Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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:  

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


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

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

Steele off to good start, but faces big challenges

Friday, August 04, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times

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

Cook County circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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