"This is the most difficult budget that we've had to deal with since 1989," said Mayor Daley.
The mayor -- along with top city officials and department heads -- attended the first public hearing on the 2009 budget Tuesday night on the city's northwest side.
Residents gave their input on what city services should be saved if any cuts are ordered.
"It's very scary because we depend on so many different services the fire, the police as far as the library services we need every employee that is there," said one resident.
"Why should they cut police money? They protect the children and protect everybody," said Juan Perez, Northwest Side resident.
There's another public hearing Wednesday night and Thursday.
MORE CITY OF CHICAGO BUDGET HEARINGS
Wednesday 7 p.m.
Central West Regional Center
2102 W. Ogden Ave.
Thursday 7 p.m.
South Shore Cultural Center
7059 S. South Shore Drive