Dart Should Follow Preckwinkle's Lead
Finally, a politician ready to make the hard choices about spending taxpayer dollars. This is what we've been asking for from our national, state and local government officials.
The fact it's a Cook County Board president makes it all the more surprising, especially one we didn't endorse in November.
But our concerns about Toni Preckwinkle, so far at least, have been answered. When we wondered last fall whether she would be the reformer Cook County needs, we weren't convinced.
But now that she's on the job and has had a chance to see in sorry detail the mess left behind by Todd Stroger, her first crack at a budget is welcome, indeed. As is her challenge to Cook County's other elected officials, especially Sheriff Tom Dart, to do what's necessary.
Preckwinkle submits a budget Tuesday that includes a call for $487 million in cuts. In her office, she is reducing positions by nearly 20 percent, with 418 layoffs. Countywide she is calling for more than 1,000 layoffs -- at least 5 percent of the county work force. It could go higher.
"I know I'm putting a lot of people out on the street with this budget," she said. But it's a tough decision that has to be made to balance the $3 billion overall budget.
Which brings us to Dart. We did endorse the sheriff in November. We have been impressed with how he's changed the department to be more responsive to citizens and more cooperative with local police departments. …