Republican Chris Hanusiak is challenging incumbent Democrat Larry Suffredin in the November election.
The Chicago Sun-Times sent both candidates in the 13th district Cook County Board race a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the county. Hanusiak submitted the following responses.
Cook County has cut its spending and probably will pass a budget that includes no new revenues. Given the county government’s resources and responsibilities, what else would you do to cut or to generate sustainable revenues? How much would money would that save or generate? Are you willing to vote for new taxes or fees? Please be specific.
Hanusiak: This is certainly a question which media should ask those who have held county office for the last several decades. There is no reason why taxpayers should suffer yet more tax increases or increased fees. The County Board has not fully nor dutifully forensically audited and re-examined unfilled or unnecessary job positions, nor has it maintained managerial restraints on personnel expansion.
The Cook County Health and Hospitals System lost out on some $165 million in revenue over three years because of lax clerical procedures and errors, according to report last spring by the county inspector general. What would you do to end this kind of waste?
Hanusiak: Hospital waste needs rectification through an adaption of budget planning, cost control and re-examination of purchasing contracts.
Who is Chris Hanusiak?
He’s running for: Cook County Board of Commissioners, 13th District
His political/civic background:
- Village of Niles Trustee 5 years
- Niles Township Republican Committeeman
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Knights of Columbus
- Niles Chamber of Commerce
- Friends of the Niles Library
His occupation: Business Owner (Royal Kitchen and Bath Cabinets, Niles)
His education: Attended Wright College and University of Illinois, Chicago
Campaign website: hanusiakforcookcounty.com/
What should the County Board’s role be in assisting economically depressed areas in the south suburbs? Should the county sheriff take over policing responsibilities in more suburbs that are struggling to maintain police protection?
Hanusiak: The Sheriff’s office is already overburdened with policing responsibilities and local communities which are struggling to maintain police protection need to replace politicians’ “plans” with those of professional service experience. Cook County cannot, and should not, pick up the problems of local officials which would more assuredly encourage other municipalities to pass the buck to an already over strained police force.
As a commissioner, how strongly would you support efforts to ensure that voting within the county is secure?
Hanusiak: Voting problems and concomitant security concerns can best be rectified by the County Clerk’s office. “Ensured voting” is a vague, imprecise and testy topic since it involves questions of how registrations are conducted, etc. It is the province of the State of Illinois to get its act together.
What should the County Board do to help reduce gun violence?
Hanusiak: Reduce gun violence by making punishment for such usage more meaningful. Most of the reported incidents are committed by gang bangers who use stolen weapons, not by members of the NRA. Courts are too lenient in applying sociological explanatories instead of implementing current laws.
What ordinances would you propose and make a priority?
Hanusiak: This question is best undertaken after current county “leaders” explain why their policies haven’t worked and why they keep passing the buck to future candidates and officials.
Should Cook County create a Consensus Revenue Forecasting Commission to give the board independent analyses?
Hanusiak: We don’t need yet another wasteful arm of county government. Computer programs already exist to allow less time expended on data consolidation, improve accuracy in demand forecasting, and creation of expenditures scenarios. Hire competent financial managers and quit pushing such simple solutions onto more political bureaucracies.
Does it make sense for the sheriff’s department to take over the Cook County forest preserve police? Does it make sense for Stroger Hospital to have its own police force? Please explain.
Hanusiak: At the present time forest preserve policing status should be maintained until a cost-benefit analyses be conducted. It is the purview of the Illinois legislature to create a statutory police department at the county hospital, not the county’s. Here is yet another example of confusion over government and who-does-what.
Within the forest preserve system, native plants areas in unmanaged land are deteriorating at a rate of about 3 percent per year because of weeds and invasive species. What should be done, if anything, to protect the forest preserve’s ecosystems?
Hanusiak: Give professional and civic groups a wider ambiance and authority to assist in the solution of the weeds problem.
Are county commissioners, who are mostly Democrats, independent enough of their party and the president?
Hanusiak: “Independent enough” from whom and from what? Independent of the Democrat committeemen who slate them? Independent enough from Madigan legislative control and manipulation? Independent enough from lobbying interests and pressures? Independent enough from big campaign donors? Maybe the city-elected commissioners should run as “independents” and not as identified Democrats. Same goes for suburbs.
What can the county do to create synergies with the City of Chicago? Or is this unnecessary?
Hanusiak: “Synergies” is merely a prop word in the continuing fakery that government “leaders” are doing something. The original definition meant the co-operation between different governmental units who share similar services and to allocate capacity functions, accountability mechanism, etc. Synergistic moves make sense ONLY when competent officials plan such co-ordination. I have the skills to do it, but regular politicians want to merely feed the alligator and hope no one figures out their failures before the next election.