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

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  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.

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Tracking your tax dollars: Cook County, get with the program

Friday, March 06, 2009
SouthtownStar
by SouthtownStar editorial staff

THE ISSUE: The Cook County Board passed a resolution to publish all county expenditures, taking cues from neighboring DuPage County.

WE SAY: There is no reason Cook County should drag its feet on the proposal unless elected officials have something to hide.

H ere's a change of pace for Illinois: DuPage County's newly elected auditor, Bob Grogan, recently published online every expenditure countywide, leaving off the list only payments that could be considered privacy violations.

What does this mean? If you pay taxes in DuPage County, you can view on a monthly basis exactly how public officials are spending your money, down to a $32.38 purchase of file folders for the DuPage County clerk of the circuit court. The only payments not included in the monthly checklist are those protected by privacy rules, such as payroll stubs or reimbursements to health care providers on behalf of insured employees.

Visit the DuPage County Web site to see for yourself: www.dupageco.org. Click on the auditor button. On the left side of the auditor page, click on the "Transparency in Government" tab. From lunch meetings to ink cartridges, it's all there.

In Cook County, 16th District Commissioner Tony Peraica followed DuPage's cue. He introduced a resolution during Wednesday's board meeting calling on Cook County to do the same. Why shouldn't taxpayers be able to track county expenditures? No good reason exists, unless elected officials have something to hide.

Ten Cook County Board members supported Peraica's initiative, including Southland commissioners Jerry Butler (D-3rd), of Chicago, John Daley (D-11th), of Chicago, Elizabeth Doody Gorman (R-17th), of Orland Park, and Peraica (R-16th), of Riverside. Commissioners William Beavers (D-4th), of Chicago, and Joseph Moreno (D-7th), of Chicago, voted against it, and Deborah Sims (D-5th) of Chicago voted present. Commissioner Joan Murphy (D-6th), of Crestwood, was absent.

Opponents of the measure cited cost concerns. That's hogwash.

Peraica's office received an initial $15,000 estimate from the county's own information technology department to get the program up and running. That's $15,000 of a $3 billion budget.

Even if Peraica's estimate is low, the overall cost would amount to a small percentage of the county's overall budget, and an expense, in our opinion, worth every penny. The cost-savings alone from department heads who might spend their budgets a bit more wisely, knowing the information is easily available, will pay for the program going forward.

More importantly, Cook County Board members already receive the information in their twice-a-month packets. They approve expenditures at each board meeting. So there's no reason the public shouldn't have access to the same information, particularly with today's technology. We're talking about transferring data to a disk and popping it up on the county's Web site.

If DuPage County can get its program up and running in a matter of weeks, Cook County can, too.

The difficulties lie ahead, however. Peraica's resolution passed, but that doesn't mean it will be implemented. Resolutions are advisory only.

Peraica's staff says he intends to introduce the idea in binding ordinance-form if Cook County administrators drag their feet.

We won't wait for miracles, but we hope with an election year looming, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger will realize the importance of this initiative and instruct his departments to work together to get it done.

We'll be keeping tabs to make sure taxpayers know about it, if he does not.



Recent Headlines

Feds: Former Cook County employee stole $300K from flood grant
Friday, August 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Third annual FPCC photo contest
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County offers back-to-school health checklist
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cook County Inspector General wins round over Berrios on subpoena
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health weighs $70M contract to coordinate patient care
Monday, August 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Buck of the Week: Unplugged in Cook County
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois exchange on 3 additional insurers' radar for 2015
Friday, August 22, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health eyes new call center, more nurses to better compete for patients
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Obamacare money boost helps Cook County hospitals budget next year
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health puts brakes on plan to sell HMO on Obamacare exchange
Friday, August 15, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

City home values only glimmer in bleak Cook property value report
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Trends in Estimated Full Value of Real Estate in Cook County
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Civic Federation

Forest Preserves of Cook County Offers Wilderness Camping Opportunities for Families
Monday, August 11, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Court: Bears owe Cook County $4.1 million in ticket taxes
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

3-week closures announced for Crawford repaving
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Skokie Review

Appeals court rules against Preckwinkle tax on business
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Panel: Cook Co. use tax violates state law
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

County awards $680K to groups working to curb recidivism
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Inmates signing up for Obamacare: Dart
Monday, August 04, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Property tax bills rise at Cook County's biggest buildings
Monday, August 04, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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