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Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission

Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Gregory Pratt

Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission

Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on Wednesday deferred his proposal to create a revenue forecasting commission that would give the board independent financial analyses, delaying a public battle with Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

The measure to create a Congressional Budget Office-style panel, dubbed the Consensus Revenue Commission, had placed Garcia at odds with Preckwinkle, who Garcia serves as floor leader.

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Through spokeswoman Joanna Klonsky, Garcia said he’ll continue to build support from the public and fellow commissioners over the summer.

Earlier in the week, Garcia said he has six votes so far and hailed the proposal as “an example of what good government can be.”

“As a complement to the work of the county’s chief financial officer, this entity would serve as a research arm and assist commissioners in fully understanding how much money we need to operate Cook County and where the needed revenue should come from,” he said.

READ MORE: Preckwinkle, Garcia at odds over independent financial analysis commission »

Preckwinkle’s office, meanwhile, released a statement opposing the measure, saying it is not “at this time” an “appropriate use of tax dollars.” Her office said it’s redundant and unnecessary, due to the administration’s strong track record of financial forecasting, and would cost more than $600,000 per year.

“Incurring additional expenses at a time when we continue to face financial challenges and have to make difficult decisions on how to balance our budget would be irresponsible,” spokeswoman Becky Schlikerman said in a statement.

Garcia disputed the cost, estimating it will be far less.

gpratt@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @royalpratt

READ MORE: Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall »



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