Jack Franks Threatens Effective County Board Opponent, Chuck Wheeler – Part 2

Ah, Executive Sessions.

Those secret meetings that make elected officials think they are more important than their constituents.

Boards can go behind closed doors for all sorts of reasons, but, in most cases, they don’t have to.

Consider discussion of court cases.

The last Algonquin Township Board did not kick the public out when it discussed the tax protest suit that was filed against it and the Road District.

Let’s look at the County Board Rule cited by attorney Franks that County Board members can’t talk about what goes on in Executive Session.

Regardless of what the Rule says, there is no law saying that people can’t reveal what is discussed in a secret meeting of a governmental body.

Crystal Lake Park Board member Leona Nelson was charged with that in a civil suit and, lo and behold, the park district attorney dropped that count from the suit.

The only thing keeping public officials from revealing something said in an Executive Session is peer pressure.

No Board Rule can do that.

Note that Franks cites no sanction for violating the Rule in County Board Rules or in state law.

Then there is the question of who informed Franks that Wheeler was in the 708 Mental Health Board meeting.

If is were Yensen, did she break the County Board Rule that Franks says that Chuck Wheeler broke by telling what happened during the top secret, hush, hush meeting?

And, by the way, did Wheeler tell anyone what happened at the meeting in question?

Franks cited no evidence of that.

Then there is the question of what motivated Democrat Franks’ attack on Republican Wheeler?

Wheeler’s attendance in an Executive Session of the Mental Health Board is not the only example of a County Board member who was not an official “liaison” to a subsidiary board who has been allowed to sit in on an Executive Session.

Will Franks write similar letters to those other County Board members threatening them with criminal prosecution?

He does favor equal protection under the law, doesn’t he?

Well, maybe not.

Franks sought special consideration of the hiring of his two patronage workers.

If he made an attempt to follow the County Board Rules, it is not evident.

Consider what Wheeler has done to irritate Franks.

He led the fight to prevent Franks’ appointing–Paula Yensen (the only Democrat; what a coincidence)–from being Chairman of the Board’s Public Health Committee.

Then, his fellow Republicans had the audacity to select Wheeler as Chairman of that same committee (to which the McHenry County Mental Health Board reports).

Jack Franks patronage worker wore Franks campaign stickers at the McHenry Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.  Chuck Wheeler took this photograph.

Next, Franks was not able to obtain the Chairmanship of the Human Relations Committee for Yensen.  

Wheeler was one of those opposing putting a minority party member in charge of majority party members.

Wheeler blew the whistle on Franks’ patronage worker Oliver Serafini (official title–“Communications Specialist”) when he wore Jack Franks’ campaign stickers at the McHenry Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

And Franks probably thinks Wheeler had something to do with State Rep. Steve Reick’s withdrawal as a County Board liaison.

Or could it be that Democrats just don’t like conservative blacks to hold public office?

After all, Democrats are the self-proclaimed “protectors” of people of color.

That reminds me of how Democrats attacked Chinese-American Perry Moy when he ran for re-election in 2006 after challenging Franks for State Representative.

My article was entitled,

Racist Bashing of Perry Moy

Dare to challenge Jack Franks and expect retribution.

(Franks does like to demonize those who oppose him. I’m told he said I was anti-Semitic during his County Board interview at the Northwest Herald.  Hard to know why my name came up.  And, Franks apparently does not know that my daughter is Jewish.)

In short, Wheeler is not one of the Republicans who will roll over and play dead.

Barrington Hills Homeowner Cites Septic Problem from Summer Flooding

This is from Pauline Boyle, a resident of Barrington Hills:

Flooding and Contamination of my property (315 Ridge) on the north end.

As unbelievable as it seems I flood on both the north and south ends of my property and both issues can be attributed to Village of Barrington Hills refusing to follow and enforce there own codes.

Toilet paper flowing.

I am alleging this is done intentionally by past and present administration.

Above link is a video of the man-made trench dug from St. Marks Church to the neighboring property (335 Ridge Road) and the pond located there.

I will provide aerial photos that also indicate another property at 344 Ridge Road (directly east of St. Marks) has also dug a trench that directs stormwater into the pond at 335 Ridge Road.

Aerial photo of the property depicts trenching (left side) to pond.

This additional stormwater then contributes greatly to the overflow of the pond at 335 – which then backs up onto my property.

St Marks church should not have a special use permit legally since according to village code – they must first have 5 acres of land.

Per Lake County – St Marks Church sits on 4.78 acres.

This is important because they are allowed to continue to operate a school and church in violation of codes.

The FAR (floor area ratio) is over what is allowed by code.

The existence of a rectory, church and school on this land as well as the large amount of parking lot (non permeable surface) is the largest contributing factor dealing with nearby drainage issues.

Fecal matter in water.

Village committee members and trustees as well as elected official refuse to accurately address this issue.

Lake County maps also indicate at one time there was a ‘waterbody’ on that parcel.

Obviously it has been filled in adding to the problem.

St Marks has – or should have – two separate septic systems – one for the church/school and one for the rectory.

These septic systems are inadequate and illegal in that maintenance is an issue for the congregation – the source of the high fecal count in the standing water on my property.

Lab report on fecal coliform content and toliet paper residue.

I will attach the findings to this email as well – at 200 beaches are closed.

Results are as high as 9700.

Contrary to what the village tries to state – geese and ducks cannot create that high a count.

I will also include a photo of the residue after the water resided – it was toilet paper.

These issues and others are the source of the flooding and contamination of my property.

Mrs. Boyle also provides the following additional information:

Barrington Hills, Il – Lake County, but as you will see McHenry County is involved.

I am a GOLD STAR widow my husband being killed in Kandahar Afghanistan June 19, 2012.  While Tom was technically a civilian military contractor – the military views his death as service related.

My property is located at the corner of Ridge Road and Merri Oaks Road.  Half of Ridge Road is in Lake County and the other half is in McHenry County.

Presently, our property floods with contaminated water on both the north and south ends.

This property floods via man-made issues which I am alleging are sanctioned/constructed by the Village of Barrington Hills – the result of a public works project on the south end and refusal to enforce village codes on the north end.

At one time the property at 374 Ridge Road in McHenry County was pumping their stormwater under Ridge Road which added greatly to the flooding and contamination I was experiencing  – to my knowledge this may have been resolved but their pump is still visible from Ridge Road.

Important in that this village has often redirected stormwater in violation of Illinois Drainage law and from one watershed to another, from one county to another – all without public meeting and required permits and mostly to benefit benefactors and supporters of village elected officials.

The south end flooding

The water is intentionally redirected via piping and a $150,000 public works project that pipes contaminated stormwater from 45 Ridge Road – under Ridge Road east and running parallel to my property on Merri Oaks.

The piping along Merri Oaks road is directly across from my property and divided by the road itself.

This piping is set above grade and is perforated – which means it directs the stormwater from 45 Ridge Road and overflows onto my property, as it ends in a ‘dead manhole’ exactly ending where my property line ends.

When I complained to Lake County – it seems that this piping was closed off or disconnected as I do not flood because of this public works project – but please remember that over $150,00 of tax money was spent to do this.

45 Ridge Road has a series of catch basins running along Ridge Road which collect and stormwater and septic runoff.

This water collects at the SW corner of Ridge Road and Merri Oaks Road, often overflowing onto my property during rain events.

This water presently crossed Ridge Road from McHenry County to Lake County.

Once again a different watershed.

Attached is video that was posted on The Rebranding Barrington Hills Facebook page – since the village is responsible for that portion of my land flooding I titled this – Government Sponsored Vandalism.

The company who did this construction is called Copenhaver.


Recording of storm water catch basin overflow at 45 Ridge Road – water then flows onto my property on the south end where it previously did not collect.

A phenomena that developed after the catch basins were installed.

Water directed from one watershed to another watershed.

From McHenry county to Lake county.

Both in violation of EPA standards and Illinois Drainage Law.

From there it is directed onto my land [from a friend of village official]. No favoritism going on here. (Sarcasm)

Catch basins are useless.

When they are needed most they fail.

She questions the judgment of the village engineer and continues,

The numerous other road closures in our village confirm this.

Why do we not have a comprehensive drainage program in place?

Heck we could hire a knowledgeable farmer to initiate one. And save HUNDREDS of thousands of taxpayer money.

Let us not forget that the $150,000+ public works project was closed off because of my complaint.

BUT they still used $150,000 of taxpayer money to construct it.

At the November 14th Board of Health meeting, Pauline Boyle reports the following happened:

At the Board of Health meeting of Barrington Hills, the board voted that it was their opinion that St Marks church/school/rectory septic systems were not leaking.

The septic dye test conducted by our Village engineer and not a licensed certified septic service is of concern to me and the reason for this email.

Frankly, I am not satisfied with the testing.

In the past 7 years, I can document three instances of septic failure on that same property.

These failures were never acknowledged nor identified by Village or county inspection/engineers.

It is my thought that the septic needs to be tested by an outside company as from past history I have learned that the village of Barrington Hills has been far from honest about this issue.

To their credit the BOH referred the illegal redirecting of water, permit violations and code violations to the village zoning board and building departments for further investigation and enforcement – this after years of complaining.

The arriows point to two trenches on two properties that redirect stormwater to the pond next door to me – 335 Ridge. The pond overflows then backs up onto my property flooding it. The ponding water has a high fecal count.

I have attached a video and aerial documenting the redirecting of stormwater for your review.

As you know Lake County refuses enforcement with Nerheim’s inspector telling me their office would defend Lake County Stormwater not prosecute them.

So my tax money is used for what?

As a side note the grounds keeper Rick Cavenaugh for St Marks after the meeting proceeded to call me a troublemaker and other names.

Can I have some resolution to this matter?

The Village attorney insists this is a private matter between residents.

I say if state, county and local codes were enforced this issue would not have continued to this extreme.

Jack Franks Threatens Effective County Board Opponent, Chuck Wheeler – Part 1

This is a repeat of an article I ran earlier, but the accompanying one running tomorrow is not.

= = = = =

You might guess that having spent most of my government service in the legislative branch that I identify with it most closely.

(Yes, I know I was in the Executive Branch when I worked in the Executive Office of the President’s Budget Bureau and as McHenry County Treasurer, but my heart is with the Legislative Branch.)

Most of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks’ experience has been in the Legislative Branch, too.

All of it was spent under the protection of House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Madigan provided the leadership example for Franks.

A recent example:

When State Rep. Scott Drury refused to vote for Madigan for House Speaker, Madigan took money away from him by not appointing him as a committee chairman.

Madigan’s not so subtle message:

“Do what I want or you’ll be punished.”

Chuck Wheeler expresses frustration at the restrictions imposed by the Federal government.

Now we have Franks threatening McHenry County Board member Chuck Wheeler with criminal prosecution.

That’s what came out at the Human Resources Committee meeting this morning (1:28 minutes into the meeting; listen here) when Mike Walkup revealed he had found a letter from Franks to Wheeler in his Administrative Building mailbox.

In his “Dear Mr. Wheeler” letter, dated Monday, April 3, 2017, and addressed to his home, Franks writes,

I have been informed that you refused to vacate the meeting room during closed executive session on March 28, 2017 at the McHenry County Mental Health Board regular meeting.

As you know, Dr. Paula Yensen, the duly appointed liaison, was present to represent the County Board.

Jack Franks

You did not have actual or implied authority to represent the County Board or government at that meeting.

As such, your attendance was solely as a private citizen.

For you to make representations to members of the Mental Health Board that you were entitled to appear in a closed executive session because of your position as an elected official, despite clear legal restrictions proscribing your presence is inexcusable.

Nonetheless, you improperly and illegally attended a closed session where sensitive personnel matters were discussed.

Article 4, Section 1, Rule 1.5 of the McHenry County Board Rules state that “d]iscussions held in executive session are considered privileged and confidential.  Not County Board member shall breach the confidentiality of privileged information.”

As a result of your actions, the attorney/client privilege has now been compromised and the individuals who were discussed at the meeting may now be entitled to all  information discussed.

Pursuant to 5ILCS 120/3, you have now subjected both yourself and the County to potential civil action.

Please also be award that 5 ILCS 120/4 provides for violations of this kind to be prosecuted as a Class C Misdemeanor with a punishment of up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500.00 fine.

It will be up to the State’s Attorney or a special prosecutor to determine whether you should be prosecuted for your conduct.

Please be award that should you be sued civilly, it would be improper for the State’s Attorney to defend you, as you acted solely as a private citizen and not as a member of the County Board.

Please be advised that further actions may be taken.

Should you wish to discuss this matter, please contact me.

Very truly yours,

Jack D. Franks
McHenry County Board

cc:  McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Members of the County Board.

Encouragement To Attend District 155 Tax Hike Meeting Tonight

From a Friend of McHenry County Blog:

Hey Everyone,

I hope some of you can join John Peltz at this meeting tonight. [Board Policy Committee Meeting Agenda, November 14, 2017, 7:30 p.m., Center for Education, One South Virginia Road, Crystal Lake.]

(NOTE to John Pletz, thank you for all your awesome work!!).

Based on the agenda (as you all probably have figured out) I think the D155 Board wants to appease us, the taxpayer, by giving us an abatement of some, or all of the tax levy that they will vote on later in the month.

An abatement is sort of a phony way to deal with the tax increase, because an abatement permits the taxing body in question to RAISE the levy, but then not actually charge the taxpayer some or all of the increase for that year.

Now the following year the taxing body is positioned to raise the levy at the increased level from the last year.

Thus, the hit is far more substantial, and worse yet, they are positioned to continue their overcharging of the taxpayer at a time when taxpayers are furious and when enrollment has been steadily going down!

Your comments can help them to rethink their strategy and to let them know of your concerns as well.

Rosemary Kurtz and Jason Blake are the two board members who stated they will NOT vote for the levy increase. So we only need 2 more votes to vote down the levy increase.

Here are some facts to quote or may help you illustrate concerns you have:

1) Since the height of enrollment in D155 in 2009 when enrollment was at 6,988, enrollment has DECLINED to 6,516 in 2016 (see p. 109 in CAFR – which is attached). A total of 472 students, or approx. 7% fewer students now attend as of 2016. 2017 was projected to be even fewer numbers of students that are currently attending. (see the data on Historical and Projected enrollment, p. vi).

2) While enrollment has gone down, during the same period, employment has increased.

# of Administrators: 2009 = 28 / 2016 = 56 – 100% increase

Total # of Employees: 2009 = 668 / 2016 = 737 – Approx. 10%
(p. 107 of CAFR)

3) Amount of Days of Cash on Hand (Most School Districts have a policy stating 90 to 120 days of Cash on Hand is sufficient, i.e. District 47 and District 300) versus D155 which has 359 days of cash on hand! (p. 108 in the CAFR).

Editorial comment: Having this much cash on hand amounts to overcharging the taxpayer by taking more money than necessary and keeping it in the bank.

The responsible approach is to spend this reserve down to the 90 -120 days.

The CAFR is the Comprehensive Accounting and Financial Report, 2016.

It is a required report for all Illinois units of government and is extremely interesting.

Lots of good stuff to learn about. I have attached a copy.

Wells Clean in Lakewood

A flooded yard on western Broadway.

Contamination by flood water of some shallow wells in Lakewood had disappeared.

That’s what a phone call from the McHenry County Health Department revealed to Lakewood Village Clerk Janice Hansen a week or so ago.

Lakewood residents on the East Side do not have village water.

Each home has its own well.

Water can be reached at the 20-22 foot level.

Some of these wells became contaminated with e. coli during the summer floods.

Other wells tapping into water from Wisconsin as ours, which is 189 feet deep, had no problem.

Crystal Lake Council Tax Hkes Far Exceed Increase in the Cost of Living

Take a look at how much Mayor Aaron Shepley and the Crystal Lake City Council has levied in taxes beyond the increase in the Cost of Living:

Crystal Lake Property and Home Rule Sales Taxes for the last decade.

Real estate taxes have increased more than $3 million more than they would of had the City Council merely raised them to match inflation.

In addition, of course, are the dollars paid by shoppers from the Council’s 75% increase in the city sales tax.

Rick Ritchie Calls for Censure of Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka

This didn’t come until the end of last week’s Lakewood Village Board meeting during Trustee comments.

Rick Ritchie read the following:

Village of Lakewood Trustee request for a Special Session

Concerns of suppression of members of the board by President Paul Serwatka

It is with a great deal of disappointment and concern that I am reading this statement to the board and residents concerning President Paul Serwatka.

Paul Serwatka

During the campaign, the message that was shared with the Tax Fighter team, written in Paul Serwatka’s newsletter and Paul’s Tax Fighter website stated to those reading that this was an election to insure transparency and a board that came with their own mind and opinions to better the community.

Those words did resonate with all of us however, that message never became a reality and there is little to no input, by most board members, that is accepted by President Serwatka which cannot be in the best interest of Lakewood.

A request had been officially made during the report portion of the agenda during the Village of Lakewood board meeting on Oct 24th to add a line item on the agenda for the following meeting slated for Nov 14th to discuss and possibly censure President Paul Serwatka.

The President, when the request was made, can be heard on the audio recording saying “Okay”.

He did not object nor did he poll the other Trustees and ask for their input.

Although President Serwatka did not ask for anyone else’s input, he did state to the NW Herald (easily found on their online paper) that no other Trustee supported the request when it was made.

The actions taken since the election have continued to show President Serwatka attempting to control the board’s decision making and has spent little time managing the Village needs outside of the flood issues.

At that time, a suggestion was made on how to approach the mitigation of the flood and future concerns, this suggestion received no feedback or discussion and certainly is not the only input that received no consideration.

Similar to the vote that was thrust upon us after Shannon Andrews was fired with little to no discussion with most board members, the board was refused the opportunity to review ANY resumes’ or speak to any other candidates other than the one that President Serwatka determined was the correct talent for the position.

There is no justifiable reason for this and is a continuation of his efforts to stifle the board.

There had been requests by at least 3 Trustees to be a part of the screening process for the new administrative head of the Village but none were allowed.

This has become common place and for this reason, along with others that will be discussed when we have the chance to have our voices heard, I am calling for a Special Session to be held at 6:30PM prior to our next meeting on Nov 28th.

The law allows a board or council, when a President or Mayor refuses to allow items to be added to the Agenda, for a Special Session to be called with 3 Trustees voting in favor.

Lakewood Village Board.

In a Special Session, only the items that are on the agenda can be discussed and the agenda is controlled by the board, not the President.

There will be two items on the agenda for discussion and vote:

The first item is a simple discussion and vote for an ordinance to ensure that no sitting President can keep information from being shared with the community by refusing to allow Trustees the ability to have agenda items added.

If a Trustee asks for an item to be added and there are objections by any board member, it goes to a vote.

A majority vote would then determine whether the item has merit and if a majority vote is received, the item is included on the agenda as requested and the President cannot deny the request.

The second item is to discuss and possibly censure President Paul Serwatka.

Statements that were made by the President to the Herald why this has been brought up seemed to be an attempt to distract and mislead the residents.

The discussion at the next meeting will shed light on the validity of the censure grievances and why it is imperative that President Serwatka modifies behavior if we are to be productive for the Village.

Jason McMahon and Patrick Rexroat raise their hands after Rick Ritchie (center) asks who favored a special meeting.

At this time, I ask, by raising of your hand, if you agree that we should call a Special Session and that these two-line items be included in the agenda.

Carl Davis raises his hand as well. Amy Odom, attending the meeting by phone, indicated she also favored a special meeting.

This meeting IS open to the public and I encourage residence here tonight to attend and share with anyone you believe has the same concerns some members of this board have.

Advice to My Precinct Before the Spring Election

With the Crystal Lake High School majority about to do tomorrow what I predicted would happen if the teachers union-endorsed candidates won, I share my Algonquin 7 precinct letter about the District 155 part of that election:

Another election is fast approaching and, from a real estate tax viewpoint, it is the most important. You can vote early through the Monday before the April 4th election.

On the top of the list of significant elections is the Crystal Lake High School Board race. For the first time in my memory, people are running promising to cut District 155 taxes. D155 is second highest on our tax bills. And our tax bills are in the top 1% of counties throughout the United States.

A slate of four (the FINAL FOUR on the ballot) headed by McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz, John Pletz, Raphael Kamner and Scott Vetter are running against three candidates endorsed by the District 155 teacher union.

I don’t criticize the teachers for wanting friendly Board members. After all, who wouldn’t want friends on both sides of the union contract bargaining table. That is clearly in D155 high school teachers’ self-interest. Everyone acts to improve their financial condition. The average D155 salary last year was $87,363, according to the D155 2016 Educational Report Card, by the way.

Another source (Open the Books) reported 214 teachers and administrators earned over $100,000 in 2015.

The teachers’ union is supporting Ron Ludwig, Jason Blake and Nichole Pavoris.

The choice is clearly yours.

OK.  The election results did not go the way I wished and elections have consequences.

The consequence of the District 155 election is that our property taxes will be increased because those endorsed by the teachers union won.

I should note there is one anomaly.

Jason Blake, one of the those endorsed has signaled in a preliminary vote that he will oppose the real estate tax hike.

I would encourage those who think the District 155 Board should cut, rather than hike taxes to attend the Tuesday Board meeting at One South Virginia Road, Crystal Lake.  The meeting starts at 7:30.

Illinois Leaks Spreads McHenry County Board Message Favoring Veto of House Bill 171 Statewide

Illinois Leaks, a publication of the Edgar County Watchdogs, has really taken an interest in McHenry County.

First it was McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks and, next, former Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller.

After twenty of twenty-four members of the Board (all Republicans, but three, one of whom, Michele Aavang, was out of town, Micheal Skala refused, Bob Nowak did not sign) signed a letter urging Governor Bruce Rauner to veto House Bill 171.

Published with permission here is waht Illinois Leaks’ Jim Kraft wrote about the bill:

Overwheling Majority of McHenry County Board urge Gov Rauner to veto HB-171

McHenry Co., IL. (ECWd) –In a letter dated November 14, 2017, in which 20 of the 24 elected McHenry County Board Members signed, they urged Governor Rauner to veto HB171.McHenry County is essentially the only county in which this bill would apply.The letter stated “The bill appears to have been drafted with apparently one concern, removing the authority/minimizing the role of the McHenry County Board to set/assign committee assignments, and provide that power solely to the Chairman of the Board.”This bill would permit the McHenry County Chairman to establish committees, appoint members, and appoint the chair to those committees.

We agree: This is a bad bill and should be vetoed.

Read it below:

Letter from 20 of 24 McHenry County Board members asking Governor Bruce Rauner to veto House Bill 171.

If you would like to advise the Governor of your position, you can do so here:


Or, if it is more convenient, call 217-782-0244.

Lakewood President Paul Serwatka Reports on Latest Meeting

From Village of Lakewood President Paul Serwatka:

Friends and Neighbors,

Paul Serwatka

I am excited (and quite relieved) to announce that we have a new Captain at the helm of our village administration.

I hope you will all help to congratulate and welcome, Ms. Jeannine Smith!

On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, our village board voted 6-1 (although my vote really only counts when breaking a tie) to hire Ms. Smith as Lakewood’s Chief Administrative Officer.

The timing couldn’t have been better, with an ensuing, mandated December deadline for establishing Lakewood’s Annual Property Tax Levy, followed by the upcoming deadline for the 2018 budget.

Ms. Smith offered a somewhat atypical and intriguing combination of both public sector experience as well as private sector & entrepreneurial experience with particularly notable experience in what I feel are some critical elements that have been missing from our village administration.

A few noteworthy items are:

▪ 9-years as Administrative Officer – Village of Prairie Grove
▪ Notable work in Economic Development (A Huge Plus)
▪ Experienced in developing/implementing budgets, tax levies, etc.
▪ 5-years as Economic Development Officer – Village of West Dundee
▪ Former Secretary of McHenry County StormWater Commission
She is also currently earning her MPA (Masters in Public Administration)

Ms. Smith received high recommendations and regards from:

▪ Village President, Prairie Grove – David Roback
▪ Village President, West Dundee – Chris Nelson
▪ Local Municipal Leaders
▪ State Legislators
▪ Illinois Municipal League, Legislative Director – Joe McCoy
▪ Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Executive Director – David Bennet
▪ Village Engineering Firm Baxter & Woodman
Collectively, all spoke as to Ms. Smith’s professionalism, drive & leadership qualities, deeming her as “an opinion leader among her peers”, having “fortitude to get things accomplished”, “skills in creating & implementing budgets”, and “Out of the box thinking.”

Employment Terms and Salary

It is important to note that this was virtually a “No Risk” hire for our village as several protective measures have been afforded our village, in this employment contract.

Ms. Smith will serve as an “At-Will Employee” at an annual salary of $138,900. The initial contract runs through the end of our fiscal year, April 30 2018. On May 1, 2018, a new 12-month contract will go into effect, and will renew annually, unless terminated no less than 60 days prior by either party.

One month of severance pay will be earned per year of employment – only to be paid in the event that any annual contract is terminated prematurely – with a total severance not to exceed four months salary (after 4 years of employment). IMRF pension and typical benefits are included as with all other full-time village employees.

*Important to note – Municipal Administrator contracts customarily run for a 4-year term with immediately earned severance pay of six-months salary should the contract be terminated short of the four year term.

The Challenge We Faced

As I reported back in June, the newly elected Village Board recently made several changes to key ordinances that essentially restructured the village’s administration, including eliminating the position of Deputy Village Manager and merging both the Village Manager and Finance Director positions. This restructuring, if successful, would bring a quite substantial savings in administrative costs for our village – with no decreased services.

We knew going in, this was an altogether new and unorthodox approach and that this approach this would come with some challenges – none more challenging than finding a LEADER, capable of not only the multi-faceted skills of managing our village, but also the capability of handling village finances, creating & implementing budgets, levying property taxes, etc.

Another aspect in which I had strong feelings was finding someone with private sector experience, someone of a “reform” mindset, who was not, what I refer to as “indoctrinated into a typical municipal government mindset.”

In the public postings for this position, as well as the many conversations I had with prospective hires, we spoke of “a reform mindset”, we spoke of seeking to create efficiencies, of zero-based budgeting, of eliminating redundancies and waste, of outsourcing and privatizing, etc.

My hope was, and is, to never again hear the all too familiar statements: “it is what it is and add 3% on next year” or “we must ask for the maximum tax increase each year, or we lose that money forever.”

You may not be aware, but the above two statements are actually quite the norm in municipal government thinking – and I assure you this has absolutely been the incontrovertible dogma of Lakewood government for many, many years!

My goal remains to put an end to the “tax to the max” & spend & hoard way of thinking – and to begin to impose taxes only as necessary, leaving the “left-overs” in the resident’s pockets.

Fielding Candidates

As we began fielding resume/application packages, it became quite apparent that this would indeed be a challenge. After interviewing several candidates, over a period of several weeks, there were three candidates that I felt were truly qualified – with two, in particular, that I felt confident could lead our village according to the core principles, and in the direction, that I had promised and was elected to pursue.

At this point, my intention was to present these three candidates to the entire village board to begin the process of a full board resume-review, formal interview, Q&A and deliberation (as I believe is quite customary) so as to obtain the input, advice and consent of the board, as per village code, as we moved forward in choosing from among them.

In the following days, however, two of the candidates withdrew from consideration. Remaining, was Ms. Smith, who as it happens, was in my Top-2 of the candidates – particularly due to her notable experience in both Economic Development and the McHenry County StormWater Commission – both of which are quite critical to Lakewood.

With the December deadline of establishing our Annual Property Tax Levy, it was important that Ms. Smith’s hiring was deliberated upon by the board at the November 14th meeting.

In the week or so prior to, and in preparation of, this meeting, I selected four trustees to preview the resume/application package and to meet with Ms. Smith for individual “pre-interviews” before scheduling a formal presentation for a full board interview.

Trustees Phil Stephan and Carl Davis took this opportunity and met with Ms Smith. Trustees Pat Rexroat and Jason McMahon did not take the opportunity. Both trustees, Phil Stephan and Carl Davis felt confident Ms. Smith was quite qualified, capable and a good-fit for the job.

There are several trustees who would like to have been involved in varying degrees of the screening process itself. Some made clear they did not like that there was only one candidate to choose from. I, myself, wished there were more candidates to present.

I have absolutely no problem in discussing a formal, more inclusive, selection process for future hirings of our Chief Administrative Officer (though I certainly hope it never becomes an issue again). My intention was never to exclude anyone. Trustee Ric Ritchie did request to be a part of the screening process itself. He and others feel that all trustees should be given all resumes and have “equal say” in who is moved forward in the process.

Agree or disagree, I can not say that I am completely comfortable with this idea. There is certainly no requirement that trustees be part of the initial screening, nor do I believe it is customary that they be.

This is not to say that I am not open to the idea.

I am not necessarily opposed to the general scope of this idea. I do believe an organized, systematic and pre-conceived process could be implemented, with certain parameters set, that could make this a feasible approach. That said, I also believe quite strongly that any President/Mayor MUST have additional discretion in whom is to be selected to implement the policies set by the board and oversee the day to day administrative activities. And I must say, I believe this is particularly important for any President/Mayor who has promised, and was elected to pursue, the many bold commitments, that I have.

I simply can’t achieve “No More Business as Usual!” as I have been touting for the last 3 years, without having some additional discretion in who is put in control of implementing policy and running village operations.

Any leader who is to be held accountable as to their promises, must be afforded discretion in choosing the right “cabinet” of leaders necessary to fulfill them.

I am confident that future discussions will arrive at a consensus that all board members can feel good about. In the meantime, my hope is that we can all get behind, and show our support for, Jeannine moving forward, as we begin to tackle, perhaps, our two most important tasks, in establishing our annual property tax levy along with next years operating budget.

As always, your thoughts, questions and concerns are always welcome and always valued.

For a better Lakewood,

Paul D. Serwatka

Cook County Pop Tax Opponent Ridicule Column Shows Property Tax Discrimination Outside of Cook County

The Chicago Sun-Times ran an column by Dan Mihalopoulos earlier this month pretty much making fun of Republican Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison for leading the fight against the pop tax, but not paying his property taxes on time.

No reason was offered for the overdue real estate tax bill, but there was revealing information about its amount and what Morrison paid for his 3,300 square foot Palos Park home.

The price was $715,000 in 2008.

His unpaid tax bill is $5,403.11.

So that made the effective tax hike is 0.76%.

You can calculate your effective tax rate by dividing the value of your home into your tax bill.



Calls & Emails Still Needed Supporting Gubernatorial Veto of House Bill 171

House Bill 171, a bill designed by former State Rep. Jack Franks to give McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks more power over the McHenry County Board than Mike Madigan has over the Illinois House, has been opposed by pretty much every Republican active in McHenry County politics.

Now it comes to the attention of McHenry County Blog that a Friend of McHenry County Blog has designed something for Facebook, which you can see below:

If you would like to advise the Governor of your position, you can do so here:


Or, if it is more convenient, call 217-782-0244.

Andrew Gasser’s Answers to Bob Miller’s Questions – Part 5

Here is Andrew Gasser’s attorney Robert Hanlon’s answer to Bob Miller’s attorney Tom Gooch’s question as to why David Diamond, the Executive Director of the Illinois Railroad Museum and Riley Township Road Commissioner, should be deposed in the case:

Pot at Huntley High

Huntley High School

Among arrests made by the Huntley Police in the last two weeks was the following:

November 8, 2017

A 17 year old boy from Lake in the Hills was charged with possession of cannabis at
Huntley High School.

The boy was released to his father with a notice to appear in McHenry County court on November 27, 2017.

708 Mental Health Board Grants $10,072,506

From the McHenry County Mental Health Board about the $10,072,506 in grants for the coming year:

The McHenry County Mental Health Board (MHB) is a special purpose unit of government regulated through the Community Mental Health Act. The Community Mental Health Act authorizes the levy of an annual tax and empowers the MHB to administer the levy through the direction of a nine-member board of community representatives appointed by the County Board.

For CFY 18, $10,072,506.00 in local community mental health funds are allocated directly to 31 agencies in order to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for McHenry County residents living with mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disability related needs.

Twenty Second Judicial Circuit Court $194,460


The Twenty Second Judicial Circuit Special Courts Programs assist adults with mental illness, substance abuse/dependence, and co-occurring disorders who are involved in the criminal justice system.

  • Specialty Courts Programs services are provided with an interdisciplinary team approach including circuit judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, law enforcement officer, probation officers and treatment professionals. Services include comprehensive behavioral health and physical health assessments, service plan development, engagement and support, consultation and compliance monitoring.

Association for Individual Development (AID) $582,931


Association for Individual Development (AID) provides services to individuals who have developmental, physical and/or mental disabilities, those who have suffered a trauma, or those at risk.

  • Psychiatric and Tele-Health Services has expanded in McHenry County to include psychiatric nursing (two days a week to integrate primary and behavioral healthcare), transcription/scheduling (5 days a week to document nursing visits, coordinate client appointments and serve as a liaison for tele-health/psychiatry), on‐site and remote tele‐psychiatry (two days a week), and psychotropic medication services to McHenry County residents with mental/behavioral health challenges.

  • Behavioral Health Supported Living Services program offers intense, customized coordination services focused on homeless prevention, treatment, support and recovery; providing integrated primary and behavioral healthcare, psychiatric services, and permanent supportive housing services to at-risk McHenry residents with mental health and behavioral health challenges.

  • Law Enforcement Coordinator will provide care coordination services to McHenry County residents who are law enforcement identified individuals who are believed to be at risk for future police intervention and/or in need of behavioral health intervention.

  • Behavioral Health Bilingual and Outpatient Services case managers and therapists provide services designed to promote recovery and prevent psychiatric hospitalization, institutionalization, incarceration and homelessness for individuals with serious mental illness in McHenry County. AID will continue to enhance and expand BHOP services in McHenry by further developing bilingual therapy and community support services for the purpose of reaching underserved Spanish‐only speaking individuals living in McHenry County.

    Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center, Inc. $467,500


    Aunt Martha’s is one of the state’s largest Federally Qualified Health Centers. Behavioral health services include adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry and therapy, individual counseling, and comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and treatment.

    • Psychiatric Services Aunt Martha’s has expanded our model of integrated care by bringing behavioral health (BH) services into the primary care clinic setting by offering routine mental health screening and access to treatment to: promote early detection and improved management of treatment; reduce the stigma of treating mental health disorders and offer convenience to patients; promote adherence and strengthen monitoring of the treatment plan; and, build on the existing, ongoing PCP and patient relationship.

    Centegra Hospital – Woodstock $1,460,859


    Centegra Specialty Hospital, Woodstock is the primary service location for Behavioral Health Services for Centegra Health System. The Behavioral Health Service line provides acute care for adults (18 and older) with Mental Health and or Substance dependence problems.

    • Behavioral Health Access and Crisis Services MHB and CHS’s continued partnership focuses on supporting an array of crisis stabilization services. Through this partnership, the MHB is ensuring community access to a community behavioral health crisis line, crisis assessments, crisis intervention, linkage/referral/care collaboration, Behavioral Health informed emergency care, short-term crisis stabilization, A Way Out, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), post care community care and recovery navigation, and the establishment of a CHW site-based community behavioral health non-emergency access point.

    • Substance Abuse Nurse Educator & Community Liaison works with the Substance Abuse Coalition and CHS medical team to enhance prevention and treatment practices related to substance use disorders, with a focus on alcohol detoxification and opioid dependence. On a community level, this role focuses on ensuring Centegra can provide the resources necessary support and co-facilitate key community partnership initiatives. Specifically, this role will take a formal lead in implementing the Naloxone law enforcement program and partner with the substance abuse coalition to promote other prevention based initiatives.

    Clearbrook $251,040


    Clearbrook provides services, programs and support for children and adults with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other intellectual/developmental disabilities as well as their families.

    • CHOICE Program is innovative in offering participants “choices” in the areas of employment, volunteering, leisure activities and socializing in settings that utilize natural supports in the community and through community partnerships. Families/participants also have a “choice” to participate in the program on a full or part time basis. The CHOICE program model includes a specifically developed personal exploration tool (PEP). As each participant enters the program they “discover” their interests and document them via the PEP. This is the foundation for the program’s person centered model of service design and delivery.

    Community Health Partnership of Illinois $36,188


    Community Health Partnership of Illinois provides comprehensive, integrated primary health care services targeting underserved, predominantly Latino rural populations, including migrant and seasonal farmworkers and families throughout northern and central Illinois.

    • Breaking the Stigma: Mental Health for Our Community is an integrated, prevention-oriented behavioral health program targeting the Latino population in the Harvard Area Community Health Center service area. It will provide Spanish outreach therapy, community mental health outreach and education as well as care coordination and referrals for clients in need of medical, substance abuse and psychiatric services.

    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northern Illinois, Inc. $35,000


    CCCS serves anyone in need of financial, credit or housing assistance. Services include: credit and debt counseling and education, Debt Management Programs which pay off unsecured debt at reduced interest and fees; Credit Report analysis; Bankruptcy counseling and education; housing counseling services.

    • Financial Counseling & Debt Management provides basic budget counseling, debt management programs to expunge unsecured debt, bankruptcy counseling and education and mortgage default and foreclosure prevention counseling. Clients are also counseled on the means to improve their credit. CCCS also provides pre-purchase and pre-rental counseling for homeless families.

    Epilepsy Foundation of North Central Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska $591,353


    The Epilepsy Foundation is a voluntary health agency dedicated to the welfare of people with epilepsy and their families. The organization works to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; to improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, accepted and valued in society; and to promote research for a cure.

    • Epilepsy Services provide a unique care delivery model which uses intensive case management, mobile health (telemedicine) as well as direct epileptologist visits to improve access to sub-specialty care for patients living in McHenry County with epilepsy and/or brain injury.

    • Brain Injury Health Management services provide case management, employment services, educational supports, peer and family support groups, skills groups, psychiatric support services, brain injury clinic and Telemedicine services to children and adults who sustain an acquired brain injury.

    • Telepsychiatry Program includes community-based family-centered population health management using local case managers, an on-site nurse and telemedicine by an epilepsy sub-specialist. Mental health services include therapeutic treatment of children and adults with chronic uncontrolled epilepsy, brain injury and associated mental health co-morbidities. Services are available at the patient’s home, school, emergency department, rehab facility or the Crystal Lake office.

    Family Alliance, Inc. $264,808


    For over 30 years, Family Alliance, Inc. has been at the forefront of senior care in McHenry County. Its professional staff and Board of Directors remain focused on the agency’s mission to provide adults, caregivers and families with programs and services promoting an enhanced quality of life.

    • Group Fee for Service The intent of this service is to provide preventative support groups, counseling and education for caregivers and program participants at risk of clinical depressions, anxiety, and higher physical health needs by arming them with specific tools and resources for healthy habits.

    • Psychiatric & Recovery Services accommodate behavioral health disorder needs that are not part of the normal aging process of older adults and to provide accurate diagnosis that will lead to appropriate interventions and successful outcomes.

    Family Health Partnership Clinic $76,000


    The Family Health Partnership Clinic provides health care to those in our community who do not have health insurance of any kind. The Clinic has an integrated mental health component and provides brief therapy for patients who are facing mental health issues as well as physical health problems.

    • Therapist treats individuals in need of behavioral health services and service delivery with appropriate mental health assessments, treatment plans along with short term mental health treatment. Services are conducted by a Spanish bilingual therapist who works closely with the physical health providers and nurses to help identify patients in need of behavioral health services.

    • Patient Navigator Program links individuals in need of behavioral health and other critically needed services with the provider organization that can provide appropriate assessment and service delivery as indicated.

    Garden Quarter Neighborhood Resource Center $112,037


    GQNRC provides an after-school program 4-5 days per week during the school year and 3-4 days per week during summer.

    • Youth Prevention Program provides adult-supervised, preventative programming after school, when youth are highly likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors and/or experience isolation. It is designed to expand the range of choices and opportunities that enable, empower and encourage youth to achieve positive growth and development, improve expectations and capacities for future success, and avoid and/or reduce risk-taking behavior.

    • Parent Prevention Program educates and empowers adults in McHenry County by increasing their involvement in the children’s activities, improving their knowledge of and ability to access community resources and supporting them in navigating the complex systems of mental health, substance abuse, education and other community institutions.

    • Bilingual Bicultural Service Navigation Program The Spanish-speaking Bilingual Service Navigator is on-site every weekday to provide one-on-one or family support, by providing referrals and linkages to other agencies, facilitating communication between mental health, substance abuse, education and other community institutions, and assisting families in navigating the aforementioned institutions, including providing assistance with in-take application and providing linguistic and cultural interpretation of documents and services.

Greater Elgin Family Care Center (McHenry Community Health Center) $453,694


GEFCC is a private, non-profit, Joint Commission accredited, Primary Care Medical Home-certified Federally Qualified Health Center.

  • Behavioral Health Integration uses screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment. The program model is team-based with full integration between primary and behavioral health care including shared patient scheduling, shared treatment planning, shared service provision and shared record keeping.

  • Psychiatry services for patients age 13 years and older include psychiatric evaluations, medication education and medication monitoring.

Harvard Community Senior Center $98,920


The Harvard Community Senior Center serves seniors in and around Harvard by providing life-enriching services, programs, and social activities.

  • PEARLS Program – Depression in the Elderly includes active screening for depression, using a trained depression care manager, a team approach, stepped care, and built-in follow-up. A depression care manager (Pearls Counselor) delivers brief, evidence-based interventions over 19 weeks – in the senior’s home or other comfort setting – and provides education and self-management support. The program is participant-driven and uses proactive outcome measurement & tracking.

Home of the Sparrow, Inc.. $228,000


Home of the Sparrow provides homeless women and children who have a mental health diagnosis as listed in the DSM-V or ICD-10, who are at risk of developing such a diagnosis, or who are displaying situational mental health symptoms pursuant to the trauma of homelessness through mental health counseling, case management, and mental health crisis intervention.

  • Counseling & Case Management provides the client with professional counseling to evaluate the clients’ mental health and functioning capabilities and facilitation of connections with community resources and specialized services.

Horizons Behavioral Health Professional Services, LLC $120,000


Horizons is an outpatient behavioral health facility, serving McHenry County residents of all ages with a diagnosis of mental illness. Services include psychiatric diagnostic evaluations along with medication management and therapeutic injections, psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy, and psychological testing.

  • Psychiatric Residency Program provides psychiatric services to patients in McHenry County by psychiatric residents.

Live 4 Lali, Inc. $120,000

Live4Lali works to prevent and raise awareness of substance use among individuals, families and communities, and minimize the overall health, legal and social harms associated with substance use. 

The McHenry County Opioid Overdose Prevention Program (OOPP) is an outreach-based model offering opioid overdose prevention services to laypersons who might witness an overdose, including 


persons who use drugs, their families and friends, service providers, schools, and other agencies working with the public. The training will educate participants on overdose risk awareness, information about the 911 Overdose Good Samaritan Law and other pertinent legal information, signs and symptoms of opioid misuse, dependency or addiction, the effects of opioids in the body, overdose emergency management, and naloxone administration.

Mathers Community Mental Health Center, LLC $90,000


Mathers’ sole priority is towards the emotional well-being of the individual: adults, children, adolescents, couples and families counseled. Professionals include: Psychiatrists, PhD/PsyD, LCSW, LCPC, and LMFT.

  • Psych Express provides comprehensive psychiatric care on an urgent basis. Clients receive an assessment by a qualified mental health professional and then see a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse practioner for additional treatment, which may include medication monitoring or a higher level of treatment, with a goal of same-day or next-day treatment.

Mathers Recovery, LLC $37,500


We treat everyone with respect and dignity. Mathers Recovery offers the best recovery program for long term results, through evidence based clinical practices, client centered education, research and peer support.

  • Medically Managed Opiate Recovery Program services are designed to support recovery, health and well-being of the person served, enhance their quality of life; reduce symptoms and build resilience; restore and / or improve functioning and support the person’s served integration within the community

McHenry County Department of Health $18,221


The McHenry County Department of Health is comprised of Divisions that assist the residents of McHenry County in many diverse ways. The Nursing Division provides services to the community through screenings, clinics, home visits and education.

  • Early Identification & Intervention provides services that screen for early developmental and social/emotional delays, seeks intervention to provide services to children, and provides follow-up to assure delivery of the needed services.

McHenry County Sheriff’s Office $75,104


The essential purpose of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is to provide service and protection to the citizens of McHenry County.

  • Social Services Case Manger acts as a liaison between the Sheriff’s Office and community, municipality, township and state social service agencies. Provides referrals to social and mental health agencies, emergency shelter, etc. and provides support to staff in crisis situations.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) McHenry County $232,030


NAMI-McHenry County is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, providing services through education, training, support and advocacy events and activities.

  • Recovery Support Services provide evidence-based educational classes and training that informs and equips families, community members and professionals with the knowledge to understand the different brain and mood disorders, identify the signs and symptoms of a mental health condition, and how to provide healthy support and safe intervention.

New Directions Addiction Recovery Services $279,000


New Directions is focused on providing a network of service that address substance abuse in the community. The organization’s focus is on three areas: advocacy, treatment, and continued support.

  • Sober Living Case Management offers individuals a safe, structured environment to attain the necessary “life skills” to remain drug and alcohol free.

  • New Directions Sober Living New Location Clients would transition from substance abuse treatment into the sober living program. A structured sober living environment can be an essential “next step” for individuals attempting to abstain from substance abuse.

Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association (NISRA) $59,950


The purpose of NISRA is to provide year round special recreation programs that meet the social, cognitive, physical and emotional needs of people with disabilities so that they may participate actively in their community in the least restrictive setting.

  • SASS Therapeutic Intervention includes individual and family assessment, leisure education, and a wide array of community based group activities and interventions.

  • McHenry County Adult Program (McCAP) includes leisure education and a wide array of normalizing community based group activities and interventions.

  • Day Treatment includes individual and family assessment of cognitive, social and motor skill abilities, leisure education, and a wide array of normalizing community based group activities and interventions.

  • Veteran Service Members Expressive Arts Program will provide creative arts programming for veterans in need of assistance with dealing with addictions, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other behavioral health issues. The overall goal of the program is to promote positive use of leisure time and to help veterans integrate traumatic aspects of their military experience into an art form that inspires and motivates continued healing.

Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault (Northwest CASA) $22,000


For more than 30 years, Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault (Northwest CASA) has been a full service agency that provides free services to sexual assault survivors and their loved ones within McHenry County.

  • Sexual Assault Intervention Program consists of medical advocacy for a sexual assault victim who seeks emergency room medical care in a McHenry County hospital, criminal justice advocacy, court accompaniment of victims to any criminal justice proceeding in McHenry County, telephone crisis intervention if called upon by the McHenry County Crisis Line, individual family and couple counseling for victims of any age and their significant others.

Options & Advocacy $328,194


Options & Advocacy for McHenry County is a not for profit independent DD service coordination agency, providing a doorway to services for any McHenry County resident who has a lifelong intellectual or developmental disability.

  • Bilingual Liaison offers all of the services that Options & Advocacy provides to the Spanish speaking community.

  • Community Advocacy Program services and supports provided include service coordination and navigation, educational advocacy, linkage and referral to local and regional supports, family support and education. The Community Advocacy Program seeks to expand beyond serving children and adults with an IDD diagnosis to those with AD/HD, mental health challenges and other related issues.

  • Autism Support Program provides supports to individuals who have or are suspected to have an autism diagnosis, and their families.

Pioneer Center for Human Services $1,348,047


Pioneer Center for Human Services provides Intellectual & Developmental Disability Services, Community Based Services, and McHenry County PADS—Homeless Services, helping to empower individuals to achieve their full potential.

  • MI Residential Group Home provides comprehensive care to those struggling with behavioral health concerns. Types of services available include comprehensive evaluation and assessment, treatment planning, case management, community support, medication monitoring, medication training, client centered consultation and coordination of services.

  • PADS Recovery Specialist will meet with people accessing the day center programs. Through the outreach and engagement of this position people receiving service will improve in functioning, increase likelihood of obtaining housing, self‐report improved wellness and be more likely to create WRAP plan. This position will help ensure that people with mental illness and/or substance abuse issues that access PADS Day Center programs will have linkage to services to assist them in their recovery.

  • Respite Services facilitates a voucher based reimbursement system that allows families to access both in home care and/or external activities. An individual contract is established between the agency and each guardian/family member.

  • Client and Family Services (CFS) programming offers the clients training in all life skills areas to promote and/or maintain the highest level of independence.

  • Community Employment Services (CES) is a specialized program that matches the community’s employment needs with individuals that have dynamic strengths and talents.

  • IDD Community Inclusion and Transportation provides transportation to Pioneer Center to day programs for individuals living in group homes. The staff driving will also provide transportation to community based activities, educational opportunities and volunteering opportunities within McHenry County.

  • Transition Coordinator (Bilingual) will attend, or facilitate the appropriate program staffs attendance, at as many IEP’s as they are invited and able to attend. The initial service offered will be consultation to individuals and families and assistance to attain funding for the appropriate services.

  • Autism Day Program focuses on individualized service planning, skill development, education, socialization, community inclusion, therapy/sensory supports and volunteer opportunities.

  • IDD Wellness Nurse key areas include exercise, nutrition, and monitoring of health related stats such as weight and blood pressure. The Wellness R.N will also assist with day program medication and treatment administration that any day program participant require to be able to attend our services.

  • Warrant of Need provides individuals with skills training, workplace skills, socialization opportunities, recreation opportunities, classroom activities, leisure time skills and activities in the community.

  • Entitlement/Benefit Specialist provides clients not receiving benefits/entitlements assistance with completing the application process. Regular contact is maintained until benefits are established and then monitoring and support is provided as needed to maintain awarded benefits.

  • Before and Aftercare provides supervision for individuals who attend the day program during times that DHS waivers do not support. During the times of these programs, individuals will have the opportunity to participate in education, social and wellness activities, or choose to relax independently in the lounge
  • Me Program is designed to meet the needs of individuals who have a high level of independence, but still need support in the community. Program design focuses on developing individuals as a whole, providing opportunities for social, intellectual and physical development while maintaining a focus on social connectedness and growth.

Rosecrance, Inc. $1,075,344


Rosecrance is a private not-for-profit organization offering behavioral health services for children, adolescents, adults and families throughout the country.

  • Substance Abuse Services purpose is to stop the alcohol and/or drug use disorder and to return the individual to productive functioning in the family, workplace, school and community.

  • Mental Health Services provides accessible, coordinated and evidence-based/best practice mental health treatment and crisis intervention to resident of McHenry County, based on system of care principles and through an array of services designed to achieve effective outcomes supporting a recovery based model.

  • Psychiatric to provide psychiatric intervention to children/adolescents/adults by the way of psychiatric diagnostic, medication monitoring, medication management, and medication education and ensuring medication availability for medically indigent.

  • Recovery Home provides stable housing for those in recovery from substance dependence who need further services to enhance their recovery process.

  • MI/SA Harvard Student Assistance Program (SAP) In partnership with the school system the Student Assistance Program will provide an initial screening for both mental health and substance use issues. Once the screening is complete the student will be referred to the appropriate level of care and staff will work with the families to access those services.

  • SAP Substance Abuse, McHenry County In partnership with the school system we will provide an initial screening for both Mental Health and Substance Abuse issues. Students will be referred by school personal that have been identified as needing an assessment for substance abuse. Once the screening is complete the student will be referred to the appropriate level of care and staff will work with the families to access those services.

  • Mental Health Student Assistance Counselors

  • Project Success provides comprehensive assessment, linkage and referral to community services as a prevention strategy for youth and their families across McHenry County.

  • Wraparound is designed to wrap community services around children with serious emotional/behavioral challenges and their families and to help the youth build on strengths to develop new skills and healthy resiliency.

  • Child and Adolescent Coordinator supervises all of our child and adolescent services and makes sure that we are connected to community partners.

  • Patient Account Representative does all the front end collection of insurance information for all of our Mental Health programs. The position makes sure that the clients are eligible for services from an insurance perspective.

Special Education District of McHenry County (SEDOM) $11,814


The Special Education District of McHenry County (SEDOM) is a special education cooperative serving 18 member school districts in McHenry County. The purpose of the cooperative is to support member districts in the provision of special education programs, supports and services for students whose unique educational needs cannot be met within local programming.

  • Transitional Youth Program (TAP) prepares youth and young adults with emotional and mental health issues to move into adult roles through an individualized process, engaging them in their own futures planning process as well as providing developmentally appropriate services and supports.

Thresholds $582,915


Thresholds serves McHenry County adults age 18 and over who have a DSM-V-TR or ICD-10 diagnosis of a severe mental illness and require psychiatric, community support (Individual, Team and/or Group), and/or supervised housing services.

  • Non-Medicaid Community Support Services offer support for members in their homes or in the community, and are adapted to meet the unique recovery goals and needs of our members. These services aid members in maintaining stability psychiatric symptoms between psychiatry appointments and other, more traditional treatment interventions.

  • Non-Rule 132 Representative Payee Services assists members in sustaining their independent functioning in the community. This fiduciary responsibility assures that each member’s basic needs, including housing, food, mediation, transportation and phone service, are met using their SSI or SSDI benefits.

  • Housing Specialist works with other providers to identify homeless individuals with mental illness and facilitates their transition in one of three Permanent Supportive Housing programs. Relationships are also developed with the Mchenry Housing Authority, landlords and property managers to expand the inventory of available affordable housing for County residents with mental illness who would otherwise have difficulty finding and maintaining stable housing.

  • Homeless Outreach Flex Funds provides basic needs and so engage the homeless in services. These funds will facilitate social interactions between the Outreach workers and the homeless individuals they are seeking to engage.

  • Nurse assures that the integrative health needs of members are adequately addressed, through advocating with Medicaid and/or the member’s MCO to obtain prior authorization of medications, receive approval for medications, track all prescriptions and assure that staff comply with policies and procedures related to handling medication.

  • Housing First Demonstration Project The goal of this project is to identify, engage and ultimately house individuals who meet the HUD criteria for Chronic Homelessness.

Transitional Living Services, Inc. dba TLS Veterans $219,597


TLS works to guide homeless veterans back into the community as productive members; engages military families as they face emotional challenges of deployment and reintegration; and challenges residents in our community to support veterans, the troops and military families.

  • Recovery Support and Treatment, New Horizons ensure that clinical services in the form of recovery support are provided to the formerly homeless veterans going through the transitional living program, New Horizons. These services are provided while the veterans reside in the program as well as after discharge if they choose the ongoing support.

  • Recovery Support and Treatment, Peer Support Group is comprised of three veterans who are certified as peer support specialists, who manage the drop-in resource center at the agency. They receive phone calls and drop-in visits from veterans and/or veteran family members who need mental health support for any reason.

  • Recovery Support and Treatment, PTSD Group each session focuses on the use of the techniques as well as corresponding life domain information and strategies to decrease overall stress and increase ability to cope.

  • Accreditation Costs (New Horizons / Peer Support Group) accreditation strengthens service delivery and integrity by keeping a set of standards as a reminder and measure.

Turning Point, Inc. $600,000


Incorporated May 20, 1981, Turning Point is the only comprehensive domestic violence crisis intervention agency and a secure shelter in McHenry County, and the only McHenry County member agency of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

  • C/V Advocate services include: crisis intervention and stabilization, secure emergency shelter, legal and non-legal advocacy, individual and group counseling, support groups and referral services.

  • Trauma Based Services emphasize child safety, client-driven counseling sessions, safety planning skills, encouragement, providing options, helping children respect the authority of the parent survivor, building on strengths of the child/parent survivor, cultural competency and respect, education regarding types of abuse, and holding perpetrators accountable for abuse.

  • Partner Abuse Intervention Program (PAIP) provides education to adults who are abusive or are at risk of abusing their partners or family members. Practices in the Partner Abuse Intervention Program (PAIP) are adapted from the Duluth Model, the best available research in the field. The program provides education that gives abusers an opportunity to change their behavior and make non-violent choices which improves health and safety in the lives of their partners, family members and community.

Andrew Gasser’s Answers to Bob Miller’s Questions – Part 4

Here is Andrew Gasser’s attorney Robert Hanlon’s answer to Bob Miller’s attorney Tom Gooch’s question as to why certain Algonquin Township Officials should be deposed in the case:

Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik is similarly listed.

“Karen Lukasik will likely have testimony relevant to the allegations of the complaint, the maintenance of the records and is represented by counsel in this case.

“Investigation contniues.”