Meeting to Make Government Efficient Starts Half Hour Late

Three weeks before primary, board president says he can save county $300 million over three years

By BJ Lutz
|  Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010  |  Updated 7:00 PM CDT
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Cook County Board President Todd Stroger

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Cook County President Todd Stroger on Tuesday called a press conference to announce his plans that would make county government more efficient and effective.

One snag:  the press conference began nearly 30 minutes late.

(Irony.  Always amusing, right?)

Exact details of the plan were not announced Tuesday, but Stroger said that by streamlining operations, removing redundancies and identifying non-taxing revenues, the county can save $300 million over the next three years.

The announcement comes three weeks before the Feb. 2 Democratic primary, but Stroger said the announcement didn't have anything to do with his campaign.

"This has actually been on the table since I first came in, but since there was so much instability coming in with a half-a-billion-dollar deficit, we didn’t have the resources to put this in place," he said. "We now are at the point where we can pull the trigger, and that's what we are doing."

Stroger faces Chicago Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terrence O'Brien and Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown in the election. All have announced their own plans for making the county more efficient.

The county is hiring EKI, a private consulting firm, for a million dollars to help with the efficiency move, WBBM-AM reported.

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