Community gardens. Buying the Leone Beach house. Security cameras on the “L” platforms.
Those were just a few of the suggestions 49th Ward residents gave last week on how to spend next year’s aldermanic menu money during a community meeting held by Ald. Joe Moore (49th). In what Moore says will be the nation’s first participatory budget experiment, the alderman will let constituents of his Far North Side ward decide how to spend just more than $1 million.
Aldermanic menu money — usually a little more than $1 million — is given to the city’s 50 alderman each year to pay for ward infrastructure projects such as speed bumps, playlots, street resurfacing, etc. Moore said 1994 was the first year menu money was allocated to all 50 wards after aldermen pressured Mayor Richard M. Daley to pay more attention to the neighborhoods.
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