Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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.

  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.

Kadner: Unincorporated areas exist for a reason

Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Daily Southtown
by Phil Kadner

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle wants to eliminate unincorporated areas to cut her budget.

After a failed attempt to persuade municipalities to take control of these areas last year, she appointed a task force to study the issue.

On Monday, the task force, after months of study, reached its conclusion — all unincorporated areas should be annexed into existing municipalities.

It’s amazing how often a government task force appointed by an elected official will agree with the ideas of that elected official.

“It strikes me as un-American to force people to annex to an area if they don’t want to do it or to force a municipality to annex an area if it doesn’t want to,” Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki said.

Unincorporated areas are not part of any municipality. Often, the people who live there choose to precisely because of that. They don’t like the regulations set down by towns.

If you live in an unincorporated area, you may be able to park your business truck behind your home. You can raise chickens without getting approval from the village board. You can let your grass grow high without some town issuing you a $150 ticket.

There’s simply more freedom in an unincorporated area to do what you want to do.

Zabrocki would tell you that there can be taxpayer costs whenever a suburb tries to bring these areas under its control.

In an area near Tinley Park called Kimberly Heights, the mayor said, the village has been annexing two or three homes at a time as they file for annexation.

“Those homes are usually looking to hook up to our water and sewer system, and our view has been we’re not going to do that at a cost to our taxpayers,” Zabrocki said. “If the residents of an unincorporated area are willing to pay the costs, we’ll annex them.”

Unincorporated areas vary from mobile home parks to upscale housing developments. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he’s responsible for patrolling one unincorporated area that has a single home.

Mick Kelly lives in an unincorporated area of Orland Township and has been hoping that his subdivision would annex into Orland Park for more than a decade. His neighborhood is served by Illinois American Water, one of the most expensive water systems in the state.

To annex Kelly’s subdivision, Orland Park would have to buy Illinois American Water’s sewer and water lines and that could cost millions of dollars. That’s not going to happen unless Cook County pays for it.

There are approximately 98,000 residents living in the 62 square miles of unincorporated land in Cook County. By law, county sheriff’s police are required to patrol the areas as the “conservator of the peace” in the county.

Preckwinkle previously suggested that unincorporated residents pay higher taxes to pay for the sheriff’s police patrols.

“There’s no reason 98 percent of the people in Cook County should pay for police services for the 2 percent who live in unincorporated areas,” Preckwinkle said in November 2011.

But residents of unincorporated areas quickly replied that they paid taxes to Cook County, including for sheriff’s police, and deserved police protection. And they threatened to file lawsuits if Preckwinkle made them pay more for police services.

Preckwinkle at the time also urged municipalities to come into those areas and charge them a fee for police protection. But most towns declined.

Dart told me sheriff’s police already perform evidence-gathering functions for 60 municipalities in Cook County.

“They’re trying to cut costs, not find new ways of spending their money,” he said.

Dart was dubious about a proposal from Sauk Village to patrol an unincorporated area nearby.

“Do county officials realize that they may have to send a check to the Sauk Village police chief in the lock-up because village officials keep trying to arrest him?” Dart said.

The sheriff said before Cook County allows towns to offer police patrols for a fee, it should at least guarantee that those suburbs will hire more police officers, or increase hours, to be able to patrol unincorporated areas.

Dart has proposed saving money by replacing the forest preserve district police with his officers and charging suburbs on a sliding scale (based on ability to pay) for specific sheriff’s police services.

That would make sense for the suburbs and Cook County. So it probably won’t happen.

Recent Headlines

Special prosecutor billed Cook County nearly 50K for Van Dyke murder case
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board votes in favor of $4 million settlement in Stroger medical malpractice case
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Judge bucks Cook County law, says boys as young as 10 can be locked up
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Village of Northbrook Opts Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Monday, October 15, 2018
National Law Review

Chicago health system to add 240+ jobs
Monday, October 15, 2018
Becker's Hospital Review

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim
Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County health system to add jobs
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

No layoffs or tax hike in mayoral hopeful Preckwinkle’s proposed county budget
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Inclusionary' housing ordinance rewrite advances
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Evanston Now

Faced with tight budgets, more Illinois counties merge clerk, recorder offices
Monday, October 08, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Class action: Hundreds of Cook Sheriff officer suspensions invalid, because State's Attorney not involved
Friday, October 05, 2018
Cook County Record

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Game of thrones? Watchdog sees ‘scheme to defraud’ in Pritzker toilet tax break
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Board approves $31M election equipment contract despite lawsuit; $11M to settle 2 malpractice lawsuits
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County approves new election equipment contract, despite rival firm’s lawsuit
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

all news items

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