Stay Classy, Bill Beavers
By Kevin Robinson in News on Nov 28, 2007 4:17PM
Chicagoist wasn't the only one reminiscing about Harold Washington this week. With the Cook County Commission deadlocked over the budget, County Commissioner Bill Beavers lashed out at the opposition in a press conference yesterday, saying that if Stroger were white, his budget proposal would pass. “This is a remake of the Harold Washington days with the 29, 21,” Beavers said, adding “it’s basically dealing with who’s going to control the county, white or black.... If this was a white man in power right now, they wouldn’t be fighting him like this.” Stroger's budget proposal includes raising the county sales tax, from .75 percent to 2.75 percent, doubling the gas and parking taxes, a deal that will raise nearly $900 million in new revenue. He also said that Commissioner Tony Peraica "hates everybody who's black."
Stroger left Beavers's comment alone, saying instead that “commissioners are afraid to ask the voters for more money. But government runs on money." Without the tax hike that Stroger desperately wants, and a budget deadline of November 30, the board will need to cut back on new growth in county services. Yesterday the board voted to cut about $750,000, a small amount given the projected deficit of $239 million the county is facing. Part of this budget fight is over where those cuts will come from, front-line service providers or patronage workers. As it stands now, Stroger probably doesn't have the votes for his tax hike, and, according to Stroger ally Commissioner John Daley, it's likely that no vote will be taken Friday either. Before heading back into the county board meeting, Beavers had one last thought for the press, declaring that that he’s “the hog with the big nuts and I’m gonna tell you what it is.”
[Ed. note: Attention Bill Beavers! It's time to get a new official photo. That picture was taken when God was a baby.]