Cook County Board of Commissioners Committee Meetings
Nov 20, 2019
Highlights from the meetings:
Commissioner Silvestri stated that at the Litigation Subcommittee meeting on Nov 19, the compliance administrators gave a positive report that the Assessor's office is moving quickly, the Clerk of the Court's pace has picked up and the Recorder of Deeds is at a good point in achieving compliance with the Shakman decrees. The next status update to the Litigation Subcommittee will be Feb 2020. It was hoped compliance would be achieved for the Recorder of Deeds before its merger with the Clerk's office, Dec 1, 2020.
Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee
Representatives from the Recorder of Deeds and Clerk's office presented a status update on their merger (agenda item 19-6178). Agreements have been made between the two regarding open dialog/communications and information sharing. Work groups have been established. Areas of early consolidation discussed were procurement and financial (merging bank accounts). Commissioner Suffredin suggested that the Recorder of Deeds and Clerk meet with the League of Women Voters as he said this outside group has continued to send questions regarding the merger process and were involved in the Nov 2016 referendum.
Rules and Administration Committee
The Just Housing Amendment, that Cook County's housing providers do not discriminate against individuals with a criminal history/convictions when they apply for housing, was passed spring 2019 by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Interpretive rules for this Just Housing Amendment have been worked out over the past months. The Proposed Second Substitute to agenda item # 19-4770 on file (regarding the Just Housing Amendment Interpretive Rules) was adopted. The motion to receive and file the adopted Proposed Second Substitute 19-4770 was passed which sends the rules to the full Cook County board of Commissioners for final approval. There were many groups at the committee meeting presenting views on affordable and fair housing, criminal justice, disabilities and racial discrimination since historically individuals with a criminal history/convictions have a history of not obtaining safe and stable housing.
Observed by Michele Niccolai
Cook County Board Finance Committee Meeting and Board Meeting November 21, 2019
After the Finance Committee considered and passed 15 amendments to the proposed budget, the Cook County Board then passed the 2020 budget, as amended. (Item 19-5916) by a vote of 15 yeas, 1 nay, and 1 absent. The one negative vote was cast by Commissioner Sean Morrison who expressed concern over the total size of the budget and how it has more than doubled since 2011. He said that he would have preferred to maintain the amount budgeted for 2019 and use the additional revenues to further bolster the pension fund. Commissioner Morrison did not, however, offer any amendments to do so. Commissioner Tobolski was absent, as he was throughout the budget meetings.
The 15 amendments that were passed added an additional $23 million to the proposed budget which came from:
Chairman Daley and Commissioner Silvestri thanked a number of people at the end, including the League for observing the budget meetings and providing questions for a number of departments.
Observer: Priscilla Mims
Several Contracts Questioned by Commissioners at Cook County Board Meeting Especially for Clerk Of Court Brown
Cook County Board of Commissioners - Meeting - September 26, 2019
Absent: Commissioner Tobolski
Items referred to Committees for future discussion and consideration:
Committee Recommendations Approved:
Very quickly and without much explanation the following committee items were approved by the Board of Commissioners (I may have missed some that were bundled with other items and approved):
Cook County Board of Commissioners
Committee Meetings - September 25, 2019
The Cook County Board of Commissioners held 14 committee meetings lasting from 9:30am until 5:00pm. For the most part any actions taken in the committee meetings will need final approval by the full Board at their meeting to be held on 9/26.
Highlights from the meetings:
Finance Committee - Questions were asked of the Comptroller during his report about the Health Fund variance which he reported as an unfavorable variance of $426m. There was discussion of the timing of revenues/expenses; whether the reporting is done on a cash or accrual basis; what is causing the variance. Nothing was resolved and Comm. Daley said more information would be provided at the hearing scheduled for the next day.
Zoning and Building Committee - Approved an ordinance amendment that apparently prohibits roosters and limits fowl to 5 on lots of less than an acre. and also has something to do with the regulation of horses. (Agenda Item 19-1648) As there was no discussion, the observer is uncertain as to exactly how this amendment changes the ordinance in question.
Transportation Committee - John Yonan, Supt. Dept. of Transportation and Highways, gave a report outlining a 3 year pilot program focused on south Cook County that will work to establish a more equitable transportation network throughout the county. His department is working with RTA, Metra, CTA, and Pace to integrate fare systems and decrease fares in an effort to increase ridership. Next steps involve negotiating intergovernmental agreements. The report was received and filed. (Agenda Item 19-5211)
Rules and Administration Committee - The committee approved a document with suggested modifications to the The Just Housing Amendment Interpretive Rules (Agenda Item 19-4770) that if passed by the board at the 9/26 meeting will be sent to the Human Rights Commission (HRC). It will then be up to the HRC to possibly hold hearings and work with the advocates to make any further revisions to the rules for implementation of this amendment. The HRC is responsible for enforcement once the rules are established. Comm. Suffredin stated that it is the job of the Cook County Commissioners to ensure that the rules reflect the intent of the Ordinance and that is why they are submitting these suggestions to the HRC. When the HRC finishes drafting the rules they will come back to the Rules Committee and then should go to the CC Board for final approval at the October board meeting. Comm. Sean Morrison requested that the SA give an opinion on the legality of the rules as well. The ordinance is supposed to go into effect by the end of the year so they want to get these rules finalized. There were several speakers again at this meeting voicing their support and or concerns with the rules.
Health and Hospitals Committee - Approved an ordinance amendment updating the Lead Poisoning Prevention ordinance. (Agenda Item 19-4222). Dr. Terry Mason gave his third quarter report on the Dept. of Public Health and focused on the nursing services provided.
Business and Economic Development Committee - Approved a contract for Administrative Services to oversee the 2020 Census in Cook County to ensure an accurate count. They will provide a plan for each Commissioner District by December 2019 and provide monthly updates on the implementation of the plans. The Commissioners requested that the plans be sure to include suburban Cook and not just focus on the city.
Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee - Approved an ordinance amendment that requires the chief sponsor of any board action that will impose additional duties or cost on a department, agency or elected official to request a statement from the affected department, agency or official outlining the additional duties and cost. This is to be done before the action is voted on. (Agenda Item 19-4912)
Homeland Security Committee - Had a presentation about the Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. A plan is necessary if federal disaster funds are ever needed. 121 communities are included in this plan.
Asset Management Committee - Approved a contract for demolition services to demolish Divisions 1 and 1A at the Jail. Demolition will take about 18 months once they get going. (Agenda Item 19-4975) The committee went into an Executive Session that lasted 70 minutes to discuss acquisition of real estate (Agenda Item 19-5233 ) No comments were made after the session and they voted to approve with 1 dissenting vote by Comm. Sean Morrison.
Criminal Justice Committee - Approved a Substitute Ordinance known as Article III - Protections for Charitable Rotating Criminal Bond Funds and Third-Party Sureties. The changes ensure that if a bond is posted by a non profit or third party that is not legally obligated to post bond, then fees, court charges, and attorney fees will not be taken out of the cash posted. It also ensures that such posting of bond will not prevent a person from representation by a Public Defender. (Agenda Item 19-0768) There was no discussion and it was approved.
Observer - Cynthia Schilsky
Cook County Board of Commissioners Committee Meetings
September 4, 2019
Chair Larry Suffredin announced at the beginning of the meeting that the Committee would hear all the public comments, but would not take any action on the proposed Just Housing Amendment Interpretive Rules from the Department of Human Rights and Ethics. Instead, the Department and Committee would consider all the comments, written and verbal, and consider whether any changes were warranted. (Agenda Item 19-4770)
Legislation & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee
Observer - Priscilla Mims
Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting - September 5, 2019
A Request to enter into and execute a contract with Axon Enterprise, Scottsdale, AZ Axon Enterprise provides law enforcement grade weapons and tech services. The contract is for 5 yr, 9/12/2019 - 9/11/2024. Explanations were provided for the Commissioners’ many questions. It was explained that this contract will provide upgrades and expansion of the existing body worn cameras and TASER weapons inventory that are needed to supply more Cook County Sheriff Department Officers with equipment. Axon is the only company that sells law-enforcement grade weapons which are sold strictly to law enforcement agencies. The TASER will activate their body worn camera; it is the only weapon that will activate the camera. The cloud storage system is unique to Axon. The cameras’ recordings will be sharable with the Public Defender’s Office. The contract was approved. (Agenda Item 19-5076)
The Fair Transit of South Cook County Pilot Study was referred to the Transportation Committee for a more detailed presentation. Commissioner Miller stated that the Public Meeting in the South Suburbs was well attended. Supt. Yonan explained that this 3 year Pilot Program is ready for implementation. The program has several goals, including modest service improvement and improved coordination with PACE, Metra, and CTA. Another benefit of the program should be facilitating access to employment. Yonan explained that Year 1 is the implementation phase. Years 2 & 3 are to evaluate the impact of improvements. (Agenda Item 19-4276)
Criminal Justice Committee - Charitable Bond Fund Commissioner Suffredin reported that the Criminal Justice Committee is waiting for responses from the State’s Attorney’s Office and from the County Clerk regarding questions of implementation of this program. The Committee will return with a completed proposal at the next meeting.
Observer - C. Cosentino Meeting Length - 2 hr. 25 min
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