How to Succeed In Politics Without Really Trying

Have you always wanted to sit on the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District, or the Norwood Park Street Lighting District, but lacked the political connections to break in?

As part of her campaign to remove patronage and cronyism from Cook County government, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is taking online applications for all boards, from little three-person board that pay $300 to oversee graveyards or mosquito, to truly powerful bodies, such as the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Metra Board, which pays $15,000 a year.

You and I probably don’t have a chance to sit on the Judicial Advisory Board with Ald. Edward Burke’s wife, Justice Anne. But here are some boards for people who want to break into politics, and need a starter office for their resumes.

Norwood Park Street Lighting District

Function: Formed in the early 1950s, the Norwood Park Street Lighting District maintains and operates 38 street light poles within its territory.
Term: 3 years
Compensation: $300.00 per year, plus expenses
Composition: Three (3) trustees, all appointed by the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Palos Oak Hill Cemetery Association

Function: The purpose of the association is to manage, protect and improve all lots and appurtenances comprising the Oak Hill Cemetery in the Village of Palos Hills, now held or hereafter acquired by said this Association; to buy, own and sell lots in said cemeteries and to receive, hold and apply, within the limitations prescribed by law, such money or property as may be given, devised, bequeathed or transferred to it, for the care, perpetual preservation and
 improvement of said cemeteries and the appurtenances and lots therein contained.
Composition:Three (3) trustees, all appointed by President of Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District

Function: The Desplaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District is an independent municipality, established in 1927 by the “Mosquito Abatement Districts Act”. It is one of the two original mosquito abatement districts formed under this Act. The District was initially established to control nuisance mosquitoes, primarily Aedes vexans (Meigen) which were produced annually from predominant lowland plains and marshes. However, as more knowledge was attained regarding specific species and their direct link to disease transmission established, this new dimension of disease vector control was added to the purpose of mosquito abatement. Currently, both nuisance and vector control operations are carried out by the District.
Term: Four (4) years
Compensation: N/A
Composition: Five (5) trustees, all appointed by President of Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Cook County 911 Emergency Telephone System Board
Function: The Cook County Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) is empowered by the Emergency Telephone System Act to administer the operation of the Cook County 9-1-1 system in the unincorporated areas of Cook County and Dixmoor, Ford Heights, Golf, Northlake, Phoenix, Robbins and Stone Park.
Term: 3 Years
Compensation: None
Composition/ Qualifications: At least three (3) members shall be representative of the 9-1-1 public safety agencies, one of whom must represent the police service, and one the fire service. There also must be a public member who is a resident in the local exchange service territory included in the 9-1-1 coverage area.

The moral of this post? In Cook County, there’s a job in politics for everyone.

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