The Alderman’s Corner
As fall approaches, the month of October is a busy month in the 11th Ward. October marks budget season for the City of Chicago, Halloween and the start of flu season. October is also the time to apply for the City of Chicago Property Tax Rebate program.
Every year, the budget season starts off with the Mayor giving his budget address and announcing next year’s proposed budget. Throughout the next several weeks, the City Council hold budget hearings with each department presenting their budget. We have the opportunity to provide input, ask questions and thoroughly review each department’s spending plans for this coming year. Mayor Emanuel has announced that the City will hire more than 500 new police officers in 2017 and another 450 police officers in 2018. I applaud the Mayor and look forward to reviewing his proposal to pay for our increased police protection. Once the Budget Hearings have concluded and modifications are made, the entire City Council will vote on the final 2017 Budget.
Throughout the course of the budget season I will continue to remain as transparent as I did last year. I will be scheduling a community meeting to brief everyone on the budget and take feedback from you. I do listen to your concerns and appreciate your insight and suggestions.
As we look to 2017, I will also be preparing our 11th Ward Aldermanic Menu Budget for 2017. Each year every Alderman is allotted a certain amount of money to be invested in each Ward for capital expenditures. Aldermen select needed projects and direct the departments but we do not handle procurement or scheduling. We do try and keep everyone informed and provide as much notice as possible.
I try to be responsive to the needs of the entire Ward and very fair in the distribution of projects. My 2015 and 2016 Aldermanic Menu Project Maps are on my website (www.ward11.org/menumaps). If you have concerns or suggestions, of infrastructure projects, please contact my office and let me know.
The Flu Season is approaching, so it is important we take precautions to ensure we are safe and healthy. On October 12th, from 10:00am-2:00pm, we will be offering free flu shots at McGuane Park. McGuane Park is located at 2901 South Poplar. In addition to the flu shots, we will have other agencies as well as my staff on hand that day.
Mayor Emanuel announced the City’s Property Tax Rebate Program that started on October 1st. I encourage everyone who qualifies to apply. In order to qualify for the program, homeowners must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Chicago Resident and Homeowner;
- Received the Cook County Homeowners’ Exemption in the most recent property tax year;
- Household adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less in 2015;
- City of Chicago portion of property taxes increased on most recent tax bill;
- Current on the payment of property taxes;
- Do not owe real estate taxes on other property located in Chicago; and do not have City debt (e.g. parking tickets, overdue water bills). In cases where City debt is owed, the rebate will be applied to the debt. You must apply in person at one of the twenty-six neighborhood locations. The locations can be found on my website (www.ward11.org/city propertytaxrebate). The closest locations to us are: 4600 South Wood St., 4314 South Cottage Grove Ave., 1818 S. Paulina, 2141 S. Tan Court and 121 North LaSalle Street.
Finally, I hope everyone enjoys the Fall Season and stays safe. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for the children this year with trick or treating at Halloween. We have been working with the Chicago Police and ask that all trick or treating end at 8:00pm.
As a reminder, my quarterly town hall meeting is scheduled for tonight at 6:30pm at Saint Gabriel Auditorium, located at 4500 S. Wallace. I look forward to hearing from you or seeing you soon.
Ald. Patrick D. Thompson