Preckwinkle: Does she face biggest job?

5 Nov

Who: Toni Preckwinkle

Office: Cook County Board president

Job description: President of the Cook County Board oversees a budget of $3 billion and 24,000 jobs. Preckwinkle, as chief executive officer, will preside over the meetings of the County Board. She is the first woman to be elected to the office.

Personal: Preckwinkle, born in St. Paul, Minn., has been alderman of the 4th ward since 1991. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Chicago. Preckwinkle was a high school history teacher for 10 years after completing college. She has two children with her husband, Zeus.

Outlook: The Civic Federation watchdog group estimates the county will face a $285 million budget shortfall next year. Preckwinkle has promised to remove the remaining half-a-percent sales tax increase enacted by board President Todd Stroger. She has said this will not be done in her first year, however. She has also promised to cut taxes and clean up county government by ending patronage and waste. A transition Web site was promised during Preckwinkle’s acceptance speech, which will allow anyone to apply for county jobs in her administration. The site launched Nov. 3.

Christine Hurley