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.

  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.

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 — to merge forest preserve police with sheriff's police — 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

Pappas: There's help for senior citizens struggling to pay Cook County property taxes
Friday, December 14, 2018
Special to

Cook County Public Guardian sues DCFS: “Abject moral and human rights failure”
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Capitol Fax

Borrow $10B to help stabilize city pensions along with legal pot, casino and benefit cuts: Rahm
Thursday, December 13, 2018
The Daily Line

CTA Moves Forward with Major Red Line Projects:
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Special to

Cook County repeals lower parking-app tax rate
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

How local suburbs voted in Cook County minimum wage/paid sick leave advisory referenda
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Bugel

Cook County restores tax on parking apps before January cut took effect
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County Board to take on taxes,toilets at Wednesday meeting
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

PRECKWINKLE’s tax tweak — Details on BURKE raids — State REPUBLICANS look for hope — SUMMERS’ tirade
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Illinois Politico

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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