Proposed Twp. Consolidation Study

Friday morning the Legislative Committee is considering a resolution sent to it by the County Board.

The guts of it are below

WHEREAS, the McHenry County Board desires to have an independent, third party assist with the study of township consolidation and develop a model that will assist the County Board and voters on the impact of township consolidation.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the McHenry County Board Chairman is authorized to enter into an agreement with an independent organization to complete a Township Consolidation Assessment Model (TCAM) to assist the County in making data-driven policy decisions concerning township consolidations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the agreement with an independent organization will not exceed $15,000 and as the final agreement is developed every step will be taken to reduce the final costs of the study; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that as a model the Township Consolidation Assessment Model that will be developed will be of value throughout the State of Illinois and McHenry County will seek a cost-sharing partnership with the State of Illinois and other Illinois Counties…

= = = = =
The resolution is too narrowly focused in my opinion.

I believe it should be broadened to consider the formation of new townships by the County Board consisting entirely of incorporated areas.

It is really hard to argue that those living within municipalities receive significant benefits from township government.

Put another way, what would residents of cities and villages lose if they were not served by township government?

A map of McHenry County showing its seventeen townships, plus municipalities.

A map of McHenry County showing its seventeen townships, plus municipalities.  This map does not show the huge addition to Wonder Lake or that Oakwood Hills now touches Prairie Grove.

The General Assistance part is trivial.

The streets are maintained by their municipal governments.

That leaves assessments, which could be contracted out to county government (or even absorbed by county government, the way that police protection is provided by the Sheriff’s Department to unincorporated residents.)

Just forming such municipal township governments would not be my end game, however.

I would suggest that local legislators be approached, as they were in Evanston and Belleville, with the request that local voters be allowed to abolish their township government by referendum.


Proposed Twp. Consolidation Study — 26 Comments

  1. Why are we going over this garabage again?

    So much waste of time and money for nothing! I propose someone is full of themself.

    Stop with the Agenda 21 tactics already.

  2. And I would like to propose that a study be done as to how to eliminate my contribution to the school districts as I have no school age children.

    L O L.

    But to me this is the same thing.

    I know what will lower my taxes and it isn’t township consolidation.

    My town and other small towns are helped immensely by the local township.

    Small towns in Lake Co are assisted by the townships as well.

    I’m curious about the study and if they’ll be given a conclusion and told to find a way to support said conclusion.

  3. I think it’s good to keep discussing how to control our property taxes, that serious effort is long over due.

    The sheriff’s department does some patrol work within the municipalities, mostly on the main roads, state, and county roads that pass threw the municipalities of course.

    They also serve warrants and other functions as needed within the municipality.

    Maybe the Sheriff could make out a report on how work is spread over the county for our benefit.

    The residence that can eliminate a Twh as Cal has suggested should pay for their own assessors threw their municipalities, not on the backs of other county residents.

    We could have state law changed so Twh’s would stop levying road fund taxes for the Municipalities.

    Alg Twh’s road fund levy would decrease by almost half if that law was changed.

    Of course then the Municipalities would have to raise their levies if they still wanted the same road funding.

    The assistance part of the Supervisors department should be realigned with the other gov assistance programs to make it more efficient.

    The amount of money seems to low, studies aren’t cheap unless you want half or less of the work done that should be done.

    Most times we know the facts and numbers already, just need a person or two to collect the info, correlate it, then let all the gov agencies revenue and discuss what is best for all.
    IMO, some of IDOT and County roads would be better served if Twh and Municipalies were to do daily maintenance on them.

  4. During the break after the Consolidation vote I very briefly discussed the possibility of having a annual vote for all gov agencies related to levy/tax increases with Mike Walkup.

    His quick comment was: “No one would ever vote to raise the levy”

    I couldn’t reply because he was forced to return to the board meeting.

    My reply would of been GREAT, but there have been times people have overwhelmingly voted for tax increases if properly informed.

    Dist 26 vote to raise property tax was needed so state wouldn’t take over the district because it was in such bad fiscal shape, passed by just over 2/3.

    IMO that type of law, where we regularly vote on taxes is just what we need to hold taxes down, and a 2/3 vote for approval.

    Make the gov agency justify about every penny before any consideration of a levy or tax increase.

    Cal work on that would ya, need help with passing around a petition, email me.

  5. The reason Townships even exist, is due to the weepy few who insanely believe, their level of service would diminish if rolled into County Government.

    Really people? The County couldn’t manage your snow removal and road maintenance better with one command center, prioritizing equipment and manpower?

    Then why not have 17 Township Police agency’s instead of a County Sheriff’s Dept. if that’s what you believe?


  6. I find it mind boggling that people believe that people believe they can be served without townships- fewer than half of the states in the US have townships- and most exist in the Northeast and Midwest when township government was NECESSARY- you know pre-WWI days.

    They exist out of habit and self perpetuating greed.

    Look at how many Township are represent elected officials who are members of multi-generational political dynasty s- it is the family business on your tax dollar.

    And generally the only experience to do the job is that their grandpappy did it, or they needed the insurance so they ran and are not digging in.


    NO one outside the small group who Personally benefit from Townships want them- and I don’t mean from services.

    The Senior transportation program in Richmond- the investment can not be justified for the benefit to the Public.

    The General Assistance funds- are you kidding me- no oversight, no criteria to verify need.


  7. it is a very important subject.

    Not only for township services but for school districts as well which could mean huge tax savings for many of us.

    This is not a cookie cutter solution.

    To suggest that this subject is NOT important sounds like someones very cushy lively hood on the back of the tax payers is at stake.

    There is a reason Illinois is broke and this is just one of them..

    No other State is even close to the number of townships as Illinois..

    what does that tell you?

    Wake the frig up.

  8. Thanks Jim B. Now that we know what’s on your mind, you can get back at it.

  9. One hundred and one ways to sodomize the Illinois taxpayer.

    Like that better, DJ ?

    Have a nice day !

  10. Perhaps the Algonquin Township Road District can explain here why it costs NINE TIMES AS MUCH to maintain their township roads as in some of the rural townships.

    Given that almost all of the “township roads” in AL are really subdivision streets which are nestled into dead ends along the Fox River or the township or county boundaries, no one uses them for general getting around so they can’t say they get more traffic.

    Also, no combines or other heavy ag equipment to beat them up.

    What justifies the extra expense?

    Please be SPECIFIC.

  11. So much waste to study consolidating townships. $15,000 for a study?

    You realize the cost of that study is roughly what 150 citizens actually PAY in taxes to townships, right?

    Look at your tax bill.

    About $100.

    The reason your property taxes are so high is because the schools.

    The reason the schools and municipalities tax portions are so high is because every penny you send to the state is spent by the state for the state.

    The schools are barely funded by the state at all, when they pay.

    So your state legislators are taking all of your tax money and not giving you one cent.

    So your communities, where your tax dollars actually work for you, have to get every penny they need to operate from YOU, the residents.

    And yet, those same state legislators are going to freeze your propert tax bills, because they can’t touch that money.

    And we have these people, many of whom have been dissed in their own minds by township people, saying that all of this money they are wasting is going to matter to you on your bill.

    $100 a year on a $300,000 home.

    Can we say sleight of hand?

    Can we say “doesn’t want to do heavy lifting?”

    And you lecture about whiny people wanting to preserve their area of government?

    Look to the state, people, and their revenge laws and their ravaging.

    Our governor is the one who was in charge of managing our entire pension system.

    How’s that doing, by the way, Bruce?

    Solvent yet?

    All that money you used from us to build new businesses?


    I get it.

    Spend $31 million of your own money to play a shell game and get rid of the unions who paid into that pension so you can hide the evidence.

    This is all a very sad joke.

    Townships and policemen and kindergarten teachers.

    Yeah, they’re the ones who messed this up.


  12. seriously…interesting name…

    so if the world understands your statement…the townships take such a small part out of your tax bill…Let’s just leave them alone…

    ignore the fact that they’re obsolete…

    that they create their little uneeded services to make voters think they’re actually doing something for them…

    that they are inefficient and unprofessional as proven by the assessment process and general assistance…

    but they’re such small petty politicians…

    let’s just leave them alone or who knows what might happen to the Republican Party in mchenry county.


    they’re not all small petty politicians…

    some of them are hugely petty…

    but they are backed by the township officials of illinois, a lobby in Springfield that rivals the teachers union in its efforts to keep township government alive.

    But it’s such a little part of your bill…

    why question them…

    because 80% of mchenry county would like to hear the pros and cons discussed.

    Perhaps this study will give them a chance.

  13. Mike, NINE TIMES AS MUCH, since you are making this claim, please be specific on where you got this info, better yet scan it into this blog so we all can evaluate it.

    Does that figure include the whole levy or just the part the Twh gets to keep after handing out the other half to the municipalities?

    I did quickly find the tax rates for all the Twh’s, and Alg’s is second lowest, but that doesn’t tell the total story either.

    Next I notice you still miss categorize Alg Twh roads and down play traffic pressure on them, why?

    Sure many of the Alg Twh roads are subdivisions, which like municipal roads cost way more to maintain per mile than straight shot roads like in the smaller Twhs.

    Way more intersections, way more cul-de-sacs, storm, curb, even some sidewalks, and lets not forget the extra wide paved shoulders for walking and biking.

    Not to many of those things in the smaller Twhs, apples and oranges.

    Better to compare Alg Twh to say Village of Cary subdivisions cost to maintain.

    There are heavily traveled roads in Alg twh, threw roads, like East Main and Three Oaks that also service Lake Co residents.

    Hickory Nut and Hickory Nut Grove road, that service the two MCCD properties.

    South Rawson, West Rawson, and Rawson Bridge Rd all servicing the bridge there.

    No heavy traffic on that bridge, not a bit.

    Alg Rd/River Rd, Hagers Bend, just a couple cars and horses right?

    No semi’s servicing all the people, no UPS and FEDX, not much new construction with the Cement trucks either lately.

    There is a small amount of farming by the Hills, they us Alg Twh roads also.

    The thing that does justify some of the spending here is the residents demand for what services are provided.

    Alg Twh has to offer better services, it’s what semi urban living residents wants.
    Street sweeping, regular grass cutting, brush removal, a place to take brush and get mulch, etc, etc, etc.

    Anyway, produce some number and facts then we can talk.

    Do your own research, that sounded like Donna’s talking points which are not fact or are not complete or both.

    Keep pitching, but throw strikes.

  14. Nob, I’m really just pissed that Bob Miller has his two sons in law and wife as employees in a road department that has six employees total if you don’t count Bob.

    I’m more than willing to risk having a complete elimination of every township service (and other than assessment and road maintenance, there ain’t much more) just to spite that pig.

  15. We have Mike Walkup, Donna Kurtz, and Andrew Gasser now doing exactly what Bob Anderson has been doing for years:

    They all have a personal distaste for THEIR Township for differing reasons.

    Fix your Township if you have problems!

    Get out of the business of the taxpayers in other Townships!

    Now these three County Board members want to waste more of your tax dollars to do a study!

    There is no evidence anywhere that the removal of a Township will reduce tax burdens unless that Township is already incorporated into one or multiple municipalities.

    These three board members should support Cal’s proposal for the eastern part of the Townships or quit wasting our time and money!!

    Any person with a functioning brain can readily determine that road maintenance costs in the County would increase if you eliminate the Townships and move the job to the MCDOT.

    Other functions of Townships are controlled by the State Constitution and State law.

    The Township issue cannot be fixed by the County – the fix can only happen in Springfield and the fix is not what Pam Althoff has proposed to appease Bob Anderson!

  16. Rawdogger, 11 employees if you don’t count Bob, it was 12 but they down sized a bit.

    Back after he hired his son inlaws, more than 10 years now, I told him it was political suicide to hire family.

    The voters mostly all know about the nepotism and seem to not care.

    Of course no one runs against him either, he’s popular and does the job, not my fault.

    The Millers are actually Progressives, keeping the twh up to date and active.

    Run rawdogger run, choice in voting is a wonderful thing.

  17. “Run rawdogger run, choice in voting is a wonderful thing.”

    Putting aside the fact that the Miller Cabal is the closest thing we have to a Daily Machine in McHenry County and that once the machine gets big enough it is nearly impossible to take out the king, I have better things to do with my life than to be a glorified truck driving supervisor, and I do not have enough loser friends and family to make the patronage job opportunities worthwhile.

  18. That excuse and many others are the reason they are still in power.

    We all like to complain, but take no real action, it’s always somebody else that should do it.

    Here is my excuse: I’m a burned out gov guy who can’t handle the whiners day in and day out like I could when I was younger.

    One fact does kind of get to me about nepotism, after all these years, no lawyer seem to be able to outlaw it?

    Patronage same thing, although that could never be outlawed totally, people like to hire friends they trust.

    After the big whine at the county board, after the women hired her husband, all the big speeches anti to nepotism, what has the county board whiners even done about the county nepotism?

    Nada as far as I can tell, no obvious request for legislation from the state, just lip service.

    Oh I’d say similar to the Daily machine, but different in that this family all works, I’ve never heard any valid complaints about their work ethic.

    It is their family business, worst thing you could do if you want to keep it going you don’t do real stupid smit.

    They aren’t perfect, they’re human.

  19. Truckin561, please explain your Twh’s are obsolete statement.

    If heard this many a time, but no explanation to go with it.

    Enlighten us please.

  20. Truckin561, your rant below that comment is common in all gov agencies.

    Just saying.

    If you have a solution we can apply to all gov agencies, post that also.


  21. I would think that those in the western half of the county don’t find townships obsolete.

  22. “I would think that those in the western half of the county don’t find townships obsolete.”


  23. The size of the townships betrays their purpose.

    They are the size that they are because that was the distance that a horse could travel in a day and get back at night.

    This is admitted on the website for Cuba Township, in Lake County.

    It also mentions that townships were established before there were any municipalities and it took all day to get to the county seat.

    Townships are also distributed evenly by geography, not by function.

    This was again due to townships having been formed when the county was entirely agricultural, and people were distributed evenly throughout.

    Today, at least in McHenry County, we have large concentrations of people in some areas and sparse populations in others.

    Alden Township has fewer people in it than my own precinct in Nunda.

    In fact, there is only one political precinct in Alden Township.

    This results in large differences in what various township officials have to do in different areas.

    Assessors in the small townships, for example, work only part time and often have other jobs, whereas the assessors in the more populous townships are full time and have professional staffs.

    Each assessor also sets their own rules for how properties should be assessed, resulting in differences in similar properties between townships.

    On the opposite side, Road Commissioners in large population townships have increasingly less road mileage to maintain while at the same time are able to draw upon a larger tax base to boost their salaries and operations.

    AL township has no real arterial type roads left to maintain but has a budget many times that of the rural townships with more mileage and roads that are able to be used by everyone, not just those in out of the way subdivisions.

    Supervisors, meanwhile, have very little to actually do.

    Due to the time period in which the townships were established, the Road Commissioners apparently couldn’t keep their own books so the Supervisor acts as treasurer for the Road District but not for the assessor.

    There were also no provisions for public aid and the only cemeteries were those of the townships.

    All of that has changed now.

    The Road Commissioners are perfectly capable of keeping their own books and writing their own checks subject to review by the township board.

    People no longer really need the township public assistance when there are other forms available.

    There are very few burials any more in township cemeteries and private landscaping services are often employed to cut the grass.

    This should leave the Supervisors in the various townships with roughly the equivalent amounts of work to do but we seen some Supervisors making up to TEN TIMES what others are paid.

    So the question is, if conditions have changed, should townships also be changed?

    I think that’s a fair question.

  24. Cuba Township, in Lake County has I believe 37 dedicated miles of roads, yet maintain around 120 miles of road.

    Cuba Twh has worked out governmental agreements with Lake Barrington, North Barrington, Tower Lakes, and Barrington Hills to do either all or part of those Municipalities maintenance.

    I believe those 4 municipalities don’t think Twhs are obsolete, rather saviors of their tax $$$$.

    Ask their board members or Mayor if you don’t believe me.

    Alg and Nunda work extensively with their municipalities if requested also.

    Cary, FRG, Prairie Grove, and Oakwood Hills use their Twh help as much as possible, sharing equipment and labor.

    “Each assessor also sets their own rules for how properties should be assessed, resulting in differences in similar properties between townships.”

    I believe that is a deceptive statement, misleading at best.

    Assessors have standards to live by, State law and State licencing, problem is houses are not all the same, so there is a certain amount of subjective in the assessments.

    If you can find a way to take the guess work out, please print it here Friend.

    “Road Commissioners in large population townships have increasingly less road mileage to maintain”

    Of course there are many variable in that statement, again misleading a half the story.

    Alg Twh for instance is pretty much built out, so road mileage will not decrease, but it’s mileage will do in part to a county program to have non dedicated roads brought up to Twh standards.

    Alg Twh road standards are higher than the western Twh’s because it is basically a urban setting, and residence in the unincorporated areas what nothing but the best if possible.

    Fact Alg Twh has already helped some roads become dedicated as per the request of those residents, and the potential added roads could bring the total roads maintained by Twh personnel to just over 100 miles.

    “AL township has no real arterial type roads left to maintain but has a budget many times that of the rural townships with more mileage and roads that are able to be used by everyone, not just those in out of the way subdivisions.”

    What a crook Mike, just above I gave you a partial list of Alg Twh’s heavily traveled arterial roads.

    Crystal Lake Ave, shared with Nunda should of been in my list above, as should Silver Lake Rd.

    At the intersection of CL ave and Silver Lake, Alg Twh is proposing to up grade the intersection to a traffic circle.

    Traffic circles are a tad more to install than traffic signals, but save money in the long run because they save on electricity costs to run the traffic lights.

    They tend to have fewer sever traffic accidents also, hardly a obsolete improvement.

    You do make a few good points about the need to realign the supervisors functions.

    Mike change your talking points, it’s way to easy to prove they are nonsense.

    Nonsense could cost you a election!


  25. Mike when you used the word Arterial and then I did, we were both misusing that term.

    Here is the correct usage:

    Principal arterials

    major interstate systems, and major federal and state highways, linking states and major population centers.

    Minor arterials

    less traveled state and county highways linking smaller cities and major towns.

    Rural collectors

    both major and minor collectors that typically serve regional intra-county travel. They link the smaller population centers with the rural areas.

    Local roads

    connecting businesses and farms to the smaller communities and individual homes. They are mainly used by local residents in the course of their normal business.

    Very low-volume roads

    local roads with an average daily traffic of fewer than 400 vehicles per day.

    Without traffic studies in my hand I’d take a educated guess considering volume of traffic I’ve seen and say Alg Twh has no Principle Arterial roads, but they have some of each of the others.

    No Twh roads even in the western part of the county could be considered Principle, and maybe not Minor Arterial roads either.

    Traffic surveys, which aren’t always cheap, would be needed if we really want to accurately classify.

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