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:  

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 is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

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

Cook County circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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