From former McHenry County Board member Ersel Schuster:
It would behoove every taxpayer in McHenry County to take a chunk of their time to listen to the July 9, 2020 Finance & Audit Committee Public Meeting of their Board, their representatives:
The agenda alone is grossly unnerving as you see the amount of critical information jammed into one
scheduled monthly meeting.
The meeting lasted just over 4 hours.
As the Finance & Audit Committee, these folks are charged with oversight of the $220,000,000 +/- budget; funded by our tax money and taken from us in one form or another.
One hour of this meeting was devoted to a mailer the county board chairman had developed and mailed without proper approval.
Payment for the project was stopped by the County Auditor’s office as the amount exceeded the $30,000 limit for projects requiring county board approval.
In-spite of the Auditor’s stop-order on the payment for these charges, the bill was paid.
From all appearances, it seems a few issues exist in the payment process:
1) who approves what, and when
2) there are conflicts between multiple definitions between the Ordinances and Policies; and
3) why was payment issued when the payment had been stopped.
Politics entered the picture when one member suggested…
“As far as I can tell… people don’t like the
flyer that went out… am I right?”
“That’s just the political question today.”
To which member Mary McCann stated:
“…the Health Dept. had no input.”
And another member suggested that “A county wide elected official” was identified in the document and that it looked like a campaign piece.
Discussion dragged on with members talking over one another with tempers getting short; the takeaway includes:
- the postage bill has been paid, thus, the issue appeared to be done, taxpayers be dammed.
- the Auditor could move the issue to the Ethics Commission for review; and,
- Ordinances and policies need clarification so this does not happen again.
Nowhere in the discussion did they breech the issue of how the payment got passed on to, and paid by the Treasurer’s Office.
That should be a huge takeaway from the hour they spent spinning their wheels avoiding the elephant in the room, i.e., how did what looked like a political mailing get sent out and paid with county tax dollars.
It may not be such a big deal, in the larger scheme of things, had it been a one-time issue.
Unfortunately, these problems have been occurring, in one form or another, over the last 3.5 years.
It seems there are several issues at play, the county has elected a Chairman who has consistently believed he is an Executive, thus answering to no one.
Then, we have a majority of county board members who
- do not understand their duties;
- have a lack of interest in learning why they were elected; and,
- who choose to cave to being bullied rather than to stand up for the taxpayers.