Editor’s note: This is the letter Commissioner Larry Suffredin sent out today, his final day in office.
Today, November 18, 2022, is my last day as a Cook County and Forest Preserve Commissioner. It has been my honor to serve for the last 20 years. Together we have seen the County and Forest Preserves governments transformed into effective operations. Thank you for the opportunity to represent you.
Yesterday, I voted Yes on a 2023 Cook County Budget of nearly $8.8 billion that had no new or increased taxes or fees and adequately protects the health and public safety of Cook County residents.
As a County Commissioner, I have had the privilege of sponsoring ordinances and resolutions that: codified the County laws for the first time; saved the old County Hospital Building from demolition; created the successful Independent Health and Hospital Board; gave Cook County an Assault Weapons Ban; raised the Minimum Wage; changed the leadership structurer for the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center; created an Independent Inspector General; lowered adoption filing fees, and created an Eviction and Mortgage Foreclosures Court protocol to protect people’s homes.
As a Forest Preserve Commissioner, I have had the privilege of sponsoring ordinances and resolutions that: allowed for a successful tax referendum, required children to wear bike helmets; created the Next Century Conservation Council; expanded land restoration; encouraged an expansion of the Master Stewart program and expanded the role of trained volunteers.
In addition, I wrote By-Laws adopted by the Suburban Commissioners that reformed the procedures for selecting METRA, PACE and RTA directors. This led to a Cook County resident becoming the METRA Chair for the first time.
I am grateful to the many dedicated staff that have worked for me. They have allowed us to help over 10,000 residents appeal their property tax assessment and protect their homes. The staff has included, among others, the late Karen Chavers and current staffers Michelle Jordan, Mary Rita Luecke and Atour Sargon. Thank you to them for serving the constituents.
Josina Morita has been elected to be the new 13th District Cook County and Forest Preserve Commissioner. She will be sworn-in at a ceremony on Sunday, November 20 at 1:30pm in the Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Avenue, Evanston. All are invited to attend.
After Monday, November 21, Josina Morita can be contacted at 312-603-6383, JosinaMorita@gmail.com.Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity.