A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:
Franks, Skillicorn Asking Algonquin Township for Referendum to Abolish Highway Department
WOODSTOCK, Ill. – State Rep. Allen Skillicorn is joining McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks’ call for the Algonquin Township Board to put a referendum to voters to eliminate the elected office of Highway Commissioner.
Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, and Franks, D-Marengo, sent a joint letter Monday to Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow and Trustees Dan Shea, Rachel Lawrence, Melissa Victor and Dave Chapman, imploring them to take advantage of a new law that allows a township board to put a referendum on the ballot abolishing the office and giving trustees full oversight of the highway department.
The letter was written to trustees asking them to empower voters in the wake of a the deep corruption and misspent public funds by former Highway Commissioner Bob Miller and his family members in on the racket.
Skillicorn, whose 66th House District covers the far western portion of the township, voted for House Bill 4637, which seeks to allow McHenry County voters to abolish their particular townships altogether by voter referendum.
The bill, now in the Illinois Senate, was drafted by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, because of the current situation in Algonquin Township – much of the township falls in the 52nd House District he represents.
“I have been watching the situation in Algonquin Township with dismay.
“Our residents are struggling with one of the highest tax burdens in the nation.
“Government already wastes far too much of their hard-earned money, and squandering it on frivolous spending, a questionable $47,381.84 lump sum cash payout, and petty political feuds is shameful.
“Just last week, this nation celebrated the bold actions of visionary men who had had enough of taxation without representation.
“It’s time for Algonquin Township’s trustees to quit pretending that they’re helpless to stop this situation, and vote to put this referendum on the ballot,” Skillicorn said.
Four County Board members who live in Algonquin Township – Chris Christensen, Tom Wilbeck, John Reinert and Christopher
– also have called on township trustees to put the question on the ballot.
The Algonquin Township Board has two more meetings until the Aug. 20 deadline to approve binding referendums for the Nov. 6 midterm election.
The township board next meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the township building at 3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake.
= = = = =
The letter follows:
Dear Supervisor Lutzow, Trustee Shea, Trustee Lawrence, Trustee Victor and Trustee Chapman,
We, the undersigned elected officials, again are imploring you to put to a vote whether to place a binding referendum on the upcoming November election ballot to eliminate the elected office of Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner.
Your constituents, whose real estate taxes are among the highest in the nation, have grown tired of their taxpayer dollars being squandered on legal fees for the current highway commissioner’s numerous feuds, and on his patronage hiring of a deputy commissioner with no job-related experience. They are tired of the never-ending stream of embarrassing and infuriating headlines.
Right now, the highway commissioner is operating with almost no oversight by your board, but that would change if the voters choose to abolish the elected office and make the highway commissioner a position hired by the township board. You would have direct oversight. The ridiculous circus the taxpayers have been forced to fund would be reined in.
Again, the voters are the ones who will make the ultimate decision. All you have to do is give them the opportunity. Your hands are not tied on this matter. At this point, with time running out until the Aug. 20 deadline to place a binding referendum on the November ballot, the township board, by not even entertaining discussion of a referendum, is sending a message that it does not have a problem with the current situation – that frustrated taxpayers should just stop complaining and pay up.
Consider that the political winds in Springfield, which for a long time shielded township government from its many detractors, are shifting with amazing speed. Bills aimed at consolidating or eliminating townships, which a decade ago would never have even gotten out of committee in the General Assembly, are now becoming law, such as the new voter empowerment law we have been asking you to use. Every bad headline generated by the current highway commissioner, and every taxpayer dollar squandered by him, gives momentum to the growing movement to do away with township government entirely. Should voters one day be able to abolish township government altogether, your repeated inaction on this matter could potentially lead to voters deciding that Algonquin Township itself needs to be eliminated.
Again, on behalf of the taxpayers we represent, I ask that you put on this month’s agenda a binding referendum allowing the voters to decide whether to keep or eliminate the Office of Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner.
We remain very truly yours,
Jack D. Franks
McHenry County Board
66th Illinois House District