No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 4

Miller, Bob hands out

Bob Miller addresses the Township Consolidation Task Force audience.

One of the main participants in the McHenry County Board’s Township Consolidation Task Force meeting last Tuesday was Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller.

When he first spoke he told of hearing that McHenry County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller had decided to add a Highway Commissioner to the Task Force.

The Road Commissioners met and selected Miller to be their spokesman.

Then, Miller learned that he would only be a non-voting” member.

Better an advisory member than having no one represent the township officials that spent the most money in each township he figured.

When he arrived at the meeting on Tuesday, he sat down at the table.

“I did sit over in that empty chair, but I was told I had to sit right here,” said Miller standing in front of his front row seat. [Miller did not identify who told him he couldn’t see at what my family would call the “adult table” at family gathers.]

“You know a whole lot more about me than I know about you,” he told the audience.

“It’s probably all true,” he continued, drawing a laugh from the crowd.

He described the meeting as one like this:

“Let’s see what we can screw with in McHenry County today.”

“In some alternative world, this might work,” he continued.

Miller warned of “unintended consequences.”

He pointed out that the figures that had been developed did not take into account the 50% of the Road and Bridge Fund that goes directly to cities and villages.

While Road Commissioner levy [and get blamed for] the taxes raised, half of the amount paid by municipal residents goes directly from the County Treasurer’s Office to the cities and villages where the taxpayer lives.

In Algonquin Township, that amounts to $1.2 million which the municipalities receive, but take no heat for levying.

So, “the numbers are skewed from the beginning.”

Miller commented that the Task Force was going to “arbitrarily pick two townships.

“You should ask people in the townships if they want [be combined].

The Algonquin Township man said that there would be costs to county government because all the parcels would have to be renamed.

“Precincts will change.”

He pointed out that Algonquin Township does not have a Hard Road Fund, but Grafton, which one of the maps would have merged with Algonquin, did.

Bob Miller

Bob Miller

Miller wondered if Algonquin were merged with Grafton whether Algonquin Township taxpayers would then be saddled with Grafton’s Hard Road Fund tax.

Commenting on the relationship among township road commissioner, he declared,

“We work together now.

“We have a lot of equipment in Algonquin.

“We go all over McHenry County and Lake.”

He referred the economy of scale now operating.

Miller concluded by conceding:

“I know everyone thinks this is self-serving”

= = = = =
Articles in the series:


No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 4 — 44 Comments

  1. This post is intended to reach: Walkup, Schofield, Kurtz, Shorten, Anderson and any other supporter of Township consolidation.

    What would be the impact of this law in Illinois?

    The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, A Technical Manual
    Page 57
    (35 ILCS 200/18-215)

    Sec. 18-215. Merging and consolidating taxing districts; transfer of service.

    For purposes of this Law, when 2 or more
    taxing districts merge or consolidate, the sum
    of the last preceding aggregate extensions
    for each taxing district shall be combined for
    the resulting merged or consolidated taxing

    When a service performed by one
    taxing district is transferred to another taxing
    district, that part of the aggregate extension
    base for that purpose shall be transferred and
    added to the aggregate extension base of the
    transferee taxing district for purposes of this
    Law and shall be deducted from the aggregate
    extension base of the transferor taxing district.

    If the service and corresponding portion
    of the aggregate extension base transferred
    to the taxing district are for a service that the
    transferee district does not currently levy for,
    the provisions of Section 18-190 of this Law
    requiring a referendum to establish a new levy
    shall not apply.

    (Source: P.A. 90-719, eff. 8-7-98.)

    My interpretation is the same as Mr. Miller’s.

    If a Township has a Permanent Hard Road Gravel fund or an Audit fund or an Insurance fund or a pension fund or ANY type of fund the other Township does not have, guess what? Without REFERENDUM, the levy for the added fund will be added to the consolidated township which did not have the fund!!!!!

  2. Having a bunch of teensy weensy governments does not make you an advocate of “small government”.

    I call this the “Lilliputian” approach.

    By that logic we should have a separate government for all 36 of the land sections inside of each township.

    That way you can walk to your “Section” office to transact your business.

    This is why we have some very small states on the East Coast but not further inland.

    People in the 17th century didn’t always have horses.

    Does anyone today think that Delaware is a good idea?

    More separate units of government is MORE government.

    The question is, now that we are in the 21st century and have traded in our quill pens for i phones, how many different government offices, buildings, and staffs should we have, and what core services should government be offering?

  3. Mr. Walkup: Your response to the issue of increasing Township taxes due to consolidation is?

  4. For a guy who stated that commenting on the Consolidation Task Force is “wasting your breath” he sure spends a lot of time commenting!

  5. After the collapse, your “teensy weensy” governments will be in charge of everything.

  6. It is wasting your breath to comment to the task force as they don’t have the power to consider not forwarding a map and accompanying resolution to the full Board.

    It is not a county board committee that can kill something in committee.

    All that is being accomplished by that sort of commentary at the task force meetings is to eat up time that the task force needs to formulate the map and resolution.

    At this rate they are not going to be finished in time, which I suspect may be the real motivation of some.

    The Board, on the other hand, can consider the merits of the question.

    so my suggestion is that all of the folks who are taking time off in the middle of the day to come to the task force meetings should instead come to the Board meeting and sign up for comment there. I would appreciate hearing from you directly.

    In addition to the meeting Tuesday at 7 PM, there will also be an open house starting at 5.

    I would encourage as many people as possible to attend.

    All three map scenarios will be on display and there might be some Board members you can talk to.

  7. Aw, shucks, Bob Miller has perfected that down-home, self-deprecating way of speaking of himself.

    All he needs is a piece of hay in his mouth to complete the picture.

    Just a neighbor trying to do the job.

    It goes over big with the elderly voters.

    Oh, and he thinks people might think his comments are self-serving?

    Bob, what could be thought of as self serving about your salary of $107,000 or you hiring your wife at $82,000 or your son-in-law at $82,000???

    Do the voters in Algonquin township mind that your wife is also on the county board so perhaps both entities get short changed?

    Or do they care that you have SIX MILLION+ in equipment to maintain 50 miles of road and you go all over Lake and McHenry counties with it to build up your own importance and assure that when you ask favors you receive them.


    As the kids say “look those words up in the dictionary and your picture will be there.”

  8. Actually, all of the map scenarios won’t be on display.

    The one I suggested, combining Crystal Lake and Lakewood and allowing a referendum to create a new township that, after creation, could ask to legislature to be abolished by referendum–will not be included.

    Too creative for the Task Force, I guess.

    Other incorporated areas could take the same route, e.g., Huntley-Lake in the Hills-Algonquin-Barrington Hills, Fox River Grove-Cary (is Oakwood Hills continguous?), McHenry-Wonder Lake-Johnsburg, Richmond-Spring Grove, Woodstock (which is in three townships).

    But the Task Force is not really interested in real reform, I guess.

  9. Cal: I said “all 3 maps”, meaning the three that the task force is considering.

    As I read the statute, the County Board may place a resolution for any city with a population of over 3000 if it is entirely contained within one township, or a with a population of over 15,000 if it is in two or more townships, after which the city would become a coterminous city.

    However, before doing that the county must receive a petition with at least 200 signatures of registered voters of the city, and the board has to hold a public hearing with notice being published 60 days in advance in at least 3 times in a newspaper published in the city or, if none, in the county with a circulation within the area affected.

    You then have the problem, however, of municipal annexations.

    There is another provision for that which requires either township approval, or a referendum of the voters IN THE TOWNSHIP to consent to the annexation.

    This effectively prevents annexations.

    Intergovernmental agreements may allow the city to annex while leaving the new portion inside of the township, which defeats the purpose, I would think.

    This is probably only practical in areas where the municipalities have consumed all of the unincorporated areas and butt up against one another completely.

    What would be the advantage?

    (I know you wrote something up on this but remind me).

  10. Watcher1940, see this in the NWH?

    Letter: Thanks to representatives

    Published: Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015 5:30 a.m. CDT

    To the Editor:

    On July 29, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-0171. This bill amends the Illinois Highway Code so funds road districts may spend on non-dedicated subdivision roads can be derived from other road district sources, not only motor fuel tax dollars as identified in the original legislation.

    These dollars may not exceed the amount that would have been allocated under the motor fuel tax fund formula, but it does remove the difficult IDOT auditing requirement from the process. This small but important clarification will simplify the process of providing maintenance services for hundreds of our McHenry County residents who live along these non-dedicated roads.

    Our sincere thanks go to state Rep. David McSweeney and state Sen. Pamela Althoff for shepherding this important legislation through a challenging process.

    Thank you both for your efforts on behalf of Algonquin Township, McHenry Township and Nunda Township residents. We appreciate your hard work, lobbying and leadership. We are indeed fortunate to have such an effective representative team working for McHenry County in Springfield.

    Robert J. Miler
    Algonquin Township highway commissioner

    Is that down-home type of talking you were referring to?

  11. Note: Walkup, the lawyer, appears to refuse to comment on the State law relative to consolidation.

  12. In looking again at Cal’s original post on “Crystal Lake Township”, it looks like he was thinking that you would then not have to pay the taxes currently being assessed by the townships.

    However, you would now need someone to do the assessments.

    Are you going to get that for free from the county SOA?

    You would, however, get out of paying for the township road costs and the public aid distribution etc.

    Supervisor related costs.

    People living in the city who needed interim public assistance would have to move out to a township, I would suppose.

    Township residents could then expect an increase in their taxes to cover I would anticipate.

    Cal was also looking at the wrong statute.

    You wouldn’t need 3/4ths vote as I read it right now.

    That relates to forming a new township that does not correspond to existing municipal boundaries.

    For a municipality you need just 200 signatures on a petition.

    Then it would be up to the county board to hold a hearing to allow the formation of a coterminous township.

    It would also appear to kill annexations unless you can get the majority of the citizenry of the township (whose taxes you just caused to increase) to approve.

  13. As an advocate for less/smaller government… I see nothing but big dollar signs with all this inane chatter.

    It is heartbreaking to see how a few people can confuse an issue such as this simply because they “anticipate… something may work out as they suggest.

    What a horrible disservice to township resident who may get sucked into the game.

    Too bad the promoters of this consolidation referendum aren’t going to be held financially responsible for those township votes that may go their way.

  14. Allow me to interpret what the politicians REALLY are saying when they speak.

    1) Bob Miller: “I know everyone thinks this is self-serving” = “This is totally self-serving and I know the few informed electorate is well aware of this. But, I’m now fully invested in this political sham and there’s really nothing you fools can do about it because I’ll keep getting elected by the uniformed. Deal with it!”

    2) Ersel Schuster: “Inane chatter” = “Legitimate complaints levied against us politicians who have benefited from the political sham. Don’t you dare challenge us you idiots, you’re simply too stupid. Besides, I’ve got benefits up the wazoo so don’t you dare take away my retirement package. My life prior to politics was total failure – so me and my family are counting on the enormous benefits provided by the political system despite me working only a few years.”

    That’s basically what they’re saying.

    I never really can understand a word Mr. Walkup says. Otherwise, I’d try to interpret his words.

  15. Aw shucks Bob.

    They made you sit in a chair.

    Of course you gonna justify why your job is needed.

    More like your family income needs to be protected

  16. None of this has any affect on Bob Miller.

    He is an advocate for Township Government and is representing the Highway Commissioner point of view on the matter.

    There is no proposal to join Algonquin Township with another township.

    Even if it was joined, Algonquin Township can out vote any other township in the county.

    The electorate has repeatedly elected Bob.

    So,are we are to ignore the electorate who voted for Bob, but offer up a consolidation map to the electorate to decide if townships should be consolidated?

    Or is it only the Algonquin electorate that should be ignored?

  17. Preston, I’m not sure you understand.

    No one is challenging the legitimacy to Bob Miller holding office.

    No one is challenging his electoral victory.

    No one has suggested he step down or abdicate his “thrown”.

    Give me a break, “Preston”.

    Don’t you get it?

    Government is too big.


    So, big, in fact….people like YOU, Bob Miller, and Ersel Schuster have LOST TOUCH.

    The system is FAILING the people because the politicians are getting TOO MUCH from the system and the people are getting too little – rather are LOSING their shirts in the process.

    Preston and the politicians are so blind to this reality, they come up with ridiculous arguments that ADVOCATE maintenance of the public trough or expansion of it.

    It’s unbelievably self serving.

  18. CLM: I don’t think Ersel gets much in the way of benefits from her township service and they would not be affected by the consolidation, so I really don’t understand her opposition here other than just loyalty to the system that she was formerly a part of.

    I can tell you that, even though I may disagree with her on this issue, she was one of the best County Board Members we have ever had and I hope she can return.

    I also agree that Bob Miller’s job is probably not in jeopardy and, if anything, he would stand to gain from consolidation as the population in AL township dwarfs any other township it might be combined with, so he would be favored in any new election, and would stand to be able to increase his current salary and hire more family members.

    Bob is also a pretty folksy guy in real life and is a great spokesperson for the township cause.

    I was so impressed with him when he was fighting Bob Anderson’s effort in the 90’s that I joined up with him in 2000 to try and help him become GOP party chairman.

    Since that time, however, he has increased the nepotism component of the AL Road District past the point that I can stomach, and so we find ourselves again on opposite sides of the fence.

    He does, however, raise chickens, so that’s a point in his favor.

  19. CLM- Thank you.

    It seemed as though this was about Bob Miller.

    I do understand that we all pay too much in taxes.

    Any of the consolidations proposed to date, will cost the citizens of Alden Township more money than they are currently paying.

    I can’t support something that is window dressing and will cost more money.

    Let me say that one more time; It will cost more money for the people of Alden Township.

    I can not speak about the effect on citizens of other townships.

    This consolidation effort will create a larger trough with more mouths to feed.

    Thank you for your tolerance.

  20. Preston: Thank you for your input.

    I can understand your concerns about Alden.

    If the consolidation referendum appears on the ballot, the people of Alden Township will be able to vote on it.

    If they vote “No” they will not be subject to consolidation as all townships affected in a given consolidation proposal have to vote in favor in order for it to pass.

    How is that not fair?

  21. Mike why is it fair to make county residents pay for something that simply isn’t the right deal?

    Even you think it’s not, so why put it on the ballot and waste more $$$$?

  22. CLM, your 4:00 comments are frustration with over taxation and opinion at best. Rock throwing and off target also.

    Mike Walkup you don’t understand?

    Why, cut threw his anti Twh waltz and he makes perfect sense and contributes good info at times also.

    Mike send the $$$$$ to …..:)

  23. I don’t see where any of this could possibly cost more money. If you have fewer townships, fewer salaried township officials, maybe fewer township garages and township offices and staff, how does that cost more? The referendum itself costs nothing. It’s just a bit more ink on ballots that are already going to be printed. Where is the extra cost? I don’t see it. Specify.

  24. As you know Mike, any referendum to theoretically make government smaller will bring a knee jerk reaction from many voters whom will jump on the bandwagon.

    That is the whole intent from where I sit.

    Educating our township citizens to the end result will take considerable time and money.

    The citizens are already tapped out and no one has shown any evidence of a cost savings.

    If you want a change, you should be able to justify the end result with a reasonable analysis.

    I will keep my powder dry and be prepared at the appropriate moment

  25. IF this gets on the ballot, you are going to see an influx of people and money from the state TOI like you wouldn’t believe.

    They will spare no expense and effort to defeat this.

    When Bob Anderson filed his petitions in 1994 to abolish all of the townships in the county it galvanized the TOI to flood the county with signs, money and workers.

    There was a forest of 1000 yard signs.

    There were 100 people working in an office someplace scrutinizing the petitions and later getting out the vote.

    Bob and his plucky band were overwhelmed.

    It was a Township Tsunami.

    Expect the same here.

    I am not worried about the townships being able to get out their message.

  26. Shucks, nob, the letter points up one of the major flaws in township government…

    people in municipalities have to pick up the tab for people in subdivisions that don’t want to incorporate.

    If that is their choice then let them pay for their own roads.

    As for self-serving, I would refer you to CLM’s post at 6:34.

  27. Walkup is misleading you.

    He states:

    “I don’t see where any of this could possibly cost more money”.

    Yet, he will not comment on this portion of state law:

    “If the service and corresponding portion of the aggregate extension base transferred to the taxing district are for a service that the transferee district does not currently levy for, the provisions of Section 18-190 of this Law requiring a referendum to establish a new levy shall not apply.

    (Source: P.A. 90-719, eff. 8-7-98.)”

    My interpretation is the same as Mr. Miller’s.

    If a Township has a Permanent Hard Road Gravel fund or an Audit fund or an Insurance fund or a pension fund or ANY type of fund the other Township does not have, guess what?

    Without REFERENDUM, the levy for the added fund will be added to the consolidated township which did not have the fund!!!!!

  28. Watcher1940, like it or not we live in a socialized country, meaning we need some government or life would change as we know it.

    If you look at how things are financed/paid for in the past you will see we share in financing of projects and even day to day gov functions to a point.

    Shared financing often are called grants, which hopefully is shared tax money and not borrowed from China $$$$.

    You pay County property tax, and a portion of that can and often goes to certain projects for road repair on non county roads, usually roads that have heavier traffic that benefit more than the people how live on those roads.

    Fed and State MFT, and even Fed and State income taxes if conditions are right could be used on the road in front of your house.

    Like it or not, all gov agencies share funding from time to time.

    County funding/property taxes, voted on by the county board, is now going to be used to bring non dedicated roads up to standard to Twh’s can then maintain them as part of the regular road network.

    Twh road Commissioners by state law have to levy double what the Twh needs so half can be given back to the Municipalities.

    The Municipalities elected get a political break because of that law, because if it didn’t exist they’d have to raise their levy to cover the lost.

    As far as self serving, unfortunately we all suffer from that to a degree, even you my pompous friend.

    Human nature, and since all gov agencies are run by humans it exists everywhere.

    Have you bothered to run somebody against the Millers, I haven’t seen any choices on the ballot even in the primary.

    You aren’t even good at delivering self serving hot air are ya?

  29. Nob, .you have really destroyed me with your criticism.


    It will take a long time to recover.

    It makes no difference who collects the dollars…the township or the municipality…the people who choose to live in in unincorporated subdivisions and choose not to pay municipal taxes should pay for their own roads as many, many have had to before them.

    It is only because this group managed to show their political muscle that we will now see the townships and the county dump in hundreds of thousands of dollars so this group can have their cake and eat it too.

    I will go to work now and try to rebuild my self-esteem.

  30. Watcher1940 you are ignorant of how funding works.

    Not only has your taxes gone to fund other gov agenices roads, it’s gone for water and sewer projects in all the municipalities around the area as just one example.

    Grants are supposedly balance out in the long run so everbody gets a cut.

    If you want that changed call you state and fed rep and ask for that change.

    You started the rock throwing and like most humans that makes us defensive and throw your rocks back.

    Reaping what you sow.

  31. Note that those living in municipalities also subsidize the police protection of those living in unincorporated areas through the Sheriff’s Department.

  32. Cal, are you saying the Sheriff don’t do any work within the municipalities, only unincorporated areas?

    The extra taxation is the municipal tax, better police protection, their own building dept services and etc.

  33. I’m saying that those living or having businesses in municipalities subsidize police protection in the unincorporated areas.

  34. Based on what facts Cal?

    The Sheriff work within the Municipalities also.

    Drug busts, serve warrants/papers, Oakwood Hills actually pays more so they don’t have to have their won force.

    That is like the double taxation blamed on Twhs, when the actual double is the newer Municipal gov agencies.

    You seem to want to get away from the fact that we all pay for each other, like it or not.

    Just saying!

    Waltz to the left, waltz to the right.:)

  35. I have to laugh at how we all twist this or that to our advantage.

    Find a human not self serving, dare ya.

  36. On Common Sense.

    There is no such thing, not taught in schools, or the Fed wouldn’t have a 18T $$$$$ debt.


  37. Agree; you may have missed another son-in-aw on the road district payroll.

  38. Anyone question why rural residents have to pay for all those summons served by the Sheriff in the incorporated areas?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *