Budget Update #1 - The Deficit and Pensions
Home Invader Sentenced
Veterans Day Closure and New Office Hours
Dear Neighbors,

Hearings are underway for the 2020 budget , the administration reported that the City's structural deficit going into 2020 is $838 million dollars.  I invite you to view the budget documents, share your feedback and attend or stream one of the upcoming budget hearings.

Our newly-empowered City Council Office of Financial Analysis (COFA) found four drivers of the deficit: pension contributions, collective bargaining agreements, legal judgments and reimbursements and financial expenses. This newsletters will deal with pensions.

Pension Funding

$277 million of the deficit is due to increased pension payments required by the "ramp" passed in 2016. As I have written in the past , our pension funds had been woefully underfunded for decades. I have favored pension reform, but those efforts were ruled unconstitutional by our State Supreme Court. As a result, Chicago was forced to raise property taxes in 2016 to preserve critical services and make the required pension payments. Another jump in payments is due in 2020 and in 2023.

Key Drivers of the Deficit
Total pension contributions for 2020 will be $1.7 Billion dollars, paid out of property taxes, water and sewer taxes, water and sewer rates, and a mix of other revenue, some of which are not yet secured. An analysis is here and here .

The Mayor is seeking to raise the City's real estate transfer tax on both residential and commercial properties to pay for part of this increase. The proposed tax, which must be approved in Springfield, would increase from .75% to .95% for sales between $500K to $1M, 1.5% for sales between $1 and $3 million, 2% for sales from $3 to $10 million, and 2.55% for sales over $10 million.

Taxpayers are entitled to know how their hard earned taxes are spent. Clearly, these pension payments have been a painful necessity. 2020 will be the first year In which our police and fire pensions are being fully funded for the year, an awesome accomplishment.

In an upcoming newsletter, we will review the other impacts on our city's spending and proposed new revenues.
Home Invader Sentenced

On Sunday, May 27th, 2018, at approximately 2:00 a.m., in the 400 block of W. Belden Ave., Hunter Best, 25, of Bloomington, Indiana, entered a residence and sexually abused a 13 year old female who was asleep in her bedroom. Approximately 20 minutes later, in a separate incident, he entered a residence in the 500 block of W. Grant Pl. and sexually abused another 11 year old female victim who was also asleep.

Thanks to broad community involvement and great detective work by the Chicago Police Department, Best was arrested in Indiana, extradited to Illinois and charged. He was sentenced on Wednesday, October 23 to eight years in prison. He has been in custody since his arrest, and will receive credit for his over 600 days in custody.

One of the affected families was in court and spoke at the hearing. One of our dedicated court advocates also appeared in support of our community.
Repeat Offender Sentenced

Latwan Burns, who was arrested for robbing the BP Gas Station at 1647 N. LaSalle St. on May 16, 2019 and the  Sarpino's Pizzeria 158 W. Division Street on May 18, 2019, pled guilty to two counts of Armed Robbery With a Bludgeon and sentenced to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (I.D.O.C.) on each count. The sentences will be served concurrently. Burns had a significant prior record.
Inspector General Audit
of Recycling in Multi-Unit Buildings

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General is auditing compliance with the city's laws that all commercial and high-density residential buildings (5 units or more) provide recycling services. Have you filed a complaint with 311, or your building manager, but received no assistance? Does your building at home or work recycle properly or not? Your feedback is important. If you have details that you would like to share, email Justin Gutierrez at jgutierrez@igchicago.org 773-478-0594, or Abby Sullivan at asullivan@igchicago.org, 773-478-4676. You can choose to speak with the OIG anonymously.
Webster Ave Bridge:
Daily Closures for Repairs
October 28 - November 25

  • The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is planning structural steel repairs to the Webster Ave. bridge that will require daily closures Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Both sidewalks will remain open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Eastbound traffic will be diverted north on Ashland Avenue to Fullerton Avenue. Westbound traffic will be diverted north on Racine Avenue to Fullerton Avenue. Please see the map below.
‘Master Planned Development’ Guidelines
Proposed for City’s Largest Development Sites
Public Comment Sought Through November 18

Many of us were dissatisfied with the process that led to the approval of the North Branch Framework Plan, and ultimately, the Lincoln Yards project. I protested the rush to judgment throughout the process, commenting that I had "never seen a development this big passed this fast in this area."

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has now proposed new review and approval procedures for large scale projects (over 20 acres or 4,000 dwelling units) in response to these concerns. Changes include a mandatory public meeting before the Planned Development (PD) is filed, and one or more community meetings after fiing.

Some of these changes mirror the process that we use in the 43rd Ward, requiring developers to participate in one or more community meetings prior to a PD being filed.

Here is a draft of the guidelines. Other information is available on the  Plan Commission's web site . DPD will accept public comments through Monday, Nov. 18. All comments should be emailed to   DPD@cityofchicago.org .
Free Yard Waste Pick Up
Through November

The Department of Streets and Sanitation has implemented a coordinated collection of yard waste debris across the City. Residents can call 311 to request separate bagged yard waste collection service throughout the season, which runs through November. You can also submit your request using the CHI 311 App.

Yard waste should be bagged separately and left in the alley or at the curb, outside of black garbage carts and blue recycling carts for pickup. Yard waste and other debris should not be thrown into the blue recycling cart, as it contaminates the recycling stream.
Community Events
Pumpkin Recycling
Sunday, November 3

Over one billion pounds of pumpkins end up in landfills each year. On Sunday, November 3rd, one of your RANCH neighbors - Ivy Tzur - is willing to help you recycle your pumpkins (by either having you drop off or asking her to pick up your pumpkins). Please click  here  for details on how to keep your pumpkins out of the landfill this year.
Community Conversations:
Second Part Series

18th District
Wednesday, November 6
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Park Community Church
1001 N. Crosby St.

19th District
Thursday, November 7
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Chicago Public Library
929 W. Buena Ave

Community Conversations are designed to engage in active discussion with community members about improving police/community relations. This is the second part of a two-part series. If you have any questions, contact the respective district. For the 18th District Community Policing Office call 312-742-5778, or email caps.018district@chicagopolice.org . For the 19th District, call 312-744-0064, or email at caps.019district@chicagopolice.org .
Wrightwood Neighbors: Annual CPS Principals Forum
Monday, November 11
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
New Life Church
1100 W. Lill St.

Join the Wrightwood Neighbors at their annual CPS Principals Forum. Meet Local Principals from our neighborhood's highly rated CPS Schools including: Agassiz Elementary, Alcott Elementary, Oscar Mayer Elementary and Lincoln Park High School.
Understand the Chicago Public School admissions process and learn about each school's excellent and unique curriculum.

Food is complimentary from the proceeds from Taste of Lincoln Avenue, the generosity of local businesses and Wrightwood Neighbors Association.

**FREE to attend, join us if you are at or considering these neighborhood schools! Please note the meeting will be followed by its regularly scheduled CAPS meeting for beat 1932 beginning at 7 p.m.
Dementia Conversations
Tuesday, November 12
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Belmont Village Senior Living
700 W. Fullerton Ave.

When someone you know shows signs of dementia, it’s time to talk. Join Belmont Village and presenter, Robin Simon with the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter. They will discuss tips on how to have honest and caring conversations with family members about going to the doctor, deciding when to stop driving and making legal and financial plans.

A Q&A will follow the presentation. Dinner and drinks will be served.
RSVP to Lauren Hollasch at 773-327-2200, or lhollasch@belmontvillage.com .
18th District Formal-Wear Donation Request
Through November 15

The 18th District community policing office (CAPS) is collecting new and gently used formal gowns and suits/tuxedos, shoes, and accessories for their youth explorers girls and boys ages 14-18 for their Youth Leaders Awards Ceremony.

Please bring all donations to the 18th District CAPS office located at 1160 N. Larrabee Ave. 312-742-5778, in the attention of Officer Stovall.
Veterans Day Closure and
New Office Hours

Our Office will be closed on Monday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day. We will reopen on Tuesday, with our regular business hours. We are also announcing our new office hours, which will be Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Ward Night will be every 1st Monday of each month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., excluding holidays, in which case we will find an alternate date.
As the Chicago Teacher's Union continues to strike, principals and non-unionized support staff will remain available to greet students and ensure they have access to engaging activities. Click here for information.

Have a happy and safe Halloween,

43rd Ward Office Hours: M - F 9 AM - 6 PM

2523 N Halsted | 773-348-9500 | yourvoice@ward43.org | www.ward43.org