McHenry County Finance Committee Discusses Globetrotters Electronic Corp. for Fiber Optic Project

The McHenry County Finance Committee discussed a plan to bring a fiber optic trunk line to the Government Center Tuesday.

The favored vendor was Globetrotters Electronic Corp.

I thought the name rang a bell in connection with Rod Blagojevich, so off to Google search I went.

Here’s where you can find what I found when I typed in “Blagojevich, Globetrotters.”

McHenry County Tax Take Up by 1.5% or $12 Million

Even those with paid mortgages continue to have to pay to live in their homes.

Even those with paid mortgages continue to have to pay to live in their homes.

Last year McHenry County real estate taxpayers were billed $797,419,250.88.

This year the McHenry County Clerk’s Office has determined that bills amounting to $809,385,180.76 will be issued.

That’s a dollar increase of $11,965,930, a percentage increase of 1.5%.

The Property Tax Cap allows local governments to obtain 1.5%, plus new buildings.

The assessed valuation is $7,886,571,742. (That’s $7.9 billion.)

Some tax districts held their tax requests relatively constant.

McHenry County government and McHenry County College, for instance.

Others took as much as they could get.

Glenda Miller, the Chief Deputy McHenry County Treasurer reports that the bills will be mailed on May 2nd. The first installment will be due June 4th and the second September 4th.

Below is a table showing what was requested last year (called the “extension”) for countywide governments, junior colleges and school districts, plus what will be requested of taxpayers this year.  (Remember that the property tax cycle is always on year behind, so the 2012 extension was collected in 2013 and the 2013 extension will be collected this year.)

Tax District 2012 Extension 2013 Extension % Change
McHenry County $78,535,191 $78,627,451 100.12%
McHenry County Conservation District $19,565,165 $19,713,015 100.76%
Elgin Community College $4,368,547 $3,984,898 91.22% McH Co only
McHenry County College $26,917,740 $26,922,036 100.02%
Grade School Districts
Nippersink (Richmond-Spring Grove) Grade School Dist 2 $10,779,926 $12,101,943 112.26%
Fox River Grove Grade School Dist 3 $5,552,780 $5,551,436 99.98%
McHenry Grade School Dist 15 $46,121,592 $47,596,924 103.20%
Riley Grade School Dist 18 $3,672,942 $3,747,447 102.03%
Cary Grade School Dist 26 $21,997,245 $22,505,622 102.31%
Harrison (Wonder Lake) Grade School Dist 36 $4,411,171 $4,489,751 101.78%
Prairie Grove Grade School Dist 46 $9,966,783.00 $9,934,965.00 99.68%
Crystal Lake Grade School Dist 47 $69,275,174 $70,715,547 102.08%
High School Districts
Marengo-Union Grade School Dist 165 $6,593,399 $6,705,516 101.70%
Marengo High School Dist 154 $9,535,261 $9,775,357 102.52%
Crystal Lake High School Dist 155 $70,415,851 $71,672,171 101.78%
McHenry High School Dist 156 $25,581,470 $25,385,979 99.24%
Richmond-Burton High School Dist 157 $10,375,229 $10,678,728 102.93%
Unit School Districts
Johnsburg Unit School Dist 12 $19,949,096 $20,707,035 103.80%
Alden-Hebron Unit School Dist 19 $4,246,359 $4,056,732 95.53%
Harvard Unit School Dist 50 $13,729,426 $14,116,821 102.82%
Wauconda Unit School Dist 118 $6,649,265 $6,723,377 101.11% McH Co only
Huntley Unit School Dist 158 $49,948,610 $51,621,632 103.35% McH Co only
Woodstock Unit School Dist 200 $58,177,080 $58,706,774 100.91%
Barrington Unit School Dist 220 $4,868,733 $4,238,905 87.06% McH Co only
Carpentersville Unit School Dist 300 $47,967,724 $49,090,325 102.34% McH Co only

CL Police to Carry Antidote to Heroin Overdose

A press release from the Crystal Lake Police Department:

Crystal Lake Police Issue Officers Narcan to Combat Opiate Overdoses

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Chief James Black has announced that Crystal Lake Police Officers will now be equipped with nasal Naloxone or Narcan as it is commonly referred.

Narcan is a non-addictive drug that can potentially reverse a fatal opioid overdose.

The Crystal Lake Police Department has been approved by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse to administer nasal Narcan and has modeled its program after the DuPage County Narcan program.

The Crystal Lake Police Department is still committed to arresting narcotics offenders and traffickers and will make every attempt to eradicate illegal drugs from the community.

Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in the county over the last several years of heroin related incidents and deaths.

Our job in public safety is to save lives; by equipping the officers with nasal Narcan, we have given them another tool to do just that.

The Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department, Mathers Clinic, and Wake the Nation were instrumental in assisting us with implementing this program.

Crystal Lake Police Officers are in the process of completing their in-service training to administer nasal Narcan and will begin carrying the drug with them on patrol within the next two weeks.

First Day of Zinke Recount Slow

Before the recount began McHenry County Clerk explained the process.

Before the recount began McHenry County Clerk explained the process.

I monitored early voting results for most of Riley Township this morning.

As one observers observed, it was like watching paint dry.

The explanation by Kathie Schultz continued.

The explanation by Kathie Schultz continued.

Most voted early at the Marengo early voting site.

But some voted in Woodstock. To find them, every roll of results had to be viewed.

schultz downstairsThere was one Riley Township resident who voted in Crystal Lake. To find that one vote, every vote on six or seven rolls had to be examined.

It was slow going.

Recount looking for RileyAnd there were other voting sites whose tapes had to be examined after I left at noon.

McHenry and Lake in the Hills were among them.

I figure the early voting part of the recount will take many days.

Here are the tapes that were searched for Riley Township residents' early votes during the first morning of the recount.

Here are the tapes that were searched for Riley Township residents’ early votes during the first morning of the recount.

I also watched as ballots were run through the optical scanning tabulating machine.

The sensors were picking up not only the solid black marks, but check marks and X’s.

I saw a couple of ballots with nothing but a vote for Kirk Dillard for Governor and guessed they were from teachers or other union members.

Chief Deputy Clerk Vern Peacock

Chief Deputy Clerk Vern Paddock checked out the optical scanning counting machine.

Andrew Zinke had one attorney from the Gummerson law firm in attendance for part of the morning, plus Chicago political operative Rudi Patitucci of Deep Blue Strategies, a firm that touts victories of Democrats, toward the end of the morning.

Since the Zinke campaign showed virtually no interest in this part of the recount, one might conclude that they will base any chances of a turnaround on comparing signatures of those who voted in the fifty-three selected precincts with those who cast votes. The Chicago firm says it has experience in petition challenges and that is basically a signature check operation.

MCC Contract Salary Information

Below I have tried to extract the most relevant parts concerning compensation in the McHenry County College faculty union contract:Contract salary 35Contract salary 36Contract salary 37Contract salary 38Contract salary 39Contract salary 40Contract salary 41Contract salary 47Contract salary 47Contract salary 58 matrix
The Board of Trustees meets at 6:30 Thursday night at the Crystal Lake campus.

MCC Contract Finally Posted

The McHenry County College faculty union contract starts on page 148 of the Thursday Board meeting packet.

The McHenry County College faculty union contract starts on page 148 of the Thursday Board meeting packet.

The heat must have gotten too hot the secrecy squad in Vicky Smith’s McHenry County College kitchen, because the faculty union contract has finally been posted in the board packet.

You can find it starting on page 148.

That’s a reversal of the email I received yesterday:

“No- the Board votes on it this Thursday, after which point the contract when approved will be posted.”

I have reproduced the table of contents below. Just add the number to 148 and you’ll be close.

Contract table of contents 1Contract table of contents 2Contract table of contents 3Contract table of contents 4“No- the Board votes on it this Thursday, after which point the contract when approved will be posted.”

The Board of Trustees meets at 6:30 Thursday night at the Crystal Lake campus.

Smaller Townships Have GOP Meeting April 28th

The following meeting notice for what has been named the “Under Ten” Republican organization has been sent to the GOP Precinct Committee elected in last month’s Primary Election:

The meeting notice sent by Republican Precinct Committeeman Mike McCleary.

The meeting notice sent by Republican Precinct Committeeman Mike McCleary.

Precinct Committee besides McCleary calling the special meeting are

  • Joe Razino – Marengo 1
  • William Matteson – Chemung 2
  • Diane Evertsen – Hartlant 1
  • Rachel Smith – Greenwood 5
  • Mark Shepherd – Hebron 1
  • Scott Erickson – Richmond 1
  • Matt Meyer – Richmond 2
  • Lori White – Burton 3

Democrats Elect Central Committee Officers

McHenry County Democratic Party Chairman Mike Bissett.

McHenry County Democratic Party Chairman Mike Bissett.

Couldn’t be two places at once last Wednesday night, so I asked the head of the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee if there were any changes in officers.

There were a couple of them, which you can see below:

  • Chair: Mike Bissett
  • Vice Chair: Kristina Zahorik (formerly Sam Melei)
  • Treasurer: Mary Mahady (formerly Eric Silber)
  • Secretary: Judy Vandenboom
I also asked if candidates had been given permission to petition for any county offices.  From the following answer, there were:
There will be some announcements on slated candidates soon.

Ticket Quotas Target of Bill Duffy Co-Sponsored

A press release from State Senator Dan Duffy:

Ticket Quota Bill Passes Illinois Senate

A bill co-sponsored by State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) that prohibits counties, municipalities, and state police from implementing ticket quotas overwhelmingly passed in the Illinois Senate and now moves over to the House for consideration.

“Police officers were not intended to be tax collectors focused on generating revenue,” said Duffy.

“Making sure that law enforcement officers don’t have to worry about meeting ticket quotas allows them to focus on serving and protecting Illinois’ communities.”

The bill was one of more than 100 pieces of legislation approved by the Senate last week.

Governor Quinn’s Continues to Break Promises

According to State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) Illinois Governor Pat Quinn continues to break his promises to taxpayers.

“Governor Quinn promised three years ago that the Democrats 67% tax hike, the largest in state history, would be ‘temporary’ and now the governor wants to make that tax hike permanent.”

In the three years since the tax hike went into effect, Duffy has continuously informed constituents that the governor and his allies increased state spending on wasteful programs and corrupt appointments for political allies.

He noted they repeatedly ignored warnings from financial experts that significant spending cuts were needed to assure the 67% tax hike would be temporary.

Dan Duffy

Dan Duffy

“We’ve warned all along that there is no such thing as a ‘temporary’ tax increase,” said Duffy.

“This was always going to be permanent.

“The people of Illinois have been sold a false bill of goods.”

When the tax hike was implemented, the Governor and legislative Democrats promised it would:

  • Pay off old bills– it didn’t;
  • Generate jobs— it hasn’t;
  • Improve Illinois’ credit rating—it didn’t.

In fact, the bill backlog has increased and Illinois lags far behind its neighbors in economic growth. Of note:

  • Illinois has a bill backlog exceeding $6 billion—despite 2011 assurances by Democrats the tax increase would be used to pay down that backlog and get the state’s fiscal house in order.
  • Illinois has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation—higher than any neighboring state.
  • Illinois has the worst credit rating in the nation—the state has received 13 credit downgrades during Quinn’s tenure, more than all other Illinois Governors combined.

Senator Duffy is fighting for you in Springfield!

Your feedback is very important. Please email your thoughts, opinions and comments to or join him on Facebook by clicking “like” at

D47 Teacher Contract Approved; Objection to Retirement Incentive

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47′s Board approved the new teachers’ contract by a 7-0 vote, but not before Nancy Gonsiorek expressed displeasure with pre-retirement incentives.

They’re “really hard to swallow,” she said.

“When we give big raises to teachers [at the end of their career], it drives up the cost of those pensions.”

The CPA pointed out that for every 5 1/2 teachers who retire from District 47, the pensions cost state taxpayers “a million dollars.”

While, currently, the state picks up the bill, Democratic Party House Speaker Mike Madigan wants to transfer the burden to local property taxpayers.

“It may be different buckets the money is coming out of, but it’s still coming out of the pockets of the taxpayers.”

Before offering her objection, Gonsiorek pointed out that District 47 “is more fiscally responsible that most school districts in McHenry County.”

Ryan Farrell and Nancy Gonsiorek both objected to the retirement incentives in the contract.

Ryan Farrell and Nancy Gonsiorek both objected to the retirement incentives in the contract.

Echoing Gonsiorek’s comments was Board member Ryan Farrell.

He noted that the argued financial incentive for the District of hiring lower paid teachers to replace the retirees disappeared “if that incentive is exactly the same forever.”

Board President Jeff Mason explained that the contract “conversations were very worthwhile, reasonable.”

The contract, he said, “recognize the value the teachers bring to the community.”

He praised the teachers’ negotiators for keeping their “eyes on the classroom.”

Crystal Lake Grade School District teachers applauded the board's ratification of the contract.

Crystal Lake Grade School District teachers applauded the board’s ratification of the contract.

Details of the contract can be found here.

The Board also ratified a contract with para-professionals.

= = = = =
I praised the board for releasing the contract prior to voting upon it, explaining that it was only the second local school board I knew of that had done so. (The other was the Huntley School District while Larry Snow was on its board.)

I compared District 47′s transparency with the total lack thereof by McHenry County College, whose board is expected to approve the still secret contract Thursday night.