Chicago City Hall

City, County Announce $20 Million in Savings

Tue, 02-07-2012
By: ADRIENNE LU

The City of Chicago and Cook County have saved a combined $20.5 million since they began working together to maximize resources in June, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today.

The two governments saved taxpayers $9.2 million in their second quarter of collaboration, down from $11.3 million in savings in their first quarter of working together. Preckwinkle called the achievement “a testament to the cooperative spirit and innovative thinking of our administrations.”

Emanuel and Preckwinkle launched an effort in March to find ways the two cash-strapped governments could save money by coordinating efforts. The result was a joint city-county report released in June that projected annual savings of $66 million through collaboration that could grow to $140 million by 2014.

About two-thirds of the savings so far have benefited the county and one-third have benefited the city.

Among the areas where the city and the county have been working together are workforce development, homeland security, purchasing and tax collection.

In workforce development, the city and county are creating a single regional workforce board to improve efficiency and effectiveness, saving taxpayers an estimated $1 million a year. In homeland security, the city and county are working on improving communications, coordinating training and equipment purchases and developing a joint policy for grant management. In the area of purchasing, the city and county hope to save $2.9 million in fiscal year 2012 with joint contracts for purchases including armored car service, elevator maintenance, and centrifugal pump maintenance and inspection.

Emanuel said that he and Preckwinkle inherited a culture that operated in silos, and that more work remained to be done to change the culture.

“The next set of $20 million is going to be harder,” Emanuel said.