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.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



County leaders say proposed cuts could hurt public safety

Thursday, December 30, 2010
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

As a budget crisis looms, Cook County law enforcement and court officials say proposed budget cuts will put the brakes on the wheels of justice.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown have sent separate protest letters to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who has proposed annual cuts of 16 percent to all county offices.

And Sheriff Tom Dart’s office has raised questions about whether he can make the cuts and still abide by staffing mandates set by court order.

But Preckwinkle, working to craft a $3 billion-plus spending plan for 2011, has asked her fellow elected leaders to make the cuts in order to close a projected $487 million shortfall.

In her Dec. 23 letter, Brown says cutting that deeply into her $175 million budget would slow services. Her office maintains and processes files for court proceedings, from criminal cases to foreclosures.

“A budget reduction at that level would have a considerably detrimental impact on court services,’’ Brown wrote. “A cut of this magnitude would require a reduction of almost a fourth of the staff. Reducing a fourth of the staff while knowing that we are already understaffed would not represent good business and management sense for me as an elected official.’’

Her note also suggested raising court fees and collecting juvenile court fees — something she says is allowed by state law but is currently “not being assessed by the judiciary’’ — from parents and guardians of kids in trouble with the law. Her office projects that expanding, hiking and enforcing collection of fees could generate between $21 million and $33 million annually.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez sent a similar letter, although she declined to release it to the public.

The proposed cuts “would have a significant impact on public safety,’’ Alvarez spokeswoman Sally Daly said in an interview. “It’s going to result in a drastic cutback of prosecutors, and it would dramatically affect our ability to efficiently prosecute criminal cases and handle civil cases for the county.”

Daly explained that 95 percent of the state’s attorney’s $149 million budget is for personnel costs, which is mainly for prosecutors.

She later said the office was “reviewing operations from top to bottom to assess where cutbacks could be made or cost savings achieved without compromising’’ public safety. She said pay cuts could be an option.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has also said such deep cuts might impact public safety.

“We’re under a court order to add hundreds of new positions at our jail, which has been understaffed for years,’’ sheriff’s spokesman Steve Patterson said.

Patterson said his office is looking for some cost-savings. The sheriff has long backed the idea of taking over the duties of the Forest Preserve police. And Dart is considering closing court buildings on evenings and weekends at times when they aren’t open to the public.

In a prepared statement, Preckwinkle said budget discussions are ongoing.

“I remain firm that no will be absolved and no one will be alone. Collaboration isn’t an option, it’s a necessity if we are to meet this challenge before us,” she said.

“ . . . Admittedly, we’re making tough choices, but these adjustments must be made as part of a team effort and they must be made now if we are to sustain county services over the long-term.’’

Other county officials have supported the cuts, including Assessor Joe Berrios, Health and Hospitals CEO William Foley, Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore, Cook County Commissioner John Daley and members of the county’s tax appeals board.

Preckwinkle is expected to deliver her budget recommendation to county commissioners by the end of January. They must approve the final spending plan.



Recent Headlines

Higher Assessments Hit North Suburban Commercial Property Owners
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Evanston Patch

How did an inmate get a loaded gun into Cook County Jail?
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Check exemptions, file an appeal: What you can do to fight your Cook County property tax bill
Thursday, July 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

’A lack of mental health services has plagued Chicago for decades’: Holy Cross Hospital expanding to fill that void on the Southwest Side
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How To Appeal Your Cook County Property Tax Assessment
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

County Commission Hopes to Increase 2020 Census Participation
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
WTTW News

Cook County Property Tax Bills: Where Does Your Money Go?
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

Seniors Receive Inflated Property Tax Bills By Mistake
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
WBBM Radio

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ property tax appeal under investigation after Tribune finds assessment problem
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Chicago Tribune

North suburban landlords slapped with big assessment hikes
Monday, July 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Miscalculation leads to increased tax bills in Wheeling Township
Friday, July 05, 2019
Daily Herald

Judge rules state legislators violated Illinois Constitution by voting to freeze their pay
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Search: Chicago Property Tax Increases and Decreases by Ward
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
WTTW News

Millions in Cook County property tax refunds going to homeowners whose bills show no balance due
Monday, July 01, 2019
ABC 7 Chicago

Why 7,600 property owners in suburban Cook County are getting tax refunds
Monday, July 01, 2019
Daily Herald

$25 million in property tax refunds going to 25,000 owners
Monday, July 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Illinois hiring hundreds to reduce Medicaid backlogs
Monday, July 01, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

County health officials say IG report was ‘simply wrong’ even as commissioners plan hearings on system’s finances
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County sheriff’s office warns of phone scam
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Homeowners Across Chicago Brace for Higher Property Taxes
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
WTTW News

all news items

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