CITY HALL — After months of delay, the City Council moved Wednesday to create a selection committee for the head of the new independent budget office.
The Rules Committee voted to add Aldermen Ameya Pawar (47th), Ray Suarez (31st) and Pat Dowell (3rd) to standing members Aldermen Carrie Austin (34th), chairman of the Budget Committee, and Edward Burke (14th), chairman of Finance. Aldermen also voted former Chicago Transit Authority board chairman Carole Brown and union leader Joseph Pijanowski to the seven-member selection committee.
"This is a big step today," said Pawar, one of the lead sponsors of the ordinance that created the Council Office of Financial Analysis last year as an independent oversight agency modeled on the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.
Austin has mentioned former 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller as a possible candidate to lead the office, but Pawar said, "I think we're getting ahead of ourselves" in such speculation.
Pawar said the job description has to be agreed on and posted, but he has already received resumes of people seeking the post. "There are some really impressive candidates," he added.
Still, he said he was glad just to see progress after months of delay, adding, "Obviously, I'd like to get things moving as fast as possible."
The office will oversee City Council financial matters, especially the annual budget submitted by the mayor. The selection committee will serve a two-year term overseeing the office.