A terse mayor says the migration of some Streets & Sanitation employees is something that's done every year, adding that the story earlier this week was nothing more than a way to "fill newspapers."
Mayor Richard Daley and his budget director on Friday downplayed fears that rats would be taking over the city.
Published reports this week indicated rat patrols were going to fall victim to the budget pinch at Streets and Sanitation and therefore cause a rodent explosion.
Daley said it simply wasn't true, explaining that similar personnel shifts have been typical throughout his 22 years as mayor.
The mayor also dismissed recent complaints about the department's work rules as the consequences of the negotiation process.
"You have to give and take," the mayor said. "You give something and sometimes it's not worth taking it away. You know that. You can see what's happening all over."