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.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



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

Morning Spin: Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper give campaign cash in soda tax fight
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County’s ‘health’ lie, in black and white
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Medical District to get largest ambulance garage in Cook County
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Family Health Network Members Join CountyCare
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health to buy piece of struggling insurer's Medicaid biz
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Chief judge names acting public guardian for Cook County
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County sweetened beverage sales continue to decline
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

New bond court rules take effect, but not much of an effect
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Bond court gets underway in Cook County with different judges, new guidelines
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Harwood Heights adds retail theft as ordinance violation
Monday, September 18, 2017

Cook County’s Homeland Security interim chief resigns
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County's social worker for the dead helps the unclaimed find final resting places
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After legal challenges, Cook County's court for unwed parents quietly goes away
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Welcome to Cook County, Mayor Bloomberg. You're getting played on the soda tax.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Evans reshuffles bond court; meet the ‘Pretrial Division’
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: The Cook County Board's legacy: Killing Cook County jobs
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

If the soda tax were out of sight, would it be out of mind?
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board delays showdown over soda tax until October 10, and other Chicago news
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Chicago Reader

City reports record number of Chicagoans with health insurance
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Morning Spin: 10 key numbers in Cook County soda tax repeal debate
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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