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.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

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

Chicago health system to add 240+ jobs
Monday, October 15, 2018
Becker's Hospital Review

Village of Northbrook Opts Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Monday, October 15, 2018
National Law Review

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim
Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County health system to add jobs
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

No layoffs or tax hike in mayoral hopeful Preckwinkle’s proposed county budget
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Inclusionary' housing ordinance rewrite advances
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Evanston Now

Faced with tight budgets, more Illinois counties merge clerk, recorder offices
Monday, October 08, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Class action: Hundreds of Cook Sheriff officer suspensions invalid, because State's Attorney not involved
Friday, October 05, 2018
Cook County Record

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Game of thrones? Watchdog sees ‘scheme to defraud’ in Pritzker toilet tax break
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Board approves $31M election equipment contract despite lawsuit; $11M to settle 2 malpractice lawsuits
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County approves new election equipment contract, despite rival firm’s lawsuit
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

all news items

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