Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

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.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Civic Fed. On Cook Co. Budget: "Extraordinary And Irresponsible"

Friday, December 19, 2008
Progress Illinois
by Angela Caputo

The Civic Federation came out with its latest review of Cook County’s finances today. Not surprisingly, the watchdog group is ripping Board President Todd Stroger and his allies on the board for their “stunning failure of fiscal responsibility.” Laurence Msall, who heads up the Federation, was nothing short of disdainful in his analysis of Stroger’s plan to sell $740 million worth of bonds this year to balance the $2.9 billion 2009 budget. From the report (PDF):

Cook County President Todd Stroger argues that the borrowing is essential because the massive one percentage point sales tax increase approved last year will not generate sufficient revenues to pay for the County’s spending plan … The failure of this government to consider the long-term implications of its fiscal actions is extraordinary and irresponsible.

At current interest rates, the Civic Federation estimates taxpayers could end up paying nearly three times the bond value in interest alone.  To make matters worse, Commissioner Larry Suffredin tells us that the county doesn’t need the extra money. To give one example, he contends that the budget should factor in an additional $100 million in sales tax revenue.

“This is a contrived financial accounting technique to make a case for the bonds,” Suffredin tells us. “They’ve created a political document rather than an accounting document.”

This year’s budgeting process has only cemented the county’s image as a mockery of good government. Emblematic of the problem, the Stroger administration passed around a third set of budget books in an effort to get the numbers right.

The Federation also criticized the lack of transparency regarding the budget for the county's Health and Hospital System:

First, the fact that the passage of the FY2009 budget was not on the Board’s agenda was problematic. During the Board’s October 3, 2008 meeting the System’s budget was approved, yet this action was not reflected on that day’s agenda.

Second, an insufficient number of copies of the budget document were produced for public distribution. Despite repeated requests the Federation was unable to receive a copy of the budget document.

As county officials consider taking on millions worth of new debt, outsourcing or cutting jobs, and realigning services, the “real numbers” need to come out so that commissioners can make smart decisions. “Otherwise,” says Suffredin, “it’s very difficult to do public policy and analysis.”



Recent Headlines

Recorder of Deeds staffers accused of political motive in firing
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

TIF Revenue Down 2 Percent in Suburban Cook Co.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Palatine Patch

Cook County sheriff's department will focus on catching people wanted on arrest warrants
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

An unwelcome surprise from the Cook County health system
Monday, July 14, 2014
Chicago Tribune

New Cook County Health CEO must find millions in savings - stat
Monday, July 14, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Fitch cuts rating on Cook County
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Reuters

Man trapped in Cook County Jail 30-plus hours files court papers
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Man trapped in Cook County Jail visiting room for 31 hours
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Orr, Suffredin To Explain Expanded Voting Rules At Town Hall
Wednesday, July 09, 2014

County land bank sweeping up the debris of the housing crisis
Monday, July 07, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Exoneree Diaries: Jacques mentors in Cook County juvenile detention
Monday, July 07, 2014
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

No way to paper over Circuit Court Clerk's record keeping: critics
Friday, July 04, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Meeting on changes in election law
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Evanston Now

Winnetka receives $2M grant, authorizes stormwater project bidding
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Pioneer Press

Winnetka receives grant for flood control work
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Same-day voter registration coming to Illinois
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

County health system names new CEO
Friday, June 27, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County health system names new CEO
Friday, June 27, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Navy corpsmen sharpen skills at Stroger
Friday, June 27, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Interim CEO to stay on as head of Cook County hospital system
Friday, June 27, 2014
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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