Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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

Time is now to dissolve Flowers' office

Sunday, November 29, 2009
by SouthtownStar editorial staff

We have called repeatedly for action from the Cook County state's attorney regarding Cook County Regional Office of Education Supt. Charles Flowers. Today, we call on members of the Legislature to abolish the office altogether and to consider consolidating regional schools offices statewide.

Certainly Flowers' alleged abuses of his office prompted us to take a closer look at regional superintendent offices statewide.

But this is not a case of one bad apple tarnishing the bunch. We simply believe the offices are not a justifiable taxpayer expense, even those that operate efficiently. Particularly in suburban Cook County, the duplication of a regional office and existing intermediate centers call for state action. With scarce resources, now is the time to address the waste and bureaucracy of the multi-layered system currently in place.

The suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education, like all regional offices statewide, is primarily responsible for teacher certification paperwork, health and safety oversight of school structures and training for bus drivers. There are other duties, but most are vague and not statutorily enforced.

We believe the duties of the Cook County office should be assumed by the intermediate centers in place and by the Illinois State Board of Education. We also believe downstate regionals should be forced to consolidate. Their responsibilities are not weighty enough to justify so many separate offices.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Des Plaines) in June introduced House Bill 4588, which would dissolve the suburban Cook County office altogether. Southland state Rep. Kevin Joyce (D-Chicago) is a co-sponsor. The bill remains in the elementary and secondary education committee.

Nekritz is working on a new version of the bill, which will incorporate recommendations of a committee she established made up of school superintendents and business managers.

"The new bill will not look anything like House Bill 4588," she said Wednesday. "We're taking the approach that, if you could design the office from scratch, what would it look like?"

To Nekritz, the issue is pretty simple. Suburban Cook County schools are not well served by the suburban office, and she, like us, is fed up with the problems. For more than a decade, the regional school office has not functioned effectively.

We're looking forward to hearing her committee's recommendations, but for cost reasons and for efficiency's sake, we believe the office should be eliminated, period. We certainly don't want to see the office's duties expanded.

In the meantime, we hope the state's attorney moves hard and fast with its investigation of Flowers - an investigation spawned from SouthtownStar education reporter Duaa Eldeib's tenacious reporting of financial irregularities.

Taxpayers have waited too long.

Taxpayers deserve no less.

Recent Headlines

Niles Township Property Tax Appeal Workshops Offered In Skokie
Friday, December 06, 2019

Want to pay your property taxes early? Here's how.
Wednesday, December 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Column: Twitter exchange with Cook County assessor sums up outrage and exodus: Tax hikes are paying for debt, not services.
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles taxing bodies, including schools, set to share $3.4 million surplus of TIF district funds
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Pioneer Press

Unknown tale: Father George Clements’s role in Cook County court reform
Monday, December 02, 2019
Injustice Watch

State panel faces Dec. 31 deadline for property tax relief recommendations
Monday, December 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A drop in people, a $1 billion rise in property taxes
Monday, December 02, 2019
Daily Herald

In tents and under bridges, a new Cook County sheriff’s office program helps hard-to-reach drug users
Sunday, December 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

No pay-to-play in the Cook County assessor's office
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Dorothy Brown’s office debuts upgrade to criminal court computers to wide ridicule
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Chicago Tribune

What's happening to Chicago's safety-net hospitals?
Monday, November 25, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Health CEO ousted by board
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County OKs suburban infrastructure funding
Friday, November 22, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Health CEO out at the end of 2019 after hospital system opts against renewing his contract
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board greenlights 2020 budget
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Former friary to ‘revert to its natural state’ under Cook County Forest Preserve District
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Daily Southtown

Federal Prosecutors to Participate in ‘Project Guardian’ to Target Chicago Gun Crime
Thursday, November 21, 2019

Opportunity for small developers, and distressed neighborhoods: The Cook County Land Bank Authority celebrates 500th property rehab
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board approves $6.2 billion budget for 2020, without increases in taxes or fees
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Commissioner Suffredin Commentary: Cook County forest preserve budget won’t meet needs of Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden and other land
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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