Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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:  
   
 
 

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.

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



Cook County votes to cut pay for some political appointees

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

Cook County commissioners on Wednesday voted to end full-time pay and benefits for political appointees on a pair of panels, a change backed by County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Salaries, medical benefits and pension contributions for members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Employee Appeals Board will end June 1. Instead, members of the two clout-heavy boards will be paid $500 for each meeting they attend, with annual pay limited to $12,000 plus expenses. Appointees now are paid about $35,000 a year and get benefits valued at more than $20,000.

The changes will save the county about $300,000 a year at a time when some taxpayers are having trouble finding work, much less a part-time job with full-time pay and benefits, said Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-Chicago.

Such perks are from a bygone era, Gainer added. “They existed at the state. They existed at the city. Most of the positions we have now are unpaid,” she said.

Preckwinkle noted that she appoints people to “50 boards and commissions, and the very vast majority of people who serve do so without pay. . . . They are entirely volunteers.”

The two measures got the support of 12 of the 17 commissioners. An attempt by Commissioners Deborah Sims, D-Chicago, and Joan Murphy, D-Crestwood, to hold off on the votes failed, as did an effort to allow current members to keep collecting their salaries.

“This is a lot of debate about how long to extend a really nice perk for a couple politically connected people,” said Commissioner John Fritchey, D-Chicago. “I know the folks that are on here. They are good guys. They are friends. (But) this is a vestige of everything that’s gotten the public upset with government.”

Gainer and Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston, first proposed cutting the perks exactly one year ago. The changes gained traction in the wake of a Tribune story on Employee Appeals Board member John Bills, a longtime campaign worker for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. The story detailed an alleged ethics violation by Bills in his former role as manager of the city of Chicago’s red light camera program.

Many of the members of the two boards, which each have five members when fully staffed, have political connections. All but one were appointed by former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

Among the appointees are Thornton Township Democratic Committeeman Frank Zuccarelli; former Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority CEO Juan Ochoa; retired U.S. Rep. Morgan Murphy Jr.; former Circuit Court Judge Anthony Young; and attorney Kevin Freeman, the son of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Charles Freeman.

The County Board put off action, however, on a similar change targeting the Sheriff’s Merit Board, whose members help determine who gets hired, promoted and disciplined. That measure was first introduced two weeks ago, and Sheriff Tom Dart wanted more time to consider it and possibly seek related changes to state law, officials said.

Members of that board are paid $26,000 a year and are eligible for health and pension benefits. They include Lance Tyson, a onetime Stroger chief of staff who lost an independent bid for the Illinois House last week to indicted former Democratic Rep. Derrick Smith.


Recent Headlines

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

What Pritzker's minimum wage increase plan could mean for the suburbs
Monday, November 26, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County sheriff’s vehicle struck during ISP pursuit on I-294
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County 'Tails' program offers redemption for inmates, dogs
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County correctional officer owns bar where security guard Jemel Roberson shot by cop, officials say
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

More than 2 months after sisters were killed in crash with Cook County sheriff's officer, family still waits for answers
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Jail guard’s retaliation suit can proceed
Monday, November 19, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Northbrook will revisit Cook County minimum wage ordinance in May
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suffredin: County to seek 'safeguards' for golf course road
Friday, November 16, 2018
Evanston NOW

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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