Notes on the McHenry County Board’s Committee on Committes Meeting – Part 2

Here are the notes that former 14-year member of the McHenry County Board Ersel Schuster took while listening to the early December meeting of the Committee on Committees:

JF: I would like to reflect on the fact that we have several members here who are not on the cmte and I just want you to know that I appreciate that…

Mr. B & Mr. Kearns, Ms McCann, Mr. Thorsen, Mr. Wheeler and Ms Barnes. So ya…

YB: You just made a statement,,, are you suggesting that each district will not have representation from each district?

JF: No. Just the opposite. Each district will be represented on each comte. ??:

Not having experience with HR… I do notice there is a good deal of overlap with ISF… HR can be very intense and ??? what is done… are we looking at multiple meetings a month?

CS or PY: Spoke to the no. HR, Liq & L&G meetings cancelled over the last year… also mention the lack of full attendance… (as problems…)

this structure would actually “give work” to these cmtes…

in combining them it would actually give them agenda items… efficiency of their time when they have to be there…

JT: I want to remind you that the information behind those numbers …

I would remind you as an example… M Walkup was almost always gone and in the end wasn’t there at all

also, CWilcox missed a number of mtgs. So, as far as L&J is concerned… there was a lot more behind those missing members and cancelled mtgs.

JF: We will put off the “attendance” issue we will put that off for today. We had some other ideas…

McC: I was on HR… contracts(?) but most important… the health benefits package…

so, it was helpful to have M Rein on there… previous times…

but I do see how this fits with ISF…

so that is a good fit and I do hope we have some people who have some expertise on that because that really does help.

JF: Next meeting… I’ve talked to JJ on that and he thought it was a good fit.

JK: Limit appointment to 1 per dist. Or would some cmtes have more than 1 from a district?

JF: I was cognizant of that so we could put it in the rules that there be no more than 2 from any one dist.

McC: I think LIQ & L&G is a good fit to see how laws are enforced across the board.

JF: wants the administrative work to stay with staff and the adjudication stuff would stay with us.

Streamlining the process.

Today was to just to discuss the restructure of the cmtes and that the “other” issues would be considered at another meeting.

CW: What happens if there is a tie vote with 8 members?

It would be my recommendation would be that it not go to the full board until there is resolution at the cmte.

JF: That process is not being changed/addressed at this time…

in the past with 7 members…

if someone is missing and there is a 3/3 vote… the issue goes to the full board with “no- recommendation.”

We’re trying to get rid of some of the redundancies… in the past 2/3 cmtes reviewed the same issue and voted on them.

2 cmtes could support and the 3 rd opposed… it would go to the board ???

“I” put the proposal out there… to start the conversation on the restructuring of the cmtes.

MS: 3.1.3 (PG 5) – suggestion: chg to 8 mbr.

JF: I asked Scott to make the changes I was suggesting yesterday… (apparently no one had seen them)

MS moves: Paula seconds: Bob, Carolyn, Chris, Kate (?), Paula, Larry, chair.

MS: Ad Hoc cmte. On rules should be continued to a COW mtg… group agreed.

Chris: Can we send our comments to someone…

JF: Yes. Send them to

JF: We’ve got 2/3’s of a vote here today…

CW/YB: Are there other changes that will be incorporated in the resolution restructuring cmtes?

Scott: There are minor changes… succession planning, etc.

JF: Lets do just these 4 changes and omit the minor changes til later.


Cmte: Christensen, Jung, McCann, Nowack, Wheeler, Reinert, Franks.

JF: I really appreciate folks reaching out… giving us their ideas… spent a lot of time on this,… and what they would like to do and we tried to accommodate them!

I think everybody got their requests…

I met with everybody but Chuck yesterday… and gathered a chart…

I can show you the chart we had put together… meeting with everybody yesterday…

This was the original makeup of the Cmte assignments (all done before mtg):

  1. FIN/Audit: Skala / McCann: Reinert, Wagner, Smith, (4 vacancy) Christen, Weign
  2.  L&G/Liq: Nowack / Aavang: Wheeler, Ness, Jung, Wagner, Wilbeck, Acosta
  3. Transp: Kearnes / Wilbeck: Skala, Althoff, (3&4 vacancy) Thorsen, Weign
  4. PH: Christensen / Yensen: Thornsen, McCann, Barnes, Parish Keanes Bates
  5. Adm Serv. Aavang / Jung: Schofield, Bates, Barnes, Ness, Parish Acosta
  6. PD: Smith / Schofield: Nowack, Yensen, Reinert, McCann, Althoff (3 vacancy)

Before the vote… and without recapping the changes… all voted YES:

VOTE: Chris, Jung, McCann, Nowack, Wheeler, Reinert, Franks.

An Idea that Could Lead to Fairer Reapportionment

Found in Kankakee’s Daily Journal, this column by former State Rep., University of Illinois Professor and Illinois State government department Director Jijm Edgar is reprinted with person of author Jim Nolan:

If court won’t change, change the court

The Illinois Supreme Court repeatedly has thwarted citizen efforts to vote on term limits and redistricting reform and has dismissed, without even a hearing on the merits, a proposal to address the public employee pension mess that is strangling the state budget.

This past week, the state high court approved an outrageous violation of taxpayer-funded pension programs by awarding huge pensions to nongovernment union officials who put in a single day on a government payroll. How shameful this practice.

I say if the court won’t change its ways, change the court.

Read on, though the next several paragraphs might be a slog.

The framers of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 provided that voters could initiate and amend the legislative article of the charter. “Structural and procedural” amendments would be allowed. In 1976, the court held that this term requires amendments be both structural and procedural. This makes it almost impossible to craft a proposal to make a single change in the legislative article that is both.

The late, eminent state Supreme Court justice Walter Schaefer pooh-poohed this court reading.

“When I see that a restaurant serves both chicken and beef, that doesn’t mean every dish has to have both chicken and beef in it.”

Nevertheless, because of the court’s interpretation, term limits and redistricting reform have been prevented from reaching the voters.

As for the state pension mess, the constitution does set out a clear, contractual guarantee of pension benefits earned. The court has, however, bent over backward to expand the coverage to include health insurance, as well as to private sector union officials who now collect $150,000 per year or more from us taxpayers (while continuing in their high-paid union official jobs) for just one day of government employment.

A few years ago, a leading civic group sought to argue the state, swimming in $250 billion of pension obligations for which there is no money, had the legal right to override the pension guarantee, in order to save the state from itself. The high court wouldn’t even deign to give the argument a hearing.

Voters and taxpayers are frustrated, to say the least.

What to do?

The court now has a 4-3 Democratic majority. One of its Dem members — they are elected on a partisan basis for 10-year terms—is up for retention for another 10 years in the 2020 election cycle, right around the corner.

Previously unknown Rock Island attorney and former Kankakee County resident Thomas Kilbride, of the central Illinois 3rd District, was elected narrowly in 2000, with the help of $1 million from Democratic House speaker Mike Madigan. In 2010, Kilbride was retained by a 65.9 percent vote (60 percent is required to stay on the bench), with the help of $2.7 million from Madigan and his trial lawyer friends. This made it the most expensive retention race on record in the U.S. up to that time.

Justice Kilbride is part of the problem, voting, in my opinion, the wrong way on the types of issues noted above.

If a citizen-taxpayer effort were aroused to oppose his retention, he could be toppled. The court would then be left 3-3 Dem-Repub in 2021.

In that year, the Legislature will redraw congressional and state legislative districts. Because the Democrats will have big majorities in the two chambers and a Democratic governor, it is assured, based on history, Madigan will craft an exquisitely gerrymandered set of maps, to benefit his party.

Just as assured, Republicans will challenge the maps. In the past, the GOP has filed its complaints in federal courts, realizing the Democratic majority on the state high court would reject its appeals.

In 2011, a federal court rejected the GOP contentions — because the U.S. Supreme Court never has gone beyond requiring equal population and protection of minority opportunity to elect their own. Matters of district compactness, for example, have not been addressed, at least as of this writing.

However, the state constitution does require districts be “compact, contiguous and substantially equal in population.” (The most compact shape is a circle.)

Present Illinois districts are equal in population — but the opposite of compact. For example, the Illinois House districts in Chicago reach out similar to long, slender fingers into the nearby suburbs to grasp enough population to justify Democrat-majority districts.

If a challenge were made to the 3-3 state high court, they might deadlock, which would leave a lower circuit court decision in place. The GOP would, of course, want to challenge the remap in a Republican-friendly jurisdiction.

This rejection of Kilbride is the only way I can divine to send a message to the state high court that things have to change so the state can save itself from itself.

= = = = =
Jim Nowlan is a former Illinois legislator, agency director, senior aide to three unindicted governors, campaign manager for U.S. Senate and presidential candidates and professor of government at several universities in Illinois, as well as in China.

Notes on the McHenry County Board’s Committee on Committees Meeting – Part 1

Here are the notes that former 14-year member of the McHenry County Board Ersel Schuster took while listening to the early December meeting of the Committee on Committees:

12/4/18 – Ad Hoc Cmte.

Kate [Bates], Carolyn [Schofield], mike [Skala], paula [Yensen], (Michele [Aavang] missing)

New Business. –

JF [Jack Franks] – as you know, I sent out, 2 weeks ago, the proposed board rules changes

JF – I had gotten a lot of good ideas…. I very much appreciated.

Structure of 6 but others had some very good ideas which we will bring forward…

I’ll ask Mr. Skala about those ideas for the proposed committee consolidation.

Let me say… my background and my reason for the consolidation is simple… greater efficiency for the county board… decreased by 25%… and also cost savings …

We don’t need the amount of committees…

we used to have almost a dozen… and that is a through back to when the CB chair was elected by the board… where the members would support the chair for chairmanships…

If you go further back, where a… the CB mbrs were paid a per diem rather than a salary… there were a lot more committees which meant more trips and then more pay.

Certainly not anything to do with efficiency.

Our proposed consolidation as so many advantages…

1 is fewer trips to the county… less /??? To the administration bldg…. which is savings for you… but, it increases productivity among our dept heads because they will have less time sitting before committees… board meetings as well.

3rd , and most important, it increases our efficiency.

Fewer committees with more members means… for most of these.

The majority of CB mbrs will come into COW already well versed on the resolutions before us.

And Michael… knows what is going on before they even get to the COW… it is a big transparency
at issue.

Ah… we’ve done some other changes in the last year which I know initially met with some regret… ??

you know too much too soon… but we’ve done some good changes which as you will see when we switched to the COW structure … and I think it has worked out really well.

We went to electronic voting… ah.. we also went to videoing our meetings… so it is live… we also improved audio of all the committee meetings… so… I think we’ve done a really good job on that…

I think you will see these proposals take a scalpel to the committee structure and not a hatchet.

Also, I think it is good to have 4 years to acclimate to a committee structure makes more sense.

I think it will be good for continuity… in reducing our size.

So, I am going to ask Mike, our vice chairman to talk about the changes to the 6 cmtes with 8 members each… but there was a new makeup about how we wanted to combine

Skala: Ah… what did you want me to talk about?


MS: Ah… what you had originally proposed… I was not a big fan of so I proposed… ah there was, I think, a compromise…

In regard to what the combination of what the committees should be… it was basically taking Liq and putting it in with Law and Gov… HR & ISF was also…?

Two years ago we had talked about putting Liq in L&G but at the time we already had the cmtes set up so we decided not to do it at that time.

At the time Jack was wanting to get down to 6 cmtes… then if we wanted to get down to 6 cmtes seemed like a logical solution to that…

PY: What were the other chges? (Mike – HR & ISF)

My concern is… who is going to do the review of the Administrator? There needs to be some checks and balance.

JF: There is no change.

MS: That function wouldn’t go away. All the HR and ISF responsibilities would be in the new cmte.

JF: The idea of the 6 cmtes… means that everyone would get 2 cmtes.

You would see much more of what is going on but it would also provide better “expertise” because we have to have people from
each district…

now we don’t need to base this on where people live but on their expertise and knowledge and gives us a lot more flexibility.

Does that make sense?

PY: Ya.

= = = = =
More tomorrow.

NWH Never, Never Mentions Jack Franks’ Name in Articles about the Illinois Integrity Fund’s Smear Mailings

The Northwest Herald builds on the documents from Breaker Press attorney Natalie Harris published yesterday on McHenry County Blog in an article today.

Despite the fact that mailings by Breaker Press in the Republican Primary Election attacked only vocal opponents of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, the NWH cannot make the connection that the hit pieces came from one of Franks’ allies.

Instead the headline writer trots out the name of Tirio’s GOP Primary opponent Janice Dalton, basically a straw candidate.

Did Aaron Shepley Have a Conflict of Interest by Serving on Electoral Board?

Aaron Shepley

In a comment, under this article, the wife of Robert S. Miller, Dianne, wrote the following:

During the hearing Robert’s statement included the fact that Mayor Shepley’s wife works for the same law firm that represented [Council members] Hopkins, Brady and Ferguson and he said that Mayor Shepley should recuse himself, but didn’t request that he do so.

The look on Mayor Shepley’s face was like a deer in the headlights.

McHenry Bank Robbery

A press release from the McHenry Police Department:


On Friday evening, December 14th, 2018 at approximately 4:00 p.m., the McHenry Police responded to the First Midwest Bank, located at 4502 W. Crystal Lake Rd. for the report of a robbery.

Officers arrived on the scene, secured the area and confirmed that a robbery had just occurred.

During the course of the robbery, one male offender entered into the First Midwest Bank through the front door.

The offender approached the teller counter and passed a note to the teller demanding currency.

Details of any currency being taken is undisclosed at this time.

During the course of the robbery NO weapon was displayed.

The offender fled on foot (last seen) Northbound from the front door of the First Midwest Bank.

No injuries were reported during the course of the incident.

The offender is described as follows:

White male possibly in his 30’s, approximately 6 feet tall with an average build. He is described as
wearing a two tone grey zip-up hooded sweatshirt, with a light grey front/back and dark grey
sleeves, a two tone grey hat with white lettering. The hat was dark grey on top with a light grey
brim. Grey pants and grey shoes. He was also seen wearing dark sunglasses with silver rims.
The subject had a goatee and mustache.

The Rockford office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations was notified of the incident and will be assisting in the investigation.

The McHenry Police are asking for the assistance of the community in identifying the offender of this crime.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact the Criminal Investigation Division of the McHenry Police Department at 815-363-2599.

Those wishing to pass along anonymous information are encouraged to call the McHenry Police Tip line at 815-363-2124. All
calls made to the tip line are anonymous as Caller ID is not used.

The robbery investigation is ongoing and evidence collected from the scene will be examined.

No offender has been taken into custody and no suspects have been identified as of the date of this release.

Concerning Secret Recordings of Public Officials Legality, Rhode Island Catches Up to Illinois

Rhode Island caught up with Illinois Monday when a Federal Judge ruled that the First Amendment allows individuals to video police officers and other public officials with getting their permission.

MassLive wrote that the cases in question “involved defendants who had not secretly recorded police but claimed that the Suffolk District Attorney’s office and the Boston Police Department were interpreting state law in such a way that was preventing them from doing so without the risk of legal repercussions.”

One plaintiff was Project Veritas, best known for undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees; the other involved two who took videos of police officers who were represented by the ACLU.

In Illinois, it was Paul Simon’s future wife Jeanne Hurley who sponsored the bill in the 1950’s to require two-party consent to tape recording.

That was considered a “good government” bill at the time.

But, according to a former State Rep. I met at the Springfield train station, Roland Libonati, Hurley was duped.

After a tape recording about currency exchange bribery of legislators was tossed over the transom of reporter Jack Mabley of the Chicago American.

In 2012, the 1957 law was held to be unconstitutional.

21-Year Old Gets Five Years for Heroin Dealing

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


Patrick D. Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney, announces that John Galloway, 21, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for three counts of Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Heroin).

John Galloway

On March 1, 2017, Galloway delivered 0.6 grams of heroin to a confidential informant.

On March 3, 2017, Galloway delivered 2.0 grams of heroin to a confidential informant.

On May 18, 2018, Galloway delivered heroin to Jacob Czipo, which caused his death.

Additional heroin was found amongst Galloway’s property at the scene.

Galloway was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after an open plea to the three charges.

These cases were investigated by members of the Crystal Lake Police Department.

This case was prosecuted by Robert Ladd and Michael Combs of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Attorney for Jack Franks’ Ally’s Printer Refuses to Follow Court Order to Reveal Identities of Originators of Smear Mail, But Admits She Now Represents “s/he/the[m]”

Yesterday, Natalie Harris of Mendel Menkes LLC, attorney for Breaker Press and losing Republican County Clerk candidate Janice Dalton blew off Judge Kevin Costello’s court order by refusing to provide the identities of who was responsible for the hit pieces against then-McHenry County Clerk candidate Joe Tirio.

Instead she filed the following letter, which admits she also represents the Illinois Integrity Fund (“the anonymous persons…s/he/they”):

Re: Tirio v. Dalton, et al. / Case No.: 18MR000302

Dear Mr. Prossnitz,

As you know, I represent Respondents Janice Dalton and Breaker Press in the above-referenced Rule 224 Petition filed by your client McHenry County Clerk and Recorder Joe Tirio.

Tirio’s Petition asserts that certain political campaign advertising flyers published by the Illinois Integrity Fund in the run up to the March 2018 Republican primary in Tirio’s race for McHenry County Clerk (“Flyers”) are defamatory per se, and Tirio seeks the identity of the individual(s)behind the Illinois Integrity Fund responsible for the Flyers. (Second Am. R. 224 Pet., ¶¶ 8-9,11,15.)

One Illinois Integrity Fund mailing that Joe Tirio contends defamed him.

The Respondents objected to, and moved to dismiss, Tirio’s Rule 224 Petition, asserting various arguments in support of their position that the allegedly defamatory statements constitute anonymous speech protected by the First Amendment.

On November 29, 2018, the Court granted Tirio’s Rule 224 Petition, and ordered Respondents to disclose the name and address of the person(s) who created the Flyers.

On December 6, 2018, Respondents filed a Notice of Appeal and a Motion to Stay the November 29, 2018 order pending resolution of the appeal.

Earlier this week on December 11, 2018, the Court entered an order denying Respondents’ Motion to Stay the November 29 Order, and requiring Respondents to comply with the November 29, 2018 by December 13, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.

I am writing to inform you that Respondents respectfully decline to comply with the November 29, 2018 order and the December 11, 2018 order for the sole purpose of preserving the status quo pending resolution of the appeal.

If necessary, Respondents shall make a good-faith request for entry of a “friendly contempt” strictly to ensure that there is appellate jurisdiction to test the December 11, 2018 order pursuant to Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 304(b)(5).

The friendly contempt procedure is appropriate where contemnor’s “conduct in advocating for her

client’s position [is] neither contumacious [or] subject[s] the court to distain or scorn.” In re All Asbestos Litigation, 385 Ill. App. 3d 386, 392, 895 N.E.2d 1155, 1160 (1st Dist. 2008).

“Whenever a noncompliance of a court order is based on ‘a good-faith effort to secure an interpretation of an issue without direct precedent, the contempt will be considered friendly.” Pensler v. Fox TV Stations, Inc., 2016 IL App (1st) 142694-U, ¶ 37.

In addition, as a follow up to the discussions held on the record during the December 11, 2018 hearing, I want to inform you that I represent all of the individual(s) referenced in Par. 3 of this Court’s November 29, 2018 order, namely the anonymous person(s) at whose direction the subject Flyers at issue were created and Breaker Press was paid to print and mail the Flyers.

For ease of reference, I will refer to the anonymous person(s) as the Illinois Integrity Fund (“IIF”) because that is the anonymous name s/he/they adopted for use on the Flyers.

Upon consultation with my client IIF, s/he/they have agreed to authorize me to accept service of process on his/her/their behalf.

This disclosure should address your concern that the

  1. “Illinois Integrity Fund is a total ghost” to you;
  2. IIF might have nothing to do with the Flyers and
  3. statute of limitations on Tirio’s alleged defamation claim against IIF might expire if the Court stays the November 29, 2018 order pending resolution of the appeal. (12/11/18 Rough TOP, 52:19-53:6).

In addition, this disclosure solves the Court’s concern that staying the November 29, 2018 order pending resolution of the appeal would force Tirio to wait until after the one-year statute of limitations expires to file his alleged claims against IIF. (12/11/18 Rough TOP, 17:17-19, 34:16-19).

In other words, staying the November 29, 2018 order will not “result [in Tirio’s] losing any viable cause of action against the [] person or persons they contend defamed Mr. Tirio.” (12/11/18 Rough TOP, 58:15-19).

Tirio knows that IIF made the subject statements in the Flyers.

Therefore, at any time before the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, Tirio may sue the known defendant(s) IIF using IIF’s undisputed adopted alias, and may serve process on IIF through disclosed counsel. See, Hadley v. Doe, 2015 IL 118000, ¶¶ 17-1.

These facts eliminate any potential harm to Tirio in connection with staying the November 29, 2018 order pending resolution of the appeal.


Natalie A. Harris

= = = = =
At 4:03 PM Tirio attorney Phil Prossnitz filed a motion to show cause why the defendants should not be cited for contempt of court.

Slow Filing in Lakewood

Philip Stephan

In the Village of Lakewood, the following positions are open for the April 2, 2019 election:

  • Village President (2 year term),
  • three Village Trustees (4 year term), and
  • one Village Trustee (2 year term)

Filing has been slow with the deadline being close of business Monday.

Current elected Trustee Phil Stephan has filed for Village President.

Brian Augustine and Doug Ulrich, both appointed Trustees, are running for four-year terms.

Illinois Leaks Focuses on Algonquin Township Trustee Melissa Victor as Board Rejects $168,000 of Road District Bills

Reprinted from Illinois Leaks with permission:

Algonquin Township – Trustee Victor points to “Shady Money” – calls for a forensic audit

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –Nope, you cannot make this stuff up!  

Melissa Victor, a self-proclaimed “numbers” person was unable to make heads or tails of certain bills and budget matters.

Melissa Victor

At one point during the meeting, she stated she does not know what he has in his budget, referring to the Road District.

How can she not know what is in the budget?

She was a party to the recent stripping of money from his budget, yet now she says she does not know what is in his budget?

She knew what was in it in October and refused to pay certain bills because of that knowledge, so what happened since the October meeting that now she does not know what is in the budget?

As she shared her concerns with a clear attempt to cast the cause of her confusion towards Andrew Gasser, the Algonquin Township Road District Highway Commissioner, she appears to have forgotten that Gasser has nothing to do with keeping the financial books for the Road District.

That is a function of the Township Supervisor as the Treasure for the Road District.

As a trustee, one would have thought she understood that.

In a rare occurrence, Attorney Kelly spoke up and informed her who handles such matters and that it was not a function of the Road District as she was attempting to imply.

During her talking points, she talks of “shady money going in exchange in these different line items”.  You can see her comments on this beginning at the 8:36 mark of the video below.

She then suggests a forensic audit, which is actually a great idea.

An idea Gasser tried to have done months ago only to be shot down by this Board.

We encourage a forensic audit and ask that it include the last term of the prior Highway Commissioner as well.

I doubt this board will ever authorize any action towards accountability to past spending by the previous Highway Commissioner, but it is clear they are desperately trying to find any possible fault with the current one.

Too bad such scrutiny was not applied to Bob Miller during all his spending sprees.

You can view the forensic audit comment at the 9:38 mark of the video below.

Trustee Victor also took issue with sales tax being paid for clothing purchases by employees and suggested providing tax exempt forms to the employees for them to use for their personal purchased for applicable clothing.

Such an action is not permissible under Illinois law according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

From the Illinois Department of Revenue Publication 104 on sales tax:

“sales of tangible personal property made to a governmental body (Federal, State, local, or foreign) are exempt from the Retailers’ Occupation Tax only if the governmental body has an active E-number issued by IDOR and the governmental body provides this active E-number to the retailer, who  records that number instead of collecting the tax. In addition, only sales of tangible personal property invoiced directly to and paid by governmental bodies that possess active E-numbers are exempt. If an individual government employee provides a credit card to the retailer containing the name of the employee along with the name of the governmental body, tax will be due, even if the employee provides an active E-number.”

In the situation Victor talks about, purchases are being made by individuals and paid for with their own money.

Using a public body’s tax exempt form requires the public body to be the one making the purchase.  Tax exempt purchases by public bodies are only tax exempt if the purchase is invoiced directly to and paid by the government bodies.

Allowing employees to use the tax exempt document to make personal purchases does not appear to be the legal way to make such a purchase tax exempt.

Of additional interest is income tax on these benefits.

Reading some tax instruction information it appears some of these purchases may not be income tax exempt.

There are specific qualifiers for clothing allowances and it is quite possible this allowance may be subject to reporting on their W2, which we understand has not been done in the past but is being looked into.

If it is found that such purchases are subject to income tax under the IRS rules they will file an amended filing to correct any identified past failings in this area.

You can view the video below that contains all the information reported in this article.

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Capitol Fax Picks McSweeney as GOP State Rep. of the Year

Capitol Fax has an annual series of recognition one of which recognizes legislators.

David McSweeney

This year, State Rep. David McSweeney won top honors on the Republican side of the House of Representatives.

Here is what was written here:

The 2018 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Republican Illinois State Representative goes to Rep. Dave McSweeney…

(H)e has been able to effectively pass legislation across the aisle when most of the Caucus has been ineffective. He dealt with sexual harassment payoffs and township government, even when his party objected to it.

He continuously called out the Governor for his mistakes even if it meant he could have had retribution against him.

While he won’t make friends in talks about taxes he continuously gets Democrats to sign on and help pass his bills.

Robert Miller Appealing Being Tossed Off the Crystal Lake Council Ballot, Asks Support through Go Fund Me Page

Here is what is wife, Dainne Miller wrote:

Hey everyone!

Robert has decided to appeal the Election Board hearing decision in McHenry County.

It hasn’t been an easy decision.

He wants to be your voice on the Crystal Lake City Council but the cost of appealing the decision is HUGE. We aren’t rich people.

We live in a small home in Crystal Vista and drive vehicles that are over 10 years old.

Cathy Ferguson

The real reason Hopkins, Brady and Ferguson challenged Robert was to eliminate the competition and automatically be re-elected to another 4 years on the City Council.No need for them to run a campaign or debate the issues.

No costs of a campaign either (other than paying their attorney for the hearing).

The cost of Robert appealing the decision will be between $5,000 and $7,000.

Ellen Brady


We have started a Go Fund Me Campaign.

The blatant abuse of the electoral process in Crystal Lake MUST STOP!

If you want a choice on the ballot this spring, please consider making a contribution.

Click on the link:

Brett Hopkins


People file election petition challenges for the obvious reason of getting opponents off the ballot.

Another reason, however, is to drain them of resources that otherwise might be spent campaigning for office.

Mayors Push for Gas Tax Hike

Here is how the Illinois News Network is reporting a move by Chicago area metropolitan mayors calling for a large–20 to 30 cents per gallon–Motor Fuel Tax hike:


Statewide Increase in Taxes and Fees Would Provide Sustainable, Recurring Revenue to Support a Transportation Capital Bill

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to call for a statewide capital bill to pay for critical transportation infrastructure needs, funded largely through an increase in the state motor fuel tax which has remained flat for gasoline since 1990.

Illinois has not passed a statewide capital bill since 2009 [when it was sponsored by Lake County Republican Robert Churchill].

“For Illinois to maintain its status as the transportation hub of the nation, we need to make major infrastructure investments to support our transportation systems,” Mayor Emanuel said. “In addition to critical funding to replace aging roads and bridges, sustained, flexible revenues need to flow directly to public transit.  As the backbone of our larger transportation network and a stimulator of economic development, transit needs a dedicated, reliable revenue source so that we can continue to modernize and grow the system.”

According to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the region needs $24 billion in added revenue through 2050 to maintain the current system, without addressing the backlog. In addition, CMAP estimates that another $32 billion is needed to improve the condition, enhance and expand the current system. Decades of underinvestment have created a significant backlog of projects to reach a state of good repair.

Federal and state revenues that support transportation investments have not kept up with costs or inflation. Recent signals from Washington point to growing reliance on state and local revenues to fund these needs.

The state needs to raise revenue for infrastructure, and a 20 to 30 center per gallon increase in the motor fuel tax and other traditional transportation funding sources is a reasonable and widely-supported place to start.

Other states and regions are far ahead of the State of Illinois and metropolitan Chicago in raising revenues to support infrastructure projects. About half of the states including Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa and Ohio have raised transportation revenues since 2012, while Illinois’s gas tax has been at 19 cents per gallon since 1990. Every five cent per gallon increase in the motor fuel tax results in approximately $20 million more in City revenue and over $250 million statewide.

The northeastern Illinois region is the economic engine of the state, accounting for 80 percent of the economy and two-thirds of its population.

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus represents 275 communities and over 9 million residents of northeastern Illinois.

The proposed capital bill is based on five principles:

  • Sustainable funding to create reliable, stable revenue streams that are not speculative or inadequate.
  • Multi-modal transportation across not only the region’s road network, but also its transit, bicycle, and pedestrian networks.
  • Return on investment ensuring that investments reflect where the funding comes from.
  • Performance, ensuring vendors are held accountable for delivering.
  • Benefits-based to reflect all transportation users’ contribution to improving our infrastructure, no matter how they travel.

“All funding options need to be on the table,” Mayor John Ostenburg, Chairman of the Mayors Caucus and Mayor of Park Forest said.  “Revenue sources that have traditionally funded roads and transit in the past can support our needs today.  However, with the continued emergence of new transportation technologies, they won’t last long.  We need to have the courage and foresight to experiment and pilot new sources of revenue for infrastructure.”

The proposal has bipartisan support from members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus including:

  • Mayor John A. Ostenburg, Village of Park Forest
  • Mayor Vernard L. Alsberry, Jr., Village of Hazel Crest
  • President Gail Johnson, Village of Oswego
  • Mayor Robert J. Nunamaker, Village of Fox River Grove
  • Mayor Robert O’Dekirk, City of Joliet
  • Mayor Jeffery D. Schielke, City of Batavia
  • Mayor Gerald R. Bennett, City of Palos Hills
  • Mayor Jim Holland, Village of Frankfort
  • President Lawrence R. Levin, Village of Glencoe
  • Mayor Joseph Mancino, Village of Hawthorn Woods
  • Mayor Joseph T. Tamburino, Village of Hillside
  • Mayor Timothy Baldermann, Village of New Lenox
  • Mayor Paul S. Braun, Village of Flossmoor
  • Mayor Rodney S. Craig, Village of Hanover Park
  • President Karen Y. Darch, Village of Barrington
  • Mayor Don DeGraff, Village of South Holland
  • Mayor Richard C. Irvin, City of Aurora
  • President Robert “Bob” Kolosh, Village of Thornton
  • President Al Larson, Village of Schaumburg
  • President Richard Mack, Village of Ringwood
  • Mayor John Mahoney, City of Palos Park
  • Mayor Brian Sager, City of Woodstock
  • Mayor John Schmitt, Village of Algonquin
  • Mayor Aaron T. Shepley, Village of Crystal Lake
  • Mayor Jeffrey T. Sherwin, City of Northlake
  • Mayor Annie Coulter, Ford Heights

“CMAP applauds these leaders for working together to address the urgent need for transportation funding in our region,” Joseph C. Szabo, CMAP executive director said. “We are at a crisis point, and increasing the gas tax is a crucial first step. We owe it to the public to make sure we achieve a lasting solution – one that is sustainable, flexible, and user-based – to ensure we can invest in the best possible projects and help our communities prosper.”

Under Mayor Emanuel, Chicago has invested billions in improving its transportation infrastructure but without state a state capital bill and serious state funding needed, repairs for roads, bridges and public transportation networks in the city, in the region and across the state continue to pile up. The City has been aggressive at creating and using TIF dollars to fund transformational projects like Red and Purple Line Modernization. Though the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has seen unprecedented investment under Mayor Emanuel—more than $8 billion in modernization and improvements projects—much of the CTA’s infrastructure is decades old and needs rebuilding or replacement. Mayor Emanuel also pushed for the creative use of the TIFIA loan program to fund the construction of the acclaimed Riverwalk that has fueled the boom along the Chicago’s river fronts. The Riverwalk has proved to be a phenomenal success and revenue from vendors is exceeding projections and helping to repay the loan.

McHenry Police Outline Afternoon Bomb Threats

A press release from the McHenry Police Department:


On Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at approximately 12:47 PM, the McHenry Police Department responded to the Montini Catholic School, 1405 N. Richmond Road, McHenry, Illinois, for the report of a bomb threat.

Officers arrived on the scene and secured the school.

At approximately 12:58 PM, the McHenry Police Department also responded to MedCor, Inc., 4805 W. Prime Parkway, McHenry, Illinois, for a similar bomb threat.

The threats were emailed to the locations and were similar to threats received by businesses and educational institutions across the nation

As a precaution, both of McHenry’s Montini schools were evacuated to allow police officers and school administration to search the buildings.

A search of both the interior and exterior of the school’s properties found no suspicious items or threats to the children and faculty.

Students were temporarily placed at Smith’s Central Garage, 3315 W. Pearl Street, McHenry, Illinois, to await being picked up by a relative.

As a precaution only, the remaining McHenry schools in District 15 and District 156 were notified of the incident and subsequently placed into a soft lockdown.

Also as a precaution, MedCor, Inc., was evacuated to allow police officers to search that business.

A search of both the interior and exterior of the property found no suspicious items or threats to the employees.

As these threats were not isolated to the City of McHenry, the McHenry Police Department will be working with its State and Federal partners to identify the source.

The police department takesany threat to its community seriously and will work hard to ensure that the responsibly party is held accountable for their actions.–

McHenry Schools Put on Soft Lockdown

Ar 1:15 McHenry Police advised:

McHenry Police Department is investigating threats received in town

McHenry Police are currently investigating two threats at two separate locations in town.

Both locations were evacuated as a safety precaution.

In addition both Montini Primary and Montini Middle Schools were evacuated as they were in proximatey to one of the threats.

Please avoid Prime Parkway and the area of Richmond Road and Pearl Street until further notice.

Later in the afternoon, District 15 posted this on its website:

We have been advised by the McHenry Police Department to cancel our soft lockdown for all schools.

Jack Franks’ Ally’s Printer Ignores Court Order to Turn Over Smear Mailer’s Identity by Noon

McHenry County Associate Judge Kevin Costello ordered the attorney for Breaker Press, Natalie Harris, to turn over, in writing, the identities of those responsible for the defamatory hit pieces against McHenry County Clerk candidate Joe Tirio by noon on Thursday.

The Illinois Integrity Funds lacked the integrity to file with the Illinois State Board of Elections.  Filing is required if more than $5,000 is spent.

It is past noon and nothing has been provided by then that would show who is behind the misnamed Illinois Integrity Fund, whose name is on the postcards.

Justin Hansen Appointed to Replace Circuit Court Judge Michael Sullivan

A press release from the McHenry County Circuit Court:

Justin M. Hansen Appointed Circuit Judge by the Illinois Supreme Court

(Woodstock, IL) On November 12, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court issued order M.R. 001403, appointing Justin M. Hansen to Circuit Judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, Third Subcircuit.

Judicial Subcircuit 3 may see a Republican Primary Election for Circuit Court Judge in 2020. There could, of course, be a Democrat running for the office as well.

The appointment is effective February 4, 2019 and terminates on December 7, 2020, pending the results of the general election in 2020.

Mr. Hansen’s appointment fills the vacancy due to the retirement of Circuit Judge Michael J. Sullivan.

Immediately preceding to his appointment Mr. Hansen was an attorney in the Libertyville office of Swanson, Martin & Bell.

He successfully represented individual, corporate and municipal clients in a wide variety of matters including medical malpractice, breach of contract, land use and zoning, and landlord/tenant issues.

Prior to joining Swanson, Martin & Bell, Mr. Hansen practiced at Cowlin, Naughton, Curran & Coppedge in Crystal Lake, and representing clients in criminal and juvenile matters, real estate transactions, and business disputes.

He also prosecuted DUI and traffic citations for various local municipalities.

Mr. Hansen also served the 22nd Judicial Circuit of McHenry County as a Special Public Defender, representing indigent clients on misdemeanor and felony matters.

Mr. Hansen attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois earning his Bachelor of Arts and received his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.

Before attending law school, Justin worked for a non-profit in Milwaukee providing advocacy for children affected by domestic violence.

Mr. Hansen presently lives in unincorporated McHenry County, in Nunda Township with his wife and children.

Folks Who Will Levy Most of Your Taxes

Here re those who have filed for school board at the McHenry County Clerk’s Office through 5 PM on Wednesday, January 12th:


Johnsburg School Board candidates campaigning at this year’s Saufen und Spiel parade.

** indicates simultaneous filing

** Elizabeth Young (Full Term) Spring Grove 60081
** Elke Kleisch (Full Term) Spring Grove 60081
** Marcy Garrison (Full Term) Spring Grove 60081

Gerry Blohm (Full Term) Fox River Grove 60021

Valerie Klos (Full Term) Johnsburg 60051
Meghan A. Michel (Full Term) Johnsburg 60051
Gerald J. Harker (Full Term) Johnsburg 60051

Former IEA official Arne Waltmire leaving the Democrats’ secret caucus at which Ray Flavin was picked to replace Jim Harrison for McHenry County State’s Attorney.

** Matthew Stauner (Full Term) McHenry 60051
** Arne Waltmire (Full Term) McHenry 60050

Victoria Kaczkos (Full Term) Marengo 60152

Kate Johnson (Full Term) Hebron 60034
Kenneth M. Winkelman (Full Term) Harvard 60033
Michael J. Norton (Full Term) Hebron 60034

** Karen Parks (Full Term) Wonder Lake 60097
** Mark Nothdorf (Full Term) Wonder Lake 60097
** Laurie Alsot (Full Term) Wonder Lake 60097

Khushali Z. Shah (Full Term) Prairie Grove 60012

Curt Wadlington (Full Term) Crystal Lake 60014
Robert Fetzner (Full Term) Crystal Lake 60014

** Sandra J Theriault (Full Term) Harvard 60033
** Julie Lehmann (Full Term) Harvard 60033
Sharon L. McMillan (Full Term) Harvard 60033

Anthony Martin (Full Term) Marengo 60152

** Amy Blazier (Full Term) Crystal Lake 60014
** Adam Guss (Full Term) Crystal Lake 60014
** Tom Vaclavek (Full Term) Cary 60013

Dawn Bremer (Full Term) McHenry 60050

Theresa “Tracy” Highley (Full Term) Spring Grove 60081
Steven D. Holtz (Full Term) Richmond 60071
Robert Satkiewicz (Full Term) Spring Grove 60081

William T. Geheren (Full Term) Huntley 60142

Barbara Dochterman (Full Term) Marengo 60152
Matthew Erbstoesser (Full Term) Union 60180

Jerry Miceli (Full Term) Woodstock 60098
Michelle Bidwell (Full Term) Woodstock 60098
John Headley (Full Term) Woodstock 60098

= = = = =
Teachers unions do their best to field candidates who will be friendly when union negotiation time comes.

Deadline for filing is Monday at 5 PM at the County Clerk’s Office in Woodstock.