To no one’s surprise, Algonquin Township Highway Department Foreman Derek Lee filed for Road Commissioner as an Independent Monday.
Lee was one of the sons-in-law of former Highway Commissioner Bob Miller whom newly-elected Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser fired upon taking office in 2017.
Lee and the other dismissed employees had joined Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers right before Miller went out of office.
Miller had signed a contract with the union that covered all of Gasser’s four-year term and part of his successors.
Gasser and the union engaged in a multi-year suit costing hundreds of thousands of dollars which Local 150 won.
The result was the re-instatement of those dismissed in May of 2017, plus another who was fired subsequently in contravention of the union contract.
Lee will face off against the winner of the February Republican Primary Election:
- Robert “Bob” Bragg
- Danijela Sandberg
Should he win the April election, Lee would be the fourth member of his family to hold the office.
Julian Dvorak was the first. He was the reform candidate, strongly backed by former union organizer and Cary resident Julie Covert, promising to put the Township logo on the Commissioner’s pick-up truck.
Dvorak refused to close Three Oaks Road when Vulcan Materials sought to mine the gravel under it. Crystal Lake annexed the highway, closed it and the next day traffic on Route 14 increased 10%.
Next to hold the office was his son-in-law Del Miller, who rose in prominence to lead the Township Officials of Illinois.
When he died, his son, Bob Miller, whom he had hired, was appointed to the office. Miller followed in his father’s footsteps, also rising to the Presidency of TOI before narrowly losing the 2017 GOP Primary to Gasser.