Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.

Stroger should lead by example on budget cuts

Friday, December 22, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County needs to cut its costs by a half a billion dollars to balance its 2007 budget. New County Board President Todd Stroger this week raised protests among other countywide politicians and officials by demanding they help him do that by slashing their own budgets by 17 percent. Many of them complained that across-the-board cuts are overly simplistic and will penalize offices that already are doing a good job cutting waste. We agree -- but that doesn't let anyone off the hook.
Stroger promised during his campaign that he planned to slash thousands of jobs from a county payroll of about 26,000 to address the looming deficit. He should know that voters will not tolerate a tax increase -- and we doubt the County Board would pass one anyway. And so although we believe mandating the same cut on every office is the wrong approach, every office should be prepared for deep, deep cuts -- or be prepared to advocate for a tax increase to balance their budgets.
Take, for instance, the office of Public Defender Ed Burnette, who makes a good case that a 17 percent cut in his office would end up costing the county money. Because the county is required to provide a defense lawyer to poor people, it would have to hire more expensive outside lawyers if it doesn't have enough public defenders available. That would be counterproductive, and we trust Stroger, who said he'll use "common sense" when making cuts, will recognize the strength of the argument. At the same time, we hope Burnette is busy identifying areas in his office that can be cut without costing the county money.
Stroger, like caretaker President Bobbie Steele before him, has told offices that they should look to preserve their core services while trimming expensive extras. But officials are warning -- perhaps a bit overdramatically -- that the cuts inevitably will impact basic services and perhaps lead to mayhem. There'll be fewer guards at the jail. Fewer prosecutors, public defenders and clerks in the courts. Longer lines for county services everywhere. County residents might have to accept those changes as the cost of avoiding a tax increase -- but only if a long list of officials involved in the budget can demonstrate that they cut all the fat before they got to the lean meat.
Stroger, who has asked other officials to present their budgets to him by today, is at the top of that list. He's responsible for the Bureau of Health, which is widely believed to be the most wasteful and patronage-laden county department. He needs to set an example and present his plan for a streamlined and efficient health-care system. And everyone else needs to recognize that the county's days of high living are over, and austerity should now rule.

Recent Headlines

Chicago health system to add 240+ jobs
Monday, October 15, 2018
Becker's Hospital Review

Village of Northbrook Opts Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Monday, October 15, 2018
National Law Review

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim
Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County health system to add jobs
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

No layoffs or tax hike in mayoral hopeful Preckwinkle’s proposed county budget
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Inclusionary' housing ordinance rewrite advances
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Evanston Now

Faced with tight budgets, more Illinois counties merge clerk, recorder offices
Monday, October 08, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Class action: Hundreds of Cook Sheriff officer suspensions invalid, because State's Attorney not involved
Friday, October 05, 2018
Cook County Record

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Game of thrones? Watchdog sees ‘scheme to defraud’ in Pritzker toilet tax break
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Board approves $31M election equipment contract despite lawsuit; $11M to settle 2 malpractice lawsuits
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County approves new election equipment contract, despite rival firm’s lawsuit
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

all news items

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