Toni Preckwinkle is now officially the first elected female to serve as Cook County Board President. She took the oath of office this morning.
A lot of the ceremony was back-slapping and smiles, but in her inaugural address, Preckwinkle addressed some policies she wants to adopt. At the top of the list is the sales tax, which proved to be politically toxic for her predecessor, Todd Stroger.
"Today I pledge that the 2011 budget will include a commitment to reduce the sales tax by a quarter of a percent in 2012 and a quarter of a percent in 2013," Preckwinkle said.
Preckwinkle says cutting the sales tax means the county faces a $487 million budget hole. She's asking departments like the sheriff and the clerk's offices to cut 21 percent from their budgets.
Preckwinkle also vowed to make the hiring process more transparent. Three new county board commissioners were also sworn in during the ceremony.