Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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.

Stroger's Demolition Complex

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Chicago Tribune

Back in July this page commended Cook County Board President John Stroger for announcing that he would give developers a fair chance to make the case for saving the old Cook County Hospital building. Shame on us for believing, for a moment, that Stroger actually meant what he said.

It's now clear that he was leading developers and preservationists on a fool's errand.

After Stroger announced he had an open mind on the fate of the stately building, the Cook County Board voted unanimously to invite developers to a hearing on how it could be done. The board members supposedly set in motion parallel processes for getting bids on demolition and proposals for renovation, so the board could pick the most attractive alternative sometime in the fall.

In practice, however, county bureaucrats have greased the path to demolition and obstructed developers' efforts to prepare proposals for renovation. The demolition bids have been received. Developers are still scrambling for complete specifications needed to bid on restoration -- more than three weeks after the Oct. 6 deadline for proposals has passed.

Stroger is bent on spending millions of dollars to rip down the old hospital, something to keep in mind on Thursday when he sets out his 2004 budget, which, no doubt, will include lots of wailing about how the county doesn't have enough tax revenue to meet its needs.

For the sake of honest dealing -- not to mention potential savings to taxpayers -- the county board members need to extend the deadline for submitting renovation proposals and stall the demolition. They ought to ensure the renovation option receives a full hearing. So far, county bureaucrats seem more intent on discouraging developers long enough so they will just give up.

The first bids for tearing down the fortress-like building ranged from $9.7 million to $13.6 million. Bids for environmental cleanup ranged from $1.6 million to nearly $8 million. The end result: open space that does not produce a penny in property tax revenue for the city or county.

Even if Cook County sold the building to a developer for a dollar -- essentially gave it away -- to be converted into lofts, office space or some other commercial use, taxpayers would save millions by foregoing demolition and could earn millions in property taxes collected on the development.

Stroger should advocate every money-saving option available to him, including reuse of the old hospital. Instead his administration appears to be pushing the demolition option as if it were a foregone conclusion. It is not.

The county board members have an obligation to manage the country's assets and to be honest with the voters who put them in office. They should honor that obligation, even if the Stroger administration does not.

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.