Chicago to Use 'Municipal Marketing' to Help Close Budget Gap, But at What Cost?
"We live in an age where our taxpayers don't want to pay any more taxes, [but] our citizens can't accept less services," said Chicago's chief financial officer, Lois Scott, in an interview Friday with WBEZ. "So we have to find a third way forward. And we found that third way forward by tapping into an industry and a revenue stream that's out there already, but it's not benefitting our taxpayers."
"City Hall's estimate that municipal marketing will be worth $18 million next year initially raised questions from some aldermen, after a similar plan last year fell flat," notes Keefe. "We are a few months delayed in where we expected to be," Scott said. "And I think that the taxpayers and the citizens will agree that we've made the right decision about how to do this."
"'We did not want a repeat of the bridge houses,' she said, referring to an earlier deal that put Bank of America ads on a pair of historic Chicago River bridge houses last year. The deal drew in just a few thousand dollars for the city, but was reviled by architecture critics who said it tarnished the downtown cityscape."