Ward Room
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Should Chicago's City Council Be Cut in Half?

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Should Chicago's City Council Be Cut in Half?
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Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel is asking around about cutting Chicago's City Council in half.

Emanuel brought up the idea during private meetings with aldermen, the Sun-Times reports. The change would take the council down to 25 members.

No decisions were made, of course, and structure changes like this need to be decided by voters or the Illinois General Assembly.

But it's been brought up before.

Emanuel told the Sun-Times he suggested the idea after hearing frustrations during his campaign about the council's size. Chicago has the second-largest city council in the country. It costs taxpayers about $19 million to maintain the 50 alderman.

A smaller Chicago population reported in the 2010 U.S. Census could continue the conversation, and Emanuel might have an unlikely ally on the issue.

Even Ald. Ed Burke has mentioned the cost of a 50-member council, calling it unnecessary.

New York has the largest city council in the country.

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