Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

Now deliver

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Chicago Tribune
by Chicago Tribune editorial staff

Last week the Cook County Board did something courageous. Yes, you read that right. We're complimenting the Cook County Board, historic enabler of profligate waste and needless taxation.

In a 13-3 vote, the board handed permanent control of the county's health system to the independent panel that has been running the system for about two years.

That's great news for taxpayers and all those patients, many of them impoverished, who depend on the health system. This panel has been effective and efficient, two words not normally associated with the county's system, long a patronage paradise for county pols and their cronies. Against union and political pressure, the health panel has slashed the system's bloated payroll and started to run the system as a business.

With the board's vote, panel members now have all the power they need to finish the reformation of the system.

So let's get on with it.

Last fall, the panel unveiled a consultant's preliminary plan to shut down the severely underused inpatient units at Provident and Oak Forest hospitals and consolidate that care at the also underused Stroger Hospital. The three hospitals are staffed for an inpatient load that doesn't exist. There are better ways to provide services for patients, and savings for taxpayers.

Now, eight months later, a final consultant's report is headed for panel members' desks. It echoes the earlier proposal: Close Oak Forest Hospital's inpatient care and focus there instead on serving outpatients. Savings: $55 million. Convert Provident mainly into an outpatient facility with some short inpatient stays. Savings: $17 million.

The consulting firm explains why today's cost structure is unsustainable: Provident and Oak Forest Hospitals have much higher inpatient costs, even when compared with area teaching hospitals. That's not close to an efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

Speaking of taxpayers, County Board members Bridget Gainer and Larry Suffredin asked the panel's leaders to explain why they've paid larger-than-budgeted salaries to lure talent to the system — and why they've given hefty raises to officials who transferred from other Cook County posts to the health system.

Gainer and Suffredin are pushing the panel to exercise more fiscal rigor. "We are about to face a task of epic proportion that will require all of our creativity, all our resourcefulness and discipline," Gainer told us. "We have to be mindful of the fact that we're in tight economic times, where most governments surrounding us are laying people off or giving furlough days. Is this (salary scale) absolutely what's required to keep someone productive?"

We agree with Gainer. The future is now. For two years, panel members had good reason to wonder if they'd be around after 2011 or if the pols would plant their flags and reassert control over their former patronage haven.

No more. Health panel members, you have the power — and responsibility — to make tough decisions, to finish the revolution that started in 2008.

Now deliver.

Recent Headlines

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

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

all news items

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