Updated 03/29/11 – 5:29 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A newly formed panel will recommend ways to streamline both city and county government, under a joint initiative launched by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
A six-person committee will have 45 days to come up with proposed ways to save taxpayers money at both the city and county level.
“I look forward to a close working relationship, because at the end of the day, we represent the same people: the taxpayers, who expect us to make sure we’re getting the best bang for their taxpayer dollars and the services we deliver,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel and Preckwinkle both promised to reform government if elected. This initiative, which they call unprecedented, will focus on every area to see what can be consolidated.
As CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, talk of restructuring government services might make some people nervous.
“If you are wedded to the past, then maybe I suppose you can get nervous,” Emanuel said.
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Preckwinkle said that eliminating redundant administrative duties when it comes to running elections would be one potential money-saving area. She cited the fact that both the county and city have separate election boards.
“I think there is way it is possible for us to save money,” she said.
Other examples cited include the health care clinics, job training programs and road repairs.
The six panel members are: Tony Anderson, Midwest Managing Partner of Ernst & Young; Gloria Castillo, president of Chicago United; 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell; Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, Juan Salgado, CEO of Instituto del Progresso Latino; and Paula Wolff, senior executive at Metropolis Strategies.
But those six panel members certainly won’t have the last say on who runs every city and county department.
“There’s a number of offices I’m looking for. At the end of the day, I do do the interviews,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel is already waiting to hear back from the Chicago Police Board for a list of three finalists to be the next Chicago Police superintendent. He’ll also have to pick a new Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools.
Ultimately, both of those decisions will be up to Emanuel.