Algonquin Township Trustee Melissa Victor responded to Andrew Gasser’s blog post. You may read it below.:
As I understand there are many rumors going around facebook regarding misuse of funds with the Millers and the township. I found that many of these accusations were not accurate. Please see below, there is a lot to this, but the truth needs to be heard. Thank you in advance for your support and for taking the time to read, I am happy to discuss with anyone in person, please feel free to contact me to meet as I will not partake in the facebook negativity:
THE FACTS REGARDING THE MILLER FAMILY AND TOWNSHIP
The account was in Mr. Miller’s name and on his personal account, he chose to put the township on it as the township rarely uses tolls. Once Mr. Miller lost the election, he called the company, attempting to take the townships name off of his account. This took place in March of 2017. It was not until November of 2017 after going on a family vacation, when he received an updated IPASS bill that he realized they had confusing accounts and came to find out that Mr. Gasser cancelled his account, took his money by stating the transponders were stolen. Mr .Miller then mailed the transponders back. At no time did the township pay for the township vehicles or his personal vehicles from township funds. Mr. Miller was actually paying for the township vehicles to use his account for many years.
Two years ago for Christmas, the employees all chipped in (with their own money) together and bought Mr. Miller a “Gear 2” version of a smart watch. This was NOT public money. Derrick Lee, being the foreman at the time, was tasked with picking it up. He delegated that to his wife, Rebecca Lee. When she arrived to pick up the phone, she paid for it as Verizon made her attach it to her account. It was then given to Mr. Miller for a Christmas gift and it was agreed upon that Mr. Miller would transfer the cellphone to his account. For the two years he had the phone, it was paid for out of his personal account, NOT THE TOWNSHIP.
Mr. Gasser currently bills the township for his personal cell phone bills monthly.
The Algonquin township replaces sweepers every 5 years.
There are three ways a township can sell equipment:
1. Sell by an intergovernmental agreement at a mutually agreed price
2. Advertising and putting it out for a sealed bid
3. Ebay, Craigslist or auction house
The sweeper was sold by entering an intergovernmental agreement to Island Lake Public Works. The sale of the sweeper was negotiated in July of 2016- long before it was known that Mr. Gasser was running for office. This was not a done last minute as Mr. Gasser claims. It was also agreed upon that whenever the Algonquin Township needed to use it (while waiting for the new sweeper to be ordered and arrive), they were free to use it at any time. The Algonquin township took the lowest responsible bid in the best interest of the road district.
TRAVELING/ MISUSE OF FUNDS:
Every township received money between the township and road district to attend educational seminars and for American Public Works Association conferences which Mr. Miller has been a part of for the past twenty years. Policy was that if a family member wished to attend, the township would pay for the spouse. The entire township was at each one of the seminars and every one of these bills was open for inspection, properly presented to the board and voted on very carefully and unanimously by EVERY board member, including Larry Emery, who diligently went thru every bill. If there was ever a question, it was answered. Not one trustee from the board questioned one of these bills.
I was extremely disappointed to find that as I was attending sessions at the last Township conference in Springfield two weeks ago, Trustee Racheal Lawrence, walked into two sessions I was in, I witnessed her sign in and leave within fifteen minutes of BOTH sessions. When I walked out of the session, I personally saw her sitting on the floor outside the door on her laptop with her facebook page open. Is that an appropriate use of our tax payer dollars? To pay for someone who cares more about her image and attention then participating in educational sessions and actually cares about our township? I learned so much during this conference and was very saddened that she deliberately missed out on two opportunities to learn more about bettering our township.
Mr. Gasser, in my opinion, was also an embarrassment to our township by getting into a heated argument at the Banquet dinner with numerous other state legislators. We should be making postive connections with others and learning from them, not arguing with them and making our township look like a joke!
Each and every worker received a minimum allowance of $400.00 for clothing each year. All got paid for appropriately thru the township and Mr. Miller was generous to all of the township workers.
Gift cards were purchased for damage reimbursement for road projects to replace bushes and trees.
KEITH (IT TECH)/ Billing for Computer Usage:
Anything the IT tech person did for Mr. Miller was billed directly to him personally, NEVER to the township!
Once again, this needs to stop. Everyone is so quick to jump to conclusion before getting the facts straight. Could it possibly be a big misunderstanding. YES. Mr. Gasser, Rachael Lawrence, along with myself are all newly appointed elected officials.
However, I now have THE ACTUAL DOCUMENTED proof of all of the above and am happy to meet with anyone in person to discuss and show. I will not cave into the fights on facebook with those who like to hide behind their computers but are unwilling to meet in person.
The Millers have given their entire heart and soul to the township for many years, do we need to make some updates and changes? Of course. But let’s stop bringing down the people who have made a positive impact on our township and with several community partners for decades.
The election is over and it is time to move forward and continue to do what is best for the township and tax payers! We all need to work together for our community, the tax payers. The union workers who were unlawfully let go due to political vendettas need to all be rehired. The law suits need to end. I am still hopeful that this all can still be forgiven and can still be turned around for the greater good of all people. Please like and share the TRUTH with all you know.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I am still optimistic for a much more positive meeting in December!
Trustee Melissa Victor