Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee - Departmental Budget Hearings
Day #7 - October 28, 2016
Cook County Sheriff - presented by Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff
FY17 - $633,359,903
FY16 - $520,257,341
FY17 - 6,667 FTEs
FY16 - 6,772 FTE’s
In 2016 - Detainees in the Jail number about 8300 with approximately 2500 on Electronic Monitoring (EM)
In 2010 - Detainees numbered closer to 10,000 in jail with only a few hundred on EM.
Key Information Presented:
Sheriff Dart gave a short presentation about how his budget is up while his jail population is down. He indicated the cost of overtime and the increase in special programs set up for detainees are the reasons for the budget increase. His officers are also spending more time helping other police districts, especially in the southern suburbs. Most of his time was spent answering the commissioners’ questions. He took all of the questions very seriously and gave thoughtful and expansive answers. When he did not have a good answer ready for a serious issue, he always said “I would welcome suggestions on how to handle this.” By appearing to not know everything about law enforcement and incarceration, he used his time to engage in a very thoughtful dialogue. The Commissioners who were present were Sims, Garcia, Boykin, Morrison, Silvestri, Schneider, Moore, Gainer, and Daley.
Questions/Comments from Commissioners:
Cook County State’s Attorney - presented by Gavin Ambrose, Chief of Staff for SA
FY17 - $21,733,224
FY16 - $21,709,450
FY17 - 1,327
FY16 - 1,391
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez did not show up for the State's Attorney budget presentation. She had sent a written statement prior to the the meeting to all of the Commissioners. Those present (Daley, Boykin, Garicia Silvestri, Sims, Moore, Gainer, Morrison, and Schneider) did not want her statement read aloud by her Chief of Staff, Gavin Ambrose. Instead, Mr. Ambrose and other staffers did their best to answer the questions of the commissioners.
Written Statement: After the meeting I (the observer) was told that I could find the statement online under “Meeting Details”. The statement listed some of the achievements that the SA had completed during her 8 years in office. These included;
Questions/Concerns of the Commissioners:
Overall, it would have been better to have heard directly from the State’s Attorney. The answers given were not as in depth as they would have been had she been present.
Observer - Jan Goldberg
Finance Committee Meeting of the Cook County Board - February 9, 2016
Significant Decision Made:
The Committee unanimously approved a resolution calling upon the State's Attorney to:
The County’s 2016 budget was balanced based on the expectation of receiving $225.2 million from the State. However, as a result of the State’s fiscal crisis and the lack of a budget authorizing expenditures, the State is paying monies owed to the County very late, if at all.
The main concern at the moment is that the County will not receive $31 million broken down as follows:
- $2 million (to date, but more costs will be incurred) for the State's Attorney's Appellate Assistance Program (which has to be done, so if the State isn't covering it, the County will have to)
- $2.1 million for the Department of Public Health to conduct inspections that are mandated by the State (so again, if the State won't pay, the County will have to)
- $1.8 million for a street project at 167th Street in Harvey that is already underway by the County, but for which word has been received that state funding (previously granted) will not be coming.
Observer: Priscilla Mims
Cook County Board Meeting, 12/16/15
Observed by: Nancy Marcus
Significant Decisions Made:
Item 16-0557 Cook County Board meeting schedule for 2016. The calendar was approved, there will be 15 meetings, 1 meeting per month including July and August and 2 meetings in the following months: March, June, and October.
Two items proposed by the Justice Advisory Council were approved:
Item 16-0574 an approved as amended resolution sponsored by Commissioner John Fritchey and Jesus Garcia. This is a request to the Cook County State’s Attorney to appear before a hearing of the Criminal Justice Committee to discuss the investigation and indictment in the LaQuan McDonald case. Commissioner Fritchey introduced an amendment to this resolution, waiving the 24-hour rule, to delete all reference to the LaQuan McDonald case and add that the State's Attorney appear to discuss the investigation and handling of alleged police misconduct matters. There was discussion as to whether this is an appropriate request. Gavin Ambose, Chief of Staff of the State's Attorney Office, stated an objection to this request..
Item 16-0420, is a report from David Orr, County Clerk and approved by the Commissioners regarding the proposed confirmation and appointment of Election Judges.
Item 15-5906 ordinance, Liquid Hazardous waste ordinance and fee. The Commissioners concurred with the Environmental Control Committee to approve this ordinance.
Significant Topics Discussed and/or Referred to Committee:
Item 16-0475 is a proposed ordinance sponsored by Commissioner Richard Boykin, This is to amend section 2-331 of the Cook County Guidelines for Special State’s Attorney pertaining to the prosecution of alleged offenses by members of the Police Department. Since there could be a presumption that the CC State’s Attorney has an interest in the case; therefore, the appointment of a Special State's Attorney should occur. This was referred to the Criminal Justice Committee.
Item 16-0577 proposed resolution sponsored by Commissioner Richard Boykin, calling on the Circuit Court of Cook County to appoint a Special State’s Attorney to handle the prosecution of Officer Jason Van Dyke. In light of the Tribune Editorial (Wednesday, December 16,2017) written by Chief Judge Timothy Evans, stating why he could not appoint a special prosecutor, this was referred to the Criminal Justice Committee.
Unexpected Votes, Events, Testimony or Items to Watch for in the Future:
Emily Harris, Executive Director of ADA 25 Chicago, testified in support of the renovations of the Cook County Board Room. Adam Baler of Access Living also testified in favor of the renovations.
Any Other Comments or Observations:
The meeting was 2 1/2 hours; 1 hour of the meeting was the Consent Calendar.
Individual authors are credited at the end of each post.