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:  

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.

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

Alvarez, Dart, Brown: Time to get on board

Friday, January 21, 2011
by SouthtownStar editorial staff

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle faces a tight deadline to trim a $487 million budget deficit, and as promised, she’s asked each county department to cut annual spending by 16 percent.

Thankfully, a majority have agreed. However, the three elected officials who control the largest chunk — or about $1 billion of the county’s roughly $3 billion budget — thus far are unwilling to make those needed cuts.

We urge Sheriff Tom Dart, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown to work with Preckwinkle and her administration to cut the county budget and stabilize its finances.

The controversy surrounding the much-reviled penny-on-the-dollar sales tax hike championed by Preckwinkle’s predecessor, Todd Stroger, forced Cook County residents to become all too aware of the county’s abysmal finances in 2010.

Almost from the moment she won the Democratic nod to run for board president in February 2010, Preckwinkle repeatedly and publicly said she would seek “shared sacrifice” when it came to right-sizing the county budget. In a Dec. 7 transition report posted online, her team wrote:

“In the immediate future, county government must address a large budget gap — 21 percent over the three quarters of FY 2011 remaining after the budget is passed. The county’s sales tax is high, which hurts economic activity in the region. To address these challenges and improve county services, county government must be transformed.”

The crisis doesn’t get much clearer than that, yet Dart, Alvarez and Brown for the moment decline to work with Preckwinkle to curb the county’s finances.

Each office has a different sets of rules and regulations and obligations, and perhaps Dart and Alvarez can make a case to trim their budgets to a lesser extent.

Dart has said court orders imposed on the sheriff’s department, such as the hiring of jail guards, could make cuts more difficult to accomplish. Alvarez claims she’d be forced to shed dozens of prosecutors, which could slow or clog criminal and civil cases moving through the system. Brown, who keeps records for all judicial matters brought into the circuit court, has not publicly said why she can’t rein in spending.

But the bottom line is all three knew these cuts were coming, and all three are stalling Preckwinkle’s plans to get Cook County back on a healthy fiscal track.

Of course, we are not members of Dart’s or Alvarez’s or Brown’s inner sanctum. We can’t say specifically where or what should be cut. But to argue each office is run as efficiently as possible would be ludicrous, and we urge each to take this matter seriously.

As residents of this county and taxpayer watchdogs, we feel Preckwinkle is living up to her campaign promise to cut the fat. On Tuesday, she reiterated firmly that the cuts will happen no matter what.

The budget standoff could reveal whether these elected officials will work with her or not. Their recent inaction seems to indicate they will not.

We urge Dart, Alvarez and Brown to rethink and work with Preckwinkle to craft a responsible, balanced county budget.

Recent Headlines

Cook County circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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