Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just reading on wikipedia that Cook county's total population is 5,303,683. Wouldn't it make sense, like other major cities like L.A. and New York, heck even Indianapolis, to annex the entire county? I'm sure some suburbs wouldn't be happy about it, but most of them I.E. Evanston, use a majority of our services already (sewage, CTA, water, etc...) So wouldn't it make sense to make them part of the city?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
838 Posts
The borders of LA County are not synonymous with the borders of the City of LA... the only example from around here I can come up with is the City of Kenosha, which is the County Seat of Kenosha County, but does not take up the whole thing. And New York City encompasses 5 counties. So annexing all of Cook, whether good or bad (a whole other discussion), would not really be akin to either of those cities.
 

·
Urbane observer
Joined
·
1,549 Posts
City-county consolidations were the vogue in the early 1970s, and another round in the late 1990s, producing Baton Rouge-East Baton Rouge, Miami-Dade, Nashville-Davidson, Indianapolis-Marion, Lexington-Fayette, and a couple of others. Even so, most were merely consolidations of services and left suburban municipalities intact in some form.

A much earlier round of separating large cities from their counties resulted in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver, and San Francisco being combined city-county governments, but this eventually limited growth of all but Denver. Maryland and Virginia also have a couple dozen "independent cities."

The issue, of course, is highly political. Victoria (Australia) and Ontario have forced consolidation of suburbs into larger, more efficient units, but voters in St. Louis County rejected such a scheme in the early 90s. A century ago, Chicago was able to dangle inducements such as lake water and police protection to convince voters in Lake, Jefferson, Hyde Park, or Gano to approve annexation, but by 1920 suburbanites had other ways to solve their problems.

If you think the good people of Barrington Hills, Indian Head Park, or Sauk Village will vote to become part of Chicago, you have a future in science fiction writing rather than urban affairs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
If you annex all of Cook County you will be absorbing a huge alien population....Republicans! This would change the culture of the city forever. Better leave well enough alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
What about the O'Hare expansion? Will the newly created airport property in places like Bensenville be annexed into Chicago? Also, part of the airport is in DuPage County I believe. Are these parts not included in the city limits?
 

·
Urbane observer
Joined
·
1,549 Posts
I've not heard of any plans to try to get the new O'Hare territory from Bensenville. The DuPage County corner is part of Chicago, and until recently had a couple of residents (the caretaker's house at the city nursery there). Preparing election ballots for them was always a headache.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,737 Posts
If you annex all of Cook County you will be absorbing a huge alien population....Republicans! This would change the culture of the city forever. Better leave well enough alone.
some might say the ending of one-party patronage rule would be a good thing....
 

·
born again cyclist
Joined
·
3,671 Posts
some might say the ending of one-party patronage rule would be a good thing....
well, the dems pretty much have a stranglehold on county government as well, so merging the city with cook county is not gonna all of a sudden bring a large upswell of republican influence into city politics. to do that you'd need to add the collar counties, particularly dupage, as dupage is the power-base county of the illinois GOP.
 

·
Nonhyphenated-American
Joined
·
3,371 Posts
I like Chicago the size it is.... Lets annex Evanston and Oak Park though... The CTA at least ends up in those burbs.
Doesn't the Red line end in Wilmette and the Yellow line in Skokie?

OTOH, in recent years I've been wondering how long it will be before some of those south suburbs throw in the towel and request annexation to Chicago. BUT, would the City want them?

:eek:

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Somehow I don't see sylvan Winnetka and Kenilworth(in Cook Co.)desiring to suddenly be part of plebian Chicago. It would never happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
I could be wrong here, but aside from political voting reasons, wouldnt education be an issue?

If a suburb was annexed, its school system would be handed over to Chicago Public Schools right? see what I'm getting at? (If in fact I'm correct)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,066 Posts
There are a few different types of these city-county consolidations, as noted:

Old central city is its own county: San Francisco, Philly, Denver. (St. Louis is technically an "independent city", but that's what all of these really are)

New York City: Five counties consolidated into the City of New York. There is nothing else like it.

New School City-County Consolidation: Indianapolis, Nashville, Louisville, Lexington. It is important to note here that a) virtually all of these are smaller than Chicago-Cook in population and territory b) they usually were only partial consolidations that left many if not most existing local governments intact. They just consolidated the city with the county governmentally, and annexed the unincorporated area into the city. In the cases I'm most familiar with (Indy and Louisville), the primary goal was annexation of all of the unincorporated territory at once to avoid bruising annexation battles parcel by parcel. And also to end turf wars between the city and county.

I don't think Cook County would be a good candidate for city-county merger because it is too big, too diverse, and too full of established cities vs. unincorporated territory to make it work effectively. Plus, what exactly would you gain? Cook County and Chicago already seem to get along, for example.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,066 Posts
I could be wrong here, but aside from political voting reasons, wouldnt education be an issue?

If a suburb was annexed, its school system would be handed over to Chicago Public Schools right? see what I'm getting at? (If in fact I'm correct)
I'm not aware of any modern day city-county merger that touched school district boundaries. Heck, Indianapolis didn't consolidate police or fire agencies either at the time. There are still 12 school districts and 10 or so fire departments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Seriously, other than ego-stroking, what's the point of absorbing the surrounding suburbs?

Chicago is a dense, urban enviornment. If you tack on the surrounding burbs, you're effectively turning us into a sprawling suburban world. You forever change the nature of the city.

You're talking about destroying all that makes Chicago great. Just so our population swells? Get over it. Anyone who understands this city knows that our population does not define us.
 

·
Pragmatist
Joined
·
434 Posts
For what it's worth, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an interesting series of articles on city-county consolidation (and other regional governance issues), with examples of consolidation from Indianapolis to Winnipeg:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/03001/280027.stm

It points out that amalgamation in Canada has been pursued by the left and right. In Manitoba, the socialist NDP sought to reduce inequities in public services; in Ontario, the rightist Conservatives wanted to "fire local politicians" and dilute the political power of urban liberals. I honestly think that any Chicago-Cook combination would more likely stem from a Republican attempt to spite Chicago than from a goo-goo/lakefront-liberal drive to clean out the filthy County government.

In the meantime, it might be worth transferring control of certain city/county controlled functions to taxing districts with authority to levy taxes in the collar counties. Many cities (like Pittsburgh and Denver) have "regional facilities districts" that tax the suburbs on behalf of institutions of regional significance: museums, parks, stadiums, convention centers, sewers, even hospitals, libraries, and transit systems.*

Given the extensive (and unpaid for) suburban use of Chicago's facilities, this could at least broaden the funding base for some money-losing but critical facilities, while also reducing wasteful duplication through better regional coordination. (For instance, did Hoffman Estates really need a new arena?) However, it would also involve opening up what were good patronage jobs, so it will probably never happen.

* As it stands, much of these facilities' public funding comes from taxes paid only within the city or county. The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority collects some statewide taxes, but also additional city taxes.
 

·
Chicago Enthusiast
Joined
·
2,560 Posts
Seriously, other than ego-stroking, what's the point of absorbing the surrounding suburbs?

Chicago is a dense, urban enviornment. If you tack on the surrounding burbs, you're effectively turning us into a sprawling suburban world. You forever change the nature of the city.

You're talking about destroying all that makes Chicago great. Just so our population swells? Get over it. Anyone who understands this city knows that our population does not define us.
I support this post.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,158 Posts
Dupage county was once a part of cook county. Should we support a Dupage/Cook consolidation?

It belonged originally to Cook county, until its separation and organization into a distinct county by act of Legislature, passed at the session of 1839.

Long known as one of the nation's wealthiest counties, DuPage County has transformed itself from a primarily agricultural economy to one rich in many different types of commerce. Today, DuPage County boasts a personal per capita income which is highest in the state, with Lake County a close second. The county's personal per capita income is the highest in the midwest and 24th highest in the nation.[citation needed] Over twenty of the county's towns have median (single family) house values of over $400,000. As of 2005, the estimated population is around 930,000
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top