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updated: 1/28/2011 10:14 PM

Soapbox: Todd Stroger's successor

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

It's early yet, but may we just say that, so far, new Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is a breath of fresh air?

Todd Stroger's successor, part 2:

Preckwinkle's been in office a little more than a month, and she's already been in the Northwest suburbs twice that we know of, just this week. Hmmm, she may already have tied Stroger's term-long record for suburban trips.

A $103,509 bonus?

When Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago officials announced they would end generous severance payoffs on Jan. 1, 78 employees decided to take their money and leave -- to the tune of $2.4 million in payments, with the highest bonus at $103,509. One question for district officials on behalf of weary taxpayers: Why in the world did it take you so long to stop this budget buster?

Smart move in Elgin:

At the suggestion of Kane County, the city of Elgin last year raised the fees it charges for food handling permits to be in line with other towns. But the City Council decided this week, at the suggestion of Mayor Ed Schock, to rebate the portion that does not reflect inspection costs. That's good for business.

Saluting our Leadership Team:

Each year at this time, as we present the Daily Herald Leadership Team of suburban students who make a difference, we're awe-struck by the incredible number of good deeds some of our young people do. Just amazing.

The Jay Cutler knee thing:

Please, can we move on to something else yet?

Santa with an ax:

The lesson from Buffalo Grove police who responded Thursday to alarming reports from citizens: If you're filming a student video involving weird behavior or scary props, tip off the local cops in advance.

Beam in the eye:

And, please, tip off a cop if you hear of anyone pointing lasers at airplanes that are about to land. The green light beams can temporarily blind pilots during crucial moments. The new legislative proposal to make such menacing acts a criminal offense is a no-brainer.

Keeping it close:

It's good news that Motorola Solutions has decided to keep its operations in Schaumburg, and we encourage Motorola Mobility, which also separated from the former Motorola Inc., to stick around as well. We can't stress enough that Chicago's suburbs are a great place to live, work and do business.

Put a lock on safety:

The story of a 4-year-old who left his house in the middle of the night and was found safe nearly a mile away on busy Arlington Heights Road evoked both alarm and relief. But, as online comments by parents showed, youngsters who get away aren't exactly rare. So check your inside door locks one extra time tonight.

Remembering Bill Schoepke:

We mourn one of our own this week. As the paper's vice president of production, Bill understood type better than almost anyone. As a company employee for more than half a century, he played a key role in the paper's rise to prominence. And as a loyal and warmhearted colleague, he was part of our family.