Fritz's Plan

Fritz’s Plan for the Cook County Assessor’s Office

Cleaning house to eradicate pay-to-play and nepotism

Under the current administration, the Cook County Assessor’s Office has become synonymous with pay-to-play, corruption and old-school nepotism. And it has cost regular taxpayers dearly. That will end when Fritz Kaegi is elected. Fritz will bring fairness, transparency and the highest ethical standards to the Assessor’s Office while ensuring that the staff reflect the diversity of the county itself.

Fritz will:

  • Never take campaign contributions from any property tax lawyers doing business with the Assessor’s Office.
  • Make campaign contribution data inaccessible from its internal IT systems.
  • Conduct a thorough review of all personnel to ensure all employees are highly qualified, well-trained experts–not political cronies of the previous assessor.
  • Comply with all outstanding Freedom of Information Act requests and make responding to FOIA requests a priority. He will end the current administration’s pattern of resisting FOIA, and will cooperate with any outstanding court orders in regard to its operations, staffing and policy implementation.
Modernizing the Assessor’s Office to Improve Services for Taxpayers

As assessor, Fritz will make sure all employees who handle assessment undergo a professional assessment education program. That means only highly qualified, well-trained staff will be assessing the value of taxpayers’ homes–no more unqualified family members or cronies on the payroll.

Fritz will: 

  • Undertake a review of the technical and professional qualifications for hires and make the acquisition of needed professional certifications for such staff in line with the best practices set by the International Association of Assessing Officers.
  • Require detailed job descriptions for each valuer/appeals position detailing the required educational background, skills and duties to ensure only highly qualified individuals are hired–no cronies or family members.
  • Require training of all members of frontline staff in the newest assessment model on a regular basis.
  • Require that all valuers are expert data collectors in regards to physical inspections of properties.
Building a Diverse, Qualified Workforce that Reflects Our Communities and Protects Our Values

As assessor, Fritz will implement a robust diversity hiring plan that ensures the Assessor’s Office hires highly qualified personnel that mirrors the county’s rich racial and ethnic diversity and is also equipped to meet our communities’ unique linguistic and cultural challenges. Fritz will focus on maintaining a culture of inclusion and diversity in the office.

Fritz will:

  • Conduct a diversity hiring audit and build that audit into a yearly evaluation of the office’s hiring and retention practices.
  • Partner with the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the City Colleges of Chicago to create an active and stable pipeline of qualified and diverse applicants.   
  • Implement an unconscious bias program that will influence and monitor the office’s hiring, promotion and day-to-day functioning to build and evaluate the culture of respect, excellence and inclusion the people of Cook County deserve.
  • Actively seek multilingual candidates for frontline and technical staff.
Fixing the broken system for taxpayers

The current administration has been beset by scandal after investigative journalists proved the assessment system has been grossly over-assessing working families, while letting the wealthiest property owners off the hook. Fritz will fix the broken system that disproportionately impacts low-income, African American and Latino homeowners.

Fritz will: 

  • Commit to transparency by making the assessments, data sets, and formulas available to third parties so that they can evaluate the assessment standards for consistency and fairness, and implement a property valuation model that will generate less regressivity across the entire system.
  • Account for the prevalence of underwater mortgages, vacancy rates, foreclosure and short sales impact home values to reflect how these factors depress home values and increase regressivity across the system, to address the inherent unfairness and structural racism embedded in the present system.
  • Adjust and streamline the process for homeowners who seek habitable space calculations for homes installing accessibility facilities, such as elevators and ramps for people with disabilities, to expand accessibility and encourage both homeowners and landlords make these improvements.
  • Implement a Best Practices Data Collection Program to obtain more granular data on property characteristic.

Friends for Fritz

P.O. BOX 64963

Chicago IL 60664