Oct. 13, 2011: City Clerk Susana Mendoza called the mayor's budget line to hike city sticker costs for some vehicles "the wrong move at this time." She said Wednesday's budget speech was the first she'd heard of the increase.
The woman who swore in Rahm Emanuel is swearing at part of the mayor's first budget.
City Clerk Susana Mendoza said Wednesday she opposes a budget line that calls for higher city sticker fees for larger vehicles, including SUVs. And she's prepared to fight it.
Stickers for heavy cars and trucks would be increased from $120 to $135 to help pay for damage to city streets that Emanuel said these cars help create. The move would create about $14.8 million in revenue, Emanuel said.
But Mendoza argues SUVs already pay more than other vehicles and hiking the price in the current economy isn't fair.
"I just found out about the city sticker proposal today," Mendoza said Wednesday. "Frankly I am in strong opposition. I think that maybe had they reached out to us earlier we could have provided them with a couple other alternatives."
She did offer up an alternative last month in response to Emanuel's call for ideas. To avoid fee hikes, she tossed out a plan to generate money through advertisements on the back of vehicle registration stickers.
And on Wednesday she offered another. "Before I ask [drivers] to pay any more, before any of us asks them to pay any more, maybe we should be going after the people who are not even in compliance with the law and have not purchased their city sticker."
Increase the fine from $120 to $200, she said, for drivers caught without a sticker.
Mendoza said she addressed Emanuel right after his speech about the increase and said she'll speak with him again.
"It's OK, this is how things start.," she said. "This new administration will learn by going through some obtacles and bumps along the way. But what I can say is I feel very comfortable being able to sit down with the mayor and find better alternatives to increasing the city sticker price."