Cook County Commissioner Wants Toboggan Slides Reopened

December 4, 2006

A Cook County commissioner is calling on incoming board President Todd Stroger to reopen toboggan slides in five county forest preserves.

Costs and safety concerns have kept the slides closed for years. Last month county commissioners, meeting as the Forest Preserve board, considered a proposal for a company to develop and manage revenue-generating activities. But the plan didn't stipulate tobogganing. And the board rejected it.

Commissioner Forrest Claypool says Stroger ought to come up with a way.

"The Forest Preserve District of Cook County has raised property taxes 13 years in a row. And for years the preserves have been filthy and poorly maintained. And they have room for plenty of politically connected bureaucrats making six-figure salaries. You know, it's a patronage dumping ground. But they can't find the money to reopen these toboggan slides for kids and families," he says.

Stroger wasn't available for comment. But Roberto Maldonado, one of his allies on the board, says the slides may no longer be economically viable. He's says that's due to warmer winters and, as a result, fewer sledding days.