Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
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 Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Cooked County

Thursday, July 20, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

John Daley spoke a great truth Wednesday as he nominated fellow Commissioner Bobbie Steele for interim president of the Cook County Board. "She knows the problems of the county," Daley offered.

How could she not? Many of those problems were sitting and standing around the boardroom, looking fearful for their jobs. So many fretful department heads and doe-eyed payrollers crammed into Wednesday's meeting that a line of mere citizen-taxpayers--hey, why make room for them?--couldn't get in the door.

Precious few of those County Building apparatchiks had any real business at the meeting--the sole purpose of which was to decide who will serve out the final four-plus months of the incapacitated John Stroger's current term.

The day's priceless moment: seeing the stunned looks on all those county faces when the meeting's chair, Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno, gamely said he was certain, just certain, that they all had taken vacation time to skip out of work. Right.

Still, the selection of Steele as interim president seemed to calm the nervous payrollers. They had dreaded the prospect that a reform commissioner, Forrest Claypool, might prevail and actually start to slash at the fat in county government.

Yes, Steele talked her own game of reform Wednesday when she asked for her fellow board members' votes. The payrollers briefly furrowed their brows when she told the commissioners, "The taxpayers are fed up with poor service and waste." Nice words. But the relieved payrollers see Steele as a safe, reliable John Stroger loyalist who won't lay off Democratic patronage hires.

If that proves to be the case, you can stick a fork in what we ought to start calling Cooked County. Nobody knows how big the county's budget shortfall will be for the 2006 fiscal year that ends in November. But to pick a number, Steele has to slash county spending by $1 million a day to balance that budget.

Maybe Steele will demand that county government make long overdue cuts. Or maybe she'll stick to the Stroger playbook: Talk and talk about economizing--but don't even think about dismantling the patronage system that has produced so much structural inefficiency and so many do-little employees.

There were lots of dutiful nods during Wednesday's meeting to the pathbreaking reform proposals that Claypool and fellow Democratic Commissioner Michael Quigley have been drafting for years. Republicans Gregg Goslin and Peter Silvestri came to the meeting with their own lists of cost-saving ideas that Steele could ask the County Board to implement immediately. But unless you read that Steele is cutting the county's plump payroll, don't bet that she can reduce spending by a real $1 million a day.

We hope Steele follows all this advice and rescues Cooked County. But it's early to celebrate. Several of the commissioners who elected Steele interim president have long records of supporting whatever tax increase will cover whatever gross hiring and spending catches their fancy.

Which delivers us to John Daley's other shrewd observation Wednesday, after so many of his fellow commissioners paid lip service to making county government efficient. What we have here, Daley confided, is a County Board that knows it can't raise taxes. He's right. This government is too swollen, too political, too resented by taxpayers who've had enough.

So, Interim President Steele, good luck. Just keep murmuring, "$1 million a day."



Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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