Last Friday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the launch of the City’s interactive budget website, and since then the Mayor has contacted some of the more active contributors in order to thank them for sharing their ideas and also further discuss their ideas for solving Chicago’s financial troubles.
“The creative ideas streaming into www.ChicagoBudget.org prove the people of Chicago are ready to make the tough decisions necessary to tackle the city’s challenges,” said Mayor Emanuel. “My staff, along with City Commissioners, are going to examine these ideas carefully, provide feedback and consider what can be implemented to move our city forward.”
Mayor Emanuel and Chicagoans aren’t the only ones on the site. Senior City officials and Department Commissioners have also engaged in online conversations about decreasing costs and increasing efficiency. Some of these officials include Budget Director Alex Holt, Deputy Mayor Mark Angelson, Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne, Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert, Chief Technology Officer John Tolva, and Policy Director Mike Simmons, all of whom have posted responses on the site’s forums.
The Mayor has asked John Tolva, Chicago’s Chief Technology Officer to follow up with an online contributor who suggested using technology to improve government services and operations.
Over 1,100 people have contributed to the site, with more than 2,000 posts and over 14,000 votes. Ideas include utilizing cost-saving technology, reducing paper use, decreasing paid overtime by the city, and having city vehicles use alternative fuels.
In October, Mayor Emanuel will present his 2012 budget proposal to the City Council.