Mayor Rahm Emanuel is claiming to have saved the city $83 million this year -- even more than the $75 million he promised during his election campaign.
“We have not only followed through on a promise, we have exceeded it,” Emanuel said in a statement. “Our first responsibility is to the taxpayers of Chicago, and every day we are finding new ways to be more efficient in the way we do business.”
Some of the savings are nickel-and-dime stuff. The Graphics Department, for example, saved $14,000 by renegotiating its copy machine contract. Others are more substantial. The city saved $5.5 million by cutting management jobs, and $23.8 million with a 6 percent holdback on all non-essential contracts.
Other cost savings, according to the mayor’s office:
- $4.9 million in savings from enhanced coordination between the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Department of Water Management (DWM) on 25 water and sewer main replacements.
- The Law Department hired 14 new attorneys, allowing the city to save $3.3 million in outside legal fees.
- Merging the Departments of General Services and Fleet Management into Fleet and Facilities Management and the Departments of Finance and Revenue into a single Department of Finance saved $3.7 million.
- Moving Chicago Fire Department administration into the same building as the Chicago Police Department administration was among the space consolidation and lease-cancellation measures that saved $5 million.
- Getting rid of 97 full-time Traffic Control Aides in the Loop saved $2.3 million.
- The Office of Management and Budget’s review of grant funds conserved $34.2 million that might otherwise have been unspent or returned to the grantor.
- Coordination between the Department of Water Management and the Department of Transportation ensured that water mains were replaced before road resurfacings, saving $5 million.