It was called a candidates’ forum by the Civics Committee of Sun City, but three of the Grafton Township Supervisor candidates turned it into a game of pile-on Linda Moore.
Moore, of course, is the incumbent.
Republican primary opponents Marty Waitzman and Pam Fender, as well as Independent Jim Kearns took turns taking shots at Moore.
The result was that Moore was on the defensive most of the evening.
Indeed, her closing statement was characterized as being “defensive” by a woman sitting behind me.
She pointed out that before her election she and a list of citizens she enumerated had sued the Town Board to stop the construction of a new township hall.
Her side won the case, but the Trustees appealed the decision “and lost.”
“The Trustees wasted a half million dollars” on legal fees, she said.
Then there was a referendum in which 85% of the people voted against building a new township hall.
When they tried “to remove me from office,” the Trustees ran up legal bills of $470,000.
“There is no way to stop the legal fees [until they are out of office].”
Then she talked about having paid all the bill that were “legitimate proper bills,” she said, pointing to state statutes that governed what type of bills could be paid with township dollars.
“This election will bring us full circle,” she claimed.
She said she was the “only member of the Board to vote against taking more money out of your pockets.”
“There’s no way to stop what’s going on until these people are off the [Township] Board,” Moore had said earlier.
Grafton Township Trustee Jerry McMahon’s wife Donna pointed out during the question period that tax dollars homeowners would have saved if her husband and the other three trustees had voted to tax as much as state law allows was minimum.
She criticized Moore’s characterization of the Trustees’ action as being a “tax to the max” approach. McMahon also criticized Moore for the campaign pitch, “You can lower taxes.” [All four trustees did vote to take as much money from taxpayers as state law allows, as McHenry County Blog has reported several times. The argument in favor of such action has been that the government would lose the money forever if the maximum was not requested.]
Marty Waitzman had several characterizations of Moore’s term:
- “For all intents and purposes, Grafton Township has ground to a halt.”
- “Oh, my God. There is no civility. No cooperation. Nothing but arguments.”
- “You don’t have to spend as much time as is now spent. Garbage in, garbage out.”
- “I think you should be prosecuted.”
- “The Township Supervisor is not the supreme being on this board.”
Pam Fender was loaded for bear, too:
- “It is obvious Mrs. Moore is in over her head.”
- “A Supervisor is supposed to be nice.”
- “I won’t cash checks that don’t belong to the Township.”
- “[You] need to work on your people skills.”
- “We don’t need more lawsuits, more lawyers.”
Jim Kearns got in his licks, too:
- “You should treat others as you would want to be treated. There’s not a lot of that going on in Grafton Township.”
- “Right now, this Township doesn’t know where it’s at.”
- “I’m going to stop the legal fees.”
- “When we dig our heels in, we’re not going to get very far. We are fools, folks.”
- “We’ve got to learn how to talk with each other.”
There was a question about the efficiency of the bus service.
Waitzman got first shot. He said, “It’s not about numbers. It’s about making certain people get the transportation they need.”
“I don’t think the bus should be efficient,” Fender said. She talked about making it available from 7 AM to 9 PM.
“We need to treat them with respect,” Kearns added. He added that there was no reason the Road Commissioner’s employees couldn’t change the oil in the bus, rather than paying $150 to “the Ford Dealer up the street.”
Moore reported that she had reduced the cost by one-third, from $75,000 to $50,000, while ridership had increased “steadily throughout the four years.”
“We can’t have inefficient programs in government,” she asserted. She said that she asked seniors who had trips that were individual in nature to call Faith in Action and Senior Services.
“We do the best we can with what we have,” pointing to using the van, instead of the bus if wheelchair seniors needed transportation.
All four said they had no plans to build a new township hall.
With regard to campaign financing, all the candidates seem to be pretty much paying for their own campaigns.