Amazing Todd Stroger got a budget passed

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.

Roll call
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
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.

Stoger wins


  1. Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
    “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.”

    He certainly is full of shit with that statement when he is the one incompetent in his position. Chicago better get off the pot and rid of the Toddster.
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    A lot of commissioners dissapointed me, they were all for going against the Terdster then lost backbone.
    The last article was from Steve Patterson who was arrested and handcuffed and taken into a holding cell earlier this week, yes that is how out of control stuff is. And the mayor & Alderman's races are next week. Now the people laid off number keeps increasing, sad how many more unemployed in this city.

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