When the budget for the Algonquin Township Road District was considered by the Township Board on Monday night, the Board voted 4-1 to reduce the line item for legal fees from $250,000 to $150,000.
Trustee David Chapman made the reduction motion, saying, “I can;t in good conscience vote for $250,000 for legal bills with no end in sight..
Dan Shea, longest serving Trustee, asked, “Do we have authority to reduce it?”
Attorney Jim Kelly advised that a zero in the line item for salt would be a problem, but he believed ILCS6-501(c) gave the Board the authority to reduce the amounts requested in line items.
He said that he had reviewed a memo from Gasser attorney Robert Hanlon advising the opposite and disagreed with it.
“Unfortunately, there is no really good case law on this,” Kelly said.
The vote was 4-1 for the reduction, with only Trustee Rachael Lawrence voting against the motion.
While voting with the majority, Supervisor Church Lutzow said he “wasn’t going to disarm Mr. Gasser.”
Trustee Melissa Victor characterized the lawsuits as Gasser’s “playing detective.
“I believe these are all meritless lawsuits.”
She pointed out that both suits had already been “dismissed twice.”
Comments about the legal fees were sprinkled through out the meeting with the most dramatic portion being an attack by Township Clerk Karen Lukasik.
You’ll have to watch the recording of the tirade, if her assistant, Monique Miller, a previous Democratic Party candidate for the McHenry County Board, didn’t turn off the recorder, to be able to gauge its intensity.
Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser stood calmly during it all.
During Public Comment period, which occurred after the vote, former McHenry County Board member Lou Anne Majewski berated the board majority for having “an ongoing vendetta against Mr. Gasser, “evidenced in the second guessing of his legal bills.
“The Local 150 suit is here because [former Algonquin Township Road Commissioner] Robert Miller brought Local 150 to Algonquin Township.
“You ought to have a time out room for the lot of you,” the long-time Republican Precinct Committeeman said.
“If you continue to do this, this will be the reason that this township will be abolished.”
Her daughter, McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski, followed up:
“Every official should be embarrassed for not questioning the [expenses] of the former [Road Commissioner].
“Why isn’t Bill Prim investigating this?
“Why isn’t the Stat’s Attorney [doing more]?”
Algonquin Village Trustee Jerry Glogowski sat in on the meeting.
He spoke during Public Comment period.
“I’ve heard so many complaints. It’s getting a little tiresome.
“You don’t realize how many people [disapprove of the fighting].
“They don’t understand why intelligent people can’t get along.
“This is worse than when the Western Bypass was going on.
“You have to engage in professional behavior.”
He predicted that continued dissension would lead to the abolishing township government.
“This type of action is proving [Bop Anderson’s] point.