This category contains 7 posts

What could go wrong?

Today, the Chicago City Council voted 41-5 to give Mayor Emanuel more authority to enter into contracts for goods, work and services with respect to the G8 and NATO summits this Spring. They did this so he could enter the City into contracts without having to go through that old, pesky bidding process. Certainly, as … Continue reading

Not a cause for celebration

Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced his budget with a pledge to end the smoke and mirrors, and as it passed unanimously, aldermen celebrated a ‘new day’ for the City. But despite some improvement to end past gimmicks, the budget still includes misleading accounting tricks that hide a tax increase from public scrutiny. The City budget that … Continue reading

The more things change…

…. the more they stay the same. The Chicago Tribune reports that Mayor Emanuel is taking a page out of Mayor Daley’s playbook by not providing public records (government cellphone bills and emails, specifically)  that the Tribune requested by claiming that “providing them is unduly burdensome.” This excuse is something that Chicagoans have heard for years, … Continue reading

Budget season

‘Tis the season to… fill gaping budget deficits. Cook County is facing a budget deficit of $315 million, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveiled her plan to fill it yesterday. Much like the budget that Mayor Emanuel presented a couple of weeks ago, Preckwinkle’s budget is a mixture of cuts and revenue increases, … Continue reading

A More Transparent Cook County

Yesterday, Cook County released an unprecedented amount of data on their website: http://data.cookcountyil.gov/. Using the same technology as the City of Chicago’s Data Portal, Cook County has posted data related to economic development, county finances, public safety, property and taxation, and more. At the press conference yesterday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said, “When … Continue reading

Transparency discussion

The article “Opening government, the Chicago way,” has a fascinating take on how Chicago can use innovation and technological know-how to make the City more transparent, and encourage more engagement from Chicagoans. Here’s an excerpt: “There’s a long road ahead for open government in Chicago — the legacy of corruption, fraud and graft in City … Continue reading

Inspector General talks transparency

Last night, in a forum about Mayor Emanuel’s first 100 days, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson said this: “What you’ve seen is a new day in some respect in driving a great deal of the transparency issue, putting forth into the public domain a lot of information that has existed and been available, but has not … Continue reading