Lake in the Hills Sanitary District attorney Derke Price argues that the case cited by the State’s Attorney’s brief in support of voiding the annexation into Kane County is an interpretation of the wrong sanitary district act.
Patrick Kenneally’s attorneys refer to the Sanitary District Act of 1936, while the LITH District was formed under the Sanitary District Act of 1917.
The significance is that the definition of “contiguous territory” is broader in the 1917 legislation.
The court cast cited in Jack Franks’ filing involved annexation forcing voters into a district without their having voted to join.
In the LITH District’s situation, the strip annexation is to vacant land it plans to purchase.
Pointing out the poltical motivation of Franks’ suit, Price says,
“Franks’ real argument is with what he believes the District’s motives in the acquistion concernig possible consolidation under powers granted in McHenry County. But Franks is wrong on the facts.
Public Act 99-0790–the statute that give rise to the possibility of consolidation–was not signed into law [until] August 5, 2016; whereas the District has been planning for expansion south into Kane County since 2014. This expansion is not about consolidation.”
With regard to Franks’ goal to thwart the District’s acquisition of property, Price points out that the argument that the property in question is not contiguous nor are there residents or businesses to be served on the vacant land is incorrect.
The land is contiguous to the District’s boundaries because of the Square Barn Road annexation.
Price concludes, “…Franks’ actual dispute is with the existing provisions of the law that allow the District to act as it did.”
Price then attacks Franks’ standing to bring the suit.
“While his motion acknowledges that he is required to have ‘a clearly ascertainable right that needs protection,’ Franks makes no attempt whatsoever to articulate what right he personally has that is in need of protection, and it is hard to speculate what that might be.”
Franks argues that purchase of the 13+ acres in Kane County would result in his suffering an immediate,
irreparable harm, that is, “If purchased, by the District, the property would not generate any revenue and would be tax exempt…” and that the cost of infrastructure to serve the undeveloped areas of Kane County “would be excessive and an extraordinary waste of taxpayer money.”
The District’s rebuttal:
“Under Franks’ argument, if governmental infrastructure costs to reach new areas can be characterized as excessive and a waste of money, then those legislative acts are subject to a challenge in court. These are not irreparable harms to Franks, just general allegations of a political difference of opinion as to what is best for the District.”
“In short, Franks sees to have this court micromanage the District’s policy decisions regarding the District’s expansion into Kane County to serve the unserved areas of Kane County.
“…the court’s role is not to evaluate the wisdom of a legislative act of a governmental body.
“Just because Franks disagrees with the District’s lawful exercise of its authority and is frustrated because his political agenda is hindered does not mean he is harmed.
“Franks, likewise, fails to meet this mandatory criterion for the extraordinary relief he seeks.”