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.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

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

Berrios relatives risk injury for right to crowd county payroll
Tuesday, July 29, 2104
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserve HQ plans expansion in River Forest
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Records falsified in Metra work logs
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

How we shaft the mentally ill
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

County Board Of Review To Digitize, Streamline Property Tax Appeals System
Monday, July 28, 2014
Journal Online

Three DUI arrests, revoked license still on sheriff's payroll
Monday, July 28, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County approves road projects for upcoming years
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Northwest Indiana Times

Palatine, County Forest Preserve To Partner Up
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Palatine Journal Online

Man dies following beating at Cook County Jail
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health Board selects new leaders
Friday, July 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

The PrivateBank pledges $10 million to the Cook County Land Bank
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners switch votes, rehire erstwhile contractor
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board adds two questions to packed fall ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County to cut buildings' carbon emissions
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Fox 32 Chicago

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

Forest Preserves of Cook County to get expertise, guidance from new Policy Council
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Special to

Preserves and parks offering memorial trees and benches for a price
Monday, July 21, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Community leaders, sheriff aim to help mentally ill inmates
Monday, July 21, 2014
FOX 32 Chicago

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

all news items

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