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Letter: Preckwinkle: 'There is no place in my administration for retribution'

Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Chicago Tribune
by President Preckwinkle

Letter: Preckwinkle: 'There is no place in my administration for retribution' January 2, 2017 Early in my first term I established four guiding principles for Cook County: innovative leadership, transparency and accountability, fiscal responsibility and improved services. For too long, Cook County had been poorly managed and with too many decisions made through a narrow political lens. I am proud that in my six years in office our board has often acted in a bipartisan spirit that avoids the rancor we see in Springfield and Washington, and that puts the needs of our residents first. That does not mean we agree on everything; indeed, we all have our own basic principles to which we must be true and which often play out in public. This is how a democracy works; we debate, we decide and we move on. Yet your story on Dec. 26 “Border towns go own way on minimum wage” gives voice to anonymous concerns about how my administration might view attempts by some municipalities to “opt out” of two recently passed ordinances, one that gradually hikes the minimum wage and the other that allows previously uncovered workers to earn a limited amount of paid sick time. Your story quotes two of our commissioners, Sean Morrison and Gregg Goslin, as passing along a concern they had heard that by opting out, those communities might encounter some pushback or even payback from Cook County — that road funds or economic development incentives might be withheld. This, on its face, is ridiculous. I find it most regrettable that any local official would think that, and even more so, that any of our commissioners would give voice to such a false and unfounded allegation. There is no place in my administration for retribution. Let me state very clearly that we are committed to working with all of our commissioners and local officials in more than 130 communities. Our joint interest should be improving the quality of life for all of our 5.2 million residents and not in baseless whispering campaigns. I supported the ordinances because these are matters of basic fairness to me: No one should have to come to work when he or she is ill and no one who works should have to live in poverty. Others see these matters differently — I understand that. If the leaders of some suburbs do not share my values, so be it. But to introduce a straw man into the conversation, with no basis in fact, is more than disappointing and does nothing to further what should be our mutual goals for improving the quality of life in Cook County. — Toni Preckwinkle, president, Cook County Board


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