Statement of Commissioner Suffredin on the passage of FY 11 Cook County Budget
Friday, March 04, 2011
Special to suffredin.org
Cook County finally has a budget that meets the needs of its
citizens. After years of mismanagement and insider- dealing in the Office of
the President of the Cook County Board, we finally have a President who shows
up everyday prepared to meet the public’s needs.
This budget corrects the unfairness of our tax structure and
reduces our reliance on the sales tax. It streamlines the delivery of services
while still guaranteeing essential services are readily available.
The 2011 budget is not just a feel good document because it
calls for restructuring and elimination of many County functions: over 700
layoffs, significant salary reductions for many County workers and much shared
pain as we continue to restructure the County Government.
It shows the
cooperative atmosphere currently existing in County Government, whether it is
through the strategic planning of the Independent Health Board or innovative
technological ideas presented by County employees.
Hopefully, President Toni Preckwinkle’s first budget will be
her hardest. In less than 90 days after taking office she was required to put
into action a budget that addressed the abuses of the past. With the Cook
County Board she was able to craft a budget plan that will restore confidence
in County government. The passage of the budget with a unanimous vote for the
first time in over 15 years is a positive sign for the future.
Although there is much reformative work still to be done, the
Cook County Board showed independence and openness to new ideas through the over
35 amendments passed to perfect this budget.
It is now clearer that Cook County can function without
becoming the punch line of a joke.