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:  
   
 
 

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.

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



Todd's budget problems go beyond race.

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Special to suffredin.org
by MARK BROWN

Real issue is hefty tax increase pushed by a political lightweight


Bill Beavers says Todd Stroger can't get his county budget approved "because he's black."


That would be the budget that contains about $900 million in tax increases.


Does anybody think that might be part of the problem?


I was over at the Cook County Board meeting the other morning to see how the commissioners were going to handle Stroger's budget. Everyone looked bored laboring through the tedious process of debating proposed budget amendments.


That's how the budget is done at the county, where much of the time, the process even resembles democracy.


It's a lot different from the City Council, where Beavers earned his stripes before coming to the County Board this year to watch Todd Stroger's back, a move we were led to believe at the time was at the request of Todd's father, the ailing John Stroger Jr.


At the county, there are 17 commissioners, some of whom are actually Republicans. They're not just Republicans in name, but often vote and think and act like real Republicans, which Beavers didn't see a lot at the City Council.


The board also has independents -- troublesome Democrats who pretty much do as they please without waiting for marching orders or becoming overly concerned with how their chief executive might punish them if they get out of line.


Neither the Republicans nor independents would survive very long by green-lighting record tax increases, especially after promising voters they'd do the opposite, even if the County Board president were some shade of pink.


That makes it tough for Todd Stroger, who unlike his father doesn't even have one of those 17 votes and hasn't done much yet to earn the respect of those who do. Nor does he have the political muscle to quash amendments to his budget or muzzle debate.


Voters weren't warned

And that brings me back to Tuesday's meeting. You see, I slipped out for a while during the boring part, and when I got back, everybody was buzzing about what Beavers had said.


"If Todd was a white man, he wouldn't have half these problems," Beavers complained, preposterously comparing the county impasse to the 1980s' Council Wars fight of former Mayor Harold Washington.


"Who's gonna control the county -- white or black -- that's all this is," Beavers continued.


You should understand none of this was part of the meeting. There was a break in the action, and Beavers was invited to step before the cameras, and this is some of what rolled off his tongue. When I got there minutes later, he was back at his desk, smiling and relaxed.


Maybe I should have written about it that day, but I didn't really want to play the part of the white man rising to the bait. After a day's reflection, though, I'm ready to bite.


Todd Stroger's problems are more than skin deep.


His budget is in trouble because it doesn't make sense to people that they should have to pay so much more in taxes to the county. Voters weren't warned that a problem of this magnitude was coming, certainly not by Stroger or his father. They don't want to pay, and their elected representatives aren't keen on crossing them right now.


I would think this is also at least partially true in the African-American community, although only one black county commissioner is threatening to hold out against the tax hikes.


Race card cuts both ways

And so, while it's possible Beavers sincerely believed every word he said, it's also quite possible he was resorting to an old political tactic to shore up Stroger's base of support. If African-American voters believe this fight is all about race, then they're more likely to rally behind Stroger -- and those who back him.


Yet, I will admit there's a grain of truth in what Beavers said, the grain being that it's probably easier for a white politician to stand up to Stroger because he's black.


But more so because he's weak. More so because he has come across from the start as a lightweight who doesn't take the job very seriously. More so because he put forth a shaky budget.


And I'll one up Beavers.


I would suggest the main reason Todd Stroger was elected was "because he's black."


He never even would have been the Democratic nominee in the first place if party leaders weren't determined to preserve his father's ballot spot for an African American after the elder's debilitating stroke.


The race card cuts both ways.


It might work better to cut the budget.



Recent Headlines

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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