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:  
   
 
 

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.

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



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

Morning Spin: Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper give campaign cash in soda tax fight
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County’s ‘health’ lie, in black and white
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Medical District to get largest ambulance garage in Cook County
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Family Health Network Members Join CountyCare
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health to buy piece of struggling insurer's Medicaid biz
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Chief judge names acting public guardian for Cook County
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County sweetened beverage sales continue to decline
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

New bond court rules take effect, but not much of an effect
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Bond court gets underway in Cook County with different judges, new guidelines
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Harwood Heights adds retail theft as ordinance violation
Monday, September 18, 2017

Cook County’s Homeland Security interim chief resigns
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County's social worker for the dead helps the unclaimed find final resting places
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After legal challenges, Cook County's court for unwed parents quietly goes away
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Welcome to Cook County, Mayor Bloomberg. You're getting played on the soda tax.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Evans reshuffles bond court; meet the ‘Pretrial Division’
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: The Cook County Board's legacy: Killing Cook County jobs
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

If the soda tax were out of sight, would it be out of mind?
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board delays showdown over soda tax until October 10, and other Chicago news
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Chicago Reader

City reports record number of Chicagoans with health insurance
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Morning Spin: 10 key numbers in Cook County soda tax repeal debate
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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