Candidate Full Name: Federico Sciammarella
Office: Alderman (2nd Ward)
Email Address: Fede@our2ndward.com
Web Site: http://www.our2ndward.com
Campaign Name: "Our 2nd Ward"
Campaign Office Mailing Address: Friends of Federico, P.O. Box 4864, Chicago IL, 60680-4864
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. What is the most important issue that you will address in your ward?
The most important issue that I will address in the Second Ward is having visibility and a presence in all areas of the ward. This requires ensuring that all the residents of the Second Ward are represented fully.
Our main policy priorities are 1) improvement and innovation in education, 2) increasing employment opportunities for the more underserved parts of the Second Ward and 3) ensuring adequate city services for all parts of the ward.
2. What are your thoughts about working with a new mayor?
This is a historic opportunity to work with a new Mayor in Chicago. There are many difficult issues to tackle, which will require comprehensive solutions and a fresh approach. Therefore, it will require working with the mayor to develop a strategic plan that address the City's short- term goals, such as tackling the budget deficit, and long-term goals, such as promoting new economic growth industries.
3. How do you feel about Superintendent Weis's plan to relocate Chicago Police Officers to high crime areas? Does the next police superintendent have to come from within the department?
Ultimately, our focus must be on retaining the optimal number of police on the street to make all of our neighborhoods secure. For the time being, my concern about reallocating personnel is that we may compromise the safety of the "lower-crime" neighborhoods by removing and redeploying officers to higher crime areas.
For years, we have discussed beat realignment for the City. This topic must be addressed within the next year. Our current Superintendent of Police has advised the Mayor that he will present a plan for reallocating personnel by the end of the year. This action is in place of a comprehensive study addressing the needs of the districts and beats in Chicago and simply put, is not good enough.
The beats under which police operate currently have been around since 1995. In the last 15 years, neighborhoods have changed substantially and, as such, policing needs have changed as well. To deploy law enforcement resources based upon a 15-year-old formula is not efficient. As alderman, I would advocate for a comprehensive review and realignment of beats for the City.
Additionally, I think it is paramount that the next police superintendent come from within the department. This position is critical in restoring CPD's morale and setting the tone for the next generation of officers.
4. How do you feel about the use of taxpayers' money for the proposed renovations of Wrigley Field?
In light of the many issues we must tackle, such as crime and education, there must be balance in making decisions in how taxpayer money is spent. In the case of Wrigley Field, some of the public portion would come from funds directly tied to Wrigley Field's amusement tax. To the extent that the remainder of the money is derived from taxpayers, we must ensure that the public is also gaining a significant benefit, namely, a nicer facility. This concept may be worth considering if the investment from the private sector is significantly greater than the City's investment, similar to the financial agreements during the Olympic bid.
5. What, if any, other city assets would you consider privatizing to raise money?
I have worked with members of my finance and business committees to look at other ways to raise money without privatizing. I think we need to be more resourceful on spending and streamlining our costs before considering selling any more assets. More importantly, studies have shown that there are times when privatizing public sector functions results in a reduction in the quality of services, often due to poor performance measurements and contract management.
6. Two current Chicago Aldermen want to tack a dollar onto the cost of every cab ride in the city. Do you support this plan as a way to help the city with its budget problems?
I think that cabs are already very expensive in Chicago and adding an additional dollar would make it even more difficult for people to utilize taxi services. Furthermore, we cannot continue to close budget shortfalls off of the backs of cash-strapped City residents.
We must look towards developing more reliable, more permanent streams of revenue. Throughout my campaign, I have advocated for looking to other solutions such as reducing our energy consumption and utilizing alternative energies (i.e. wind and solar) to help generate additional revenue.
7. What specific city services would you cut to reduce the budget deficit?
Our team is looking at all aspects of city government. At this stage, the most important thing to say is that a thorough analysis is required to understand what our costs are for services provided and what is that return on our expenses. If we cannot justify those costs, then we must consider elimination. As an engineer we always look at ways to optimize and streamline systems to provide the best results with minimal input. I would take this same approach in terms of developing ways to address budget deficits.