Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Williams in charge of county finances, $3B budget

Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Chicago Defender
by Wendell Huston

After 25 years of working in corporate America Jaye Williams decided it was time for a change.

That change brought Williams, 53, to the helm of the county’s financial department in August. And now as Cook County’s chief financial officer, she is charged not only with managing a $3.1 billion budget, but also with making sound, fiscal decisions on behalf of county taxpayers.

Williams is a veteran in the local corporate industry. She has also worked at several local financial institutions including Bank One - now JP Morgan Chase Bank - and LaSalle Bank, which is now Bank of America.

Additionally, for the past 25 years she has been married to Rufus Williams, sports attorney and former president of the Chicago School Board.

Her new annual salary, which hovers around $175,000, is far less than what she earned in the private sector.

“You do not come to work for the public sector expecting to make a lot of money especially during tough, economic times,” she said. “Yes, I am making less than what I earned in the private sector but I have gained so much more in other ways.”

She replaces Donna Dunning, who was fired this year, in part, because of allegations that she was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a former county employee she supervised. Dunnings has denied the allegation.

While the campaign for the office of Cook County Board President is being waged all around her, Williams keeps her distance from the political wrangling.

“I try not to let politics become a part of this office because I am not a politician,” she told the Defender. “I recognize how complex and challenging this position is, which is why I find this job so exciting. One of the biggest challenges I see for the county is how to continue delivering cost-efficient services such as health care.”

Indeed, with the county’s portion of the state sales tax, which is 1.75 percent, set to roll back to 1.25 percent beginning July 1, providing quality health care will pose a challenge to the county, according to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

Williams admits that prior to joining the county she did not know Stroger personally, though her husband did.

“But I did not get this job because of my husband. I was hired based on my experience as a fiscal manager,” Williams clarified. “And I absolutely love my job.”

Her boss said he is pleased with her work and is happy she agreed to join his management team at the county.

“Jaye is widely experienced in financial services and strategic management,” Stroger said. “Her history of successful engagement with new initiatives, combined with her extensive experience in corporate finance, makes her an outstanding selection.”

To date, she has only hired two people to fill vacant positions and said when she looks to hire someone she looks for the best, qualified person, not race or political affiliation.

“The staffing here is phenomenal. When we were preparing the 2010 budget there were some weeks we worked six days,” recalls Williams. “I have a dedicated staff working with me.”

County departments under her realm include the comptroller, purchasing, risk management, budget, and revenue. There are roughly 200 employees who work within these departments and under Williams’ watchful eye.

While admitting she has not had time to explore new revenue streams to replace the anticipated $200 million the county stands to lose beginning in 2010 thanks to the sales tax reduction, Williams said she is not opposed to leasing county assets just as the City of Chicago did when it privatized its parking meters. With each lease deal the city netted over $1 billion.

“By April we would have begun to look at ways to raise new revenue for the county,” said Williams, who has a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA in finance and accounting from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

And when she is not working on for the county taxpayer, she is engaged in philanthropic work, something she enjoys.

That work includes mentoring to young professionals and serving on the board for several non-profit organizations.

A mother of one adult son and an daughter, she reads to relax and especially enjoys reading relationship books.

Originally born and raised in southern Illinois, the Lincoln Park resident describes herself as a “private, compassionate person who is also a critical thinker.”



Recent Headlines

Cook County property tax bills posted online ahead of mailing, taxes due August 1
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Cook County Health Program Focuses on ‘Whole Person Care’
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
WTTW News

Beekeeping Behind Bars: Inmates Raise Bees at Cook County Jail
Friday, June 14, 2019
WTTW News

Court rules county retirees entitled to health care no matter who last employer was
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Prevent Illinois from being the next ground zero for measles
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

At Cook County Jail, Inmates Relax Their Minds, Bodies With Yoga
Thursday, June 06, 2019
Prison Mindfulness Institute

Illinois Dept. of Revenue Releases Final 2018 Cook County Equalization Factor
Thursday, June 06, 2019
JD Supra

Skokie drops recent proposal to opt out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

JAMA examines rising drug costs • CVS' ambitious transformation • Cook County extends Medicaid contract
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Offers Low Cost Rabies And Microchipping Clinic
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Patch

Masturbating Cook County Jail inmates could cost taxpayers $2 million-plus in legal fees
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

New training and protocols needed at Cook County, task force says after sexual harassment scandal
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County assessor's tax reform bill skids in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi's property tax reforms stall out in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District has found the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in the District this year.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County to Address Perinatal Health Disparities with $4.8M Grant
Friday, May 24, 2019
WTTW News

Audit Recommends Ways To Overhaul Cook County Property Tax System
Thursday, May 23, 2019
WBEZ News

Cock-a-doodle-deferred? After ‘urban farmers’ cry foul, county tables rooster ban
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP