Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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 commissioners weigh in on equally dividing office budgets

Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

A budget battle could be in the works as several Cook County commissioners push a plan to divvy up - equally - the roughly $6 million set aside to run their offices.

The disparities were never more evident than in last year’s budget when then-Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno’s 7th District office was appropriated the most at $459,975 while former Commissioner Tony Peraica’s 16th District office got the smallest piece at $321,473.

Technically, Commissioner John Daley’s office budget has the smallest budget - $225,033 - but he got an extra $301,921 for staffing and other expenses as finance committee chair.

As the budget season looms, several commissioners say the $6 million must be slashed in a countywide effort to close a half-billion budget deficit and then divide the remaining money among the 17 commissioners.

“We need to have a level playing field for all of the commissioners,” newly elected Commissioner John Fritchey told the Sun-Times.

“These aren’t earmarks...these are budgets to pay your staff, buy your stamps. These are things that should be equalized in value. I cannot find any logical basis for the notion that another commissioner’s constituents are worth more than are mine,” said Fritchey, who took over fellow North Side Democrat and Commissioner Forrest Claypool’s old seat. His budget was in the bottom three, at $329,660.

Indeed the commissioners each have about 320,000 constituents, said Commissioner Larry Suffredin, who also supports disbursing the money pot equally among commissioners.

The North Side and suburban Democrat, whose $357,524 budget is somewhere in the middle, has been on the board for eight years and says the disparities are the result of certain commissioners adhering to budget cuts in past years while others avoided them as they curried favor with former county board presidents.

While acknowledging commissioners vote on the final budget package - including commissioners’ spending plans - Suffredin maintains former board president Todd Stroger’s administration created some wiggle room to adjust the numbers.

In submitting their budget plans to newly minted Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Suffredin and Fritchey made their pitch. If the plan succeeds, Suffredin estimates each office would receive about $325,000 apiece.

Asked about the proposal, Preckwinkle issued a statement saying, “They (commissioners) are acutely aware of the budget challenge before us and the need for collaboration in meeting this challenge and I’m leaving it to them to chart an appropriate course when it comes to their budget.”

Jesus Garcia, a Southwest Side Democrat who not only won Moreno’s seat last year but also the largest budget among commissioners, stopped short of saying the money should be divided equally.

He’s careful, even seeking donated furniture for an office, but Garcia says his costs may be higher because his office will be busier than some.

“I envision my office is going to be quite busy,” he said. “I think that in terms of people, there may be more needing information, referrals because they may not. . .be as familiar with this society as (constituents) in other districts.”

Commissioner Jeff Tobolski, a west suburban Democrat who also has one of the smallest budgets, said he has everything to win under a new budget formula that by at least one calculation would boost his annual budget beyond the $321,000.

And while he’s seen some paperwork showing a majority of commissioners back the measure, Commissioner Robert Steele, a Chicago Democrat, said this will most certainly stir debate - and possibly hard feelings.

“I think it’s going to be contentious,” said Steele, whose taking a wait-and-see attitude.

Recent Headlines

Nearly a century after a brutal murder, Chicago’s only lynching victim gets memorial
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Grio

County harassment survey shows mixed faith in reporting system
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

all news items

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