McHenry Township Electors Friday Night Special Meeting Funds Bus Program Through End of March

McHenry Township Website Masthead

A Friday night special meeting of the township electors of McHenry Township results in overturning the township board’s June decision to eliminate the township’s bus service for seniors or people with disabilities.

In a rare move of citizen response to the loss of a township government service, voters in McHenry Township called a special meeting of the township electors. According to the meeting video, 173 electors were reported as present for the rare special meeting, and 2/3 of the electors present, or 116, needed to approve the transfer of surplus funds to fund the bus program through the end of the township’s fiscal year, which is March 31, 2020.

By a show of hands of electors holding elector cards, a count of 169 electors supported the transfer. The motion passed and the room erupted in applause.

In spite of an advisory referendum to continue the bus program already on the March 17 ballot, the township board on a vote of 3-2 at a June 18 special meeting decided to discontinue the township’s bus program on November 30, 2019.

Trustees Bob Anderson, Mike Rakestraw and Steve Verr voted in favor of discontinuing the bus program at the June meeting. Supervisor Craig Adams and Trustee Stan Wojewski voted to continue the service.

At a recent meeting, the township board voted to remove $57,000 from the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget previously allocated for the bus program beyond the original termination date of November 30, 2019.

Friday night’s vote by 169 of the 173 electors, easily surpassed the 2/3 majority needed to transfer the funds.

District 4 McHenry County Board Member Kay Bates (R, McHenry), addressed the electors to support the busing effort, and she is, “…proud of the people in this room who are committed to fighting for township busing for the vulnerable among us.”

Friday’s special electors meeting video can be viewed at the following YouTube link, and the meeting is called-to-order at the 27:39 mark on the video:


Comments

McHenry Township Electors Friday Night Special Meeting Funds Bus Program Through End of March — 27 Comments

  1. Why didn’t the electors just vote out the 3 trustees and put 3 of their own in?

  2. From what I heard from one of the speakers on Friday’s meeting video (link at end of article), legally, electors cannot do that.

    Illinois has no provision many other states have of “recall” of an elected official.

    The elected officials of any Illinois township, unless they resign or are convicted of a felony or die in office, will serve out their terms to May of 2021 (assessors through the end of 2021).

  3. In Illinois, it’s your sacred duty as a citizen to force others to provide for, what you should be providing yourself.

  4. And that’s how it’s done! But, what a stupendous waste of time and effort on something so trivial and meaningless especially at this particular time in history.

  5. We NEED the right to Recall Elected Officials at every level.

    WHY do other states have it yet we don’t?

    Is it because we’d actually USE it..?

  6. “We NEED the right to Recall Elected Officials…” — Robert Williams, 1:11PM

    Cindy at 11:21AM said, “…that’s how it’s done.”

    From Mr. Williams’ statement, that sounds like something to ask all of the candidates running for state representative in next year’s election. McHenry Township, Algonquin Township, and previously Grafton Township during the height of the litigation between 2009 and 2013, are good cases-in-point where a formal Recall process of elected public officials is needed.

    Maybe D J can share with all of us what it is like to have Recall, given he lives in Texas, and Recall is legal there. From what I can remember when I lived in Texas many decades ago, for a municipal elected official to be Recalled, it takes a significant amount of signatures on a Recall petition against a municipal official to force a Recall election. In the Dallas suburbs, I thought it was 800 to 1,000 for a member of the city council or the mayor.

    But at the start of the 2020 election cycle, for both parties, incumbent and challengers alike should bring this apparent need to the attention of all of the races for state representative.

    Heck, I might even ask a jungle primary election system, like Califnoria has (and constitutional according to the courts) beginning in 2022 would be something Illinois should move to do.

    Maybe D J can describe to all of us what a primary election is like, when the candidates know there is the possibility of a primary runoff for a nomination, if the candidates knows they can’t clear 50% on primary day.

    Put another way, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas would not be in his 2nd term, because he lost the primary for his first term back in 2012, and came in 2nd and top vote getter did not get 50%, and Cruz won the runoff primary back in 2012. The rest his history.

  7. The 3 township trustees did the right thing.

    They cut a stupid program which was duplicating a county program.

    I was sick of following empty township vans.

    Of course the township employees and their families screamed.

    Their high paying jobs and great pensions would be terminated and they’d have to get real jobs.

    My taxes are high enough. All these screamers had to do is call the County program for a ride.

  8. The Township Code requires an agenda to be posted prior to the McHenry Township Special Township Meeting called for by electors?

    ++++++++++++

    Illinois General Assembly (ILGA)

    Illinois Compiled Statues (ILCS)

    Chapter 60 (Townships)
    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs2.asp?ChapterID=13

    Act 1 (Township Code)
    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=770&ChapterID=13

    ++++++++

    Article 35 (Special Township Meetings)
    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=006000010HArt%2E+35&ActID=770&ChapterID=13&SeqStart=14000000&SeqEnd=16300000

    60 ILCS 1/35-10

    Section 35-10 Notice of SPECIAL MEETING; business at meeting.

    (a) Notice of a SPECIAL TOWNSHIP MEETING shall be given in the same manner and for the same length of time as for regular township meetings.

    (b) The notice shall set forth the object of the meeting as contained in the statement filed with the township clerk, which must be relevant to powers granted to electors under this Code.

    No business shall be done at a SPECIAL MEETING except the business that is embraced in the statement and notice.

    Source: P.A. 95-761, eff. 7-28-08.

    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/006000010K35-10.htm

    +++++++++++++++

    Article 30 (Annual Township Meeting)
    http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=006000010HArt%2E+30&ActID=770&ChapterID=13&SeqStart=9100000&SeqEnd=14000000

    60 ILCS 1/30-10

    Section 30-10. Notice of meeting; agenda.

    (a) Notice of the time and place of holding the annual and ANY SPECIAL TOWNSHIP MEETINGS shall be given by the township clerk (or, in the clerk’s absence, the supervisor, assessor, or collector) by posting written or printed notices in 3 of the most public places in the township at least 15 days before the meeting and, if there is an English language newspaper published in the township, by at least one publication in that newspaper before the meeting.

    The notice shall set forth the agenda for the meeting.

    (b) Agenda.

    Not less than 15 days before the annual meeting, the township board shall adopt an agenda for the annual meeting.

    Any 15 or more registered voters in the township may request an agenda item for consideration by the electors at the annual meeting by giving written notice of a specific request to the township clerk no later than March 1 prior to the annual meeting.

    The agenda published by the township board shall include any such request made by voters if the request is relevant to powers granted to electors under the Township Code.

    (c) Additional agenda items.

    Any matter or proposal not set forth in the published agenda shall not be considered at the annual meeting other than advising that the matter may be considered at a special meeting of the electors at a later date.

    Source: P.A. 98-653, eff. 6-18-14.

    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/006000010K30-10.htm

  9. Mark, when I listened to the Friday night video, twice, it sounded like the township clerk stated all of the appropriate notices, including a printed and published notice in the Northwest Herald had been done, and everything that took place Friday, and before, had been done legally.

    I hope the events from last week do not lead to more litigation for McHenry Township taxpayers.

    But reading Tipton’s comment above, maybe those same three trustees might want to rethink their original position for the timing of the township dissolution referendum for McHenry Township voters to consider. At a special meeting last month, they said they wanted to put the question on the ballot in November of next year, as opposed to the March ballot.

    Maybe, in response to Friday night’s actions, putting the referendum on the March ballot, at the same time as the advisory referendum on the bus service, will bring everything to the ballot box once and for all.

    Personally, I would prefer to see the township dissolution referendum to be voter-initiated, instead of township board-initiated. And if voters do not want to wait until November of 2020, they can petition the township to place the dissolution referendum on the March ballot, and do the work of gathering the hundreds of signatures needed to place it on the ballot. For those who talked about Recall, petitioning to put the referendum on the ballot has a reasonable, though challenging number of signatures required.

    If the township dissolution referendum goes on the ballot for March, I would suggest a dissolution date to be set for November 30, 2020, in order to give plenty of time for the county to plan and budget for absorbing township services into the county, including the annual budget process for fiscal year 2021. November 30 far exceeds the 90-day minimum from the date of the referendum to the date of dissolution, and I think the voters would prefer the extended time for transition, both for township residents and the county.

    BTW, did everyone see the reader poll published Saturday morning in the Northwest Herald concerning the elimination of township government?

    Here’s the question that appeared in Friday’s print edition: Are you hoping to vote to eliminate your township?

    Saturday’s print edition, with results through 6:05PM Friday:
    Yes: 47%
    No: 38%
    Only after a study: 15%

    Please remember, the reader poll is not scientific in any way.

    It’s up to McHenry Township voters, and the township trustees. The 3 trustees have made it clear there will be a dissolution referendum on the ballot as the result of board action. The question is when, March 17 or November 3?

  10. Are the 3 trustees similar to the original 3 stooges, Moe, Larry, and Curly?

    “I don’t know. It was my idea, but I don’t think much of it”

  11. This bus service was initiated by McHenry Township in 1998.

    The County McRide Program commenced in 2011.

    Why McHenry Township didn’t cut their duplicate bus line when the County began theirs is a mystery until you understand that township government is all about government bloat and getting more patronage people on the government dole with beautiful pensions these people would never get in the private sector.

    Tax payers get hosed.

    The County Program is superior in every way.

    The township program only operates M-F/County McRide 7 days a week.

    Township will only take you within McHenry Township.

    County McRide will take you anywhere in County, and some place beyond.

    Township operates its bus 8am-3 pm

    County McRide operates 6am-7pm M-F/9am-5pm Sat/Sun
    https://www.mysundaynews.com/2019/01/24/mcride-announces-2019-service-expansion/

    So, the trustees that voted to cut the duplicate program are right on!

    I assume the biggest criers are township employees.

    Apparently nobody cares about seniors getting taxed out of their homes.

    Like me.

    I congratulate the trustees who finally stood up to government waste!

  12. Oh, another thing—— Nunda Township and Grafton Township got rid of their duplicative bus programs years ago!

  13. The Open Meetings Act (OMA) requires an agenda to be posted prior to the McHenry Township Special Township Meeting called for by electors?

    No requirement to post the agenda and notice on the township website?

    ++++++++++++

    Illinois General Assembly (ILGA)

    Illinois Compiled Statues (ILCS)

    Chapter 5 (General Provisions)
    5 ILCS
    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs.asp

    Act 120 (Open Meetings Act)
    5 ILCS 120
    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs2.asp?ChapterID=2

    Article 2 (Open Meetings)
    5 ILCS 120/2
    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=000501200K2

    Section 2.02 (Public Notice of all meetings)
    5 ILCS 120/2.02
    ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=000501200K2.02

    Section 20.2

    Public notice of all meetings, whether open or closed to the public, shall be given as follows:

    (a) Every public body shall give public notice of the schedule of regular meetings at the beginning of each calendar or fiscal year and shall state the regular dates, times, and places of such meetings.

    An agenda for each regular meeting shall be posted at the principal office of the public body and at the location where the meeting is to be held at least 48 hours in advance of the holding of the meeting.

    A public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall also post on its website the agenda of any regular meetings of the governing body of that public body.

    Any agenda of a regular meeting that is posted on a public body’s website shall remain posted on the website until the regular meeting is concluded.

    The requirement of a regular meeting agenda shall not preclude the consideration of items not specifically set forth in the agenda.

    Public notice of any SPECIAL MEETING except a meeting held in the event of a bona fide emergency, or of any rescheduled regular meeting, or of any reconvened meeting, shall be given at least 48 hours before such meeting, WHICH NOTICE SHALL ALSO INCLUDE THE AGENDA for the special, rescheduled, or reconvened meeting, but the validity of any action taken by the public body which is germane to a subject on the agenda shall not be affected by other errors or omissions in the agenda.

    The requirement of public notice of reconvened meetings does not apply to any case where the meeting was open to the public and (1) it is to be reconvened within 24 hours, or (2) an announcement of the time and place of the reconvened meeting was made at the original meeting and there is no change in the agenda.

    Notice of an emergency meeting shall be given as soon as practicable, but in any event prior to the holding of such meeting, to any news medium which has filed an annual request for notice under subsection (b) of this Section.

    (b) Public notice shall be given by posting a copy of the notice at the principal office of the body holding the meeting or, if no such office exists, at the building in which the meeting is to be held.

    In addition, a public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall post notice on its website of all meetings of the governing body of the public body.

    Any notice of an annual schedule of meetings shall remain on the website until a new public notice of the schedule of regular meetings is approved.

    Any notice of a regular meeting that is posted on a public body’s website shall remain posted on the website until the regular meeting is concluded.

    The body shall supply copies of the notice of its regular meetings, and of the notice of any special, emergency, rescheduled or reconvened meeting, to any news medium that has filed an annual request for such notice.

    Any such news medium shall also be given the same notice of all special, emergency, rescheduled or reconvened meetings in the same manner as is given to members of the body provided such news medium has given the public body an address or telephone number within the territorial jurisdiction of the public body at which such notice may be given.

    The failure of a public body to post on its website notice of any meeting or the agenda of any meeting shall not invalidate any meeting or any actions taken at a meeting.

    (c) Any agenda required under this Section shall set forth the general subject matter of any resolution or ordinance that will be the subject of final action at the meeting.

    The public body conducting a public meeting shall ensure that at least one copy of any requested notice and agenda for the meeting is continuously available for public review during the entire 48-hour period preceding the meeting.

    Posting of the notice and agenda on a website that is maintained by the public body satisfies the requirement for continuous posting under this subsection (c).

    If a notice or agenda is not continuously available for the full 48-hour period due to actions outside of the control of the public body, then that lack of availability does not invalidate any meeting or action taken at a meeting.

    Source: P.A. 97-827, eff. 1-1-13.

  14. So, they violated the Open Meetings Act.

    Where’s the SA?

    It’s sop for local governments in McH County.

    Ask Mayor Jett or Bob Miller.

  15. Linda Moore stopped the new Grafton Township Hall that Township Trustees sought.

  16. https://repjonathancarroll.com/editorial-to-declutter-illinois-and-save-dollars-eliminate-townships/

    In southern Illinois, 17 counties function smoothly without townships.

    Evanston voters got rid of Evanston Township in 2014 and had their city government assume township functions.

    That saved taxpayers nearly $800,000 the following year.

    And their city government assume township functions.

    That saved taxpayers nearly $800,000 the following year.

    Downstate Belleville has done away with its township government, and in 2017 voters in Cook County’s northwest suburban Hanover Township eliminated the township’s road district and highway commissioner.

  17. Nitro, your 10:20PM post is interesting.

    You now have it in your means to eliminate your township here in McHenry County.

    Get going organizing to get a dissolution question on the ballot in March.

    See my comment above about a suggested dissolution date in keeping with the new law.

    It’s up to you now.

    Get organized and get to it.

  18. Ah, by clicking on “Agenda” on the home page.

    That can be improved:

    – Underline “Agenda” (to more clearly indicate a hyperlink)

    – Include a helpful hint such as “click here to access the agenda.”

    – Also post the agenda in the board section of the website (the August 5, 2019 Special Annual Meeting agenda is posted there).

    For what it’s worth, and not concerned about it, it’s not clear the document was posted on September 4th, that could just be the date the document was created.

    +++++++++

    Thankfully McHenry Township posts YouTube videos of its board / elector meetings.

    The City of McHenry also does.

    Two bigger local units of government which take a bigger portion of the property tax bill, McHenry High School District 156 and McHenry Elementary District 15, do not post YouTube videos of Board meetings.

  19. I suggest McHenry township form a senior transportation committee to give the situation careful analysis and to allow the citizens to have a forum to discuss the buses.

    Maybe things are happening a little too quickly for a smooth outcome.

  20. Maybe Linda Moore should start giving these poor souls rides in her own car.

    I’m slick of paying for 2 senior/disabled bus lines when these buses are vacant much of the time..

    I’m a senior AND disabled.

    The taxes are killing me.

    What about duplicate services do you not understand Linda?

    It’s a duplicate program.

    Cut the worse program (Township) and keep the more efficient one (McRide).

    A hundred people in a mob are not the majority.

  21. These townships are the local swamps that really need to be drained.

    Iron Mike and Jim Condon are the epitomes of arrogant boss hogs.

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