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:  
   
 
 

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 has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Call to eliminate unincorporated land gets mixed reaction

Thursday, May 03, 2012
Daily Herald
by Madhu Krishnamurthy

Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan gave a flat “no” Wednesday to a Cook County task force study calling for municipalities to annex all unincorporated areas to save the county money.

But Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said his town might well be open to the idea. And in Palatine, where the village has already annexed a large section of unincorporated residences, one official said the village may be willing to annex more.

The three municipalities were polled Wednesday for their reaction to the task force study and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s call to eliminate the unincorporated areas where roughly 98,000 of the county’s 5.2 million residents live.

County officials have no timeline for eliminating unincorporated neighborhoods, or estimates for what the county would save by no longer having to provide sheriff’s patrols and other services to those areas.

Only 6.5 percent of the county’s 945 square miles is unincorporated. However, hundreds of tiny parcels throughout the county amount to a total of 62 square miles of unincorporated land.

The biggest piece of unincorporated land is in Maine Township, where nearly 26,000 people live in largely multifamily housing between Des Plaines, Park Ridge and Niles.

Moylan rejects the idea of Des Plaines residents having to bear the costs of any future annexation.

“I’m not going to be for anything that’s going to raise the taxes of residents, and we are not going to balance Cook County’s budget on our backs,” Moylan said.

“We balanced our budget and are shrinking the size of government,” he added, saying annexing land would require increased police and fire services at a time when the city’s emergency services already are stretched thin.

For years, the city has shelved plans to build a new police headquarters and a new fire station for the north side of town. The original price tag for those projects was more than $70 million.

“Unless they can show us some benefits to our residents and to the community, right now we don’t have enough information even to consider something like that,” the mayor said

Johnson said Wednesday that Elk Grove Village might be open to annexing land if it would improve services for residents and save taxpayers money.

“The problem we face today is there are so many layers of government, yet the dollars are becoming fewer and harder to get,” Johnson said. “I’ve been a long proponent that any way we can reduce the levels of government and maybe even the number of government agencies, the better for everybody.”

Johnson lauded Preckwinkle for taking on the issue.

Elk Grove Village surrounds much of the unincorporated land in Elk Grove Township, home to an estimated 700 to 1,000 people living in apartment complexes. It would be a small addition to the village’s 35,000 population sprawled over 11 square miles, Johnson said.

The village provides sewer services to unincorporated residents, but its snow plows stop at the village boundaries.

“Why have a county sheriff drive 20 minutes to get there, while our police are patrolling the whole area around it now,” Johnson said. “If we can pick up the services at little or no additional cost, and save the taxpayers money and provide better quality service, we’re open to it.”

Johnson said since eliminating unincorporated areas would require legislative action, the state also should consider getting rid of township government.

“We don’t ride horses and buggies anymore. We need to get with the times,” Johnson said.

“Most township services we could pick up at next to no additional cost. When we built our village hall, we had extra square footage set aside in case we ever do pick up the assessor or general assistance (functions of the township).”

Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said Cook County has neglected code enforcement and property maintenance in unincorporated areas, which in many places have substandard stormwater facilities and are running on wells and septic sewers.

“It’s not the urban infrastructure that the rest of the community enjoys,” Ottesen said. “If we’re going to bring them in, who is going to pay for that? I don’t think it’s right to make the existing residents of Palatine pay for it.”

Unincorporated residents could end up paying a surcharge for infrastructure upgrades and better police protection, code enforcement, and property maintenance. Those details would have to be worked out in conversations with those residents, he said.

“We annexed about 10,000 people back in 2000,” Ottesen said. “We had to create an entire new police beat, hire new code enforcement officers. It had to be systematic. It was residents that came to us for that.”

That annexation also brought Palatine significant commercial property that eventually may help offset the cost of increased municipal services.

“What’s left (of the unincorporated areas) is almost exclusively residential,” Ottesen said.

The Northwest Municipal Conference is expected to meet with Cook County officials in the next several weeks to get some questions answered, he added.



Recent Headlines

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board Adopts Resolution Concerned With Foxconn Impacts
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

FBI: Ex-employee alleges Dorothy Brown picked up cash payoffs at bagman's home
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Demolition of MWRD dam to clear way for fish and recreation
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Tom Dart to pair inmates with pet dogs
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Minimum Wage, Sick Time Advisory Questions Approved for November Ballot
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

Editorial: Berrios and Kaegi: What a new assessor can and can't fix
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Your Personal Data May Be Exposed in Cook County Traffic Records
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CBS Chicago

Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County TIF districts bring in $1 billion
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco
Friday, July 20, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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