After more than a decade of work as a trial attorney fighting for consumers and victims, in 2004, Larry directed his talents toward a nagging problem about which he and many other citizens were frustrated: irresponsible representatives in the government. His interest in challenging the status quo in government grew more fervent after working on a tragic case involving the deaths of six Illinois children that is credited with uncovering the license-for-bribes scandal connected to former Secretary of State George Ryan’s office. That case not only resulted in a record settlement for the clients, but the prosecution and conviction of a number of state-elected officials and employees who were embroiled in the scandal. It also led to safer roads for Illinois citizens through the testing and re-testing of truck drivers who had obtained licenses illegally. Fed up with such instances of negligence and overt abuse of power in the government and armed with the belief that Illinois could do better, Larry decided to run for public office, launching a campaign against a long-entrenched politician that very few believed he could defeat. With the help of his family, friends, and a concerned citizenry, however, – THE PEOPLE WON, and Larry was elected to his first office in 2004!
Larry believes that Lincoln’s words “GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE” are more than just an adage, but represent what government should truly represent. He believes that the government belongs to the citizens it serves and should always act with the people’s best interests in mind. He also believes that those given the privilege of being elected to public office are obligated to SERVE ethically and honestly! In this day and age, more than ever, citizens want and deserve to know how their government operates, and where and how their tax dollars are being spent. Elected officials, at all levels, should be held accountable to the citizens they serve.
The Board of Review is the Cook County agency designated to review and decide property assessment appeals filed by property owners who believe their property has been overassessed and is being overtaxed. As a Board of Review Commissioner since 2004, Larry has worked fervently for the citizens of Cook County, who for far too long, have been overassessed and therefore, overtaxed on their properties. Larry has accurately adjusted overassessed property values so that no citizen pays more than their fair share of property taxes. He has increased community awareness in various ways, improved efficiencies through the use of technology, and shaped a skilled staff to ensure and maintain a high quality of analysis, while streamlining the process for appeals. Larry has held outreaches throughout Cook County to increase community awareness and promote citizen access to the appeals process, including employing technology to better communicate with citizens. Concerned with the effects of the economic downturn on everyday people, Larry broadened the factors that would be applied when deciding appeals, so as to ensure that the analyses included outstanding factors such as decreasing property values. When changes in the levels of assessment were proposed and debated, Larry actively participated in county board meetings and hearings aimed at ensuring that property owners were completely informed of just what their government was doing and how its decisions and actions would impact them. Later this year, the Board will be launching a new online property assessment appeals system that will make the appeals process more convenient for property owners. Larry is a commissioner who believes that good government is fair, honest, transparent, and should fundamentally work for the people it is intended to serve.