This is actually my son's idea but I believe it is a great idea, he said that the Forensic Institute is a fantastic building to install solar panels on.

Keith x almost 6 years ago

Recently new mechanical contracts were issued to eight different vendors around Cook county for the maintenance of county vehicles.  Some of these shops are not even equipped properly to do service work.  Im unsure how these contracts are awarded and if the county researches these vendors before awarding them hefty contracts.  When the new contracts were awarded my department was told we could no longer use our previous vendors including our tire, oil change, and body shops.  The contracts that were awarded were for mechanical work only.  Thus leaving my department without a proper tire, oil change and body work facility.  We were told we could work with whatever shops we wanted but could only spend $5000.00 at each facility.  The prices that we are paying now under these new contracts are close to double what we paid with our previous vendors.  For example a set of four new tires at my old vendor cost about $575.00.  The vendor we now have is charging us close to $1000 for the same tires and once his $5000.00 allotment is gone we will have to find another tire vendor.  Another example was our oil change vendors.  On average we paid between 24.95 & 33.00 for full service oil changes meaning if any fluids needed topping off it was included in the price.  With these vendors my drivers were usually back out on the street working within 15-20 minutes.  With the new vendors we are being charged close to $50.00 for an oil change that does not include fluid top offs.  Using these vendors my drivers are sometimes not back on the street doing their work for between 1-2 hours.  To me this is not only detrimental to all county departments when many of these departments are now understaffed and overworked due to "cutbacks because of budget issues" but the county is losing more money by having to pay drivers to sit and wait when they could be out doing their work.  I do not see how doing business this way is smart or cost effective when the county is facing so many financial problems.  Now that these new contracts are the same for all county departments I feel that this is just digging a deeper hole financially for the county.

Right now it is free, why not charge $25 per class? And make all misdemeanor marijuana possession charges petty offenses, with a minimum fine of $500! So much money is wasted in court on these cases.

Audrey Henderson, Founder and Owner, Knowledge Empowerment about 6 years ago

Establish a clearinghouse of vacant and abandoned properties in the area along with the following information:

1) Legal status of the property (eg disputed foreclosure, absentee owner, etc)

2) Available resources in close proximity (to gauge or stimulate potential real estate development interest)

3) Habitability status (move-in ready or needs work?)

4) Zoning Status (especially for commercial properties to determine possible mixed use)

5) TIF and other special funding availability

The aim of the initiative would be to match available commercial and residential structures with individuals and households seeking affordable housing. The initiative would provide wrap-around social services for individuals and households moving into properties along with harnessing government, private and NGO resources for the sustainable rehabilitation of properties that needed repairs.

It just so happpens that I am working on just such an initiative, called Legally Occupy and I could use the support of the Cook County Board and others interested in promoting affordable housing in the area to help get the initiative up and running. 

I am especially seeking support that would allow me to devote full-time effort for the next 30 to 60 days to further build out the Hidden Value in Abandoned Buildings (HViAB) platform that I am developing with Dan Fehrenbach of CNT Energy.  A rudimentary version of the HViAB platform focused on the Bronzeville area of Chicago won a runner-up prize in the 2012 Urban Sustainability Hackathon sponored by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in October.

This idea will eliminate some of the abandon property and as well eliminate paying out funds to private property owners. So what you is take all the abandon buildings and houses or forclosed properties and rent them to people on section 8. That why you will eliminate paying a private home owner and whatever the co-pay is it goes to the county. Then if the tent decides to buy they can buy it and all the copay monies can be added to sale... This idea will help both the city and county save money and will also cut on vacant property. This will also keep revenue with in the county..

Kurt Schneider about 6 years ago

Unfair vehicle use tax - I feel the amount charged for used vehicles is totally unfair.. it should be based on vehicle cost not just age.. I got a bill for 175$ for a motorcycle i paid 150$ ... how is thst even close to fair?? If I had purchased from a dealer the tax would have been 15$ come on cook county be more fair!

I would put all the administrative asst in a pool and offer them to go to other locations in the cook county system when there is a need. Some will be happy to relocate, and have a new challenge and learn new skills. Use the resources you currently have to cut cost all over the county. I for one am an administrative asst II I came to the detention center to work with administration however I was transferred to an area that I use none of my skills for office work ( Microsoft word, excel, outlook. And I am doing work in what should be a clerk’s position. I am also being trained to be in an area that will have direct contact with the minors of the center. I have no desire to do to work with minors. This should be trained staff, counselors or Probation officers duties than an un-trained administration asst. when the minors first come in. if there was a pool of offerings that each employee can be placed in I do believe this will satisfy the needs of the many as well as keeping good employees who do want to work for the county and it will also foster a better work environment. It will also fill your need of skilled employees in other locations.

Chicago's murder rate is out of control despite all of the city and state regulations to reduce access to guns.

"It is very important to us to tax guns because we know that guns are the sources of the incredible violence we have in our neighborhoods," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told a news conference.

I always thought the sources of incredible violence were incredibly violent people. Its a tough sell, especially in Chicago. This is going to fall on deaf ears, but if I were a violent person I would A) Like a guarantee from the City of Chicago that the person I'm about to rob is unarmed. and B) Not care what gun laws were on the books anyway.

How many murders will there be before the city actually does something other than hold "Anti-violence rallies"?

I have a suggestion that could save $700,000 or more.  All you would have to do is enforce an existing ordinance. 

The ordinance requires that certain 6b and other property tax incentive holders who fail to file a triennial report shall lose the incentive tax break for the triennial period.  However, the Assessor is not enforcing the ordinance. I have learned through FOIA that about 10% of such reports are missing for the 2007 ands 2010 triennial years for Schaumburg township.  I believe the nonfiling problem is county wide and the lax non-enforcement is county wide.

If the non-filing rate was 10% across the 1543 6bs in the County and the Assessor were to enforce the penalty, the County would recoup about $12,000,000 in EAV for the 2011 tax year for 6bs alone.  At a typical .06 tax rate this would result in about $700,000 of either tax releif or revenue.

That does not count any other incentives in default with the same triennial filing requirement, nor does it count any prior years.   This could extend into the millions with full enforcement.

If regular taxpayers are denied property tax exemptions if they fail to file the proper forms, then  the same standard should be applied to incentive beneficiaries.   The least these recipients can do is fill out a form every three years.  The Assessor should do his job and enforce the ordinance.  Taxpayers can not selectively choose to ignore County ordinances.  The Assesor should not be able to either.