On Wednesday Chicago aldermen banned themselves from hiring their relatives with money drawn from a $1.3 million-a-year special-expense account. If only they’d bring a bit more daylight to all the money they control—and for that matter the rest of the city’s $6.1 billion budget.

The account in question is designated “for the employment of personnel as needed by the aldermen to perform secretarial, clerical, stenographic, research, investigations or other functions expressly related to the office of alderman”—in other words, for damn near anything they please. It’s budgeted a total of $1.3 million each year, or about $26,000 per alderman.

The sponsor of the ban, 38th Ward alderman Tom Allen, spoke the truth when he said it represents a modest step toward reforming city government. “When you build a pyramid, you have to build it brick by brick,” he told the Sun-Times.

Fair enough. But if he’s sincere about reform, he should keep pressing for more accountability in the budgeting process. As a next step, he could push for making detailed records of exactly who and what these taxpayer funds are spent on available to the public. And he shouldn’t limit the initiative to this one account.