Democratic candidate for Cook County Board (4th District district)
Responses to our questions
In preparing future budgets, Cook County may face rising costs and static revenues. How should county government evolve? What specific finance strategy will you encourage for producing balanced budgets? Please be decisive.
Cook County Government's evolution should be anchored in a culture of expanding the tax base, decreasing costs and cutting wasteful spending. This is the basic principle of balanced budgets. Therefore, the finance strategy that should be encouraged would be to emphasize increase revenue and decrease in spending.
If faced in budget debates with cutting the county's payroll or raising taxes, which one will you choose, and why? Please be decisive.
Neither. The only cuts that would need to be made would be cuts to obvious wasteful expenditures. There would be no need to cut the counties payroll or raise taxes. The goal will be to expand the tax base.
Do you favor or oppose privatization of county services and downsizing of the county's workforce?
Privatization of county services is not the answer. Privatization has the potential of increased spending in the long run. As for "downsizing of the county's workforce," there would be no reason for county employees to lose their jobs if the county adopts the culture of expanding its tax base and cutting wasteful spending.
The relative stability of the county health system has reduced the costs to taxpayers. How can the county now stabilize the finances of the public safety and court systems?
Stabilization within the public safety system can be achieved via dedicated budgeting. Avenues of wasteful spending must be identified within the Cook County Court system in order to achieve budget stabilization.
What is the role of the County Board in accelerating criminal defendants' time to trial and otherwise speeding up the flow of court cases? What if any changes do you propose for defendants' pre-trial release and electronic monitoring?
The role of the county board is to work closely with the legislature to implement criminal justice reform. Issues such as pretrial release and electronic monitoring would be appropriately addressed with the criminal justice reform.
Do you favor or oppose contracting with municipalities or other public bodies to take over services now provided by the county's highway department, the forest preserve police, and other county-run offices? Please be specific.
This would be determined by rather or not it saves costs to the county
Do you believe unincorporated areas of Cook County are paying their share for services provided by the county? What if any changes do you propose?
Unincorporated areas of Cook County should be a matter of all levels of government (federal, state and local) including all cost sharing.
What specific changes, if any, do you advocate for Cook County's property assessment system? Do you favor or oppose creation of an office of tax administration to combine functions now performed by several offices?
The Cook County property assessment system needs reformation. Consolidation of offices is a good idea especially from the perspective of cutting costs and budget management.
For incumbents: During your current term, on what proposed ordinances have you been the primary sponsor? For challengers: What proposed ordinances would you introduce?
An ordinance that requires a super majority vote prior to tax increases.