Cook County Board of Commissioners - Finance Committee
Departmental Budget Hearing
October 30, 2019:
Commissioners Absent: Deer, Gainer, Tobolski, Sean Morrison
Clerk of the Circuit Court: Dorothy Brown
Recorder of Deeds: Ed Moody
County Clerk: Karen Yarborough
Office of Inspector General: Patrick Blanchard
Recorder of Deeds Tells Cook County Board that Talks Have Not Yet Begun Concerning Merger with County Clerk's Office
Cook County Board Finance Committee - Budget Hearings
Oct. 23, 20018 afternoon session
Cook County Land Bank
Cook County Clerk
Recorder of Deeds
Commissioners Present: Daley, Boykin, Silvestri, Morrison, Goslin, Schneider, Gainer, Moody and Deer.
As the observer for this meeting, I was struck by 2 things. The reports went extremely quickly especially compared to last year. This year no department took over 20 minutes as compared to well over an hour each last year. Also the commissioners asked very few substantive questions. Mostly they had comments and compliments for the heads of each department.
Highlights of each department include:
Cook County Land Bank
Director Rob Rose explained the mission of the land bank is to buy up abandoned and foreclosed properties and resell them to potential owners at reduced prices. The main group of buyers for these properties are homeowners. The main geographic areas of focus are the west and south sides of Chicago and the southern suburbs. When no buyers can be found, the Land Bank is responsible for upkeep of the property including lawn care and snow removal.
Some of their successes include:
Cook County Clerk:
David Orr explained that his office is not just about elections, though it seems that way at this time of the year. His office handles tax revenue collection from over 1500 separate taxing bodies in Cook County. And if you want to get married in Cook County his office provides the certificate.
During his tenure as Clerk, Mr. Orr cited some successes:
Commissioner Silvestri thanked him for making a paper back- up ballot mandatory when using the touchscreen.
Commissioner Schneider said that he has defended the Clerk’s performance vehemently over the years whenever the right wing of his party criticized him.
Lots of good luck wishes could be heard as he left the room.
Recorder of Deeds
Karen Yarbrough said that her office always brings in more money than she spends. Since she took over in 2012 her numbers of FTE’s are down 50%. Some of her successes include:
Commissioner Morrison asked about the merger between her office and the clerk’s office. She said that no talks have begun yet on formulating a plan for the merger. In other counties, she said the county boards have given out plans for such a merger, but she has not received any instructions from this board. But she has plans to get the 2 staff groupings together early next year. David Orr has also promised to help with this process. She has a team in place to instruct her on the workings of the Clerk’s office.
Observer - Jan Goldberg
Cook County Board Finance Committee - July 24, 2018
Midyear Budget Hearing - Day 2 - afternoon session
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas had the shortest meeting of all:
Cook County Inspector General's Office:
Recorder of Deeds, Karen Yarborough, presented her budget at 2pm.
Clerk of the Circuit Court, Dorothy Brown, relied most of the time on the comptroller to discuss the details of her budget and whether she would be within it.
Chief Judge Tim Evans is running at 2% over budget.
Budget hearings were adjourned at 4pm. Commissioners Garcia, Sims, Daley, Silvestri, Tobolski, Deer, Boykin, Moore, Moody, and Suffredin were present for most of the budget hearings.
Observer - Amy Little
Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting - November 15, 2017
Significant Actions Taken:
Other Items of Interest:
Most of the items on the agenda were referred to committees.
Observed by: Nancy Marcus Meeting Length: 1 hour
Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee - Departmental Budget Hearings
October 30, 2017 (afternoon sessions that started at 1 pm)
Recorder of Deeds
Commissioners absent for all or most of the meetings: Arroyo, Butler, Fritchey (watching from home), Goslin, Moody
Commissioners present: Boykin, Daley, Deer, Gainer, Garcia, Moore (arrived 1:50), Morrison, Schneider, Silvestri, Sims, Suffredin (arrived 2:55), Tobolski (there for Treasurer)
Items of Interest:
Observer - Priscilla Mims
Cook County Board of Commissioners Board Meeting - April 12, 2017
At the end of the Finance Committee that preceded the Board Meeting, a report from the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) CFO stated that the state owes $45 million to the county for FY16. There is a match that the county makes to the state that is required to meet the federal match and CCHHS makes expedited payments to the state in order to get the money back from the federal government. The money is actually driven down by the CFO and hand delivered to the state office in order to prevent the continued delay from the state regarding not yet receiving the match money from the county!
Comm. Boykin asked Dr. Jay Shannon, CCHHS CEO, to explain the status of the gun violence reduction study being done by CCHHS. Dr. Shannon said that the study continues, but preliminary results show major stresses on families and communities are similar to the stresses that researchers are finding with children in Syria! Trauma Informed Care is showing that the trauma of living in a continued state of stress leads to chronic behavioral problems and ultimately to physical disease. He described it as a cascading problem. CCHHS is targeting community based care which will offer social and mental health support in the affected communities. The goal is for CCHHS to get into the community, and better results will occur. Comm. Steele suggested looking at mental health awareness. Comm. Sims then offered her own experience of visiting with families and educating families about resources available. Dr. Shannon explained that almost anything can be accomplished if the resources are available. Comm. Sims then said that she thought they all would agree to find a way and she suggested that the Dept of Human Services should take the lead. There are other models in the country where communities have put through referendums to tax the affected community in order to financially support the needed services.
During Public Comment two women from the violence impacted communities provided emotional testimony and one stated that she was with the Warriors on the Watch. They described needed services and support for neighborhoods filled with liquor stores and abandoned houses. They expressed anger about guns and gangs and kids dying in the street. They asked for work “in our communities, so we don’t have to duck and die." One called out Comm. Sims and said she is in the suburbs, not the west side. Both were verbally supported by comments from Mr. George Blakemore.
Significant Issues Discussed and/or Action Taken:
Observer - Laura Davis Meeting: 9:45 to 12:45
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