By P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times
November 7, 2022
CHICAGO – The Chicago City Council passed Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $16.4 billion 2023 budget on Monday.
In an effort to secure her re-election, Lightfoot eliminated a $42.7 million increase and cut in half the despised property tax increase tied to the rate of inflation. Despite her efforts, voters will remember Lightfoot’s mismanagement over the past three years including riots, violent flash mobs, and unchecked crime.
The City Council passed the budget and revenue ordinance 32-18. The controversial and annually “out of control” property tax levy passed 29-21.
As hijackings and murders skyrocket under Lightfoot’s reign, her budget does not provide for hiring more police officers. On the surface, Lightfoot’s $64 million increase for the police department, which is $1.94 billion in total, only calls for the hiring of 35 civilians who will be assigned to the Office of Constitutional Policing, which oversees consent decree compliance and training.
Also in the budget is $242 million for future pension payments, $30 million for the Chicago Police CTA Detail Fund, $200 million for homeless prevention, and $155 million devoted to affordable housing.
Lightfoot also ensured a 20.5% salary increase, to $161,016, for the city clerk and treasurer with a guaranteed annual increase capped at 5% or the rate of inflation.
Of course Lightfoot also included an identical 5% cap in the mayor’s salary that would raise the annual salary by $10,810 to $227,020.
Time will tell if Lightfoot can bribe her way to re-election, though it might be tough since voters only have to look around the city and see the violent mess it has turned into over the past three years.