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:  
   
 
 

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.

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



Maria Pappas' surprise

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

As Cook County Board members gather Wednesday to mull tax increases, county Treasurer Maria Pappas has a sweet surprise for them: millions of dollars in bonus revenue that she already has collected thanks to sheer imagination -- the kind of imagination Cook County has to exhibit before it asks taxpayers for one more penny.

Pappas is the pariah that other county executives love to loathe. She relentlessly modernizes and downsizes. Since she took office in 1998, she has reduced her employee head count from 258 to 131. Her total budget, including a terrific automation group that did not exist back then, is lower than it was when she arrived.

Pappas will tell the board that the fees she is now generating will cover a good 60 percent of what it costs to run her office. Pending a ruling from the state's attorney that it is legal for her to allocate the money, she will slash the amount she requests from the County Board -- from taxpayers, really -- by a corresponding $7 million.
And while board members debate Wednesday whether to further gouge those taxpayers, Pappas is embarking on a 10-year modernization to cut more costs, raise more revenues -- and improve online access to more information.

Many other county bosses have been on the public dole for so long they are frightened by even mild versions of the cost-cutting challenges that most private-sector managers have faced for many years. Pappas, by contrast, eliminates personnel expenses the other officials fight to keep.

The bonus revenue she will deliver comes from new fees she charges mortgage companies for online access to property-tax bills and for her office's processing costs when the companies mistakenly double-pay those bills out of escrow accounts.

Next on her agenda: Automating the county's annual tax sale and cutting its duration from 20 to 2 days; creating 20-year tax histories for every parcel in the county, a trove she will share with private-sector companies for a fee; and a decade-consuming automation of the obsolete warrant book system for recording tax payments.

Boring stuff -- but lucrative for taxpayers.

Why the County Board does not demand similar creativity and innovation from other officials is not a mystery: It is clubbier to make nice, approve their ever-flabbier budget requests -- and stick taxpayers with the tab.

Thanks, Maria. May the County Board learn.



Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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