Endorsement: Dan Patlak for Cook Board of Review
The Cook County Board of Review functions almost without notice, except for times of controversy, but it plays an important role in reviewing appeals of assessment office findings related to property values.
It consists of three commissioners, and for the past 10 years, the commissioner in the 1st District, which represents the Northwest suburbs as well as many South suburbs, has been Dan Patlak, a former Wheeling Township assessor with strong real estate credentials.
Patlak, one of the few Republicans still holding office in Cook County government and the only one on the Board of Review, is being opposed in his bid for reelection by Democrat Tammy Wendt, a Palos Heights real estate attorney with no prior political experience.
She has turned this campaign into a referendum on the assessment reform being instituted by her fellow Democrat, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi.
Kaegi is trying to end the political favoritism many commercial property owners received during the years Joe Berrios ran the office, and to his credit, Patlak is operating as commissioner in accordance with those reforms.
Wendt maintains that commercial property owners are being abused by the reforms, but frankly, they have been intended to create more balance between private and commercial property assessessments.
There's no question in this race who merits our endorsement: Patlak, far and away.
He speaks with professionalism about the review process and with passion about the agency's mission to assure fairness to all three interests served by the board -- the homeowners and businesses seeking tax reductions, the government bodies that depend on tax money, and the general population whose tax bills ultimately are affected by the decisions the board makes.
During Patlak's time in office, technological advances have enabled the board to handle cases more efficiently and quickly than ever.
And as we have said in the past, Patlak approaches the job as a commissioner whose responsibility is to rule the way the evidence and numbers tell him to rule.
We give him our strong endorsement.