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Councilman: Palatine will look again at leaving Cook Co.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
by Jeff Borgardt

A Palatine councilman says the village has not yet given up on its objective of departing from Cook County.

In 2008, Palatine launched a drive to depart from Cook County, objecting to high sales taxes and a longstanding list of other grievances. In April 2009, a majority of Palatine Township voters supported a nonbinding ballot measure in favor of leaving Cook County. Barrington and Hanover townships also OK’d the measure.

Officials had suggested northwest suburban areas could create a new county or could join Lake County.

Faced with legal and logistic hurdles, the effort has never gotten off the ground and was fought by departing Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, who argued the change would be tantamount to a regressive tax on the rest of the county.

With new leadership taking over the county board in the form of President-Elect Toni Preckwinkle, Palatine Councilman Jack Wagner says the village will reignite its secession efforts.

Wagner said he and Councilman Scott Lamerand have discussed the matter with some county commissioners.

“We’ve been holding off on doing this until the election was over,” Wagner said. “But now … we have the intentions of moving forward to see what we can do.”

Wagner said he is not necessarily in favor of leaving Cook County but prefers research be conducted to determine if it would be feasible.

In June 2008, Stroger attended a Harper College meeting with Palatine officials who pushed for secession.

At that meeting, Stroger said Palatine and other northwest suburbs receive more services from the county than they pay for.

The outspoken Wagner is the longest-serving member of the Village Council, with 24 years. He’s up for re-election next year and Kollin Kozlowski, 39, has filed to run against Wagner for the 5th District seat.

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