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:  

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.

Preckwinkle tries carrot instead of stick

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by Thomas Frisbie

Usually, the political argument we hear is that we need less government.

But in Cook County, it's the opposite. County officials are saying they want less to govern.

Cook County is technically the municipal authority for the many remaining unincorporated pockets dotting the county. Cook County sheriff's police patrol those areas. Cook County also does the building inspections.

But serving small pockets of land that are separated by miles of village or city acreage is inefficient, and the county would like to get out of the business.

The areas remain unincorporated largely for two reasons: 1) They are tax base losers, meaning it would cost a nearby city or village more to serve the area than the municipality would get back in taxes, or 2) They are tax winners, in the sense that people living there are happy not to be paying taxes for parks or libraries.

Many of the unincorporated areas also have substandard infrastructure. They might not have sidewalks. Or sewers, using septic systems instead. The streets might not be what a municipality would consider up to code.

Last year, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle suggested creating special service districts that would impose an extra levy on unincorporated areas. That idea didn't fly.

Now, she's putting down the stick and trying a carrot. In her proposed 2013 budget, she allocates $5 million to help fund infrastructure improvements that might make the unincorporated areas more suitable for annexation into an existing suburb.

"I have said that over the next decade we are going to try to eliminate unincorporated Cook County," Preckwinkle told the Sun-Times Editorial Board last week."We spend a lot of resources on the 100,000 people who live there. And we found that one of the principal impediments to incorporation by the nearby towns, cities and villages is the state of their infrastructure. ... So we have created a fund of $5 million to help them upgrade their infrastructure so that they can be annexed by surrounding communities without tremendous costs to those municipalities."

Budget Director Andrea Gibson said the fund will be on a "cash match" basis, meaning the muncipality that does the annexation will be expected to kick in its share.

Of course $5 million is barely a start considering what it would take to get all unincorporated infrastructure up to municipal standards. But Kurt Summers, Preckwinkle's chief of staff, said the county will focus on getting one area at a time up to snuff and annexed, and then refill the coffers.

Recent Headlines

Pappas: There's help for senior citizens struggling to pay Cook County property taxes
Friday, December 14, 2018
Special to

Cook County Public Guardian sues DCFS: “Abject moral and human rights failure”
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Capitol Fax

Borrow $10B to help stabilize city pensions along with legal pot, casino and benefit cuts: Rahm
Thursday, December 13, 2018
The Daily Line

CTA Moves Forward with Major Red Line Projects:
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Special to

Cook County repeals lower parking-app tax rate
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

How local suburbs voted in Cook County minimum wage/paid sick leave advisory referenda
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Bugel

Cook County restores tax on parking apps before January cut took effect
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County Board to take on taxes,toilets at Wednesday meeting
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

PRECKWINKLE’s tax tweak — Details on BURKE raids — State REPUBLICANS look for hope — SUMMERS’ tirade
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Illinois Politico

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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