Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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:  
   
 
 

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 Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



Judge Stroger by his budget

Thursday, January 04, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

Faced with a $500 million shortfall in a $3 billion budget, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has told the managers around him to envision a smaller county government. Specifically, he's asked all county officials (himself included) to cut their 2007 spending requests by 17 percent--the size of the total budget hole that Stroger says he won't plug with tax hikes.

So far, so good. Todd Stroger is subjecting county bosses to a superb exercise that never occurred when his father, John, sat in the board president's chair. In those years, county officials got most of whatever padded budgets they requested--and John Stroger's pet County Board told taxpayers to pick up the tab. Todd Stroger instead wants county managers to tell him what a downsized government would look like--just as many managers in the private sector must do when spending is high or revenues are slack.
What's Stroger's motive? The County Building has no shortage of mind readers:

- Some insiders think that, later this month, Stroger will impose across-the-board cuts that don't differentiate between shoddily run departments and the few that have economized.

- Others suspect he's gaming the public, asking for potential cuts so he can declare them too onerous to make. That would be a prelude to breaking his word and proposing tax hikes.

- Still others argue that Stroger and his finance team are doing the right thing, evaluating every department and drafting a budget that hits some offices harder than others.

We'll know which of these motives (or some other) drives Stroger when he proposes his budget. That document--not his or anyone else's words--will show whether he truly wants to streamline this flabby government and improve the services it offers.

How are county officials reacting to Stroger's 17 percent request? Some have resorted shamelessly to scare-mongering: Cut my precious budget and crime will skyrocket! Our justice system will grind to a halt!

Most county officials know where a $500 million guillotine should fall: on every departmental budget but theirs. Many of them are only pols; as managers, they're failures.

What most of them didn't anticipate, though, was a defection from their ranks. You could almost hear their squeaks of anguish when Public Defender Edwin Burnette said yes, he can reduce his budget by 17 percent. Like Treasurer Maria Pappas before him, Burnette acknowledges he can find creative ways to do his job without squeezing still more dollars out of taxpayers.

A 17 percent cut may not be right for every office. But for a government facing a projected 17 percent shortfall, it's the right place to take the discussion. Any official who resists Stroger's efforts should explain right now--loudly and clearly--why he or she wants a tax increase.

County Board member Forrest Claypool derides Stroger's call for 17 percent reductions as "budget cutting for dummies." We can't improve on the retort from fellow board member Michael Quigley: "We look grossly hypocritical if Stroger says `No new taxes' and we criticize his pressure on the other elected officials. They're like bratty children who've never been told `No.'"

Across-the-board planning is no substitute for a lengthy structural reform of the mess Stroger inherited. But the time to praise or knock his first budget is when he issues it, and all of us can see whether he keeps his word to hold spending and taxes in check. Fairness dictates that he be allowed to negotiate and draft a budget that tries to make a slovenly government more efficient.



Recent Headlines

Study says property tax system favors rich
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Property Tax System ‘More Regressive’ in Cook County, Report Finds
Friday, February 16, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

VIDEO: Cook County Jail detainees applaud CPD commander’s alleged killer
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Blockbuster report: How Cook County tax system shafts the little guy
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Order over lawsuits in Dorothy Brown’s office put on hold by appeals court
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Dorothy Brown can't 'end-run' First Amendment, judge says in denying delay
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County prosecutors toss more convictions tainted by corrupt ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Handwritten documents, Manila folders, carbon paper — welcome to Cook County criminal court
Monday, February 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County Commissioners missed over a third of Forest Preserve meetings
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail guards lock down sweet union contract—despite sour budget mess
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Running for judge, Dorothy Brown’s inspector general accepts donation from bos
Friday, February 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook Co. President Urges Trump To Stop ICE Arrests In Courthouses
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Beverly Patch

Voting in Jail? New Bill Seeks to Expand Ballot Access for Detainees
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

COOK COUNTY BOARD COMMISSIONER PROPOSES HEARING ON POLICE OVERSIGHT
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WBEZ BGA

Assessor Berrios Extends Deadline for Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption Applications
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: You can’t vote if you don’t have a ballot
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Early voting postponed as candidate nomination contested
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Jacksonville Journal Courier

Jail Population Plunge Has Been Good For Taxpayers, Dart Says
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
WBBM CBSChicago

Foxx: Berrios shouldn't use special state's attorney to fight ethics law
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Every suspicious Cook County death deserves a proper investigation
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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