Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

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.

Cook forest district OKs $162M budget

Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman

With far less debate than usual among its fractious members, the Cook County Forest Preserve District board Tuesday approved a $162 million budget.

The budget was warmly received by watchdog and conservation organizations that have sharply criticized district management in the past. The budget, approved on a 12-to-4 vote, increases the property tax levy by 8.5 percent, or $6.4 million.

It will mean an average tax increase of about $2.74 for a home worth $200,000.

Half of the tax increase goes to funding operations, while the other half goes to paying back last year's $50 million bond sale for districtwide renovations.

Those supporting the budget said Supt. Steven Bylina has done a good job of retooling the district to focus on service and reigning in out-of-control costs.

"Twelve years ago, we were drowning in red ink," finance committee chairwoman Bobbie Steele (D-Chicago) said. "This year, we have a fund balance."

The four "no" votes came from three commissioners gunning for county board President John Stroger's job, as well as Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman (R-Orland Park).

"We could have sustained this (spending on capital improvements) without a tax increase," Gorman said. "We could have whittled at costs."

Commissioner Anthony Peraica (R-Riverside), another of the "no" votes, proposed two amendments to the budget, which both failed. One would have removed a much-criticized administrative position given to Palos Township Democratic Committeeman Sam Simone last year.

"This post was added and filled on the basis of political affiliation and is not needed," Peraica said.

Bylina defended Simone's work, saying he works as a fill-in district superintendent wherever one is needed, as well as overseeing the district's overhaul of policy regarding homes on district property

Peraica's other suggestion ó to merge forest preserve police with sheriff's police ó was rejected by board members who said the sheriff would demand more officers if given added duties. Because sheriff's police make more than district police, they said, there would be no cost savings.

The budget cuts seven positions, including two top-level administrators, and adds 18 new ones, mostly for conservation specialists and for clerks who will free up front-line maintenance staff for field work.

Also included in the budget is $1 million for more land acquisition and money for metal bins in picnic areas to dump hot charcoal from barbecue grills.

No money is allocated to fix the popular but broken-down toboggan slides at Swallow Cliff, but a plan to privatize and repair the slides is before committee.

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

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