In the long slog ahead of budget season, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle invited the public to sound off on her fiscal year 2017 budget projections, and advocate for programs and funding to be spared from expected cuts. President Preckwinkle, who has warned of tough choices ahead, presided over the evening, joined by Finance Chair John Daley, Comm. Richard Boykin, Comm. Robert Steele, and Budget Director Tanya Anthony.
The meeting lasted just over an hour, and compared to some recent pre-board meeting testimony, was extremely tame. Testimony stayed well within the night’s three minute limit, with many coming to voice strong support for the county’s new transportation plan (reps from Globetrotters Engineering, Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc., and Knight E/A), continued funding for anti-violence initiatives and Cook County Health and Hospitals System programs (like Jorge Prieto’s dental clinic); or to simply thank President Preckwinkle for funding certain initiatives (like Community Development Block Grants for Loyola University or grant funding for Build Inc. projects).