Todd Stroger Likes His Friends, and His Family More

Less than one month ago, Cook County government was struggling, facing a February 29th shut-down. Now, they’re swimming in it, and Stroger has money to give away.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Stroger’s cousin, Donna Dunnings, will get a 12 percent pay increase as part of the 2008 budget.

How nice.

When Cook County Board President Todd Stroger introduced his cousin Donna Dunnings as the county’s new chief financial officer last year, they each boasted of the savings taxpayers would realize. She would take a salary far less than the previous CFO.

That was then.

Records show Dunnings is set to get a bigger raise than any other county employee in Stroger’s budget — a 12 percent increase — as part of the 2008 budget.

The average county raise is about 5 percent for most employees, records show. Those working in Dunnings’ office will get, on average 3.5 percent raises.

Dunnings will make about $5,000 more than Tom Glaser did in that same job, earning almost $160,000. Why the giant leap?

Dunnings’ double-digit jump is because “she’s doing twice the work she was before and has more responsibilities,” said Stroger spokesman Gene Mullins.

“She only took [less pay] when we didn’t have any money,” he said, referring to the just-passed 1 percentage point sales tax increase that is so substantial, it will ultimately give county government more money than it needs to operate.

In fighting for that tax, Stroger repeatedly asked taxpayers and commissioners to make sacrifices for the good of county government.

Stroger spokeswoman Ibis Antongiorgi later said Dunnings initially took the lower salary “because of her commitment to the county and public service.”

Since then, however, Dunnings’ performance “warranted” the large raise, Antongiorgi said, and brings her more in line with other county CFOs.

Well, good for her. I wouldn’t want to see Dunnings show up at county CFO parties with her head down.

Right.

March roared in like a lion with the Cook County board, and Todd Stroger is taking the lion’s share for those close to him. The 1 percent increase gave Chicago the distinction of having the highest overall sales tax of any major U.S. city: 10.25 percent. Meanwhile, the hundreds of county employees laid off last year “when we didn’t have any money” have yet to be called back.

Because Todd Stroger likes his friends, and his family more.

  • Squareone1

    First off, you said you supported Stroger, first question, why? Second, name me something he’s done prior to being to commissioner that warranted his nomination for the position, outside of his relation to his father? Then third, you shouldn’t even have a opinon on a person you helped get in to office, Forrest Claypool or Perica would have been way better candidates, but nooo!!! More chicago dynasty b.s., as a chicagoan, I’m ashamed that people take no initiative to learn about candidates and vote for the way they’re told to do, and then wonder why when Stroger say’s “I haven’t read the report” act stunned. I’m sorry Todd is only a reflection of the morons who put him in power. Dwell on that

  • towers60610

    The problem with your logic in justifying Dunnings salary is that you are assuming Tom Glaser would not have gotten a raise. Based on how raises were given for Cost of living adjustments, Glaser would have been making more than Dunnings.

  • G

    towers60610: You may be correct that Glaser also got a raise, but did he get a 12 percent raise? That’s a bit beyond a cost of living increase. The whole thing just seems inappropriate.

  • towers60610

    You are getting my point. If Glaser got the Cost of living increase as a CFO, if he was still the CFO, he would be making more than Dunnings would be. So the point is that Dunnings for doing the job of a CFO is making around the same amount Glaser would be making if he were still the CFO. So are we talking about the value of responsiblities of a CFO for cook county or value of the person doing the job.