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



The 17% charade

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

Everybody knows that the poor, put-upon elected officials of Cook County had to cut their budgets by 17 percent for 2007. Everybody knows this in part because many of those officials nobly tell anyone who'll listen -- in speeches, interviews and broadcast appearances -- that Board President Todd Stroger asked them to lower their spending by 17 percent. What heroes. Except that the heroes often don't tell the rest of the story: In many cases, they didn't really cut their budgets by 17 percent. Some officials may again try to exploit the 17 percent charade Wednesday, when they're scheduled to discuss possible cuts of 10 percent for 2008. Expect to hear them whine about those 2007 cuts -- followed by their blustery resistance to doing what mere taxpayers have to do whenever their income falls short of the amount of money they need: reduce spending. The true story of the 17 percent started to unfold last week. The county's budget director distributed a report on actual budget cuts for 2007. The report startled several board members who dutifully had cut 17 percent from their own office expenditures -- and assumed everyone else in county government had done the same. Not so. Example: Employees at the county's Bureau of Health -- many of them patronage hires -- frequently bemoan the 17 percent savaging they supposedly endured. Except the real spending reduction was only 10.8 percent. Stroger now proposes to raise health spending by 11.2 percent in 2008 -- to $831 million, a total higher than the 2006 appropriation. You may believe that's not enough money -- but it's no savaging. Other spending cuts for 2007: Assessor: 12.8 percent. Board of Review: 7.8 percent. Treasurer: 8.3 percent. Recorder: 14.4 percent. State's attorney: 5.5 percent. County clerk (in a year free of a major election): 27.7 percent. Sheriff: 3.3 percent. Chief judge: 7.6 percent. Clerk of the Circuit Court: 7 percent. Here's an intriguing comparison: Total 2007 spending for the county offices that report to Stroger -- the Bureau of Health is by far the biggest -- dropped 10.6 percent from 2006. Stroger cut 19 percent from his own relatively small office budget (to $1.3 million). Yet the total '07 budget for the other county officials decreased only 5.8 percent. What happened to the threatened 17 percent cuts across the board? Stroger raised some appropriations during his negotiations with county officials before the board's 2007 budget vote. And board members added amendments: Restoring some cuts and adding new expenditures made the budget what it is. A caveat: Some officials bring in revenue. If they can demonstrate Wednesday that spending cuts and unbudgeted revenue increases in '07 combined to reduce their reliance on taxpayers by 17 percent, bully for them! That should be Cook County's future: higher fees for firms and individuals who use county databases and services -- and less reliance on tapped-out taxpayers. So if you hear county bosses yowling that they've already given at the office and can't absorb more cuts, remember: For many of them, the 17 percent cuts of 2007 were a charade.


Recent Headlines

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials arenít sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board Adopts Resolution Concerned With Foxconn Impacts
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

FBI: Ex-employee alleges Dorothy Brown picked up cash payoffs at bagman's home
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Demolition of MWRD dam to clear way for fish and recreation
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Tom Dart to pair inmates with pet dogs
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Minimum Wage, Sick Time Advisory Questions Approved for November Ballot
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

Editorial: Berrios and Kaegi: What a new assessor can and can't fix
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Your Personal Data May Be Exposed in Cook County Traffic Records
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CBS Chicago

Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County TIF districts bring in $1 billion
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco
Friday, July 20, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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