City Council’s Budget Committee will hear the appointment of Barrett Murphy to serve as Water Commissioner at its 10:00am meeting today. Murphy was former Deputy Commissioner under Tom Powers, and has served in various positions in Chicago government over the past 20 years. Powers exited as the city faced questions over its lead testing, though the Mayor’s office said he had planned to leave a year earlier, but “agreed to stay on longer at the Mayor’s request to ensure a smooth transition.”

DWM is in the middle of a 10 year capital improvement program which this year, includes replacing 90 miles of water, 72 miles of sewer and installing 14,000 sewer structures and 20,000 water meters. The effort is being funded, in part, by a rate hike that passed in 2012. DWM has more than 2,000 employees and a budget over $1 billion.

Julie Hernandez-Tomlin, currently DWM’s Managing Deputy, will replace Murphy as the First Deputy Commissioner. Marisol Santiago, currently DWM’s Director of Administration, will replace Hernandez-Tomlin as the Department’s Managing Deputy.  

The committee will also consider the appointment of Patricia G. Perez to the Chicago Public Library (CPL) Board. Perez is the former Executive Director of law firm Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, and served as Director of Administration at several other large Chicago law firms. According to her LinkedIn, Perez left NG&E in April 2014 and started her own consulting firm. She also serves as Board President of Erie House, where Ald. Proco Joe Moreno’s (1) wife, Celena Roldan Moreno, recently served as Executive Director. Perez succeeds Cristina Benitez, whose term expired. Perez is already listed as a board member on CPL’s website.

An intergovernmental agreement with the Sheriff’s office to trade use of two city-owned backhoes and a wood chipper for the County’s Restoring Neighborhoods Workforce Program (RENEW) in exchange for use of Cook County Jail inmates to serve as Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program (SWAP) is also on the agenda. RENEW participants deconstruct, clear and secure vacant and abandoned properties in Cook County. SWAP participants are non-violent offenders charged with DUI and other misdemeanor crimes who “swap” jail time for community service like cleaning streets, sidewalks, and viaducts.

Several amendments removing the “bureau of fire prevention”, “director in charge of the bureau of fire prevention” and “division marshal” from portions of the municipal code regulating inspections, and replacing it with “fire department” and “fire commissioner” are up for a vote. The committee will also consider a minor budget amendment to reflect a $5,000 federal grant awarded to the Department of Family and Support Services for a Medicare program.