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 has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Preckwinkle to announce re-election campaign
County Board President to seek 2nd term in 2014

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Chicago Tribune
by John Byrne

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will launch her re-election bid Tuesday, saying she wants another four years to try to reform the way the county locks up adult and juvenile criminal defendants and to get more people out to the forest preserves.

In announcing her campaign for a second term, Preckwinkle also shut the door on running for another office: mayor of Chicago. Though she has clashed with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his policing and education policies, Preckwinkle said Monday she would serve a full term if re-elected next year and not run for mayor in 2015. 

Preckwinkle is credited with ushering in a period of relative peace in county government in the two-plus years since she ended the tumultuous administration of predecessor Todd Stroger. Preckwinkle's latest budget, which rolled back the last of Stroger's unpopular 2008 sales tax increase, passed the County Board with just one dissenting vote.

No strong challengers to Preckwinkle have emerged, despite her occasional lightning rod moments like telling a downstate audience that Ronald Reagan deserves "a special place in hell" for his role in the war on drugs.

Anybody interested in taking on the Democrat from Hyde Park will face a well-financed opponent. Preckwinkle had nearly $549,000 in her campaign fund at the end of March, campaign finance records show. Scott Kastrup, her campaign finance director, said another $500,000 is expected to come in Tuesday at the annual Chicago Cultural Center fundraiser where Preckwinkle will formally announce her candidacy.

Republican County Commissioner Timothy Schneider of Streamwood said Preckwinkle benefits in part simply from following Stroger, whose administration was marked by charges of financial mismanagement and cronyism.

"We're more accountable. She has put in place performance metrics in each department," Schneider said. "The county's head count is down, and the budget is down. We're doing more with less. Now, I would like to see that taken further, but at least we're taking steps."

Preckwinkle, 66, said she has tried to professionalize county government, which long has had a reputation as a dumping ground for political appointees and people who couldn't hack it elsewhere.

"We've brought in a lot of good people, some of them from the city, some of them from the state, some of them from the private sector, to help us lead departments and agencies," she told the Tribune. "And I think as a result of that, we've allocated our staff resources much better than was the situation when we walked in the door."

Democratic Commissioner John Fritchey of Chicago argues that some of the tougher decisions lie ahead. "We need to recognize a lot of the low-hanging fruit has been picked in starting to transform Cook County government," he said. "As she continues to look at ways to do that, the upcoming decisions are going to require the cooperation of other officials."

Preckwinkle acknowledged that when she took office, she wasn't prepared for the independent power held by the heads of the various county departments.

She recently suffered a setback in her signature push to change the juvenile justice system, when federally appointed monitor Earl Dunlap decided a wing of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center that Preckwinkle had closed would need to be reopened because of higher numbers of young people being held at the facility.

Preckwinkle blamed the increase in the juvenile center's population in part on more youths getting arrested by the Chicago Police Department. "Actually, the folks in the juvenile court side have worked with us to reduce the population, and we were doing pretty well until basically the city of Chicago changed its policing strategy and started sweeping up kids, sweeping up kids and adults," she said.

In the end, however, the public is likely to place the success or failure of these initiatives mainly at the feet of Preckwinkle as the county's top executive.

That's particularly true of the budget, where it gets harder each year to try to blame Stroger for lingering financial troubles.

Preckwinkle has avoided a property tax increase and said that will remain off-limits in her next budget plan.

She also pledged no hike in the sales tax. But she did not take off the table the possibility of raising more of the ancillary taxes and fees she has leaned on to balance the books.

For example, Preckwinkle's latest budget included a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase, a $25 tax on new gun sales, a 1.25 percent use tax on out-of-county purchases of more than $3,500, a $1,000-a-year tax on slot machines and a $200-a-year tax on video gambling terminals. All told, those were expected to raise about $41.7 million this year in a $2.95 billion budget.

But Laurence Msall, president of the nonpartisan Civic Federation budget watchdog group, said the taxes aimed at a particular group beat the ones that hit most county residents.

"User fees and targeted fees like cigarette taxes are generally preferable to the ones levied on the general population," Msall said. "They've generally targeted them to the part of the population that uses the service."



Recent Headlines

Choosing Cook County judges, Justice Ginsburg reminds us, should not be a popularity contest
Monday, September 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx interested, wary of working with Trump White House on criminal justice reform
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Is Clerk Karen Yarbrough ‘best official’ in county — or is patronage hiring flap only ‘tip of the iceberg’?
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A secret vote will choose Cook County’s next judicial chief. A $270 million budget, thousands of employees, and the future of a huge court system are at stake.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Evans Faces Challenge Thursday For Position As Cook County Chief Judge
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Cook County Health's John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Receives $5M Federal Grant to Support Cancer Research
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Forest Preserves Might Pitch Property Tax Hike To Voters
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Column: Ethically, Todd Ricketts owes Cook County six more years of property taxes on his Wilmette house. He should pay up.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Watchdog accuses County Clerk Karen Yarbrough of running ‘illegal patronage’ operation, wants court oversight
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Prosecutors Decline To File Charges In About 1 In Every 5 Murder Cases
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Maps Story of Opioid Epidemic with New Website
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ News

Slow refund checks for Water Tower residents—including the county treasurer—lead to proposed fee
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Criminal history vs. compassion? County debate over role of rap sheets in rental decisions
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County’s new law barring landlords from turning away tenants with certain criminal backgrounds faces controversy
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Upholding Cook County’s assault weapons ban
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Hospital rehab awarded $3 million in state tax credits
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Curbed Chicago

Cook County Finance Committee to approve $3 million settlement in medical malpractice case
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lightfoot, Preckwinkle must stop feuding with each other, work together on gun violence
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Here’s Why Cook County’s Property Tax Freeze Might Thaw
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
WBEZ News

South, southwest suburbs getting grants to beef up security
Friday, August 30, 2019
Daily Southtown

all news items

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