Springfield residents on hook for $500 million in local retirement debt – November 28, 2017

Ted Dabrowski

In 2014, I presented to Springfield’s City Council the ominous findings of a pension report I had recently authored. The report warned of increasing stress on Springfield taxpayers due to rising local pension costs. It also warned of worsening work and retirement security for government workers as the local crisis deepened. Springfield ranked 112 out of 114 cities from across Illinois in terms of fiscal health due to pensions.

Springfield residents were already paying a price to make way for rising government worker pension costs. Three library branches had been shuttered and 20 employees cut. At least 24 sworn police officers had been laid off. And residents in neighborhoods with crumbling sidewalks and growing potholes had to wait longer for repairs – the city had 60 fewer public works positions then than it did in 2008.

Unfortunately, the response from local officials to the report wasn’t one of urgency. Instead, Read the rest of this entry »


Alderman McMenamin discusses City budgets and pensions

2/23/2016 – Joey McLaughlin and Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin talk city budget and pensions on WTAX’s podcast Morning Newswatch – Length: 5:37

Ald McMenamin Speaks on the City Pension Problem – Feb. 2014


Aldermen and big money – Oct. 12, 2017

The Illinois Times
Op-Ed by Joe McMenamin

When Springfield City Council members repeatedly accept large campaign contributions from the same serial donors year after year, they invariably compromise their impartiality and subordinate the general interest to special interests. Last month, several serial givers held a “thank you” event for a quorum of aldermen. The event was exceptional in its boldness, notoriety and legal recklessness.


The Springfield City Council took two important votes this year of great interest to certain developers and union business managers.

In May, aldermen pushed through an ordinance on a 9-1 vote which freed developers from future city council oversight (and thus also freed them from neighborhood association input) on most large-scale development projects.

On Sept. 5, the city council voted 9-1 to extend the County/City Enterprise Zone in the Pawnee area. This ordinance will give Emberclear an estimated $50 million in construction cost tax subsidies to build a planned natural gas power plant that will compete directly with CWLP Read the rest of this entry »



Joe’s Focus as Ward 7 Alderman

  • Refocus City government priorities to strengthen neighborhoods.
  • Reinstate the city residency requirement for all new City hires including all new police hires.
  • Strengthen and enforce ordinances related to vacant, neglected, and “boarded” buildings.
  • Establish a long-term sewer improvement and financing plan for neighborhoods.
  • End municipal pension abuses.
  • Add sidewalk and/or improved shoulders along parts of Old Jacksonville Road west of Washington Park.
  • Stabilize CWLP Finances
building weeds before Campaign Announcement at K-Mart November 14, 2010

Former K-Mart Building Nov. 2010 – Now Hy-Vee Site

My Pledge to Ward 7 Voters

  • I will work hard and be a full time public servant/watchdog on the City Council.
  • I will actively serve Ward 7 constituents, and be available in person, by phone, and by email.

Joe McMenamin