The following comes from a comment made by attorney David Stieper of Barrington Hills, who ran unsuccessfully for the County Board two years ago in the Republican Primary Election in District 2.
David Stieper’s Take on Valley Hi Situation
In my opinion it was illegal to continue to levy a tax on the Vally Hi construction for many years after the project was completed and conditions of bond satisfied.
In my opinion it is also improper for a government entity like Valley Hi to build excess reserves in the Millions of Dollars on the backs of taxpayers.
The net result of excess taxation is that McHenry Taxpayers of today and yesterday are subsidizing McHenry taxpayers of tommorrow.
While Valley Hi is static, the population of McHenry County taxpayers is not with taxpayers coming into and leaving the County every day, recently we are experiencing more of the latter.
Those who were fortunate enough to leave McHenry County were taxed a premium on Valley Hi and as for the rest of us, we are waiting to see if the Board is going to correct this “wrong” through taxpayer refund or relief.
While the effort of C. Wheeler is commendable and he is a well intentioned civil servant trying to do the right thing, I question the rational for the $750,000 annual reduction as it has no basis in either compensating taxpayers for improper monies collected or amount to serious reduction of excess funds “presumably” under the control of Valley Hi.
I am proud of the fact that it was my campaign for County Board which first brought to light this sordid affair considering the size of the Valley Hi largesse appearing as book entries in the Millions of Dollars on its financials.
What a Board member may want to do is verify these funds actually exist and perform an accounting as to what was legally allowed to be collected from taxpayers versus what in fact was actually collected with the difference being immediately refunded to McHenry County residents with statutory interest.
The oversight by County Board on this facility is inexcusable and more senior members on McHenry Board need to be held accountable for the lack of oversight.
If they cannot read a financial statement perhaps a seminar is in order.
If the they knew of this largesse but turned a blind eye, the public should demand he, she or they resign immediately!
Finally, other than a book entry on Valley Hi financials, has anybody on the Board confirmed these excessive funds actually exist by demanding proof of the actual deposits or securities comprising of these funds and verifying the same with the depositories holding this taxpayer booty.
In the final analysis, in these extremely difficult economic times which will only be made worse by a slow economy and disfunctional Federal government which continues to accumulate deficits into the Trillions whose interest must be paid annually through tax collections and/or issuance of further debt, it is time all of us examine what role local government should play in our individual lives and whether or not it should include a facilities like Valley Hi.
The reality for tomorrow is if government entities do not fall in line with present day economic realities already experienced in the private sector, choices governments have today to voluntarily streamline will no longer be available tomorrow but be made for them on an emergency basis through drastically shrinking tax collections.
In my opinion, serious dialogue should be given concerning the future of Valley Hi . . . . .
We need a County government which is visionary and proactive for these untested times rather than being reactive telling residents what they cannot do!
During my campaign, my nickname for the Board was “the can’t do Board” because every time I raised an issue which might give the taxpayer relief like foregoing exorbitant benefits, pension and questioning what I believed may be unnecessary or excessive spending, all I heard in response is “the Board can’t do that”.
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Previous articles on the Valley Hi Nursing Home levy:
- Finance Committee Provides Dilemma for Gottemoller
- Budget Back to Finance Committee
- The Finance Fight over Valley Hi Taxes – Part 1
- Finance Committee Fight over Valley Hi Taxes – Part 2
- Walkup Says Valley Hi Levy Will Surface at Tues. Night Meeting
- Valley Hi’s Financial Future
- Finance Reverses Course, Cuts Valley Hi Levy by $750,000
If you would like to call or email your county board members to express your views on whether they should levy the $3 millions or not, you can find their phone numbers and email addresses here.