Grafton Township Assessor Alan Zielinski Trounced by Republican Party-Endorsed Opponent Terra De Baltz

Not since the 1974 Regional Transportation Authority referendum has McHenry County seen a contested election where the margin was close to 9-1.

The Grafton Township Republican Party targeted incumbent two-term Assessor Al Zielinski, who won in a write-in four years ago, endorsing Elgin Deputy Assessor Terra De Baltz.

To say the local GOP succeeded would be an understatement.

On Election Day, De Blatz tallied 752 votes to Zielinski’s 86.

Terra De Baltz beat Alan Zielinski 752-86 on Election Day

Since no Democrats filed for Grafton Township office, the other candidates on the ballot will be taking office after the pro forma election in April:

  • Supervisor – Eric Ruth
  • Clerk – Kathleen Watson
  • Highway Commissioner – Frank Kearns
  • Trustees – Lesli Melendy, District 158 School Board member and former candidate for McHenry County Board; Sean Cratty, Huntley School Board member; Dan Ziller, Jr., incumbent; and Matthew Cooper, incumbent.

= = = = =

The only McHenry County election result that was more lopsided was that of the creation of the RTA.

93% of the people voted against its creation.

The next day, Senate President Cecil Partee commented on the results in our part of the six-county area.

I told him. “You have your river wards; we have our river counties.”


Grafton Township Assessor Alan Zielinski Trounced by Republican Party-Endorsed Opponent Terra De Baltz — 12 Comments

  1. Yippee!

    An old, proven corrupt bastard is replaced by a younger version.

    Get rid of township assessors.

    Grow up people.

  2. Lopez was definitely right in his analysis last night: not an upset, but a surprising margin given Al Z is an incumbent.

  3. He was TERRAounced.

    I think he had more votes as a write-in candidate years ago?

    The next 10 months will suck, especially as a lame duck.


  4. Zielinski stated, “I’m content to let the level-headed, educated voters of Grafton Township decide their future.”

    Damn straight.

    Grafton didn’t buy the pathetic facade that Zielinski was some accurate, honest, ethical assessor. He made poor assessment decisions such as sales chasing, got ornery when he was asked the tough questions, and rejected any FOIA requests of data that would peel back the curtain. He said he would cut “no deals” but saw his own address fall $189k on appeal, and cut a Lakewood Village official’s home assessment in half.

    Even more pitiful was this new dialogue where Al said he would commit full time to Grafton, all while he ran his own little side gigs, did unethical appraisals in the township, and (briefly) worked full time at Boone. Grafton didn’t buy his line of B.S., to a tune of a 9-1 ratio of votes.

    The only pittance was how the Grafton had to put up with him for SEVEN YEARS, a period where Z clashed with…well….EVERYONE. Two township boards, the township attorney, the Board of Review, the County Assessor, Taxpayers just trying to get honest answers, the list goes on. And everything was someone else’s fault, not Al’s.

    To prevent that, the ability to recall Illinois officials would be nice, plus a stronger system of auditing township and county assessors to ensure valuation methods are proper and fair across all residences. Simple IDOR stats don’t cover it. And when something like sales chasing is discovered, the certification should be suspended or revoked. One can always dream.

    At the end of the day, Al screwed a lot of people over with his assessments. But Grafton wised up. Al…play nice until Jan 1st. And don’t let the door hit you in the Zielinski on the way out.

  5. Hebron township is much the same.

    Bad assessors who give their friends sweet assessments.

  6. Maybe the new assessor will correct the “mistake” Zelinski made in cutting Lakewood President Napoleans real estate taxes in half.

  7. Alg Voter,

    Once the McHenry County Assessor’s office learned of the Lakewood President’s low assessment, they stepped in and raised it to a reasonable level.

    (The County Assessor does have the authority to do that.)

    Zielinski objected to that, despite no market data showing the absurdly low assessment.

    Stephan did appeal the raise, but didn’t get it reduced much.

  8. In the end I hope we can all get a fair assessment of our homes so the taxes will go down.

    When I called about mine they said it’s the school districts fault that they are so high take it up with them?

  9. Renee you are stupid.

    Your hopes are unrealistic and rather childish.

    I’ll give you real hope: Arkansas

  10. Renee, the assessor has no control over the tax rate.

    It’s the state and local government that set the rates and the amount that needs to be collected.

    If the values are too low the government will just raise the rates to get the money they demand.

    The best case scenario is that the property values are recorded accurately and uniformly so that taxes are distributed fairly based on those values.

    When Al gave himself and his buddies a break on their values, the rest of us had to pay for that shortfall. I

    f you have an issue on the amount of taxes you are paying, you’ll have to run it up the chain to those who are setting the rates and the institutions asking for the money.

    Let it be known the majority of your money is going to the schools (and you saw what they did to working families this year) so that’s a good place to start.

  11. Renee Criss,

    The taxes are a two-fold issue.

    First in regards to assessments…was your home overvalued compared to others around it, or was your neighborhood valued higher compared to neighborhoods around it?

    That’s where your taxes can be higher than others due to an assessment.

    It sucks, but you need to do your own research and see, and then appeal it down.

    Don’t expect to get much from the current assessor.

    But the tax levies are a factor too…

    I pay for two school districts and a park district that doesn’t even maintain my local park.

    (Lake in the Hills had to create their own Parks and Rec department to do that,) so I’m practically paying for two park districts.

    22 levies total.

    If you think schools bill you too much, you need to go to school board meetings, especially when they talk budget.

    Or, move to Arkansas.

    Some have done that too.

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