Cook County Board Finance Committee - Departmental Budget Hearings
October 24, 2018
Cook County Assessor
Cook County Treasurer
Chicago Board of Elections
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Office of the Secretary to the Board
There were 10 Cook County Commissioners present.
Cook County Assessor: Joseph Berrios
The Commissioners thanked Assessor Berrios for his serve.
Cook County Treasurer: Maria Pappas
Maria Pappas, commented that tax bills are being sent out in a timely matter and more and more people are accessing their bills and paying their bills online. March Bills will be online in December. This has saved the county money. Commissioners pointed out that all of the IT work is done in house and this has saved the County money. They also noted that the Cook County Treasurer’s Website is very user friendly.
Chicago Board of Election: Lance Gough, Executive Director
Board of Elections is continuing to grow online registrations. There has been an increase of early voting in the city and a growing participation in Vote by Mail. Commissioners asked whether new voting machines would be ready for the February and April elections. Mr. Gough responded that they will not be ready and the City of Chicago will be using the same equipment that is being used for the November 2018 Election. New equipment will be ready for the 2020 Presidential Election. He is confident that the new equipment will be secure. There was also discussion concerning the lack of polling places and judges in the City. Chicago is moving towards Voting Centers. Condominiums and schools do not want to open their spaces for voting. He said that the Super Site on West Washington is working well.
Clerk of the Circuit Court - Dorothy Brown
Dorothy Brown commented that as of July 2018, e-Filing has become mandatory for all civil areas of law. This system has caused difficulties for the Clerk’s office as the staff has had to provide extra-specialized customer service assistants to both self-represented litigants and attorneys, in order for them to e-File successfully. The challenge is not having enough employees to help. The Commissioners suggested that perhaps they might need to charge for providing help. They also suggested that a printed quick reference card or TV presentation with directions as to how to use the system could be implemented. It was noted that this system was created first for smaller counties, and then implemented for use in Cook County. Dorothy Brown would like to hire more people but cannot until they meet the budget requirement concerning the furlough days.
Office of the Secretary to the Board - Matthew De Leon
Commissioners had suggestions for the Board meetings and the boardroom
Observer: Nancy Marcus (11:00-2:00 with an hour break for lunch)
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