This trend started in some of the suburban communities last year though I'm kind of shocked that a major city would think about making the same move.From today's Chicago Sun Times:
Burke: Build on Daley consolidation idea, outsource city planner jobs
October 15, 2010
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Mayor Daley wants to merge the departments of Community Development and Zoning to put economic development and neighborhood planning under one roof, but the consolidation doesn't go far enough for the City Council's most powerful alderman.
Arguing that development in Chicago has ground to a halt, Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) said it's time to outsource the jobs of scores of city planners who are sitting around with virtually nothing to do.
Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) said it's time to outsource the jobs of city planners.
"You have to look at how many applications there are for permits, for zoning, for planned unit developments. There's nothing going on. There's three cranes in the whole city. We have a whole bureaucracy there that is just kept in place with nothing to do," Burke said Thursday.
Daley wants to shift zoning inspectors to the Department of Buildings, merge six city departments into three and eliminate 277 jobs, but lay off only 42 employees.
Burke's proposal has far greater cost-saving potential. It would also remove redundant layers of middle-management to at least begin to confront the city's structural deficit.