Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Forest district tax hike to pay for hefty raises

Sunday, January 09, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

Cook County Board President John Stroger wants to increase property taxes to cover a Forest Preserve District budget that includes double-digit raises for some district workers and 51/2 percent raises for most.

The move to hike property taxes by 13.6 percent comes to cover $61 million in spending that includes:

*A salary for chief attorney Robert Kinchen that is 21 percent higher than his predecessor's.

*A 12 percent jump in salary for Joe Bishop and Sam Simone -- two politically connected aides to the district superintendent.

*No raises for electricians, plumbers or police sergeants.

*$3.6 million to hire consultants for capital improvement projects and $5 million more for vehicles.

*No money for toboggan slides.

"There is just no case being made for the additional revenues they say they need," said Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation. "What justification is there for such a substantial tax increase?"

District spokesman Steve Mayberry defended the budget, saying about two-thirds of the district's 489 employees will get a 51/2 percent cost-of-living increase -- their first such hike in three years -- and will also get a 4 percent or 5 percent "step" increase -- given for longevity.

Errors to be corrected

Many have criticized the one-two punch that means for taxpayers, including Stroger, but nothing has been done to take it away.

While Mayberry said Stroger "is committed to looking at eliminating the combination of the two in the future," nothing has been done since last year's budget battle, which included similar complaints.

Asked about even steeper raises reflected in the budget, finance chief Lenny Moore conceded Friday that the budget proposal includes several salary errors and vowed they'll be corrected before final passage.

Still, members of the Friends of the Forest Preserves cite the budget's increases in spending for volunteer programs and programs to improve district land, and Supt. Steve Bylina's openness to change.

Budget not 'mission-friendly'

Benjamin Cox, the group's president, called it "a very good budget overall," adding they know Bylina "is really fighting an uphill battle with making positive changes."

Still, critics expressed concerns about a budget that includes an 80 percent increase for office supplies at district headquarters and a 68 percent increase in training for the financial staff.

Commissioner Forrest Claypool said it is irresponsible "to seek such a huge property tax increase from hard-pressed homeowners" to pay for what Commissioner Mike Quigley called "not a mission-friendly budget," with too much money for managers and not enough for "guys with shovels and women with picks."

As Stroger takes this budget to taxpayers for public hearings this week, he does so with the support of most commissioners -- including Joseph Moreno, who wanted to pass the budget without any scrutiny at all.

----------------------------
PUBLIC CAN HAVE A SAY

Hearings are set for the public to comment on the Cook County Forest Preserve District's 2005 budget, which will increase property taxes by 13.6 percent:


6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Skokie courthouse, 5600 Old Orchard Rd.

6:30 p.m. Thursday, Maywood courthouse, 1500 S. Maybrook Dr.

6:30 p.m. Jan. 20, Markham courthouse, 16501 S. Kedzie Ave.

10 a.m. Jan. 31, Cook County Building, 118 N. Clark, Chicago

 

 



Recent Headlines

Cook County board to vote on new budget today
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WGN Channel 9

Preckwinkle agrees to fewer Cook County job cuts; hundreds of layoffs still in works
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Teamsters Local 700 Files for Temporary Restraining Order Against Cook County Merit Board
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

How Cook County finally got a new budget
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

More than 300 Cook County employees will lose jobs to balance budget
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail Population Down 15 Percent After Bond Reforms
Monday, November 20, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Stroger vs. Preckwinkle: Hide your wallets.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

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