Chicago plans to allow for the temporary sponsorship of city bridge houses and will auction off 50 taxi medallions under a series of measures announced last week by Mayor Richard Daley to help the city’s balance sheet.

The taxi medallion auction is expected to generate several million dollars in additional revenue and will increase the city’s current fleet of 6,800 medallion taxicabs.

The bridge house sponsorship program would also generate several million dollars.

“These temporary partnerships, which would coincide with holidays through the year, are not about permanently leasing the Riverwalk or selling naming rights to the bridge houses,” Daley said. “This is simply about giving companies the opportunity to sponsor parts of the riverfront at various times of the year.”

The city also will outsource some hiring. Chicago has been under a court decree that bans political consideration in most hiring since 1983, but has come under fire for still allowing patronage to play a role in hiring and promotions. 

The positions include some trade jobs in the departments of Streets and Sanitation, Transportation, Water Management, Aviation, and General Services. The city will seek proposals from firms with recruitment and hiring expertise. Firms will be required to post jobs, and recruit and screen applicants, in accordance with the city’s hiring plan, rules, and regulations.

Daley also said Chicago had negotiated a new contract with Exelon to provide electricity that will save $15 million.

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