A reader asks a good question:
"Has anyone ever found a 46th Ward budget? We've been looking on Shiller's website, but can't seem to find it. I would assume this is public knowledge?"
Maybe Helen is still working on it. How many vacations did she go on this year?
what do you mean by ward budget?
Ward-specific dollars are "menu money," no?
No it's not "public knowledge". I've e-mailed and called the ward office - as did a neighbor and asked for an accounting of the "menu money" and never received the requested information. BTW you cannot FOIA a ward office.
If your interested in the City of Chicago budget, you can view it here:2009 Budget OrdinanceIt is 461 pages, and is split up by department, but NOT alderman. You will find notes and items pertaining to the Alderman's' Office and Staff.
I did a quick google search to see if other wards have public info and came across this Reader story from awhile ago:http://blogs.chicagoreader.com/politics/tag/City%20of%20Chicago%20budget/I know there are alot of Shiller haters here but I thought this quote was interesting: The biggest chunk of the money went toward rent—more than $805,000. But the amount aldermen spent varied widely, and not always in line with market rates in their neighborhoods. Alderman Isaac Carothers, whose 29th Ward includes some of the poorest parts of the city, paid $49,500 in rent, tops in the council. On the other end, 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller paid less than $11,000 for rent in her Uptown office.I don't really have strong feelings about Shiller one way or the other. Maybe aldermen and their decisions aren't all-good or all-bad but a mix of both just like everyone else.
Interesting fact. Alderman Shiller's Ward Office cost tax payers $1,823.26 a month. The building property management is no longer called "McJunkin Building" but 4554 Broadway, LLC. Expense report for 2008 shows $73,204.05 in total expenses (excluding wages and other expenses that are apart of the City Budget)
I'm wondering why it's not possible to FOIA information about the 46th Ward menu money? It's public money. What gives?
You can't FOIA ward offices because I believe they are not considered "public bodies". Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm not an attorney.