“If it’s the same [testimony as given at the previous two meetings], I want you to know that we’ve heard it,” McHenry County Board member Carolyn Schofield and Township Consolidation Task Force head told the audience last Tuesday morning.
Those present, again mainly people with a personal interest in preserving township government, complied.
Rogene Kyle from Alden Township (whose name I did not catch) was first to speak.
She told how McHenry County’s smallest township had 1,026 people in 1840 and had grown 347 by the 2010 Census.
She described her township as “the gem of McHenry County, secluded, wooded and green,” encouraging those who wished to abolish it to “drive Alden Township to see what you’re voting [to abolish].
The woman said she didn’t understand why proponents of consolidation wanted to take “a broad paint brush” to change township lines.
“I don’t want anything to change.
“Every scenario that was presented means an increase in taxes.”
Republican Precinct Committeeman Eileen Marhoefer told of making phone calls and sending emails to friends and constituents asking whether they wanted the County Board to allow a vote on township consolidation.
Of 27 called, twenty “felt they should have the right to vote.”
The remaining seven were left messages. (Of those, six have now replied they were in favor. One was opposed.)
“They do not feel that anyone has the right to muzzle them,” she said.
Lisa Ryan, also of Crystal Lake, took the floor next.
“We all have questions and concerns about the townships.
“We let County Board members know how we feel about the issue.
“We really need the facts and I would like to see it on the ballot.
“I called all twenty-four Board members.
“They always say, ‘Call me any time you want.'”
Ryan explained that all the County Board members she was able to talk to were very pleasant and respectful whether they agreed with her not.
She told of calling one Board member and getting “her spouse.”
After telling him what she was calling about, he “told me I was nuts, that he didn’t agree with me and hung up on me.
“For somebody to hang up on me…
“I am angry…
“I think that was so out of place.”
She did not reveal the name of the man who hung up on her, but said she would be happy to tell anyone after the meeting.
It turns out that it was County Board member Anna May Miller’s husband, Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller.
Miller has been leading the opposition to the consolidation effort and was sitting in the front row of the room.
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The County Board will hear the Task Force’s report at Tuesday’s meeting starting at 9 AM.