Wheeling Township votes to eliminate road commissioner

Residents voted to eliminate Wheeling Township's elected post of highway road commissioner - a first for Cook County.

With 90 of 92 precincts reporting, 39,557 votes were cast in favor as opposed to 17,885, according to unofficial results.

Scott Saewert has been highway commissioner since 2001, and the roads district has been in effect in since 1856. Saewert, his administrative assistant and deputy will likely all lose their part-time jobs, which he suggested came to a combined cost of less than $31,000 a year.

The responsibility of maintaining 5.4 miles of unincorporated roadway passes to the Wheeling Township board of trustees starting Jan. 1. All the road work is contracted out and that is likely to continue.

Wheeling Township trustees put the referendum on the ballot by a 3-to-2 vote.

According to Saewert, the Wheeling Township roads district levy in 2015 brought in about $780,000 in taxes with whatever unused money - about half - being pumped back to township municipalities.

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