City Budget Review Part 3 - Government Efficiency
Safety Alert - Home Burglaries
Police Accountability Workshop
Dear Neighbor,

Beginning in November 2015, I co-chaired the Absenteeism Task Force that uncovered Chicago's high rate of absenteeism along with high rates of overtime. Inspector General Ferguson testified in budget hearings that he believed that there was "easily" $20 million in unjustified overtime in the police department alone.

The good news is improvements have been made in many departments as a result of our work. Both the departments of Streets and Sanitation and Transportation, as well as Water Management, are implementing greater discipline concerning absenteeism, and rates are beginning to trend down.

In the police department, a manual timekeeping process was found inefficient, costing roughly $7.2 million annually for 61 timekeepers.

The Inspector General also found abuses of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) at the Office of Emergenc y Management and Communications (OEMC), discovering that 49% of all 911 Police Operators (PCOs) took intermittent Family Medical Leave Act time off, including the frequent use of leave on Fridays and Saturdays, and around major holiday or sporting events. Read the Sun-Times report here

OEMC Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau agreed during budget hearings with the Task Force recommendations and the city has enacted a new FMLA policy based on our work.

Police responsiveness depends on qualified and dedicated 911 operators and these changes should help strengthen our confidence in the CPD.

The Inspector General also agreed with our task force that accurate timekeeping is the first fundamental step to end these abuses. A new city-wide electronic timekeeping system has been implemented with only the police department remaining to be enrolled within the next year.  During budget hearings, Police Superintendent Johnson testified that the overtime policies have been changed and that supervision has been increased.

The Department of Human Relations also testified this week that as a result of our work, a new attendance policy for the City of Chicago has been designed. The new guidelines provide needed guidance for departments and employees, along with a progressive discipline policy, as suggested by our task force. 

The attendance policy is currently under review by several of the city's labor unions, and we are monitoring when the changes will be implemented.

Early reports are encouraging, but there is much more work to be done, and taxpayer money to be saved. I'm pleased that the city has so fully embraced a policy change which I insisted upon in an earlier budget.  I will provide another budget update in the next newsletter.

Crime Update - Arrest

Thanks to Chicago Police for quick work in arresting Davelon Robinson, Reginald Stenson and a juvenile offender in less than 24 hours after a resident was robbed of his wallet and cell phone.   If you would like to participate in court advocacy in pursuing this case with my office, please contact me.  The first court date is this Monday, November 6th at 9 a.m. at the courthouse at Belmont and Western. 

Safety Alert - Burglaries and Home Invasions

Three residential burglaries  occurred in the neighborhood within the past two weeks where an armed offender entered victims' homes while residents were asleep.

Click  here  to  read  the community alert issued by the  19th District .

The residential burglaries occurred at:
  • 2600 block of North Burling on Monday, October 16 at 3:50 a.m.
  • 3000 block of North Kenmore on Thursday, October 19 at 3:56 a.m.
  • 4300 block of North Oakley on Wednesday, October 25 at 4:30 a.m.
Description of the Offender:
  • The offender has been described as an African-American male, between the ages of 18-25, 5'4-5'10 in height, between 150-180 pounds, typically seen wearing a black baseball cap with white lettering, a hooded sweatshirt, and a green or dark colored puffy vest. 
What you can do:
  • Always ensure doors and windows are secured, and alarms are activated;
  • Report suspicious activity immediately; 
  • If you are confronted by an assailant, remain calm;
  • Remember any unique physical characteristics, such as scars, limps, acne;
  • Never pursue a fleeing assailant, provide the information to the police;
  • Dial 9-1-1 immediately and remain on the scene when possible. 
To increase community awareness and communication, we encourage you to attend an upcoming Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meeting to share information and safety concerns with your neighbors and area patrol officers. Find your beat  here.

Upcoming CAPS Meetings:
  • 18th Dist. Beats 1814, 1824, and 1834 Tues., Nov. 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Latin Upper School, 59 W. North Avenue;
  • 18th Dist. Beats 1811, 1812, and 1813 Thurs., Nov. 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., St. James Lutheran Church & School, 2101 N Fremont Street;
  • 19th Dist. Beat 1932 - Mon., Nov. 13 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at New Life Community, 1110 W. Lill Avenue.
Office Hours for Veteran's Day 

In observance of Veteran's Day our office will be closed  Friday, November 11, 2017. Normal business hours will resume on Monday, November 13, 2017.
If you have a need for city services, please call 3-1-1 for non-emergency requests, or dial 9-1-1 if you require immediate assistance.

We salute the courage of individuals who have and are currently serving for our country. 

Community Meeting Re: 
Second Church of  Christ Scientist Building

2700 N. Pine Grove Avenue
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 
6:30 p.m.

Our office  and the Park West Community Association  will host a community meeting  at the Second Church of Christ Scientist Building, located at 2700 N. Pine Grove Avenue on  Tues day, November 14, 2017  at  6:30 p.m.  to discuss the future of the church property.

Click  here for more information. 

Lane Reductions on North Avenue Until November 8

Due to a gas main replacement project by People's Gas, there will be  lane reductions on the south side of North Avenue at Kingsbury as well as on Kingsbury Street to Willow Street. 

Work on North Avenue is scheduled to end on Wed., November 8, 2017 but  Kingsbury Street is expected to experience limited lane access until late-November

Upcoming Events in the 43rd Ward 

Lincoln Park After Dark
1150 W. Fullerton Avenue
Saturday, November 4, 2017 
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

As part of the One Book, One Chicago program introducing Greg Kot's book I'll Take You There urbanologist  Max Grinnell  will  lead a walking tour through Lincoln Park on Saturday, November 4, from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. to take note of various  celebrated 
live music destinations in the neighborhood.
Click here for more details. 

Wine & Chocolate Tasting 
545 W. Diversey Parkway
Sunday, November 5, 2017
1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Cellar Master and President of Chicago Gourmets, Robert Ot to, will be the  wine pairing expert in a wine and chocolate tasting series featuring KC Belgian chocolates on Sunday, November 5, from 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Click here for more details and call 773-525-7775 to reserve your ticket. 

Police Accountability Workshop
600 W. Fullerton Pkwy
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 

To bring the discussion of police accountability to our commu nity, our office is co- sponsoring, along with One Northside, Jewish Council on Urban Affairsand the  Coalition for Police Contracts Accountability an interactive information session on Wednesday,  November 8,  from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, 600 W. Fullerton Pkwy.  

Click  here for more details. 

Ribbon Cutting & Dedication of Armitage Mural
939 W. Armitage Avenue
Thursday, November 9, 2017
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Join us as we officially dedicate the new Armitage 'L' stop mural by artist Steve Carrelli on  Thursday, November 9  at 3:00 p.m. created as part of the Year of Public Art.

Year-End Tax Planning Tips
100 W. North Avenue 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

If you have questions about end of the year tax planning, experts will be available at Wintrust Bank on  Thursday, November 9, from 5:30 p.m - 7:30 p.m. to provide tips on best approaches to goals and strategies.

Click  here  for more details. 

Bagged Leaf & Yard Waste Pickup  

Photo courtesy of DNAinfo.
As a reminder, please do not sweep leaves into the street or along curb. Leaves and yard waste must be bagged separately. Call 311 to reserve a pick up.

Click here for more information.

November 2017 Street Sweeping Schedule

Click here to view the November 2017 street sweeping schedule. 

Winter 2017 Aldermanic Internship

Our office is seeking dedicated part-time interns to begin next month! This role will be a rewarding opportunity for college students and recent graduates. Interns assist our office with constituent services, business outreach, public policy, and legislative research. Interested applicants can send a resume and writing sample to

See you in the neighborhood,

Michele Signature

Michele Smith
Alderman, 43rd Ward 

43rd Ward Office Hours: M 9 AM - 7 PM, T-F 9 AM - 6 PM 
 2523 N Halsted | 773-348-9500||