Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Cook County may stick suburbs with red-light intersections

Friday, July 16, 2010
Daily Herald
by Robert McCoppin and Ted Cox

Cook County may require suburbs that opt out of its red-light cameras to take over all the costly maintenance of those intersections.

Suburban officials signaled they would fight the proposal, saying such maintenance would require tax increases that they cannot accept.

The county board recently voted to let municipalities choose not to get the county's red-light cameras as proposed for 20 suburban intersections, after Arlington Heights and Schaumburg opposed the cameras.

But some board commissioners threatened to shift all maintenance costs onto any suburb that opposed the cameras.

Now, an opinion by the Cook County State's Attorney's office concludes that if a municipality chooses not to participate, the municipality would become responsible for all maintenance at that intersection, according to county board president spokeswoman Chris Geovanis.

Such maintenance would include any necessary construction, repaving, traffic lights, snow plowing, signage, cleanup, and any other costs, possibly for a mile or more from the intersection.

Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz did not know the cost of such maintenance, but said for the six intersections the county wanted to include in Schaumburg, it could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, particularly if paving was included.

Board President Todd Stroger's administration is assessing the opinion to see if there's any "wiggle room" for a compromise between the county and the suburbs, Geovanis said.

"It doesn't necessarily present the best path forward for anyone," Geovanis said. "We're trying to see what our options are here."

Geovanis said it's not simply a city versus suburbs story, nor one pitting board President Todd Stroger against the board.

While the county and municipalities often split responsibilities for maintenance and police, Geovanis said that is a separate law enforcement function. Red-light camera enforcement, she maintained, is different because it involves the highway department's broader mission of safety.

If the county board tried to force maintenance on municipalities, Fritz said, "We would have to look at our legal options."

Schaumburg had tried its own red light cameras at one intersection, and raised $1 million from tickets there in three months.

But as elsewhere in the suburbs, most of the tickets were for right turns on red, and did not appreciably decrease the number of accidents.

The village generates $50 million annually for the county in sales and property taxes, so for the county to suddenly require local road maintenance, Fritz said, is "disingenuous."

"It takes two unrelated topics and tries to meld them together, which is inappropriate," he said.

In Arlington Heights, Mayor Arlene Mulder said municipalities often work with the county and other governmental bodies to share road maintenance duties to improve efficiency.

Having municipalities take over portions of county roads made no sense, because the county would still have to duplicate services by maintaining the rest of the road.

"If this moves forward, she said, "it's a lose-lose for taxpayers, because it's going to be more costly."

Patrick Driscoll, chief adviser to the county from the State's Attorney's Office, declined to comment, citing attorney-client privilege.

But Chicago Democratic Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno confirmed that Driscoll had issued an opinion that if municipalities "opted out" on a red-light intersection, they were, in effect, claiming jurisdiction, and "they're going to claim financial responsibility for it as well."

"They're responsible for the control and maintenance of the intersection," Moreno added, "and it's very expensive and they don't have the money."

Moreno is aware that most of the opposition on the county board is coming from suburban commissioners, "because they've been taking flak from the local mayors," he said. "I understand that."

Moreno strongly supports the cameras as a "public safety" issue, and dismissed those who complained about tickets issued from the red-light cameras. "There's a simple solution," he said. "Don't go through any red lights."



Recent Headlines

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: “This has been a bipartisan disaster.”
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WGN Chicago

EDITORIAL: Don’t bungle MWRD’s plan for an independent inspector general
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Pivots To Podcasting To Fight Opioid Abuse
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County board votes to permanently dismantle gang database
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Body found in vehicle at Cook County Forest Preserve near Hoffman Estates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Daily Herald

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Pioneer Press

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Monday, February 18, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

EDITORIAL: We could have taken Gary Martin’s gun away
Monday, February 18, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hours before Aurora mass shooting, former mayors met in Chicago to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence
Friday, February 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

all news items

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