News from President Toni Preckwinkle

President Preckwinkle adds to County budget, finance teams

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Monday announced the addition of long-time City of Chicago budget planner Andrea Gibson to her budget team.

Gibson most recently served as the City of Chicago’s First Deputy Budget Director in the Office of Budget and Management, a post she held since 2007.

Preckwinkle said her administration places a priority on fiscal responsibility and Gibson will play an important role as the County continues to restructure the way it develops and presents the annual budget.

“When I took office, there was no working budget. No draft of a financial plan. As I’ve said before, this is a bad practice. That’s why we’ve made the budget process a priority for this administration,” said Preckwinkle.

“Andrea is a true professional and has a set of skills that are needed to instill transparency and accountability into the County’s budget process. Her knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset for our administration, our employees and the residents of Cook County,” she said.

Gibson previously served as Deputy Budget Director in the City’s Office of Budget and Management; Assistant Budget Director; and Program Director/Assistant to the Commissioner in the City’s Department of Streets and Sanitation.

City of Chicago Budget Director Eugene Munin said Gibson brings a terrific skill set to the County.

“Cook County is fortunate to have Andrea Gibson as Budget Director. Her experience cutting costs, reducing the size of government and managing the budget process will translate well to managing the County’s budget,” Munin said.

Gibson replaces current Cook County Budget Director Takashi Reinbold, who is being promoted to the position of Deputy Chief Financial Officer in the Office of Chief Financial Officer Tariq Malhance. Reinbold played a key role in completing the Fiscal Year 2011 budget under an extremely expedited timeline and brings tremendous institutional knowledge into his new role as Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

“Having worked directly with Tariq throughout the budget process, I am excited to begin in this new role. I have worked directly with Tariq since the budget process. He is an extremely capable administrator and I look forward to helping him craft a long-term vision for the County that restores our financial stability and ensures sufficient funding for the critical services we provide to the residents of Cook County,” he said.

Malhance said Gibson brings to the County a wealth of practical knowledge about government and budgeting.

“We are pleased to have Andrea join the administration. She brings significant experience and leadership to the role. I am confident that she will be a tremendous asset to the County as we work to implement the President’s goals for her administration.”

Gibson said in addition to completing the budget process earlier in the year, she has been asked to focus her work on a number of areas.

“Improving budget transparency, ensuring input from diverse constituencies, monitoring and controlling current year expenses and seeking out creative and responsible budget solutions, these are all goals that we must work toward in order to improve the long-term financial sustainability of Cook County,” Gibson said.

Gibson will also help implement new performance based budgeting rules that aim to incorporate meaningful, objective performance measures into the budget process and new mandatory financial reporting by the County’s elected officials, agencies, bureaus and departments.

“We are putting in place measures to ensure all County agencies and bureaus maintain transparent and accountable financial practices. Furthermore, we have actively begun work on next year’s budget.  In previous years, the budget was developed over a period of six months. It’s a time consuming process and it will take many months to overhaul the budget process and build it in a way that incorporates the new initiatives that we have developed. I am confident in Andrea Gibson and our budget and finance team to carry this process forward,” said Preckwinkle.

“I look forward to working closely with the County Board Commissioners, the elected department heads and other County department leaders as well as Cook County residents to work together to address the County’s budget issues,” said Gibson.



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