This is the third installment of the debate which occurred at the McHenry County Board Tuesday morning over the resolution to approve a contract to continue the widening of Randall Road from four to six lanes, plus revamping its intersection at Algonquin Road.
Yvonne Barnes of Cary, who represents District 1 (south of Algonquin Road) objected that nothing in the contract being considered requires any consideration of any alternative but the Continuous Flow Intersection.
She said she had hoped that the prime contractor, TranSystem, would have been in attendance so its principals could have been quizzed.
Mentioning what she called “empty promises, she said, “I don’t have that blind faith.
“Too many people aren’t comfortable and the lack of words in the contract, I’m not comfortable with that.
“What is the rush on this?
“We all knew it was an important issue.
“I would have scheduled this for a time when people [could have come, rather than during the morning].”
Barnes was also critical of the million dollars “for public relations.”
She revealed she had minored in transportation planning.
“My vote tonight (sic) is not because I support the CFI or not.
“I support the process…but there are so many problems we know exist.
“Let’s make people feel better about the money issues, the contract issues.
“Vote ‘No’ [means] hold on.”
Nick Chirikos, a District 1 member who lives in Algonquin east of the Fox River, spoke next.
“This is undoubtedly going to be one of the most important in my career on this Board.
“I agree there’s a congestion problem.
“I disagree…that it’s the most important problem.
“The biggest problem is the lack of parking [for shoppers. Stores are] actually asking for parking garages.
“Randall Road will be widened.
“[We should] learn from our mistakes in the past.”
Chirikos said that the perception people will have if the resolution passed was that it “will be a vote on the CFI.”
“This very well may affect our possibility for re-election this fall.
“We may never seen a[nother] vote on this, if we’re not re-elected.
“Voting away $5 million RTA taxes, $9 million for consulting [with] $1 million for public outreach [may be] seen as wasteful and unnecessary.
“This is a very difficult vote for me and I’m very conflicted.” [He voted in favor.]
Finance Chairwoman Mary McCann spoke next.
She said she was surprised at Lake in the Hills’ not wanting an economic impact statement.
“At some point those businesses will get very frustrated…and see a decline in their revenues.”
She added that outreach will not be to local managers, but to corporate transportation managers.
“We are voting on a CFI. We’ve voting on a solution.”
Coming back for a second time, Ersel Schuster urged that the resolution be sent back to committee because, “We can all read the same document and come up with different conclusions…spending boquet bucks on problems we’ve created.”
People are moving on frontage roads to avoid it, he explained.
“The only way [is] to proceed to vote for this…gather more information and come up with the best solution.”
“The concern that Lake in the Hills and the three trustees in Algonquin have is that their retail will be destroyed,” pointed out Donna Kurtz.
“If they are harmed by what happens on Randall Road… eighty percent of the tax structure could be irreparably harmed.”
“Your job is not just to represent the County Board, but to listen and give voice to those [you represent].
The vote was then taken, passing by 15-7.