Kevin Morrison Settles Into New Job As County Commissioner
12/20/2018Elk Grove Village resident and new Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison called his swearing into office, “A surreal day… It’s hard to explain all the emotions.”
The new 15th District commissioner took the oath of office Dec. 3 and sat for his first county board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 11 after an orientation with board President Toni Preckwinkle.
After his swearing in at the county building, Morrison held a reception for about 130 supporters at the pizzeria his parents own in Chicago.
Morrison, who has never held elected office before, defeated Tim Schneider, the 15th District county commissioner for 12 years and chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, in the Tuesday, Nov. 6 General Election.
At 28, Morrison is not only Cook County’s youngest commissioner, but the first openly gay commissioner.
The 15th District includes most of Elk Grove Village and parts of Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg, extending west to Elgin.
His chief of staff, Ted Mason, said Morrison is beginning to hold meetings with mayors in the district. Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said although he had an excellent relationship with Schneider, is excited Morrison is an Elk Grove Village resident.
Morrison said legislation he hopes to pass includes finding ways to make opening small businesses easier. He said many small businesses pay more in taxes per square foot than larger corporations, which is something he said he wants to address. Morrison said those measures could include breaks on licencing fees or other fees for the first two years.
Morrison introduced his first two pieces of legislation at that Dec. 11 meeting: one honoring the five 2018 Luminary Leaders of the Year honored at Enclave for Entrepreneurs at O’Hare in Elk Grove Village, Thursday, Dec. 13 — an event Morrison attended.
Those honored at Enclave included Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson, Elk Grove Village Fire Chief Richard Mikel (recently named Illinois Fire Chief of the Year), Elk Grove High School teacher Ricky Castro who was named 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year, EGHS Principal Paul Kelly (named 2017 Illinois Principal of the Year and a finalist for the 2018 National Principal of the Year), Dist. 214 Supt. David Schuler who was named National Superintendent of the Year, and Eric Broughton of Naperville, Enclave’s Entrepreneur of the Year who recently sold his startup venture, Apartment Jet, Inc., to Expedia.
Morrison has co-hosted several property tax appeal events already and has another scheduled at 6 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at Schaumburg Township Hall, 1 Illinois Boulevard, Hoffman Estates, with Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak (R-1st).
Morrison also introduced a resolution honoring the Hoffman Estates Veterans Memorial Commission.
Mason said a likely district office location was found in Schaumburg, although he said a county board real estate committee would need to review and approve the location and lease, which would not happen until the Jan. 24 county board meeting.
In the meantime, Morrison has three staffers working out of his downtown Chicago office in the county building. Mason said a fourth community outreach staffer will be hired once the district office opens.
Mason also serves as Elk Grove Township Democratic committeeman.