Ottosen Britz Kelly Cooper Gilbert & DiNolfo, Ltd. is a leader at counseling municipal corporations throughout Illinois. Our clients include cities, villages, townships, and library districts, and we serve as corporate attorney for newly incorporated municipalities, as well as well-established communities. Our practical experience is reflected in the publications and articles we write for municipal officials and our regular speaking appearances at conferences for local governments.
Operational & Administrative Issues
As corporate counsel to many local government entities, we assist clients with the day-to-day administrative and operational issues that are essential for effectively managing local governments. This includes drafting ordinances, resolutions, and intergovernmental agreements, as well as policy manuals and administrative regulations. We believe it is equally important for us to identify issues on the horizon and to work in partnership with administrators and the governing bodies to craft effective strategies and solutions.
Land Development Issues
Our firm prepares and negotiates annexation agreements, comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and subdivision ordinances, and assists in land development and the disconnection of property from incorporated municipalities. We help municipalities and other governmental bodies to incorporate, and advise them as their boundaries expand. As we work with municipal clients to create and update comprehensive growth plans, we counsel them on how to integrate and partner with other governmental bodies such as townships, school districts, park districts, library districts, and fire protection districts.
Not all land development and zoning disputes are easily resolved. Our attorneys have litigated dozens of cases in which communities have attempted to assert their opinion on how land should be developed. We have also worked with governmental clients to achieve common planning goals through intergovernmental agreements.
We assist our clients with the budget and levy process, and defend them against assessment and taxation challenges. Several of the firmís attorneys are well-versed in municipal finance matters and have advised local governments in bond sales and similar debt transactions.
We work to ensure full compliance with referenda, campaign finance, and ethics laws. Our attorneys use their substantive knowledge of state and federal laws that regulate elections, campaign finance, and ethics activities to prepare and review nomination papers, and to advise clients on campaign finance disclosure obligations and the creation of political action committees.
Personnel and Labor Law
Because public services are highly labor-intensive, employees are a local governmentís most important investment. The number of unionized Illinois public employees grows each year, increasing the demands on over-stressed public funds and resources. We have negotiated hundreds of collective bargaining agreements with the goal of helping public employers to maintain fiscal stability. We use our comprehensive labor law experience to represent governmental entities before arbitrators, administrative agencies, and the courts. In addition to observing state and federal laws governing employment, public entities also must comply with constitutional limitations as they formulate and administer their personnel policies and practices. We have defended public bodies against employment discrimination claims, advised them on new labor laws, and helped them avoid costly litigation.