Saturday, September 27, 2008

What Others Are Saying

Seems the AP story has generated a bunch more local interest. The Capitol Fax Blog (covering Springfield, IL news) has a big article up, quoting numerous local and national sources. They dissect the AP article, our responses and link to a Reader article:
  • The backdrop for all of this, of course, is the city’s $420 million budget hole, which will likely require hundreds of layoffs, unfilled positions, and early retirements to plug--though the Daley administration hasn't been saying much about it. Some aldermen, though, are quietly suggesting that Donahue’s union could pay for a few more jobs if it were willing to give up a few costly perks. On top of their regular pay, officers receive $730 every three months for “duty availability”—that is, simply being on call, even though they get additional overtime pay if they actually have to take an extra shift. They receive another $600 every three months to pay for new uniforms, and they can take a check for any furlough time they deserve but don’t use. These benefits add up to about $73 million a year.

    "Apparently the aldermen grumbling about such things don’t see the hypocrisy of their grumblings," Donahue says. "The average police officer coming out of the police academy onto the force is going to make an investment of $7,000 to $9,000 dollars—the department doesn’t buy the uniform, doesn’t buy the guns, doesn’t buy the shoes. What would the aldermen say if we proposed cutting the money for their staff and expenses?"

Not noted in the Reader article is how those "extras" were acquiesced to during negotiations as a way to boost officers' salaries without having to actually pay the pension benefits associated with a higher salary; how much of the increased contributions for health and pension benefits ate up salary raises before officers ever saw the money; and how in light of recent City, County and State tax hikes combined with economic realities means that we aren't even treading water any more - we're sinking.

Costly perks? How about the aldercreatures annual $1 million "discretionary fund" which ends up being spent on sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, wives, etc so as to keep the entire million in the family? The TIF slush fund? The City Council approving all sorts of settlements and legal work to connected law firms? Those monies alone dwarf contractually negotiated perks and might even fill Shortshank's budget hole.

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36 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish somebody would ask Ald. Zalewski how he paid for his patio?

9/27/2008 12:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can keep the duty availability and uniform allowance. instead, i would like an "i have to send my kid to private school" allowance so they don't have to go to the gang infested shitbird public high schools. better yet, don't even give me a raise but allow me to live outside of city. sounds like a fair tradeoff. the city saves millions and gets a police force with a much better attitude.

9/27/2008 12:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...I was wondering??? I became aware of an article, suntimes I think, that broke down the 1.83 BILLION received by the City for the sale...oops...lease of the chicago tollway. If I can remember:
430 Million to retire bonds? What?
500 Million to "Reserve" Fund. OK?
350 Million to Annuity...gone by 2011?
100 Million for the "people"...gone by 2009. So,
430
500
350
100

1.38 Billion if I'm counting right?

1.83 Billion less
1.38 Billion

Does that leave 450 million somewhere?

Also...has anyone actually seen the contract/lease? How do we know that what is reported is true? Under the lease does the private entity have to show it's earnings...if so...do those earnings compare to the revenue it produced when run by the city? In other words...Was this a good deal for the Taxpayers as we were told it would be?

Just some questions on one...yes just one...issue.

Furthermore...who was involved in "brokering" this deal? Did they receive a fee? If so...how much and how did they obtain broker status for the city?

What is the simple interest on 1.83 billion dollars.

What financial institutions is this money deposited? What interest are we earning? Why is the annuity and the 100 mil going to be gone in 2009 and 2011?

If I called the bargaining unit to inquire would they know? How many actuarials do we have employed by our bargaining unit?

Just some questions.

9/27/2008 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was nothing but short sighted greed and no thought for the future that caused "union members" in the past to vote acceptance of uniform allowances and shift differential payments over meaningful pay raises that actually would have benefited them in the long run through pensionable salary inreases that would continue in perpetuity. Don't get me going on a certain style of "richness". Having said that, please vote for your future pension benefits and vote NO to the proposed Il. Con Con referrendum coming up on the November election. A yes vote could radically change the current pension structure as it now stands and take away the safe guards and current guarantees we now enjoy through the structure of IL. LAW. I'm retired and three sheets to the wind right now after having a great steak dinner and too many excellent bourbans and water to accompany said repast. I hope this makes sense tomorrow; it does at the moment. Good night.

9/27/2008 01:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The number one problem facing the CPD is the fact that we are short, upwards of 2,000 sworn personnel, and this is being concealed. The officers know it, they see it and they feel it. Morale is in the toilet. There is no leadership or support being displayed, at any managerial level.

The CPD wrongfully stripped and fired some officers. This has had long-lasting repercussions within the rank and file. The disciplinary process is not fair and objectively based. The promotional process is primarily based upon clout, not on knowledge or competency. The existing merit system leads to great frustration. We work six straight days in a row with CPD's archaic work schedule. The work schedule further increases stress levels. The residency requirement is killing the job, by keeping qualified younger officers away. The media hammers the CPD unfairly, on a daily basis. The contract has been expired for 15+ months, with no resolution in sight. The squad cars, computers and radio batteries don't function properly. Other times, there are not enough squad cars, radios and batteries to equip all the officers working. Equipment shortages and malfunctions place officers in additional danger. Officers routinely find themselves semi-involuntarily working alone. Working alone resulted in Officer Richard Francis's murder in July. The contract stipulates that officers work as two man units, during the hours of darkness. If officers complain about being assigned to work alone, retaliation will come about. Compensatory time is routinely denied, due to manpower requirements. Chicago is an exceedingly expensive city to reside in, with a very high cost of living and the worst public schools in the nation. Chicago has the some of the highest taxes in the nation,IE. sales tax. The officers are also picking up an overall feeling of hopelessness and despair, this is downright dangerous.

To be fair, Superintendent Jody Weis inherited a shipwreck of monstrous proportions from Phil Cline. This situation did not just arise under Weis's tenure, but has been festering for sometime. This situation was definitively made much worse under Cline's tenure. Many officers, initially applauded the appointment of an esteemed outsider taking the reigns. Officers believed that change was forthcoming. Some of Weis's initial moves immediately changed that assumption though. Weis sought and obtained Federal charges against Bill Cozzi, this was the icing on the cake.

Chicago Police Officers work in some of the nation's worst Hell holes. These officers are routinely involved in life and death situations; that are to say, unnerving. Chicago is the third largest city in the nation, but now has the highest homicide rate and violent crime rate in America. NYC has a population of 8.6 million, while Chicago has 2.86 million. This year,Chicago is exceeding NYC's homicide rate.

City politicians claim that there is a 430 million dollar deficit. Yet, there is over 800 million dollars sitting in the TIF Funds, 500 million dollars sitting in a bond fund from the lease of the Chicago Skyway, and who knows how much money accrued from the lease of Midway Airport. Last year's record property tax increase was to fund police hiring, and to settle labor contracts. Where has all this money gone? Ironically, the politicians claim broke. This all, coincidentally coincides, while the police contract is being negotiated; and allegedly justifies the critical manpower shortage. Officers believe the monies are being diverted for the 2016 Summer Olympics. This is occurring at the expense of Chicago's children, residents, visitors, tourists and officers' safety.

Many chess experts, view the knight as one of the most important strategic game pieces. The knight is a necessity to win a chess game. Knights guard and defend the King, at all cost. What happens when the knights are all turned into pawns?

Remember, we are the eyes and ears, and the pulse of the third largest city in the United States. Overall pressure is building in society; fueled by the impending economic woes, the daily stress, terrorism, the wars, the disgust with corruption, and the moral decay in society. We know and feel that something is seriously askew. You could call us the blue canaries, yet we still stick it out, and keep you safe.

It's okay, joke about us,scorn us, denigrate us and look down upon us. Realize one thing, when we fail or fall in battle: Who will protect you and yours, in this AntI-GuN asylum state, called Chicago, Illinois???

9/27/2008 04:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Topic rummblings have it the Police lawsuit settlement payouts are being looked at by the FEDS and questioning why are some fought and why others are not. The answer is some of the bigger law firms that get these non court settlements have been some of the biggest contributers to certain politicans. This will be Fitzgeralds last big bang before hes pushed out if Obama wins. The FEDS have been quiet lately putting together the big bang hopefully they wont run out of time!!!!!!

9/27/2008 05:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9/27/2008 01:54:00 AM

God Bless, enjoy those retirement checks and thanks for keeping us updated brother.

VOTE NO, to any illinois Constitutional Convention Proposition on the November ballot if you want to have a pension or keep what you have.

9/27/2008 05:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask Ald. Allen to give back his office staff and his salery there never in the office all summer.

He's at the law office and staff who knows where!

Keep your duty availability let me get a school voucher (I don't like buying cars for someone else) and let me live outside the city.

All the other MAJOR cities dropped the resdidence requirement, LA. NY. Dallas, Houston, Philly. WAKE UP Shortshanks when something happens in this city you won't have enough emergency 1st responders and you know it.

J-Fed how dose it feel to be treated like a Biotch!

So J-Fed and Fritzgerald should be looking at you Mayor Shortshanks and your family as to where all this money is going and no accountability, your buffer went to jail are you next Shortshanks!

9/27/2008 06:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask X - Aldercreature Tillman to give back the leased Caddi she's driving.

9/27/2008 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, at the same time the City was giving the police all those supposed "perks" they were cutting medical benefits and increasing premiums, co-pays and decreasing prescription benefits.

If the Mayor wants my duty availability allowance back then restore the medical benefits to what they were when the duty availability went into effect.

I'd go for that, prescription benefits too. Want my uniform allowance back? Sure thing, keep it, then go back further and give me the medical plan I had when I came on the job, the Bankers, and igve me the prescription plan where I paid zip, zero, nada, nothing, for all my prescriptions.

As the one hand of the city was giving those fantastic "perks" of duty availability and uniform allowance, the other hand was slashing medical benefits and prescription benefits. Oh, and when I came on I paid not a cent for medical insurance and neither did any retiree.

I'd make that trade off in a heartbeat.

And as for the dental insurance, I have exactly the same dental benefit as when I came on, it hasn't changed, it wasn't much good when I got hired and it is miserable now. The low benefit amount has not gone up in 23 years!

In fact, my dentist tells me simply to pretend I don't have any dental insurance. It's that bad. The dentist financial office confirms I have the worst dental insurance of any of their patients. The City dental insurance is well known as being good for shit.

So, as we were accumulating all these so-called perks we were losing big time on medical, dental and prescription benefits.

The medical insurance etc. is not in the contract, hence the city can slash whenever they want and they usually want to slash right after a monetary increase for us goes into effect. It is their way of getting some of that money back.

The FOP, way back when they signed that first contract, never thought to include language for the medical insurance, prescription benefits or the dental. No one envisioned the lousy situation we find ourselves in now with crappy benefits.

So to anyone who proposes we "give back" a monetary benefit that has been gained over the years, I say HELL NO!!!

Not unless you restore the medical, dental and prescription benefits that we have lost.

Want to plug the budget hole? Stop the corruption tax, start suing the people who have been enriched by Daley's corrupt regime and get some of THAT money back.

9/27/2008 07:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can these alderbitches even point at anybody else!!! How dare you point the finger at us!!! WE CANT VOTE OURSELVES RAISES!! ASSHOLES!!! I HATE THIS CITY!!!

9/27/2008 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This "no contract negotiations in public" that Donahue practices is bullshit. The gloves need to come off NOW. If it's a gentlemen's agreement between him and Daley to keep this off the street, it's ridiculous and it was instituted to keep heat off Daley. Daley does all his scamming behind closed doors. How do you think he got everyone to screw over Brenden O'Reilly on the museum. He cut deals behind the scenes.

Politicians work for US. They need to be help accountable PUBLICLY. C'mon Mark, get some balls.

9/27/2008 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just some questions.

9/27/2008 12:58:00 AM

And some very good ones at that!

9/27/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish somebody would ask Ald. Zalewski how he paid for his patio?

9/27/2008 12:09:00 AM

Sounds like you already no. So....?

9/27/2008 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. How much does Burke and the rest of the alderman make working part time? $95,000 / part time? Question is when is the public going to wake up.

9/27/2008 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
you can keep the duty availability and uniform allowance. instead, i would like an "i have to send my kid to private school" allowance so they don't have to go to the gang infested shitbird public high schools. better yet, don't even give me a raise but allow me to live outside of city. sounds like a fair tradeoff. the city saves millions and gets a police force with a much better attitude.

9/27/2008 12:36:00 AM

Agree we need a tax revoly, I never sent my kids to the 35% graduation rate shit cps sysytem! Why do we pay for this garbage? Why are we forced to pay for illegals in the system, hey daley their parents cannot vote anyway asshole! Another huge savings cut burkes detail the free cars all the free gas, that would save at least 1.6 Million, after all oily eddie has 8 million in his campaign fund alone! Why does the treasurer have a fleet of drivers hire a lackey at 25K to drive him her another 700K saved, daley why does his entire family have drivers? the garage where they hide the cars on normal is full must be 30 vehicles for the royal mayor and his family and friends to be driven in! WTF!

9/27/2008 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger NorthSide said...

"Duty Availability" pay, my ass! What a conniving misnomer.

Pool all "duty availability" monies and reward only those officers that work the streets in the shitholes of this city during the hours of darkness.

If you work steady days and/or inside, the message is obvious. You say you want enhanced pay? Fine. Bid into a night shift working the streets of a West or South Side shithole.

Don't even get me started on that "gold braid" bullshit. In most instances, it's nothing more than another clout scam with a lifetime reward for inept suckholes who drain our pension fund dry.

To all of you guys who constitute the backbone of this clusterfuck of a police department, please unite and demand the respect which you so righteously deserve.

While I'm now retired, I will take fierce pride in my CPD service to the grave. You deserve no less.

I admit to having teared up thinking about the ways this corrupt city has mistreated "Chicago's Finest." It's not only unacceptable, it's an intolerable outrage. When it comes to commitment and selfless courage, there is no more honorable calling of unsung heroism than that of a police officer and a soldier.

If you have other career options, get out ASAP. All of you, stay safe throughout this ordeal. Have each others backs with St. Michael the Archangel at your side. God bless you!

9/27/2008 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like all the idiots back in the 90's that agreed to paying $2 for health insurance in exchange for a $1200 (? on amount) one time check! Thanks asswipes......I told ya so!

9/27/2008 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous 44TH WARDER said...

I hear our ¿alderman? is going to take the lead on this wasteful spending crap. He's going to close that mens social club(steambath)at
Belmont & Halsted and donate all the towels & soap to the District
locker rooms.
Haven't heard whether the former attendants are part of the deal ,though...........

9/27/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we maybe get some real negotiators inatead of guys who forget to qualify or refuse to.

9/27/2008 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alderman Zalewski, How Did You Pay For Your Patio ??????????
The taxpayers would like to know.

9/27/2008 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply change the name from "duty availability pay" to "hazardous duty pay".

9/27/2008 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a alderman said recently that he wasn't going to give up his purposed 6% raise when it was suggested by someone in the media. he said he needed it! well i need a 6% raise too.

9/27/2008 03:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

correct me if I'm wrong,but don't the aldermen get a break on their property tax while the rest of the city pays full boat?

9/27/2008 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

. . don't even give me a raise but allow me to live outside of city . .

------

The problem is those members who are "involved" with the union are the one's putting forth the effort to develop a contract and change state law.. ALL HAVE TIME ON THE JOB.

I'll be honest.. the more time I have on the job (20 years now) the less interest I have in the residency issue.
I realize that if we have the right to move out of Chicago the real estate market will TAKE A SHIT in Chicago and we will get screwed when we retire and attempt to sell.

THE YOUNG OFFICERS who should really be taking and interest in residency are more concerned with getting department commendations and honorable mentions.

Whats the saying?
Dumb, young and full of cum.

9/27/2008 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How dare these pompous asses complain about any benefit we receive.

The aldermen refused unpaid furlough days; refused to give up the COLA increase. Where is the COLA increase for the rest of us? Alderman, is a part time job, yet they are paid well, just to rubber stamp the midgets projects.

The next time any of you citizens are getting your ass kicked, car stolen, house broken into, call an alderman to save you.

9/27/2008 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aldermen only have to serve 4 terms to receive a pension and medical coverage...Gotta give them a sweet deal to keep their mouths shut...

9/27/2008 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI FROM DA MAYOR,

Oh you silly little men and women. Like anyone is going to actually ask for the alderman to give up their perks..It's so much fun making it appear that you are over compensated. See the public is to stupid to realize that you and the firemen are probably the most important people in this city, Even after 9/11, Katrina, and now Ike, people still don't get it that it's you guys saving the people not the politicians, not the professional ball players, not the big screen actors, but you. Just as you know most of the criminals you deal with are pretty dumb, I know most people in general are dumb. It makes our lives so much easier doesn't it. Well, you all better start looking for more second jobs because I'm about to take away more of your shit. My son needs more money after all as do the Duffs and some other of my friends..

Your Mayor,
Dick Daley

9/27/2008 08:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check the airport.

Media:
Check the airport.
O'Hare....that's a clue.

It's ripe with $$$$$$$$$
unreported theft, license scams, contracts beyond imagination.

Check the airports.

Stay away from Joyce!!!

9/27/2008 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about dumping every last aldercrook. Those pieces of shit are useless and the city would run better without them.

9/27/2008 09:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree... stick the raise up daley's ass and pay me $8500 per kid I have in high school... I have 3. And as far as the cpz (chicago public zoo's) I wouldn't send my dog there.

9/27/2008 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$420 million budget hole!

This didn't happen overnight - this is YEARS of fiscal irresponsibility.

When will someone hold this a-hole (Daley)responsible for his actions?

Republican or Democrat - vote this jag out!

9/27/2008 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How about dumping every last aldercrook. Those pieces of shit are useless and the city would run better without them.

9/27/2008 09:59:00 PM"


Now why would you want to eliminate the city's entire Legislative body, and the authority they wield, just because the present crop of aldershits aren't using that Legislative authority as the law, ie., state constitution, intends it to be used, as a check and balance force on the Executive and Judicial branches of our local democracy?


By your phony logic, we should eliminate the mayor's office and the entire Executive branch of this city's government, for the same reason.


You don't discard the frameworks of democracy just because the citizens have failed to utilize their right to vote wisely.


Unless you're making this suggestion because your true agenda is to eliminate all opposition to the Executive branch's default dictatorship over the citizens of this city.


I suspect that if you had your way, those pesky city elections would be declared an unnecessarily costly waste of the taxpayer's dollars.


On the off chance that you made your comment out of ignorance of the principles of democracy and frustration at the woeful lack of intelligence displayed by the electorate, feel free to reconsider your call for the elimination of the Legislative branch of our city's government and, instead, call for the 'dumping' of the present incumbent aldershits, en masse, at the next opportunity.


Also, you might encourage the approval of the state recall proposition.

9/28/2008 12:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In last night's SNL skit on the Presidential Debate between McCain and Obama, corrupt Chicago politics was again the laughingstock of the entire nation.

Aside from John Kass, the "vigilant watchdogs" of the local media are a classic version of "the fox guarding the chicken coop". They're in bed with Shortshanks. They couldn't find a bull elephant in their own newsrooms/TV studios.

9/28/2008 01:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said...
"I realize that if we have the right to move out of Chicago the real estate market will TAKE A SHIT in Chicago and we will get screwed when we retire and attempt to sell."

Gee... how much would you lose on your shit-hole raised ranch you paid $90k for mr know all.

9/28/2008 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger NorthSide said...

1:06 AM

While I wholeheartedly agree with you, I take slight exception to your reference to a "bull elephant" in your last sentence.

Since the elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party, I would opt to substitute an albeit smaller Democratic donkey to your pithy metaphor.

A defining problem in this city, county and "blue" state is that the dumbfucks in the electorate continue to vote in "jackasses" rather than "elephants".

Otherwise, as you wrote, with the notable exception of the Trib's gifted, unbiased and eloquent John Kass, I agree that the local media, particularly the Sun-Times and the local TV network news affiliates are in bed with Shortshanks.

I'd also like to thank John Kass for his coinage of "Shortshanks" as a civil reference to a treacherous, mealy-mouthed, rotten scoundrel.

Medieval England had "Longshanks" (tall King Edward I) and thanks to Mr. Kass, we widely refer to that lying piece of shit as "Shortshanks".

9/28/2008 05:02:00 PM  

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