Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor and privilege to serve as the Cook County Board Commissioner and Forest Preserve District Board Commissioner for the 13th District which includes the following Cities and Villages: 49th & 50th Wards of the City of Chicago, the City of Evanston and the Villages of Glencoe, Glenview, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Skokie, Wilmette and Winnetka. 

Although our Cook County government has a low profile, it is a vast operation with many important responsibilities and an annual budget of $4.8 billion. It is responsible for operating our court system, jail, maintaining over 69,000 acres of forest preserves, and acting as a healthcare safety net through the operation of three hospitals and sixteen clinics.

The purpose of this site is to provide information on Cook County government and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County as well as links to other government resources. I regularly post news stories and information on County and Forest Preserve issues which may be of interest to you. Additionally, my legislative library contains up-to-date information on County and Forest Preserve legislation.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions or ideas you have regarding Cook County or the Forest Preserve District. I hope you find this site useful. Thank you for taking the time to visit.


Larry Suffredin

December 2019


Attention Homeowners

Niles Township will open for appeals on December 9th and close on January 7.

Click here to check status of your appeal at the Board of Review

Click here to see the powerpoint from the Niles tax appeal workshop

To read the Niles Township Residential 2019 Assessment Narrative click here

To read the Niles Township Industrial/Commercial 2019 Assessment Narrative click here

To see an interactive map of Niles Township click here



Statement from Com. Larry Suffredin: A "NO" Vote for Cook County Forest Preserve 2020 Budget and a Renewed Call for a Referendum to Save Our Forest Preserves

On November 19, 2019, I voted against a maintenance 2020 Cook County Forest Preserve District Budget that failed to protect the work that has been done to protect our land. This budget is a third caretaker’s budget in a row that does not address the actual needs to protect our land resources and strengthen the commitment to the future. In the past 3 years I have called for a referendum to give our voters a voice to increase real estate tax funding to do three things: 1. Approve funds to expand restoration services on our land; 2. Acquire additional land while some still exists; and 3. Increase our subsidies to the Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Our Forest Preserves land survives because of the thousands of hours that our volunteers give to protect our vast and diverse holdings. We all owe these dedicated volunteer workers a thank you for their service. These volunteers have called for us to put a referendum on the March 2020 ballot to increase property taxes to cover necessary expenses. After much discussion it became clear that there was not enough support on the Board to place such a referendum on the ballot. Our failure to act places the future of the Forest Preserve District in great jeopardy.

As a Non-Home Rule unit of local government, the Forest Preserve District can only raise funds through property taxes, fees or any other authorization the Illinois General Assembly may grant. Tax cap limits on non-home rule units of governments have crippled the Forest Preserve District’s ability to keep up with inflation. In addition, unfunded mandates from the State have put a pension burden on the District as well as limited our ability to properly protect the land.

A referendum would have given the voters the right to decide what level of taxation would have been appropriate. The referendum campaign would have highlighted the stormwater protection our lands provide all, the carbon reduction our trees and other vegetation provide to improve our air quality and the recreational and educational opportunities the land offers. Unfortunately, the positive discussion this campaign would have raised will never happen. The will of the voters will never be known.

For the last three years I have stated that the budgets were the best we can do; but we must do better. Now the simple need for more financial resources to protect and acquire land will be in the hands of the General Assembly which must grant us relief from tax caps.

This Budget is the fifth to have input from the Conservation Council whose role is to help us create a clear vision for the future. The Council has called for the last five years to expanded land restoration and land acquisition. This budget fails to meet that vision.

The Budget maintains too low a level of support for the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Brookfield Zoo. This funding level does not allow them to adequately serve the public. Millions of people visit and learn about conservation and the environment from these two jewels that anchor our outreach and educational programming. Neither the Garden nor the Zoo can continue their level of excellence without increased funding. This budget will force us to take radical actions through increased fees to preserve the Garden and the Zoo. This action will limit our outreach to the poorer members of our community.

While a referendum was the best way for the Cook County Forest Preserve District to obtain the funds, we now need a miracle to allow future generations to enjoy the beauty of our land.

Finally, this budget shows that the attention of the Commissioners is much more focused on the County government and not on the Forest Preserve government. This is the time to consider separating the two governments and giving the Forest Preserves a separate governing board.

My No vote is my plea to find a miracle. 

A “Yes” Vote For the 2020 Cook County Budget

On November 21, 2019, I voted “yes” on the 2020 Cook County budget as a reasonable approach to protecting key services. There were no issues or controversies surrounding this budget.

For the second year, there are no tax increases included in this budget. This budget was crafted to maximize services and protect taxpayers from unfair taxation. It is also the result of serious budgeting decisions that have been made over the last three years that focused on cost savings.

The 2020 budget provides essential services with appropriate revenues including one-time revenues from a City of Chicago TIF surplus, and increased earned income from the Cook County Health and Hospital System and the CountyCare Insurance program for Medicaid recipients.

This budget allows our Cook County Health and Hospital System to meet changing patient needs through better planning by the Independent Board and better use of Public Health resources including continued funding of both Access to Care and the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The Cook County Chief Circuit Judge and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Offices are given additional staff to expand our pre-trial services and help reduce our overall costs of maintaining the criminal justice system. Both the Cook County Board of Review and Cook County Assessor are given additional staff positions that should increase the efficiency of the assessment process and give the public confidence in the fairness of their assessments. Many of these new jobs will generate revenue for future budgets.

This budget includes the $350 million extra pension payment the County established three years ago. Our pensions are among the most stable in Illinois, but they will continue to need this extra payment to stay strong. This payment protects our taxpayers from the pension shock other local governments are facing.

The County’s financial future is dependent on better planning and continued anticipation of changes needed to deliver more efficient services. To continue this type of budget for the future, the County Board will have to aggressively review the implementation of the budget and challenge County staff to perform more efficiently.


Detention of Juveniles under 13

The Illinois Appellate Court yesterday ruled that a Cook County Ordinance I sponsored, which prohibited the incarceration of juveniles under 13 at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, exceeded our Home Rule powers and was unenforceable.

I am disappointed in the ruling and hope that the Cook County Public Defender will petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The ordinance was intended to protect juveniles from the harm that incarceration at an early age does to a child’s future.

Click here to read the opinion.  

Temperatures are dropping.  Cook County has opened emergency warming centers. For details on countywide locations click here 

In Skokie the location is at Niles Township offices  5255 Lincoln Ave.
Skokie, IL 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. M-F

In Glenview there are three places the Glenview Public Library 1930 Glenview Road 9am to 9pm daily

Glenview Park Center 2400 Chestnut Ave  Park Center Front Desk Hours:
M-F 9 am - 7:30 pm Sat & Sun 9 am - 3 pm

Glenview Municipal Center 2500 East Lake Ave.

Skokie Public Library 5215 Oakton Street Skokie, IL

Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM Saturday, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM Sunday, 12:00 Noon - 6:00 PM

Skokie Park District Devonshire Cultural Center 4400 Greenwood Ave.

Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM Saturday, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday, 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Skokie Park District Oakton Community Center 4701 Oakton Street

Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 8:00 PM Saturday, 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM Sunday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Skokie Park District Weber Leisure Center 9300 Weber Park Place

Monday - Friday, 5:00 AM - 10:00 PM Saturday & Sunday, 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM

*In extreme weather conditions the Circuit Court of Cook County may designate Skokie Courthouse as a 24 hour emergency warming or cooling center

Evanston: for details of where to go in Evanston click here

Rogers Park:

Warming Centers 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday

Warming Centers are not open on weekday holidays unless specifically indicated. Hours and days may be extended under extreme conditions. Also, other City facilities might be designated for warming purposes during off hours, That is why it is important to call 3-1-1 for information concerning Warming Center locations, especially during off hours and on weekday holidays)North Area 845 W. Wilson Ave.Chicago, IL 60640As a back up:Police Stations:24 District - 6464 N. ClarkChicago Public Library Northtown Library 6800 N. Western Avenue


Residents should always follow these tips during cold weather to keep themselves and their families safe:

  • Never use your oven for heat.
  • Never bring charcoal or gas grills indoors (they are a carbon monoxide hazard).
  • Make sure all portable heaters are unplugged when not in use.
  • Use electric space heaters with extreme caution – avoid placing them near curtains or other flammable materials and turn them off before going to bed.
  • Keep heat at adequate levels or leave faucets open with a slight drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep moving. Your body generates its own heat when you engage in physical activities. 

 Perkins Woods Workday (located at 2353 Ewing)

On December 7, there will be a workday to clear out young buckthorn, and also to cut young ash from the center of the woods.

This project is in preparation for a May workday planting shrubs.

Please contact Libby Hill if you would like to participate at

Additional details can be found here

Nov. 15 is Opening Day for Forest Preserves of Cook County Picnic and Special Event Permit Sales, 2020 Camping Reservations

Permits, reservations available online and in person for details click here

Click here to review the Cook County Health Strategic Plan

Click here to read Transforming Cook County Heath

Click here for the District 13 Resident Healthcare Guide


all news items

Column: Twitter exchange with Cook County assessor sums up outrage and exodus: Tax hikes are paying for debt, not services.
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles taxing bodies, including schools, set to share $3.4 million surplus of TIF district funds
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Pioneer Press

Unknown tale: Father George Clements’s role in Cook County court reform
Monday, December 02, 2019
Injustice Watch

State panel faces Dec. 31 deadline for property tax relief recommendations
Monday, December 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A drop in people, a $1 billion rise in property taxes
Monday, December 02, 2019
Daily Herald

In tents and under bridges, a new Cook County sheriff’s office program helps hard-to-reach drug users
Sunday, December 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

No pay-to-play in the Cook County assessor's office
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Dorothy Brown’s office debuts upgrade to criminal court computers to wide ridicule
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Chicago Tribune

What's happening to Chicago's safety-net hospitals?
Monday, November 25, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Health CEO ousted by board
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County OKs suburban infrastructure funding
Friday, November 22, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Health CEO out at the end of 2019 after hospital system opts against renewing his contract
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board greenlights 2020 budget
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Former friary to ‘revert to its natural state’ under Cook County Forest Preserve District
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Daily Southtown

Federal Prosecutors to Participate in ‘Project Guardian’ to Target Chicago Gun Crime
Thursday, November 21, 2019

Cook County Board approves $6.2 billion budget for 2020, without increases in taxes or fees
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Commissioner Suffredin Commentary: Cook County forest preserve budget won’t meet needs of Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden and other land
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Re-enactors portray 1600’s through Civil War during annual Settlers’ Day
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Special to

Opportunity for small developers, and distressed neighborhoods: The Cook County Land Bank Authority celebrates 500th property rehab
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

50,000 Cook County food stamp recipients need to find jobs to continue getting benefits in 2020
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
WGN News Chicago

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.