Residents Suggest Fixes For Chicago's Budget Shortfall At Second Public Meeting

Jennifer Keiper
September 14, 2019 - 2:17 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The second of five Chicago budget meetings drew a full house this morning at a high school auditorium on the city's West Side.

Mayor Lightfoot has to come with a budget plan to erase an $838 million shortfall. She'll likely have to raise property taxes to do it.

Residents have suggested everything from finding alternative revenue sources -- including pot and a casino -- to cutting red tape so local people can invest in businesses.

Tom Pace, for example, recommended that the city takeover electricity utility Commonwealth Edison.

"Public control of the utility will help us ensure lower and cheaper rates for working families and communities," he said.

It was a well-attended budget town hall meeting at Chicago's Roberto Clemente High School in West Town. About midway through the two-hour meeting, the Chicago Teacher's union and their supporters started shouting -- a protest that lasted less than two minutes.

Mayor Lightfoot delivered her budget address five days before the Illinois Legislature's Fall Veto Session.