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.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Editorial: Commissioners, don’t drop the ball

Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Sun Times editorial staff

To truly appreciate the groundbreaking nature of the budget Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle will propose today, let’s remind ourselves just how creative the county’s accounting typically has been.

When Preckwinkle was sworn in, her office — just one of many in county government — had a budget of $2.2 million a year. It said so right in last year’s budget.

Actually, though, the president’s office spent $2.6 million. So under the county’s creative accounting, $2.2 million equalled $2.6 million.

But the county’s accounting was even more creative than that. Because midyear raises had been handed out, the $2.2 million in fact equalled $2.9 million for the coming year.

If you don’t quite follow that, let it go. All you really need to know is that at the County Building, expenditures — and the need for higher taxes and fees — kept going up.

Until now.

Since Preckwinkle was sworn in on Dec. 6, she has made it clear that the county is going to live within its means, which will require significant spending cuts in almost every county office. And the budget she is proposing is groundbreaking because it does just that.

Now it’s time for the County Board, which will be presented with Preckwinkle’s proposed budget today, to show that it also is serious about getting costs in line. The 17 commissioners must avoid the temptation to add spending back into the $3.1 billion budget, which must be passed by Feb. 28. If they find places where they think Preckwinkle’s cuts are too draconian, they must offset any spending restorations with new cuts elsewhere.

It wasn’t easy getting even this far. Facing a $487 million deficit, Preckwinkle initially asked all departments to trim their spending by 16 percent on an annual basis. She also called in an array of pro bono consultants to help find ways to run things more efficiently.

Additional help should have come from the outgoing administration of Todd Stroger, but Preckwinkle says her predecessors offered “next to no cooperation.” Preckwinkle also got early opposition from Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and had a longer battle with Sheriff Thomas Dart, who runs the county’s biggest office.

Balancing the budget will be painful. In the end, an estimated 1,500 to 1,800 of the county’s 23,700 workers will be let go. The county should do whatever it can to help these workers find new jobs.

Once this budget is passed, Preckwinkle says her staff will promptly begin work on next year’s. She has vowed to eliminate the remaining part of Stroger’s calamitous sales tax increase, and more savings must be found to offset that.

Meanwhile, John Daley, the powerful chairman of the county’s Finance Committee, said last week he thinks Preckwinkle will have at least the nine votes she needs to get her budget passed. That would be terrific.

We trust his numbers will hold up better than the county’s bogus old creative accounting.



Recent Headlines

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle takes on Dart in county budget process
Thursday, November 16, 2017
WLS Am-News

Mass exoneration: Convictions of 15 men, tied to tainted CPD officer, overturned
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chicago Judge Throws Out 15 Convictions On Fears Police Reports Were Dishonest
Thursday, November 16, 2017
National Public Radio

Slowik: Debate over rezoning, shuttering of truck terminal near Lemont was 'politicized,' operator says
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Daily Southtown

Good on ya, Kim Foxx, for righting old wrongs
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

15 Men Cleared in First-Ever Mass Exoneration in Cook County
Thursday, November 16, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Wilmette to form advisory group on minimum wage, sick time ordinances
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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