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Aldermanic Allowance

             I was surprised to read a piece from another candidate in this election earlier this week. The article was entitled: “When a good idea is against the law.” The article refers to my vow that, if elected Alderman of the 11th Ward, I will give my entire Aldermanic Allowance to support our seniors and veterans instead of using it for myself. In the article, the author made the following statements:
                • “It’s a very good idea that comes from someone whose heart is in the right place.”
                • “But if you do it with that particular money, you have to break the law to do it.”
                • “What we have is a law student simply misreading the law.”
            Under section 2-8-050 of the Municipal Code, “funds are to be used for ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the performance of an alderman's official duties and subject to the restrictions contained in this section.” There are a list of 23 expenditures that “may be made from aldermanic expense allowance funds.” Particularly, under sections (b)13 and (b)20, respectively, Aldermanic Allowance funds can be used for:
               • Meeting costs, including rental of space, rental of a public address system, custodial services, food and beverage expenses, and advertisements; provided, that the meeting is open to the public and the primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss matters relating to the alderman's official duties; and
               • Expenses related to the hiring and employment of staff.
             Caring for the well-being of 11th Ward residents, which include our senior citizens and veterans, is an official duty of our City’s Aldermen. Furthermore, the individuals who have the most knowledge about senior citizens and veterans are: senior citizens and veterans. This is why I will have paid staff members whose job responsibility will pertain solely to our senior citizens and veterans (Aldermanic Allowance expenditure (b)20). We will also have open door meetings with both groups (senior citizens and veterans) to discuss the issues that each face, and will have expenses as discussed in section (b)13. All of these are permitted, legal, and in compliance with section 2-8-050 of the municipal code of Chicago pertaining to the Aldermanic Allowance.
             I said this Live on ‘Chicago Tonight’ and say this wholeheartedly now: I refuse to use any penny of the Aldermanic Allowance (provided by tax payers) for things every-day residents have to pay for out of their own pockets. I do not feel I should be using these funds for utility services, including gas, electricity and water, or transportation costs, cell phone expenses, nor taxi services. Those who make far less than Alderman have these expenses, and again, the funds come from their own pockets. This is why I reaffirm and vow that I will be giving my entire Aldermanic Allowance to support our seniors and veterans instead of using it for myself.
            Again, I would never compromise the constituents of this ward nor the office itself. I look forward to working with everybody in making our 11th Ward the best ward in the entire City of Chicago.


- John Kozlar

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