Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting – July 19, 2017
Significant Decisions Made:
Significant topics discussed:
Observer - Syvia Tillman Meeting lasted: 9:30 a.m. until after 6:30 p.m.
Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee Hearing - July 18, 2017
Purpose: To discuss the alleged unfairness in the Cook County Property Tax Assessment System - an issue recently raised in a series of articles in the Chicago Tribune.
County Assessor Berrios and five senior professionals from his staff testified in front of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Also supplying testimony were Christopher Berry from the University of Chicago, Robert Weissburg, and seven spokespersons representing various community groups from low income neighborhoods within the city of Chicago.
Assessor's Office Testimony:
Assessor Berrios and his staff testified regarding the methodology used to determine real estate assessments. The following points were made:
Those testifying for the assessor’s office emphasized their high degree of professionalism and their dedication to do whatever they could to be fair and uniform in their assessments. Assessor Berrios called for an independent body to be created to examine their practices and to recommend changes that would improve the system.
Other Expert Testimony:
Christopher Berry from the University of Chicago and Robert Weissburg, an expert in modeling, gave a different perspective.
Following the testimony, Board commissioners asked clarifying questions and inquired as to when the independent group would be formed and ready to begin its analysis of the current system. There was no commitment as to the date that would happen.
Additional Finance Committee Business:
Cook County staff came back to the board for a change order to receive additional funds for the Measurement & Maintenance segment of a $60 million contract already approved by the Board.
Observer - Georgia Gebhardt
Taxpayer Subsidy to CCHHS Down by 77% Since 2009; Still Projected to Run a $221M Deficit in 2017 Due in Large Part to Uncompensated Care
Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee - Departmental Budget Hearings
October 18, 2016
Cook County Health and Hospital System - presented by Dr. Jay Shannon, CEO
FY17 - $1.849 Billion dollars
FY16 - $1.714 Billion dollars
Net gain of $135,000,000
FY17 - 6,865
FY16 - 6,736
Net gain of 129 FTEs
Key Information Presented by Department:
Questions/Comments from Commissioners:
New hires are skilled in safety, quality assurance, care managers and Medicaid managed care administration.
Observer - Susan Kern
Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee and Special Board Meeting
November 10, 2016
Significant Items Discussed/Approved:
After 3 hours of public testimony mixed with pros and cons, the Finance Committee considered the proposed one (1) cent per ounce tax on non-alcoholic beverages that contain any caloric or non-caloric sweetener. The proposal was amended twice: once based on an amendment noticed on the County’s web site, and once based on an amendment offered by Commissioner Gainer from the floor. The final version considered included a provision which reduces the volume on which the tax is based by 5% (increased from 2% in the first amendment) for powdered and syrup product to account for spillage and preparation of the beverage at the retail level. (Agenda Item 16-5931)
The Finance Committee did not recommend that the Board pass this tax since the vote ended in an 8-8 tie. At the subsequent Special Board Meeting, Commissioner Daley, the chair of the Finance Committee, moved the passage of the item, notwithstanding the failure of the Committee to recommend passage. Again the Board vote was 8 to 8, which then allowed the President of the Board the ability to cast a vote to break the tie.
Voting for: Commissioners Arroyo, Butler, Daley, Garcia, Moody, Moore, Sims, Suffredin, and President Preckwinkle.
Voting against: Commissioners Boykin, Fritchey, Gainer, Goslin, Morrison, Schneider, Silvestri, and Tobolski.
Commissioner Steele was absent, having had surgery earlier in the week and now recovering at home.
Had this tax not passed, there would have been a budget hole that would have needed to have been filled with either additional revenues or additional expense cuts. Chairman Daley said that there were no revenue proposals that had been offered, and Commissioners have been talking about adding expenses for additional public defenders and maintaining some positions that had been proposed to be eliminated.
The full budget, along with amendments, will be considered on Tuesday, November 15 at meetings of the Finance Committee and Board.
Observer: Priscilla Mims
FY 2017 COOK COUNTY BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING
OCTOBER 24, 2016, 6:30 PM
SECOND DISTRICT COURT HOUSE, SKOKIE, ILLINOIS
The following Commissioners were present: Daley, Goslin, Silvestri, Morrison, Schneider, Steele, Suffredin, Sims, and Garcia. Commissioner Boykin was present for the beginning of the meeting.
There were 51 public speakers expressing their concerns about the proposed 2017 Cook County Budget to a standing room only crowd.
Three major Areas of Concern:
1 cent per ounce Tax on sugary beverages:
Opposed included the Teamster Union, Pepsi Co, Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper and Snapple Group (including beverage delivery drivers, distributors and managers of plants.), Marcus Theatre, IL Beverage Association, IL Retail Grocery Industry, IL Retail Merchant Association, and IL Committee of Blind Vendors.
Out sourcing of Toxicology Lab at the Medical Examiner's Office
This topic provoked a lot of discussion. Current employees of the Medical Examiner’s office raised the following concerns:
Public Defender's Need for More Staff
Kevin Ochalia, AFCME Local 3715, Stephanie Schleger, Public Defender’s Office, and Jeanne Bishop, Public Defender’s office, spoke to the need to increase funding in the budget for the Public Defenders Office.
Observers - Nancy Marcus and Sue Kravis
Cook County Board Finance Committee Budget Hearings
Public Hearing - County Board Room
October 31, 2016 - 9 am to 2 pm
Well over 100 speakers registered to speak, meaning that there was not sufficient room for all to be in the room at the same time. A Spanish interpreter was made available for anyone needing that service.
Commissioners Present: Because this observer was not able to be in the room, it was difficult to tell which Commissioners were there for the hearing. However, it was clear from the live stream that showed the entire Board floor from time to time that for much of the meeting there were only a few Commissioners present at any given time. Chairman Daley was there throughout.
Observer - Priscilla Mims
Individual authors are credited at the end of each post.