Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting
December 19, 2019
The Board devoted the first 2 hours of their meeting to the honoring of retiring employee Martha Martinez, former Commissioner Jerry Butler, and the late Reverend Clay Evans. Testimonials lauded Martinez for thirty-four years of exemplary service. Former Commissioner Jerry Butler received a touching tribute from the Board. HIs career as a popular vocal artist and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was noted. Commissioner Butler sang one of his hits, “Let It Be Me” to the delight of all present. The late Reverend Clay Evans was honored as an icon of the black community and for his work on civil rights with Dr. Martin Luther King.
Commissioners Daley, Deer, Suffredin, Arroyo, Sylvestri, Gainer and Moore thanked Dr. Shannon (CCH) for his service to Cook County Health. Dr. Shannon was present and acknowledged their kind words.
Observer - Georgia Gebhardt Meeting Length: 3 hours, 20 minutes (includes 40 minute lunch break)
Cook County Board of Commissioners - Committee Meetings
December 18, 2019
Dr. Terry Mason, CEO Cook County Department of Public Health, reported on an initiative to address food purchases made throughout the offices and departments of Cook County government. This includes Stroger Hospital, County Jail, Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and others. After assessing costs, vendors, quality of food for healthy eating, etc., the program will promote sustainability, economic development, using local food growers, good quality food and other healthy eating goals. The power point presentation of this program is available on cook-county.legistar.com
Other topics discussed and/or passed by the various committees:
Observed by Karin Hribar
Cook County Board of Commissioners- Finance Committee
Departmental Budget Hearing
Oct 29, 2019
Cook County Health (CCH)
Cook County Board of Commissioners Health and Hospitals Committee
September 26, 2019
This hearing was requested by the Cook County Board of Commissioners to note and understand discrepancies between the Inspector General (IG) Report and the rebuttal of Cook County Health (CCH) and the firm—Deloitte—hired by CCH to analyze the Inspector General's Report. The IG Report generally stated that CCH’s insurance program, County Care, was unsustainable and was being subsidized by Cook County taxpayers. The IG report looked at ALL of the CCH finances, not just County Care. CCH disputed this and hired Deloitte to analyze the IG report —mainly the viability of County Care—and report to the Cook County Board. Deloitte did NOT do an audit as this was done previously by another division at the firm. It also only looked at County Care and not all of CCH.
There was a lot of confusion by the Board on what was being stated by both the IG Office and Deloitte. Mainly this was because of the Accounting Systems used by CCH and the various ways accounts receivable, payable, assets, etc. can be interpreted. All parties are looking at the financials and cash flow differently. The main question of the Cook County Board was “Do we have any concerns about the stability and viability of CCH?”
Here are the basic findings as this Observer understood them:
Inspector General Report
Dr. Shannon (CEO of CCH) Statements:
Cook County Budget Office:
Observer : Karin Hribar Length of Committee Hearing: 2 hours and 20 minutes
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):
Mid-Year Budget Hearings of the Finance Committee of the Cook County Board
July 17 and 24, 2019
Over these 2 days, the Finance Committee (composed of all 17 members of the Board and chaired by John Daley) met with each elected official, bureau chief and major department head to go over the expected revenues and expenses at the end of the 2019 budget year (Nov. 30, 2019), and what was expected for 2020.
Highlights from these meetings:
Overall: It is expected that the County will end this fiscal year in the black, and no new taxes or fees will be needed to balance the budget for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year.
Cook County Health (CCH):
Chief Judge: Asked to respond to Chicago Supt. of Police’s claim that too many people are being arrested for violent crimes and being released on electronic monitoring, Chief Judge Timothy Evans provided these statistics:
Sheriff: Questions raised as to why, with significant reduction in daily jail population (from 11,000/d a few years ago to 5,600 to 5,900/d now) there hasn’t been more cost reductions in Sheriff’s budget for the jail.
Public Defender: While will not exceed budget for 2019, PD Amy Campanelli said that will be pushing for more money than President’s Office wants for 2020, in part to start an immigration unit with 4 new staff members. These would represent those charged with crimes (whom they are representing anyway in State courts in Cook County) at Federal immigration detention hearings. Cites statistic that have a 90% chance of no detention if have a lawyer and 90% chance of detention if do not. Would not work past detention hearing, but leave to pro bono immigration attorneys to handle the rest of Federal cases.
County Clerk (elections):
County Clerk and Recorder merger in December 2020:
Observer: Priscilla Mims
Individual authors are credited at the end of each post.