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Three More County Commissioners Reverse Stance on Furloughs

By Chuck Sudo in News on Sep 22, 2011 2:00PM

County Commissioner Deborah Sims
Cook County commissioners Earlean Collins and Bill "Man with the Big Hog Nuts" Beavers, who refuse to accept furlough days have company. Fellow County commissioners Deborah Sims, Robert Steele and Joan Murphy have requested reimbursement for their furlough days. All five have claimed taking furlough days would be a violation of the Illinois Constitution, which doesn’t allow for an increase or decrease in pay during the term of an elected leader serving in local government.

What none of them are saying is that the state Constitution has nothing written that prevents them from voluntarily giving up parts of their salaries. The County Board unanimously agreed to the furlough days in February as part of the 2011 budget.

Murphy told the Sun-Times of her reversal, “(T)hey’ve cut so much out of our budgets — they’ve cut travel — and we haven’t had a raise since 2002.” Sims gave the Sun-Times a "Do as I say, not as I do" defense and parroted Mayor Rahm Emanuel's belief furlough days lower morale. Steele, meanwhile, is only asking for reimbursement of three furlough days from the county comptroller as a "personal protest."

If you're reading this and steaming at the insouciance of these commissioners and have one of them representing you, you should probably remind them of "government for the people, by the people" the next time they're up for re-election.