Plainfield, Illinois — While visiting in Chicago this weekend, I noticed the number of storefronts that have lease signs in them has increased significantly since I was there a month ago. This once bustling city has lost its sparkle because of the privileged attitude of its politicians from both parties. This attitude has caused a drain of talent, revenue, and hope from Chicago and it began long before our current recession.
It started when Todd Stroger, Cook County’s board president, decided in 2008 that it would easier to raise the sales tax to 10.25 percent instead of making executive salary cuts and eliminating patronage expenditures such as personal assistants. At that time the tax increase made Chicago the most taxed city in America and that didn’t include its usury real estate taxes. This drove perspective customers, visitors, and residents way from the city.
The fall in our economy has help make Chicago a retail ghost town reminiscent of the 1970s. Where crime was out of control, businesses were leaving in droves, and residents suffered in silence. The only good thing that came out of this period of Chicago’s history was the Taste of Chicago.
Today, while schools are physically falling apart and children are afraid to play outside in fear of being shot by out of control gangs. The Mayor and Chicago’s Aldermen are blaming a lack of gun laws as opposed to a lack of a funded gang task force. Can anyone explain to me way we can’t use the federal RICO statues to end these organizations? It worked in weakening the Mafia.
While the actual people who work in the city get pay cuts and shortened workweeks. The city’s Aldermen enjoy lavish expense accounts. According to a Sunday, August 16 2009, account in the Chicago Tribune expense allowances went from $33,280 to $73, 270 for each of our city’s hardworking Aldermen. By the way, this is figure does not include their salary.
I tried to get a response as to why the Aldermen of Chicago feel that they can spend these large amounts of money, when some city workers are on the brink of losing their homes because their salaries have been cut so much. I also wanted to confirm that there have been noises out of City Hall about raising taxes and fees in the city, again. I wanted to ask why the Mayor and the Aldermen of Chicago haven’t taken a pay cut, yet.
Unfortunately, City Hall, Street and Sanitation other Chicago Offices were closed because of budgetary funding.
Cook County Board Passes Budget, Raises Sales Tax
What’s in Chicago aldermen’s expense accounts