News & Events


Tom Dart, Commissioners Push Back on Preckwinkle's Lay-Off Directive

07/13/2017 - NBC Chicago - Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says that he will be forced to lay off 17 percent of his workforce after a court order has blocked the county’s new tax on sugary beverages, and that’s just part of the massive wave of pink slips that could be coming. The lay-offs come as Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle ordered 1100 total lay-offs to deal with a budget shortfall that comes in the aftermath of a judge blocking implementation of the new county tax on sugary beverages...

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Cook County Commissioner Tobolski Co-Hosts Prevention Program

04/13/2017 - Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski, Commissioner Sean Morrison, and Commissioner Richard Boykin cohosted a program specifically for high school students called “In The Blink of an Eye,” a unique program for students on the impact and consequences of decision making, late March. The program was held at the McCook Athletic and Exposition (MAX) located in the Village of McCook. “Educating our children about the dangers of drugs helps to raise awareness and plays a vital role in addressing drug abuse prevention,” said Commissioner Jeff Tobolski. “I am happy to support this initiative and look forward to working with Commissioners Morrison and Boykin on this important issue at the County.” Denver Broncos Super Bowl Champion Mike Schofield, who is the son of Orland Fire Protection District Chief Michael Schofield, spoke to the students in attendance on the importance of making the right decisions and the impact of those decisions on their young lives. The presentations focused on the extreme dangers of drug use, specifically the heroin epidemic, which has affected many students throughout the country. Students also heard about the dangerous risk of texting and driving, which has had the same negative impact as drinking and driving.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Foundation Donates $100,000 to Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Dunkin’ Donuts Joy in Childhood Foundation recently donated $100,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and $1.5 million to Feeding America, a network of food banks fighting hunger nationwide. “With these impressive gifts, the Dunkin’ Donuts Joy in Childhood Foundation has made a significant investment in the well-being of our communities – as they fight to eradicate hunger and ease the suffering of families,” Alderman Burke said. The check was presented at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, headquartered at 4100 West Ann Lurie Place in the 14th Ward, which maintains a network of 700 affiliated pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and mobile programs and serves 812,000 needy residents in Cook County.

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Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski Honors Kathy Donahue-Coia as the 16th District Unsung Heroine

ABOVE: Pictured from left to right; Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski, Women's Commissioner Terri Rivera, Kathy Donahue-Coia, Peggy A. Montes, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

03/3/2017 - “The entire community is enriched when we recognize the deep reservoir of amazing and talented women in Cook County,” said 16th District Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski.

In observance of Women’s History Month, the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and the Cook County Board of Commissioners joined together on March 02, 2017 at the Chicago Cultural Center to host the 20th Annual Cook County Unsung Heroine Awards Breakfast.

Each year the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues sponsors the “Unsung Heroine” Award and honors one woman from each of the seventeen Cook County Districts whose contributions have silently, yet notably, made a positive impact to their communities.

This year, Commissioner Jeff Tobolski and Women’s Commissioner Terri Rivera selected Kathy Donahue-Coia as the 2017 recipient of the Cook County Unsung Heroine Award for the 16th District. Ms. Donahue-Coia was recognized for her 32 years of service as a licensed clinical social worker for the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the largest not-for-profit social service agencies in the Midwest.

ABOVE: Pictured from left to right; Ron Coia, Kathy Donahue-Coia, Monsignor Michael M. Boland, John Ryan, Elida Hernandez, Michele Bianchi & Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski.

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Village of McCook named “Public Body of the Year” Award by the Construction Industry Service Corporation

02/3/2017 - McCook, IL - “I will continue to be a strong advocate for the unions and middle class to ensure additional jobs for working families in Illinois.” Commissioner Tobolski

Mayor Jeffrey Tobolski, who is also the 16th District Cook County Commissioner, accepted the “Public Body of the Year” award from The Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) during its 2017 annual awards ceremony. The awards are part of CISCO's annual Pride in Construction Award Program, which recognizes the top quality union construction projects in several categories and honors the efforts of an area educator, labor advocate, and an Illinois public body.

The “Public Body of the Year” award is given each year to a municipality that exemplifies the labor association’s mission of converging on efforts to enhance the competitiveness of union construction while building on the existing trust among the numerous trades. The Mayor was praised for his leadership, both in the Village of McCook and as a County Commissioner, for generating coalitions and furthering the initiatives of the union trades throughout Cook County.

“I am grateful and honored to accept this award on behalf of the Village of McCook,” Tobolski said. “I appreciate CISCO’s efforts to work supportively to facilitate the exchange of ideas between contractors, building trades union leaders, and the municipalities throughout the state of Illinois.”

CISCO, headquarted in Oak brook, is a non-profit labor management association focused on uniting union construction labor and management representatives together to work cooperatively in order to better the construction industry.


See Full Press Release

Assessor’s Office mails Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption applications

01/10/2017 - CHICAGO – The office of Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios has mailed Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption renewal applications for Tax Year 2016. Savings from these exemptions will appear as deductions on the 2017 Second Installment Property Tax Bills mailed this summer.

Nearly 300,000 applications were mailed to seniors who received the exemptions last year. The application deadline is Wednesday, February 8th and it is imperative that seniors return their application(s) in order to receive their exemption savings on their tax bills. The Senior Exemption application is part of a booklet sent to eligible seniors. The booklet also contains the separate, income-based Senior Freeze Exemption application.

“Seniors must remember that, under Illinois law, they must reapply annually for both the Senior and Senior Freeze Exemptions in order to continue to receive the deductions on their Second Installment Property Tax Bills,” Berrios said.


See Full Press Release

Building and Zoning Online Application Launched - Improves Speed and Efficiency

Permit Application for the unincorporated areas now available on-line

01/11/2017 - In order to improve customer service and efficiency for businesses and residents who reside in the unincorporated areas of Cook County, the Department of Building and Zoning, working jointly with the Department of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), has launched a new on-line permitting system. In addition to being an important management tool, the online application will allow businesses and residents in the unincorporated areas to receive permits faster and more efficiently. The permit tracking application has automated the entire permitting process from beginning to end and adds much more than a public interface. The new application also streamlines the workflow for staff.

If you are a business owner or a resident in the unincorporated areas of Cook County and wish to apply for a permit, go to the Department of Building and Zoning Website at: You can apply on-line using your personal computer, but you can check the status of your application and pay for it using your smart phone. For answers to your questions while using the application, please email:

Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski Amends Veteran’s Preference and Outreach Ordinance

10/13/2016 - Lawndale News - Building on the efforts of a resolution passed last year, 16th District Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey R. Tobolski introduced an ordinance to amend various sections of the Cook County Procurement Code that ensures veteran-owned businesses (VBEs) and service disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVBEs) benefit from eligible Cook County contracts. The amendment passed unanimously at the Cook County Board Meeting on September 14th, 2016. Currently, the County offers a bid preference of five percent of the amount of a contract to eligible veteran-owned businesses. Moreover, the County provides for a three percent participation goal each year of its total expenditures for supplies, equipment, goods, and services to VBEs and SDVBEs.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

However, Commissioner Tobolski found these goals were not being met. “After reviewing monthly procurement reports, I was surprised to find that the available pool of VBE and SDVBE is extremely low,” said Commissioner Tobolski. “Expanding outreach, requiring detailed reports, and providing resources to help with the County certification process better assists and encourages our Veteran entrepreneurs to certify with the County for eligible contracts.” To be eligible, businesses must be at least 51 percent veteran-owned and based in Illinois. Military Veterans are encouraged to certify with Cook County as Veterans Business Enterprises (VBEs) to help expand the available pool of VBEs and SDVBEs. For more information, contact Bill Browne, Cook County Director of Veterans Affairs, at 312-603-6423 or Jacqueline Gomez, Cook County Contract Compliance, at 312-603-5502.

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Removal of lockers to store smartphones at Leighton Criminal Court Building beginning April 2, 2016

03/18/2016 - The Circuit Court of Cook County is alerting the public that effective April 2, 2016, the Cook County Department of Facilities Management will no longer provide storage lockers for the public to store banned items at courthouses. This includes the Leighton Criminal Court Building, at 26th Street and California Avenue, where smartphones have been banned for the past 3 years.

Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans was notified by the Cook County Department of Facilities Management that, due to security and staffing concerns, it will remove all storage lockers that it had installed at courthouses as a service for the public to safely store banned items while they conduct court business.

“It is critical that the message gets out that there will no longer be lockers available beginning April 2 at any of the courthouses,” said Chief Judge Evans. “At the Leighton Criminal Court Building, my particular concern is that people who are relying on the county’s storage lockers won’t be able to clear security and will miss court if they bring a smartphone.”

People who miss court could be subjected to bail forfeitures, be held in contempt of court or have warrants issued for their arrest. Family and friends of defendants and victims could also miss court hearings, and subpoenaed witnesses would be subject to being held in contempt of court and possible civil liability to the party issuing the subpoena. The Sheriff has banned approximately two dozen items from all Cook County courthouses, and the list includes items such as knives, mace spray, cameras and recording devices.

Three years ago, Chief Judge Evans entered an order for the Leighton Criminal Court Building that reinforced the Sheriff’s ban on cameras and recording devices by explicitly including smartphones and electronic devices that can take photos, record audio and video, and connect to the Internet.

Chief Judge Evans entered the smartphone order in 2013 after numerous judges at the Leighton Criminal Court Building had reported that individuals were illegally using their smartphones in courtrooms to take video and photographs of criminal court proceedings and court participants.

These photos and recordings presented a serious threat to public safety because they potentially could be used to intimidate jurors, witnesses, defendants, attorneys and judges – and subject them to physical harm.  The illegal and unauthorized use of the smartphones also threatened the integrity and decorum of court proceedings.

Chief Judge Evans’s smartphone order in 2013 was guided by the need for public safety and to maintain the integrity of court proceedings. Chief Judge Evans’s order is the only guaranteed way to prevent the misuse of cameras and recording devices at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

“We must ensure the safety of witnesses, jurors, judges, defendants and attorneys. That safety absolutely cannot be threatened,” Chief Judge Evans said. “Our justice system must operate free of fear or harm, and we cannot let gang members and others try to intimidate the people who come to court every day to play key roles in our courtrooms.”


See Full Press Release

Preckwinkle, Tobolski help Medical Examiner’s Office regain national accreditation

03/01/2016 – “We are honored that the Cook County Medical Examiner has once again regained its national accreditation and is well on its way to being recognized as one of the best in the nation in terms of key areas such as operations, staffing, and procedures.”- 16th District Cook County Board Commissioner Jeff Tobolski

McCook, IL –Cook County Board Commissioner Jeff Tobolski (D-McCook) and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle (D-Chicago) announced that the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has been fully accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). The Cook County Medical Examiner's office is the only medical examiner's office in Illinois to have full accreditation by NAME.

Accreditation is conferred for a maximum period of five (5) years from the date of the Accreditation Certificate, with annual inspections to maintain this designation. In order to receive full accreditation, NAME requires that a medical examiner office meet or exceed national standards in key areas of operations, staffing, and procedures.

President Preckwinkle praised the arduous work of Dr. Stephen Cina, the Chief Cook County Medical Examiner, his staff, and the members of the Medical Examiner’s Advisory Committee for achieving this milestone.

Commissioner Tobolski, who was appointed by President Preckwinkle to represent the Cook County Board on the Medical Examiner’s Advisory Committee, discussed the new policies and procedures instituted after copious meetings of the Committee.

“This was not an easy task but by no means insurmountable,” said Commissioner Tobolski. “This notable accomplishment was made possible due to the cooperation among the medical examiner’s office and members of the committee, as well as the full support of the President’s office.”

As you may recall, the medical examiner’s office required significant reform in the wake of a scandal over the treatment of amassing corpses and chaos that plagued the office. To help remedy those issues, Commissioner Tobolski passed a reform ordinance in 2012 that placed stricter notification procedures for the medical examiner’s office, making the Medical Examiner report to the County Board quarterly, and placing a 60 day maximum time limit on how long bodies can remain at the County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“More importantly, we will continue to work hard to ensure that Cook County remains on the forefront of forensic pathology to treat our deceased with the respect and dignity they deserve,” said Commissioner Tobolski.

Cook County District 16 includes the villages of Berwyn, Cicero, Schiller Park, Franklin Park, Forest View, McCook, Hodgkins, Lyons, Summit, Willow Springs, Countryside, Western Springs, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Northlake, Forest Park, Westchester, Stone Park, Berkeley, Broadview, Hillside, Melrose Park, Brookfield, Riverside, North Riverside, and Stickney.

See Press Release


Tobolski hosts Disabled Veterans Homeowner Exemption Workshop

2/15/16 – McCook, IL –Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski held a workshop for disabled veterans and their surviving spouses to assist them in applying for the Disabled Veteran Homeowner Exemption on February 8, 2016 at the McCook Athletic and Exposition Center, 4750 Vernon Avenue in McCook. The event included representatives from the Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds and the Cook County Assessor. Over 80 veterans and their spouses attended the workshop where they enjoyed lunch provided by Commissioner Tobolski. The workshop offered valuable information on how to apply for the homeowner’s exemption and the opportunity to sign up for the Record of Deeds Veterans Discount Program.

The Disabled Veterans Standard Homeowner Exemption provides an annual reduction in the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) on the primary residence occupied by a disabled veteran on January 1st of the assessment year. The amount of the exemption each year depends on the percentage of the disabled veteran's service connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. Additionally, a non-remarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran can continue to receive this exemption on the spouse's homestead property or transfer this exemption to a new primary residence.

For more information on the Disabled Veterans Standard Homeowner Exemption, please contact the Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs at (312) 603-6423 or the Cook County Assessor at (312) 443-7550. To learn about the Veterans Discount program, please contact the Cook County Recorder of Deeds at (312) 603-5788.

See Press Release


Preparing for the New Cook County Wage Theft Ordinance - Chicago Daily Law Bulletin - by Jill S. Vorobiev

4.26.15 – Effective May 1, employers in Cook County will be subject to a new Wage Theft Ordinance that imposes harsh penalties on businesses that violate federal or state wage-payment laws. The sanctions are wide-ranging, and the ordinance makes Cook County one of the nation’s leaders in combating wage theft.

Why the new ordinance? The ordinance was introduced by Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski and co-sponsored by Board President Toni Preckwinkle and is intended to ensure that businesses that exploit low-wage workers by, for example, refusing to pay overtime, the minimum wage or even wages in general, do not benefit from Cook County contracts, licenses or property tax incentives.

The ordinance follows a similar measure that was passed by the city of Chicago in 2013, under which businesses found guilty of wage theft can have their business licenses revoked. Previously, in 2010, Gov. Patrick J. Quinn signed an anti-wage theft law that provided additional powers to the Illinois Department of Labor and increased civil and criminal penalties for wage violations.

The new ordinance generally applies to any “person,” including a “substantial owner.”

A substantial owner means any person who “owns or holds a 25 percent or more percentage of interest in any business entity seeking a county privilege, including those shareholders, general or limited partners, beneficiaries and principals; except where a business entity is an individual or sole proprietorship, substantial owner means that individual or sole proprietor.”

Under the new ordinance, employers will face severe penalties if they have admitted guilt or liability or have been adjudicated guilty or liable in any judicial or administrative proceeding of committing a “repeated” or “willful” violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Illinois Minimum Wage Act, the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the Employee Classification Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act or any comparable state statute or regulation of any state which governs the payment of wages.

One penalty an employer can face is to be found ineligible to enter into a contract with the county for a period of five years from the date of conviction, entry of a plea, administrative finding or admission of guilt.

Also, employers seeking to do business with the county are required to certify that they have not violated any of the above-referenced statutory provisions. Businesses that enter into contracts with the county after May 1 will be in default under such contracts if guilty of repeated or willful violations of any such statutes as described above.

Employers found ineligible to contract with the county due to the new ordinance, however, may submit a request for a reduction or waiver of the ineligibility period. Such a request must include information showing that a change in ownership has occurred, disciplinary action has been taken against the individual(s) responsible for the acts, remedial action has been taken to prevent any recurrence or any other factors that the employer believes are relevant.

Another penalty under the new ordinance is that an employer could be found ineligible to receive certain property tax incentives and be required to repay prior tax savings from such incentives.

Businesses seeking incentives must certify that they have not been found to have engaged in repeated or willful violations of wage payment laws within the five years prior to their application, and if the county or assessor becomes aware of any such violation in the prior five years, their classifications may be revoked unless they cure the violation within 45 days and request an exception or waiver.

Businesses located in unincorporated Cook County must obtain a two-year general business license from the county in order to do business. Those businesses that cannot certify compliance with the ordinance’s requirements may have their licenses denied or revoked.

An applicant for a business license who cannot make the required certification, however, may apply for an exception from the county board through the director of revenue at the time of the application. If the county board expressly finds that the exception is in the best interest of the county, the director of revenue shall continue through the review process set forth in the ordinance.

Employers in Cook County should be mindful of this new ordinance and ensure that their wage policies and practices are in compliance with all applicable wage-payment laws. They also should review any prior admissions or judicial and administrative findings to ensure that they can make the proper certifications to the county in any required contract, incentive or license applications.

It is also critical for employers to consider the effects of this ordinance on admissions they might otherwise make as part of a judicial or administrative proceeding or in a settlement of any claim for unpaid wages.

Violations of wage-payment laws now subject Cook County businesses not only to the penalties set forth in the various laws themselves, but also to the potential of contract debarment and revoked tax incentives and business licenses.


Aprueban ley antirrobo de salarios en Cook - Hoy

2.11.15 - CHICAGO – Una tragedia transformada en victoria, así es como Angelina Landaverde calificó el cierre de la empresa Source Interlink, la cual cerró sin avisarle a sus más de 200 empleados, a los que dejó sin sueldos ni indemnizaciones. “Miembros de mi familia también trabajaban ahí, y yo estaba embarazada en ese tiempo. Así que sentimos profundamente el impacto del cierre sin sueldo o utilidades”, recordó Landaverde, extrabajadora de Source Interlink. El caso de esa empresa sirvió como modelo para que funcionarios del Condado de Cook introdujeran una propuesta de ley que le prohibiría a las empresas que le roban el salario a sus empleados obtener contratos del gobierno condal, licencias para operar y subvenciones fiscales por un periodo de cinco años... Read More


Cook County OKs ordinance to combat wage theft - Chicago Tribune

2.10.15 - Cook County commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance aimed at deterring businesses from engaging in wage theft. Wage theft has been defined as having employees work off the clock, for example. It is a violation of labor law. Businesses that have broken state or federal wage and labor laws would be disqualified from receiving property tax abatements, business licenses or county contracts. Companies seeking to do business with Cook County also would be required to file an affidavit certifying they have not violated any wage and labor laws. "We are hoping companies would think twice about engaging in wage theft," said Edward Olivieri, a spokesman for Commissioner Jeff Tobolski, who introduced the ordinance... Read More


Cook County passes wage theft ordinance - The Daily Northwestern

2.10.15 - Cook County commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance aimed at deterring businesses from engaging in wage theft. The Cook County Board of Commissioners passed a new ordinance to address the issue of wage theft, making the county the largest in the nation to do so, the county announced Tuesday. Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski, who represents the 16th district, introduced the legislation, which will affect companies and individuals found guilty of wage theft. Entities found guilty will not be allowed to obtain Cook County procurement contracts, businesses licenses or property tax incentives for five years. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle co-sponsored the ordinance, and said the past few years have been especially difficult for low-wage employees... Read More


Members of Arise Chicago support anti-wage theft ordinance - Progress Illinois



LaGrange Park Honor Flight coordinator receives Unsung Heroine Award - Chicago Sun Times

4.18.14 - A moving epilogue has been added to the memoirs of more than 4,600 World War II veterans, thanks to the efforts of LaGrange Park volunteer Tracey Rouso. Rouso was honored April 17 in La Grange with the Unsung Heroine Award presented by Cook County Board member Jeffrey Tobolski, D-16th of McCook. “Tracey got the younger generation interested in the people who fought in a war that happened decades before they were born,” said Charlene Vickery, the La Grange resident who nominated Rouso. “Students got involved by fundraising and cheering on the veterans as they came home at the airport. She inspired our teens to take action.” The nomination was based in part on a 2011 project Rouso spearheaded as coordinator of Honor Flight Chicago, in which students from Lyons Township High School and seven surrounding middle and elementary schools raised more than $70,000 to send 96 servicemen on the... Read More

Commissioner Tobolski celebrates ban on E-cigarettes to minors

2.20.14 - Commissioner Tobolski passed an ordinance amendment banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and making it a law that stores check for identification. To read more, click here and here.  

Jeff Fights against Solid Waste Ordinance Proposal - NWI Times

1.15.14 - CHICAGO | The Cook County Board narrowly gave its support Wednesday to an ordinance that will regulate the transfer stations where garbage and other waste passes through. By an 8-7 vote, with area Commissioner Deborah Sims, D-Chicago, voting “present” and another commissioner absent, the board supported a measure sponsored by Commissioner Stanley Moore, D-Chicago, who said it would go a long way toward waste reduction for the Chicago area. Moore, whose district includes 10th Ward neighborhoods such as South Chicago, the East Side, South Deering... Read More

Tobolski: 2013 in review as we look toward the new year - My Suburban Life

12.25.13 - 2013 has been a very busy year for Cook County government. I am happy to report that we passed a balanced budget with nearly unanimous support and issued the final rollback of the Stroger sales tax that was killing local businesses. Moreover, Cook County has finally been able to get its fiscal house in order. Since taking office in 2010, President Toni Preckwinkle and our county board have been able to solve $1.2 billion in budget deficits, all without raising taxes... Read More

Jeff Hosts Business Forum - Desplaines Valley News

11.12.13 - Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski hosted a Business Forum last week in conjunction with the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce, the Bedford Park Clearing Industrial Association, the United Business Association of Midway and We Deliver in Chicago. The event was held at the West Suburban Chamber offices in Hodgkins to foster an open dialogue with businesses in the 16th County Board District, and to listen to any concerns and questions that local business leaders had... Read More

Metra directors should know trains, Cook commissioner says - Chicago Tribune

8.28.13 - A Cook County commissioner pitched a proposal Wednesday to ensure any new director of the board that runs the beleaguered Metra rail agency has transportation expertise and isn't chosen because of political clout. Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski, D-McCook, proposed a resolution urging the General Assembly to set qualification standards for Metra directors that go well beyond the current sole requirement that they live in a certain region of the six-county area served by Metra commuter trains... Read More

County Commissioner, McCook Mayor Jeff Tobolski awarded Public Servant of the Year

5.2.13 - My Suburban Life
MCCOOK – On April 17, Cook County Commissioner and McCook Mayor Jeff Tobolski was honored by the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the Public Servant of the Year at their 2013 Seeds of Greatness Awards dinner. The event took place at the William Tell Holiday Inn in Countryside, and other receipts included Thom Serafin as Business Leader of the Year,  Matthew Serafin as Young Person of the Year and Daniel Pancake as the recipient of the President’s Award...
Go read the article here


The experience that people have at the zoo is greatly enhanced by Good Works volunteers, and simultaneously helps the students in overcoming developmental and social obstacles.” 
- Commissioner Jeff Tobolski 

Pictured Left to Right: Good Works Volunteer Brianna and Jeff Tobolski

5.1.13 - Brookfield, IL - As Good Works completes its 10th year at Brookfield Zoo, Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski, whose district includes the zoo, presented the volunteers and staff of the program with an honorary resolution today. 

In 2002 the Chicago Zoological Society established the program to develop and fine tune time management, communications, and inter-personal skills so that students would be better equipped to find employment or volunteer opportunities after graduation from high school. 
Students volunteer at the Hamill Family Play Zoo, an award winning hands-on learning environment for children and families.

“The experience that people have at the zoo is greatly enhanced by Good Works volunteers, and simultaneously helps the students in overcoming developmental and social obstacles,” said Commissioner Tobolski.  “I have many fond memories of my daughter at the zoo, and the Hamill Family Play Zoo is where she learned to overcome her fear of animals.” 

Upon graduating from Good Works many students go on to find fulfilling volunteer opportunities or paid employment at the zoo or the surrounding communities. 

Cook County District 16 includes the villages of Berwyn, Cicero, Schiller Park, Franklin Park, McCook, Hodgkins, Lyons, Summit, Willow Springs, Countryside, Western Springs, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Northlake, Forest Park, Westchester, Stone Park, Berkeley, Broadview, Hillside, Melrose Park, Brookfield, Riverside, North Riverside and Stickney.



Cook County Update from Commissioner Jeff Tobolski

11.14.12 - This December will mark my second year in office as your Cook County Commissioner.  It has been a pleasure representing the Sixteenth District, and I am very optimistic about the progress that we are making.

I recently voted to pass President Preckwinkle’s 2013 budget.  I am pleased to report that it is $100 million less than the county’s budget just two years ago, and passed with broad bi-partisan support by a vote of 16-1.  This budget also marks the final rollback of the Stroger sales tax, saving taxpayers over $400 million. The spending plan also includes a $2 million investment in violence prevention, intervention, and reduction programs by awarding money to non-profit groups with proven experience in violence prevention and community outreach.

This is a fiscally responsible budget that reflects the values and priorities of the citizens we represent, and I am proud to have helped craft it with my Republican and Democratic colleagues on the County Board. It makes key investments in our public health and public safety systems while also scaling back the size of county government.

I am also happy to report that in the past two years I have been able to bring back over $12 million in community block development grants from the federal government to help build senior centers, HOME funding to finance housing investment, and county highway funds for badly needed street resurfacing.  This amount exceeds what was brought back to the district in the entire last eight years, and I hope to match, if not exceed, this amount in the remainder of my four year term in office.
I am dedicated to remaining an advocate for the Western suburbs, and will continue to fight for better business policies, a decreased tax burden, and ensuring that the suburbs get their fair share of services from the county.  Thank you and it is truly an honor and a pleasure to serve as your Cook County Board Commissioner.


Jeff Tobolski
Cook County Commissioner, 16th District



Cook County officials balk at warehouse fix - Chicago Tribune
$34 million in repairs wouldn't meet long-term goals

7.29.12 - During the past eight years, Cook County has sunk $26 million into buying and repairing an aging West Side warehouse where it stores a massive number of documents involving court cases and other matters of public record. But the 475,000-square-foot building — the size of nearly four Target stores — needs more than twice that space to modernize the place. That's led to a debate in county government about whether it's better to spend to fix up what's already there or to rent space elsewhere.
Go read the article here

A message from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas regarding property tax bills



Second-Installment Property Tax Bills to be Mailed on Time for the First Time in 35 Years - Local Taxing Districts and Taxpayers Will Benefit

6.8.12 - CHICAGO -- June 6, 2012 -- Cook County elected officials announced Wednesday that 1.8 million second-installment property tax bills are expected to be mailed on time this year for the first time since 1977 – a move that will save municipalities and school districts millions of dollars.

Staff from county agencies met months ago to develop an accelerated schedule to restore timeliness and when tax bills are mailed this July, it will be the result of cooperation among the various county agencies. Read the whole Press Release here

Cook County Rabies Vaccine Clinics for 2012

5.22.12 - Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control, Rabies Vaccine and Microchip Clinics
Schedule for 2012. Events will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Click here



4.16.12 - Tomorrow Jeff plans to introduce an amendment with President Preckwinkle reforming the way that Cook County Commissioners can use their contingency funds.
Go read the article here



3.2.12 - Demanding accountability at the Medical Examiner’s Office, Commissioner Jeff Tobolski unanimously passed a reform ordinance today aimed at putting stricter notification procedures in place at the Morgue, making the Medical Examiner report to the County Board quarterly, and placing a 60 day maximum time limit on how long bodies can remain at the County Morgue.

Read more:

Cook Co. makes morgue more accountable - ABC News

Cook board makes firing of medical examiner easier, sets 5-year term- Chicago Tribune

Cook County medical examiner reforms pass - Western Springs Suburban Life


Tobolski Passes Cook County Medical Examiner Reforms

3/1/2012 – “These are people’s loved ones-somebody’s sister, somebody’s brother, somebody’s mother- not trash. This ordinance codifies the dignity and respect that Cook County citizens deserve.” - Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski Chicago, IL –Demanding accountability at the Medical Examiner’s Office, Commissioner Jeff Tobolski

(D-McCook) unanimously passed a reform ordinance today aimed at putting stricter notification procedures in place at the Morgue, making the Medical Examiner report to the County Board quarterly, and placing a 60 day maximum time limit on how long bodies can remain at the County Morgue.

A recent investigation by ABC 7 told the horrifying story of Brian Warren’s missing body. On January 11th, someone at St. Bernard Hospital told the family that Brian Warren had died of a heart attack and was taken to the county morgue. After repeatedly calling the morgue and being told that their brother’s body was not in their custody, the Warrens finally found out that Brian’s body was indeed at the Morgue. It was among the hundreds of bodies that had been stacked up in open boxes and bags, thrown onto shelves, and piled on the floor of the morgue. He had been there for two weeks unaccounted for.

“What happened to the Warren family is completely unacceptable,” said Tobolski. “These are people’s loved ones-somebody’s sister, somebody’s brother, somebody’s mother- not trash. This ordinance codifies the dignity and respect that Cook County citizens deserve.” “I am grateful for Commissioner Tobolski’s leadership and hard work on this issue,” said Bernice Terry, Brian Warren’s sister. “Our family went through a heart wrenching and unnecessary experience. This ordinance assures that what happened to our family won’t happen again.”

Cook County District 16 includes the villages of Berwyn, Cicero, Schiller Park, Franklin Park, McCook, Hodgkins, Lyons, Summit, Willow Springs, Countryside, Western Springs, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Northlake, Forest Park, Westchester, Stone Park, Berkeley, Broadview, Hillside, Melrose Park, Brookfield, Riverside, North Riverside and Stickney.

See Press Release


Watch the video from ABC 7 regarding Jeff's Reform proposal at the Cook County Morgue




Cook County commissioner proposes morgue reform

2.5.12- LaGrange Sun-Times - "What I don't like is when people tell me it isn't their responsibility," said Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski. "We need to get in and figure out how... Read More


Sales Tax increase. A budget amendment passed today also restores funding for vitals services in the State’s Attorney and Public Defender’s Offices.

“This scaled-back budget sends a loud-and-clear message that we are moving toward a more efficient, transparent, and business friendly Cook County,” said Tobolski, who applauded the leadership of President Toni Preckwinkle and his fellow Republican and Democrat Commissioners who voted for the new budget. “Since the initial rollback of the Stroger sales tax, we have already seen an increase to Cook County businesses. We need to keep making cuts, continue to hold the line on spending and stay focused on moving the county forward in the right direction.”

Read the whole story here


Commissioner Tobolski speaking at signing of Cook County ICE Ordinance



Preckwinkle and Tobolski Open Senior Housing Development in Summit -

10.21.11 - Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle attended a ribbon cutting in Summit, Ill. for the grand opening of a Senior Housing Development made possible in part by a $2.7 million HOME Investment Partnership Program loan (HOME). “With the economy struggling right now, I am proud that Cook County is able to help residents when we can by providing loans to important projects like this one,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle... Read More


Cook County Commissioners Need to Lead by Example - TribLocal
Read Jeff's editorial regarding Cook County Commissioner's Furlough Days

9.23.11 - It’s no secret that families throughout Cook County are hurting during these uncertain economic times. They’ve responded by tightening their belts and cutting back wherever possible. As elected officials, we need to show that same restraint. We have a responsibility to lead by example and exercise fiscal discipline when it comes to county spending. Shortly after taking office, I sponsored an ordinance that called for 10 mandatory, non-paid days off for non-essential county employees, which is projected to save taxpayers an estimated $30 million dollars... Read More


A Message from Cook County Clerk David Orr - 9.13.11

Dear Friend,

As the 2012 Presidential Election approaches, the Cook County Clerk’s Office is committed to providing your constituents clear information about voter registration, regardless of language barriers. That’s why we have developed a voter registration video in both English and Spanish.

Please find the links to both videos below; feel free to post it on public websites, or pass them along to any constituents, community base organizations or individuals seeking voting information. If you have any questions, contact our Latino Liaison Sue Ellen Colon at 312 603 1099 or Thank you.

David Orr Cook
County Clerk Spanish English

Preckwinkle Creates More Than 1,600 New Jobs - Cook County Blog

8.23.11 - "I'm pleased to have worked with President Preckwinkle and sponsored the ordinance to grant the Hill Group a 6B property tax incentive that resulted in the creation of 1,600 jobs. We need to get people working again in Cook County, and this is a great way to make sure that it happens." - Jeff
Read more

Veterans Honored with Silver Star Service Banners

8.15.11 - On Friday Commissioner Tobolski hosted an event to honor veterans who were injured in combat with the Silver Star Service Banner. Check out the Story from CBS 2 and the Suburban Life.


A Message about Flooding From Jeff:

7.29.11 - Aside from rolling back the Stroger Sales Tax and making Cook County more business friendly, solving the incessant flooding problem for the Western Suburbs has been my biggest priority since being sworn in last December. Every year It rains, and every year it floods. Common sense dictates that this problem will not magically go away on its own. Yet our government officials can never seem to fully fix this problem- instead opting to finger pointing and blaming one another; and the homeowners are left holding the bag.

I asked to become Chairman of Cook County's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Committee for this sole reason. Over the past few months we have made progress with a new Director, Michael Masters. He has my full support, and is on the path to having a full flood plan created by the end of this fall.

However, after diving into this problem and consulting with all the stakeholders in this process- the State, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, the County, and our local mayors I have come to the conclusion that it will be impossible to solve this problem without the help of our representatives at the Federal Government. The article below spells out the torrid history with the deep tunnel project, and just how many resources need to be devoted to solving this. It is immense. Just to implement the Salt Creek Project (which will primarily help the communities around Salt Creek, but not even solve the larger problem) would cost roughly $100 million dollars. Obviously, this would be impossible to tackle from a local perspective.

I have made it clear to our representatives at the Federal level- Congressmen Lipinski, Quigley, and Gutierrez as well as Senators Kirk and Durbin that our communities desperately need their help. I pledge to you to keep pressing them- in conjunction with the 24 mayors in the 16th District and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle- to stay on them until the job is done. But we need your help to remind them just how import it is. Please don't hesitate to contact me or my office for more information.




7.29.11 - Chicago flooding Q&A: Freak storm, aging sewers and Chicago's topography lead to flooding woes - Chicago Tribune

Chicago's Deep Tunnel was billed as an engineering marvel that would "bottle rainstorms," but one of the nation's most expensive public works projects was no match for the biggest rainstorm in the city's recorded history. Read More...


The New Senior Ride Program





Cook County Board President Preckwinkle Unveils STAR Performance Management Report -

7.7.11 - Commissioner Tobolski applauds President Preckwinkle on unveiling the first steps of the Countywide performance management review. He looks forward to working together with her on making county government more efficient and accountable to the people that it represents. Read the full story here, and please send Jeff any thoughts you might have on making the Cook County run bettere. Read more...


Making the most of your wild adventure at the zoo

6.22.11 - Here are some great tips to make your trip to Brookfield Zoo more enjoyable. Read more...


6.21.11 - County promises fun at water parks - Southtown Star

Commissioner Tobolski recently attended the reopening of the Cermak Aquatic Center in Lyons and announced the reforms made to the pool alongside President Toni Preckwinkle and Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty. Read more...


6.20.11 - Everest College opens its doors - El Dia News

Melrose Park, Illinois (NED).– Everest College-Melrose Park celebrated its grand opening Wednesday, June 15. Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski spoke to dignitaries, invited guests, students and faculty about the importance of education, and Dr. Marta Alvarado of Westlake Hospital addressed the increased need for trained healthcare professionals in the Chicagoland area. Everest College provides career training for in-demand fields such as medical assistant, pharmacy technician and dental assistant... Read More


6.6.11 - BREAKING NEWS: President Preckwinkle says she will veto permit for Gun Club; permit request sent back to committee where it's expected to stay

The Gun Club's request for a permit, which would grant exclusive use of public land to a private entity, was sent back to the Real Estate committee at the June 2nd meeting of the Board of Commissioners for the Forest Preserve District where it is expected to remain, indefinitely.

Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski (D-16th), who has adamantly opposed the permit request, said that President Toni Preckwinkle responded to his strong letter urging a veto by promising to veto the permit if it was approved by the board and came to her desk.



Cook CountyVeterans Picnic & Outreach Forum

Tuesday, July 30, 2019
10 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
Brookfield Zoo in the Swan Pavilion
8400 W. 31st Street, Brookfield, IL

The Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs will host a Veterans Picnic and Outreach Forum at Brookfield Zoo on Thursday, Aug. 30. The forum and picnic will be at the Swan Pavilion of Brookfield Zoo. The forum will provide an opportunity for veterans to visit and talk with the experts from VA, the state IDVA, veterans assistance commission of Cook County, resources for women veterans and information on homeless veteran services. 

Please RSVP to Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs by July 19, 2019 Via Email, Fax, or Mail to the following: Email: | Fax: 312.603.4479

Opportunity Works

Spanish version