Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Elected County leaders may be forced to take furlough days

Friday, February 25, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Cook County’s elected leaders may feel a lightening bolt to the wallet this year.

That’s because a job-saving, cost-cutting proposal County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s administration and the unions are working on calls for county employees — including the 17 commissioners, assessor and treasurer — to take 10 unpaid days off this year, officials say.

“I think shared sacrifice means shared sacrifice and I think it’s only proper to lead by example,” said Commissioner John Fritchey, a North Side Democrat.

Fellow North Side Commissioner Bridget Gainer, also a Democrat, said: “Of course we should be included. If we’re laying off nurses and secretaries and everybody else, it’s only fair that everyone share in the reduction.”

Commissioners earn $85,000 a year and the furloughs mean they’d be saying goodbye, before taxes, to little more than $3,000 for those two weeks without pay.

Commissioner Earlean Collins, a Democrat whose district includes Chicago’s West Side and the western suburbs, said there could be a legal glitch to the plan. The state constitution doesn’t allow for an increase or decrease in pay during the term of an elected leader serving in local government.

But she said there is a loophole, including the possibility that elected leaders could sign off on the furlough days and pay back the county.

“Can I give up 10 days? Yes. Absolutely,” Collins said.

At last check, Preckwinkle’s administration was brokering a deal with the unions that would mean some 15,700 county employees – union and non-union alike – would take off 10 furlough days this year. The balance of the roughly 23,000 employees would not be subject to the cuts because they’re deemed “essential personnel,” which includes staff in the Sheriff’s Office, sources say.

The cost savings is estimated at about $38 million and part of a larger budget plan to streamline operations and refinance debt.

But the details were being worked out late Thursday. Commissioners are meeting Friday with the goal of voting on a final spending plan.

“It’s not stew yet,” said Peter N. Silvestri, a Northwest Side Republican.

He agrees that everyone needs to share in the pain but will reserve judgment until he sees the final plan.

That county furlough proposal could save hundreds of jobs, observers say.

In her $3 billion spending plan introduced earlier this month, Preckwinkle said that in order to close the half-billion-dollar budget gap, between 1,300 and 2,000 jobs would be cut.

Preckwinkle already cut her $170,000-a-year salary by 10 percent, said spokeswoman Jessey Neves. And the president would also be subject to the furlough days if the plan goes through, Neves said.

Preckwinkle is among 28 elected county government officials, which include the 17 commissioners.

So is Treasurer Maria Pappas who said of the proposal: “I’m going to try and cooperate with her, but it’s really hard when the little offices do their fair share and the others don’t.”

She wouldn’t point the finger, but the $105,000-a-year elected leader says her office met Preckwinkle’s call for 16 percent budget cuts while others haven’t.

Assessor Joe Berrios said he’ll gladly take the furlough days if it means saving jobs and so will subordinates, including his son and sister whom he hired after taking office in December.

“This is something where we can continue providing the services the people of Cook County count on and we’re keeping people in their jobs,” Berrios said.



Recent Headlines

Cook County circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Backpage.com lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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