days

The first step will be a partial shut-down of City government for three days in 2008 and three days in 2009. In 2008, City government would close the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. In 2009, it would be the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

All City employees would be off work and unpaid on those days, except for police and fire personnel, 911 employees and a small number of others who normally work on a holiday.

Those are mainly in the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, and the Departments of Aviation, Water and Streets and Sanitation and the Department of Family and Supportive Services.

The total savings for the six days is $19.8 million, including $12.6 million in the corporate fund.

Vacancy Eliminations
Next, the 2009 budget will eliminate a total of 1,346 vacancies - including 818 in the corporate fund - at a savings of $48.5 million across all funds, and $29 million in the corporate fund.

Continuing 2008 Management Steps in 2009 to Earn Savings
In 2009, the City will also continue to benefit from management improvements announced throughout 2008, at an expected savings of $10 million. This will include savings in 2009 from the voluntary severance program, and ongoing savings from contract renegotiations.

Additional 2009 Management Steps

The City will put in place for 2009 additional management improvements that will generate or save more than $10 million.

These will include:

Taxicab Medallion Auction: $4 Million

  • The City will conduct a sealed-bid auction of an undisclosed number of taxicab medallions in 2009. The last auction in December 2006 by the Department of Consumer Services generated approximately $3.9 million.
  • Municipal Marketing: $2 Million
    The City will seek strategic sponsorships of city activities and assets, starting with a new agreement to provide beverage and vending services for City facilities. These sponsorship agreements should provide $2 million next year.
  • Outsourcing Police IT Help Desk to Unisys: $1 Million
    By utilizing the existing Unisys contract to provide IT help desk services at the Police Department, the City will eliminate 26 internal Police Department positions, providing a net savings of $1 million.
  • Securities Lending: $1 Million
    Earlier this year, the City began to lend securities to financial institutions that need them for short periods of time. These loans require that the borrower provide cash collateral, which provides revenue for the City.
  • In-source Property Management: $900,000
    The City will eliminate our outside property management contract for 3 City facilities at 1615 W. Chicago (Department of Family and Support Services facility), 445 N. Sacramento (Department of Environment), and 1718 S. State St. (Police Department). These services provided by the contract that will be brought in-house include maintenance, engineering, security, and janitorial services.
  • Reduction in Downtown Lease Costs: $800,000
    The City will consolidate responsibility for managing its roughly $1 billion real estate portfolio to reduce costs while maintaining or increasing service levels of City facilities and office space.
  • Implement New Cashiering System: $400,000
    A new automated citywide cashiering system will replace the current outdated system, which is very expensive to maintain and configure to the City's needs. This automated management will save maintenance costs and will increase the collection rate of non-payments and allow for the timely referral to collection firms, if necessary. The new system was implemented in the City Clerk's Office this year and resulted in increased efficiency and decreased wait times during the city vehicle sticker renewal period.
  • Audit and Collection of Health Benefit Overpayments: $200,000
    In 2006 the city began auditing and collecting health benefits that were inappropriately paid on behalf of ineligible recipients. The continuation of these efforts in 2008 should provide a net of $200,000 in revenue, based on the amount recovered thus far.

"The budget I will present tomorrow will address our challenges head on, but in a way that puts people first," Daley said.

"I know that no one will be completely satisfied with our recommendations. But, if we work together and responsibly cut spending this year, we'll be taking an important step toward addressing the financial challenges we'll still face in the years ahead," he said.