WTTW’s 2018 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primary is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for office in the March 20 election.
Candidates were given two minutes to tell voters where they stand on the issues, why they feel they are best qualified and what they intend to do if elected or re-elected. The messages were recorded at the WTTW studios at no cost to the candidates. The Voters’ Guide is an online version of Candidate Free Time, pioneered by WTTW in the 1992 race for U.S. Senate. This year’s Candidate Free Time is produced with and underwritten in part by the League of Women Voters of Cook County.
About this office: Cook County Commissioner
Seventeen elected Commissioners constitute the Cook County Board, the governing policy board and legislative body of Cook County. The Board sets policy and laws for the county regarding public health and public safety and oversees safety and maintenance of county highways. The Board approves the annual budget and oversees financial integrity of the County.
About this candidate:
Name: Peter N. Silvestri
Residence: Elmwood Park
Family: Divorced, lives with son
Occupation: Cook County Commissioner, Attorney
Political Experience: Cook County Commissioner, former Elmwood Park Village President and trustee, member and president of the Elmwood Park Board of Education, Elmwood Park Zoning Board, Elmwood Park Civic Foundation, and past president of the West Central Municipal Conference and Leyden Norwood Park Municipal League
What is your vision for this office?
My vision is to faithfully represent the people of Cook County’s 9th District. My goal is to improve county services while controlling costs, making Cook County a positive destination in which to live and work.
What is the most pressing issue facing constituents and how can you help address it?
I believe the most pressing issue is controlling Cook County’s taxing and spending policies while ensuring that the county continues to serve its mission to provide services people need. I have a record that addresses this issue—by continuing to not support new taxes and by working to eradicate inefficiencies.
Hello, I’m Peter Silvestri, and I’ve been a strong voice against raising taxes on the County Board. I was adamantly against the soda tax and against increasing the sales tax prior to that because those taxes are regressive and are ultimately harmful to families trying to buy a house, feed their families, and provide basic needs to their loved ones.
We need to improve the property tax system so that people are only paying their fair share.
I co-sponsored consolidating the Recorder of Deeds Office with the County Clerk’s Office and will continue to seek ways to consolidate services.
Savings in the public health system can be achieved with sharing of services with Rush and U of I hospitals, closing Oak Forest, and exploring a redistribution of where our sales tax dollars go.
Closing the underutilized area courtrooms in Chicago will also reduce costs. Better enforcement collecting on our current revenue streams is another area we should rigorously pursue. We should explore sponsorships as long as they are mutually beneficial. This is successfully underway at the forest preserve district.
We also need to look at the rapidly changing business trends. Tech developments, service and entertainment industries -- even the way we drive -- there is so much transition out there, and we need to be forward-thinking about revenue sources that simply haven’t existed before.
We should expand some of the successful economic development programs we have underway, such as with brownfield redevelopment and small business loans.
I will continue to push for pension reform and the responsible funding of pensions.
I would like to address the skepticism many people have toward elected officials. I was a primary sponsor of the county’s ethics ordinance, and I cosponsored creating and later strengthening the Inspector General’s Office. You have my commitment to work to restore the public’s confidence in county government and to represent your interests.
See more candidates for Cook County commissioner, 9th County Board District.
Return to our 2018 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primary