Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.

Helping taxpayers and a hospital

Thursday, January 22, 2004
Chicago Tribune

Last month, in a move that put taxpayers' interests first, members of the Cook County Board delayed a vote on whether to demolish the former Cook County Hospital. That vote is now expected to take place Thursday. If taxpayers' interests still count for something, board members should vote to give the building a reprieve--at least for the short term--to fully consider its economical renovation and rebirth.

For reasons that escape sound logic, John Stroger, president of the board, is determined to raze the structure. Put another way, the County Board president who says he needs fat tax increases to balance his budget wants to waste millions of dollars tearing down a stately and storied hospital that developers are eager to rehab.

If you're a member of the County Board, here, essentially, are your two options:

- Option One: You can vote to spend more than $12 million to tear down the hospital and two associated buildings and complete an environmental cleanup. The county would be out that money, a sound structure would be rubble, and the county's crying space needs for doctors' offices and other uses related to medicine could be met only by erecting a costly new building.

- Option Two: You can vote against demolishing the hospital--for now, anyway--and preserve not just the structure but also the possibility that it can make money for the county. At least three proposals for reviving the building for various public and private uses have been floated by developers. Depending on what County Board members eventually decide, a rehab could put part of the building back on the tax rolls, give the county a share of rental proceeds, and create federal tax credits that a developer could be required to share with the county.

The choice between those two options is a no-brainer. But while they're weighing the hospital's future, County Board members also should insist that Stroger's administration do what he pledged to do last summer. That's when Stroger said he would give developers a fair chance to make their case for preserving and rehabbing the old hospital.

Instead, he and his administration have done everything imaginable to discourage developers and create a sense of inevitability that the building must be torn down.

That's nonsense. Worse, it's unfair. As a result, Stroger evidently has lost the votes of board members who resent the shabby treatment that developers and preservationists received from Stroger's underlings. Case in point: Gregg Goslin, a fair-minded board member who's agnostic on the hospital's architectural value, now opposes demolition pending an honest evaluation of whether it may make sense--and save money--to let a developer rehab the hospital. "We should first study the [redevelopment] proposals so we know what our options are," Goslin says.

That's the responsible, frugal approach other board members should adopt. If Stroger's administration will work with half as much zeal to assist developers to craft proposals as it has in obstructing them, the ultimate winners will be Cook County's beleaguered taxpayers. But that can happen only if County Board members reject Stroger's wasteful demolition proposal now.

Recent Headlines

Cook County Board sends assault weapons referendum to the ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County mulls fund-of-funds investment, other changes
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Pensions & Investments

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

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

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

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

all news items

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