Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Should Chicago's City Council Be Cut in Half?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.