The office of the mayor contains the mayor’s administrative staff and several small offices focused on specific policy areas, such as the Office of Equity and Racial Justice, Office of Public Safety, etc.
Because there is no departmental budget hearing scheduled for the mayor’s office, the Office of Budget and Management’s first-day presentation on the overall budget is the best opportunity alderpersons will have to publicly discuss appropriations to cover the cost of operating the mayor’s office.
Snapshot: Appropriation & Staffing Changes from 2023 Budget
|2023 Budgeted||2024 Proposed||Net Change||Percent Change|
|Positions & FTEs||126||122||-4||-3.17%|
- The 2024 budget reduces mayor’s office staffing by four positions, the largest headcount cut of any department other than the splitting off of Technology & Information from AIS/2FM.
- While departmental headcount is down, several of the new positions added are higher-paid leadership positions than the analytical and program staff positions that were eliminated, increasing overall salary-related costs.
- The budget proposal creates new offices of Labor Relations and Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Services within the mayor’s office, while eliminating the offices of International Relations and Risk Management.
- Professional and technical services, the outside contracting appropriation, nearly doubled for the mayor’s office, up 81.3% from $160,000 to $290,000.
The mayor’s office has grown considerably in both budget and staffing levels since the Daley years. Both Emanuel and Lightfoot oversaw net increases in the number of individual staff positions budgeted, as well as the number of offices/divisions within the departmental budget.
From 2011-2023, the budget for the mayor’s office grew at an average rate of 11.5% per year. Departmental budgets overall increased an average of 5.9% per year over the same time period, while the total city budget including Finance General appropriations grew at an average rate of 8.2% annually.
The budgeted workforce for the Office of the Mayor grew at a rate of roughly 4.7% annually from 2011-2023, making it among the fastest-growing departments. Overall city employment remained roughly consistent for that same period, declining at an average rate of less than one-half of one percent per year.
The 2024 proposed budget significantly slows the growth rate of appropriations, and reduces headcount by four positions, the largest staffing cut in any department in the proposed budget with the exception of AIS’s split into 2FT and DoTI.
Overall headcount is down four positions, primarily driven by the downsizing of American Rescue Plan Fiscal Recovery positions.
The budget proposal creates new offices of Labor Relations and Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Services within the mayor’s office, while eliminating the offices of International Relations and Risk Management.
Aside from title changes, the majority of new positions are leadership-level and support staff for them – deputy mayors of varying degree, new chiefs of staff and schedulers, etc. The eliminated positions were more programmatic and operational, including more than half of the team overseeing American Rescue Plan programming as federal funds run dry.
Mayor’s office appropriations are predominantly staff-related. The largest non-staff appropriation in the 2024 budget is for professional and technical services, the outside contracting category.
Change from Previous Year
The largest appropriation increases are in salary categories. Professional and technical services, the outside contracting appropriation, saw the largest non-salary-related increase, up 81.3% from the previous year’s budget.