Elk Grove mayor: We won't secede

Elk Grove Village won't join in all that secession talk.

Mayor Craig Johnson said the village has no interest in fleeing Cook County for DuPage County. A portion of the village already is in DuPage.

"We realized it's not realistic," Johnson said.

Moving into DuPage would mean higher property taxes for village residents, he said, referring to how residential property is assessed at 33 percent of its value in all counties except Cook, where it is assessed at 16 percent.

"If we secede … our residents will run us out of office," Johnson said.

Palatine first spurred the talk when it threatened to break from Cook County over a recent sales tax increase that has made Cook retailers less competitive with those in adjoining counties.

Johnson and Village Manager Ray Rummel met with Cook County Board President Todd Stroger this week in Chicago.

While he wouldn't go into specifics of what they discussed, the mayor described it as "a very good first meeting."

Freedom of speech: Des Plaines 5th Ward Alderman Carla Brookman is questioning whether the city can limit what goes on a new electronic sign at Maine West High School.

Brookman this week said she disagreed with a city requirement that the sign only be used for school-based information, saying that would infringe on the First Amendment.

"I'm a product of the '60s," Brookman joked.

City Manager Jason Bajor said the restriction wasn't aimed at squelching free speech. But he said it's aimed at enforcing the city's ban on off-site advertising.

The city will look at the language again, but gave the go-ahead to the sign.

Garage sale time: Des Plaines will host the fourth-annual community garage sale during the first and third weekends in May.

Residents in ZIP code 60016 may have their garage sale May 2-4. Residents in ZIP code 60018 may have their garage sale May 16-18.

Rain dates for both areas will be May 30 to June 1.

Garage sale permits will be waived for these designated dates only.

Spring cleaning and remodeling: Those interested in started remodeling projects this spring can attend a seminar at the Elk Grove Village Public Library May 19.

David Kunzweiler, co-owner of Cabinets Plus Inc. in Palatine, will give a presentation at 7 p.m. May 19 at the library, 1001 Wellington Ave.

Reservations are requested at (847) 439-0447, ext. 226, or

The seminar is free and open to the public.

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