Return to [remote or in person] Committee on Budget and Government Operations
Live reporting by Eliot Wyeth
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Alders voted to establish a program incentivizing whistleblower reports of illegal dumping, building on a similar pilot program that ended in 2015.

Eliot Harper Wyeth @elharpwhy
Hello Chicago! Today I'll be live-tweeting the City Council meeting for the Committee on Budget and Government Operations for @CHIdocumenters #CHIdocumenters

10:57 AM Mar 12, 2024 CDT

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This meeting can be attended live at 121 N La Salle St 2nd Fl, City Council Chambers, or online at - just scroll down on the home page to "Meeting Notices" and the link will appear once the meeting has begun
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Today's agenda can be found here:
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The link to the meeting is now live (), but the meeting has not yet begun…
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If you would like to learn more about the Budget Committee members, Chicago Councilmatic is always a great resource:…
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Meeting is live.
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17 members present, for a quorum.
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Alds Rodriguez, Scott, Rodriguez-Sanchez, Ramirez-Rosa, Mitts are joining remotely.
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Public comment is open and open with George Blakemore. He asks about what Rule 45 is, and asks the council to educate the public about it. He says: "Your allegiance is not to the mayor. You serve the public."
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Mr. Blakemore: "You bring out the ugliness in me," he says in response to how the Council is acting in general and how it treats the public.
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Next is Jessica Jackson. She addresses Ald Vasquez (40), and criticizes his involvement in "black business", and says he should "mind his Hispanic alderman business".
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To learn more about George Blakemore, "The Concerned Citizen", see this article in the Chicago Reader:…
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The next speaker is Tywon Sims: he asks about hiring preferences, and what hiring preferences are going to be. He expresses concern about what is being done for the Black citizens of Chicago. "Everyone wants to push the narrative that [the city] is going to ****...."
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Mr. Sims: "...That's not the narrative." He expresses hope for the City and specifically the Black community.
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Public comment is closed.
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Monthly Rule 45 Report for Feb is approved.
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Next is Item 2, approval for the appropriation of Funds within Fund 925.
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They are proposing allotment of approx $4.1m of Covid19 funds for epidemiology projects.
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This allocation will go in part to infectious disease laboratories; currently there is one sequencing laboratory at Rush, and one laboratory at IDPH for tracing and diagnostics.
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Motion approved.
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Next item is regarding the appointment of Julie Hernandez-Tomlin as Commissioner of Department of Fleet and Facility Management.
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Ms. Hernandez-Tomlin has over 34 years of experience in Chicago government.
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Ald Napolitano (41) enthusiastically endorses Ms. Hernandez-Tomlin.
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Ald Cardona (31) says he is glad she is returning to this role which was eliminated and then reinstated.
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Ald Sposato: "Great to see you back."
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Ald Dowell (3): "I'd like to add my voice to the chorus of people welcoming you back." She asks about her priorities. Ms. Hernandez-Tomlin wants to make sure the fleets are being maintained and repaired in a timely fashion.
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She also wishes to improve the fleet's environmental impact and make sure all are compliant with the ADA.
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Ald Dowell also requests Ms. Hernandez-Tomlin look into the prices of the contracts the city has entered into; some seem "exorbitant". She says she will.
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Ald Burnett (27) asks about the environment checks on the sales of lots. Is it true that there is only one person can approve these checks? There is a shortage of staff, and they plan on posting vacancies to fill next quarter.
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Ald Burnett thanks her for looking into this issue before she's even been sworn in.
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Chair Ervin asks about the possibility of employing a short-term solution to these long wait times by using a contracted service.
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Ald Curtis (18) asks about the Garbage Truck Fleets. He says his constituents comment on them leaking in alleys. He congratulates her.
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Ald Moore (17) praises her responsiveness when people reach out. He echos Ald Burnett's concerns with the vacant lot issue. He asks about current vacanies. They employ 90% trade positions, and work with 23 unions. There are 33 vacancies for auto machinists.
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Ms. Hernandez-Tomlin says that one of her first thoughts about filling these trade positions is to reach out to youth. Ald Moore asks about a full list of vacancies w/r/t each trade. She promises to provide a list via the Chair.
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Ald Moore asks how many police cars are currently down, and what the turnaround time is to get them back up. Mark Chapulis, Dept Commissioner of Fleet Operations, reports that there are 387 of 2553 down, plus 190 down for accidents (which require more time and repair)
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Ald Vasquez (40) says he is also happy to see Ms. Hernandez-Tomlin back in this role. He says she is an example of excellent leadership.
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Ald Manaa-Hoppenworth (48) asks: you left the City's employ and went to private. What are you bringing back? Ms. Hernandez-Tomlin: "I learned that I wanted to come back to the city!" She says it was valuable to see how things operate "on the other side".
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Ald Manaa-Hoppenworth requests that the facilities currently being used to house migrants be not only maintained but improved.
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Motion to accept the appointment; the ayes have it.
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They are holding on Item 3 and going on to Item 4: establishing a reward program for information leading to the conviction or finding of liability for illegal dumping.
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This program was previously in place and operated successfully; it just "sunsetted". They are bringing it back with the sole change of it going through the Commissioner of Streets and Sanitation; it previously went through a position that no longer exists.
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Amendment passed.
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Item 5 would require that City Council advice and consent for appointment of the Department of Public Health Commissioner.
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This is the standard procedure; Ald Lawson (44) says that this seems to be a simple oversight. Amendment passed.
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Item 6's sponsor is not present and so is deferred.
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Item 7 is for the transfer with 4th Ward Wage Allowance/Aldermanic Expense Account for Year 2024. Passed.
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Item 8 is for the transfer of funds within the 26th Ward Wage Allowance/Aldermanic Expense Account for Y2024. Passed.
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Again, to find exact wordings of these items as well as Ordinance numbers, see today's agenda:
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Meeting adjourned at 12:05. Committee adjourned until Wednesday, March 20th, at 9:30AM. This meeting is not (yet) on the city agenda, but the regular City Council meeting is scheduled for that day at 10AM.
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This concludes today's coverage for the Committee on Budget and Government Operations. For more meeting coverage, check out and @CHIdocumenters. Have a great day!