Stanley S. Moore
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.
The advance of Cook County Government must continue to focus on delivering good and sound business practices. Adapting proper cause and effect mindsets of our workforce and internal processes is critical to achieving optimal results. Because of this, we must continue to expand upon the multifaceted processes that the Commissioners, elected officials and Department Heads recently experienced balancing the FY2018 Budget.
This multifaceted process must begin with all County employees ensuring clear understanding of the levels of accountability we have as a whole to the constituents we serve. The County must continue moving towards performance based budgeting to ensure that resources are being used efficiently to serve the residents of Cook County by making data-driven decisions, focusing on priority initiatives and core services. In summary, successful budgeting processes mainly begins with analyzing recurring revenue streams verses actual operational expenses then recommending enhancements through streamlining and/or consolidating measures were appropriate.
If faced in budget debates with cutting the county's payroll or raising taxes, which one will you choose, and why? Please be decisive.
When faced with tough decisions, I will take the tough vote if it is the right thing to do. No one is in favor of raising taxes, in particular property taxes. The 4th District residents are at-risk of losing their homes. In this instance, streamlining operations would be a better option for review versus increasing taxes.
Do you favor or oppose privatization of county services and downsizing of the county's workforce?
Privatization is does not always equal savings; however, I am open to streamlining operations to be more efficient within Cook County departmental operations. In 2017, we laid-off 360 employees to balance a $200M budget deficit.
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?
As Chairman of Asset Management, I would work with the President and my colleagues to identify and undertake additional cost saving measures through the sale of unnecessary old and outdated Cook County-owned and operated government buildings and properties for closure. Also, I would identify underutilized County Courthouses, Forest Preserve facilities and even duplicative Health Care Clinics. Lastly, I would work to improve billing and collection procedures at Cook County Heath & Hospital Systems.
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 see that Cook County runs smoothly in all facets. As a Cook County Board Member, I support the use of technology (i.e. electronic monitoring) as a cost-savings method by way of eliminating costly transportation expenses of thousands of detainees to and from court for bond and continuance hearing appearances. Recently, the Chief Judge stated that he does not believe that State law allows Cook County to use this technology on a broad-base. If Cook County could implement this technology to include VOP (i.e. Violation of Probation) Violations and BFW (i.e. Bond Forfeiture Warrants) Hearings, it could potentially save the County millions.
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.
The County is currently entered into many intergovernmental agreements to perform Public Works across the County. I do not support the Sherriff's Office taking over the Forest Preserve's Police Department. The Sherriff's Office is focused on criminal activities, while the Forest Preserve Police are preservationist who protect the natural preserves of over 75,000 acres. If the Sherriff's Office were to assume these duties, that focus would be lost.
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?
It is very costly to maintain unincorporated areas of Cook County. The issue is that there are some communities that could afford to take over the unincorporated areas but choose not to because the revenue that unincorporated areas collect in property taxes does not cover the expenses of those areas. The infrastructure like sewer and water, streets and highway paving and repair are extremely costly. The actions that I would take to make Cook County more affordable for working families and small businesses are to: 1) refine the language of the Tax Incentive Code, 2) work to pass an ordinance that would give tax breaks to businesses that operate in economically distressed communities, and 3) remove barriers to businesses that desire to operate in Cook County.
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?
I support the reforms pushed by the ICPR because my District has seen some of the highest tax bills for residential property across the County, these reforms including disclosure of the assessor's methods and data, independent oversight of the office and new measures to ensure fair and accurate assessments will help to level the playing field. The County Board has a responsibility to protect residential and commercial property owners from undervalued low-priced residential properties while undervaluing high-priced ones. The regressivity in the assessments is the leading cause for inequalities in property tax bills, which gives the wealthy unsanctioned tax breaks while the rest of us middle and low-income residents are suffering.
For incumbents: During your current term, on what proposed ordinances have you been the primary sponsor? For challengers: What proposed ordinances would you introduce?
Working in Partnership with the Cook County Chief Judge's Office to Create A Speakers Bureau as an Education Tool to Promote the Importance of Civic Engagement; Report of Lost, Stolen, Destructed or Transferred Firearms; Resolution to Urge the United States Congress to Provide Free Burial of Spouses and Dependents of Veterans at all Veteran Cemeteries; Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA) Resolution for bring a manufacturing program to the 4th District of Cook County and creating jobs, Repair and replacement of main water line Breakage, Mandatory retirement age of law enforcement canines, Supporting the Illinois CREATE Transportation Program and Urging the Illinois General Assembly to create legislation to approve funding support for the 2020 Decennial Census.