Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



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

Free Radioactive Radon Test Kits From Cook County
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Toni Preckwinkle and county watchdog at odds over political travel reimbursements
Friday, January 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County judges — one cleared of gun charge, one reassigned for anger management — to return to bench at criminal court
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

It's been a bad decade for property taxes
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview pushes minimum wage, paid sick leave discussion to next week
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How Fritz Kaegi Plans to Transform the Cook County Assessor’s Office
Friday, January 04, 2019
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Cook County Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month
Friday, January 04, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

2 neighborhood courthouses close: 'You’re discouraging citizens from going to court'
Friday, January 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Campaign money tied to Ald. Edward Burke’s alleged extortion scheme was intended for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, sources say
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County, parking operators in dispute over possibly millions in back taxes that could leave consumers pinched
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle pursues back taxes from parking lot operators
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

30K Cook County homeowners to get $8.3M in automatic property tax refunds
Monday, December 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

2019 preview: Glenview to consider minimum wage
Monday, December 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

'If I can do this, you can do this': Cook County judges inspire students of similar backgrounds
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

The Price Tag Of Freedom For Hundreds Of Non-Violent Cook County Inmates Is Less Than $2,000
Thursday, December 27, 2018
CBS Chicago

Give the Gift of Nature
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Why those 19 inmates were in Cook County Jail
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Medical examiner slow to review cases of fired pathologist who missed a murder
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County may unplug regional gang database that began in Northwest Indiana
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Northwest Indiana Times

all news items

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