Cook County Board Approves Salary Increases for All County Elected Officials Along with Yearly Adjustments in Perpetuity
Cook County Special Finance Committee and Special Board Meeting
May 24, 2022
By a vote of 13 to 4, the Finance Committee and then the Board approved Item 22-2825, which provides for a 10% increase as of the beginning of the new terms of all County Elected Officials, effective December 2022 (2024 for the Clerk of the Court). Thereafter, the salaries will be further adjusted each year by the lower of 3% or the change in the Chicago Consumer Price Index. Such yearly adjustments would continue until and unless there was a vote by the Board to halt or change such adjustments. The 4 nay votes came from Commissioners Aguilar, Arroyo, Deer, and Sean Morrison.
Prior to the vote, Commissioner Suffredin announced that he would be introducing an ordinance at the June Board meeting which would call for another study of salaries of comparative positions in other jurisdictions in late 2024, with any additional salary changes to be voted on by the end of March 2025. As explained by Commissioner Suffredin, this would provide notice to any potential candidates for the elected positions of what the salaries would be effective with the new terms that would begin in 2026 and 2028.
The Civic Federation in verbal testimony and the League of Women Voters of Cook County in written testimony both expressed support for the salary increases for the next terms. However, both opposed the continuation of yearly adjustments beyond the 4-year terms without further study and affirmative vote. Expressing opposition to any salary increases was former Commissioner and current candidate for Cook County President Richard Boykin.
Observer: Priscilla Mims
Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting
May 12, 2022
Commissioners Anaya, Miller, and Gainer questioned Cook County Health’s Chief Executive Officer Israel Rocha concerning a proposed transfer of funds and the continuing problem of filling nursing positions. Commissioner Gainer asked CEO Rocha to report back to this Board next month on the measures being taken to improve the hiring process. Commissioner Sims said part of the problem is due to following all the steps required under the Shakman consent order. CEO Rocha said his staff has been working with the Office of the Independent Inspector General to see what changes could be made.
The Board approved the following:
The Board referred to the Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee:
The Board referred to the Rules Committee:
The Board referred to the Technology and Innovation Committee:
The Board referred to the Litigation Finance Subcommittee the 2022 1st Quarter Inspector General’s Report.
League Observer: Priscilla Mims
Cook County Board Finance Committee Meeting
May 11, 2022
The Commissioners agreed to consider a Substitute to replace the original version of a proposed ordinance to increase the salaries of all County elected officials. However, the Commissioners further agreed to delay voting on the merits of the Substitute to a meeting of the Committee to be held later this month. The League of Women Voters of Cook County, both in written and verbal testimony at this meeting had urged this delay in order to provide the public more time to review and provide input on this proposal. (Item 22-2825)
Under the Substitute
Equity Fund, ARPA Proposals,Transgender Issues, COVID Update - All Considered by Cook County Commissioners at Committee Meetings
Cook County Board Committee Meetings
May 9 and 11, 2022
May 9 Finance Committee meeting –Equity Fund
May 11 Business & Economic Development Committee meeting – American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fund
May 11 Human Relations Committee meeting – Transgender Issues
May 11 Health & Hospitals Committee meeting – COVID Update
Cook County Commissioners Urge Stakeholder Unity not Finger Pointing to Deal with August Tax Bill Delay
Cook County Commissioners Finance And Technology Committees
Joint Meeting on April 25, 2022
The special meeting was held at the urging of Commissioner Sean Morrison to bring the key stakeholders together to get their commitment to work together on getting the 2nd installment tax bills out no later than mid-November 2022. Key were the chair of the Board of Review, the Chief of Staff of the Assessor’s Office, and the Chief Information Office, Bureau of Technology (BOT). The County Clerk’s Chief of Staff and Treasurer also provided comments.
Board of Review (BOR): Chair Larry Rogers stated he just received two days ago the remaining 70% of the required assessment information that his office needs to begin the appeal process for the 2021 assessments; that it will take his office 4-5 months at the earliest to process the appeals and get the information to the Clerk’s office to calculate the tax bill; which then goes to the Treasurer for printing, mailing, and collection. Mr. Rogers stated that his office ran largely by paper until 2015 when it converted to a digital appeal processing system [not the Tyler Platform]. He emphasized that he ran a parallel paper system to work out problems before relying solely on the digital platform. The BOR is not on the new Tyler System.
Assessor's Office (OA): The Chief of Staff, Sarah Resnick, who stated that she takes full responsibility for steering the input of property assessment data to the new Tyler Platform, stopped the parallel input of underlying data such as square footage to the decades old Mainframe Platform in July of 2021 after finding that the transfer of detailed data was almost impossible between the systems causing many errors and re-inputs. The Mainframe is the platform that the Board of Review has used for decades to obtain the needed information from the Assessor. The Chief of Staff contacted the BOR and the BOT to ask that they all work together to find a solution. A successful interface was developed, but it is the reason for the delay; and it was done without the BOR. In the meantime, the underlying information was already on the Tyler system; and the interface was offered to the BOR in September of 2021. However, it would require training of BOR technicians by the Assessor’s office; and the BOR declined, saying it has to be independent of the Assessor’s office.
Bureau of Technology (BOT): Tom Lynch was questioned as to his recommendation to run a parallel system between the new Tyler and the old Mainframe. He said he did make the recommendation. When asked if it was impossible to input the underlying data from Tyler to the Mainframe, he said it would be very difficult but not impossible. He also stated that the BOR was not included in the transition to the Tyler Platform as were all the other Stakeholders because the BOR used a 2015 Platform that was modern. He noted that not all systems can be replaced at the same time and that the best practice is to stagger rollouts. He said the “legacy system” which is the mainframe has to be retired. He also said that the interface is working.
Suggestions by Comm. Sean Morrison include: Increase Overtime; increase hearing staff; use retired staff on a contract basis; determine if an estimated tax bill for 2nd installment is possible. The Clerk’s Chief of Staff said that this is not a likely legal option but that he would investigate further.
Comm. Daley: Asked Mr. Rogers if the vast majority of bills can go out and the remaining that have been appealed go out later. Answer: No. The BOR needs one finite set of data. He did state that it is a good idea to bring former employees back under contract. However, with more help and more overtime, he does not believe that the five month delay in receiving the data can be made up. Daley also asked the Clerk’s chief of staff to contact the Finance Chief to see what can done to provide loans to small municipal taxing bodies if they are unable to get a bank loan.
Comm. Degnan: Encouraged BOR to get off the legacy mainframe platform so that the current issue doesn’t perpetuate.
Comm. Lowry: Asked if all three Stakeholders agreed that the 2nd installment tax bills can be out in mid-November. Answer: Yes, it is possible; but no guarantee. The Assessor’s office also stated that if it can get the information back from BOR in time, it can then meet the 2023 deadlines.
Comm. Britton: Asked if township assessors and assistant assessors could be trained to help the BOD process appeals. Answer: Would need the same system training as a new hire.
Several other Commissioners also commented or asked questions, all of which were duplicates of what is covered above.
There were six Public Speakers Representing the Following Organizations:
The Chicago Chamber of Commerce Illinois Realtors local Government Affairs Office
Western Spring’s Park District Palos Fire Protection Force,
Scofield Fire Department Building Owners and Managers Association
All were concerned about the delay in mailing the 2021 2nd Installment Tax Bills and its effect on their constituents and vulnerable Cook County homeowners.
Observer: Diane Edmundson
Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting
April 7, 2022
The Board Approved:
Other Items of Interest:
Observer: Carolyn Cosentino
Cook County Board of Commissioners Committee Meetings.
April 5, 2022
Health and Hospitals Committee
Observer - Carolyn Cosentino
Individual authors are credited at the end of each post.