Schofield Reports Township Consolidation Task Force Conclusions

McHenry County Board Township Consolidation Task Force Chairwoman Carolyn Schofield made her report to the County Board Tuesday morning.

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 1She presented fourteen slides, which you will see below.

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 2Not much of the information was new.

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 3She said the Task Force was aiming for referendums in the March Primary, with any subsequently consolidated townships electing new officers in April of 2017.

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 4Any consolidated townships would consolidate assets and debts, she revealed.

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 5The new tax rate would average the previous rates, which would be divided by the new levy.

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 6If two townships were consolidated, “One would always go up and one would go down.”

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 7Currently, township taxes consist of 3.2% of the property tax bill in McHenry County.

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 9[This might be a good time to urge voters to attend school board meetings to urge the boards not to tax to the maximum allowed under the Real Estate Tax Cap. ┬áThat’s where the real money is, of course.]

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 11Schofield said that the Task Force was looking at what the savings and efficiencies would be.

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 12Township lines would not be manipulated [as I suggested in my proposal to create a new Crystal Lake Township that residents could then ask the Illinois General Assembly to allow voters to abolish by referendum..]

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 13Under consideration was “just straight forward removal of lines.”

Twp Consolidation Schofield slide 14Map 1, she said, maximizes consolidations, but would result in about 50% of the population of McHenry County to be in one township (a combination of Algonquin and Grafton Townships).

Map 2 leaves Algonquin Township along, reducing the number of townships from 17 to 8.

In Map 3, the four largest townships are left alone, while the smaller ones are consolidated.

Carolyn Schofield

Carolyn Schofield

Schofield explained that the Task Force, with the help of Jim Hurley, had acquired a lot of information on townships.

Schofield seems a bit confused about the road money that goes directly from Township Road Districts to municipalities.She indicated that it had something to do with road miles, while it is dependent instead on assessed valuation.

Referring to the information gathered, she said, “It is a great deal of information. ┬áThat was my main [goal].”

She explained that “It was a little challenging to work our way through this.

“Kind of hit a wall at this point.

“The center of the challenge was to show cost savings.

“There was no clear way to analyze [that].

“There was no clear cost savings and service efficiencies that could be presented.

“100% of where these cost savings lie are dependent on future elected officials.

“One of the levies [when two townships consolidate] is always increasing.”

Looking at two townships, one with pension benefits and the other without, she said both would end up with Illinois Retirement Fund benefits or everyone would not have benefits.

After Schofield finished her presentation, Chairman Joe Gottemoller pointed out that the issue was not set up for debate, that would come at a later date.

Ken Koehler asked, “When it comes to taxpayers, there are going to be winners and losers and we don’t know what it will be.”

Schofield admitted there would be “winners and losers in each [proposal].”

She said she favored statutory change that would require the levy of merged townships to be the lowest tax rate.

Koehler wanted to know if townships decided to merge, could they do it on their own?

Koehler asked for a legal opinion on the matter when no answer was forthcoming.

“The County Board could directly vote on it,” she said, referring to other scenarios [such as my proposal to create a Crystal Lake Township].

Nick Provenzano

Nick Provenzano

“To me it seems that there were no clear cut savings,” Nick Provenzano observed.

“What was the vote count to move this map to the County Board?”

“It wasn’t a vote counting body,” Schofield replied.

Provenzano wondered how with no consensus and no cost justification how the Task Force reached a decision of what to present.

Referring to the cost saving aspect of the question, Schofield said, “We weren’t given that task to determine what the savings [would be].”

Only two portions of the map have consensus.

She had previously explained that one was the merger of Burton and Richmond Townships (which would make them the same size as Algonquin, McHenry and Nunda) and Chemung and Dundam (covering most of Harvard).

“The point of this Task Force was to get more information and present it to the public.

“I think we are in a much better position today than we were before.”

Gottemoller praised the work of the Task Force:

“I think you guys did a yeoman’s job in bringing this forth.”


Comments

Schofield Reports Township Consolidation Task Force Conclusions — 23 Comments

  1. Not one word was spoken relative to the total lack of any data provided by the group who proposed the ‘idea’.

    I have found the following relative to this:

    “”We decided not to do that,” Shorten told FEN. “At the end of the day [the County Board] might do something else and they can take our data and throw it away,” he said.”

    http://www.firstelectricnewspaper.com/2015/06/township-consolidation-group-to-present.html

    I am still left with the following question:

    What was presented to the current Board Chairman, who wants to be elected as the Chairman-at-large, that would cause him to create a Task Force which used taxpayer funded resources to ‘attempt’ to present a justified case for Township consolidation?

    Based on Shorten’s comment, there was no data for justification and now after spending taxpayer money there still is not.

    Many of the supporters listed on the supporter website are elected Republicans.

    I have been told that once you add your name as a supporter, there is no way to remove it.

    http://www.mcc4tc.org/supporters.html

  2. Can someone remind us how many dots each of the four maps received?

    Was no count mentioned in her presentation?

    Remember also, that a portion (almost 10%) of the 3.2 % number you mention in this post is not spent by the Townships but is in fact spent by municipalities.

  3. “Looking at two townships, one with pension benefits and the other without…both would end up with Illinois Retirement Fund benefits or everyone would not have benefits.”

    Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution is pretty clear on how that would be decided:

    “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

    You’re going to end up with participation in IMRF by all township employees.

  4. The presentation yesterday was as hollow with information as were all the task force meetings.

    I thought it was interesting that Kurtz ,Anderson ,and Shorten were not even there to show support for this foolish waste of time.

  5. Every “Republican” who votes against this is a hypocrite. You all are a bunch of self serving liars who say one thing but do another. You talk the talk but do not walk the walk.

    You all talk about lower taxes and less government but as soon as it effects YOU, you vote differently.

    Every county board member who votes against this should be removed.

    And this is why the Republican Party sucks… all shallow promises.

    It is like voting for the lesser of two evils.

    This party needs to be cleaned out.

    If Salgado cannot right the ship then overthrow it again until you get someone who will fight for us.

  6. The only way to lower our property taxes is to reform pensions.

    This was a joke.

    Anyone with half a brain can determine that this will not save any money and in fact will probably cost more.

    Even combining the western townships, they’re under funded already, how will they do more with less?

  7. Yesterday Mr. Walkup asked a question relative to the distance between Chemung and Dunham Town Halls / Garages.

    Mrs. Schofield had mentioned that they are four blocks apart.

    Here is what I sent to Mrs. Schofield and Mr. Walkup:

    “This comment is relative to the claim that the two township halls / garages are four blocks apart.
    Go to Google maps and key in the directions between 8th & McKinley and 107 Airport Rd. Rd. Harvard.

    You will find the distance to be 1.9 or 1.7 miles.

    I have had both from Google.

    Harvard has rail tracks which split the town in many places.

    In addition neither township has room for any expansion.

    Consolidation would likely result in the need for new building on new property.

    BTW Not sure if you are aware but the City of Harvard has its own Senior Center which is located close to the Alden and Chemung township boundary.”

  8. Thank you Evert.

    One of the questions I had was are the garages in different locations than the general offices?

    I still don’t know the answer to that.

    I am gathering from your comment that the Google distance may represent the actual distance you would have to travel on the roads to go from one to the other due to the lack of a rail crossing in that location, wheareas the proverbial crow would only perhaps have to travel 4 blocks.

    I suspect that the reason both are located in Harvard is that they both wanted to be accessible to the urban populations that were most likely to be applying for general assistance.

    That makes sense if you are a township and have to perform that function and are not looking at the bigger picture.

    The question is, from an overall perspective, why not just have one location for the entire town regardless of where an imaginary line is on a map?

    You can locate it downtown where there is a rail crossing.

    Doesn’t that save you money in the long run, even though you might have to sell both buildings and get new in the short term?

    This is a perfect example of the boxed in thinking that results when you draw a bunch of arbitrary lines on a map and everyone thereafter just thinks inside their set of lines.

    Who in their right mind would have located two offices to do the same thing in one small town otherwise?

    Let’s have two county government centers, jails and courthouses in Woodstock.

    We can put the other one behind Farm & Fleet.

  9. Gottemoeller says they did a “yeoman’s job?”

    Does “yeoman” mean sloppy, rushed, devoid of real facts and accurate calculations?

    It certainly seems to based on this commission’s “work.”

    Does it also mean

    “We know there will be taxpayer winners and losers, but we can’t tell you exactly who we will be sticking it to..?”

  10. The Mrs. – you are 100% correct.

    It’s a common cliche in the “real” world to do more with less, but in practice you do less with less.

    When done right, the “less” is more impactful than the “more” because the focus is in the right place.

    The correct question and/or direction is figure out how to do less with much less.

    We need to cut-cut-cut positions, services, etc.

    The “bank of the citizens” cannot afford to keep paying for all the “critical” services.

    Everything is a sacred cow and a “critical” service.

    Must we take care of every hangnail in the area, support elected officials and administrators pet projects and take care business “partners”?

    The solution is cut spending by X% across the board and spread it like peanut butter.

    I am not interested in ways for the taxing bodies to drive more revenue to cover expenses.

    All I want them to do is cut expenses and taxes.

    If that means less police, less firemen, less parks, less educators, less administrators, less transportation workers, less social services support, I’m okay with it.

  11. Mr. Walkup:

    I choose to ignore some of your comments but some I have to respond to.

    Have you ever driven through Harvard?

    Have you ever visited any other Township Hall other than your own?

    You are a County Board member, elected by the people.

    We pay you to represent all of us.

    Before any of you who support this ridiculous effort to consolidate Townships ever approached the County Chairman to have this studied by the County, it was your responsibility and the others around you to do at least some ‘homework’.

    Instead we got what Mr. Shorten told FEN.

    I take your insult: “Who in their right mind” seriously!

    If I sound upset, I am.

    I do not believe you were elected to throw away my hard earned tax dollars and those of others!

    While we’re at, how about addressing the additional salt storage currently being worked on by the County when apparently Algonquin Township is already distributing salt from their dome to the County.

    BTW during the last heavy snowstorm, what government bodies were called on to work on the State roads in the area?

    If you want specific answers to the questions about either location and their history I suggest you call the Township Supervisor.

    You can find their contact info in the little book distributed by the County Clerk.

  12. Mike Walkup, you must be shaking in your boots.

    No one should ever upset mr. Everet.

    His opinion is very important in his own mind.

    Too bad he can’t recognize that most of mchenry county’s population would agree witH the post of Bruce Samuels.

    The majority don’t know or care about township government and their services.

    The only impressive thing about township government is the dog and pony show they can provide at a moments notice for a county board meeting, none of them younger than 60.

  13. Thank you Cal!

    The map chosen by Schofield had the least number of dots.

    I wonder if the map was chosen before or after the Task Force was chosen?

    Because it is the one least popular based on public opinion, one could be led to believe the choice was made way before the Task Force was formed.

    Based on my count, status quo received well over 150 dots.

    Map 1 – 7

    map 2 – 10

    map 3 -11

  14. I wondered while this fight over scraps continues, someone would state that the real bone crusher, is the out of control schools taxes.

    I marvel at how simple it is for schools to get their way.

    Threaten a strike in August and parents go out of their minds, over the prospect they’ll lose their free day care.

    Also wonder how the ‘for the kids’ crowd, feel about those $ 10 K plus Tax Bills, now that they are empty nesters.

    Funny, there really is such a thing as Karma.

  15. Evert: Sorry you are upset.

    That was not my intention.

    I am just trying to apply logic and reason to this situation.

    Some people take it personally.

    What I said was “IF THERE WERE NOT AN IMAGINARY LINE” running through the middle of Harvard, no one in their right mind would put two government offices there to do exactly the same thing given the size of the town.

    It’s a waste of the taxpayer’s money.

    That is why even the task force, which included township proponents, agreed that those two townships should be consolidated.

    I have been in and through Harvard hundreds of times, but have not had any call to go over to where those two offices are located.

    Mostly you will find me at the Taco Bell.

  16. Mike the size of Harvard has nothing to do directly with the Twh’s.

    While they preform similar functions, they aren’t doing the same thing, they are servicing different people, not the same.

    Centralization of those two facilities would mean moving father Southeast out of town, or father northwest out of town.

    There are no crossings with open land in town by a crossing.

    Either way a new facility would cost way more than what the two old ones could be sold for, if they would even sell.

    Market value on that type of property is real low now with all the empty industrial property available.

    Even the open property may have to be purchased by forced condemnation, which is never popular.

  17. No, nob, but the twnship is providing General Assistance which I suspect is going mostly to people who live inside of Harvard, and is the reason I imagine that both townships put their offices there instead of out in the countryside.

    They don’t need open property for offices.

    They could rent one of the many storefronts.

    Maybe go into the Starline.

    The garage doesn’t have to be with the township offices.

    We have something now called the “internet” so they can communicate.

    There should be plenty of open land around for the garage out side of town someplace.

    How many GA applications do each of those townships do per year?

    How much time does it take to do each one?

  18. Apparently Walkup thinks a block in Harvard is one half mile long.

    Remember he also voted in favor of spending your tax dollars on Obamacare navigators when private insurers already performed the function as part of their normal business.

    Subsequent to the last round of funding healthcare navigators there have been many public disclosures as to what a waste of taxpayer dollars they were.

    http://moneymorning.com/2013/04/08/how-obamacare-navigators-will-waste-your-time-and-tax-money/

    http://pitts.house.gov/press-release/icymi-pitts-wasteful-obamacare-navigator-grants

  19. Gottemoeller just going thru this bull so Ron and Lou does not run anybody against him.

    someone should run against every one of theses thugs because schofield, kurtz, walkup, and wonder boy shorten is very bad for republican party.

    follow nick provenzano lead people.

    nick know this will not fly and he will not make elective officals mad like theses other thugs

  20. Mike your office idea is fine, I’m talking about the Road dist garage.

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