Nice Work, President Preckwinkle and Mayor Emanuel

A report says Cook County and Chicago found $70 million in savings simply by working together.

You know what I love? Good news, especially around budget issues.

Yeah, I know—I’m weird that way.

But I got a present today in the form of a report published jointly by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor Rahm Emanuel saying the City and County have identified more than $70 million in savings and revenue, as part of its City-County Collaboration. The joint effort, started in 2011, is designed to save taxpayers money and improve the quality of services by combining efforts and eliminating waste. In its first year, it saved $33.4 million.

The City and County achieved the savings and enhanced revenue by cooperating in a number of ways, including:

… joint enforcement of cigarette tax violations, bulk purchasing of information technology and other equipment, and cooperating to secure grant funding instead of competing. In addition, the collaboration has also streamlined procurement and simplified the certification and renewal process for minority and women-owned businesses, created summer and afterschool opportunities for students, and conducted joint training exercises for first responders and other emergency personnel.

In 2011, the joint committee said it wanted to achieve a goal of savings and revenue of around $66 million to $140 million by the end of 2014. Which, if it's all true, is all good news in my book.

So, thank you, President Preckwinkle and Mayor Emanuel. You just made my day.

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