Libertarians Drop Literature in Lakewood

Last weekend I got word that Libertarian Party members were passing out literature in the Grafton Township part of Lakewood.

Today, when I went to get the mail, what was tied to my door knob with a clear plastic bag with literature for Libertarian candidates running statewide.

Below is what a volunteer left me.

First is the palm card for Kash Jackson, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Governor.

The front of Kash Jackson’s literature for Governor. Running as Lt. Governor is Sanj Mohip.

The back of Kash Jackson’s literature for Governor.

Secretary of State candidate Steve Dutner’s literature is next.

The front of Libertarian Party Secretary of State candidate Steve Dutner’s literature.

The back of Libertarian Party Secretary of State candidate Steve Dutner’s literature.

The literature of Libertarian Party Attorney General Bubba Harsy is next.

The front of Libertarian Party Attorney General candidate Bubba Harsy

The back of Libertarian Party Attorney General candidate Bubba Harsy’s literature.

The next candidate whose literature I received is State Comptroller candidate Claire Ball’s.

Caire Bell, the Libertarian Party candidate for State Comptroller has her marvelous hash tag on the front of her palm card:#qualifiednotconnected.

The back of Claire Ball’s palm card. She is the Libertarian Party candidate for State Comptroller.

The final statewide Libertarian Party candidate whose literature was delivered to my door is Mike Leheney, running for State Treasurer.

This is the front of the handout for Libertarian Party candidate for Treasurer, Mike Leheney.

The back of Libertarian Party State Treasurer candidate Mike Leheney’s literature.

At the May monthly meeting of the McHenry County Libertarian Party meeting at which Edgar County Watchdogs Kirk Allen and John Kraft spoke, the Libertarian candidates for Lt. Governor Sanj Mohip and Comptroller candidate Claire Ball were in attendance.

Sanj Mohip and Claire Bell spoke with Illinois Leaks’ Kirk Allen at the McHenry County Libertarian Party’s May meeting in Crystal Lake.

Democrat Trying to Steal a Roskam Sign

A press release about Peter Roskam sign thefts.

This video was taken at 8 AM!


Here is the press release:

VIDEO: Casten supporters continue to steal and destroy
Roskam for Congress signs

WHEATON, IL — Every day, local residents are calling the Roskam campaign office reporting yard signs stolen from their property or destroyed. Once again, the theft was caught on camera.

At approximately 8 a.m. Thursday, October 18 in Naperville, a Casten supporter was filmed destroying and removing a Roskam for Congress yard sign.

When confronted in the act, the man preposterously claims he is “just going to put it on another corner” more than 20 miles away in Elmhurst and not even located in the 6th District.

Over and over, Roskam signs are targeted while adjacent signs for other candidates remain untouched.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.

To date, an estimated 350 Roskam for Congress yard signs have been reported stolen and destroyed.

The sign theft drastically increased since Roskam first called on Casten to stop his supporters’ shameful tricks. Casten’s response? Crickets.

The latest theft captured on video occurred just after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise joined Peter Roskam in Naperville and delivered a stirring speech on his personal experience as the survivor of an assassination attempt driven by angry, vicious political rhetoric.

Instead of seeking bipartisanship and engaging constructively to achieve solutions, Casten continues to employ hateful rhetoric to demonize those who disagree with him.

Casten has said Peter Roskam makes him “violently angry” and he wants to “beat Roskam like a rented mule.”

Casten has also suggested the death of a Supreme Court Justice might be a faster way of getting his preferred policy alternatives accomplished, put forward the language that there is “fury” in his heart and behind his political activities.

“Sean Casten’s hateful rhetoric has set an unfortunate tone for his campaign.” said Roskam for Congress Spokesman Veronica Vera.

“It’s no surprise his supporters are encouraged to employ the worst sort of underhanded Chicago politics, instead of competing to advance substantive ideas that will benefit our community.

“We have called on Casten to denounce the blatant lawbreaking by his supporters and stop using the kind of language and personal attacks that encourage this behavior.

“His silence is deafening. If sent to Washington, Casten’s words and actions show he would make things a lot worse.”

Sun-Times Endorses Tom Georges for the State Senate over Incumbent Dan McConchie

The Chicago Sun-Times has endorsed Tom Geroges over Republican incumbent Dan McConchie for the State Senate.

Here is the endorsement:

Tom Georges in the 26th District

Tom Georges

Tom Georges of Mundelein spent 31 years in the Army, achieving the rank of colonel.

Though a Democrat, he credits that experience with shaping him as a fiscal conservative.

“As a military officer, I was required to stay within my means,” he said in a meeting with the Sun-Times Editorial Board.

“I had to prioritize. I had to set my goals, set my objectives and stay within the financial means that I was given.”

Socially, though, Georges describes himself as progressive.

He vows to be a strong supporter of women’s rights and the rights of LGBTQ people.

That’s what separates him sharply from incumbent Dan McConchie, a conservative Republican from Hawthorn Woods.

Georges is endorsed.

CL Grade School District Borrows $9.2 Million Without Referendum

From Cary Grade School Board President Scott Coffey:

FYI, D-47 just issued $9.2 million of new debt certificates on 6/26/18.

The bonds will be paid off over the course of the next 15 years (2/1/33).

No Taxation without Referendum

Note: There is no statutory authority for the levy of a separate tax in addition to other district taxes or the levy of a special tax unlimited as to rate or amount to pay the principal and interest due on the certificates.

In other words, the district must pay the annual debt service out of their existing operating funds.

The vast majority of the debt service payments are back-end loaded into the last 7 years (2026-2033).

Trunk or Treat with a Fire Engine at First Church Sunday Afternoon

First Church, located at the corner of Dole and West Crystal Lake Avenues, is holding an event for kids Sunday afternoon.

It’s a Trunk or Treat event at which candidate and other goodies will be available.

There will even be a fire engine to climb on.

For more information, click here.

First Church also sponsors a free food distribution at the Nunda Township Hall each Friday.

Volunteers unload the Northern Illinois Food Bank truck and sort it. There are tables for canned and dry goods, chips and crackers, meat, deli, daily, yogurt and cheese, salads, vegetables, fruit, deserts and bread.

Those interested are invited to come about 12:30.

Distribution is dependent on when a truck from the Northern Illinois Food Bank arrives, which is quite unpredictable.

First Church also sponsors Buddy Break, a three-hour break for parents of special needs kids.

One adult is paired with each child, who is offered many, many activities, as can be seen in this article.

This wheelchair bound boy got to touch a little horse at Buddy Break. He just beamed.

There is always a waiting list, so volunteers are sought.

Mike Walkup Announces Resignation from County Board, Jack Franks Will Appoint Replacement

Mike Walkup

I was at the District 155 High School Board meeting Tuesday night and didn’t bother to listen to the concurrent McHenry County Board meeting tape.

Had I, I would have heard District 3 County Board member Mike Walkup announce his resignation.

Now, I’m told the Northwest Herald has an article on the subject, so, for those who do not read the NWH, now you know.

My understanding is that Walkup moved to Minnesota to be near his family.

When Walkup is out of office in December, Chairman Jack Franks will get to appoint his third Republican.

He has previously appointed District 1’s Chris Spoerl to replace Andrew Gasser and is due to appoint a replacement for Craig Wilcox in District 4.

Nancy Gonsiorek

My guess is that Franks will appoint Nancy Gonsiorek.

She withdrew from the Republican Primary Election to stand by Franks endorsing the Democrat’s proposal to get rid of the McHenry County Auditor as an elected post.

She was Frank’s choice to replace Pam Palmer as County Auditor.

Franks’ plan was to put a referendum on the ballot to abolish this fall to allow voters to abolish the office.

Republicans on the County Board, however, sent a persuasive message to Franks  that they would not approve Gonsiorek to replace Palmer, that they supported appointing Palmer Chief Deputy Shannon Teresi.

In the end, Franks faced the reality that he would have a very public ratification failure if he appointed Gonsiorek Auditor and capitulated to the wishes of the Board Republicans.

Tom Weber’s State Rep. Finances Show Almost $20,000 Left to Spend as of October 1st

Tom Weber

Lake County Board member Tom Weber is running against Trisha Zubert.

Earlier, an analysis of Zubert’s campaign finances showed that 73% of her contributions came from public employee unions.

This article is about where Weber has gotten his money since March.

He started the second quarter of 2018 with $9,189.46.

  • $5,700 came from those contributing $150 or more:
  • $3,000 – William Weber, Retired, Lake Villa
  • $1,000 – Frank Rayniak, Occupation: Model maker, Employer: ITW Paslode, Lake Villa
  • $726.91 – in-kind contributions from the candidate for web and Facebook advertising and parade supplies
  • $500 – Bill Burns, Lake Villa
  • $250 – Contractors for Free enterprise, no address provided
  • $250 – Freeborn & Peters, Chicag
  • $250 – Grant Township Republican Club, Ingleside
  • $250 – Wake To Wood Inc., Antioch
  • $200 – KCF Enterprises Inc. DBA The Grout Medic, Lake Villa
  • $344.29 came from donations under $150

What did Weber spend almost $2,400 on during the second quarter?

  • $800 – rent
  • $500 – fundraiser food
  • $391 – printing
  • $279 – parade and sign supplies
  • $200 – Mano a Mano sponsorship
  • $162 – Hotel

Weber took in $20,700 during the months of July, August and September, plus $7,500 in digital advertising paid for by the House Republican Organization, plus a loan from himself of $3,709.

There was $2,350 in unitemized donations and $14,650 in amounts over $150 listed by name, which you can see below:

  • $3,000 – Lake Villa Township Republican Club PAC, Lake Villa
  • $2,000 – INCS Action PAC, Chicago
  • $1,000 – AT&T, Chicago
  • $1,000 – Betty Burns, Retired, Lake Villa
  • $1,000 – Bill Burns, Retired, Lake Villa
  • $1,000 – Illinois State Medical Society, Chicago
  • 1,000 – NFIB Illinois PAC, Washington, DC
  • $1,000 – Citizens for Pritchard, Sycamore
  • $1,000 – Realtor Political Action Committee, Springfield
  • $500 – Robert Gray, Robert, Prairie Grove
  • $500 – Great Lakes Construction PAC, Libertyville
  • $500 – BL Weber Construction Co, Ingleside
  • $200 – Neil Garrett, Lake Villa
  • $300 – Thomas Agos, Beach Park
  • $250 – Petroleum Political Education, Springfield
  • $200 – Frank Rayniak, Lake Villa
  • $200 – IFSA PAC, Springfield

An additional $8,300 was provided by the House Republican Organization on October 8th.

Here’s how Weber spend his money during July, August and September:

  • $3,749 – printing
  • $2,560 – parade expenses
  • $1,200 – rent
  • $700 – graphic design and social media
  • $423 – fund raising
  • $300 – Lake County Republican Central Committee
  • $500 – postage
  • $345 – web services
  • $275 – Lake Villa Republican Club PAC
  • $225 – McHenry Township Republicans
  • $105 – supplies

The itemized spending does not include $1,091 spent in amounts of less than $150.

Weber ended September with a bit under $20,000 in the bank and received $8,300 from the House Republican Organization on October 8th, probably for the mailing he made.

73% of Funding for Trisha Zubert’s State Rep. Campaign from Public Employee Unions

Republican Tom Weber and Democrat Trisha Zubert are facing off to take the seat in the House of Representatives occupied by State Rep. Barbara Wheeler for the last six years.

Trisha Zubert

Today we will look at how Zubert’s campaign is being financed.

In June, she started out with $10,000 from the Lake County Federation of Teachers.

Prior to July 1st, she also received the following amounts of over $150:

  • $550 – Donna Masterson, Howell, MI
  • $250 – Matthew Nakanishi, Libertyville
  • $250 – TENTH DEMS Federal PAC C00395889, No address given
  • $250 – Alicia Walters, Gurnee

Another $1,255 was given in amounts less than $150.

Besides $41,72 spent on small stuff, during June she spent

  • $622 on printing
  • $200 on fundraising
  • $90 for a meal with her supporters

Between July 1st and September 30th, Zubert raised another $5,000 from the Lake County Federation of Teachers, plus

  • $200 – Mollie Lard, McHenry
  • $250 – Jess Pruess, Libertyville
  • $200 – Alicia Walters, Gurnee
  • $2,752 – donors who gave less than $150

Another $1,000 in union money came from the public employee union AFSCME Illinois Council NO 31 in mid-October.

At the end of September Zubert had a bit over $13,000 to finance her fall campaign.

Zubert spent $6,381 during the third quarter of the year.

  • $1,504 – yard signs
  • $1,000 – office rent
  • $1,000 – web  site design by Social Eyes on B, no address given
  • $972 – tee shirts
  • $700 – fundraising food
  • $589 – brochures
  • $475 – Grant Township Baseball newspaper ad
  • $190 – hotel

Just under $6,800 remained to be spent at the end of September.

Message of the Day – A Rat Balloon

During the day, the next 7-11 being built where Teddy’s Liquors used to be has a blown up rat on the corner.

Local 150 of the Operating Engineers is not happy with the non-union operating of a big back hoe at the site of the return of 7-11 to Crystal Lake.


The first 7-11 was where the current Convenient Mart is located at Devonshire and Route 14.

In the 1960’s the 7-11 actually opened at seven and closed at eleven.

Algonquin Township Schedules Special Meting for Friday at 3:30

The Algonquin Township Supervisor has scheduled a Special Meeting at 3:30 Friday afternoon.

The following will be considered at the request of Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser:

The suit is the settlement is with the Edgar County Watchdogs Freedom of Information Act on information not provided in a timely fashion by Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik.

Algonquin Township Salt Bid Muffed

A press release from Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser:

Each year the Algonquin Township Road District has been purchasing salt to ensure the roads of the District are safe.

Each year the Road District uses at least 2,000 tons of salt.

The Village of Oakwood Hills has agreed to purchase excess salt form the Road District because the District has the facilities to store salt without it being subject to waste.

Algonquin Township salt dome.

Presently, there is a shortage of salt and the Road District has secured the necessary supplies for this next winter.

However, due to an oversight, this year’s purchase was not put out for bid.

To remedy this situation, the Road District is considering several options and has conferred with its counsel.

Until there is a remedy to the situation, the Road District will not disburse any payment to any supplier until all such actions comply with state law.

Illinois Leaks beat me to the punch in posting the information I received late yesterday afternoon.

Here is its story:

Algonquin Township Road District – Good governance comes with ownership

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –Over the last 6 years, we have found very few public officials that actually take ownership of their operation…….when they screw up.Last week we recieved multiple tips regarding a recent salt deliver to the Algonquin Township Road District.  One of interest was from the actual Highway Commissioner, Andrew Gasser.

“I’m sorry, I screwed up”

The communication was welcoming to us as normally when public officials “screw up” they take steps to cover up rather than simply owning the mistake and fixing it.

In this case, the winter supply of salt was ordered and delivered however there were no requests for bid, thus no bids recieved.

Recognizing the mistake Gasser sought counsel from his attorney and the matter is being addressed.  Of interest is the press release issued relating to this matter.

“Until there is a remedy to the situation, the Road District will not disburse any payment to any supplier until all such actions comply with state law.”

Actions always speak louder than words and in this case, the actions of Andrew Gasser appear to be of ownership for his mistake and seeking a correction before any taxpayer money is expended.

The Highway Code requires bidding for certain matters when the cost is greater than $20,000.00.  Those requirements can be viewed at this link.  Salt would fall into this requirement.

According to Gasser, the salt was not bid out last year either which could be problematic for the seller if a taxpayer wished to seek recovery of funds used to pay for that salt.  It is the obligation of the seller to ensure the sale meets the required obligations under the law.

Void ab initio: Contracts entered into in violation of law, statute, or local rules are void from the beginning. “Further, a party contracting with a city is presumed to 291*291 know whether the city is prohibited from making a contract, and a contract made in violation of section 8-1-7 is void ab initio and cannot be enforced by estoppel or ratification.” Ligenza v. Vill. of Round Lake Beach, 478 NE 2d 1187 – Ill: Appellate Court, 2nd Dist. 1985. —AND — “The general rule, however, is that when an employee of a municipal corporation purports to bind the corporation by contract without prior approval, in violation of an applicable statute, such a contract is utterly void.” DC CONSULTING ENG., INC. v. Batavia Park Dist., 492 NE 2d 1000 – Ill: Appellate Court, 2nd Dist. 1986. 

In short, any such sale is void and funds could be recovered from the vendor who recieved the funds in a civil action.

By all indications, Gasser has recognized the mistake and taken correct steps to ensure this issue is dealt with and that our laws are followed.  We understand mistakes happen and while some will choose to make this into a mountain, it clearly is a bump in the road to good governance.

Thank you, Mr. Gasser, for recognizing you screwed up and taking corrective measures to ensure this does not happen again.

The press release issued [is above].

ALGONQUIN TOWNSHIP

Algonquin Township Road District – Good governance comes with ownership

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –Over the last 6 years, we have found very few public officials that actually take ownership of their operation…….when they screw up.Last week we recieved multiple tips regarding a recent salt deliver to the Algonquin Township Road District.  One of interest was from the actual Highway Commissioner, Andrew Gasser.

“I’m sorry, I screwed up”

The communication was welcoming to us as normally when public officials “screw up” they take steps to cover up rather than simply owning the mistake and fixing it.

In this case, the winter supply of salt was ordered and delivered however there were no requests for bid, thus no bids recieved.

Recognizing the mistake Gasser sought counsel from his attorney and the matter is being addressed.  Of interest is the press release issued relating to this matter.

“Until there is a remedy to the situation, the Road District will not disburse any payment to any supplier until all such actions comply with state law.”

Actions always speak louder than words and in this case, the actions of Andrew Gasser appear to be of ownership for his mistake and seeking a correction before any taxpayer money is expended.

The Highway Code requires bidding for certain matters when the cost is greater than $20,000.00.  Those requirements can be viewed at this link.  Salt would fall into this requirement.

According to Gasser, the salt was not bid out last year either which could be problematic for the seller if a taxpayer wished to seek recovery of funds used to pay for that salt.  It is the obligation of the seller to ensure the sale meets the required obligations under the law.

Void ab initio: Contracts entered into in violation of law, statute, or local rules are void from the beginning. “Further, a party contracting with a city is presumed to 291*291 know whether the city is prohibited from making a contract, and a contract made in violation of section 8-1-7 is void ab initio and cannot be enforced by estoppel or ratification.” Ligenza v. Vill. of Round Lake Beach, 478 NE 2d 1187 – Ill: Appellate Court, 2nd Dist. 1985. —AND — “The general rule, however, is that when an employee of a municipal corporation purports to bind the corporation by contract without prior approval, in violation of an applicable statute, such a contract is utterly void.” DC CONSULTING ENG., INC. v. Batavia Park Dist., 492 NE 2d 1000 – Ill: Appellate Court, 2nd Dist. 1986. 

In short, any such sale is void and funds could be recovered from the vendor who recieved the funds in a civil action.

By all indications, Gasser has recognized the mistake and taken correct steps to ensure this issue is dealt with and that our laws are followed.  We understand mistakes happen and while some will choose to make this into a mountain, it clearly is a bump in the road to good governance.

Thank you, Mr. Gasser, for recognizing you screwed up and taking corrective measures to ensure this does not happen again.

The press release issued can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.

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First Term D155 Board Member Ron Ludwig Looks Back at Year and a Half

Crystal Lake High School District 155 Board member Ron Ludwig, former Principal at Hannah Beardsley Middle School, now finishing up his District 47 career at South Grade School, read a long statement at Tuesday’s meeting.

Since I have written little about District 155 since his 2017 election, I though it might help folks catch up on what’s happening.

Ron’s Timeline on D155 Board

October 2016 I was contacted by a D155 teacher union representative to run for their school board. I truly had no interest, but for some strange reason I agreed. I was told I needed a platform to run on.

This was news to me, but I felt strongly about maintaining all of the great things that are currently being done in the district for the kids. I also truly understand the importance of being fiscally responsible as a board to our taxpayers.  

The number one challenge that I had heard, in D155, that the board would need to address was the poor relationship of the former district leader towards his staff.

March 2017

I did attend the D155 board meeting that was going over the report to save money by closing Central, and the significant money challenges that would be coming the new boards way in the very near future.

April/May 2017

Nicole, Dave, Jason and I won our seats to serve on this board. We were sworn in at the May meeting. This is when I started hearing the whispers of our 2nd biggest challenge  a 50 million dollars capital need to get all of our facilities up to standards for the next 20 years.

June/July 2017

I sent the former superintendent three to four e-mails a week, until right before he left D155 min August,  to try to get caught up on the D155 financial situation. He was pretty good about getting back to me with about 60% of the answers to my questions.

August 2017 former superintendent resigns days before first day of school. Mr. Steve Olson steps up to assume the role of interim superintendent. Thank you Mr. Olson.

September 2017

Mr. Olson set up individual meetings with each board member to discuss D155 and the direction we were heading. I remember asking him what one word is needed to describe all successful leaders. Courage.

October 2017

Jeff Davis presented the 50 million dollar capital improvement list was to the board and the community. My first thought were all needs justified. My second thought was were is the money going to come from over the next ten years. (5 million needed each year for ten years)

My first thought was are all items on the list truly needed.

After Jeff took me on a tour through all facilities, in my humble opinion, everything on the list was justified. My only question was why this had not begun ten years earlier. I realize D155 did not have Jeff and I also realize, being in the system for the last 30 years, that districts budgets give very little dollars to the infrastructure needs each year. I also noted at this time D47 was looking at a 40 million dollar capital/infrastructure need. So we are in the boat with many other districts.

How does a school district pay for a $50,000,000 project?

  • $50,000,000 referendum (McHenry 156) taxpayers
  • Re-submit bonds instead of retire (D47)
  • Administration (cuts/salary freeze/benefits)
  • Certified/support staff(cuts/salary freeze/sincrrease class size)
  • Spend savings (Never under 40%)

-Increase levy (taxpayer)No conversation by the board or administration on where the 50 million dollars would be coming from except a November tax increase to our tax payers.

November 2017

After listening to heartfelt testimony from our taxpayers we passed the 1.7 million dollar tax hike by a vote of 4-3, and then abated 1.5 million back to our tax payers for a net gain of $500,000. At 500,000 a year it would take 100 years to pay for 50 million dollar capital build. Even at 1.7 million a year it would take almost 30 years. I really began to question what was the financial plan.

December 2017

Superintendent’s contract given to Mr. Olson.

No conversation about financial plan.

January/February  2018

Many meetings and time discussing moving Habor Oaks to SHS. After a sale of the property D155 could have a potential annual savings.

We were also told at that the price tag for summer 2018 projects would be over $13 million for this years installment of capital needs. No discussion of future money needed for projects.

March 2018

Board votes 7-0 to take money out of savings to to off-set $13+ million in project costs.

Board discusses how far we can spend down savings.

Agreed that 30-35% of annual budget (30-35 million) would not be spent on $50 millinois dollar projects.

No discussion of future money needed for projects

April/May/June 2018

Still no real board discussion on cuts needed to pay for the next wave a capital expenditures.

July 2018 I was on vacation

August 2018 Jeff Dauher updates on 18/19 projects. Begins talks about 19/20 projects. Possible $7-$10 million dollars worth of projects.

Still no discussion on how this will be paid.

September 2018

I sent an e-mail to Adam Guss , last week, about the topics I was planning on bringing up at September meeting, and he passed them along to Steve. Thank you Steve sending out you informational e-mail to the board last week. I was out sick. My presentation would be at October meeting.

One thing that I did take note of  was that 2019 capital needs list will cost 7-10 million per Jeff. In Mr. Olson’s e-mail to the board he felt there would be 2.5 million in budget savings to be used for 2019 projects and that he would ask the board for the rest of the 7-10 million dollars. Tax levy or district savings.

I am not looking tonight for any feedback by the board of education or Mr. Olson. I would just like to get on a board meeting agenda for us to bring our thoughts and ideas at more cost saving ideas for D155.

Once again school administration is looking to the board (savings/taxpayers) to pay for the majority of the 7-10 million dollars needed for summer 2019 projects.

Daily Herald Endorses Dan McConchie for State Senate

From the Daily Herald:

Senate Dist. 26: McConchie

Dan McConchie

The Illinois Senate 26 race pits incumbent Republican Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods against real estate manager and retired Army colonel Tom Georges of Mundelein, a Democrat whose fiscally conservative and socially progressive views might suit a district that historically has sent Republicans to Springfield but narrowly backed Hillary Clinton for president two years ago.

Yet, Georges’ grasp of how taxes are assessed and collected falls far short of McConchie’s detailed knowledge.

Tax policy looms as a major issue for the state legislature, and it’s one that plays to McConchie’s strengths.

We endorse McConchie for re-election in the 26th District, which includes parts of Libertyville, Grayslake, Lake Zurich, Cary and the Barrington area.

Message of the Day – Congestion

The widening of Randall Road in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills has reached the point where motorists will be frustrated at lane closures.

Below one can see what was happening last week as utility relocations began:

Lane closures at the beginning of the widening of Randall Road in Algonquin.

Here’s what the McHenry County Highway Department says about what is happening:

Work continues on the installation of temporary traffic signals and temporary lighting. Nicor is in the process

of relocating existing utilities along the north side of Algonquin Road near Crystal Lake Rd. Com Ed is tentatively

scheduled to start relocation work the week of 10/22.

Median and shoulder removals, in advance of the installation of temporary pavement, are anticipated to start within 2 weeks.

Work zone speed limit signs have been installed, reducing speeds in some areas. Please obey the posted speed limits.

District 155 Board Meeting Approves $1 Million Cheaper Health Insurance, Raises Question of How to Pay for $50 Million in Capital Needs, District 47 Backdoor Referendum Possibility

Went to the Crystal Lake High School Board’s meetings Tuesday night.

The Finance Committee spent most of its time listening to a presentation from its insurance consultant Wendy Williams.

District 155’s Finance Committee meeting.

A new high deductible option is being introduced this year and to make it more attractive those who sign up will get $1,500, if an individual, and $3,000 per family for Health Savings Accounts.

While some private firms have seen 30% of their employees sign up, Williams predicted the school district would see 5-7% participation.

The proposal was approved by the committee and the following Board meeting, but those at the Board meeting would really have no idea what the proposal entailed.

In summary, the District will save about $1 million under the new self-funded insurance plan.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance Jeff Davis reported that the State only owes $368,000, being only one month behind in its payments.

He said the state sends about $14 million a year.

There were no bids for Haber Oaks at the price minimum of $700,000.

Ton Ludwig read a prepared statement.

The most interesting part of the meeting was a presentation by Board member Ron Ludwig.

There were two subjects.

The first concerned what he said was the undercompensation of Teachers on Special Assignment, specifically as Deans in training.

He claimed they deserved about $50,000 more and would be lured away by other districts when they really wanted to stay with District 155.

Fiance Committee Chairman Jason Blake asked what should be on his committee’s next agenda.

Finance Committee Chairman Jason Blake asked for the names of the individuals.

One was Ryan Ludwig.

The second subject concerned the lack of a plan to pay for $50 million in needed capital improvements.

Ludwig had it written out and I have asked for a copy to share with readers.

The Board increased the tax levy last year, despite citizen opposition, and took $13 million for capital improvement money out of savings.

Ludwig wondered where the remaining millions would come from.

He asked that the subject be discussed at the next Finance Committee meeting.

Then, he revealed that the Crystal Lake Grade School District, having paid off a twenty-year bond was not going to pass the savings on to the taxpayers, but was planning “just roll them over.”

Apparently, the District 47 Board is going to use a “back-door referendum” technique to borrow more money.

This is what I would consider an underhanded method to keep taxes high.

The strategy is usually for a Board to approve issuance of millions in bonds with the stipulation that citizens would have the opportunity to pass petitions calling for a referendum.

Typically, such petition signatures must be gathered within thirty days in the dead of winter.

Boards that use this technique truly are thumbing their noses at their taxpayers.

Dave Secrest

Back to the District 155 discussion, long-time Board member Dave Secrest explained that the District had not had a 10-year plan in a long time.

Ludwig figured that the Board had to come up with $5 million a year for ten years to finance the $50 in capital needs.

“There’s nothing new here,” he said.

“I’m perplexed as to what the issue is”

 

 

Tribune Endorses Don DeWitte for State Senate

Having expressed revulsion over the appointment of McHenry County Board member Craig Wilcox to replace retiring Pam Althoff, the Chicago Tribune does not express the same level of disgust at RTA Board member and former St. Charles Village President Don DeWitte’s appointment to replace Karen McConnaughay in the State Senate.

DeWitte is endorsed over Nancy Zettler in the editorial below:

33rd District. In another questionable handoff (see above), former Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, retired this summer short of finishing her term.

Don DeWitte

That allowed the GOP to interview replacements for her seat.

Party officials picked Donald DeWitte, a former mayor of St. Charles.

He says fighting higher taxes would be his top priority.

Taxes are the No. 1 frustration of constituents.

That makes him the better fit for this district.

But we wouldn’t be disappointed if Democrat Nancy Zettler of Algonquin managed to pull off a win.

When seven people died of cyanide poisoning after swallowing Tylenol capsules in 1982, Zettler was among the attorneys who sued Johnson & Johnson.

It shaped her politics.

She believes corporations put profits ahead of people.

Yet she also supports a graduated income tax, which would hit this district at a time when residents are pleading for tax relief. DeWitte is endorsed.

Jack Franks Declares War on Leslie Schermerhorn

As State Representative, Jack Franks spent eighteen years in Springfield.

If getting rid of the Regional Superintendents of Education was a high priority, he was a failure.

Now, he has the power to produce a budget.

It is, in effect, an Executive Budget.

The type of budget I helped Lyndon Johnson prepare for submission to Congress in 1966.

The difference is that Congress actually plays a BIG role in determining the country’s final budget, while the County Board pretty much has advocated its legislative role.

There are exceptions, for example, deep-sixing Franks’ proposal to create a mid-level “Inspector General,” which would be tasked with doing something like what County Auditor Shannon Teresi does, but with less investigative power.

One proposal that seems destined to pass at tonight’s County Board meeting is to cut Regional Superintendent Leslie Schermerhorn’s number of employees by one–from 3.8 to 2.8 Full-Time Equivalents.

County Board members think this is a position that does nothing but bookkeeping.

The accounting function, according to Franks’ plan, would be taken over by someone under the jurisdiction of County Administrator Pete Austin, who is supposed to report to the County Board, but who has acquiesced, as far as anyone on the outside can see, to Franks’ every wish, starting with hiring to unauthorized patronage workers.

The employee whose position will be terminated handles other administrative duties besides bookkeeping.

Who will pick up that slack is unknown.\

At the Committee of the Whole meeting last Thursday, Schermerhorn addressed the Board during Public Committee time.

Referring to audit exceptions that found her books did not meet Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), she explained that she had found $6,000 to hire a CPA to eliminate that complaint.

But, not until conferring with former County Auditor Pam Palmer and finding that her office could not step into the gap.

“I have always been transparent,” she said.

Referring to an opinion from State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally, Schermerhorn observed that it said state statutes say the County needs to provide “as many assistants as the Regional Office requires.”

She passed out the opinion to County Board members prior to the meeting’s beginning.

If she loses one employee, she said, “I will be force to eliminate some of those services.”

Explaining the proposed budget, Finance Committee Chairman Mike Skala said that County Administration could handle the function the employees whose position is proposed to be eliminated.

“We as the County Board control the budget…”

“When we see areas that could be done differently, we control that.”

He pointed out that the State’s Attorney’s opinion says there is “no case law.”

The Regional Superintendent of Education says she “could sue us in court.

“I think that’s a pretty good idea.

“I’d be willing to take that on.”

Franks took the microphone then.

“I’d prefer not to have a full-blown discussion on this,’ he said.

He said he found the office’s audit “wanting, to be charitable.

“The facts laid out were incorrect.

“We have a fiduciary responsibility.

“Unfortunately, we have audits that show we are about the worst in the entire state on fiscal responsibility.”

Franks claimed that Schermerhorn “broke an agreement,” but did not say what it was.

He said state law “allows us as a County Board to remove a county official from office.”

Franks claimed the State’s Attorney’s opinion was incomplete.

“I don’t think anyone knew of these audits.

“That’s why I brought it forward to her privately.”

Franks then said that he was going to set up a committee to further probe the matter.

Schermerhorn interject that she would be willing to serve on it.

“You will certainly be a witness,” Franks said quite forcefully.

Yvonne Barnes said that it was her understanding that Schermerhorn had agrees to have the “County Administration provide assistance to the Regional Office of Education to fulfill her duties.”

“Leslie was in agreement on that,” she continued.

Barnes said that if the arrangement did not work out Schermerhorn would have the opportunity to come back and ask for reinstatement of the position.

Michael Rein suggested that a standing committee could handle the situation.

“I’m going to put together an ad hoc committee,” Franks seemed to scream into his microphone.

“That’s my decision!”

 

 

Wilcox Has Less to Spend During Last Month of Campaign Than Democrat Mahady

Craig Wilcox

Starting July with $1,528.85 in the bank, State Senate candidate Craig Wilcox raiser $19,940.26 during the three months ending in September.

He spent $15,251.97 during the quarter.

That meant he started with only $6,217.14 available for the last month of the campaign.

Since then, he has picked up in-kind spending for two staffers and mailing assistance from the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee, plus a mailing from the political arm of the Farm Bureau:

  • $16,190.21 from the Illinois Republican Party for direct mail
  • $1,982.05 from the Illinois Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR for a mailing
  • $1,056.92 for Jacob Valete of Champaign
  • $1,468.27 for Chris Kasperski of Lindenhurst

From July through September, the following contributions over $150 were made:

  • $4,000 – Edga Bachrach, Chicago,
  • $3,000 – Door Service Inc,  McHenry
  • $1,500 – Citizens For Pamela J. Althoff, Crystal Lake
  • $1,152.58 – Loans from Janice Ricci, Ringwood
  • $1,000 – All-Rite Spring Co, Spring Grove
  • $1,000 – Ricky Bartlett, Royersford, PA 1
  • $1,000 – John Cunat, VP, Cunat Inc, McHenry
  • $1,000 – INCS Action PAC, Chicago
  • $1,000 – Thelen Sand & Gravel Inc, Antioch
  • $500 – Thomas Cooper, Wonder Lake
  • $500 – Citizens for Patrick Kenneally, Crystal Lake
  • $500 – NFIB Illinois PAC, Washington DC
  • $250 – Arlington Park Race Course, Arlington Heights
  • $250 – Baxter & Woodman, Crystal Lake,
  • $250 – George Braun, Johnsburg
  • $250 – Andrew Gasser, Fox River Grove
  • $250 – Joseph H. Huemann & Sons Inc, Ringwood
  • $250 – Committee to elect Bill Prim Sheriff of McHenry County, Huntley
  • $250 – Zanck, Coen, Wright &Saladin, P.C., Crystal Lake

In-kind contributions for the quarter include $680 for a rent reduction from 1’st Midwest 325605 c/o Century Properties, plus $17,303 from the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee for the employment of Chris Kasperski since July 1st and Jacob Valente since mid-August.

Expenditures include $300 for an ad in the ad book of the Lake County Republicans and $225 for an ad for the McHenry Township Republican Team Fund.

Major spending that did not go to political organizations follow:

  • $6,469 for signs
  • $1080 for supplies from Sam’s Club
  • $1,000 for consulting by Chris Kasperski
  • $811 to McHenry County 4H Livestock Auction Committee
  • $425 for postage
  • $536 for supplies from Amazon
  • $383 for Constant Contact
  • $360 for rent
  • $353 to Fraser Youth Foundation
  • $310 for insurance
  • $297 for a subscription to Chicago’s Base Camp
  • $213 for port-a-potty
  • $200 to rent Bulldog Ale House
  • $188 to Meijer for food
  • $176 for parade candy
  • $158 for supplies from Home Depot

Tribune Endorses Mary Mahady for State Senate

The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board has endorsed McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady to replace Pam Althoff in the State Senate.

The endorsement is below:

Mary Mahady

32nd District: Departing Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry, planned to finish her term in January and transition to a position on the McHenry County Board, a seat for which she is running unopposed on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Competing for her Senate seat?

Republican McHenry County Board member Craig Wilcox and Democratic McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady.

But then Althoff retired from the Senate unexpectedly a few weeks ago and within hours, shepherded the appointment of Wilcox to replace her.

Surprise, voters!

You have a new senator.

Who knew to even apply for the job?

That’s appalling one month before the election.

Voters should get behind Mahady, of McHenry, who has a plan to reform property taxes.

She’s an expert on the abuse of homeowner exemptions, a practice that costs honest taxpayers plenty.

Send a message, McHenry County.

Are you tired of politicians handing off seats to pals instead of waiting for voters to decide?

If so, vote for Mahady.