Rachael Lawrence, Treasurer of the McHenry County GOP & Algonquin Township Trustee, Supports Bill Allowing Townships to Be Abolished by Referendum

From Algonquin Township Trustee Rachael Lawrence, who was elected Treasurer of the McHenry County Republican

Party without opposition last week, gives her views on State Rep. David McSweeney’s bill to allow voters to put referendums on the ballot to abolish township government:

Rachael Lawrence

If you have not already, it may be time for you to become acquainted with House Bill 4637.

Having already overwhelmingly passed the IL House and now making its way through the Senate, the bill would allow WE THE PEOPLE to gather petition signatures to place a ballot referendum asking if a township should be abolished.

If 8% of a township’s electors petition, AND if a majority of voters decide so at the ballot box, a township would then be abolished no less than 90 days later, with the County (board) then absorbing the township’s duties, assets, liabilities, etc.

This bill eliminates the “tax-savings debate” by including in the bill a provision that the county may not extend a levy exceeding 90% of the township’s last levy to that township’s residents.

An instant (and minimum) 10% tax reduction of the previous tax levied by the township. Read more here:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=10000HB4637ham001&GA=100&LegID=109621&SessionId=91&SpecSess=0&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4637&GAID=14&Session=

While I understand and appreciate the varied arguments leveled by both Republicans and Democrats, I respectfully disagree with my fellow McHenry County GOP Executive Board Chair’s position on HB4637.

I do, however, heartily agree with one of her statements:

“Local government belongs in the hands of local people.”

This bill does not eliminate townships by itself.

This bill empowers the people of an individual township to assert their right through fundamental democratic principles to govern themselves.

If a township’s electors determine at the ballot box that their township is desired and a valuable part of its electors’ government, those electors will not vote to eliminate it.

Alternatively, if a township is redundant, defective, and unnecessarily costly, its electors would have the right to eliminate it.

While this bill is not perfect, and I can’t presume to know why it should not apply to townships in ALL counties in Illinois, I do not represent the interests of all of Illinois’s townships.

I was elected to represent the interests of Algonquin Township, and I believe any bill which would give the people more power over its own governance is in their best interest.

I believe that the people are intelligent and capable enough to do their own due diligence and make an educated vote, just as they do every other election day.

I therefore support this bill, and I urge others to do the same.


Comments

Rachael Lawrence, Treasurer of the McHenry County GOP & Algonquin Township Trustee, Supports Bill Allowing Townships to Be Abolished by Referendum — 34 Comments

  1. Rachael, what is wrong with these statements?

    “Whether a party wants to promote township consolidation or not, what’s the point of reducing numbers of units if you also don’t reduce the cost of delivery of services, or if you cut services beyond what is reasonable?”

    “Does it make sense, and is it a smart piece of legislation, to reduce the units and at the same time increase the costs of delivery of services?”

    “Regardless of whatever else is being promoted, this bill does not serve us well.
    There is no realistic plan in this Bill for cost-savings or efficiency to taxpayers, and legislators are once again asking Governor Rauner to agree to cherry-pick State legislation for one or two counties only.”

    As a township trustee, you don’t feel that you should justify what you promote without the related facts first?

  2. While this bill may sound good on the surface, it is going to force the County to raise taxes on everyone else as there are no provisions for the County to collect the township tax levy.

    It will also eliminate a second level of appeal for property tax assessments.

    There will be no more interim public assistance as the county is not authorized to do that.

    Those people currently seeking such assistance in a township such as Algonquin will then move to other townships.

    This bill applies ONLY to McHenry County.

    There is no transition period. The changes would become effective immediately after an election.

    The recently enacted SB 003 now allows consolidation of townships without a tax penalty and eliminates the minimum square mile requirement.

    It would therefore allow multiple townships to consolidate by referendum in each township.

    For example, Algonquin, Nunda, Grafton and Dorr could all consolidate creating a larger Southeast township.

    This would put the more urban type areas together to combine services that are more peculiar to those types of areas.

    While it is a good idea overall, the effect of this particular bill would have unintended consequences.

    It is being fast tracked through the Senate with no debate, as was the case in the House.

    It needs to be pulled and reworked.

    Contact your state Senators to stand up against this well intentioned but ill conceived bill.

  3. Yeah LandShark and Nob.

    How bout a Bill change, keeping the Keymaster away from the Gatekeeper?

    We wouldn’t want the Sta Puff Marshmallow Man showing up to destroy the County.

    This should placate Township doomsday prognosticators.

  4. DJ: Thanks for the informed commentary to elevate the level of discussion…

    I think townships should be abolished.

    All of them.

    However, it has to be done correctly.

    Now, who you gonna call?

  5. I’m sensing a real lack of enthusiasm for ranting on this blog today.

  6. Finally some Republicans show they have backbones!

    Evertsen was too reflexive. She supports townships bc Franks is against them.

    —that’s not smart politics. I realize her husband was a township official and all, but c’mon.

    85% of taxpayers are against townships too!

  7. Typical township crookedness: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/pressroom/2017_08/20170808.html

    Maybe this Freytag accompanied Miller on his Disneyland spree on the taxpayers’ dime:

    Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced former Essex Township Clerk Traci Freytag pleaded guilty to stealing taxpayer money for personal expenses including two trips to Florida.

    Freytag, 50, of Essex, Ill., pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property, a Class 1 felony and was sentenced to four years in prison by Kankakee County Circuit Court Judge Kathy Elliott.

    Freytag was appointed township clerk in August 2014.

    Between November 2014 through May 2016, Freytag deposited $94,000 of Essex township checks into her personal bank account.

    As clerk, Freytag had access to Essex township bank accounts and was able to write checks from those accounts.

    The scheme was uncovered after a township employee indicated that his payroll check from the township had bounced.

    A FDIC-OIG investigator then inquired with the State Bank of Herscher, which holds the Essex township account, and discovered the funds had been completely depleted.

    The investigator also discovered multiple Essex Township checks written to and signed by Freytag that were deposited into her personal US Bank account.

    “The defendant used her position as township clerk to cheat taxpayers and enrich herself in a public corruption scheme,” Madigan said. “This sentence ensures she will be held accountable for her actions.”

    The FDIC-OIG referred the case to Madigan’s office for prosecution, and Assistant Attorney General Nicole D. Sutcliffe handled the case for Madigan’s Special Prosecutions Bureau.

  8. Landshark, no more ‘interim public assistance’ GREAT!!!!

    There shouldn’t be any anyway, Township stooges created this kind of ‘assistance’ in violkation of the old law that empowered them to give general assistance.

    That was all generations before Welfare and food stamps,Sec. 8, etc.

    Township monkeys created ‘interim assistance’ to help justify their own existence! Now illegal aliens get this money!

    I’m glad it will be cut!

  9. Looks like the county DOT will get their southern shop after all.

    No money will be saved and the people living on township maintained roads will need to annex and likely have their taxes go way up or wait for the county to plow, patch and mow.

    If you’re gonna eliminate township offices get rid of the supervisors, talk about do nothing jobs

  10. Justin. I am in partial agreement here but the IPA will not go away if just some townships are dissolved. The people will simply move to another township and increase the tax burdens there.

    You need to apply this state wide plus set up IDPA to do this.

    Why is this only going to apply to McHenry County?

  11. Answer: Jack Franks.

    This is a Franks False Flag to grab headlines.

    Why do you think it was pushed thru the House with no debate?

    The Dems supported it.

    That’s why.

  12. Rachael is nothing more than a wanna be nothing.

    No substance and all hot air.

    She likes to hear herself talk and now that she has been accepted by other rejects she thinks that makes her somebody.

    Fortunately, you sow what you reep.

    She does not have the experience or knowledge to know what ramifications her actions have or she does and does not care.

    Either way what a cluster of twisted lies and deceit when we practice to deceive.

  13. Townships don’t make any sense in non-rural areas.

    I get clobbered twice, first from LITH municipality and then from Alg. Township.

    But people in unincorporated areas only get hit with the township.

    Eliminate townships is the way.

  14. That’s the spirit Pacco!

    Click a few lines of drivel per day. Keep your caps lock key properly lubed, release that pukeprose accordingly and pace yourself.

    Raging incoherently is a marathon not a sprint.

  15. I’m so incredibly impressed that Pacco spelled my name correctly that I can’t even be mad.

    Enjoy this gorgeous day, everyone!

  16. Time to eliminate this useless, rotten and obsolete governmental excrescence, chock full of crooks.

    It’s time citizens show they’re not patsies any more.

  17. It’s “reap what you sow” Pacco. You must not be a farmer. Also it’s spelled “reap” as in “leap”, not “reep as in “creep”.

  18. I vote to eliminate.

    Townships are nests of nepotism and corruption.

    Drain the township swamp.

  19. You can’t vote until the Senate approves the bill and the Governor signs it.

    Please contact your State Senator and Governor Rauner.

  20. It’s right in the bill.

    There will be a 10% tax cut in the township share.

    Maybe I should call the push for abolition “Cut 10.”

  21. The County will not have to buy Eisenmann’s building, as some on the County Board wanted.

    See: The Humongous Building in Crystal Lake that County Officials Want to Buy for a Salt Dome

    http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2014/07/31/the-humongous-cl-building-county-officials-want-to-buy-for-a-salt-dome/

    Transportation Department Verifies County Looking at Eisenman Building

    http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2014/08/08/transportation-department-verifies-county-looking-at-eisenman-building/

    McHenry Seeking Salt Dome Site

    http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2015/03/19/mchenry-seeking-salt-dome-site/

  22. CAL : What I hear from the County is that the County does not have the authority to levy a tax for the township services it would take over. There has to be an express grant of authority.

    Even so, there would be no authorization for interim public assistance.

    Also no Motor Fuel Tax for the township roads taken over.

    So this would bust the County budget, forcing a tax increase.

    All of these arguments would be trotted out by those opposing the dissolution of the township so it is best to address them now in the bill.

  23. Landshark is a liar and a Miller backer, in other words a human-rat.

  24. Fishy: Actually I am not a Miller backer at all. Far from it.

    If you doubt my statements, why don’t you check them out?

    In the meantime the County Board Members are preparing a petition as we speak signed by probably every single one of them urging defeat of this bill.

    I would like nothing better than to see AL township dissolved as well all the rest of them.

    However, people should be aware of unintended consequences.

    Those consequences are avoidable but this bill needs to go back to the drawing board and be reworked.

    It was conceived in haste to grab headlines and hustled through the House with Madigan’s backing.

    What do you think he had in mind?

  25. Landshark (aka Jim Kearns), liberal cougar Pam Althoff and Minuteman Evertsen all schilling for the Township officials. What a team of hypocrites and liars. They will be exposed – stay tuned…

  26. Please Jack, make a proposal for good ol’ Protestant values (against ‘bortions, and for guns). I want to watch the implosion of reason.

  27. Landshark, don’t you know, “Pacco” is McClusterfnck, (or “10%” as The bar association calls her.) That ought to explain the spelling errors, misinterpretations and overall stupidity.

  28. Wow I can’t believe I’m agreeing with ‘Nob’. (first comment on this article)

  29. Casey? Must be a glitch in the matrix. Wait for him to come back and explain his stance and you will find he played you for a fool by pretending to be inquiring instead of all-knowing.

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