Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that in the first year of the City-County collaboration, $33.4 million has been saved, and that over 85 percent of the savings will recur on an annual basis.
“We are energized by the numbers we’ve achieved. Today’s results show that the collaboration is on target to reach, and likely surpass, our initial goals,” President Preckwinkle said. “We’ve said from the start that this is just the beginning for the city-county collaboration, and working together as partners has allowed us to save taxpayers money, increase efficiency and promote quality of life in ways that hadn’t been considered before.
”It is essential to look after every cent of taxpayer money and to make sure we are finding efficiency throughout government,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Our collaboration with Cook County has saved millions of taxpayer dollars and is improving efficiency in Chicago and Cook County. We will keep looking for savings and ways to improve government services.”
The $33.4 million in identified savings and new revenue puts the partnership halfway to the initial goal of at least $66 million in savings by the end of 2014. In addition to saving taxpayer money, the collaboration efforts have generated significant service improvements, including:
- The formation of the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership–a merger of three workforce boards into a single organization–which has saved $2.2 million in annual administrative costs and led to an additional $3 million workforce innovation grant. Having a unified workforce board allows employers to find the right candidates for their positions, and job seekers to find employment opportunities across a broader geographic area.
- An unprecedented collaboration on anti-violence initiatives. Further, the partnership has set a goal of making Chicago the safest big city in America by 2020. To accomplish this, 11 action steps have been put in place to improve prevention, intervention, and response to violent crime. A specific team is implementing each of these actions steps.
The partnership continues to expand; anti-violence, animal care & control, broadband, and human resources are all areas of current collaboration that were not envisioned in the original report. In all, 23 different initiatives have been part of the collaboration.
The city and county have received over $3 million in professional services and advice for this effort from the local business community, including from Allstate, Bain & Company, Burrell Communications, DLA Piper, Ernst & Young, Holland & Knight, IBM, Mayer Brown, and McDonalds, N’Digo, Perkins Coie, Schiff Hardin, University of Chicago Crime Lab, and Xerox.
In addition, the collaboration has been working to integrate the goals of World Business Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, which was rolled out earlier this year. That report calls for a regional strategy to attract, retain, and grow business, as well as an easier interaction for businesses with governmental agencies. This collaboration is one of several successful steps toward this goal. Deb DeHaas, Midwest regional managing partner of Deloitte, has joined the collaboration committee to enhance the voice of local business in the committee’s work.