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Morning shorts

Thursday, Feb 28, 2008

* Ag director resigns to care for sick wife

* Will Wrigley Co. buy what it’s been getting free?

* The Tribune vs. Chicago

“If I think about it logically and not sentimentally, Wrigley Field is a corporately named field,” he said. “But it’s been that way for so long that nobody even connects the two things anymore.”

* Zell wants more night games, concerts

* Lawmakers push for income tax increase

An Illinois Senate committee on Wednesday approved a 66 percent income tax increase that would lower property taxes by 20 percent and spend billions elsewhere on education, pension debt and construction.

* Tax hike to help schools moves up

* The new “tax swap”

* Time for state to join civilized world and end death penalty

* Board eyes budget cuts after Stroger shuns smaller tax hike

Commissioner John Daley conceded Wednesday that part of the big-tax strategy is so Stroger can avoid having to come back for tax hikes again in 2009 and 2010 –which is the year Stroger is up for re-election.

* Cook commissioners OK bigger staffs, deny mammogram funding

On a day when a block of Cook County commissioners cried out for tax increases to pay for health care, most of the same commissioners chose to raise their own office staff budgets by 26 percent rather than give up some of that money to pay for poor women’s mammograms.

* Board’s D.C. trip costs you $10k

Amid threats to cut jobs and close health clinics and courthouses, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and almost half of the County Board are set to get away from it all this weekend in Washington, D.C., at taxpayer expense.

* Public schools to close, merge in Chicago

But some parents walked away feeling they had been steamrolled. They accused CPS officials of using stilted statistics, of courting kids in “gentrified'’ areas and marginalizing poor ones and of experimenting on children. The changes didn’t go far enough, they said.

* Chicago’s plowing budget in red

* Democratic chairman won’t run again

Party Vice Chairman Kathleen Bergan Schmidt is considered a front-runner to replace Cynor. The party convention begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Woodstock Opera House.

- Posted by Kevin Fanning        

  1. - plutocrat03 - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 8:56 am:

    The Cook County Board travel plans are a shining example of why these governmental entities need to be starved for revenue.

    As far as I can tell, no constituent will be served by having 9 + people traveling to DC for a conference.

    This kind of thing was called a junket in the past.

    There is quite an industry of ‘meetings and conferences’ for public sector officials and employees. The majority of the legitimate material presented could easily be provided electronically and millions of dollars saved could be funneled into better services or tax relief.

    To paraphrase Hillary Clinton… “Shame on you Todd Stroger and associates….

    The truly needy of Cook County could have put that money to better use.

  2. - Hmmmm - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 8:59 am:

    I don’t know about something you said in the fa this morning, Rich.

    Some folk have said that they saw the budget books printed as early as the Saturday before the budget address.

    I don’t know if it is rushed or last minute. I think it has more to do with a change in tone and approach.

  3. - fedup dem - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:10 am:

    Note to Comm. John Daley: You needn’t worry about that big-tax strategy and how it would affect Toddler’s chances in 2010. You have a better chance of seeing a World Series victory street party for the Cubs in your Bridgeport community than Stroger has getting re-elected in 2010!

  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:24 am:

    The idea of the county raising sales taxes to create a surplus is beyond bizarre.

  5. - Skeeter - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:40 am:

    Good to see that my rep on the Board — Jerry Butler — cares more about his staff than about poor women.
    I hope he puts those staff member to good use, since those poor women are sure going to remember him at re-election time.

  6. - True Comparison - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:42 am:

    This article was in yesterday’s Decatur paper.

    Interesting how it appears downstate is now seeing the effects of the RTA/CTA bailout late last year. If you remember, the Guv used coal development money ($10.4 mill) to bail them out. Well, now there is no money available promised for a coal gasification project in Decatur. Another example of the follow through not matching the press release. The man is a joke.

  7. - Reddbyrd - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:42 am:

    Talked with Chuck two weeks ago about his wife’s health issues.
    He is one of the few to avoid the grime of Blaggo
    His family is in our prayers that they can fight this fight toa successful outcome.

  8. - silentk - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:32 am:

    “An Illinois Senate committee on Wednesday approved a 66 percent income tax increase that would lower property taxes by 20 percent and spend billions elsewhere on education, pension debt and construction.”

    Doesn’t the tax swap reduce only the education portion of the tax bill by 20%?

    The education portion represents approximately 50% of my Cook County tax bill. Therefore, on my $5,000 tax bill I would receive a 20% reduction on $2,500. Resulting in an overall 10% reduction of my total property tax bill.

    The 66% income tax increase would lower property taxes by 10%.

  9. - downstate hack - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:47 am:

    Best of luck and God’s blessings to Chuck Hartke and his wife and family.

  10. - Emily Booth - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 7:00 pm:

    Do we really need a Cook County Board?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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