Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee Meeting and Board Meeting
November 20, 2017
Board members present: All 17
In a break from past practice, the Board meeting was convened first in order to allow 29 public speakers to be heard. Most of these speakers were either employees scheduled to lose their jobs or their union representatives. Many of these employees had over 15 years with the County. However, the repeal of the sweetened beverage tax meant a loss of $200 million in revenues for 2018, and the only way to balance the budget was with a reduction in personnel costs, the largest portion of the budget.
After the public speakers, the Board meeting recessed so the Finance Committee could convene and consider 6 amendments to balance the budget and make necessary corrections. After passing 5 of the 6 amendments, there was a delay because they were waiting for copies of a substitute amendment 2-S-1, which was posted on the web site shortly after 12 noon. The Commissioners waived the rule requiring at least 24 hours prior notice in order to vote on the amendment, which contained the vast majority of the decreases in expenditures and employee positions necessary to balance the budget. This amendment eliminated
While furlough days had been suggested by the Chief Judge in lieu of layoffs, only the Clerk of the Court Dorothy Brown was able to secure the written acceptance of the affected unions, so only her area will utilize furlough days. Besides the Clerk of the Court’s area, there were no layoffs in the offices of the Public Defender, Recorder of Deeds, State’s Attorney, or Treasurer, although they did lose currently vacant positions which all but the Treasurer would have liked to have filled.
Sixteen out of the 17 Commissioners were sponsors of all 6 amendments. Only Commissioner Garcia was not a sponsor, but he voted along with all the other Commissioners for all 6 amendments.
Some of the comments by the Commissioners included:
Observer - Priscilla Mims
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