From the Mouths of Babes
By Kevin Robinson in News on Dec 6, 2006 2:50PM
In case you missed it in the papers yesterday, Todd Stroger stood before God and Cook County, vowing "big changes." "We will transform this government into a more modern, more efficient operation," Stroger said."To get there, the transitions will be tough, the sacrifices painful, the dramatic change worth it."
In remarks addressed to the rest of the newly installed Cook County Board of Commissioners (which included Bobby Steele's son Robert Steele), the Toddler announced that the days of sluggish and "old-time" government in Cook County were over. Facing a budget deficit of $500 million and a campaign vow not to raise taxes, as well as widespread public distrust, he certainly has his work cut out for him. Commissioner John Daley (yes, he's related) called Stroger's plan "grueling" and pointed out that he had vowed not to raise taxes. When the Mayor's brother calls you out to the press on the day of your swearing-in, it can't be good.
You'll excuse Chicagoist if we don't start dancing in the street over Todd Stroger's calls for reform. As much as we would like to believe that he's really going to do it, we just can't bring ourselves to smoke Stroger's dope. In fact, hearing him say these things makes us just all the more cynical. We know that he is going to raise taxes, and if he doesn't, he'll cut something symbolic to protect the jobs of his cronies and maintain the status quo. The fact of the matter is that William Beavers and Rich Daley see the county as a jobs farm, to be used to exchange for votes and political loyalty. In fact, the saddest thing about Monday's event is that the smartest thing anybody said all day was when a 12 year-old boy stood up before the crowd and asked his mother, County Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman, to put him on the board, too. Tragically, we have more confidence in Conor Gorman's ability to reform Cook County than its elected leaders'.