Happy Freakin' Furlough Day

You're still getting screwed

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The city is closed for business.

    And on this day, City Hall rested.

    But just because a budget-imposed furlough day will shut down a swath of city services today doesn't mean city officials aren't still plotting against you.

    City councilmembers, who in the past have had a spotty record with their own furlough days, are still no doubt abusing their expense accounts.

    The mayor is still plotting to get the 2016 Olympics here to enrich his friends and leave you with the bill.

    And when city workers return to their jobs on Tuesday, the lines will be that much longer and the paperwork on their desks will be piled that much higher.

    Which leads to an unanswerable philosophical question: Are we in more danger of getting screwed when the city is open or closed?

    Some reports out of California say that state has ended up having to pay overtime to some employees to cover the work of those out on furlough.

    DMV workers in Wisconsin are similarly being paid overtime to cover work lost to furloughs.

    And a judge in Iowa tells the Des Moines Register that "I have at least double the number of cases now, not because of more filings but because of the furlough days. We will get it digested - I want to make that clear - but it might take six months to a year."

    Mayor Daley says today's furlough will save the city about $3 million, which is roughly the cumulative amount of aldermanic expense accounts for a year.

    When it comes to budgets, there are always alternatives.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.