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John Daley: Candidate for Cook County Commissioner, 11th District


Video: John Daley tells voters about his platform. Learn more about Candidate Free Time.

About this candidate

Name: John P. Daley
DOB: Dec. 5, 1946
Residence: Chicago
Family: wife: Mary Lou, children: John Richard (Kristin), Michael and Christine
Occupation: Cook County Commissioner, 11th District

About this office

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.

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Candidate Q&A

What is your vision for this office?

I have always believed that once elected, a Cook County Commissioner’s vision should address the needs of the residents of the district they represent. I always talk to residents and return their calls. I also work closely with the mayors and elected officials in all of the municipalities I represent and the alderman in the city whose wards are in the 11th district. Speaking to residents and local elected officials helps me to better understand the issues that need to be addressed in the district. During the deliberations over the Sweetened Beverage Tax I spoke with over 1000 residents and many local business owners who reached out to my office. These discussions helped me reach a decision to repeal the tax that was representative of the views of my constituents.

As Commissioner I’ve been committed to expanding economic development in the 11th District and addressing local infrastructure shortcomings through programs like Invest in Cook. These types of projects and investments help target areas where we can further economic progress, bridge service gaps and improve everyday life for residents.

I also believe it is integral to continue the County’s commitment to public safety and public health. In recent years the County has stepped forward when other levels of government have stepped back. We must continue to provide these vital services to County residents while also working to make County government more efficient and sustainable.

What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?

Constituents face a variety of issues, but I believe the most pressing issues they face concern economic security and balancing their household budgets. I believe the best way to address this issue is to ensure the County they reside in is managed in a fiscally responsible manner that ensures a stable financial future. Taxes have increased substantially at the state and local levels in recent years and I believe taxpayers are looking for stability and for government to live within its means. Last year, taxpayers asked that the Sweetened Beverage Tax be repealed and I think it is essential that the County again keep costs down and avoid increasing taxes on residents.

This year the County anticipates a shortfall of $82 million dollars. In anticipation of that shortfall we have already held Mid‐Year Budget Hearings which provided Commissioners with a more detailed understanding of the budgetary challenges the County faces and allows more time for the Board to consider spending and cost savings options. I believe that it is integral for the Board to build on the savings accomplished last year and that we can find substantial savings by continuing to push for consolidation of human resources, information technology and procurement services across departments and elected offices.

In the past I have supported increases that are critical to the long‐term fiscal health of the County. These increases have been beneficial to the County’s financial stability and debt service, improved our sales tax bond ratings to AAA status and have allowed us to support programs like Invest in Cook which advances important transportation and infrastructure projects that will benefit existing businesses and attract new businesses in the 11th District.

The County is the only unit of government in Illinois making supplemental payments to our pension fund to ensure the economic security of those retired employees who served County residents during their careers, while also reducing the long term debt borne by taxpayers. These payments, from the sales tax increase, will total over $950 million dollars by the end of 2018 and are in addition to the annual statutory payments the County makes to the pension fund, which we have never skipped. The County also hasn’t raised its property tax levy in over 15 years.

I’m also proud to state that I’ve returned over 50% of my office budget to the County so far this term saving taxpayers over $760,000.

Candidate Statement

Hello, my name is John Daley and I am currently the County Commissioner for Cook County’s 11th District. I also serve as Chairman of the County Board’s Finance Committee and Audit Committee. I am pleased to say that since taking office in 2011, President Preckwinkle and the County Board have passed balanced budgets every year. Last year the Board repealed the Sweetened Beverage Tax and cut $200 million in spending to balance the County’s budget.

I’m also proud to state that the County is the only unit of government in Illinois making supplemental payments to our pension fund to ensure the economic security of those retired employees who served County residents during their careers while also reducing the long term debt to taxpayers. These payments, from the sales tax increase, will total over $950 million dollars by the end of 2018 and are in addition to the annual statutory payments the County makes to the pension fund, which we have never missed. The County also hasn’t raised its property tax levy in over 15 years.

The County provides many critical public safety and public health services to County residents and I’ve been very supportive of our mission while also looking for opportunities to consolidate services and lower costs for taxpayers. During the current term I co-sponsored legislation raising the minimum wage and have worked with the Board and the President on initiatives to improve social and economic development throughout the County which will benefit working men and women and middle class residents.

As a County Commissioner I have always made decisions based on the needs of my constituents and I’m always available to meet with residents and business owners in my district. I personally return calls to constituents who reach out to my office and ask to speak to me about issues.

I’m a lifelong resident of Chicago and a husband and father of three children. I’ve been endorsed by the Chicago Federation of Labor and I ask for your support on November 6th.

About Candidate Free Time

WTTW’s 2018 Voters’ Guide to the General Election is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for office in the Nov. 6 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.

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