What is going on in Cook County?

Markham Courthouse 001Something is going on in Cook County, but since I am out of the loop when it comes to inside information, I don’t know the whole story.  But I hear things.  And I see things with my own two eyes.

For example, today I was at the Markham Courthouse.  Where there has been a lot of construction going on for months.

Some of that work is to turn what has been a free parking lot into a pay lot.  This is going on throughout the County, even though some courthouse parking lots are clearly not designed for pay lots, that these lots will create traffic jams for people entering and exiting the lots, that they will create a financial hardship for everyone who parks there (especially the courthouse staff) and that the pay lots are yet another regressive tax that inordinately harm the poor foisted upon Cook County by the “progressive Democrat” Toni Preckwinkle.

I am curious as to how much it will cost to retrofit these lots into pay lots, and how much it will cost for the additional employees who will be needed to take the payments, deal with the public and secure the lot.  Will the extra revenue be worth it?  Do you remember the days when we believed that courts should be open to everyone?  Now, we expect you to pay to park, agree to a full search, don’t let you bring in your cell phone, laptop or tablet, and often require non-parties to wait outside during proceedings.

There is also construction going on at both entranceways to the courthouse — the main entrance facing the parking lot and the unused, secondary entrance facing Kedzie.  The same work has been done at the courthouses in Bridgeview, Maywood, Skokie and Rolling Meadows.

This construction makes for a slightly nicer looking courthouse.  But why are we doing major construction at a time when the County is allegedly broke?  And why are we doing construction to an entranceway that isn’t even being used?

At the same time, Commissioner Preckwinkle wants to end a policy that allowed Cook County Judges to get their health insurance for little or no money.  Supposedly, this would save the County 4.5 million dollars.  This sounds like the type of cost-cutting move that one of the Koch brothers would approve, not the act of a progressive Democrat.

Over the past few months, I have been hearing all sorts of rumors of feuds going on between Commissioner Preckwinkle, Chief Judge Timothy Evans and Sheriff Tom Dart.  I have also been hearing (second-hand) stories about wasteful County expenditures that are going on while other County employees are expected to pay to park at their jobs, the public is expected to pay to park at filthy, barely maintained parking lots, and Judges are expected to pay for health insurance.

So what is really going on?  Feel free to contact me with inside information at haroldwallin@gmail.com.  I won’t reveal or publish your name or identification.

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