The Chicago Sun Times reports that budget woes will mean many city services just won’t open tomorrow:
If you planned to check out a library book, visit a city clinic or have your garbage picked up on Monday, you’re out of luck.
The City of Chicago will basically be closed for business on Aug. 17, a reduced-service day in which most city employees are off without pay, according to a release from the Office of Budget and Management. City Hall, public libraries, health clinics and most city offices will be closed.
Emergency service providers including police, firefighters and paramedics will be working at full strength, but most services not directly related to public safety, including street sweeping, will not be provided, the release said.
That also includes garbage pickup. Residents who receive regular collection on Mondays should expect trash to be picked up the following day, the release said. Some other customers may experience a one-day delay as collectors catch up.
As part of the 2009 budget, three reduced-service days were planned for 2009, days which are unpaid for all affected employees — the Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; and New Year’s Eve. The City Council recently approved moving the reduced-service day planned for New Year’s Eve to Monday.
The 2009 budget anticipates saving $8.3 million due to the reduced-service days.
While lots of people wonder if the recession may spur more financial responsibility in household spending habits, there’s not enough talk about the possibility of more government financial responsibility. Lots of things we don’t need–like free public libraries stuffed with books people could buy for themselves or don’t want to read anyway–may have to be cut back. The ability to shut down services for a day–and deprive city workers of pay–shows that we may have the political will to actually make the cuts.
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