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:  
   
 
 

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.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



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 circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Backpage.com lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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