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.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Cook Co. board panel backs new capital bonds

Friday, March 26, 2010
Daily Herald
by Ted Cox

Against firm Republican opposition, the finance committee of the Cook County Board approved borrowing $332 million for capital projects and equipment today.

Bartlett Republican Commissioner Timothy Schneider called the borrowing plan a shell game exploiting a bond authorization originally allocated for county pensions and self-insurance. Yet, his larger issue was county spending and borrowing in general in the midst of a down economy.

"We should not be spending any amount of money unless it's absolutely necessary," he said. "We don't see, we don't represent what's going on outside the walls of this building."

The Democratic majority disagreed and seized on the opportunity to make capital improvements in the county's hospitals and jail - projects already approved in the 2010 budget with the intent to borrow to pay for them, according to committee Chairman John Daley. He pointed out that, although the ordinance was sponsored by President Todd Stroger, most of the capital improvements were specifically requested by elected officials like Sheriff Tom Dart and Assessor James Houlihan.

"This is about issues that affect people - the hospitals and public safety," Daley said.

Chief Financial Officer Jaye Williams said the county, which has a strong bond rating, in marked opposition to the state or Chicago, can take advantage of the best bond market in years. She said there is a backlog of capital improvements from the last two years after the county had not previously authorized any borrowing for capital projects since 2006.

"This is stuff we should have done four years ago," said Crestwood Democratic Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy. "So bite the bullet, guys. This is the time."

"Nobody wants to vote for hundreds of millions of dollars in debt," added Chicago Democratic Commissioner Bridget Gainer. Yet, she called the capital projects "things we have to do to continue to function."

Evanston Democratic Commissioner Larry Suffredin said capital improvements at the Cook County jail would finally enable the county to get out from under the decades-old Duran and Harrington consent decrees, which provide for monitoring of jail crowding and inmates' mental health. He said most of the other already-approved capital improvements were for "essential hospital equipment" and equipment in the assessor's office to improve efficiency.

Others were unhappy about previously rejected projects suddenly reappearing, such as $280,000 for a parking lot at the county's Hawthorne Warehouse on Chicago's West Side. Elmwood Park Republican Commissioner Peter Silvestri said the Hawthorne parking lot "should almost be a swear word at this point."

The county board agreed two years ago to issue up to $740 million in bonds. The board issued $354 million in bonds for capital projects last year and allocated an additional $365 million for self-insurance and pensions. Yet, the board voted instead to set aside the self-insurance money in its own budget. making room for the finance committee to borrow the additional $332 million for capital improvements and equipment this year. Even at that, it had to also approve raising the bond ceiling to $780 million, and Schneider pointed out there is even an extra $11 million cushion in that.

"I know the cards are stacked against me today. But I had to get my points out," he said, later adding, "I think the people of the county really got screwed."

The ordinance was approved by the committee by a party-line vote of 12-4. It is expected to pass when the board approves the finance committee agenda at its regular meeting in April.


Recent Headlines

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What Pritzker's minimum wage increase plan could mean for the suburbs
Monday, November 26, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County sheriff’s vehicle struck during ISP pursuit on I-294
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County 'Tails' program offers redemption for inmates, dogs
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County correctional officer owns bar where security guard Jemel Roberson shot by cop, officials say
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

More than 2 months after sisters were killed in crash with Cook County sheriff's officer, family still waits for answers
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Jail guard’s retaliation suit can proceed
Monday, November 19, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Northbrook will revisit Cook County minimum wage ordinance in May
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suffredin: County to seek 'safeguards' for golf course road
Friday, November 16, 2018
Evanston NOW

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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