Lake County dump site may finally be cleaned up -- chicagotribune.com: "The home and the rest of his property sit like an island in unincorporated Wauconda Township, surrounded by sprawling ranch and split-level homes in the leafy Lakeland Estates neighborhood.
Tarkowski said the Lakeland Estates Property Owners Association long ago decided he and his home stuck out like a sore thumb. Members of the group used the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to force a cleanup in violation of his civil rights, he said."
That is the view of crusty, 83 year old, Mr. Tarkowski. But the other side is this: "In the annals of eyesores, John Tarkowski's 16-acre spread near Lake Barrington occupied a league all its own. His property, some of it wetlands, was littered with thousands of tires -- many holding water -- dozens of 55-gallon chemical drums, the rusting chassis of old cars, decaying lead-acid batteries and construction waste, according to state officials. The feisty 83-year-old even used roofing shingles to build roads that meandered through the wetlands. For years, government officials say, Tarkowski ran one of the state's worst illegal private dumps, charging $10 for trucks to drop a load there.
But for decades no government officials would do anything about it, perhaps because Tarkowski is litigious. I say, good for the HOA that brought down the heat on him. This is one example of an HOA organizing for political action that made the area better.