Reading Jake Griffin's article in the Daily Herald highlighting the $6,500 stipends being paid yearly to county officials, totaling $3.4 million, makes me livid. I don't want to hear yet another political figure say "in a multimillion-dollar budget, it's not a big deal." My answer to Maria Pappas and all others who have spouted similar words is: It is a big deal.
This is done all over the country, I am sure, though probably not to the extent it is done in Cook County. So my comment is: If all those "no big deals" are added up, one might find they significantly impact the huge budget deficits.
Andy Shaw comments that there may have been a good reason for the state to pay them years ago when government salaries were low. I wonder if government salaries were any lower than the public's salaries at that time. Were nongovernmental employees receiving stipends? Sorry, it's a job -- you do a job, you get paid for doing the job, for doing a good job. No stipends necessary!