Prediction on CFI – Down the Tube, Replaced by Triple Left Lanes on Algonquin Road, Doubles on Randall

Pressure has been building to kill the Continuous Flow Intersection at Algonquin and Randall Roads.

After tomorrow’s meeting the idea will be in the trash can.

One could tell at the last Transportation Committee meeting that Committee Chairwoman Anna May Miller did not have the four solid votes needed to send the proposal to the full County Board.

Last Thursday’s secret meeting held with stakeholders and officials from Algonquin and Lake in the Hills had no support for the CFI solution proposed by the Transportation Department.

Design of triple left turn lanes in Florida.

Design of triple left turn lanes in Florida.

The alternative, triple left turn lanes on Algonquin Road on both sides of Randall Road received more support.

An argument put forward for the CFI was that it would probably qualify for a Federal Highway Administration demonstration grant.  Those typically have the Federal taxpayers footing 80% of the bill with local government picking up the other 20%.

Since I had to go to Florida to find examples of “triple lefts,” my guess is that it could be successfully submitted to the Feds as a “demonstration” project.

It would also give all those who ardently supported the CFI a graceful way out.

The pertinent part of the agenda packet for Wednesday morning’s 8:15 meeting, which could be live streamed because it is being held in the County Board room, but probably won’t be because the County is not that dedicated to transparency, can be seen below:

These blanks are in a resolution that the Committee Chairwoman wants voted upon by the full County Board on September 16th.

These blanks are in a resolution that the Committee Chairwoman wants voted upon by the full County Board on September 16th.

This is the biggest upcoming highway expenditure and less than two weeks before the date a final vote is proposed, County Board members do not even know its content.

Oberweis Closing on Durbin, Speaking in CL Wednesday Night

A press release from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis:

Oberweis poll shows race at 6 points

SUGAR GROVE — A newly released poll commissioned by IL U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis shows him trailing by only six points against 32-year career politician Dick Durbin.

The statewide poll of 1,340 likely voters shows Durbin with 44% and Oberweis with 38%. It was taken Aug. 25-27 by Harper Polling, Harrisburg, PA, with a margin of error +/-2.68%.

Released a day after a Chicago Sun-Times commissioned poll showed a 7 pt. margin, the new results are clear evidence that Dick Durbin is much more vulnerable than national pundits had predicted and that the race is winnable for Oberweis.

Oberweis poll summary 9-2-14

Summary of the Oberweis internal poll.

“Amid sagging approval ratings and an adverse mid-term political environment, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin finds himself in a competitive race for re-election against Republican Jim Oberweis,” said Brock McCleary, President of Harper Polling.

More evidence of the competitive nature of the race:

A key finding of the new Harper poll shows that Oberweis leads Durbin 38%-37% among independent voters.

Another finding shows that 45% of voters disapprove of the job Dick Durbin is doing as Senator and only 39% approve.

Oberweis poll summary more 9-2-14

More detail from the late August poll.

Oberweis said the new poll results mirror what he is hearing on the campaign trail.

“The voters of Illinois are hungry for a new direction,” Oberweis said.

“Career politicians like Dick Durbin have made a mess of our economy, our schools and our neighborhoods. They want new policies, not excuses. They want leaders who will act in the public interest, not their own self-interest.”

= = = = =
At 6:30 on Wednesday, Oberweis will speak before the Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee at GOP Headquarters in the Crystal Lake Plaza (to the left of Joseph’s Market).

The public is invited.

Another County Board Meeting, Another Crowded Room

The Unified Development Ordinance–proposed future zoning rules–was again a big draw at Tuesday’s McHenry  County Board meeting.

McH Co Bd 9-2-14 audience

Audience at the Sept. 2, 2014, McHenry County Board meeting.

At the last meeting, the room was packed with recreational vehicle owners.

From the number of snowmobilers, one might conclude that they are well organized.  Boaters were well represented as well.

There was more testimony from RV and boat owners, but what caught people’s attention most was the talk about sex-oriented establishments.

The language was included in the ordinance to make sure that those wanting to open such adult establishments would have to go through the zoning ordinance. Here’s how it begins:

ADULT USE. A BUSINESS having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade or business activity in a USE including, but not limited to, ADULT ARCADES, ADULT BOOKSTORES OR ADULT VIDEO STORES, ADULTCABARETS, ADULTENTERTAINMENTCENTERS, ADULT HOTELS/MOTELS, ADULT MASSAGE PARLORS, ADULT MOTION PICTURE THEATERS and ADULT MINI-MOTION PICTURE THEATERS, ADULT NIGHTCLUBS, ESCORT AGENCIES, NUDE MODELING STUDIOS, RAP PARLORS, ADULT SAUNAS and SEXUAL ENCOUNTER CENTERS where explicit SEXUAL CONDUCT is depicted and/or SEXUAL ACTIVITY is explicitly or implicitly encouraged or tolerated. ADULT USE includes the following definitions:

The document then provides four pages of explicit definitions of the above categories.

Testifying were three women from the Human Trafficking Freedom Coalition of Northern Illinois. They emphasized the human suffering involved in human trafficking and pointed to deficiencies in the UDO, including lack of background checks and lack of video surveillance.

Suggestions offered follow:

Human Trafficking ord 1Human Trafficking ord 2County Administrator Peter Austin suggested that perhaps the subject should be addressed in a separate ordinance.

Susan Whitfield has this to say, “I request that the County Board vote to delay final approval of the UDO. I and others are in the process of finding ‘best practices in zoning and regulation that minimize the unique challenges of human trafficking.”

Paul Dreiski, elected Orchard Beach Road Commissioner, said, “We strongly agree with the vision statement that John Hammerand posted online:

‘Our lifestyle is worth protecting. We Need YOUR Support to Continue our Fight to Cut Bureaucracy and Waste while Protecting the Quality of life in McHenry County”

“We at Orchard Beach Subdivision are proud to be part of McHenry County,” he continued.

“We want the subdivision to be exempted from 16.11.A Storage of commercials vehicle for residential users and 16.11.B Storage of Recreational vehicles for Residential users, because our Roads are private non-dedicated roads that we maintain.”

The human trafficking topic was featured at the February breakfast of Patriots United and a task force has been meeting since then.

Steven Getty Joins State’s Attorney’s Office

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

STEVEN W. GETTY JOINS THE MCHENRY COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE IN THE CRIMINAL DIVISION

Louis A. Bianchi, McHenry County State’s Attorney, is pleased to announce that Steven W. Getty has joined the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Criminal Division effective September 2, 2014.

Steven’s commitment to public service began while most recently employed as an Assistant State’s Attorney for the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office in its criminal division.

Steven received his Juris Doctor in May, 2011, from the Thomas Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

While in law school, Steven was a semi-finalist in the Moot Court Competition.

He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Western Illinois University in Macomb.

What to Expect at County Transporation Committee Meeting Wednesday Morning

The McHenry County Transportation Committee will meet at 8:15 AM in the Board’s room in the Administrative Building in Woodstock.

According to The First Electric Newspaper, there was a secret slide presentation to a group of “stakeholders” last Thursday. Algonquin Village President John Schmitt told FEN that the same slides would be unveiled to the public at Wednesday’s meeting.

You can read about the two alternatives being presented here. Enough hints were sprinkled in and outside the last Transportation Committee meeting to make that conclusion.

So, why the big meeting room?

Huntley Toll Tax Hike Hearing

The Huntley Toll Tax Hike hearing was crowded with union members and highway contractors.

I think the answer can be found at the Huntley hearing on Governor Pat Quinn’s proposal to raise tolls 88%.

In an attempt to show public support for the massive tax hike, union officials, members and highway contractors pretty much filled the Huntley Village Board meeting room.

Expect the same tomorrow as those with large direct financial interest outnumber taxpayers with small financial interests.

Jim Oberweis Coming to CL on Wed. Night

Algonquin Township Republicans will be hosting Jim Oberweis at Republican Headquarters in the Crystal Lake Plaza at 6:30 on Wednesday, September 3rd.
Alg Twp GOP invite 93-14
One can tell that Oberweis has a chance because opponent Dick Durbin came to Crystal Lake for a photo op last Friday.

In addition, DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan, who almost carried McHenry County for the Republican nomination for State Comptroller against State Rep.Tom Cross, will offer advice on how to work a precinct.

Reick Seeks Debates with Franks

A press release from State Rep. candidate Steve Reick:

Steve Reick Proposes Series of Legislative Debates

Republican candidate wants to discuss pensions, taxes and jobs

Franks left profile close-up MCC

Jack Franks

Steve Reick, the Republican candidate for the Illinois General Assembly for the 63rd District has challenged incumbent Democrat Jack Franks to a series of 3 debates focusing on the most pressing issues facing voters in November.

“This election is entirely about the state of our economy and what needs to be done to bring jobs and prosperity back to the people of Illinois,” said Reick. “I’m proposing a series of conversations with the voters about how we can put Illinois back onto the path of recovery.”

Reick has proposed a series of 3 debates.

Steven Reick

Steve Reick

The first would focus entirely on the pension crisis and tax reform, the second would discuss Medicaid, education and jobs, while the third would be a “town hall” style meeting where the candidates would take questions from voters.

“My opponent has been in Springfield for 8 terms, and in that time, Illinois’ economy has gotten nothing but worse.

“He needs to answer hard questions as to why this happened under his watch and why he thinks being elected to another term will give us a different result.”

What Tax Districts Are Doing What to You This Year

Taxpayer being wrung out dolloars falling

McHenry County is in the top thirty counties in the United States when one compares property taxes to family income.

With tax bills due Thursday, September 4th, I thought readers might be interesting in comparing what tax districts billed last year, compared to this year.

Here is an article summarizing what various types of tax districts did.

Below are links to comparisons for various types of local governments in McHenry County.

  • Schools, junior colleges, McHenry County and the Conservation District are here.
  • Find a comparison of this year’s and last year’s municipal tax takes (Crystal Lake has the highest increase) here.
  • A township government tax comparison is here.
  • Fire Protection Districts are here.
  • You can compare this year’s park district tax takes with last year’s here.
  • The same comparison can be found for townships here.

A comparison of how we fare compared to other northern Illinois counties can be found here.

Wonder Laker Takes Exception to County Board’s Zoning re Boat Storage

WL 2 boats

A Wonder Lake home with two boats. This one had a car with a College Democrats bumper sticker a couple of years ago.

This popped in a comment to one of the articles on the restrictions included in one of the previous articles about restrictions proposed in the County’s Unified Development Ordinance:

Why would the county decide what you can and can’t have in your yard.

I live in Wonder Lake and for the last thirteen years we have own a boat and yes we park it in our driveway.

It doesn’t hurt anyone!

So why is the county now saying it’s bad, they don’t even know us.

I can easily have four cars in my driveway but instead I have a boat and three cars all with current plates and all maintain!

I don’t know how you expect people to now pay for storage fees, between higher gas prices and people losing jobs, their homes and everything else continuing to go up.

WL 2 boats 2

Another Wonder Lake home with two boats.

People are trying to find someway to still get some relax time for themselves and their families and now you want to take that away too!

If someone has an issue with a neighbor talk to them.

What we don’t need is the county getting into our business and telling us what to do.

Purchased my home thirteen years ago because we liked the idea of a lake right near us and we are boat people who enjoy the water.

Who are you to take that away?

Quinn Campaign Manager Emails

I get emails from Bruce Rauner all the time.  Today I received one from Nellie Sires, Pat Quinn’s campaign manager:

I want to take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Nellie, and I’m the Quinn campaign field director.

What’s that mean, exactly? It means that I get to help build the biggest, baddest team of organizers and volunteers Illinois has ever seen.

We’re already making an impact all over the state: organizing trainings, registering voters, and recruiting volunteers.

But most importantly, we’re building a team — and we want you on it.

Add your name if you want to be part of the team that’s fighting to keep Illinois blue.

I won’t lie — this is going to be the fight of our lives. But it’s also going to be fun. This is a chance to be part of something important.

I’ve called Illinois my home for over ten years, and I couldn’t imagine sitting on the sidelines and letting a Republican billionaire undo all the progress we’ve made.

Just over one year ago, I was working around the clock with an incredible group of people to pass marriage equality here in Illinois. Governor Quinn was right there with us, leading the way to make sure it got done.

I can’t tell you how proud I am to work for a governor who is willing to stand up and fight for all of us.

Now it’s time to fight for him, and for the things we all believe in. Add your name if you’re ready to be part of that fight:

https://www.quinnforillinois.com/join-team-quinn

This is shaping up to be one of the closest elections in the history of our state, and that’s why having folks like you on board is so important.

Thanks, and hope to see you out there soon.

Nellie

Nellie Sires
Field Director
Quinn for Illinois