Part II – McHenry County’s Woodstock City Officials Victims of Undertow of Growth…Camouflage Counts

In the center of McHenry County, the growth tip is Woodstock, the county seat.

There, local voters face the building of thousands of new residences and a huge school bond issue next year for the schools which the developers don’t finance.

The subdivisions were zoned after rampant growth opponents lost their temporary control of city council. After a spate of annexations of land for new subdivisions, people realized that neither the developers nor the new residents would pay for the required new schools.

About a year ago, the Woodstock school district asked the city council to impose “lag fees.” These fees require the payment of an equivalent of the property taxes that would have been paid had the home been on the tax rolls. None of the city council favored the proposal.

When one city councilmen, Brian Sager, decided to run for mayor, he started promoting the “lag fees,” which can only be imposed at the time of an annexation agreement. The switch in position camouflaged his previous pro-growth stance.

Playing into the fear of higher future taxes, Sager beat two-term Mayor Alan Cornue by a margin of 65%-35%. His two city council running mates also won.

Of course, the lag fees cannot be imposed on the already approved subdivisions.

Cornue, whose father was the McHenry County Supervisor of Assessments, is moving to Lake Geneva and Milwaukee.

In Part III, read what happened in Kane County.


Part II – McHenry County’s Woodstock City Officials Victims of Undertow of Growth…Camouflage Counts — 1 Comment

  1. Interestingly, Mayor Sager appeared at a Woodstock D200 school board meeting couple years ago to OPPOSE ‘lag fees’ on expansion of failed subdivisin on Dean St. adjacent to new schools
    (D200 schools have operated at around 60% of enrollmkent capacity, but EXCESSIVELY populated teaching, admin, quasi-medical/psycho-social, and bilingual teaching staff, ever since the $120 bond issue (with additional sub rosa $50 million interest on a $14 million principal loan,to top off borrowing to its full extent after the market was known to have crashed).

    The new homes will produce, presumably, at least .6 students-per-household.

    D200 is currently taxing over $9000 per-year per-pupil to local taxpayers
    (an amount which has risen at double-or-more inflation rates for more than the past decade).

    Therefore, these $150,000 home if taxed at full fair value will only pay $3750 to D200.

    They will NOT pay ‘full fair market value’, due to the successful lobbying of Sager and D200 board to waive ‘lag taxes’.

    WHO will have to pay for the extra $5250 (not to mention the shortfall of fair share to County, MCC, MCCD, fire&rescue, library, etc.) per new home?

    Existing taxpayers.

    Bounty to anyone with information on any personal financial benefits to the Mayor, City Councilmen, or School Board Members for their inexplicable patterns of promoting policies which have devastated Woodstock taxpayers and their home values since 2006.

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