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.
   
     
     
     



Congratulations, taxpayers

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by Chicago Tribune editorial staff

For Todd Stroger, it was a tough repudiation: Tuesday night the Finance Committee of the Cook County Board reached an agreement that—if it holds—would force his county government to begin a long-overdue economizing. As tentatively approved, the county's budget for 2009 would include:

•None of the hundreds of millions in needless borrowing on which Stroger had hoped to balance the budget.

•Cuts from Stroger's proposed budget for virtually every department in this bloated government.

•No general tax increase on the heels of last year's egregious increase in the sales tax.

A companion plus:

•Off-budget proposals from Stroger's administration for $425 million in capital improvement bonds have been slashed to $260 million. Those proposals, still subject to a board vote, now focus more strictly on life safety projects and building code compliance.

Just as Cook County government remains a world away from real reinvention (and still needs to repeal that sales tax hike), this revised version of Stroger's budget isn't ideal: It relies on some revenue projections that may be too rosy—and on an anticipated share of the federal stimulus package.

It does, though, reflect the frustration of county taxpayers, many of whom inundated board members' offices with telephone calls after seeing their numbers on Monday's Tribune editorial page. Those callers disliked Stroger's plan to balance the '09 budget by borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars and thus increasing the county's debt.

Last fall we criticized four Republican members of the board—Elizabeth Doody Gorman, Gregg Goslin, Peter Silvestri and Tim Schneider—for maneuvers that allowed Stroger's bonding notion to draw an early breath. They promised then that they could stop the bonding later and, with help from fellow Republican Tony Peraica and a roving coalition of Democrats, on Tuesday they did.

Why is this deal tentative? Two reasons:

•Owing to the arcana of county government, the same board members who voted this budget out of the Finance Committee now must approve it, before February ends, at a County Board meeting. That leaves time for whining from other county officials, many of whom think they can't possibly live with less money—even during an economic downturn in which millions of people have lost jobs. We hope no one embarrasses Finance Chairman John Daley by falling victim to the whiners and undoing this deal.

•One unfortunate Stroger proposal remains: a plan to issue bonds for $104 million in county pension obligations. Plans are in the works to spread out those payments over perhaps a dozen years or otherwise avoid any bonding. That's crucial: Pension obligations are routine operating expenses and shouldn't be covered by taking on debt. Long story: Board members have themselves to blame for ever letting this notion surface. They need to put it out of its misery—forever.

More trees still need to fall in Todd Stroger's petrified forest. But Tuesday night's budget agreement signals a start. Now let's reinvent Cook County for the 21st Century.


Recent Headlines

Cannabis, gambling taxes to boost county amid long-term budget woes
Thursday, July 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

'Going To Do The Best We Can': Cook County Adjusts Outreach Strategy For US Census Due To COVID-19
Thursday, July 02, 2020
WBBM Radio

Why local school districts are lining up against Fritz Kaegi
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

How COVID-19 threatens health care in Cook County
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County’s new website shows nearly half of census funds spent on advertising, marketing
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserves of Cook County opens more in Phase 4
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Daily Herald

Dart, other county sheriffs demand state prisons start accepting inmates again
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

A COVID-19 surge in your county? New Illinois website offers ways to check.
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois raise minimum wage Wednesday
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
The Daily Line

Illinois ends June with about half the daily COVID-19 deaths and new cases as in peak month of May
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx confirms office will err on side of dismissing cases related to protests, curfew
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx plans to drop charges against those violating curfew, Fox 32 news reports
Monday, June 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois minimum wage increases take effect July 1
Monday, June 29, 2020
ABC 7 Eyewitness News

Home property taxes still rising despite bigger hike on business
Monday, June 29, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Illinois announces 15 additional coronavirus deaths, lowest one-day total since March
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Former county health chief: Racism common factor in deaths in ’95 Chicago heat wave, COVID-19
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

‘And She Could Be Next’ profiles grassroots political heroines of the moment
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Amazon to open two new fulfillment centers in south suburbs
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Cook County courts reopening July 6
Friday, June 26, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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