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Stroger quotes from county commissioners

Thursday, July 13, 2006
Daily Southtown

Each county commissioner took a few minutes Wednesday to recognize John Stroger before they accepted the Cook County board president's letter of resignation. This is a sampling of what they said, in the order that they spoke.
John P. Daley
"We might have disagreed with him individually, but I don't think there is anyone on this board who could ever say that he was not willing to compromise or listen to us. He might disagree and tell us we did wrong, which he did and totally believed that a lot of people were not bringing the best interest of people to this agenda. He never had a personal agenda. The agenda that he had was very simple. It was for the betterment and health care of the people of this great county."
Bobbie L. Steele
"In 20 years, I learned to love and respect him and to respect his leadership not only here in Cook County but across this country. John Stroger has impacted health care for the poor across this country."
Deborah Sims
"Even though some people say that President Stroger took a lot of things personally, yes he did, because he was a man who felt the needs of the people. He lived it. He always talked about his humble beginnings. So, I think he understood both sides, the people who had and who had not."
Earlean Collins
One of the things we can always say about President Stroger, the people he put in administrative positions, most of those people were imminently qualified, and he believed and he trusted them and their abilities to do the job and do the job right. When they failed, he felt it was a failure to him. That was his greatest flaw that I can see, that he took them on as a person and he would go out and personally attack anyone he felt was attacking his staff."
Joan Murphy
John Stroger has left ... a legacy of inclusion, not exclusion. When he looked at a person, he didn't see their race, gender or religion, but he saw the person and treated them all as equals. And I believe he was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He treated people with respect. And he did great things for the Southland part of this county. Prior to John Stroger becoming president, it was as though the county ended at the city limits. People did not pay attention to what was south of 87th Street.
Roberto Maldonado
I have to recognize that he was the first one, way before there were any Hispanic members on this board, he was the first one to introduce an ordinance to bring interpreters at Cook County Hospital.
Peter Silvestri
"On many occasions we may have disagreed, but I always thought he was an honorable man, a good Christian soul who worked hard for his passionate beliefs at the county."
Michael Quigley
"I will never forget the first time I took President Stroger to a Cub playoff game ... with my girlfriend who is now my wife. President Stroger could say things that no one else could say. He turns to my girlfriend at the time and said, 'My wife used to go with me to these games all the time, then I realized she was just going to keep me company. So, is that you?' He goes, 'Are you a lover of baseball or just Quigley's lover?' "
Gregg Goslin
"He has always been receptive to me; he always had time to meet with me; he always had time to work with me."
Forrest Claypool
"I had many, many disagreements with the president and a radically different philosophy of government and disagreed mightily about the means by which to achieve certain things, but I never, ever doubted that he shared our goals, that our goals were common goals — health care for the indigent, quality forest preserves, a fair criminal justice system."
Jerry Butler
"When I think of John Stroger, I think of one thing — loyalty. Loyalty to his family. Loyalty to his party, often to a fault. Loyalty to his mission."
Carl Hansen
"John enjoyed government. This was his world."
Elizabeth Doody Gorman
"Though we basically agreed to disagree for the sake of our districts, he often reminded me that the reason I was here was because of single member districts, which was done under his efforts. He also reminded me that the only district out of the 17 districts that he ever lost was my district, which I had to remind him that's why I often had to go against him on issues."
Larry Suffredin
"I will always think of him as the Harry Caray of political name callers, and I don't mean by calling bad names but the way he (mis)pronounced various people's names."
Tony Peraica
"I think he called me 'Per-a-co' on purpose. He wasn't mistaken as to what my name was. It was a way to needle me and throw me off balance."
Joseph Moreno
"John Stroger was a large, large man. He was a big human being. And I don't think anyone can fill his shoes in terms of what was in his heart, in terms of the person that he was, and I got to know him very well —humble, God-fearing, Christian and one hell of a politician. He never forgot anything."

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