Deadline looms for voluntary Cook Co. budget cuts

January 19, 2011 3:21:27 PM PST
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said his office is close to a breaking point because of budget cuts-- and he can't see how he can cut more.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has asked all county officials to make the 21 percent cuts by Thursday.

"We have shut buildings down, saving $11 million. We have taken furlough days. We have been in the trenches at the forefront of doing cuts in county government. I challenge any other office to do what we have done in the last four years," Sheriff Dart said.

The county faces a budget deficit of about half a million dollars. Preckwinkle told officers if they didn't make the cuts, she would do it for them. Preckwinkle says she will submit a balanced budget whether or not she gets help from all the leaders. She calls it "shared sacrifice" and says everyone has to do their part.