RIVER NORTH — The mayor promised Wednesday to impose a hiring freeze as part of solving a projected $339 million deficit in the 2014 budget.
"I'm gonna be putting in place a hiring freeze and the further elimination of non-essential employees," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday at a River North news conference. He cited the 1,500 positions eliminated in the first two budgets he submitted as mayor.
Emanuel emphasized these would be "non-essential" positions and would not affect hiring for the Police or Fire Department.
While leaving specifics to the release of his budget proposal later in the month, Emanuel said each city department would be reviewed for maximum reform and efficiency, as in his previous budgets.
"I'm gonna continue to bring a toughness to put our fiscal house in order," Emanuel added. He promised, however, to continue to invest in children, small businesses and neighborhood services.
The budget is expected to be presented Oct. 23, and each department will be subjected to a budget review by the City Council on the way to eventual passage.