Biography of Cal Skinner, Sr. – Part 4 – Sewer Grates, Miles River Yacht Club, Slot Machines, Chesapeake Bay Bridge

This is the fourth in a serialization of my father’s biography. Previous parts can be found below on McHenry County Blog. One of Dad’s inspirations for running for office involved an unresponsive city government. Plunk, plunk, plunk. I can hear … Continue reading

Censoring a 1952 Halloween Painting on a Barbershop Window in Easton, Maryland

Censorship. Tribune reporter Bob McCoppin has written a couple of articles (the latest is here) about high school kids painting a Caribou Coffee window for Homecoming. Apparently, business window decoration is a tradition for Glenbrook North High School students. One … Continue reading

Townships and Tax Caps

Let’s go through the townships in alphabetical order to see how the Real Estate Tax cap affects how much money they can collect. This information, as with previous articles about the Tax Cap, comes from the McHenry County Clerk’s web … Continue reading

McHenry County College Is Number One in Percentage Graduating in Three Years–24%

The Chicago Tribune reportedon the work produce of Lt. Gov. Shiela Simon’s tour of all the community colleges in the state. The story emphasized the low percentage of junior college students who complete two-year degrees or career certificates in three … Continue reading

Memories of Attending a Segregated School in Easton, Maryland – Part 1

I got into a conversation at the First United Methodist Church about Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad heroine from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, from when my family and I come. It bought back all sorts of memories of walking … Continue reading

President’s Budget Staff Wants to Unionize

When I worked at the United States Budget Bureau in 1965-66 right after grad school in public administration at the University of Michigan, there was a period just before the budget went to the printer that employees worked very long … Continue reading

Message of the Day – A Valentine

I finally opened a Lowney’s Fruit & Nut Chocolates box that contained Valentines and Christmas Cards that I thought my grandmother Addie Watling-Skinner had saved. Upon closer inspection, I discovered my mother, Eleanor Stevens Skinner, had save the contents. I … Continue reading

Time to Think About Running for Local Office

Election petitions for school board junior college city and village park board fire protection district you name it are available for circulation. It doesn’t take many signatures. Two bits of advice from my father. He would ask people coming in … Continue reading

McHenry County Health Department Warns of Rabid Bats

They’re back. The rabid bats, I mean. I first got interested with rabid bats when the McHenry County Health Department used them as an excuse to try to impose what I came to call the McHenry County Republican Cat Tax. … Continue reading

State’s Attorney Offers Mixed Take on ALAW’s Conflict of Interest Proposal for McHenry County Officials

At the McHenry County Board’s Management Services Committee this morning, the members received a January 8th memo from the State’s Attorney’s Office on the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water’s proposal to require county officials to reveal Here’s what Assistant … Continue reading

How Social Conservatives Won the McHenry County Board Video Slot Machine Fight

It’s been a couple of weeks since the McHenry County Board bucked Chairman Ken Koehler, State Senator Pam Althoff, State Rep. Mike Tryon and those who stand to gain financially from placement of video poker machines in local taverns and … Continue reading

Biography of Cal Skinner, Sr. – Part 10 – Unsuccessful County Clerk Try, County Airport Fight, Wife’s Death

When Vernon Kays retired from being County Clerk, Dad ran for the office against Vernon’s Chief Deputy Rosemary Azzaro. Rosemary won, even winning at least one Crystal Lake Coventry precinct in which she knocked on doors. Dad didn’t do any … Continue reading

Biography of Cal L Skinner – Part 9 – Responsible Republicans’ Slate, County Board Reapportionment

Prior to the 1972 elections, the United States Supreme Court ruled that legislative bodies like the McHenry County Board and city councils had to be apportioned on a one-man, one-vote basis. The county board divided the county into three districts, … Continue reading