Mayor Lori Lightfoot keeps edging up to Chicago’s fiscal mess, like a hiker toeing her way toward the rim of a steep canyon.
And who can blame her? When it comes to Chicago’s fiscal outlook, it must look like a cliff from the mayor’s perspective.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel handed off an estimated $740 million hole in next year’s budget. Lightfoot must fill it. Emanuel also left her without the means to address legally mandated pension payments that will require an additional $1 billion in annual city spending by 2023.
To this point, Lightfoot has said little about how she’ll attack the steep challenges. Except for appearances before a couple of fiscally focused civic groups this month — the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Federation — she has placed public attention on other matters.
The mayor’s words may be few, but her personnel moves are beginning to give some shape to how she plans to proceed.