Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



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

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Body found in vehicle at Cook County Forest Preserve near Hoffman Estates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Daily Herald

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Pioneer Press

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Monday, February 18, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

EDITORIAL: We could have taken Gary Martin’s gun away
Monday, February 18, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hours before Aurora mass shooting, former mayors met in Chicago to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence
Friday, February 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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