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Preckwinkle shuffles economic devlopment team

Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is remaking her economic development team, moving one official to the new Cook County Land Bank Authority and promoting another to the open spot. Going to the land bank, as interim executive director, is Herman Brewer, who had headed the Bureau of Economic Development. Succeeding him will be Michael Jasso, the former No. 2 official in the city planning department and, more recently, the county's director of planning and development. Despite county budget woes, Preckwinkle has focused on economic development much more than her recent predecessors. Previously, such efforts were spread among real estate, zoning and capital planning units, but the president has argued that the county can play a greater role in the development field if it gets its act together. Meanwhile, the new land bank was formed to inventory and then seek new uses for thousands of acres of abandoned and vacant properties throughout the county. In a statement, Preckwinkle said Herman "has worked diligently" to build the Bureau of Economic Development but now is needed at the land bank, "one of our most critical initiatives." Jasso, who worked at the Chicago Housing Authority between stints in the city and county, "is a talented administrator with a proven track record," Preckwinkle said. "Progress has been made in establishing Cook County as a key player in stimulating economic growth for our entire region." Both appointments require approval by the County Board.


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