Last week was a historic one for the taxpayers of Cook County, as the Board of Commissioners took a creative approach to trimming the county’s budget by $200 million.
That was the amount needed after the sweetened beverage tax was repealed last month.
Advocates for the tax said it was impossible. But the budget that was passed proves that it is indeed possible to serve the interests of the county taxpayers, as well as those residents that county government exists to serve.
This FY 2018 budget passed the Board by a vote of 17-0. The County is the only unit of government that did not raise taxes to balance the budget. Also, we maintain the level of services in public health and safety that constituents have become accustomed too. We made the difficult decision to adjust our workforce and eliminate more than 1000 vacant positions.
I am very pleased to report that my amendment to create a special position in the Office of the Inspector General to investigate allegations of sexual harassment passed unanimously.
As we look toward FY 2019 I look forward to working with you to continue much needed structural reforms in county government.