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The “President of Cook County”

(Photo: Bow down before the “President of Cook County”. And bring a spell-check. Credit: Chicago Tribune.)

Anyone who’s followed Cook County politics since Todd Stroger took the reins of the most powerful county in Illinois from his formerly ailing (finally deceased) father knows that Stroger-fils doesn’t have the greatest grasp on the realities of his job. The first big clue was his plan to raise taxes in 2007 by double the amount necessitated by the county budget–actual checkbooks of Cook County residents, not to mention political will of commissioners who had achieved their jobs by hard work and not fatherly fiat–be damned.

That plan didn’t fly (thankfully). But it hasn’t stopped the freshman president of the Cook County board of commissioners from claiming a rather questionable measure of credibility for himself. According to Stroger’s recently updated blog, he’s more than the president of the county board. In Stroger’s own words, he’s “the President of Cook County.”

That’s right, fellow subjects, Cook County has its very own president and, at least in his own mind, Todd Stroger is it. Quoth our estimable executive on his blog:

“I am a fun loving guy, full of energy, new ideas, ambitition, intelligence, and I am enjoying being the President of Cook County. I have been a life long resident of this County and I am working very hard at taking on all the responsibilities that come with the position of President of Cook County. This is the most challenging job I have ever had. I love a good challenge, and look forward to making Cook County the best county ever.”

No emails, folks, please, ambition is spelled that way in the original. In Todd’s defense, I know I sometimes miss a word here and there when I spell-check CARLESS. Then again, the stakes are somewhat lower for me, not being self-appointed to an invented office and all. I tend to expect better from the “President of Cook County”, however.

Then again, like Todd, I guess I must me dreaming, too.

Categories: Politics

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Michael Thaddeus Doyle

I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.

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Contact: mikedoyleblogger@gmail.com

2 replies

  1. I feel compelled to point out that in Louisiana (where I spent the first 28 years of my life before moving to Chicago), the parishes (Louisiana-speak for counties) actually do have presidents — not merely board presidents.

    In fact, the mayor of state capital Baton Rouge actually holds the title of mayor-president because he’s mayor of Baton Rouge and president of East Baton Rouge Parish. The city and the unincorporated areas of the parish are governed by a single body called the Metropolitan Council. The council has its own president. The relationship between the council and the mayor-president is similar to that of the Chicago mayor and the city council (sans the acrimony/rubber-stamping).

    Why do I explain this? Because I’m curious to know why Chicago and Cook county don’t have a combined governing body. Cook County is dominated by Chicago, just as East Baton Rouge Parish is dominated by Baton Rouge. Ever since I moved here almost six years ago, I’ve thought it strange that Cook County has a separate governing body. It seemed to me such a waste of resources — and the past year has proven that out.

    I say combine the city council and county board, and finish sending at least one political family to its grave.

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