Rahm Emanuel Sworn in as Mayor

May 17, 2011  |  

(Chicago Sun Times) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel took the oath of office Monday amid sunshine, children’s choirs and a billion-dollar deficit he says he must tame.  “Our city’s financial situation is difficult and profound. We cannot ignore these problems a day longer,” Emanuel told thousands of people gathered in the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park — which Mayor Daley spent $475 million to build.  Vice-President Joe Biden, cabinet members, celebrities and clergy looked on as Emanuel delivered the bitter tonic with a spoonful of optimism:  “I have been clear about the hard truths and tough choices we face: We simply can’t afford the size of city government that we had in the past,” Emanuel said. “It’s not just a matter of doing more with less. We must look at every aspect of city government and ask some basic questions: Can we afford it? Is it worth it? Do we need it?”  Chicago is facing an annual structural deficit of $1.2 billion including unfunded pension liabilities.

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