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News from President Toni Preckwinkle

Results of the 3/22 3-day Poll: What should we do over our next 100 days?

Results of the 3/22 3-day Poll

We wanted to give you a look at the results of the poll we ran last week and provide you with some feedback as well. Thank you for your submissions. We read and reviewed each one of them.

The poll ran from Tuesday, March 22 through Thursday, March 24 asked the question, “What should we do over our next 100 days?”

More than 150 people responded with a wide range of recommendations.

The most common response was in regard to the ongoing negotiations between the County and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME.

The Preckwinkle Administration is committed to good faith bargaining with all bargaining units. We also recognize the fact that nearly all the County’s employees have already demonstrated a commitment to shared sacrifices. As part of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget, all non-essential employees will be required to take five furlough days in addition to five county-wide shutdown days. The move saved jobs and helped the County balance its Fiscal Year 2011 budget.

“…focus on infrastructure and health care….”

The County is rededicating itself to its core mission, which includes providing quality health care services through the Cook County Health & Hospitals System to those who cannot afford to pay for them. We provide a safety net for the County and we will continue to do so. We’re committed to the comprehensive strategic plan that was developed by former CEO Bill Foley because it is critical to ensuring that the County’s health care functions are sustainable for many years to come.

“Create a “teamwork mentality….”

Currently, administrators and employees across the County are working on implementing performance management strategies that will put in place benchmarks to determine whether or not they are meeting their responsibilities in an effective way. Frontline employees on up to the heads of bureaus and departments are involved in this comprehensive effort to change the way people in the County provide services to residents. In this system, ideas can flow up to management or down to frontline staff. When this process is complete, we’ll have for the first time a system by which we can measure improvements from month to month or year to year. We’ll have an effective framework to determine what we do well and where we can improve. By setting clear goals and expectations and by making all staff accountable, we’re creating a vision that will result in a ‘teamwork mentality.’

Here are some excerpts from other items you submitted:

“… Increase the number of state, federal and foundation grant application submissions and subsequent grant awards to enhance revenue stream….”

“For Cook County hospitals – making them funding self-sufficient by collecting insurance monies owed and reimbursements from other government programs (esp. for out-of-state         residents)….”

“…Find a way to keep much needed services, especially in south Cook County, without wrecking the budget. Nothing worth doing is ever easy….”

“Ethics training should not just be offered to management but to every employee. Should be mandatory and annually. Training should emphasize “doing the right thing” and “reporting     wrongful behavior….”

“Fiscal responsibility begins with bringing the penny back (recent sales tax rollback)….”

“…Make the citizens aware of Free/Low Cost services offered by the County….”

“Take a realistic look at the management positions throughout the County and access all the money that is being wasted on non-essential personnel … It appears that there are way to many             “chiefs” and not enough vital employees actually performing the work…”

“…Infrastructure, high-speed rail….”

“…Cook County should focus on retaining services for the poor and eliminating agencies that do    not add value to the County….”

We’re taking all these recommendations into account and will do our best to incorporate them into the initiatives and projects that are going on all across the County.

Our focus is on the County’s core mission, realizing that mission in an effective and efficient way, improving services and letting the public know about the good things that the County does for you each day. Thank you for contacting us!