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Commissioners offer alternative to Stroger plan

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

Twelve Cook County Commissioners banded together today to propose an alternative to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger’s budget, saying they preferred the cuts come from upper and middle management, not front-line positions.
The budget, said Commissioner Forrest Claypool would restore about 800 police and health care workers while cutting about 400 management positions.
“Those bureaucrats do not provide comfort for the afflicted; they do not catch criminals,” said Commissioner Forrest Claypool, a Chicago Democrat.
Others struck a more conciliatory tone toward Stroger, perhaps an acknowledgment of his awesome veto power that can only be overridden by a vote of 14 out of 17 commissioners.
“This wasn’t an assault on the castle,” said Commissioner Mike Quigley, another Chicago Democrat who last week had a very public falling-out with Stroger during a board meeting.
Stroger, at least publicly, said he welcomed the commissioners’ ideas and said he hadn’t yet reviewed all the proposed changes.
“This is the process,” Stroger said. “This is what’s supposed to go on.”
Like Stroger’s budget, the commissioners’ proposal would not raise taxes, Quigley said. Instead, it relies on savings in middle and upper management, as well as the sale of some property, to restore health care clinics and anti-crime programs.
Signing on to the plan were: Democrats Claypool, Quigley, Earlean Collins of Chicago, Roberto Maldonado of Chicago, Joan Patricia Murphy of Crestwood, Robert Steele of Chicago and Larry Suffredin of Evanston. Republicans who signed on board were Elizabeth Gorman of Orland Park, Gregg Goslin of Glenview, Anthony Peraica of Riverside, Timothy Schneider of Bartlett and Peter Silvestri of Elmwood Park.
The commissioners who are not sponsoring the budget amendment are all Chicago Democrats: Deborah Sims, John Daley, William Beavers, Mario Moreno and Jerry Butler.


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