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.
   
     
     
     



Stroger halfway home as forest district OKs tax increase
But much tougher vote looms on Cook County budget

Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Chicago Tribune
by Mickey Ciokajlo

Cook County Forest Preserve District commissioners easily approved a 2005 budget Tuesday that includes a 13.5 percent property-tax increase, the majority of which will pay for a major capital-improvement program.

Several commissioners justified the tax increase by citing the new $100 million bond program and a turnaround in administration that has earned the district praise over the last year.

The board voted to approve the budget 13-4, with the dissenters criticizing the tax increase and urging the district to further reform a management structure that they say is top-heavy.

The vote was a victory for Board President John Stroger. He faces a more difficult task with his much larger Cook County budget where he has proposed new hotel and restaurant taxes.

A vote on the county budget is expected by the end of the month. The same 17-member board oversees the county and the forest preserves.

"I am proud of this budget, like the rest of you, and we have another one to go forward with," Stroger told commissioners after the votes were cast at the conclusion of an eight-hour meeting.

District officials estimate the increased property tax will cost the owner of a house valued at $200,000 an extra $4.26 next year.

Like school districts, the forest preserve is limited in how much it can increase its tax levy each year. However, state legislators last year granted the district authority to issue $100 million in bonds and to pay for the debt with property taxes.

Half of the money will be split between the Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden for what officials say are long-needed capital improvements. The district will use the remainder for upgrades yet to be approved.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), who frequently clashes with Stroger, said approval of the bonds "for me is the justification for supporting the property tax increase."

Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago) disagreed.

"This is a bad budget," Claypool said. "The status quo prevails."

In dissent, Claypool was joined by Commissioners Elizabeth Gorman (R-Orland Park), Tony Peraica (R-Riverside) and Mike Quigley (D-Chicago).

Environmental groups that have criticized the district in recent years came out in favor of the budget last week, saying the forest preserves are headed in a better direction under the leadership of General Supt. Steven Bylina.

With the new bonded debt, the 2005 budget is $197.5 million. The district's corporate fund for day-to-day operations is $38.2 million, 5 percent lower than in 2004.

The budget includes funding for 489 full-time employees, two fewer than a year ago.

A small band of commissioners attempted to cut more management employees through budget amendments Tuesday, but they were defeated by wide margins on various attempts.



Recent Headlines

Elevating Evanston Youth
Monday, February 24, 2020
Northwestern

$14 million settlement proposed in lawsuit over Cook County inmates masturbating in front of female public defenders
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

The correct response to violent crime? Believe it or not, we're seeing it in Cook County.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

For The First Time In More Than A Decade, The Waitlist For Suburban Public Housing Is Opening
Friday, February 21, 2020
WBEZ News

Flashback: Cook County Hospital was home to big egos, surgical drama and stalwarts who found purpose in treating the poor
Friday, February 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Can courts do more to force FOID card violators to give up their guns?
Monday, February 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Keep the Cook County Health board independent
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Park Ridge looks to move 911 dispatching services to Cook County call center
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A report’s flaws suggest: Cook County bail reforms may have endangered the public
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Offering rehab instead of jail time, ‘Drug Court’ gives some a second chance
Thursday, February 13, 2020
WGN News

Preckwinkle aide barred from her offices after sexual harassment incident
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

New outreach group combating Cook County’s opioid crisis by offering treatment, hope
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
WGN News

Evanston Officials Eye County Grant for Construction of New Animal Shelter
Monday, February 10, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

CTA to spend $38 million studying Red Line extension
Monday, February 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

In Illinois — the Prairie State — little prairie land remains. But work is being done to save what’s left in Cook County and restore more.
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Brookfield Zoo chief heads for the exits
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Suspect in weekend killing of Cook County inmate accused of beating another detainee in November attack captured on video
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Tribune

MacArthur grants Cook County another $2.5 million for criminal justice reform
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Property tax hikes won’t be that bad, new report says
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

MacArthur Foundation donates $2.5 million to Cook County Criminal Courts
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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