Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announced the creation of a joint committee tasked with examining county and city operations and identifying ways to cut costs.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday continued their county-city love story.
Preckwinkle and Emanuel, seen together last month to announce joint summer programs, unveiled the results of their city-county committee, identifying areas where Cook County and Chicago could work together.
The partnership could save between $66 million and more than $140 million, the couple said Monday, by sharing a few key services, including streamlining custodial services, centralizing energy management and expanding joint purchasing.
"We're going to have to pick priorities," Preckwinkle said.
Emanuel couldn't agree more. “This report is a blueprint for reform," he said in a statement. "It paves the way for a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the City and County in order to more efficiently deliver our residents with the best services for the best price.”
When the seven-member joint committee was commissioned in March, both identified health care as an area where there is too much duplication. While the County operates an extensive health care system, the city runs a network of community based clinics.
Preckwinkle noted that while the city specializes in education, the criminal justice system and the courts are a county function. And both would benefit from greater efficiencies.
"We can’t keep doing business as usual," Emanuel said. "There are things that are being done, where one entity is better at delivering the services, at a cheaper cost."