The leaders of villages, towns and cities across Illinois are more than familiar with the legal talents of Elizabeth Shine Hermes. That’s because this municipal law specialist with Evergreen Park’s Odelson & Sterk, has saved so many of their communities so much money over the years.
Ronald Denson, mayor of the Village of Calumet Park, provides a good example. Denson has worked with Shine for about seven years. During this time, Shine has been key to fighting off tax objections and appeal for the village. In doing this, Shine has saved the village thousands of dollars that it might have lost.
“Her knowledge, diligence and pursuit of our tax dollars have greatly helped our budget situation,” Hermes said. “Very few attorneys do what she does in defense of government to preserve our precious tax dollars. She helps keep our tax dollars for use to provide our citizens with the services needed for everyday safety and welfare.”
Numerous Mayors and Village Presidents echoed Denson’s praise of Shine.
For example in one suburb she spent hours working on updating this Village’s liquor ordinance. In addition she was brought in to update the village’s gaming ordinance. The Mayor of this suburb who nominated Shine said, “Ms. Shine has provided excellence guidance to our Village and she is in my opinion an extremely well qualified municipal attorney.”
Another Village President said, “Shine has a passion for her line of work and she is someone I value for her ability to make wise recommendations.”
William Murray, village administrator with the Village of Willow Springs, relied on Shine when his village completed the complicated annexation of 48 acres of property. The annexation meant an increase in property taxes for the village’s taxpayers. But Shine managed to draft the agreement so that the increase was offset by a decrease in other taxes.
This helped ease the concerns of village residents, Murray said.
“Her hard work on behalf of the village ensured a smooth annexation and helped to promote growth and expansion of village property while still saving money for the taxpayers,” Murray said.
Shine’ work has attracted the attention, and praise, of some of the top government officials in Cook County. Maria Pappas, Cook County Treasurer, has seen the caliber of legal representation that Shine provides to her clients. And Pappas has been impressed with what she’s seen.
“Real estate law is no mystery to her,” Pappas said. “She is always prepared on behalf of her clients, and unfailingly professional in dealing with us for them. She understands their needs and our requirements. She has, in fact, made suggestions about how to improve our refund processes, suggestions we used.”
It's not just municipalities that benefit from Shines’ legal talents. Dr. Kevin Burns, president of Brother Rice High School in Chicago, has long worked with Shine, both now at the high school and in his prior role as superintendent of Community High School District 218.
The legal advice that Shine has provided to Burns regarding real estate and property taxes and appeals has been instrumental in maintaining the financial health of the schools for which Burns has worked, he said.
“Her work has been exemplary in protecting the tax dollars that are vital in sustaining the educational process,” Burns said. “I have always found her to be exceptionally professional, extremely competent and highly ethical in everything she does. Her work with me was outstanding and impressive, especially with regard to her knowledge and expertise in property tax appeals.”