Slashing Absenteeism 
Dear Neighbor,

During the municipal budget hearings last Fall, I pledged to help our city work smarter and use your tax dollars more efficiently and called for a Task Force on City worker absenteeism. Budget Update #3- Making the City Cost-Efficient.  
Today, The City of Chicago Absenteeism Task Force that I co-chaired released its findings which show that fundamental changes could save taxpayers at least 10 million dollars annually, as well as improve the delivery of city services, by increasing worker productivity and avoiding unnecessary overtime.  And those savings can grow. You can read the full report of the Task Force here.  Our work revealed that "overt absenteeism" (unexcused absences), is widespread in some City departments and double the national average.  For example, The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) estimated that it alone had $3 million/year in excess costs due to no-shows.
Starting today about 15,000 city employees will be required to "clock" in and out using an electronic fingerprint system. The police and fire departments, which rely today solely on paper time-keeping, will need two years to fully transition to electronic timekeeping. 

Uncovering and defining this complex problem is just the beginning.  I intend to make sure City Council continues monitoring absenteeism rates as well as track how quickly changes are implemented for the 34,000 workers on the City payroll.  I hope to be able to report back on progress on the on-going fight to spend your tax dollars wisely and secure the services you pay for.  As always,  I value your comments and feedback .

Update: Landmark Status for 2700 - 2710 Lakeview
We are pleased to report that the city's Landmark Commission voted unanimously to adopt preliminary designation of landmark status for the Dangler and Adler row houses at 2700-2710 N. Lakeview Ave.
In making its determination, the Commission considered an 80-page report, a s we reported  last week,  detailing the significant  historical, cultural, and architectural legacy of these homes. Built between 1915 and 1917, Architects David Adler and Henry Corwith Dangler reimagined Georgian  town homes  typical of London, but incorporated elements of modernity that rendered them truly distinctive.
Dozens of ward residents turned out for the hearing to show their support, and thanks to terrific organizing by the residents of 2650 N Lakeview, presented the Commission with well over 500 signatures in support.  The Commission was quite impressed to see the depth of community support for these treasured buildings.  
We look forward to continuing the process, and will keep you updated. 
Have a great weekend, 
Michele Signature

Michele Smith
Alderman, 43rd Ward