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:  
   
 
 

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.
   
     
     
     



Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office

Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business
by Editorial Board

 

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office

On paper, the promises just put forth by Fritz Kaegi are pretty anodyne. But in Cook County, the priorities the new assessor issued as he took the oath of office are nothing short of downright radical.

AP Images

Fritz Kaegi

On paper, the promises just put forth by Fritz Kaegi are pretty anodyne. But in Cook County, the priorities the new assessor issued as he took the oath of office are nothing short of downright radical.

 

On paper, the promises just put forth by the new Cook County assessor are pretty anodyne:

• Fairness: Deliver accurate and uniform assessments, with timely and informative notices, in compliance with industry standards and guided by best practices.

• Transparency: Build transparency into every part of the office—making services more effective and efficient—and earn the public's trust.

• Ethics: Create an office culture of professionalism, inclusion and public accountability, with engaged employees who take pride in the delivery of high-quality, accessible services for all.

And yet in Cook County, these priorities, issued Dec. 3 as Fritz Kaegi took the oath of office, are nothing short of downright radical. That's because the assessor's office under predecessor Joe Berrios became synonymous with Machine politics at its worst, a swamp of insider dealing and nepotism the likes of which might have made old Paddy Bauler—of "Chicago ain't ready for reform yet" fame—blush just a little bit.

The assessor's office, in theory if not until now in practice, is tasked with dividing up the property tax burden fairly. Instead, as Kaegi pointed out in his inaugural remarks, the office has been "organized to deliver favors to a small handful of winners at the expense of the rest of us."

The assessor's office, in short, is very important to the healthy functioning of county government and even the region's economy. And it's also supposed to be, well, boring—a place where bureaucrats do their jobs by the book. Instead, in recent years the assessor's office has been the focal point of drama and intrigue, the subject of probes into allegations of ethics lapses and campaign-finance shenanigans, overseen by a county Democratic Party chairman who unapologetically doled out jobs to relatives and cronies while regularly accepting campaign contributions from people doing business with his staff.

Kaegi unseated Berrios on a promise of serious reform. During his first day on the job, he summarily banned nepotism and political patronage in hiring and said he would not accept campaign contributions from any appraiser or law firm that does business with the office. He also announced he will bring in an outside professional group to conduct a full audit and insisted he would reject any financial campaign contribution from staffers.

The changes he has in mind will require a significant culture shift, but he has to know that there are thousands of Cook County property owners who are cheering him on and hoping he succeeds in making the assessor's office exceedingly boring—for good.



Recent Headlines

Nearly a century after a brutal murder, Chicago’s only lynching victim gets memorial
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Grio

County harassment survey shows mixed faith in reporting system
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019
WTTW News

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

all news items

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