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:  
   
 
 

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 Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Stroger Goggles

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

Should citizens entrust $890 million a year in new tax revenues to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger? Put on a pair of Stroger Goggles, which distort reality, and you'll see what he sees -- a government that he says has achieved "enormous operational efficiencies" and adopted "modern business practices."

But if the Stroger Goggles slip off your nose, here's the tomfoolery you'll see instead:

- A board president who claims tremendous credit for cutting some 1,440 jobs in the last year now wants to add 1,130 new jobs in 2008. Stroger's campaign pledge to cut county employment to 22,000 workers? His budget would fatten the county payroll to 24,836. Stroger's promised economizing is headed in the wrong direction.
- An administration too timid to tell other elected county officials that no, they can't have still more money. And too timid to move employees from underworked departments -- example: the real estate slump has recorder's employees twiddling thumbs -- to departments that might need more help. Stroger's baffling solution: Give everybody new employees! (Warning: Don't propose a stunt this reckless and wasteful at your workplace.)

- A president who, two weeks ago, was rebuffed by the County Board in his attempt to hike the sales tax by 2 percentage points -- enough to raise $750 million a year -- is back for more: He still wants the $750 million -- and he also wants $140 million a year by doubling gasoline and parking taxes. He can't rush his tax hikes in place fast enough to collect all that money in 2008. But it'll all be there in 2009. Relax, he says -- he might cut some of those taxes for 2009 if the county decides it's collecting too much money. Care to bet on the likelihood of this government cutting taxes?

- A government still structured for the 19th Century, with redundancies Stroger didn't work to eliminate in his first year as president. Cook County tries to do too many things for too many interests. Economic development, affordable housing, highway maintenance -- all good. But why is Cook County forever taking on new missions but never sunsetting those that other governments, or private interests, can best deliver?

- An oblivious leadership that sees only its desires -- mostly its desires to placate Democratic bosses and public employees unions. Consider: One day before Stroger calls for more millions and more employees, DuPage County issues a proposed budget that calls for laying off 10.6 percent of its workforce -- and cutting spending by about 16.5 percent. That's painful -- but it acknowledges that taxpayers can afford only so much government. Ask yourself: Which of these counties apparently sees that Illinois citizens are facing a cascade of tax hike proposals from multiple levels of government? And which county is clueless?

- A county government that would grow its budget by more than $200 million next year, to an astonishing $3.2 billion. Taxpayers evidently are supposed to be grateful for those "enormous" efficiencies -- without which Stroger would want even more.

Todd Stroger is reckless and clueless. The Cook County Board must do what Stroger is unwilling and incapable of doing.

Board member Michael Quigley put it succinctly after Stroger spoke: "The price of patronage, of corruption, of inefficiency, has come due, and Cook County can't ask taxpayers to pay that bill. This government has never evolved, never streamlined. Until that happens, the public is right to be upset."

Stroger says he's not hearing from upset people. Apparently he can't see them through his Stroger Goggles. If you're not happy with his $890 million a year tax grab, let him know. His phone number is 312-603-6400.

Our hope, first stated in this space Oct. 2, is that the 17 commissioners will go through Stroger's proposed budget and give citizens a positive agenda: 10 Ways to Prevent a Tax Increase. Cook County government has no business asking for one penny in new taxes until it sensibly reallocates the huge resources it already has -- and settles on a mission taxpayers can afford. In the meantime, let's all keep our Stroger Goggles in a drawer.



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