County officials respond to estimated $487 million deficit

November 19, 2010

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(AP/File)
Cook County Clerk David Orr

Elected officials in Cook County are not looking forward to upcoming budget talks. County Board President-Elect Toni Preckwinkle says the county faces a $487 million deficit.

Cook County Clerk David Orr says he's braced for the worst when it comes to the budget. "Now earlier, President Stroger had asked us to prepare for cuts and I think we, so far, have gotten to about nine percent, which is pretty painful," Orr said.

Preckwinkle says county-wide elected officials need to cut up to 20 percent of their budgets. Orr says his office, which manages the county's elections, doesn't have much fat to trim. He proposes sharing responsibilities and training sessions with other county offices.

Meantime, Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown says cutting 20 percent would mean slashing $16 million from her budget resulting in layoffs.

Preckwinkle says most of the deficit is caused by a reduction of the sales tax.