Sheriff’s Department Confirms Cherry Valley Road Home Seized

Popping up on my screen was a headline from the Woodstock Independent saying the following:

“BV Mansion Seized Following Drug Raid”

Strangely, nothing in the article is about the home’s seizure.

The indoor pool at 1001 Cherry Valley Road in Bull Valley.  The home also has a tennis court.

Contacting the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office for verification of whether the 35-acre estate at 1001 Cherry Valley Road in Bull Valley had been seized resulted in the answer, “Yes.”

The seizure was after the arrest of David Soskin.

Zillow values the 17,426 square foot property at $878,261.

The six bedroom house, built in 1976, has seven full bathrooms and two half bathrooms and a security system

The home was purchased on December 22, 2016, for $800,000.

MCCD Acres Examined

Comments from Cary Grade School Board President Scott Coffey on the McHenry County Conservation District:

This relates to my post in Part 7 regarding the excessive number of acres under management by the County.

McHenry County Conservation District Performance Measures

The (shrinking) population of the County cannot afford the operating cost structure necessary to support this 70% increase in acreage.

It should have probably stayed at its 2001 level of 14,902 acres.

The County should begin to look at divesting itself of a lot of its excess holdings in order to reduce its operating cost structure that exists today and use the proceeds to abate and/or defease the outstanding debt that currently burdens the taxpayer.

That debt service burden currently stands at $11.7 million/year.

The County should begin the process to force-rank its properties based on marketability and value.

The secondary benefit would be the longterm incremental property tax revenue that would come with any new development from the divested property.

The County should work with the local municipalities/school districts/etc. to formulate a plan

McHenry County Conservation District properties.

regarding each targeted property and its potential effects on each community.

Man Shot in 1 AM Unincorporated McHenry Home Invasion

A press release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department:

Man Hospitalized After Home Invasion

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and Nunda Fire Protection District responded to the 1800 block of Davis Ave in unincorporated McHenry early Saturday for a home invasion and shooting.

At about 1 a.m., police and other first responders found a 52-year- old man, an occupant of the residence, shot and seriously wounded.

Paramedics treated him at the scene and then transported him to a local hospital.

A witness on scene related two males entered the residence and shot the man before stealing cash and departing the area in a small dark colored pick-up truck.

The assailants were described as one white male and one black male, both wearing bandanas over their faces.

At this time the investigation is ongoing with the assistance of the McHenry County Major Investigations Team.

This is believed to be an isolated incident and do not believe there is any threat to the public.

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office urges anyone with information on this incident to immediately contact us at 815-338- 2144.

Prediction that Unionization Will Spell the End to Township Government

Under one of the posts about former Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller’s communications to McHenry County Board members is the following analysis of the future of township government by Woodstock’s Susan Handelsman:

Incorporated areas of McHenry County in 2013.

It is not logical to expect human behavior to deviate from well documented past performance.

Now that Township government is no longer more efficient and economical than County government we may assume that Townships will be done away with.

Local history, as evidenced by McHenry County’s highest-in-nation mean/median/mode property tax rate of 3.7% of fair market value, indicates that County consolidation of power will result in corrupt waste and efficiency.

Rather than waste time bemoaning that sorrow or begging/demanding that entrenched positions change, we might look for practical solutions given realities..

1. Unincorporated areas are vulnerable to taxation for services by either corrupt (mandating charges for services far in excess of fair market private industry competitors’ rates) or inefficient (mandating charges for services far in excess of fair market value private industry competitors’ rates) public service provision by government bodies.

2. If unincorporated property owners are too lazy and stupid to act in our own self defense, this is a deserved fate. Property tax capitalization acts like reverse compound interest: property values drop at alarming rates relative to all other property values in America. Property values here will predictably drop to the point at which all property ownership can be subsumed by local ministers, at which point they may predictably relax taxation to a point to favor their own positions.

3. Solutions: neighborhoods form and hire (through competitive private bidding) snow plowing, road maintenance, and so forth on our own.

4. Solutions II: neighborhoods incorporate as municipalities and contract with adjacent municipalities for services or hire privately without prevailing wage requirements.
Bonus: TIF districts may be formed in which all property owners may be reimbursed incremental property taxation due to inflation for the next 35 years.

5. Solutions III : neighborhoods opt out of any services provided by government. Define ‘worst possible case scenario”. Leave street unplowed, ,unmowed, potholes unoatched?… Will State forces be brought to bear? Maybe ‘somebody else’ can be made to pay for road clearing at local levels.

“Looking out for number one and number one’s immediate intimates” seems to be the lesson we taxpayer idiots should learn from this experience.

Time to let go of naive notions that organisms like those which have brought our County to this state will change.

Time to let go of naive notions that new organisms elected to replace old organisms will be free of human motivations greed and fear, and behave differently.

The only relevant question we now face, in my opinion is:

What unemotional, systematic solution will enable each individual homeowner to survive another decade here?

[email protected]

Local 150’s “Collective Bargaining Agreement” with Algonquin Township’s Road District Pages 27-31

Thought readers might be interested in the “Collective Bargaining Agreement” that outgoing Algonquin Township Road Commissioner signed with Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

I’ll run a couple of pages a day.

The comments should be interesting.

The signatures follow.

The Resume Bob Miller Sent to County Board Members in His Attempt to Replace Andrew Gasser

Here is the resume that former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner sent with his letter requesting appointment to the McHenry County Board to replace current Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser:

5-26-17 Bob Miller Sends Letter Seeking Support for County Board Appointment

McConnaughay Reports

From State Senator Karen McConnaughay:

BUDGET UPDATE: Disappointing Democrats Pass Income Tax Hike and Unbalanced Budget

Karen McConnaughay

I was quite discouraged this past week as my Democrat colleagues decided to renege on our joint efforts to pass a balanced budget with structural reforms.

Instead, they passed another unbalanced budget relying on the same old policies, which we have seen over the past 15 years have failed to move Illinois forward in job creation or by growing our economy.

Instead of continuing discussions to work towards a bipartisan balanced budget, Senate Democrats decided to pass another unbalanced budget reliant on an income tax increase of $5.4 billion dollars, but which doesn’t pay a cent towards our $14 billion in unpaid bills.

No Republican within the Senate voted in favor of these catastrophic pieces of legislation.

Throughout the past few months, Republicans were clear during negotiations that if there was to be a tax increase, new revenues must be accompanied by structural reforms.

However, once again, the other side of the aisle opted to move forward without vital reforms that would give residents and business owners a financial respite, such as significant property tax relief and workers’ compensation reform

All along, these negotiations had been true and sincere. Unfortunately, my colleagues decided to put party politics before the good of the people of Illinois.

The saddest part is that no one is harmed more by all of this than the residents and business owners.

This past week I read an article in the Chicago Tribune that indicated Chicago was the only major city to lose population in the U.S. between 2015 and 2016. The article surveyed past residents about their reasons for leaving; the number one reason listed was high taxes. One man interviewed in the article specifically cited the high cost of property taxes as an issue.

We need to give residents and companies a reason to stay in this state. However, we are never going to stop the exodus of hardworking taxpayers and companies if we can’t create jobs.

These ongoing policies year after year from the Democrats have not worked for over a decade and it surely is not going to work now.

It’s time for the games to stop and to pass a true balanced budget with reforms that will realistically make it through all branches of our government, which will ensure greater prosperity and stability for Illinois well-into the future.

We are nearing the end of the legislative session and I encourage you to sign up for my email newsletter for further updates. If you need to contact me you can always send me an email at [email protected]. Find more information on legislative matters and the status of the budget on my website


Karen McConnaughay
Illinois Senate
33rd DistrictSenator McConnaughay and Senator McConchie Discuss Income Tax Hike, Property Tax Legislation

After the passage of an income tax hike this week, Senator McConnaughay and Senator McConchie held a Facebook Live event to have an open discussion regarding their opposition to the tax increase. The two also discussed the importance of property tax relief in Illinois. Watch here.

IDOT Seeks Input for Long Range Transportation Plan

Through June 2, IDOT is encouraging feedback with an online survey that will help identify where residents would like the IDOT budget to be prioritized. This could be critical to the future of Illinois transportation, the long range transportation plan is to be released in late 2017, I encourage you to take the survey here.

Senator McConnaughay recognizes SAFE Coalition for Human Rights as ‘Human Trafficking Hero’

This week, Senator McConnaughay recognizes the grassroots, volunteer organization, SAFE Coalition for Human Rights (SAFECHR), as this week’s “Human Trafficking Hero” recipient. SAFECHR is focused on creating Safe Houses to assist survivors during their rehabilitation process. Read more.

“I appreciate the level of engagement SAFECHR devotes to ensure healing for all the survivors they are able to help,” said Senator McConnaughay. “It was a privilege to be their keynote speaker at the 2016 SAFE Conference in D.C. last year, and I hope I get a chance to personally address them again. They fully deserve this acknowledgement for their achievements in fighting this heinous crime.”

Senator McConnaughay Talks Budget Negotiations

This past week, before Democrats voted in favor of an income tax hike and an unalanced budget, Senator McConnaughay was interviewed by Capitol Connection for an update on the budget negotiations between both parties. Watch here.

Local 150’s “Collective Bargaining Agreement” with Algonquin Township’s Road District Pages 25-27

Thought readers might be interested in the “Collective Bargaining Agreement” that outgoing Algonquin Township Road Commissioner signed with Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

I’ll run a couple of pages a day.

The comments should be interesting.

Bob Miller Sends Letter Seeking Support for County Board Appointment

This letter from former Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller was sent to McHenry County Board members this week:

Miller, who is husband to former McHenry County Board member Anna May Miller, seeks to fill out the final part of Andrew Gasser’s term.

Gasser defeated Miller for Highway Commissioner and played a key role in defeating his wife for re-election to the County Board last year.

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks will make the appointment, which is subject to ratification by the McHenry County Board.

Franks has attended Miller’s fundraisers.

= = = = =
Resume tomorrow.

County Treasurer Still Waiting for Big Money “Found” by Jack Franks’ Patronage Employees

Back in March, I wondered if the Northwest Herald had been mislead by McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks’ patronage employee Oliver Serafini.

The Northwest Herald reported on February 24th that $134,000 of county money was lying unclaimed in Springfield and listed on the State Treasurer’s I-CASH web site.

When I asked McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller in mid-March if she had received any such money this is how she replied:

Glenda Miller

As for the I-Cash monies…most if not all of these funds are unclaimed funds that were submitted to the State by County Offices per the Unclaimed Property Annual Filing requirements.

For instances, my office submits unclaimed

  • r/e [real estate] refunds
  • jurors
  • disbursing
  • Deposit of Order of Court, and
  • Condemnation that are 7 years or prior

They are not County monies.

Since a couple of months have passed, I thought it was time to check again, so I asked the Treasuer whether any money had been received Franks’ staff’s efforts.

Here’s the update from Miller:

In answer to you question, NO I haven’t gotten any money from the findings.

Actually, I am still waiting for Bridgette [Geenen] to meet with me and she has cancelled three times and haven’t heard anymore for her.

Local 150’s “Collective Bargaining Agreement” with Algonquin Township’s Road District Pages 22-24

Thought readers might be interested in the “Collective Bargaining Agreement” that outgoing Algonquin Township Road Commissioner signed with Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

I’ll run a couple of pages a day.

The comments should be interesting.

Cary-Grove High School’s Evita Gains Recognition

A press release from Crystal Lake High School District 155 about the theater production Evita at Cary-Grove High School:

Cary-Grove Sweeps Illinois High School Music Theater Award Nominations

Cary-Grove’s production of EVITA earned five nominations from Broadway in Chicago’s Illinois High School Music Theater Awards.

Cary-Grove is the only school in the state of Illinois to earn nominations in each category.

A scene from Cary-Grove High School’s Evita

The Best Actor and Actress categories have 12 nominees each and the Directing, Scenic Design, and Production categories have five nominees each.

  • Best Actress (Haley Gustafson)
  • Best Actor (Corey Barlow)
  • Best Direction
  • Best Scenic Design
  • Best Production

The musical at Cary-Grove is a school-wide effort. The entire production included 175 students, including 85 students in the cast, and 15 adults who oversaw various areas. Auditions were held the week before winter break in December and they began rehearsing when classes resumed in January.

“The ensemble members rehearsed three or four days a week and the leads practiced six days a week. Each rehearsal ran between two and three hours,” said Rob Boncosky, director.

They had nearly three months to practice and build a set. Twenty-two students assisted with different construction aspects. The design of the set was a collaborative effort between the technical director, director, and choreographer. They spent about 17 hours a week building for about one month. Art students painted the set in about ten days.

“Working with the kids to bring a collaborative vision to life in front of our eyes was so much fun. The members of the cast were the ones driving us to deliver the best product possible with their constant praise, excitement, and the level of professionalism that they show to their craft,” Mike Schiestel, Tech Director.

Two students were nominated for Best Actress and Best Actor. They will participate in an all day workshop featuring Adam Jacobs who is playing Aladdin in the National Tour of ALADDIN.

“Being nominated, 1 of 12, for the Best Actor in all of Illinois for the second time is an absolute honor! This recognition gives me encouragement to continue performing like I want to,” said Corey Barlow.

He plans to pursue a career in acting and will attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he will be studying Musical Theatre and Opera performance in the new Lyric Theatre Program.

“These nominations, and particularly the nomination for Best Production, serve to recognize everyone who had a hand in crafting Evita; cast, crew, directors, choreographers- the list goes on. There is no one person solely responsible for the success of this show. Simply put, I am indescribably proud of EVITA. To be nominated means that we did our job: we created art,” said Haley Gustafson.

Next year Haley plans to move to New York and she has already signed with a talent agency which has a branch there.

EVITA ran March 10 – 18. This year, 74 high school musicals participated in IHSMTA.

“We sold out every performance. In fact, we sold out faster for EVITA than any other show in CG history,” said Boncosky.

Last year, Cary-Grove won Best Production for its performance of CINDERELLA.

“I could not be more proud of all those involved with this show. I am blessed to work with a team of adults and group of students who constantly amaze me with their passion and commitment,” said Boncosky.

McHenry County SWAT Team Raids 17,000 Square Foot Bull Valley Home, Find Pot & 50-Caliber Machine Gun

A press release from the McHenry County State’s Attorney:

Multi-Agency Task Force Arrest Two Cannabis Dealers

ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Rockford Police Department, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Rockford Task Force, McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, and McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office announced updates today of an ongoing narcotics investigation.

For the last several months, the Rockford Police Narcotics Unit has been conducting an investigation regarding the sale of narcotics in and around the Rockford area.

During the course of that investigation, they identified two suspects: 34-year-old Joseph Vogrinc, of Loves Park, and 42-year-old David Soskin of Bull Valley, Illinois.

In the late evening hours on Thursday, May 18, 2017, Rockford narcotics detectives, accompanied by agents from the DEA Rockford Task Force, conducted a traffic stop in the 4900 block of Rolex Parkway in Loves Park. Vogrinc’s residence was also searched as a part of the investigation.

More than 5,000 grams of cannabis, over $55,000 in United States currency, and one vehicle was recovered and seized.

The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office authorized the following charges for:

Joseph Vogrinc

ARRESTED: Joseph Vogrinc, 34, Loves Park, Ill.

CHARGES:   Possession with intent to deliver cannabis >5,000 grams (Class X Felony)

BOND:         No Bond

Vogrinc was lodged in the Winnebago County Jail in lieu of no bond.

As the investigation continued, Rockford narcotics detectives and agents from the DEA Rockford Task Force partnered with officers from the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force.

A search warrant was obtained for the residence and property at 1001 Cherry Valley Road in Bull Valley, Ill. which consists of more than 30 acres, multiple buildings and a 17,000 square-foot primary residence.

Location of 1001 Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley

Based on information obtained during the investigation, the McHenry County SWAT team, with assistance from Rockford and McHenry County narcotics officers, and agents from the DEA Rockford Task Force, executed the warrant in the early morning hours of Friday, May 19, 2017.

1001 Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, Illinois.

Two residents, one of whom was Soskin, were located inside of the primary residence.

Multiple firearms, including a 50-caliber machine gun, ammunition, United States currency, and a large amount of cannabis were recovered and seized.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office authorized the following charges for:

David Soskin

ARRESTED: David Soskin, 42, Bull Valley, Ill.

CHARGES:   Manufacturing/delivery of cannabis >5,000 grams (Class X Felony) Cannabis trafficking >5,000 (Class X Felony)                    

Possession of cannabis >5,000 grams (Class 1 Felony)

BOND:         $100,000

”The scale of the proceeds of this investigation, including illegal substances, cash, weapons and all the trappings of an extravagant lifestyle, are astounding,” said McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim.

“We are very pleased to have contributed to the dismantling of a major drug trafficking enterprise and hope others involved in drugs will learn that they are not beyond the reach of law enforcement.”

“This is a perfect example of inter-agency cooperation, sharing of intelligence and uniting behind a common goal,” said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.

“We will continue to work with our partner agencies throughout the region, and nationally, to combat the illegal sales of narcotics.”

This is an active ongoing investigation. No further information is available for release at this time. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

All charges are merely allegations. All parties are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Unfunded Mandates To Be Quantified

A press release from t. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti:

Bill Calculating Cost of Unfunded Mandates on Local Governments Passes General Assembly

A recommendation from the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandate Task Force heads to the Governor’s Desk

SB 2066 requires DCEO to publish the cost of state unfunded mandates on local governments

SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti applauded the General Assembly for passing a bill that requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to publish cost estimates unfunded mandates will have on local governments. SB 2066 passed the House 99-12-2 and the Senate 51-0-0 and will be sent to the Governor.

As part of the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force chaired by the Lt. Governor, local government associations –including the Illinois Municipal League and the Illinois Association of School Boards– documented substantial growth in the number of unfunded state mandates restricting local control of local government activities over the years.

The Illinois Municipal League identified more than 266 new unfunded state mandates imposed on their members since 1982. And, the Illinois Association of School Boards documented the enactment of more than 145 state mandates imposed on schools since 1992.

Currently, legislators and the public have very little data on how much unfunded state mandates on local governments cost the taxpayers. SB2066 requires DCEO to calculate that cost.

Unfunded mandates are state or federal legislation that obliges local governments to comply with mandates without providing them with the funds to fulfill the requirements.

Evelan Sanguinetti

“Illinois residents pay the highest property taxes in the nation. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that we have the most units of government, and an ever-increasing number of state unfunded mandates,” Lt. Governor Sanguinetti said.

“By requiring DCEO to publish the true local cost of unfunded mandates, local residents and elected officials will finally be empowered to eliminate unnecessary and costly Springfield mandates.”

“Unfunded mandates drive up the cost of government and it is the taxpayer who usually ends up footing the bill,” said Rep. Peter Breen (R-48), one of the sponsors of the bill. “SB2066 is good transparency legislation that will shine an important light on how unfunded mandates are increasing costs at DCEO on local governments. Hopefully, if lawmakers can see how these costs add up over time, they will take pause before passing along unfunded mandates in the future.”

Sen. Dale Righter (R-55), also a sponsor, added: “Unfunded mandates are costing local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. “This legislation is a small step toward bringing more efficiency and accountability to how taxpayer dollars are being spent on unfunded mandates at the local government and school district level. Mandate relief is the critical next step if we’re serious about respecting taxpayer dollars.”

Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-58) was also a sponsor.

Down the Revenue Rabbit Hole in Springfield

The Democrats’ tax hike plan for services received an unexpected roadblock from Governor Bruce Rauner’s Revenue Department.

The following letter was sent to to Republican Jeanne Ives, who at least temporarily snagged the sponsorship of the Senate Democrats tax hike bill (credit to Capitol Fax Blog for publishing it):

TO: Representative Jeanne M. Ives
FROM: Mark Dyckman General Counsel
Illinois Department of Revenue DATE: May 24, 2017
RE: Senate Bill 9 Constitutional Issues

This memorandum is in response to your request that the Department discuss constitutional issues associated with the tax provisions of Senate Bill 9. These issues are explained below.

1. Service tax provisions. The bill inserts 5 discrete services in the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act (ROT) (storage; laundry and dry cleaning; private detective, private alarm, and private security service; structural pest control service; and tattooing and body piercing). These servicemen are taxed on 100% of the selling price and enjoy an exemption for sales to businesses making purchases of service for the benefit of the business (other than resale). All other servicemen in Illinois continue to be taxed under the Service Occupation Tax Act/Use Tax on only the tangible personal property transferred incident to service; they enjoy no business exemption.

It is the Department’s opinion that there is a substantial risk that the service tax components violate the uniformity clause of the Illinois Constitution (Art. IX, Sec. 2). In order to survive scrutiny under the uniformity clause, a non-property tax classification must (1) be based on real and substantial differences between those taxed and not taxed; and (2) must bear some reasonable relationship to the object of the legislation or to public policy. Illinois service tax classifications have previously been invalidated under the uniformity clause, notably in the case of Fiorito v. Jones, 39 Ill.2d 531, 236 N.E.2d 698 (1968). In that case, existing service taxes were replaced with a tax on only 4 itemized service categories. The Illinois Supreme Court could find no reasonable differences between servicemen who were taxed and those who were not taxed. Senate Bill 9 carries similar risks since it chooses only 5 categories of servicemen from the thousands of servicemen in Illinois and taxes them differently. A court may struggle to find the “real and substantial differences” that justify this differential treatment. Any service tax that simply picks and chooses services at random to be taxed or exempt from tax runs this substantial risk of being unconstitutional.

While not focused on in Fiorito, it is also possible for uniformity violations to be found within specific classifications made in a bill. For instance, the bill continues to tax retailers making sales of tangible personal property to other businesses for business purposes (e.g., a retailer selling security cameras to a business). However, the bill does not tax servicemen (now included in the ROT) when they make sales of service for business purposes (e.g., a serviceman selling alarm services to a business).

2. Entertainment Tax Fairness Act. The bill creates a new 1% tax on subscribers of entertainment (paid video programming through numerous methods including cable). It is our opinion that this tax could be challenged under the Federal Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA). ITFA, in part, prohibits states from imposing discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. A discriminatory tax under ITFA is a tax that is not generally imposed and legally collectible by a State on transactions involving similar property, goods, services, or information accomplished through other [than electronic commerce] means. SB 9 imposes tax on subscribers renting movies on an internet or cable platform. However, when a subscriber rents the same movie from a video store, he or she incurs no tax liability. As a result, the bill appears to impose a discriminatory tax because it taxes transactions made through electronic commerce more harshly than those made through non-electronic commerce. The Illinois Supreme Court used a similar analysis to strike down Illinois’ first “Amazon law” related to click-through nexus for certain internet links in Performance Marketing v. Hamer, 2013 IL 11496 (2013). The General Assembly corrected that constitutional infirmity in subsequent legislation. It is the Department’s opinion that there is a substantial risk that these provisions violate ITFA.

3. Video Service Tax Modernization Act. SB 9 creates a new 5% tax on providers of direct-to-home satellite service, direct broadcast satellite service, and digital audio-visual work. The bill does not tax cable companies. It is very likely that this tax will be challenged by satellite service providers. Across the country, satellite companies have argued that such laws are discriminatory because they do not tax cable companies. While results have been mixed, challenges have been consistent. As noted in the discussion of Fiorito, above, such a challenge could be asserted under the State Constitution’s Uniformity Clause.

Local 150’s “Collective Bargaining Agreement” with Algonquin Township’s Road District Pages 19-21

Thought readers might be interested in the “Collective Bargaining Agreement” that outgoing Algonquin Township Road Commissioner signed with Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

I’ll run a couple of pages a day.

The comments should be interesting.

Barb Wheeler Barely Passes Bill to Cut Power of Precinct Committeemen in Party Caucuses

Barb Wheeler

The Illinois General Assembly settled a fight among McHenry Township Republicans Wednesday.

Four years ago, insurgent Republicans took control of the McHenry Township Republican Party from followers of long-time power house Al Jourdan, Jr.

Members of the former ruling faction had installed their members as McHenry Township officials (minus the Assessor, who defeated the GOP incumbent four years ago).

A tradition had developed in which those desiring to retire left office early.

That allowed those still in office to fill the vacancies with their favorites, thus giving them an advantage.

The new folks continued their control of the McHenry GOP two years ago.

Pam Althoff

And, in a dance similar to what happens in Chicago when a new ward committeeman is elected abd subsequently goes after the alderman’s seat, they decided they wanted their people to take the township offices.

Instead of holding a Republican Township Primary Election, the Central Committee decided to hold a party caucus.

In a meeting to set the rules the Precinct Committeemen decided to give each the number of votes cast in their precinct in the last GOP Primary Election.

Others from those who voted in that primary would be given one vote.

That vote would be subtracted from that of their Precinct Committeeman.

Sensing the disadvantage, the incumbent township officials, at least one of whom had participated in the rule setting Central Committee meeting, started passing petitions as Independents.

Members of that slate who were GOP Committeemen also resigned from that post.

The caucus was held.

There a motion was made to allow each person attending one vote was made.

The vote was by one-man, one-vote and the weighted voting procedure was approved by a large margin.

Supporters of the Independents argued that they would have won had they known such a vote were to be taken.

In any event, the favorites of the new ruling coalition were nominated.

In defense of conducting a caucus rather than a primary election to nominate candidates, the Republicans said taxpayers saved the $38,000 it would have taken to print ballots, advertise and hire election judges.

There was then contentious petition challenges and cross-challenges, which, after much argument, were withdrawn.

The election was held with a split electoral decision.

The names of the people on the Independents’ slate

The rules for the caucus were a key issue in the race between those designated as Republicans on the ballot and those, most of whom had been appointed as Republicans, running as Independents.

The second mailing from the McHenry Township Republicans

The Township Supervisor and Road Commissioner supported by State Senator Pam Althoff won narrow victories.

Appointed Supervisor Craig Adams, running as an Independent, beat Republican Steve Verr by 86 votes, 3,471 to 3,385.

Appointed High Way Commissioner James Condon captured the Road Commissioner spot by 139 votes over Republican Steve Koerber.

The new “organization” Republican nominees took all four Township Trustee spots, plus that of the Township Clerk.

The results for McHenry Township Trustee show township opponent Bob Anderson leading the pack.  The top four candidates are Republicans.  The bottom four are Independents.  Those in the middle are Democrats.

This, of course, sets the stage for some interesting McHenry Township meetings.

The incumbent Democrat won re-election as Assessor without opposition.

Sandra Salgado

Althoff introduced Senate Bill 666 early in the session, getting it approved about twenty days after the primary election.

McHenry County Republican County Chairman, Sandra Salgado, a member of those who took control four years ago opposed the bill’s passage.

State Rep. Barbara Wheeler, one of Althoff’s two State Representatives, picked up the bill in the Illinois House.

She stumbled in her first attempt to gain passage on Tuesday, but Wednesday, a day later, she squeaked out a two-vote victory.

The vote was 61-45-2 with sixty votes required for passage.

Local State Representatives voting for the bill were

  • Steve Andersson
  • Barb Wheeler

Voting in opposition were

  • David McSweeney
  • Steve Reick
  • Allen Skillicorn

State Rep. Peter Breen spoke against the bill.   He is from DuPage County.

Now, the bill goes to Governor Bruce Rauner.

The Governor had the ability to please local grass roots Republicans or local legislative Republicans in the bill that gave Democrat Jack Franks the power to break ties on the McHenry County Board.

Rauner went with the legislative Republicans.

This is a someone similar fight between the sponsors of the legislation and the McHenry Township GOP organization.