Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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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.

Thank you for visiting my website.  It is an honor and privilege to serve as the Cook County Board Commissioner and Forest Preserve District Board Commissioner for the 13th District which includes the following Cities and Villages: 49th & 50th Wards of the City of Chicago, the City of Evanston and the Villages of Glencoe, Glenview, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Skokie, Wilmette and Winnetka. 

Although our Cook County government has a low profile, it is a vast operation with many important responsibilities and an annual budget of $3 billion. It is responsible for operating our court system, jail, maintaining 68,000 acres of forest preserves, and acting as a healthcare safety net through the operation of four hospitals and 30 clinics.

The purpose of this site is to provide information on Cook County government and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County as well as links to other government resources.  I regularly post news stories and information on County and Forest Preserve issues which may be of interest to you.   Additionally, my legislative library contains up-to-date information on County and Forest Preserve legislation.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions or ideas you have regarding Cook County or the Forest Preserve District.  I hope you find this site useful. Thank you for taking the time to visit.


Larry Suffredin

September 2014

Cook County Hosted An Ideas Workshop “Charrette” on Old Cook County Hospital Building

What should happen to the old Cook County Hospital?

The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development, in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation hosted an open ideas workshop charrette to generate feedback and ideas about the potential future of the site.

The two-week charrette kicked off with an event on Tuesday, September 23 which featured a presentation from Cook County leadership on the redevelopment process, insights from civic organizations, public comments, and a hands-on workshop. Over the next two weeks, invited organizations and other interested parties will create development briefs suggesting possible uses and design concepts for the site.

The charrette results will be presented at a second event at the Chicago Architecture Foundation on Tuesday, October 7. Metropolitan Planning Council, Landmarks Illinois, Chicago Central Area Committee, Lambda Alpha/Ely Chapter and others will offer design/development concepts, followed by a panel discussion. 

If you have thoughts about possible uses for the old Cook County Hospital, the Chicago Architecture Foundation would like to hear them.  Click here.


October 5, Screening of  @home


Free and open to the public

Directed by longtime Chicago filmmaker Susanne Suffredin, @home travels cross-country

with Mark Horvath, a charismatic social media activist who has long struggled with homelessness. Armed with a digital camera and a smartphone, Mark talks to homeless people about their own experiences as he visits communities that are springing up all over this country in tents, by-the-week motels, and storm drains.

Produced by Chicago’s The Kindling Group, @home shows how Mark harnesses the power of social media to make homelessness in America visible, changing thousands of lives along the way.

Our post-screening discussion will feature Director Susanne Suffredin and

Paul Selden, Executive Director of Connections for the Homeless.  Co-presented with the Evanston Public Library’s ongoing Films@EPL program.

@home will be screening at the Evanston Public Library on October 5th at 3PM.

Below are links to the library notice and the Reeltime notice.

New Hiking-Biking Trail Links Botanic Garden And Forest Preserve
The one-mile link through the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Cook County Forest Preserve District’s Turnbull Woods is now open. The $2 million project was funded jointly by the Botanic Garden,
the Forest Preserve District and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Cook County Health and Hospitals System

At a meeting held August 13, 2014, the Nominating Committee for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) Board selected 15 individuals to forward to President Preckwinkle as candidates for five vacancies on the CCHHS Board.

The candidates are as follows:

Dr. Karen Batia

Michael Bernstein

Keith Bevans

Justin Bynum

Dr. Opella Ernest

Ricardo Estrada

Susana Gonzalez

Ada Mary Gugenheim

Emilie Junge

Dr. Arthur Kohrman

Agustin Maldonado

Dr. Erica Marsh

Dr. Javette Orgain

Michael Swarzman

Vicki Wilson





The 170-acre drainage area north of Tower Road and bordered by Gordon Terrace on the east and the Skokie River to the west, currently drains into the Cook County Forest Preserve pond on the southeast corner of Tower Road and Forestway Drive. There will be larger storm water pipes placed underneath Tower Road to increase capacity and a new culvert, which will allow more storm water to be stored in the Forest Preserve pond.  The village of Winnetka received approval from the Forest Preserve to increase capacity to the pond in June of 2014. As part of the approval, the Forest Preserve requested the village of Winnetka restore the highly eroded east bank of the pond. The Forest Preserve property just east of the pond, which has been maintained by some homeowners, will be returned to its native prairie state, which should help with flood control.  Construction should begin in mid-September and be completed by spring 2015. To view the Landscape Plan for the Winnetka Tower Road project click here



In late June, The Chicago Botanic Garden published the Garden’s 2013 Annual Report and launched their
 updated “Keep Growing” ten-year strategic plan website.
Discover what happened at your Garden last year, learn what the future holds, and enjoy a video that sums it all up. 

13th District Office Spending 

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin is committed to sound fiscal management at Cook County. The office has efficiently provided all services necessary for our constituents. As such, his office has always spent less than its budgeted amount for operations and has returned the following amounts to the Cook County General Operations Fund:

2013 - $19,817

2012 – $38,788

2011 – $51,977

Source: Cook County Office of Budget and Management 

Commissioner Suffredin's Statement on the Passage of the 2014 Forest Preserve District of Cook County Budget

100 years ago, Dwight H. Perkins, an Evanston resident, was a leader in starting the forest preserve movement. His efforts have given us the greatest jewel of open space found anywhere in the United States of America.

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County's budget of $179 million passed on December 2, 2013. The budget gives support to the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Brookfield Zoo and the work of restoration of our 69,000 acres.

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is home to the most committed volunteers who make our land better and preserve it for future generations. 100 years from now, I hope people will say our efforts saved this precious open space.


Commissioner Suffredin's Statement on 2014 Cook County Budget

On Friday, November 8, 2013 the Cook County Board passed the FY 2014 budget. This budget is a sea change for the county because it changes focus from health care services and cost to public safety services and costs.

The Affordable Healthcare Act has given the county the unique opportunity to sign up new patients with Medicaid payments. The leadership of the independent health board and Dr. Ram Raju has stabilized the healthcare budget and service delivery. The new budget cuts the taxpayer subsidy in half and returns $72 million to the general revenue fund. With the 1115 waiver payments for the over 115,000 new patients the Health and Hospital System will be operating in the black.

The new budget puts a new emphasis on the Public Safety sector. As violence continues to take control of many of our communities, we must better use resources to protect our citizens and keep families safe. Cook County has the largest court system and jail in the United States and therefore is at the center of any programs to reduce crime and end recidivism. This budget gives us the opportunity to develop programs that the nation will follow.

Finally, this budget does not contain any new taxes, fees or fines.


Cook County Commissioners Earlean Collins, Peter Silvestri, Gregg Goslin, Elizabeth Gorman, Larry Suffredin and Jeffrey Tobolski today unanimously appointed John Plante to the METRA board of directors’ district representing Evanston, Leyden, New Trier, Niles, Northfield, Norwood Park, Maine, Oak Park and River Forest Townships. Mr. Plante will replace retiring METRA board member William Widmer.

Mr. Plante has extensive transportation experience from serving in a variety of capacities over a 35 year career with the Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA.”) Most recently, Mr. Plante served as the Senior Manager for System Safety Emergency Preparedness for the CTA. In that capacity, Mr. Plante coordinated the CTA’s planning and training for responding to emergencies. He updated CTA’s’s Rail System Safety Program Plan, the Bus System Safety Program Plan, the Safety Rule Book and construction safety manuals. Following the September 11, 2011 attacks, Mr. Plante coordinated the agencies’ security efforts, leading to his accreditation as a Professional Emergency Manager by the State of Illinois in 2008.

Mr. Plante has served as the Chairman the Chicago Regional Transit Security Working Group, Co-Chairman of the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team Transportation Committee, Member of the Chicago Urban Area Working Group, Illinois Terrorism Task Force Transportation Committee and the committee’s Evacuation Planning/Implementation Working Group, the Chicago Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Chicago Bio Watch Advisory Council.

Prior to serving as a Senior Manager, Mr. Plante worked as the Managing Attorney for the CTA’s Risk Management, Claims and Law divisions, where he learned first-hand the necessity of effective risk-management policies and procedures.

Mr. Plante is heavily involved with the America Public Transportation Association, serving on its board of directors from 2011-2012. He has served as chair of the Risk Management Committee from 2009-2012 and sat on the Legislative and Safety Coordinating Committees. Furthermore, Mr. Plante worked on the association’s Security and Emergency Preparedness Standards Development Program and Emergency Preparedness Technical forums.

Cook County Commissioner Suffredin stated, “Out of a field of 14 highly qualified individuals, John Plante emerged as the clear choice. John has the experience and skills to ensure that METRA has what it needs to prevail over its difficulties. His emergency preparedness work and legal background will help METRA to work through its current problems and foresee any potential future problems. He is an excellent choice.”

Regional Transportation Authority Audit: A Forensic Analysis of Mr. Clifford's Claims Against Metra

To read the Audit, please click HERE


The June 2013 progress report of the Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program prepared by the Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County and the Honorable Moshe Jacobius, Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division can be accessed here


The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that as a result of the April 18, 2013 storm, President Obama has declared all of Cook County (and other Illinois counties), including Evanston, a federal disaster area. Aid has been made available to the State of Illinois and its residents and federal aid has been ordered to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

Individuals and business owners in Evanston affected by the late April flooding and storms are eligible to apply for grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and low-interest loans for uninsured property losses. To apply, you must register at or by calling 1-800-621-3362. The number for the hearing and speech impaired is 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week.

Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses. For more details on the FEMA disaster declaration applicable to Cook County and northeast Illinois, please click here.


Does Illinois need more guns in public settings to insure the public safety? The answer to this question is no. There are enough guns in the hands of trained law enforcement and security personnel to insure the safety of our citizens in public settings. What Illinois must do is show that its current restrictions are reasonable and do protect the public. Illinois needs to restate its existing law to meet the standards of recent Supreme Court cases. Illinois must not surrender its police powers to those who want unlimited access to firearms.

The debate today is caused by a reading of what Illinois must do under the Seventh Circuit’s ruling in Moore, et al v. Lisa Madigan. The decision is still subject to possible Supreme Court Review. It does not require Illinois to do anything specific; but the Seventh Circuit stayed its mandate to allow the General Assembly 180 days “…to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety, and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.” The majority opinion clearly outlines how Illinois could more clearly state the reasonableness of its current law and craft changes that would allow for very little change to our current law and would protect the public safety by limiting who and where guns could be allowed.

In addition, the Moore case was decided 2 to I with a strong dissent from Circuit Judge Ann Williams upholding existing Illinois law. Judge Williams stated: “In the absence of clearer indication that the Second Amendment codified a generally recognized right to carry arms in public for self-defense, I would leave this judgment in the hands of the State of Illinois.” The Supreme Court is as likely to adopt this standard as that of the majority. Therefore, the General Assembly should stand its ground and defend the existing law and see what the Supreme Court decides.

Unfortunately, there is no political will to wait to see what the Supreme Court will decide. The discussion concerning “concealed carry” that the Illinois General Assembly is conducting demonstrates that expanding concealed carry beyond trained law enforcement and security personnel will only endanger more and not strengthen the overall public safety. A new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll “found one in five Americans knows someone who has been a victim of gun violence in the last three years.” The explosion of violence especially in public places will not be contained by giving more people guns.

The General Assembly is reviewing bills and amendments that would allow “concealed carry” to those who have significant training, mental health background checks, insurance and an identifiable need for extra protection. Each of these conditions will put an unmanageable financial strain on a state government that is having difficulty providing basic services to its residents.

In addition, the bills and amendments also highlight places where an individual can’t have a concealed carry weapon. These places include: places of worship, hospitals, public transit systems, sports stadiums, public museums, government buildings, courts, mental health facilities, entertainment venues and schools at all levels of education. How will the State enforce these limitations? Will the State provide gun check stations at every place of worship, hospital, transit stop, sports stadium, public museum, government building, court, mental health facility, entertainment venue and school?

Who will pay for these gun check stations?

Illinois has had concealed carry by law enforcement and trained security personnel for years. The debate today should not center on “all individuals” being able to have a concealed weapon but on restating the solid reasons for Illinois continuing to be the only sane state to limit concealed carry.

As a County Commissioner I have no ability to directly shape the concealed carry discussion since it is the General Assembly that must decide. As a County Commissioner I do see the effects of gun violence everyday in our Cook County Hospital System, at our Medical Examiner’s Office and in our Court system. Gun violence costs Cook County taxpayers millions of dollars a year. At the County level I have sponsored into law the Blair Holt Assault Weapons Ban and the required reporting of Lost, Stolen or Transferred Firearms to prohibit straw purchases of guns.

An opinion piece by Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin.

Decoding Cook County Property Tax

2010-2011 TIF District Revenue Summary

read summary (Adobe acrobat .pdf)

Cook County Board President Appoints Dr. Stephen J. Cina Chief Medical Examiner

Please find announcement and C.V. below:

read announcement (Adobe acrobat .pdf)

Report of the Justice Advisory Council

read the report (Adobe acrobat .pdf)

Report on the Office of Tax Administrator

Commissioner Suffredin sponsored a resolution requesting close cooperation between offices that oversee property taxes in Cook County. This resolution has done much. Please see the following report for more details.

read report (Adobe acrobat .pdf)

Harms Road & Kenilworth Construction

In Summer 2012 the Cook County Highway Department begins construction on Harms Road from north of Golf Road to south of East Lake Avenue.

read flyer (Adobe acrobat .pdf)

Cook County Completes 2010 Census Redistricting

click here to view map (Adobe Acrobat .pdf)

click here to view Report of the Committee on 2010 Census Redistricting (Adobe Acrobat .pdf)

Unincorporated Cook County Task Force Recommendations

click here to read the Adobe Acrobat .pdf


all news items

The unfulfilled promise of Roseland's medical district
Monday, September 29, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County probation department's gun cases fall apart
Friday, September 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Land bank wants Fannie, Freddie to donate homes
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Old Cook County Hospital: Support for Museum at Site but Not Housing
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fate of Cook County Hospital to Be Decided in Coming Weeks
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cook County seeking public input on former hospital site
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Clout-heavy assistant to Sheriff Dart can't keep track of time
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Harvey To Vote On Police Department Audit By Cook County Sheriff
Sunday, September 21, 2014
CBS Chicago

Pension crisis hits Cook County suburbs too
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Daily Southtown

Judicial system set to explore data-sharing
Friday, September 19, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Begins 24-Hour Tracking of Juvenile Offenders
Friday, September 19, 2014

Full House As Glenview Trustees, County, Talk Housing Vouchers
Friday, September 19, 2014
Journal Online

Juvenile Offenders to Receive 24 Hour Monitoring
Friday, September 19, 2014

Critics: Juvenile Offender Monitoring Needs Overhaul In Wake Of Roseland Rape
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grants to help Juvenile Court offenders
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

County Seeks Ideas for Old Cook County Hospital Redevelopment
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

City backing bid for County tax break
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Pioneer Press

Probation officer suspended after teen’s assault on CSU student
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Probation Officer For Teen Charged With Assaulting CSU Student Suspended
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
CBS local

Thousands charged with drug possession walk free, leaving taxpayers with the tab
Sunday, September 14, 2014
The Chicago Reporter

all news items

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