Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Takes Issue with Patronage

On December 2, 2007, the Chicago Tribune ran a commentary by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. titled Legacy of Tax-fed Patronage Must End. Congressman Jackson touched on how a patronage driven government system can affect the quality of services provided to taxpayers. He states:

"That massive bureacracy was handed down by vested interest [to] Todd, whose sole focus is to protect a huge patronage army -- an army fed by increasingly overtaxed citizens, who, ironically, are rewarded with a steady erosion of health care and county services they deserve."

What are your thoughts?

Please click the link below to read the article in its entirety:,0,170562,print.story

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

No Cronies Need Apply

On October 15, 2007, the Chicago Tribune ran an editorial titled No Cronies Need Apply. This article ran just before the resignation of Kim David Gilmore from his position as Human Resources Bureau Chief of Cook County Government. The author encourages cooperation from President Stroger with the Compliance Administrator, Julia Nowicki, as he undertakes a national search for a new Bureau Chief:

"Honest government aside, Stroger has an incentive to do the right thing. If he can prove to the satisfaction of a federal judge that the county no longer factors politics into most personnel decisions, Stroger can liberate the county from constraints that date to Shakman decrees aimed at clout hiring. Essentially, the county is in the same position as the City of Chicago: It must convince U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen that it's in compliance with the fair personnel practices Shakman has dictated.

On March 1, 2009, the county becomes eligible to seek Andersen's dissolution of the constraints. The judge will factor into his decision a subsequent recommendation from the person he has appointed as his eyes and ears to monitor county personnel practices. That's Compliance Administrator Julia Nowicki, a former Cook County judge.

One way for Stroger to show Nowicki he wants her support if and when he approaches Judge Andersen: Stroger can involve her in picking Gilmore's replacement. A Stroger spokeswoman says the county plans a nationwide search. We hope it turns up an apolitical outsider with stellar credentials -- perhaps a decade's experience running H.R. at employers with more than 10,000 workers. (The sorely featherbedded county has some 24,000.)"

Please click the link to read the article in its entirety.