Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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.

  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.

Official, residents say county to blame in toboggan runs' ruin

Friday, January 07, 2005
Chicago Tribune
by Alex P. Kellogg

Adrienne O'Brien has been bringing her children to sled at the Caldwell Woods Forest Preserve on Chicago's Northwest Side for six years, but snow or no snow, she's never seen the reserve's fenced-in toboggan run open.

"When I moved to this neighborhood, we actually bought a toboggan so we could go on the toboggan run," O'Brien said. "Little did we know that this toboggan run would never be open."

O'Brien joined about a half-dozen other mothers and Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago) at Caldwell Woods Thursday to protest the Cook County Forest Preserve District's decision, announced this week, to close the district's toboggan runs.

Claypool and his supporters say cuts to the county's budget could easily make room for the more than $1.5 million county officials estimate it would take to repair the toboggan runs.

"The shuttered toboggan slide behind us is really indicative of everything that is wrong with Cook County government," Claypool said as scores of children frolicked whilesledding down a nearby hill, separated from the toboggan runs by a barbed-wire fence. "It is a government that is legendary for its waste and its bloat."

Claypool suggested the county cut a handful of high-paying jobs so it can divert funds to its forest preserves. It's a move district officials say is highly unlikely.

"These closures are not a great surprise to anyone, including, frankly, Commissioner Claypool," said Steve Mayberry, a spokesman for the Forest Preserve District. "Barring an infusion of money that just doesn't seem to be there, the situation won't improve anytime soon."

The slides are made mostly of wood, which has buckled and warped. Almost all of the forest preserve toboggans are damaged.

District officials estimate that it would cost $122,000 to repair the significant structural damage to the Caldwell Woods Jensen Toboggan Slide. They estimate that it would cost nearly $1.5 million to repair the slides at Swallow Cliff in Palos Park, Bemis Woods in Western Springs, Dan Ryan Woods in South Chicago and Deer Grove in Palatine--the four other parks whose toboggan runs have been closed indefinitely.

Last year district officials tried to privatize the slides, but no buyer emerged that met their criteria. Mayberry suggested the district might consider proposals in which bidders removed the slides and replaced them with other recreational opportunities.

"We hope to come up with a viable solution to the closings," Mayberry said. "It might take some time, though."



Recent Headlines

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli on Gun Violence, Police Database.
Monday, August 26, 2019

Assessor: Homes values, sale prices up in Schaumburg Township
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Daily Herald

Home improvement grant designed to get the lead out
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cook County census panel seeks outreach help for hard-to-count communities
Monday, August 19, 2019

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

America’s most interesting sheriff
Friday, August 09, 2019

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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