File under newspapers are getting shorter ...

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Here's a few tidbits from Wednesday's Cook County Board meeting that got squeezed out of Thursday's edition for space reasons.

I'll keep it short.

Cook County commissioners Wednesday unanimously agreed to pay $3.2 million to 105 county workers who were victims of political discrimination. Julia Nowicki, the federal court-appointed hiring watchdog, said she would not release the names of employees set to split the payout until each person is notified of how much they will be awarded. That should take about two weeks. In a statement, Nowicki said the affected employees are "not the only instances of illegal patronage" in county government. They "represent only those claims that met the criteria" of the federal court order.

And ..

Companies with Cook County contracts will now be required disclose the names of all investors who own more than a 5 percent stake in the business. The information will be kept in an on-line database. The measure, authored by Commissioner Forrest Claypool, was approved in a 12-2 vote.

There was quite a debate on the Claypool's "sunshine" measure. Republican commissioner Greg Goslin - who was being supported by Stroger Democrats on this one -- tried to push a substitute ordinance that wouldn't have published the database on-line.
Stroger's administration also made what turned out to be a bogus claim that it would cost $2.5 million to create the database. That figure was debunked by the county's head of information technology.
The Claypool measure ultimately won -- Goslin even voted for it. And in 180 days, we'll all be able to see who really has an ownership stake in companies doing business with Cook County. Should be interesting. Stay tuned.

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Times are rough, but the state government get a failing grade from me. Towing companies apparently pay the state a cost of doing business fee and the state looks the other way while they give John Q. Public the business. In April of 2008 I reported my car stolen from in front of my residence after,I first,called the police and established it had not been towed. In September I received a certified letter from "Citywide Towing" asking for $800 in fees within 10 days or my car would be sold. my first emotion was relief that my car had been found. I thought informing the towing company of the police report would eliminate the fees and I could retrieve my car. WRONG. According to the Illinois Commerce Commission, it is not up to a private business to see if a car is stolen if it is legally towed and the business has a right to an $125 towing fee and an $200 storage fee. I am incredulous that this is the law and no one from the ICC, the 4th ward aldermanic office or Representative Currie's office seemed overly troubled bt this. I guess one voice crying in the wilderness in an nonelection year just does get heard. But I still have one vote, thats for sure.

I hope we all find that many of Claypool's campaign donors will be on that list. That guy is a waste of space.

"Here's a few tidbits ..."

Who's editing the Sun Times?

Here ARE a few tid bits.



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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on September 4, 2008 11:12 AM.

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