The following mailer sent by the Committee to Elect Judge Joel Berg was provided by a friend of McHenry County Blog:
Yesterday, McHenry County Blog posted a sign for District 5 McHenry County Board candidate Carlos Acosta.
It had only his name, hinting that he is not going to run a joint campaign with his running mate Frank Wedig.
Today we look at a District 2 County Board candidate promotion sign.
It promotes both candidates running against Carolyn Schofield and Josh Howell.
Note that the Mike Madigan-contorlled Illinois Democratic Party paid for the signs.
Letter to Local Mayors Describes Leftist Agenda
Lakewood President Paul Serwatka sent following letter to Dave Bennett, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus after receiving an email with the subject “Gun Dealer Licensing Legislation.”
The following local government leaders were also sent a copy:
Mayor Henley of Volo
Mayor Jett of McHenry
Mayor Kelly of Harvard
Mayor Koziol of Marengo
Mayor Sager of Woodstock
Mayor Schmit of Fox Lake
Algonquin President Schmitt
Barrington Hills President McLaughlin
Bull Valley President Berendt
Hebron President Martinez
Holiday Hills President French
Huntley President Sass
Johnsburg President Hettermann
Lake in the Hills President Ruzanski
Lakemoor President Weihofen
McCullom Lake President Shepit
Oakwood Hills Acting President Paul Smith
Prairie Grove President Robak
Richmond President Kunz
Ringwood President Mack
Spring Grove President Eisenberg
Trout Valley President Baker
Union President Wagner
Wonder Lake President Topf
It is printed here with Paul’s permission:
Mr. Bennett and Members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus:
I have been a member of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus for nearly a year now, since taking office in May of 2017. I can’t help but feel compelled to share that in the short time I have been receiving your communications and “calls to action” I have become quite disenfranchised with this Caucus and it’s apparent purpose.
From what I have gathered from the communications I have received over the last 11 months, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus serves only as either a leveraging tool to assist in the bidding of Rahm Emmanuel and the abhorrent policies which have made Chicago the premier example of how NOT to govern, or this caucus is simply a progressive initiative to promote progressive agendas throughout the municipalities of Illinois.
Am I wrong in this assessment? Am I alone in this sentiment?
If my assessment of this caucus is not accurate, I sincerely welcome the opportunity to learn of any efforts by this caucus or any information you may have to the contrary, that I may not have been alerted to, in my short time as a member of this caucus.
In my 11 months as a member of this caucus, I have received a number of “calls to action” to join Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and to support his initiatives.
A few examples of the initiatives that I have been called to support are:
– To pass a Resolution in our village in support of DACA and providing a pathway to citizenship (and, of course, free college, etc) for “Dreamers”.
– To pen a letter to Governor Rauner supporting the same.
– To pen a letter to the Governor asking him to sign legislation imposing gun control measures and undue/inequitable licensing on certain Firearm dealers.
– To pass a number of “Green” and “Sustainable” Resolutions in our village.
– To support a number of “Green” and “sustainable” initiatives.
Relevant to the above subject matter, I have not seen, nor do I expect to at this point, any attempt at a concerted effort to encourage state legislators to pass legislation that provides for the REAL protection of our children and our schools, e.g., allowing teachers to be trained and equipped to protect themselves and our children in schools, or to provide other means of legitimate “on-sight” armed protection in our schools.
That said, I await this caucus to take action on issues that are truly and abundantly pertinent in our, now dreadful, state – the issues that are causing the historic mass-exodus of both business and residents from our, once great, state.
I call on the members of this caucus to band together and pass MEANINGFUL resolutions, to pen MEANINGFUL letters and hold MEANINGFUL conferences supporting and encouraging critical policies – the implementation of which could very legitimately save Illinois from the impending collapse that we all know is nearly a certainty at this point!
I call on the members of this caucus to come together and forge sincere initiatives addressing issues including:
– State legislation amending the Illinois Constitution with provisions for MUCH needed pension reform (This is only the single biggest, most devastating issue we face in Illinois!)
– Ending Prevailing Wage Laws which force our municipalities to pay exorbitantly inflated costs for public projects, further increasing overburdened taxpayers, while serving only to enrich and further empower certain legislators and upper echelon union bosses, while masquerading as a means to provide a livable wage for union workers, who are also overburdened with exorbitant taxes.
– Enact “Right to Work” legislation to, both, truly protect workers who do not wish to participate in collective bargaining agreements, yet are forced to pay for them – and to help Illinois businesses to compete with businesses in the 28 states that have enacted right-to-work legislation and continue to benefit from Illinois’ inability to compete.
– Enact legislation for equitable school funding rather than continuing to over-tax collar counties in order to unfairly continue subsidizing CPS and down-state districts.
I know there are a number who will take exception with my words here. Many will role their eyes and chuckle… But, for the few who may actually be sincere about “doing good”, “serving their communities” “making a better place” and all the other tired cliches that we all repeat. I encourage you to step up, speak out, be truthful, and let’s start working on some truly meaningful initiatives.
I welcome all replies!
Paul D. Serwatka
Frustrated Illinois Resident
President – Village of Lakewood
$198,075 Job at Stake
The Republican Primary Election campaign is winding down for the four people running for a countywide judgeship.
Since January 1st, family money has fueling two of the campaigns–that of appointed Judge Robert Wilbrandt and Assistant State’s Attorney Demetri Tsilimgras.
Wilbrandt had $70,426 in his Political Action Committee as of New Year’s Day.
Since then family members have pumped in $26,000.
Liberty Outdoor also provided $5,000 worth of signs.
It should be noted that only contributions of more $1,000 or more are made public under today’s campaign reporting laws.
Tsilimigras had $9,957 in his campaigning checking account at the state of 2018.
He pumped in $34,017 since then.
In addition, William Walsh of Mundelein contributed $5,600 and Lamar, the billboard company, refunded $1,075.
Because some of the money was paid to vendors, Tsilimigras’ reports to the Board of Elections gives a clue as to where he spent campaign dollars.
$13,423 went into the Crystal Lake radio station.
$4,223 went to Jumbo Postcard for direct mail.
The favorite in the four-person race is the only woman–McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan.
She started the year with $14,321.63 in her campaign fund.
The only contribution she received that required immediate reporting was $1,000 from Alliance Contracting, Chuck Ruth’s firm.
The final candidate Ray Flavin, has run for countywide office before and had $18,416 in his campaign fund at the start of the year.
He raised no additional funds in amounts of $1,000 or more that would have had to be reported.
Flavin is running a “no yard sign, no robocalls, not mailers, non-annoying campaign.”
Flavin is holding a “Golden Ticket Drawing” at his Election Night Party at Woodstock Banquets 333 Judd St, Woodstock.
The event is from 7:00-10:00pm and will feature Jim and Justin of the Modern Day Romeos. Admission is free.
Instead of purchasing yard signs, Flavin will be holding a drawing- paying the winner 50x their age in years if he loses the election.. If Flavin wins the election, he will pay the winner 100x their age.
Today, let’s compare how two local governments celebrate Easter with kids.
First, the Crystal Lake Park District.
Second, the Village of Oakwood Hills:
And, yes, I know that the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs are a carryover of traditions prior to Christianity dominating the Old World.
|Case,Debra L||Vision and Hearing Tech||$50,854.08|
|Cashin,Jennifer G||Court/Courtroom Spec I||$45,694.74|
|Castellano,Edward M||Marine Patrol I||$9,956.70|
|Castro,Epifania||Office Assistant II||$50,355.24|
|Cazares,Maria R||Office Assistant II||$22,189.44|
|Cebollero,Olivia M||Registry – LPN||$11,960.00|
|Cedergren,Duane D||Deputy Chief of Administration||$152,587.92|
|Cello,Jeremiah L||Deputy – Union||$88,481.28|
|Cervantes Brito,Anthony||Certified Nursing Asst I||$4,594.20|
|Chapman,Nicholas C.||Probation Supervisor||$71,030.98|
|Chewning,Sharon W||Community Liaison||$87,114.06|
|Chrest,Nancy J||WIC Nutritionist||$71,460.42|
|Chrisos,Melissa L||Court/Courtroom Spec I||$23,887.50|
|Christensen,Chris||County Board Member||$49,813.86|
|Christensen,David A||Director of EMA||$100,547.94|
|Christensen,Michael G||Correctional Officer – Union||$98,843.16|
|Christensen,Tamara S||Registry – CNA||$5,105.10|
|Ciasto,Joachim M||Associate Plans Examiner||$60,736.80|
|Ciboci,Gail D||Court/Courtroom Spec I||$43,158.72|
|Ciepley,Mitchell A.||Correctional Officer – Union||$106,418.88|
|Claar,Cheryl A.||Correctional Officer – Union||$99,490.20|
|Clark,Maya L||Food Service Assistant||$8,551.66|
|Clesceri,Nicholas M||Deputy – Union||$88,125.00|
|Clinge,Amber E.||Certified Nursing Asst I||$49,716.94|
Ersel Schuster Robocall Addresses Dark Money Attacks
Candidate for County Board District Six, Ersel Schuster, used a robocall Friday afternoon to address Dark Money attacks by the anonymous and illegal political activities of the “Illinois Integrity Fund.”
The “Illinois Integrity Fund” has sponsored numerous (and expensive) mailers against Schuster and other conservative Republican candidates.
On the call was the voice of Schuster:
“Hi, I am Ersel Schuster, candidate for the McHenry County Board
Unlike the anonymous calls and hate mail circulating about me, I am here to
address your concerns.
The outrageous, and desperate attempts to destroy good candidates should
give everyone pause.
As the people behind these hit pieces hide in the shadows.
Unavailable to prove their accusations.
Call me, Ersel Schuster, at 815/338-2207.
I WILL answer your questions.
I ask for your support and your vote on March 20th.
Tonya Frankin, the woman who was willing to run against State Rep. Jack Franks, but was not given the choice by a previous iteration of the McHenry County Republican Party is running to become part of the ruling body that rejected six years ago.
Here is the letter that she sent to people in her precinct:
March 18th at Sterne’s Fen
Spend some time outdoors and help make a great park even better.
Volunteer at Sterne’s Woods & Fen on Sunday, March 18th from 9-11AM to clear invasive species beside the main trail.
Invasive understory brush crowds out native species like oak saplings, shading them to death before they have chance to mature.
Even the tallest oaks in Sterne’s Woods are losing their lower limbs to competition with invasives.
Buckthorn and honeysuckle bushes will be cut giving the native understory plants and oaks a chance to grow.
Environmental Defenders meet monthly at the Sterne’s outdoor pavilion, 5617 Hillside Dr.
Volunteers will have a chance to learn about restoration ecology and what makes Sterne’s special. Bring a water bottle and a pair of work gloves. The park district will supply the tools
Email Brice Alt, volunteer site steward, to receive updates: [email protected]
By volunteering at a Sterne’s workday you’re helping with the ecologic restoration of an exceedingly rare type of habitat.
To learn more about restoration ecology, here’s a quick video: https://www.youtube.
Added to the McHenry County Board’s Regular Meeting scheduled one day before the Primary Election, Monday at 10am, is a “Resolution authorizing the settlement of Fraternite Notre
Dame v. County of McHenry 15 CV 50312.”
You may remember that County Board members overwhelmingly rejected a pretty large expansion of the facilities on the rural Coral Township property in 2015. You can find the meeting minutes here.
Sisters attended County Board meetings. One even brought a video rec
Neighbors to the property also attended in abundance.
As I was sitting in the press box, I was thinking of the Federal law called the Religious Land Use Protection Act passed in 2000, that allowed religious organizations broad latitude concurring where they carry out their missions.
While a short resolution is in the agenda package, no where are County Board members or the public informed of the contents of he “amicable resolution” or the “certain understandings” reached which this resolution authorizes to be set down in a “settlement agreement” by the State’s Attorney.
A model of transparency this resolution is not.
Here is a letter Greenwood Township Trustee Kelly Liebmann sent a letter to her neighbors in Greenwood Township Precinct 3. You can read it below:
9205 Oriole Trl
Wonder Lake, IL 60097
There’s absolutely no doubt that members of both the Republican and Democratic Parties have become more contentious since Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
Some voters have gone either to the far right because they believe compromise between the two political parties only fosters larger government.
Others have joined the far left’s communist agenda pushing for more progressive programs and bigger government than even moderate Democrats are accustomed.
There are many uncontested races on the ballot, but that should not deter you from voting in the primary election on March 20th.
Because moderate Democrats continue to run under the Republican banner in McHenry County, you must be vigilant to educate yourself about the candidates.
Do not believe the anonymous negative mailers that appear in your mailbox; the Chicago political machine is hard at work trying to gain a larger majority in McHenry County Government.
You have very important choices to make that should drive you to the polls.
Jeanne Ives should be the choice for governor for any conservative in Illinois. Ives is an outspoken conservative Republican and has challenged a millionaire with her bold campaign which has been gaining traction. Unlike our current governor, Jeanne Ives understands how to work with Republicans in the legislature and will utilize that knowledge to block any Democratic Party tax hikes. At this point I do not believe either Republican will win in the general election in November, but for the primary I choose Ives.
Another important race is for the Illinois Attorney General seat that is being vacated by the incumbent after sixteen years. My choice for AG in the primary is Gary Grasso. Grasso is a lawyer with previous experience in government and administration. He wants to go after the broken property tax system in Illinois and attack government corruption. His opponent is a lawyer that appears to have climbed her way to running for AG by being entrenched in the political system and is a Rauner favorite.
Although running unopposed in the primary election, please remember Craig Wilcox for State Senator. Wilcox and I have worked together on issues pertaining to the county board and I know he asks questions, is very articulate. I look forward to seeing what he can do for residents once elected to the Illinois Senate.
Joe Tirio is continuing his case to erase the recorder’s office with his run for county clerk. He has put on the ballot a referendum to merge the recorder and clerk’s offices. You should vote yes to merge the offices, and Joe Tirio has a plan make it happen. Joe Tirio for County Clerk is the obvious choice.
For County Board District 6, I ask you vote for only Ersel Schuster. Schuster has continued to educate herself on board matters and will be one to take a stand against corruption and waste. It is Schuster’s stance against unscrupulous behaviors at the county that makes her the target of negative campaigns.
For 22nd Circuit Court Judge I am voting Ray Flavin. I know Flavin is not the favorite of some McHenry County Conservatives, but Flavin is the only candidate who is not a long term government employee. Flavin cares about the process of the legal system for which he has been dedicated, and has run a successful McHenry County law practice for twenty-five years. He has even sued the county for excessive court costs in federal and state court. I choose Flavin for his independence and experience.
A Wonder Lake resident since 2004, I have been very active in politics and government since 2012. Motivated by the death of two friends, in 2017.
I successfully petitioned the county board to change the light at the dangerous Charles J Miller and River Road intersection in McHenry in order to stop more tragic deaths from happening.
I also unsuccessfully fought Chairman Jack Franks’ two patronage hires which will cost taxpayers more than $200,000 annually.
A majority of county board members would rather work against county policies and protocols than make a tough political decision. But I continue on.
I have enclosed a sample ballot marked with those candidates who I know will do the best and work the hardest at their duties. The time is now to become an informed voter. Please feel free to contact me at 815-728-0733 if you have any questions or concerns regarding the election. I hope you stand up and vote on March 20th.
The following comment was posted by McHenry County Recorder and candidate for County Clerk, Joe Tirio under previous blog post Jack Franks Bailing Out Mary McClellan:
This story was brought to my attention and I thought it might be interesting to get the word from the person who spoke it.
A article in the Chicago Sun-Times about the conflict between Latino and black workers at a Chicago food factory took me back to the 1970’s recession during Governor Dan Walker’s single term in office .
I was a freshman legislator.
There were so many people out of work that unemployment checks were not being processed in a timely fashion.
There were over 40 complaints on my desk about late payments, I believe.
I called the agency director and suggested that rather that waiting for the paperwork to be squeezed through the bureaucracy that the checks should just be sent out.
She followed my advice.
Another memory from that time was a call from an unemployed McHenry man who was refused a job at Clauson Pickle in Woodstock because he did not speak Spanish.
Simply outrageous, but how to prove it was the problem we could not solve.
A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicon:
Rep. Skillicorn Accuses East Dundee of Covering Up Financial Fraud
After receiving delays and denials to Open Records requests from the Village of East Dundee, I have grown convinced that something is seriously wrong, and questions need to be asked.
Since the Chicago Tribune-Courier News report, “Officials: East Dundee finances on road to recovery” (http://www.chicagotribune.
In the article, the Courier reported on “financial irregularities” that occurred under former Administrator Bob Skurla’s watch.
Here are a few of the more disturbing quotes:
- “East Dundee is taking steps to offset financial irregularities that include overstated revenue, excessive spending and a lack of budgetary controls, East Dundee Village President Lael Miller said….”
- “‘There were several things that raised my eyebrows,” Miller said.
- “There were several problems that I would categorize as accounting issues,” Miller said.
- “The way some monies were accounted for was not exactly clear.”
- “He [Miller] then met with Village Administrator Jennifer Johnsen and Finance Director Zaida Torres, who raised their own concerns.”
- “There were some spending patterns and other items the board wasn’t aware of,” Miller said.
What in the world is going on in East Dundee and why hasn’t the former Administrator, Bob Skurla, been prosecuted?
If wrongdoing has taken place and the Village doesn’t prosecute, they won’t be able to access municipal insurance for restitution which would be a monumental failure of their fiduciary duty to taxpayers.
In addition, if Skurla is found guilty, his pension should be taken away.
If that isn’t disturbing enough, in a conversation I had with the current Village Administrator, Jennifer Johnsen–who was fired from her previous position with Campton Hills in 2016 for alleged Open Meetings Act issues–she stated that Skurla kept “two sets of books” and misrepresented finances with the board.
Administrator Johnsen blamed Skurla for the $33 Million in debt according to the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (if police pension debt is included, the Village of East Dundee population 3182, has over $40 Million of debt).
The specter of Dixon, Illinois’ Rita Crundwell $54M financial fraud is rising as a pattern of obstruction from the Village of East Dundee is growing. Timeline of my personal investigation:
- November 2017 – The Chicago Tribune-Courier News article first exposed the fraud allegations
- December 2017 – My conversation with Village Administrator Jennifer Johnsen where she blames the $33 Million in debt and financial fraud on Bob Skurla.
- January and February 2018 Open Meetings Act violations by the village (being investigated by the IL Attorney General).
- February Freedom 2018 of Information requests being denied because emails between Bob Skurla and Trustees were deleted.
- March 2018 Freedom of Information requests being delayed and denied looking for evidence between East Dundee Finance Director Torres and Administrator Johnsen. These denials are being investigated by the IL Attorney General.
I have asked for and received notice that the Attorney General’s Office is investigating the denial of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
There is also an Open Meetings Act (OMA) violation that is being pursued.
Our democracy depends on public servants who act with integrity and hold transparency in the highest regard along with a press that will hold them accountable.
Again, I have to ask, what is going on in East Dundee and what are they trying to hide?
Last Minute Agenda Change to Make Primary Election Valid
As reported earlier, state law requires the County Board to approve changes in polling places.
McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan, an attorney running for Circuit Judge, however, apparently failed to figure that out.
Reasons the General Assembly might have enacted that law could include that County Board members might object to making people drive six or more miles to vote. That was the case during previous elections.
I know I heard such a complaint from a veteran Republican Precinct Committeeman over the past few months.
In any event, it is obvious that the legislature did not desire to give dictatorial power to a
County Clerk to select polling places.
Now comes Board Chairman Jack Franks to the rescue.
At 3:53 Friday afternoon, Monday’s County Board agenda was changed to add
“Resolution ratifying the 2018 Primary Election polling locations.”