The 13th Ward and Ward office have been really quiet. As a matter of fact you would never know there was an election going on. We were never mentioned on the local news, our neighborhood was not plastered with campaign signs. No signs posted with our Alderman's name all over town just these reminders in the middle of the road to remind us that our Alderman is on the committe for Traffic Control and Safety. Daley won big, really big, bigger than ever. I strongly suspect that my Ward had a really low voter turn out.
Arenda Troutman is threatening to file lawsuits with the Cook County State's Attorney, why? She lost and lost big. She had pictures of government vans, 2 actually, with bumper stickers with her opponent Willie Cochranon them. Willie Cochran who won big against her. What choice did the 20th Ward have, Willie Cochran a police SGT. for over 2 decades with a clean record, or Ms. Troutman who not only hangs with gangbangers but hangs with the leaders, the very type of people, "the people" in her Ward don't want as neighbors. Yes, Arenda Troutman is sure "the people" voted for her and wanted her in. She really needs a reality check, caught with stashes of cash, white powdery substance in unmarked plastic bags in her home and office. When the Feds came knocking at her door they had to break in because she was too busy shredding stuff. Yes the Feds found a hot shredder, as in temperture, hopefully only(warm). Arenda Troutman caught taking bribes, and did not even check which side of the street, to see if it was her Ward or not. Arenda, save your time and money for your Federal trial coming up. Ward 20 wants all the gang bangers out, you and your friends included. "The People" of your Ward have voted you out. Yes, "the people". "The People" of Ward 20. Maybe you could call "the people" of your ex-Ward citizens or residents like all the other Aldermen do.
Ward 7 is now a Jackson Ward. Yes Jesse Jr. did a lot for that far South Side when the Steel Mills shut down and it was a desolate area. I remember when my grandfather worked over there, it was busy, then it was a ghost town. It was really a sad state when all the steel mills shut down. But now there is a big Ford plant there. Yes, Jesse Jr. is still fighting for the Far South Side Airport. He really helped his wife's campaign when he stood up against Todd Stroger, which is also standing up against the Beavers. That did not help Darcel Beavers get elected, neither did her Dad calling himself the Hog with Big nuts.
Burt Natarus lost, he has been getting out of touch with his younger residents and had a few comments about them and their dogs that only helped his younger Mike Madigan supported opponent win. Yes Brendan Reilly won, supported by Illinois Speaker of the House, and father of Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General.
Daley wins big, really big, Troutman is ready to start filing lawsuits everywhereDoes corruption count against you at the polls?
Mayor Richard Daley would say "no," but Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) would have to say "yes."
With 2,255 of 2,605 precincts reporting, Daley had 281,064 votes (71.4 percent), Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown had 76,869 (19.5 percent) and South Side activist William "Dock" Walls had 33,341 (8.5 percent).
But Troutman, who is charged by the feds with taking bribes as alderman, looked to be booted out of office without even a runoff election. With 44 of 50 precincts reporting, challenger Willie B. Cochran had 3,916 votes (61.8 percent) to Troutman's 2,023 (31.6 percent).
If it holds, Daley's victory margin would be his second-highest ever, although voter turnout looked to reach a record low. If Daley were to finish this sixth term, he would surpass his father's record as the longest-serving mayor in Chicago history.
Overall, this election saw greater challenges for incumbents than in previous years. In any race where no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters go to a runoff election April 17.
In 2003, only five races went to a runoff. This year, it seems likely 11 races will do so, including an open seat in the 15th Ward where Ald. Ted Thomas is retiring.
Burt Natarus, one of the council's longest-serving aldermen, was defeated outright in the Gold Coast's 42nd Ward by his sole challenger, Brendan Reilly, a former aide to powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. With 53 of 69 precincts reporting, Reilly, who also enjoyed union support, had 5,201 votes (54.2 percent) compared with 4,388 (45.7 percent) for Natarus.
In one of the most high-profile ward races, Ald. Darcel Beavers, appointed in November to replace her father, William Beavers, lost badly to Sandi Jackson, wife of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2nd). With 55 of 65 precincts reporting, Jackson had 5,904 votes (57.4 percent) compared with 3,328 (32.4 percent) for Beavers.
The Associated Press is not providing results for these uncontested races: City Treasurer and Aldermen in Wards 1, 13 27, 29, 33, 38, 40, 44 and 48.
This is fluffing me up. If you are in an uncontested Aldermadic race your Ward won't be watched!
The White Sox are nice and Warm in Tucson Arizona where they will play their first Spring Training game tommorow!
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Unfortunately, the majority of the Board – 10 Commissioners voted for President Stroger’s budget amendment that cut deeply into the services the County provides. This amendment is not a well drafted plan for running Cook County.
I am convinced that the Stroger amendment cuts will lead to law suits that will cause the County to pay more than the cut services would have cost. Over 500 County employees, a disproportional number of frontline service providers, will lose their jobs. This is a sad day for Cook County. I am grateful to the many Cook County workers and their representatives that worked with us to craft our alternative amendment. I am especially thankful for the many who came to the final vote to support our alternative. From Commissioner Larry Suffredin's site
The Bears still don't have a contract with Lovie Smith worked out
Cook County Sheriff & State's Attorney still busy as ever despite the cuts
A pair of Harvey brothers became the latest reputed members of the Latin Kings street gang to be charged in connection with a brutal campaign of intimidation against the family of a former gang member.
The charges are the third and fourth brought by the Cook County state's attorney office since state police and Cook County sheriffs removed more than a dozen case files from Harvey police headquarters in a January raid.
The Sunday before the elections the two major Chicago papers print their endorsements, and Darcel Beavers is not in either.
Mayor: Richard M. Daley
Clerk: Miguel del Valle
• 2nd Ward: David Askew
• 3rd: Pat Dowell
• 4th: Toni Preckwinkle
• 5th: Leslie A. Hairston
• 6th: Karin M. Norington-Reaves
• 7th: Ron David
• 8th: Michelle A. Harris
• 9th: Anthony Beale
• 10th: John A. Pope
• 11th: James A. Balcer
• 12th: Carina E. Sanchez
• 15th: Felicia Simmons-Stovall
• 16th: Hal Baskin
• 17th: Latasha Thomas
• 18th: Lona Lane
• 19th: Virginia Rugai
• 20th: Willie B. Cochran
• 21st: Howard Brookins Jr.
• 22nd: Ricardo Munoz
• 23rd: Michael Zalewski
• 24th: Michael Chandler
• 25th: Danny Solis
• 26th: Billy Ocasio
• 27th: Walter Burnett
• 28th: Ed Smith
• 30th: Wayne Strnad
• 31st: Regner "Ray" Suarez
• 32nd: Ted Matlak
• 34th: Carrie M. Austin
• 35th: Rey Colon
• 36th: William Banks
• 37th: Emma Mitts
• 39th: Margaret Laurino
• 41st: Brian Doherty
• 42nd: Burton Natarus
• 43rd: Michele Smith
• 45th: Patrick Levar
• 46th: Helen Shiller
• 47th: Gene Schulter
• 49th: Joe Moore
• 50th: Naisy Dolar
Chicago Tribune Endorsements
MAYOR Richard M. Daley
CITY CLERK Miguel Del Valle
2nd Ward David R. Askew
3rd Ward Pat Dowell
4th Ward Toni Preckwinkle
5th Ward Leslie A. Hairston
6th Ward Karin M. Norington-Reaves
7th Ward Sandi Jackson
8th Ward Derrick T. Prince
9th Ward Anthony A. Beale
10th Ward John A. Pope
11th Ward James A. Balcer
12th Ward George Cardenas
15th Ward Brian E. Dunn
16th Ward Shirley A. Coleman
17th Ward Latasha R. Thomas
18th Ward Lona Lane
19th Ward Timothy J. Sheehan
20th Ward Willie Cochran
21st Ward Howard B. Brookins Jr.
22nd Ward Ricardo Munoz
23rd Ward Michael R. Zalewski
24th Ward Michael D. Chandler
25th Ward Daniel "Danny" Solis
26th Ward Billy Ocasio
28th Ward Shawn A. Walker
30th Ward Jose Anthony Alvarez
31st Ward Regner "Ray" Suarez
32nd Ward Scott Waguespack
34th Ward Carrie M. Austin
35th Ward Rey Colon
36th Ward William J.P. Banks
37th Ward Emma M. Mitts
39th Ward Margaret Laurino
41st Ward Brian G. Doherty
42nd Ward Burton F. Natarus
43rd Ward Vi Daley
45th Ward Patrick J. Levar
46th Ward Helen Shiller
47th Ward Gene Schulter
49th Ward Don Gordon
50th Ward Naisy Dolar
Now, streamline Cook County
Published February 25, 2007
As Thursday night lurched into Friday, the 17 members of the Cook County Board argued a refreshing question: Which of two proposals would best start to downsize their bloated government? They bobbed in their blue leather chairs until 2:30 a.m., finally passing a $3 billion budget for 2007. They cut more than 1,200 jobs, plus more than 400 open positions, from a patronage-rich roster of 25,000 slots.
That's a step--if only a small step--toward a massive restructuring and consolidation that now can begin in earnest. The budget plan that prevailed leaves too many politically connected middle managers safe in their sinecures while doctors and nurses are getting pink slips.
In the weeks before the vote, Board President Todd Stroger alienated many commissioners by larding his staff with high-paid friends and family members. In the end, though, Stroger managed to peel away five of the 12 original co-sponsors of a rival plan that would have cut deeper into his bureaucracy.
That rival plan wasn't ideal: It would have retained too many unnecessary jobs that union leaders demanded, and preserved more public health clinics than patient counts justify. Stroger's allies also said the rival plan wasn't as reform-minded as its proponents characterized it.
Three suburban Republicans--Liz Doody Gorman, Gregg Goslin and Peter Silvestri--met several times with Stroger's team and eventually voted for his budget package. This led to the intriguing sight of Gorman--the Cook County GOP's new chair--voting with Goslin and Silvestri to help Stroger and board finance chair John Daley protect what administration critics portray as layers of Democratic flab.
Equally startling: Michael Quigley, the board member with the longest record of genuine reform efforts, also voting with Stroger. Quigley said Stroger's final package met his criteria of a budget that starts cutting overhead expenses and doesn't raise taxes. Quigley had worked with customary allies to improve the plan they had co-sponsored. But Quigley ultimately decided that their budget proposal didn't balance and overly acceded to union lobbying by not consolidating costly health clinics. In effect he's playing a long game: "I take it on extraordinary faith that this is the beginning" of a dramatic reinvention of county government on Stroger's watch.
Will that faith be rewarded? At 1:15 a.m. Friday, Stroger stood in a County Building hallway, pledging anew to convene a summit of civic and business leaders to help reorganize county government. He can't move too fast: The county needs a much leaner architecture for the 2008 fiscal year that begins Dec. 1--barely nine months from now. Already, several board Democrats are making noises about a need for higher taxes next year. Witness one board member, Deborah Sims, telling her colleagues during the budget debate: "I don't know what the big fear is to raise taxes."
Gorman, Goslin, Silvestri, Quigley and the fifth defector, Democrat Robert Steele, have a debt to collect from Stroger. If he doesn't make good on his promises to streamline this costly government--if those leftover layers of Democratic flab don't melt in a rapid restructuring--it will be clear that the five got rolled.
Because of this year's budget fight, a terrible thing has happened to the do-littles in Cook County government: More board members now have line-item familiarity with the patronage pits where Chicago ward bosses have been stashing their political workers for decades. Stroger, who said in his 2006 campaign that the county workforce should be 22,000, and his budget allies still need to get this government down to size.
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
The Marquette Park Bridge that was in the "Blues Brothers" movie
A few days above freezing and the snow is melting away fast. Actually a few days in the mid to upper 30's. We now have a winter storm warning starting tonight, with lots of sleet, followed by snow.
During Bobbie Steele's interim at Cook County President she contracted a couple of friends, for $24,999, just under the limit of $25,000 needed for board approval. This was just found out last week. What else will turn up during her short tenure as president?
After years of vacillating about it, the Cook County Board decided to disband the Stroger Hospital police force after a quick debate.
As debate on the county budget wound down early Friday, Commissioner Roberto Maldonado (D-Chicago), a long-time critic of the agency, pushed through a budget amendment disbanding the force by September and replacing it with a contracted security firm.
Last week, police handcuffed a Sun-Times reporter, Steve Patterson, who was at the hospital covering a protest by advocates of the homeless.
Now the Illinois Supreme Court says the Ex-Convict Alderman can not run. The election is next week and ballots have already been printed up. So any votes for them will be thrown out.
Medrano and Jones not able to serve as Alderman
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Friday that two former Chicago aldermen who are ex-cons are ineligible to run in Tuesday's city election to try to get their old jobs back.
But the head of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said that won't keep two other former aldermen, also convicted of graft, from staying on the ballot in their wards because there were no pending court decisions challenging their candidacies as of Friday afternoon."We are telling voters in two wards that they cannot vote for a candidate because they have been convicted of a felony, and yet voters in the other wards will be able to vote for two candidates even though they have the same exact circumstances in their background," election board chairman Langdon Neal said.
The state's high court said Ambrosio Medrano and Virgil Jones should be removed from the ballot or any votes cast for them on Election Day should be disregarded.
Reverend Jesse Jackson visits Cook County Jail The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited the Cook County Jail on Friday, where he took an HIV test and encouraged inmates to do the same.
"You can help us attack a killer disease before a killer disease kills us," Jackson told the crowd of inmates, before dozens lined up to take the tests that involved rubbing a swab along the gum line above their upper teeth.
Jackson's appearance comes at a time when lawmakers across the country are pushing or considering legislation to require mandatory testing of inmates for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Several states have taken up such measures, and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is expected to introduce a bill that would require HIV testing of inmates when they enter and leave federal prison. Yes Cook County Jail, the jail with the highest inmate population in the country has 2700 guards, and the second largest jail in the country, Rykers has a couple of thousand less inmates and about 10,000 guards. Yes, I can sympathize with Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff on all the cuts.
There is still a beaver loose in Cook County, calling himself a hog with big nuts, but there are a lot of different nuts, is he refering to the people he keeps company with that are in need of psychological help?
The budget passed. I am surprised how many supporters of the Suffredin/Claypool budget flipped in the middle of the night. Obviously Jesse Jackson Jr. got to Commissioner Joan Murphy because she voted yes. I am not surprised about Commissioner Butler, he may be ready to retire at the end of his term. Other surprises in the last day, Arenda Troutman, who was appointed by Mayor Daley 17 years ago came out to announce her support of Dock Walls for Mayor. The Chicago Tribune supports Willie Cochran, the police sgt. in the 20th ward Alderman over Troutman. Did the analysis of the white powered substance found in Troutmans desk ever come back?
Cook County budget cuts 1,270 workers
Spending plan OK'd early today
February 23, 2007
Staff writer Jonathan Lipman
The Cook County Board laid off more than 1,270 people as it passed a $3 billion budget early this morning after a day full of last-minute arm twisting and deal making.
The final version was approved on a 13-to-4 vote at 2:31 a.m. and avoided many, but not all, of the service cuts threatened for weeks in President Todd Stroger’s original budget.
The evening’s major debate concerned rival budget amendments that each restored some cuts to health services and law enforcement jobs by laying off additional administrative and clerical positions.
Here is how commissioners voted on the Suffredin/Claypool budget amendment:
Bill Beavers — no
Jerry Butler — no
Forrest Claypool — yes
Earlean Collins — yes
John Daley — no
Elizabeth Gorman — no
Gregg Goslin — no
Roberto Maldonando — yes
Mario Moreno — no
Joan Murphy — yes
Tony Peraica — no
Mike Quigley — no
Tim Schneider — yes
Pete Silvestri — no
Deborah Sims — no
Robert Steele — no
Larry Suffredin — yes
Jonathan Lipman Stroger’s amendment proposal defeated a rival plan from Commissioners Forrest Claypool, Larry Suffredin and others on a 10-to-7 vote.
“I think it’s good that our amendment passed,” Stroger said. “It’s also not a great day when you have to lay off people.”
In the final version, only 35 sheriff’s police were cut, down from an original proposal of 100. Only 61 sheriff’s deputies would be cut instead of 236 originally proposed.
Half of the county’s 26 community health clinics would close.
In addition to about 1,270 layoffs, 439 open positions were eliminated. Exact numbers were not available at the end of the meeting.
The budget hearing was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday. But commissioners continued to revise compromise proposals and meet in small groups though the day while an increasingly restless crowd waited all day in the lobby and board room.
Finance committee chairman John Daley didn’t bang the gavel until 10:23 p.m.
Although Suffredin and Claypool originally had 12 votes for their proposal, Stroger gained an edge when three Republican commissioners and Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), split from their coalition and, together with Stroger, offered a new compromise proposal.
Claypool argued the coalition’s proposal was vital to reforming Cook County.
“We have a rare, rare historical opportunity to take a major bite of a bureaucracy that is legendary for its bloat,” Claypool said.
“It would let go of more than 400 additional bureaucrats beyond what’s in Todd Stroger’s proposal.”
Those backing Stroger’s plan said the rival proposal was fiscally irresponsible and would cripple the county.
“This time, for the first time, there’s been a serious attempt (to cut management),” said Commissioner Pete Silvestri (R-Elmwood Park). “I think it’s in the right direction. Is it the panacea? … no. But at some point we have to get a budget approved.”
The county faced a Feb. 28 deadline to approve a budget or face a shut down.
The vote against Claypool and Suffredin was clearly agonizing for Quigley, who was Claypool’s campaign chairman and closest ally in last year’s primary battle against Stroger’s father and predecessor, John Stroger.
“None of this is black and white. This isn’t fantasyland,” Quigley said. “For people to say to you, ‘We kept the angels, they kept the devils,’ is horse hockey. They are lying to you. They are full of it.”
Also, shortly before 2 a.m., the board voted 9 to 7 to disband the controversial Stroger Hospital police force
Cook County Budget
Stroger wins $3 billion county budget battle
3 GOP members deliver majority, but anger lingers
February 23, 2007
BY STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger scored a political victory but angered union leaders and county workers in pushing through a $3 billion budget early today.
Though a formal vote by the County Board had not been cast by 12:30 a.m., it appeared Stroger had locked up 10 of the 17 votes necessary, including winning the support of Republicans Peter Silvestri, Gregg Goslin and Liz Gorman, along with surprise support from Mike Quigley.
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger (left) and County Board Finance Committee Chairman John Daley confer during Thursday's budget meeting. Protesters rallied in opposition to Stroger's proposed budget plan.
Stroger originally wanted to slash more than 1,000 frontline workers to help balance the budget, but by Thursday, he had agreed to restore some of those jobs.
Cook County is facing a $500 million deficit, and Stroger had called for 17 percent cuts across the board by all county officials.
Would slash 1,700 jobs
Commissioner Forrest Claypool, who led the charge for Stroger to make deeper cuts, pushed a plan that would have cut 400 more high-paying management jobs while restoring more police, prosecutors and nurses. Claypool could only get seven votes of support.
With 1 a.m. approaching, commissioners were poised to vote formally on the budget. Still, it was clear that Stroger had the votes to win passage of his plan.
Stroger's budget plans for the elimination of almost 1,700 jobs, including 1,251 through layoffs. Stroger also agreed to restore the Access to Care health program, Women's Justice Services and community service programs for the sheriff, along with 65 sheriff's police, 175 courtroom deputies and 25 probation officers, as well as some nurses and prosecutors.
But it didn't go far enough for Claypool and others.
"This is a travesty," said Henry Bayer, of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union local.
"There are commissioners who turned their backs on the workers and the citizens of this county."
No tax hike
Earlier, union members lobbying commissioners in a back room seemed to be weakening some of Stroger's support.
Some who had earlier supported Stroger's call for 17 percent cuts across the board by all county officials later backed Claypool's plan, then switched back to Stroger's side.
Though the budget cuts Stroger is proposing will mean layoffs and the end of some county programs, taxes will not be raised to balance this budget.
It was unclear just how many doctors and nurses would be cut from county hospitals, but Stroger still wants to close 13 of the county's 26 health clinics.
Thursday's budget meeting drew hundreds of county workers, concerned about layoffs. Dozens stayed late into the night, awaiting word on their jobs.
The budget process dragged on because of an effort to fill a $500 million deficit. Stroger refinanced bonds to save $150 million but still had to cut $350 million.
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is really getting involved in Todd Stroger's budget and threatening political consequences. YES!!!!!!! Yes, thank you Jesse Jr.! Thanks for stepping on a lot of toes, Todd's, the Beavers', Daley's (both John & Richard). I might even start thinking differently on the Peotone airport issue after this! I also see Sandi Jackson getting a few more votes for Alderman against Darcel Beavers after husband Jesse Jr. jumped into this Cook County disaster.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. stepped into the Cook County budget mess Wednesday, threatening county commissioners in his congressional district with "political consequences" if they don't oppose board President Todd Stroger's spending plan.
In a joint news conference with Stroger's loudest critic, Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago), Jackson (D-2nd), of Chicago, said the proposed cuts to health care and the sheriff's department in Stroger's budget were not acceptable.
"These are not negotiable items, period," Jackson said. "The county board faces a choice, and it should be an easy choice."
Jesse Jackson Jr. going against Hogs with big nuts!
Jackson said commissioners Jerry Butler (D-Chicago), Deborah Sims (D-Chicago), and Joan Murphy (D-Crestwood) should support a budget amendment plan proposed by Claypool and other commissioners that would cut administrators and restore front-line personnel. The budget vote is today.
"Let me be clear, we are watching this vote ... and there are consequences to this vote," Jackson said. "Real political consequences."
Jackson backed candidates against Sims and Murphy in last year's election, and both were soundly defeated by the incumbents.
Jackson's wife, Sandi, is locked in a tough election battle for alderman of Chicago's 7th Ward against Darcel Beavers, daughter of Commissioner William Beavers (D-Chicago), a key Stroger ally.
"Reduction in health care and police protection is simply not tolerable," he said.
Tom Dart and Dick Devine take their shots at Todd as well
On the eve of his biggest day as Cook County Board president, Todd Stroger took to name-calling of elected officials he says have whined too much about having to cut their budgets.
State's Attorney Richard Devine and Sheriff Tom Dart are "prima donnas" who have complained about cuts on "just about every talk show," Stroger said Wednesday.
Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine responds to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's comments to the press.
Stroger's comments came one day after he called Devine "the biggest pain in the ass I have ever met in public life" in an interview with the Daily Southtown editorial board.
A Dart spokeswoman said he wouldn't "engage in any name-calling" with Stroger, while Devine said Stroger's comments were "silly."
"If you're the chief executive of Cook County, you really should be focused on the great issues, the really important issues that we have right now," Devine said.
Stroger said his comments about Devine were "appropriate," then launched into complaints about Devine and Dart -- whose offices would take a huge hit under Stroger's $3 billion proposed budget.
"The personality stuff is really a distraction from some pretty important issues that we have to discuss," said Devine, whose office laid off 43 prosecutors and 10 investigators last week.
In response, Stroger said Devine has "been kicking me like he was trying to beat the hell out of me" with "words I would not use when talking about an elected official trying to do his job."
Devine: 'Not going to back down'
Devine said Wednesday he's "not going to back down from any of the views that I have."
Stroger repeatedly said that he's upset about comments by Devine and Dart that he is taking a "budgeting for idiots" approach to cuts and "doesn't know what he's doing," adding that his wife, Jeanine, is taking it personally.
Stroger also took a verbal swing at Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who criticized some of Stroger's budget cuts, saying it's easy for Jackson to throw stones without understanding reasons for cuts.
Stroger has been ridiculed by unions.
He was booed by Democrats at a rally for Sen. Barack Obama, and he concedes that he's bothered by some criticism.
But he said he doesn't believe the boos and criticism reflect the opinions of most of the public about the job he's doing.
"When we look at the changes we're making, we're making them for the betterment of the Bureau of Health and for the county as a whole," he said.
Plenty of pink slips passed out to Cook County Healthcare Workers
230 doctors and nurse managers
Another 350 employees under Stroger's control, including health employees, have gotten notices since the budget process began.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart also sent notices to more than 600 employees
Jesse Jackson Jr. airport update
I am wondering if Todd Stroger is going to send Dick Devine, the Cook County State's Attorney any flowers after all he has said. Todd Stroger sure can talk like your typical politician in the town.
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, furious over the lack of cooperation he's gotten for his budget plan, blasted State's Attorney Dick Devine on Tuesday.
"There's no use trying to sugarcoat it. The state's attorney has been the biggest pain in the ass I have ever met in public life," Stroger said during comments before the Daily Southtown's editorial board.
"I'm sure next year we'll get along fabulously," Stroger said. "But this year, he's been sticking it to me hard."
Devine spokesman John Gorman said it was "sad that the president of the county board resorts to those kinds of words in reference to the state's attorney."
Devine has said the cuts Stroger proposed to close a $500 million budget gap would jeopardize people's safety.
"I think the state's attorney is really trying to put the fear on people that criminals won't be prosecuted," Stroger said. "I don't mind saying that because he's been lambasting me like I'm trying to put criminals on the street.
Stroger also said, apparently without irony, that when Devine "gets in the press, he talks about me in a manner that is not befitting a public official."
Commissioners find ways to raise more cash
A new tax on polluters and fees for documents and inspections were the only revenue boosters to get approval Tuesday from the county board.
In a special finance committee meeting, the board approved 10 to 6 a measure that would go after coal-burning power plants that emit too much sulfur dioxide. It would charge $400 a ton for anything over a 100-ton-per-year limit
Cook County breaks talks with hospital billing firm
And the latest on George Ryan ex-Governor, who is being represented again, this time on appeal by another former ex-Governor, Jim Thompson
Labels: George Ryan
Enough is enough, of the Strogers doing whatever they want, enough snow, enough. Was Yonnie Lynn Clark humming a Motley Crue song? Is that what gave her away? Smoking in the boys room, or in this case, girls room , by Motley Crue?
Smoking out a Stroger sibling
BY NEIL STEINBERG Sun-Times Columnist
There are more downsides to the Stroger clan clogging the Cook County payroll than just their fat paychecks.
There is also the bother of dealing with their swelled egos, as the overworked employees at 26th and California discovered last week when Ann Collins, an assistant public defender, tried to find out who had locked herself in the seventh-floor bathroom to smoke.
"I knocked on the door. I waited for the person to come out," said Collins. "There was smoke in there."
When the puffer emerged -- after 20 minutes -- it was Yonnie Lynn Clark, Todd Stroger's sister.
"She started yelling at me, 'I know what this is about!'" said Collins. "And I said, 'You tell me what this is about, other than you smoking in the bathroom.'"
Smoking is banned in public buildings in Cook County. Even if you're related to Todd Stroger.
Labels: Todd Stroger
One full week before the budget is due at Cook County, and one full week before elections. My predictions is Daley will win Mayor, Dorothy Brown is an opponent who does not have a chance, neither does Dock Walls. Dock Walls is the most grounded intelligent one, but no money. Dorothy Brown is arrogant, rude, loud, obnoxious, crass, and ill mannered enough to turn enough people off no matter what her credentials are. So this will not be a surprise. One surprise will be if Cook County has a budget passed by the 27th of February. This is going to be a long week for Todd Stroger and the Cook County Board. I wonder how crazy things will get? Will Todd be sending flowers to more than one Commissioner? One thing for sure is that the fur will be flying.
Alderman's races where we already know the results, in ten wards:
13th Ward - Candidates
Frank Olivo (incumbent)
Alderman Olivo is one of
six seven eight nine ten aldermen who will run unopposed (1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores, 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke, 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, 29th Ward Alderman Isaac Carothers, 33rd Ward Alderman Richard Mell, 38th Ward Alderman Tom Allen, 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O'Connor, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, and 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith are the others.
And Chicago Suntimes reporter gets arrested while attending a protest at Cook County a.k.a. Stroger Hospital this week by fellow reporter Carol Marin:
Sun-Times reporter Steve Patterson had just been arrested, and I raced over there.
Patterson is a fine, tough reporter but hardly a rude kind of guy. I couldn't imagine why he'd be handcuffed and detained, but he was.
Patterson was covering a demonstration of homeless people who wanted to have a word with the new head of the hospital, Dr. Robert Simon, promoted last month by Stroger.
About two dozen homeless were protesting not only Stroger's massive budget cuts to medical services, but also the discovery of a 12-year-old interview Simon gave to the Chicago Reader in August 1995.
At the time, Simon was chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine. In the Reader article, Simon is quoted as saying:
''I did not come here to help the bum on the street -- the alcoholic or drug addict . . . I didn't come here for 'the homeless' . . . I'm not a liberal. Die-hard liberals talk about 'the homeless.' If they actually saw what they're defending I don't think they'd be so die-hard. Most of the homeless really don't care about themselves or are psychiatrically impaired. . . . They could do things for themselves, but they won't. So who the hell cares about them?'
In operating independently of the Sheriff's Department, the security force at the hospital gets away with hiring the equivalent of bouncers -- many of them patronage workers with no law enforcement experience. The sooner the plug can be pulled on what looks like cronyism for goons, the better. Other institutions in the city and county have outsourced their security; Stroger Hospital should come to terms with this pattern of misconduct and do the same. A county-appointed commission is expected to report on the problem, but after Thursday's ugly display, what's there to report? As County Board member Robert Maldonado said, these cops are "out of control."
The budget must pass by Feb. 28 according to state law or the county can't pay bills. But the board doesn't have a deal in place yet, after board President Todd Stroger threatened Friday to veto a $73 million budget overhaul proposed by 12 commissioners.
Excerpt from Today's Chicago Tribune:
Cook County's health bureau could lose an enormous amount of money from Medicaid--its single largest revenue source--if it closes 14 of its 26 medical clinics, the governor's health-care adviser warned Friday.
That's because of fundamental changes now being made to the Illinois Medicaid program, which is adopting a form of managed care.
More than 819,000 Medicaid members in Cook County.
If the county closes clinics and reduces the ranks of doctors, there will be fewer opportunities to sign up Medicaid members for primary care case management, said Anne Marie Murphy, a senior health care adviser to the governor. Patients who had used Cook facilities could end up finding medical homes elsewhere, and Medicaid money would follow them.
The financial losses could be devastating, Murphy said. This year, Medicaid revenues at the county's health bureau are expected to reach about $300 million, or about 78 percent of all funding for patient care.
The state reached out to county health bureau officials last year to make sure they were aware of the upcoming Medicaid changes and prepared to adapt.
"We realized it could severely affect their budgets" if Medicaid patients didn't sign up with the county health system, Murphy said. So "it came as a bit of a surprise to find they were now going to close these clinics."
That, too, could be a problem, because the new Medicaid rules require that patients have "timely access" to services, Murphy said.
Asked if there was room for compromise with commissioners on the number of clinics, Stroger said, "We've come up with the right number." Stroger said he would veto the commissioners' budget amendment Some $200 million in Medicaid bills remain unpaid because the county didn't list the procedure being billed or listed the wrong procedure, the letter noted.
University of Illinois looses mascot Chief Illiniwek This battle has gone on for years, lets hope that everyone involved can find peace with it. Just please leave our South Side mascot alone!
And Commissioner Jerry Butler remember your quote earlier this week?
"They say there's going to be lots of (last-minute) floor amendments, too, so I don't know what's going to happen," said Commissioner Jerry Butler (D-Chicago). "This is going to be a crazy one."
Commissioner Butler please stop this craziness and join together with your fellow commissioners, please!
Commissioner Deborah Sims please join together with your fellow commissioners, not "The most dramatic tax proposal came from Commissioner Deborah Sims (D-Chicago), who wants to more than double the county's sales tax from 0.75 percent to 1.75 percent" And do all the unions, all the Cook County employees and residents who supported Todd Stroger regret it? Yes, a lot do because they are turning on him.
A proposal to cut administrators in order to restore Cook County clinics and other services is dead on arrival, said county board President Todd Stroger, promising Friday to veto the plan put forward this week by rival commissioners.
Todd Stroger is not compromising, instead he has renewed ATTITUDE
Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine on Friday laid off 43 prosecutors and 10 investigators in advance of expected budget cuts next week.
Cook County State's Attorney budget cuts
The cuts will be spread among every department in the office
Criminal prosecutions bureau losing 23 attorneys
Several specialized units will be closed completely, including teams that monitored public utilities and fly dumping.
No more nuisance abatement, which goes after drug houses and closes them down
None of the proposed amendments would give prosecutors a cost-of-living pay raise, something they've gone without for two years.
A picture of Steve Neal, in the Lincoln Museum and Library, something Steve fought so hard for. Almost 3 years ago we lost a great journalist.
What would Steve Neal have to write about Todd if he were here today? I often wonder, I miss reading anything by Steve Neal, his books, his Suntimes columns, this guy was smart, observant, able to put things together, and he remembered everything that happened in politics and history. Steve Neal is truly missed in this town. If anyone has not read any of his books, they should. If Steve Neal was here today how many columns would he have written about Todd Stroger?
Another sad death, Layne Staley, almost 5 years ago, Layne fighting drugs and alcohol, Steve Neal rumored to be fighting alcohol
summing it all up, from an Alice in Chains song, sung by Layne Staley
Like the coldest winter chill
Heaven Beside you...Hell within
Labels: Steve Neal
I thought this was cute, actually the way Todd Stroger is handling himself as President of Cook County is anything but cute, but the letter to him from Kristen McQueary of the Daily Southtown paper is.
A lot of us would like to see the Cook County Prosecutors indict him on something, only to have a Cook County Sheriff take him away to Cook County Jail. Maybe he will have to sleep on the floor because of overcrowding at the jail, maybe he will get beat up because of too many prisoners and not enough guards at the jail. And when he has to spend so much time at CC Jail waiting for trial, well because he cut into the Cook County State's attorneys office so bad, maybe then he will begin to realize his budget plan was not so good. Hopefully he won't get sick while in the jail because there will be less doctors there to treat him, if any, maybe he will catch a disease at the jail because they won't be screening for diseases on incoming prisoners. OK, so wishful thinking, sigh, a little daydream here. But if this ever happens there will be plenty of pictures because this has been the media's worst political offender. Maybe Todd should have sent Tom Dart and Dick Devine a dozen yellow roses on Valentine's Day?
You're welcome, President Stroger
Dear President Todd Stroger,
Rather than join the chorus of whiners protesting your budget cuts, I thought I'd offer suggestions to ease Cook County's financial burden. Because you promised not to raise taxes, I've compiled a list of possible "revenue enhancements" that would bring more money to Cook County coffers, discreetly.
As you know, "revenue enhancements" are not tax increases but rather tax increases in disguise. You'll still be able to keep your no-tax pledge and safely run for re-election in four years, especially if you impose the fees early in your term. Voters have very short memories.
My suggestions are as follows:
Nepotism toll. If county commissioners or department heads want to appoint or anoint family members to elected or paid positions in county government, they may do so free of controversy -- for a fee. To avoid paying the fee yourself, President Stroger, since you were given the top slot courtesy of your father, be sure to include a clause that grandfathers in current elected officials.
Cook County plate. Create a special license plate for Cook County with proceeds benefiting the county's corporate fund. Perhaps a lovely license plate with a portrait of the forest preserves -- or their legendary outhouses -- would be a profitable endeavor.
Badge auction. Who needs the police academy? Sell those shiny brass sheriff's badges to the highest bidders for a quick influx of cash. Suburban mayors do it, but they pocket the money. Keep it for the county. It's the right thing to do.
Holiday collection. Forget gifts for the boss or a pass-the-hat collection for local charities. Convince county workers to donate part of their paycheck to the county's debt-reduction fund. Those overpaid bureaucrats surely have money to spare.
Slots. Why allow ill patients to waste all that time in Stroger Hospital's emergency room and pharmacy waiting for care? Even "Reader's Digest" won't fill 11 hours. A few well-placed slot machines or OTB parlors and problem solved.
Coin-operated lifts. Need an elevator ride to the 5th floor of the county building? That'll be $1 each way, Madame. And no one should be allowed to use the county's public bathrooms for free. Toilet paper costs money. Twenty-five cents a square or drip dry, fellas.
Fund sweeps. Borrow a page from Gov. Rod Blagojevich's playbook and take money from accounts that carry balances. For example, if county Treasurer Maria Pappas is so darn efficient at running her office, "borrow" some money from her rainy day fund. Use it or lose it.
Burrito tax. To discourage overeating that causes sluggish behavior among county leaders, the county could impose a burrito tax. One burrito too many was Stroger's explanation for his torpid performance and inability to answer questions posed by the Daily Southtown's editorial board during the campaign. He ate too many steak-and-cheeses and couldn't think straight, his aides explained.
Porn fee. Why tax all the other sins but leave lust untouched? Renters, viewers and consumers of pornography ought to pay a special tax, along with the smokers, the drinkers and the gamblers. It's a slam dunk. Which admitted porn junkies are going to hold a press conference to protest?
In conclusion, it's clear by my research that the county has not explored all of its options to expand its revenue base without increasing sales or property taxes.
I hope you'll give my ideas due consideration. I won't even charge my customary $50,000 consulting fee. That's the going rate in Cook County, correct?
Todd Stroger gets a lawsuit for Valentines Day
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Crain's Chicago Business
by Lorene Yue
(Crain’s) — A union representing Cook County employees is suing the Cook County Board of Commissioners for instituting a shorter work week in what the union considers a “flagrant” breach of its workers’ contract.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court after Cook County Board President Todd Stroger said that starting March 5, he would put public defenders on three- and four-day work weeks for the remainder of the year to cut expenses.
The union, which represents 6,000 county employees, is also seeking a temporary restraining order to keep Mr. Stroger from going ahead with his plan.
“Our union will use every tool at our disposal to stop these irresponsible cuts,” AFSCME Director Henry Bayer said in a statement. “The president’s plan ignores the county’s responsibility to provide an adequate legal defense for all citizens, regardless of their means.”
A Cook County representative was not available for comment.
Union officials were notified earlier this month of Mr. Stroger’s plan to shorten work schedules for public defenders. Cook County is facing a $502-million budget shortfall and Mr. Stroger, who promised to balance the budget without raising taxes, asked the 11 county executives to trim department costs by 17%.
Mr. Stroger’s proposed budget calls for a $112-million reduction in spending that would come, in part, by trimming nearly 1,500 employees from the current payroll. The public defender’s office would lose 43 of its current staff of 485.
But work schedule and pay are governed by a workers’ contract, and any change is subject to bargaining, said Anders Lindall, spokesman for AFSCME Council 31.
“We’ve asked the president’s office to forgo the usual grievance (procedures) because of time constraints,” Mr. Lindall said. “They refused to do so.”
That left AFSCME no choice but to file a lawsuit, he added.
Plenty of fan club items for all Cook County Residents As you may recall, Cook County Commissioner William Beavers recently was quoted as bragging about his political influence by referring to himself as the hog with the largest male parts.
A few days later, I received an e-mail about a Web site selling "Big Nuts" merchandise.
Coffee mugs, T-shirts, baseball caps and even a "Big Nuts" thong were available. Each item featured a photograph of a smiling Cook County President Todd Stroger next to an image of a hog.
"William Beavers and Todd Stroger, Cook County's Biggest Nuts," read the printed material on the merchandise.
Was it just a gag? Nope.
Tom Mannis, the founder of RogersParkBenchStore.com, an Internet shop, informed me that any and all of the items could be purchased. Toddster and Hog with big Nuts merchandise
It was a very special Valentine's day for Todd Stroger and a special Commissioner. Todd sent a dozen yellow roses and he sent Todd a heart shaped box of candy. Todd did you send any of the other Commissioners flowers? Did any of the other Commissioners send you candy? I would think that Todd would have had all kinds of Valentines Day gifts from all the politicians in this town, thanking him for keeping the media so busy that they don't have time to cover anyone else.
Yes, Todd's Chief handler Lance Tyson's answer to why Todd did not make it to any public hearings was "there was staff there" no matter how many times the question was asked. Todd's daddy John always showed up to public hearings, why can't the Toddster? Todd did show up to the rally for Barak Obama at UIC this past weekend only to get booed. I guess Todd was afraid his fan club would not show up to any of the public hearings on his budget, that's why he didn't make it. Funny I don't remember that type of reaction when Obama was at Todd's rally.
Now Todd has a whole bunch of Commissioners ganged up against him, at least 12 now. Of course, John Daley and William Beavers are not included in that bunch, not enough ball room for all the big balls on the Bill Beavers, aka Hog with big Balls to be in that group. Todd's answer to that "I am glad they are working together".
Just a week after their very public blowup over the Cook County budget, county board President Todd Stroger and Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) decided to make up.
Stroger delivered a dozen yellow roses, representing friendship, to Quigley's office Wednesday, a gesture Quigley called "just a riot." Quigley reciprocated with a heart-shaped box of candy -- along with a note about staying friends if "the county is at heart."
Quigley supported Stroger in the November election in an odd alliance -- Quigley's a longtime reformer, Stroger a machine-backed candidate.
So their falling-out last week over spending $13 million in forest preserve district funds to help county government balance its budget was no surprise. Many had wondered how their relationship lasted this long.
But by the end of Wednesday, both were laughing.Todd's Valentines Day
A dozen Cook County commissioners on Wednesday proposed whacking hundreds of high-paying political jobs in favor of more prosecutors, public defenders, nurses and police.
Their alternate budget came in response to county board President Todd Stroger's budget plan, which would wipe out thousands of front-line jobs while preserving many higher-paying positions.
Buttwo commissioners, Robert Steele (D-Chicago) and Joan Murphy (D-Crestwood), didn't realize the cuts they were endorsing affected some of their relatives, and Murphy said she might reconsider. Please don't bail on the others Commissioner Murphy Joan do the right thing, stay with the group they need you!
Tuning out Todd
Published February 14, 2007
During his inaugural address on Dec. 4, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger made some worthwhile promises. He said he would slay the "sacred cows in Cook County government" and balance its 2007 budget without a tax increase: "[T]oday we are brought together by a shared goal--and for me, a solemn oath--to reshape our county government, and to have the courage and resolve to make bold changes. ..."
Since that noble verbiage, though, Stroger and his top lieutenants have behaved as if they're frantic to demolish the image of a reformer that he initially tried to project. And those sacred cows--many of them Democratic precinct captains--are still feeding on county hay (and pay).
Stroger's proposed budget, rather than slaughtering needless herds of political hacks in the county bureaucracy, instead tilts toward cutting frontline service workers. And his Stroger Friends and Family Plan, with top jobs awarded to his cronies, has betrayed voters who had trusted his campaign lip service to reform.
Then, as if spoiling to offend citizens who care about green spaces, Stroger staged an arguably illegal raid on $13 million of Forest Preserve District money to help balance the county's budget. In that fiasco, County Board members--wearing their other hats as forest preserve overseers--essentially robbed the district in order to benefit their other government. Gross conflict of self-interests? Breach of fiduciary duty to the forest district? Note that county finance chair John Daley and forest preserves finance chair Michael Quigley stayed on the legal side of their oaths to protect the preserves by voting against Stroger's raid.
What's increasingly obvious is that Stroger lacks the maturity and skill to lead the reform agenda his inaugural speechwriters promised.
As a result, board members are stepping forward to reshape his budget. Late Tuesday, 10 of the 17 commissioners completed an omnibus budget amendment that would cut administrative jobs from the county's budget while restoring money for health professionals, prosecutors, public defenders, sheriff's police officers and other service providers. The 10 co-sponsors are Forrest Claypool, Earlean Collins, Liz Gorman, Gregg Goslin, Joan Patricia Murphy, Tony Peraica, Quigley, Timothy Schneider, Robert Steele and Larry Suffredin.
The board members' initiative is partly a matter of tuning out an increasingly clumsy Todd Stroger, partly an acknowledgment that there aren't enough votes on the board for a tax increase. If those votes ever existed--we doubt it--Stroger's hiring and promotion of so many high-paid pals and relatives has made the mere notion of tax hikes that much more toxic. Are taxpayers supposed to give more money to an institution where nepotism and patronage are arrogantly celebrated as the boss' favorite sport?
County Board members are required to adopt a budget by the end of this month. The instant they do, they face a much more bracing requirement: to streamline county government so the same budget debacle doesn't play out for 2008.
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
Patronage runs rampant in picking Judges for Cook County Circuit Court
It has finally stopped snowing in Chicago! Time to dig out!
From the Todd Stroger Fan Club NOT!!
Of course Todd can get away with all of this. He has managed to run amok during his election up until now and I don't see an end in sight. He continues to grin, smirk, and chuckle throughout the whole entire Cook County Board Meetings. He still has to be reminded of the rules on voting throughout the meetings by his Commissioners. While the Chairs of each committee are conducting their meetings he sits behind them and grins, smirks, and chuckles with Lance Tyson his chief of staff. He has managed to get every commissioner, with the exception of William Beavers, of course, fluffed up with him. Todd has also managed to avoid all public hearings on his budget. He has been on a couple of radio shows, though. He has managed to keep job security for the political reporters in this City, as well as for family and friends. Yes, Todd you need to keep all of your body guards because people will be tempted to poke, slap or tell you in colorful language how well you are doing.
Dueling proposals for overhauling Cook County's 2007 budget likely will square off next week, as Board President Todd Stroger and a bipartisan group of county commissioners each announced millions in proposed amendments late Tuesday.
"He's trying to spend any revenue we find before we have a chance to allocate it," said Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston). "We took the president at his word when he said, 'My work's done, and it's now up to the board of commissioners,' so that's what we're doing now."
Suffredin said his group's plan also would help public defenders and do many of the same things as Stroger's proposal, but commissioners do not agree with Stroger on everything. Mayberry promised a fight if commissioners try to alter Stroger's plan.
"Higher property taxes, higher sales taxes, higher taxes on alcohol, a new tax on hotel stays and hundreds of administrative cuts are just some of the money-making proposals.
The most dramatic tax proposal came from Commissioner Deborah Sims (D-Chicago), who wants to more than double the county's sales tax from 0.75 percent to 1.75 percent.
Although the revenue department had not yet provided Sims with an official estimate Tuesday, such an increase could bring in more than $400 million in new revenue, wiping out the county's entire budget deficit and making all of Stroger's proposed cuts unnecessary.
"They say there's going to be lots of (last-minute) floor amendments, too, so I don't know what's going to happen," said Commissioner Jerry Butler (D-Chicago). "This is going to be a crazy one." last minute surprises
Inside the Old State Capital, Springfield, Illinois where Barak Obama made his presidential announcement
All I can think, who ever becomes our next President will be so, so busy. There is so much that needs to be done and undone. Not in my lifetime have I ever seen such a tremendous amount of work ahead of any President, than that will be of the one elected in 2008. Just mind blowing thinking about all that needs to be undone, corrected...........domestic and foreign.........just too much........
Barak Obama at Old State Capital in Springfield, Illinois
="http://www.suntimes.com/news/elections/251847,obama021107.article">Obama at Old State Capital in Springfield
New Fees in Cook County:
Approved by the finance committee:
$1.1 million from charging a handful of companies $30,000 each for access to the Cook County assessor's database on property values.
$400,000 from charging a $1 entrance fee per customer at the county's seven off-track betting parlors.
$1.2 million for doubling all fees for environmental permits regulating air pollution and waste disposal.
$1 million for charging a $500 impound fee to anyone whose car is towed by the county sheriff in connection with a drug- or prostitution-related arrest.
More than $100,000 for charging businesses in unincorporated Cook County $100 if they want to tie their but regular alarms directly to the sheriff's 911 system, plus fines for false alarms.
Jesse Jackson Jr. & his fight for Peotone (3rd) Airport
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley -- backed by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) -- moved to protect O'Hare International Airport's monopoly when an earlier, larger incarnation of the Peotone plan threatened its claim on federal funds.
..."this year with Jackson's influence strengthened after Democrats took control of Congress, IDOT establishing a field office at the airport site, the state hiring an aeronautics director and moves made to acquire the 2,200 acres needed by eminent domain."
From the GAR Museum in Springfield, Illinois. GAR= Grand Army of the Republic. Not too far from where Barak Obama will making his announcement tomorrow.
So Todd is going to cut 20 low paying workers, people who need their jobs and will have a hard time getting clerical work considering the unemployment and competition for these front line positions. Commissioner Quigley is right, it was probably very hard to find people who weren't connected to someone, somehow, to eliminate.
Stroger cuts 20 jobs, but critics want more
February 9, 2007
BY STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter
Provident Hospital's politically connected boss has been fired, as has the Forest Preserve's finance chief.
John Fairman of Provident and the Forest Preserve's Lenny Moore are out, as are 20 other appointed Cook County employees.
Board President Todd Stroger announced the firings Thursday and said he'll eliminate those 20 jobs completely, reducing his total number of appointed positions to 480 among 26,000 county jobs.
A search is on for Fairman's replacement, while Stroger's friend, Marlo Kemp, will take over as Forest Preserve CFO.
Among the 20 jobs being eliminated, most are held by secretaries and aides.<
Commissioner Forrest Claypool said with "thousands of [unofficial] patronage jobs" in the county, the 20 are "completely insignificant." Commissioner Mike Quigley said in picking 20 jobs to cut, Stroger "took great pains not to cut anyone of political note or with family connections."
I thought this was cute! Well, actually nothing is cute about how Todd Stroger is governing Cook County. Of course, he is getting away with it!
John Williams, WGN-AM radio, to Todd Stroger, President of Cook County, Illinois’ Board of Commissioners
How many Strogers does it take to run the county?
“I know this isn’t a clever, nuanced essay about the machinations of big county government. This is just an alert. You have to stop hiring your family and friends and you have to stop grinning when you do it. It’s clear that you can get away with it, that there are no immediate consequences, that columnists calling you an “appalling lightweight with no clue” and “a failing tone-deaf whelp” and “Alfred E. Newman meets Urkel” don’t really matter. But your job does, your perception does and everyone seems to get that but you.”
Yes, I have noticed a lot more dogs up North, especially in Alderman Natarus's ward, but...this is a little insensitive and stereotyping
'Downtown, we have more dogs than people. Everybody's got to have a dog. You know why? They're lonely. The young women don't have kids yet. They're not married. So, they have a dog as a child. And some of the fellas who don't want to get married -- they want to have kids around, so they have a dog. That's a substitute." --Ald. Burt Natarus, Oct. 21, 2006 ,Burt Natarus, Alderman ward 42
We are getting closer to the announcement, this Saturday down in Springfield, Illinois by Barak Obama. I wonder? Does he stop for a Cozy Dog?
You can stand up with me one day and talk about me the next," Stroger complained. "The same day! -- Your consistency has been being on my side and still stabbing me in the back at the same time."
"Does the expression, 'Get over it,' mean anything to you?" retorted Quigley (D-Chicago).
I listened to both sides of this. A few years back Cook County gave the Forest Preserve District of Cook County money because it could not meet payroll. Amount of money is approximately 13 million (which is billed separately if you look at your property tax bill). Was this a loan to be re-payed back to Cook County? Or is it taking the Forest Preserve tax and allocating it wrong? Yes they are afraid of using Cook County Forest Preserve surplus for not....well the Forest Preserve, and lawsuits that may follow, due to miss-appropriations of funds.
Now Donna Dunnings, Todd Stroger's cousin was in charge of finance at the Forest Preserve before she became the Cook County Chief Financial Officer for all of Cook County. In her former position she did not do so great, lots of problems. At the meeting when Todd announced that his cousin Donna Dunnings would be the Chief Financial Officer, he said she is very qualified, and she went to Northwestern to get a degree in ah? Then Donna Dunnings said "Business management, Mr. President." Yes, Todd she is so qualified that you could not remember her qualifications, other than she got a "B" in Biology.
The Sun-Times is calling this the "Todd Squad"
Dunnings insists she's qualified. "My mother told me a long time ago that Jesus walked our Earth, and he had critics," she said.
"I just happen to be his cousin," she added. "But that is not Donna Dunnings in totality."
Quote of the day:
Stroger is "either the greatest politician in the state or the dumbest political official to ever come forward," Suffredin told his audience. Which one is Todd?
20th Ward Alderman opponents of Arenda Troutman stepping up their efforts to defeat her
Yesterday it was 39 degrees in Antartica, 30 degrees warmer than Chicago. Antartica will again be warmer than Chicago, with a high of 15 expected today.
Hmmm...Commissioners finding ways to raise money in Cook County
A $30,000 fee for access to the complete database of property values maintained by the Cook County assessor.
A $1 entrance fee for all patrons of off-track betting parlors.
Doubling of fees for all environmental permits regulating air pollution and waste disposal.
A $500 car impound fee for cars towed by the sheriff.
Fines for false burglar alarms, up to $300 for each occurrence.
A pollution tax on power plants, steel plants and others, charging $400 per ton of sulfur dioxide emitted.
$50 tax for owners of SUVs and other personal vehicles weighing 4,500 pounds or more.
A 10-cents-per-bullet ammunition tax.
A 30K access fee will hurt the smaller apprasiers and realtors.
A dollar to enter off-track betting will be nothing for people who already throw their money away.
Doubling fees for environmental permits makes sense, especially for the air pollution will only make businesses try to clean it up, also the addition 400 dollars per ton of sulfur dioxide could be higher this can only be more incentives to plants and help citizens in the long run. I would raise this one a lot more, at least 50% higher (to 600 dollars)
A 50 dollar tax for big SUVs, I don't mind that since you can't see around them anyhow, and they take up more parking, more emissions, more space on the road.
A 10 cents per bullet will hurt the police and sheriff officers, even though they can write this off on their taxes at the end of the year, they may be hesitant to spend more time at the range. Also they could go outside of Cook County to buy ammo, a lot of people do for cigarettes, liquor, and gas.
False alarms, well they cost everyone.
Towing, well, people will have to be careful where they park.
Tom Glaser, the county's chief financial officer since 1995, will become the second-in-command at the troubled bureau of health. His position there of chief operating officer will be a new one. Replacing Glaser will be one of his deputies, budget director Donna Dunnings, Stroger's cousin.
Glaser's salary will jump from $154,000 to $225,000, while Dunnings salary will remain steady at $142,000. Their appointments will be made March 1, after the budget is approved.
Stroger defended hiring his cousin into the county's top finance job, citing her advanced business degree from Northwestern University and her long experience in finance."There is no one I trust better than Donna Dunnings," Stroger said.
I listened to all this live on the radio yesterday. Yes, Todd creating a new position for Glaser paying $71,000 a year more than he was making as budget director, which by the way will go to cousin Donna Dunnings.
Labels: Warmer in Antartica
Obama announced last month on a Web video message that he was forming an exploratory committee for President. He is expected to announce his candidacy formally this Saturday, from the Old State Capitol in Springfield.
Quote of the Day from Todd Stroger.
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger on Monday defended his hiring and promotion of political allies and friends to top posts by saying, "There is no way we are going to let the inmates run the asylum. I need someone that I can trust." Stroger expressed frustration with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and State's Attorney Dick Devine, who he said refused to cut their budgets as other county officials have.
Todd Stroger ensuring job security for all Political Reporters in Chicago.
Views from inside the Old State Capital in Springfield, Illinois, the site of Barack Obama's announcement for the Presidential Bid next week.
"Don't go out unless you have to.
That's the advice from Chicago's top emergency officials, as the city struggled with its coldest Feb. 4 since 1996.Sunday's low was 6 below zero.
Today, temperatures will dawn around 10 below zero and peak around zero midday, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a wind-chill advisory -- when the wind can feel as cold as 30 below -- until 9 a.m. Tuesday, from the Chicago Sun-Times front page
Sure I will let my boss know, I think you have to be at least over 40, no make that 45 Todd Stroger needs to get his butt out and work.
I am planning to watch the largest bear exhibit in the Midwest today in the Superbowl Of course the psychics want to predict the Superbowl. Why don't they just get into gambling on the game, or in the stock markets? I can't remember the last time I read a Horror Scope. And they wasted print on this? Fiction writing
Brookfield Zoo Part of the Cook County Forest Preserve District
"In what would be the largest renovation in its 73-year history, the Brookfield Zoo is working on developing a “major” redo, costing perhaps as much as $100 million over 15 years.
One significant project the zoo is considering is developing a North American animal exhibit by 2009 that would include what Strahl said would be the largest bear exhibit in the Midwest. Zoo officials recently met with Indian groups to “talk about philosophy” of the exhibit as it relates to the history of the creatures and their relationship with humans, Strahl said.
Though the zoo is part of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, the zoo is looking to private funds to cover the cost of the renovation "
The Old State Capital in Springfield, Illinois where Barak Obama will be making an announcement on Wednesday, February 12.
-- Sen. Barack Obama said Wednesday that a building with deep historical ties to Abraham Lincoln will be the backdrop for his announcement on a run for the presidency.
The announcement will take place Feb. 10 at Illinois' Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once served as a state representative.
To Date: Todd Stroger has not made any public hearings on his budget. That is leadership Todd? Standing behind your budget and defending it?
What is he thinking? oh no he's not.
Hopefully this time this El line will be built. For a South-Sider to get to and from O'Hare airport we must go all the way downtown( the Loop), then take the Blue line North-West, instead of just going North. It's also the same problem for the North-Siders flying out of Midway, they must go all the way to the Loop and take an Orange line South-West, instead of just going south. Either way this will save at least 30 minutes to and from the airport, depending if the El's are running every few minutes or every 15, but you should have one less El train to wait for.
Extend the North Side El again, hopefully
Go Bears! OK so I am getting nervous for them, but at least they are nice and warm in Miami!