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 Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Steele off to good start, but faces big challenges

Friday, August 04, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Editorial

The brief reign of Cook County Board President Bobbie Steele has begun. Although she represents no clear break from the insular politics that have for many years characterized county government, she is saying the right things and making some sound moves, particularly by taking on one of the county's long-festering problems, the Juvenile Detention Center. She promised she would be open, accountable and transparent. That makes for a good start.

 Steele, a longtime County Board member picked by her colleagues to serve the last four months of the ailing John Stroger's term, doesn't have the luxury of coasting through December. The county is facing a looming $300 million budget deficit and tough choices need to be made immediately. Steele compared the county to a "great dinosaur" and said she'd begin the task of turning things around by instituting a hiring freeze -- wasn't there supposed to be one already? -- and warning department heads that cuts will be needed.

In a meeting with the Sun-Times editorial board Thursday, she said streamlining government is on the table -- a sensible idea that Stroger long resisted. She also proposed simple things like consolidating purchases and telling front-line health-care workers that, yes, they can ask patients if they have insurance instead of assuming that they don't, or, incredibly, not billing it when they do.

She picked J. W. Fairman to fix the juvenile center, where unsafe and unsanitary conditions persist despite a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. Fairman appears a reasonable short-term choice but may not represent the best permanent solution. For one, he has been working at the center for four years with Jerry Robinson, the superintendent who resigned Monday. Many critics hoped that Steele, who baby-sat for Fairman when he was an infant, would have picked someone more independent. But it may have been difficult for Steele to attract an outsider given the fact that she's only going to be in charge for four months. Top candidates may resist knowing that a new person will be in charge in December. Fairman, who was the county's director of public safety and has a background in running prisons and jails, said Stroger, or the people around the president, prevented him from making changes at the center during the last four years.

For now, like the ACLU, we are willing to give him a chance. The first proof will be in whether he quickly replaces workers at the center who are resisting reform efforts. His desire to hire Carl Sanniti, an expert on juvenile reform who already is working on a plan to fix the center, is a good sign.

Steele doesn't have a lot of time to make a difference, but it's heartening that she is trying.



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