Part 2 – An Open Letter to Wonder Lake about the Creation of a Library District

An open letter from Wonder Lake Resident Jeff Gerhardt, Wonder Lake Community Tech Center:


We will very soon be starting a petition campaign to get several ballot initiatives on the ballot as soon as we can, this fall if at all possible.

Therefore, it is important that YOU as homeowners and voters in the community, understand the issues so that you can join in on a campaign that is OBVIOUSLY in the best interests of everyone in Wonder Lake.

EVERYONE LOCAL, wins in our campaign. There is no real downside to people in the local community, although the Woodstock & McHenry library districts will need to do without our taxes. There is NO smokescreen.

This very complicated issue is really quite simple to digest if you can get your hands around a couple basic presumptions we have made while approaching this process.

1- That in the creation of a library district, if we had control of our destiny and taxes, we could better manage those funds by leveraging them with local government, other local quasi-governmental organizations (such as local schools) and local community groups (such as Churches and clubs); in a more cost effective way than is being done now.

The facts of American Government support this contention as in the VAST majority of cases, the closer that a body of government gets to the local tax payers the more efficient it typically is in its effective use of tax dollars. Waste grows in a geometric scale as the tax-payers direct supervision gets disconnected from the process. I think everyone knows this and understands this.

The people of McHenry and Woodstock have less motivation to use our tax dollars to benefit our community. Indeed, McHenry and Woodstock have build very fine libraries, into which we have contributed millions of dollars.

History has proved that they have taken our taxes, and given little back to us in proportion to our taxes. This is the fact of the case. The recent offers by the McHenry Library District of possible improved service, and an offer at the 11th hour, is really just so much vapor so as to solicit our support for an increase in taxes. We should have little confidence in such “possibilities”.

Simply stated we can get far more “bang for the buck” for our EXISTING tax dollar and even possibly more services for less taxes, if we have a local library district and local elected library board to exercise the will of the local people.

2- For the people on the east side presently served by the McHenry Library- that in the creation of a library organization for Wonder Lake we would join the same regional Library Systems (the NSLS: the North Suburban Library System) as the McHenry Library. In effect the people on the east side of Wonder Lake would have available what library services that have now. This would allow them to visit and make use of the collections from dozens of libraries across McHenry and Lake Counties. But, they would also have available a LOCAL library facility and the strong likelihood of a reduction in taxes.

In summary an increase in services and a small reduction of taxes.

3- For the people on the west side presently served by the Woodstock Library- that in the creation of a Wonder Lake library organization, these taxpayers would realize the most significant gain in services. As a member of the NSLS (the North Suburban Library System), the people on the west side of Wonder Lake would NOW have available the collections from dozens of libraries across McHenry and Lake Counties, an option that was Not available in the past; unless they paid a special fee of $56.00 per year to the Woodstock Library, over and above their taxes.

In summary a significant (HUGE) improvement in services, with a tiny increase in taxes and yet, a reduction in overall costs for FULL SERVICE use.

More tomorrow.

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