Plan aims to make county government more 'open'

April 19, 2011 2:15:20 PM PDT
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and commissioners from both parties announced reforms Tuesday to make their government more transparent.

Preckwinkle said she'll introduce to the board the Open Cook County Plan. She hopes commissioners approve it within a month.

In addition, Preckwinkle said, the county will set up an informative website.

"The public has a right to easy access to information that sheds light on the inner-workings of county government," said Preckwinkle.

"We always have learned that government is for the people and by the people. This type of initiative will make it with the people. People will be involved in making Cook County government even better, and even more open and more transparent," said Commissioner Peter Silvestri, (R) Chicago, west and northwest suburbs.

"People will be able to access and use and visualize data ranging on anything, from health statistics to forest preserve facilities availabilities to incident reports," said Commissioner John Fritchey, (D) North Side.

The reforms are intended to save money by making it easier for the county to meet freedom of information requests.