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.

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

Stroger Goggles

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Chicago Tribune

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

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.