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Stroger: 'If you don't tell people, they won't know'

Thursday, April 24, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
by Steve Patterson

Cook County now spends more than $1 million for 15 salaried public relations employees.

So why is Cook County Board President Todd Stroger looking to hire an outside consultant to help handle public relations for the county hospital system?

"We're looking for expertise, to let people know what's going on," says Stroger, who's looking at proposals from nine firms. "We do good things. If you don't tell people, they won't know.''

And what about the three PR people at Stroger Hospital, the one at Provident Hospital and the one at the health department?

"Maybe they need a little help,'' says Stroger. "Is there something wrong with that? This isn't a Mickey Mouse operation. This is a large organization.''

Steve Patterson

Pappas: Returning aide will earn his $130,000 pay

Peter Karahalios spent five years as a top assistant to Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, where he was responsible for -- among other things -- helping taxpayers get back overpayments of their real estate taxes.

In 2003, he quit to start a small law firm specializing in -- among other things -- helping taxpayers get back overpayments of their real estate taxes.

Now, he's back on Pappas' payroll, as a $130,000-a-year project director.

Pappas says she expected to collect $8 million this year from banks and mortgage companies from a $5 fee for processing payments electronically. She's made that effort a priority for Karahalios and figures he'll boost that figure to $12 million.

Steve Patterson

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