Northwest Herald “Reporter” Ed Komenda Praised for Unflattering Photography on Private Facebook Page

It is no secret that the Northwest Herald has it in for Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser.  The local rag has put Gasser on the cover no less than eight times with drama filled headlines, click bait bylines, and pictures of Gasser that are less than flattering.  Gasser has complained about this before to Komenda.

“I talked to Ed when he took the pictures of us in flood operations.  While most people had pictures of themselves throwing sandbags there was a picture of me operating a forklift looking like I was lost.  I was like what the hell, Ed?” said Gasser.

Now on what Gasser calls the private Gasser Facebook hate group page “Citizens of Algonquin Township” a post has appeared congratulating Komenda for utilizing pictures that frame Gasser negatively.

Komenda and Hannah Prokop belong to the group which was allegedly formed by Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik and Jennifer McCrackken after Gasser defeated 24-year incumbent Bob Miller.  Trustees Melissa Victor and David Chapman also belong to the group and often post negative comments about Supervisor Chuck Lutzow and Gasser.

“I do not have access to that page,” said Gasser.  “They are all Fake News.  They feed the Northworst Herald and there is not a shred of credibility left in that paper.  Compare pictures of any conservative or politician to that of Jack Franks.  I wonder if the Northworst Herald sends in a makeup guy for Jack before they take the pics.”

Gasser has been one of the only Republicans to stand up to Franks and the guile Political Class of McHenry County.  He often posts images of what he believes to be the best representation of the Northwest Herald.

 

Justice Department Press Release Shifts from ISIL to ISIS

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former Chicago Man for Attempting to Join ISIS

CHICAGO — A federal grand jury has indicted a former Chicago man for allegedly attempting to join the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham.

FARESS MUHAMMAD SHRAITEH, 21, is charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to ISIS, and one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS. The indictment was returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Shraiteh is a United States citizen who formerly resided in Chicago and now lives in Israel.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was investigated by the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is comprised of representatives from the FBI and numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

According to the indictment, Shraiteh and two other individuals began conspiring to join ISIS in November 2014. In May 2015 the trio traveled from Chicago to Egypt, where they allegedly spent time in Cairo and Sharm El-Sheik, before flying to Istanbul, Turkey. Shraiteh was denied entry into Turkey, while the two others were allowed in, the indictment states. Shraiteh went to Israel, where he has family, and later communicated with one of the other individuals that he planned to renew his passport and join them, the charges allege.

One of the other individuals was later killed while conducting a suicide attack on behalf of ISIS, the indictment states. The charges allege that Shraiteh knew ISIS was a terrorist organization when he conspired to join it.

Each charge in the indictment is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Shraiteh is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barry Jonas and Peter S. Salib of the Northern District of Illinois, and Trial Attorney Lolita Lukose of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Attorney Jim Kelly’s Advice to Algonquin Township Board Questioned

Reprinted with permission from Illinois Leaks:

Algonquin Township – Did attorney provide misinformation on bogus Resolution?

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

Once again the Algonquin Township Supervisor Chuck Lutzow and his clown act have brought laughter to the legal industry with the help of his advocate, attorney James Kelly.

Algonquin Township Supervisor Jim Kelly faces Township Attorney Jim Kelly.

We exposed all the reasons why the Supervisor did not have the authority he claims and outlined key factors in this article.

Basically, you can’t delegate your elected duties to another elected official, but in the eyes of James Kelly and the lead Clown, Lutzow, last night’s circus act was a real high wire thriller that even included some magic.

For years we have heard people try to imply that since we are not attorneys we don’t know what we are talking about.

No problem for us, as to date we have yet to have one of those people prove us wrong on paper.

Lots of lip service, but that’s where it ends 99% of the time.

If they do have the courage to put it in writing, we have found every time they have failed to apply the law and case law properly.

Many of those saying we are not attorneys are an attorney.

Amazingly, those all-knowing legal minds voice their opinion, much like Kelly did at last night’s circus, and just because an “attorney” said it, it is gold.

Never mind that those same attorneys get shot down by judges on a regular basis.

Last night’s legal input from Kelly to the Algonquin Board brought laughter, sadness, and real concern.

Attorney Jim Kelly chats with McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy, who attended the subsequent meeting.

Supervisor Lutzow claimed he wanted to know what the best way to hire a person was.

We suspect, as did trustee Lawrence, the reason was based on the Supervisor taking the hiring and compensation setting for a township employee into his own hands, which we exposed in this article last month.

It was nice to see Trustee Chapmen and Lawrence vote NO on the bogus “delegation of authority resolution” drafted by attorney Kelly, even though no one asked for such a resolution in the first place.

Algonquin Township Trustees Melissa Victor and David Chapman.

I don’t think I would pay that legal bill since it was confirmed no one asked him to draft a resolution.

As the board discussed the resolution, Kelly chimes in to clarify language in the statute pertaining to employees.

Laughter:

“It says “may”

That may be one of the only accurate statements we heard all night from the attorney.

Yep, the township statute on employees says the Board may employ and fix the compensation of the Township employees that the board deems necessary, excluding the employees of the offices of supervisor of general assistance, township collector, and township assessor.

Read it for yourself with a full explanation in this article or the statute at this link.

Why do we laugh at that?

Because the statue does not say the Supervisor may employ and fix the compensation for the Township employees that he deems necessary.

Not really hard to see that the law is a specific duty that they may exercise if they deem it necessary, with specific exclusions.

Sadness:

“it doesn’t, bar, there is no prohibition against the supervisor hiring an employee”

This is the oldest word game in the book and we see both elected officials and attorneys use it all the time to make their argument.

It reminds me of our former, keyword former, county board chairman who after being informed they did not have the power to do what they were doing chimed in and said, I agree, the law does not give us that power, but it doesn’t forbid it either.

Wrong answer, much like Kelly’s comments that snookered the lead circus clown Lutzow along with his juggling support team, trustees Shea, and Victor.

Chapman and Lawrence saw right through the word game.

The law “does” bar and there is, in fact, a prohibition against the supervisor creating a position of employment and setting the compensation, other than for General Assistance.

But oh don’t take our non-lawyer word for it.

Take the high courts words for it, which are the ones that get to tell lawyers like Kelly they are wrong.

“They come within the principle of law that where the legislature has withheld a power it is the same as though the exercise of the power was prohibited by law. (Ashton V County of Cook

In this case, the legislature provided clear language regarding the power to employ to include restrictions on that power.

The law was silent on the power to delegate and applying the high court’s language on such silence, that silence is the same as though the exercise of the power was prohibited.

Concern: 

Jim Kelly

At the 26:10 mark of this video [recorded not by the Township, but by a private citizen], attorney Kelly represents the Supervisor has authority to hire because a circuit court ruling outlined that he is the Chief Executive Officer of the Township.

What Kelly so craftily failed to point out was the word game he was playing, as well as the fact the very case he was citing was overturned by the Appellate court.

In the case he cited, Judge Caldwell made it clear that the Township Board of Trustees has the authority to employ and fix the compensation of Township employees and cites the same law we did.

He went on to point out a key difference in “employ” and “hire”.

A fact Kelly conveniently left out of the discussion.

In short, the Township Board is in charge of employment, compensation, benefits etc, as pointed out in his opinion on page 32 of the order found in this article posted on McHenry County Blog.

Reading Judge Caldwell’s opinion, then reading the Appellate Court opinion, which Kelly failed to make reference to, it would appear the resolution they passed is not worth the paper it was written on.

The reason is two-fold, as we outlined before.

For starters, Kelly is dead wrong as it relates to an elected official being able to delegate their authority to another elected official.

There is absolutely no authority for such action.

In fact, reading the case Kelly points to makes it clear any rule that infringes on the rights of the Supervisor is an illegal restraint on his express and implied statutory powers.

One only need to change the word Supervisor to Township Trustees to see that the same applies to them.

You can’t create a rule that infringes on the rights of the Trustees.

Doing so is an illegal restraint on their express and implied statutory powers.

Even Judge Caldwell points out the Township Board is the one that controls employment.

They do this by first deeming such employment necessary.

Before a Supervisor can “hire” anyone, the Board of Trustees must first deem such employment necessary and set the compensation.

Kelly provided wordsmithing to the board that in our opinion misled them on the law.

Of interest in the higher court’s ruling that overturned the lower court Kelly referred to is this statement:

“Quite simply, the legislature granted to the Board the power to consent (which, by implication, entails the power to withhold consent, otherwise consent would be meaningless). Out of due respect for the legislature, let alone the Board itself, the trial court should not have interfered with the discretion possessed by the Board on this issue.”

Applying the same logic, the Board of Trustees has the power to employ.

When they deem employment necessary, the Supervisor can hire someone for that established employment need.

It would appear, if the board were to deem such employment no longer necessary, the employment would end with such a decision.

Additionally, the language used by the higher court makes us wonder why on earth Kelly would cite the lower courts case?

“That the trial court was interfering with the prerogatives of a unit of local rather then state or national government provides no justification for its order.”

In closing, the court overturned the only portion of the case before them, the lower courts order to the board to confirm the appointment of the attorney.

“In light of the foregoing, the order of the circuit court of McHenry County directing the members of the Board to confirm Nelson’s appointment to the position of township attorney is reversed and this cause is remanded for whatever further proceedings are appropriate.”

The case was reversed and remanded however we have not obtained any copies of further proceedings, assuming there were any.

We will update when we determine if any further proceedings took place.

With all this in mind, may we once again urge Supervisor Lutzow and Township attorney James Kelly to resign!

 

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Algonquin Township’s Anti-Nepotism and Partonage Resolution

Reprinted from Illinois Leaks with the Edgar County Watchdogs’ permission:

Algonquin Township – The Circus Tent is getting bigger

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –Once again the big top has open for the circus show.Tonight [last night for McHenry County Blog readers] we find yet another resolution being put before the board and this time it appears to be one that shows steps being taken to ensure nepotism and patronage is in fact protected, instead of prevented.

Resolution presented by Attorney Jim Kelly to ban nepotism and patronage in Algonquin Township. p 1.

Resolution presented by Attorney Jim Kelly to ban nepotism and patronage in Algonquin Township. p 2.

(a) Employment in Algonquin Township and Algonquin Township Road District will be given on the basis of merit and not solely on the basis of nepotism or patronage.

So provided nepotism or patronage is not the “sole” reason for the hire, its OK to keep doing what has been a long practice in every unit of government in this state.

(b) As employees are hired based upon merit, an employee who has the necessary knowledge and experience but also has a family relationship with the Supervisor, Board of Trustees, Highway Commissioner, Clerk or Assessor will not be considered a nepotism hire.

So even though the hiring may be done based on nepotism, it won’t be considered nepotism if they can claim merit, knowledge, and experience, which we all know is what will happen.

(c) As employees are hired based upon merit, an employee who has the necessary knowledge and experience but also has a political relationship with the Supervisor, Board of Trustees, Highway Commissioner, Clerk or Assessor or is owed a political favor will not be considered a patronage hire.

So even though the hiring may be done based on patronage, it won’t be considered nepotism if they can claim merit, knowledge, and experience, which we all know is what will happen.

(d) Algonquin Township, its departments, and Algonquin Township Road District will not hire on the basis of nepotism or patronage as such hiring is prohibited.

For starters, the Township Board has zero authority to adopt a resolution that binds the hands of the Road District.  I guess getting sued for doing this kind of crap before has not sunk in they have no such power.

Andrew Gasser

One false statement in this resolution tells us there is more to this resolution:

WHEREAS, the Highway Commissioner, Andrew Gasser, has requested to join in this resolution and this resolution will be binding upon the Algonquin Township Road District.

I have confirmed, Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser has NOT requested to join “this” resolution.

No resolution adopted by the Board is binding on another unit of government.  How stupid are these people?

Regardless, this group will continue to hire as usual and simply claim there is merit and presto, no nepotism or patronage to see.

(e) The Township Ethics Ordinance applies and any and all actions that violate the Ethics Ordinance violate this Resolution.

Without seeing a copy of the Ethics Ordinance we can’t comment, other than to say we suspect there are things in the Ethics ordinance that have nothing to do with this nepotism/patronage resolution.

If that turns out to be the case, why would ethics ordinance violations be deemed a violation of the nepotism/patronage resolution?

You can download a copy of the resolution here or view above..

May we suggest popcorn and peanuts for tonight’s circus act?

None in the audience of the August 8, 2018, meeting brought popcorn.

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ask that you consider donating at the below link. 

IRS Goes After Restaurant Tax Evasion

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Owners of Five Chicago-Area Restaurants Charged in Federal Investigation Targeting Underreporting of Gross Receipts

CHICAGO — The owners of five Chicago-area restaurants are facing criminal tax charges as part of a federal investigation into the underreporting of gross receipts.

The charges allege that the restaurant owners willfully avoided paying the full amount of federal taxes by reporting gross receipts that were substantially lower than the true amounts. The federal investigation, which remains ongoing, has focused on sales suppression software and other techniques used by restaurant owners to manipulate gross receipts.

Charged with willfully filing false tax returns are S

  • HULI ZHAO, 59, of Westmont, the owner of Katy’s Dumpling House in Westmont;
  • CHUN XU ZHANG, 42, of Aurora, the owner of Sushi City in Downers Grove;
  • QUAN SHUN CHEN, 53, of Chicago, the owner of Hunan Spring in Evanston;
  • SANDRA SANCHEZ, 44, of Morton Grove, the owner of Cesar’s Tacos on North Clark Street in Chicago; and
  • ISRAEL SANCHEZ, 43, of Chicago, the owner of Cesar’s on Broadway on North Broadway in Chicago.

Arraignments in U.S. District Court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.

The charges were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago; and Connie Beard, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue.

“These charges send a clear message that restaurant owners who choose to illegally underreport gross receipts will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Recovering funds for the federal treasury is a top priority in our office.”

“The charges announced today are an important step in the fight against individuals and restaurants in our community that cheat on their taxes,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Grchan. “This is only the beginning. I want to warn those restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, and other establishments that are currently using or thinking of using sales suppression software, that we are on to you and your methods. If you steal from the federal government, there will be serious consequences.”

“I commend the work of the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Division and the IRS as we continue efforts to protect taxpayers from tax fraud,” said Director Beard. “Today’s charges should send a message that technology cannot shield criminals from being held accountable.”

Zhao, Zhang and Chen were charged in indictments returned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Zhao allegedly underreported gross receipts for the calendar years 2013 to 2015; Zhang for the calendar years 2012 to 2015; and Chen for the fiscal years 2012 to 2015 and the calendar years 2015 and 2016. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri H. Mecklenburg represents the government in the Zhao, Zhang and Chen cases.

Sandra Sanchez and Israel Sanchez were charged in criminal informations filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Sandra Sanchez and Israel Sanchez allegedly underreported gross receipts for the calendar year 2012. Assistant U.S. Attorney Yusef Dale represents the government in the Sandra Sanchez and Israel Sanchez cases.

The public is reminded that charges are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Filing false tax returns carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser Appears to Threaten Withdrawal of Senior Bus, Recycling , etc. Services Until Deputy Allowed in Building

Ryan Provenaano

When Ryan Provenzano was fired by Algonquin Township Supervisor Chuck Lutzow (with photographer from the Northwest Herald told when to come take a photo), he was also banned from the Algonquin Township Hall.

Provenzano was subsequently made Deputy Highway Commissioner by Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser, but not allowed to enter the Highway Department office, which is in the Township Hall.

Negotiations have been ongoing between Lutzow and Gasser to trade services for rent for the space his office occupies in the Township Hall.

Friday, Gasser ratcheted up the pressure by sending the following email:

From: Andrew Gasser <[email protected]>
Date: August 3, 2018 at 3:42:33 PM CDT
To: Charles Lutzow <[email protected]>
Cc: Ryan Provenzano <[email protected]>, Pamela Gavers <[email protected]>, Colleen Schor <[email protected]>, Dorothy Wildeboer <[email protected]>, Melissa Victor <[email protected]>, Rachael Lawrence <[email protected]>, Trustee Dan Shea <[email protected]>, Dave Chapman <[email protected]>

Subject: Lack of IGA [Intergovernmental Agreement]

Mr. Supervisor:

Andrews Gasser did not attend the August meeting.

It is very disappointing it has come to this.  The highway department has been more than lenient with work arrangements for the Deputy Highway Commissioner.  On no less than four (4) occasions I have personally approached you for a solution to accessing the highway department offices with no success.

You have no problem with the Deputy entering the building in which you banned him in writing to help set up functions in said building, yet, he does not have access to my office.

After eight (8) months of waiting this is completely unacceptable.

Effective immediately the Algonquin Township Highway Department will no longer be participating in the following functions:

  • Bingo Setup – this is a township function and not a highway department function.
  • Emptying recycling dumpsters – the recycling program is a township function which we can no longer participate in.
  • Electronics recycling – the recycling program is a township function which we can no longer participate in.
  • No pre-work premises inspection (walk around) – this is township property which should be cleaned up by the township and not the highway department.
  • No township mowing or watering on township property – this is a township responsibility.
  • No building maintenance/ trash collection – this is a township responsibility.
  • No scheduling of new bus rides after August 17th, 2018 – this is a township function.
  • No maintenance of township busses – this is a township responsibility.
  • No fuel for the township busses – this is a township responsibility.
  • No longer paying the salaries of bus drivers – this is a township responsibility.

//SIGNED//

Andrew Gasser,
Highway Commissioner, Algonquin Township
702 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
[email protected]
Phone: (847)639-2700  X6

Melissa Victor

During Trustee comment time at the end of the meeting, Trustee Melissa Victor took great offense at the announced end of township bus service for senior citizens.

She quoted the “Core Values” of Gasser’s Department:

Integrity First

Service Before Self

Excellence in all that we do

Community always

“I feel Mr. Gasser is lying to us,” Victor said.

“I’m very upset that Mr. Gasser ‘s removing these programs.”

Commenting on the announced suspension of scheduling of new bus rides as of August 17th, Supervisor Chuck Lutzow observed, “This has been a Road District program since I don’t know when.”

“We will serve our residents even if we do it with Nunda Township,” Trustee David Chapman declared.

Referring to Provenzano, Clerk Karen Lukasik interrupted to say, “He’s banned from the building.”

“The biggest problem is recycling,” Lutzow said.

“Some of that can probably be done easily.

“We certainly don’t have the money to contribute 100% to the bus service.

“I’d need to hire another person.”

Turning to the intergovernmental agreement he is negotiating with Gasser, Lutzow said he didn’t want to get into it too deeply.

At this point, Victor told of serveral seniors having come up to her needing rides for dialysis.

They were “very disturbed” at the potential end of bus service.

“This is something he promised us,” Victor continued.

“He promised no services would be cut.”

“Not letting Ryan in is superfluous to this,” Chapman added.

Who Has the Power to Hire Township Employees?

Reprinted with permission from Illinois Leaks:

Algonquin Township – What next from under the Circus tent?

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –Just about the time you think you have seen it all, up jumps another circus act by Algonquin Township’s lead Clown, Supervisor Chuck Lutzow.It appears they have found an attorney, (James Kelly?), to draft yet another resolution for them that delegates full hiring, firing, and compensation authority to one person, Supervisor Lutzow.It should be noted that at no time has the board voted to have an attorney create this resolution.

The title of the resolution is most telling and I can only wonder if the attorney that drafted this is familiar with the 14th Amendment?

“Resolution Recognizing Board’s Delegating Authority to Employ Township Supervisor’s Employees to Township Supervisor”

Resolution delegating hiring authority to the Algonquin Township Supervisor.

Recognizing Board’s Delegating Authority? 

We challenge this board and the attorney drafting this resolution to provide the Illinois State Statute that outlines any such authority to delegate their duties.

Algonquin Township Board

In short, they believe they have the power to delegate their authority to another elected person but fail to provide any citation to support such a move.

So for all you voters that voted to have your board member represent you, understand if this resolution is adopted, your vote no longer matters as it relates to employment matters because they would be turning over their statutory duty to someone you may not have voted for, thus violating your 14th Amendment rights in our opinion.

The law is very specific on employment in Townships and who controls it.

60 ILCS 1/100-5 (a) The township board may employ and fix the compensation of township employees that the board deems necessary, excluding the employees of the offices of supervisor of general assistance, township collector, and township assessor.”

The Township Board has no power pertaining to employment for three Township Offices, general assistance, collector, and assessor.

Nor do they have the power to delegate their statutory duties to another elected official.

Of interest in the above citation is the fact that the law actually refers to other “offices” name.

Does anyone see the Office of Township Supervisor named?

It is clear, the legislature did two key things as it relates to Township Employees.

  1. Excluded their power to employ for three Township Offices (those offices have that specific power-see below) 
  2. Provided no power to delegate their employment powers to another elected official.

With those facts in mind, one only need to read case law and apply it accordingly.

“They come within the principle of law that where the legislature has withheld a power it is the same as though the exercise of the power was prohibited by law. (Ashton V County of Cook

In this case, the legislature provided clear language regarding the power to employ to include restrictions on that power.

The law was silent on the power to delegate and applying the high court’s language on such silence, that silence is the same as though the exercise of the power was prohibited.

Another very interesting read on employment within townships is what happens if they actually adopt this resolution and down the road, an employee is fired by the Supervisor.

Does the law provide a Supervisor with the power to fire those employees?

No, it does not, outside of the office of general assistance, which the Supervisor is in charge of.

That being the case, a suit would win on the basis of the Supervisor having never been granted such power by the legislature and in fact, such power lies in the hands of the Township Board.

Considering the law specifically assigns that power and is silent on delegation, it rules, not a resolution adopted by the board.

A similar situation can be found in Harris V Eckersall when an employee of the Township assessor filed suit after being fired by a new Assessor.

“Any employment agreement between plaintiff and the Township, similar to other types of unauthorized agreements, would have been void ab initio.”

If the Township Supervisor ignores the law and hires people on his own, outside of the general assistance office, it would constitute an unauthorized agreement and would be void ab initio.

The resolution claims there “appears” to be a conflict in the law as it relates to a Supervisors authority to hire employees of the Township.

If they believe a conflict appears then they need to first gather all supporting case law that would support such a claim, then take the matter before the courts for them to rule on the proper application of the law.

Adopting a resolution that acknowledges there appears to be a conflict in the laws is not the proper path to a proper application of our laws.

We contend there is no conflict because there is the specific language for the hiring of Township employees.

Even though the Township Code names the Supervisor the Chief Executive Officer of the Township, it does not say that the Supervisor has his own “office”.

It points to his position as an officer of the Township. Anyone working for the Township must be hired by the Board, not one elected official.

As it relates to the Township employment, law designates three offices and powers to each, meaning the Board has no say in those offices.

When the legislature gives specific powers to those offices and is silent for a claimed “office” of Supervisor, no power exists.

For example, the Township Assessor is, in fact, a designated office in which the elected assessor controls the employment of people in that office by law.

35 ILCS 200/2-20 – “…The board shall have no power to approve or disapprove personnel of the multi-township or township assessor.”

The Township Collector is also a designated office in which the elected or appointed collector controls the employment of people in that office by law.

35 ILCS 200/19-75 – “….Collectors may appoint deputies by an instrument in writing, duly signed, and may also revoke any such appointment at their pleasure and may require bonds or other securities from the deputies, to secure themselves.”

The office of General Assistance also is a designated office in which the Supervisor is, by law, the ex-officio of and controls the employment of people in that office.

305 ILCS 5/12-21.2 -The Supervisor of General Assistance shall appoint such other employees as may be necessary to provide public aid under Article VI and prescribe their compensation and duties. 

It appears the resolution put before the board for tonight’s meeting is an attempt to create an office that by law does not exist.

The Supervisor is, by law, the Chief Executive Officer of the Township and the Township Board controls the hiring for the Township.

We suspect if the board passes this resolution a lawsuit will be filed and most likely in the Federal Courts as the voter’s rights to representation on employment matters in the Township have been taken from them.

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= = = = =
The motion passed 3-2 with David Chapman and Rachael Lawrence voting against it.

Supervisor Chuck Lutzow, Trustees Dan Shea and Melissa Victor voted in favor.

= = = = =
When Grafton Township Trustees tried to usurp the power of Township Supervisor Linda Moore, Judge Michael Caldwell ruled in McHenry County Circuit Court that she had the power to hire and fire employees. You can read it here.

Algonquin Township Board to Consider Nepotism & Patronage Hiring Tonight

Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik no longer broadcasts meetings and she doesn’t publish details of what will be considered on an agenda yet, but Township Supervisor Chuck Lutzow’s office sent the following resolutions which are on that agenda.

Why his staff has to do what the Township Clerk should do is beyond me.

In any event, here is the resolution about nepotism and patronage:

Resolution on Nepotism and Patronage

WHEREAS, Algonquin Township is a unit of local government in McHenry County,
State of Illinois; and

WHEREAS, the Township Board recognizes that patronage and nepotism are bad
and should be prohibited in Algonquin Township and in the Algonquin Township Road
District; and

WHEREAS, the Township Board desires to have a policy regarding patronage and
nepotism; and

WHEREAS, the Township Board considers a patronage hire to be the hiring of an
employee solely on the basis of a political relationship or as a political favor; and

WHEREAS, the Township Board considers patronage to be a practice in which an
elected official gives government jobs to his/her supporters, friends, spouses and relatives as a reward for working toward victory; and

WHEREAS, the Township Board considers nepotism to be the hiring of an employee
solely on the basis of a familial relationship; and

This side of a 2016 mailing talks about double dipping, long service and nepotism in the context of Anna May Miller’s employment.

WHEREAS, the Township Board considers a familial relationship to be an individual
who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, or half-sister; and

WHEREAS, the Highway Commissioner, Andrew Gasser, has requested to join in this
resolution and this resolution will be binding upon the Algonquin Township Road District.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Algonquin Township Board, McHenry
County, Illinois, that:

1. RECITALS. The Recitals set forth above are incorporated here as if set forth
fully here.

2. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.

(a) Employment in Algonquin Township and Algonquin Township Road District
will be given on the basis of merit and not solely on the basis of nepotism or patronage.

(b) As employees are hired based upon merit, an employee who has the necessary
knowledge and experience but also has a family relationship with the Supervisor, Board of Trustees, Highway Commissioner, Clerk or Assessor will not be considered a
nepotism hire.

(c) As employees are hired based upon merit, an employee who has the necessary
knowledge and experience but also has a political relationship with the Supervisor, Board of Trustees, Highway Commissioner, Clerk or Assessor or is owed a political favor will not be considered a patronage hire.

The back of the Algonquin Township Republican Party’s literature on nepotism refers to Joe Tirio’s Recorder of Deeds campaign.

(d) Algonquin Township, its departments, and Algonquin Township Road
District will not hire on the basis of nepotism or patronage as such hiring is prohibited.

(e) The Township Ethics Ordinance applies and any and all actions that violate
the Ethics Ordinance violate this Resolution.

3. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Resolution shall be in full force and effect from
August ___, 2018.

PASSED THIS ____ day of August, 2018 by the Board of Trustees of Algonquin
Township, McHenry County, Illinois

The resolution presumes that the Township Board has authority over hiring in the Township Highway Department.

Notice the loopholes for hiring family and friends in the resolution.

It will be interesting to see the statute cited authorizing such action.

Just last month Trustee Rachael Lawrence brought a resolution to the Board which would have allowed such oversight beginning in 2021.

It called for a fall referendum to put the Road District under the Township Board in 2021.

Her motion failed for lack of a second, that is, no one else on the Board wanted a vote on the issue.

There is another resolution naming the departments in Algonquin Township with the exception of the Road District.

Roskam Rolls Out Ad Attacking Casten

A press release from Congressman Peter Roskam:

New Roskam ad exposes what Sean Casten has been hiding Casten sued by investors for breach of fiduciary duty

Wheaton, IL — For more than a year Sean Casten’s campaign for Congress has centered on just two things, his attacks on Peter Roskam and Casten’s personal wealth, which he claims was derived from his success as a small business “entrepreneur.”

But while Casten has attempted to portray himself as a successful small businessman, he has refused to talk about the fact that he was sued by his own investors for manipulating his company’s books, committing breaches of fiduciary duty and paying his family members inflated salaries and bonuses.

The Roskam for Congress campaign today released an ad that takes square aim at Casten’s underhanded business dealings. A copy of the ad and the script is below.

“Sean Casten has held himself out as a successful businessman, but was sued by his own investors for illegal business activity, breach of fiduciary responsibility and for paying his relatives inflated incomes,” said Roskam for Congress Spokesman Veronica Vera. “Sean Casten’s attacks on Peter Roskam are designed to hide his checkered past, but voters deserve to know the truth about Sean Casten’s shady self-dealing.”

Local Pensions Cause Huge Real Estate Tax Increases

An article by Austin Berg of  the Illinois Policy Institute:

WHY YOUR PROPERTY TAX BILL IS SO HIGH, AND HOW TO FIX IT

Less than 50 cents of every additional property tax dollar over the last 20 years went to pay for services that raise home values. Instead, the primary driver of the rise in property taxes was pension costs.

Continued from yesterday.

Of every additional property tax dollar that went to municipal fire departments in Illinois from 1996 to 2016, 78 cents went to pensions, not protection.

Of every additional property tax dollar that went to municipal police departments, 81 cents went to pensions, not protection.

The path forward is not as complex and unfathomable as political actors make it seem.

It’s limited only by political will, which should change as more and more Illinoisans realize they’re not getting the services they think they’re paying for.

In order to protect pensioners and taxpayers, state lawmakers must amend the Illinois Constitution to allow for reductions in unearned, future benefits.

Among other things, this means ending automatic 3 percent compounding benefit increases and bringing retirement ages in line with the private sector.

Many Illinoisans, such as Vicki, are deeply frustrated with their property taxes.

But more than frustration, thousands are trapped.

The depreciation of their property outweighs what they’ve paid toward principal, meaning they would need to fork over extra cash just to sell their home.

Those who are trapped are looking to Springfield, where one of two paths will shape their future:

  1. either their property taxes (and probably income taxes) will continue to rise, or
  2. lawmakers will get serious and amend the state constitution.

McHenry County Fire and Police Pension Funding

Some might be interested in comparing this local information with the statewide data above and that in the article below.

= = = = =

A Friend of McHenry County Blog pulled this pension funding information for 2012 through 2016 from the Illinois Insurance Department.

Local levels of pension funding, financed mainly from property taxes, are compared with those of state pension funds, including thos eof legislators (of which I am one on the receiving end) and judges.

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, financed from real estate taxes, is the pension system for county employees, including those working for the Sheriff’s Department, plus municipal, park district and library district workers.

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District is funded at a stunning 515.83%–five times higher than the amount needed to pay accrued pensions.

Nest are the Barrington and Huntley pension funds for firefighters–both over 89%.

The Nunda Rural Fire Protection District is lowest on the list at 2.68%.

Besides Nunda Rural, locally, the following are under 50% are those of

Johnsburg Police – 40.05%

Marengo Police – 44.01%

On can easily see that local boards have done a much better job of funding their pension liabilities that state government.

4/30/2016 4/30/2015 4/30/2014 4/30/2013 4/30/2012
Actuarial Funding % 77.83% 75.43% 75.26% 76.06% 71.36% ALGONQUIN LAKE IN THE HILLS FPD PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 65.66% 64.68% 63.70% 65.05% 64.24% ALGONQUIN POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 89.67% 89.75% 90.92% 80.86% 80.16% BARRINGTON FIREFIGHTERS PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 63.08% 61.64% 58.92% 56.28% 53.91% BARRINGTON HILLS POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 58.84% 58.17% 54.34% 53.29% 52.91% CARPENTERSVILLE POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 84.59% 82.53% 80.30% 84.06% 82.14% CARY FPD FIREFIGHTERS PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 51.47% 50.27% 51.77% 52.51% 51.31% CARY POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 70.04% 68.41% 67.62% 65.52% 64.28% CRYSTAL LAKE FIREFIGHTERS PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 59.22% 59.28% 58.04% 57.41% 58.49% CRYSTAL LAKE POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % N/A N/A N/A FOX LAKE FIREFIGHTERS PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 85.25% 78.95% 71.82% 72.91% 57.04% FOX LAKE FIREFIGHTERS FPD PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 79.60% 74.35% 72.95% 74.56% 71.15% FOX LAKE POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % N /A N/A N/A FOX RIVER GROVE FPD FIREFIGHTERS PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 28.67% 16.02% 16.01% 19.56% 18.81% FOX RIVER GROVE POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 13.99% 16.01% 15.96% 16.18% 18.48% GENERAL ASSEMBLY RETIREMENT SYSTEM
Actuarial Funding % N/A N/A N/A HARVARD FPD PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 65.82% 64.33% 64.96% 67.10% 64.55% HARVARD POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 89.28% 89.82% 89.83% 94.19% 96.14% HUNTLEY FPD FIREFIGHTERS PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 51.37% 51.12% 48.27% 44.53% 41.16% HUNTLEY POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 90.41% 90.05% 89.13% 89.69% 87.12% ILLINOIS MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT FUND
Actuarial Funding % 40.05% 40.39% 41.56% 43.22% 42.00% JOHNSBURG POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 34.20% 34.75% 31.64% 28.29% 29.74% JUDGES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF ILLINOIS
Actuarial Funding % 57.02% 53.24% 52.69% 52.63% LABORERS AND RETIREMENT BOARD EMPLOYEE’S A & B FUND OF CHICAGO
Actuarial Funding % 80.72% 80.80% 78.78% 79.26% 81.46% LAKE IN THE HILLS POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 44.01% 43.65% 43.72% 43.90% 44.98% MARENGO POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 53.76% 52.91% 52.27% 52.21% 51.97% MCHENRY POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 515.83% 1154.51% 1744.91% 1242.73% 66.05% MCHENRY TOWNSHIP FIREFIGHTERS PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 2.68% 3.32% 3.78% 3.48% 3.51% NUNDA RURAL FPD FIREFIGHTERS PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 39.15% 43.47% 43.71% 45.53% 43.37% CHICAGO PARK EMPLOYEES & RETIREMENT BOARD FUND A & B
Actuarial Funding % 51.26% 42.03% 37.88% 36.40% 35.43% SPRING GROVE POLICE PENSION FUND
Actuarial Funding % 34.35% 36.18% 33.69% 34.21% 34.68% STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF ILLINOIS
Actuarial Funding % 43.26% 43.26% 42.33% 41.49% 42.06% STATE UNIVERSITIES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
Actuarial Funding % 39.81% 42.02% 40.63% 40.64% 42.15% TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF ILLINOIS
Actuarial Funding % 62.90% 59.12% 51.45% 55.29% 53.36% WOODSTOCK FIRE/RESCUE DIST. FIREFIGHTERS PENSION
Actuarial Funding % 63.66% 65.89% 65.58% 65.64% 65.86% WOODSTOCK POLICE PENSION FUND

Lakewood’s National Night Out Held Despite Afternoon of Rain

Lakewood Police Chief Mike Roth strides to shake a village residents hand beside a mobile video game trailer.

Mid-afternoon one could have been excused if one thought Police and Fire National Nights Out events throughout McHenry County would be cancelled.

The crowd was starting to build as this 6:50 photo was taken.

The sky cleared up, however, allowing the Village of Lakewood and other municipalities to hold their community relations events.

Country music was playing and hot dogs and soft drinks were available.

I went to Redtail Golf Course, which is where my village’s event was being held.

Lakewood is served by the Crystal Lake Fire Department.

The Crystal Lake Fire Department had an engine on display at the front of the parking lot.

Around the circle with the Redtail Golf Course sign there were tables for some local businesses and Crosspoint Lutheran Church.

Some villages, such as Carpentersville, cancelled their event on account of the rain.

McConchie Endorses Chris Bos to Replace Nick Sauer in Illinois House

A press release from State Senator Dan McConchie:

Sen. Dan McConchie Endorses Chris Bos For Open State House Seat

Chris Box

Lake Zurich – August 7, 2018 – Today State Senator Dan McConchie released the following statement supporting and endorsing Chris Bos to fill the open 51st State House seat in the wake of Nick Sauer’s removal from the ballot today.

“Chris Bos is a solid reform-minded conservative who will help challenge the status quo in Springfield,” stated Senator Dan McConchie, whose Senate district encompasses the 51st House District.

“A pastor in our community for 18 years and a father of three, Bos has demonstrated strength of character and a courageous commitment to conservative values.

“As Chairman of the Ela Township Republicans, Chris has consistently worked to advance our republican ideals and grow our party.

“I am glad to support Chris Bos for State Representative of the 51st district.”

Chris Bos, a pastor of 18 years, currently serves as the Children’s & Family Pastor at Alpine Chapel in Lake Zurich.

Bos serves as an elected Ela Township Trustee and the chair of the Ela Township Republicans. Chris Bos and his wife live in Lake Zurich with their three children.

= = = = =
More on the replacement here.

Government Consolidation Urged for More Oversight of McHenry Township Road District

A letter to the Northwest Herald, reprinted with permisison of its author, Jamie Grubich, who lives in McHenry:

OVERSIGHT AND TRANSPARENCY ARE KEY, SO CONSOLIDATE NOW

To the Editor:

Who would not be in favor of a local initiative that would deliver OVERSIGHT to a committee of FIVE (The McHenry Township Board) instead of a committee of ONE (The McHenry Township Road Commissioner) and provide complete TRANSPARENCY to the TAXPAYERS?

That is precisely what voting YES to consolidating the McHenry Road District into the McHenry Township will do.

Teens carried a “Vote Yes” banner in front of the Fiesta Days Parade marchers in support of abolishing the McHenry Township Road District as a government virtually separate from McHenry Township.

It eliminates the legalize that originally authorized the Road District to be its own unit of government and consolidates the function under the township.

Illinois currently has 1,391 Township Road Districts which operate independently from the 1,431 General Township units.

Township government units make up 2,822 of the 6,963 total units of Illinois government (2012 U.S. Census; Illinois Comptroller’s Office reports 8,466 units).

We have thousands more units of government than any other state and the worst Fiscal Stability rating of all the states (U.S. News and World Report 2018).

Township roads will continue to be plowed and maintained by the McHenry Township.

Overlapping units of government cost TAXPAYERS real dollars in administration and overhead and do not provide more value to the basic service of road maintenance.

OVERSIGHT and TRANSPARENCY will help prevent additional investigations from being launched by the McHenry County State’s Attorney for the misuse of TAXPAYER monies.

In 2018, three McHenry County Townships are now under investigation; Algonquin, Nunda and Grafton (IllinoisPolicy.org).

We cannot afford any TAXPAYER dollars to be used for investigations with our property taxes being the second highest in the nation.

I again point TAXPAYERS to the polls while Illinois legislators and elected officials point fingers at each other and the other unit of government.

Remember to ask your friends and family members to vote with you on sensible local consolidation issues.

For those of you TAXPAYERS that have not voted in the past, it takes 2 minutes to register online to vote in the November election.

Go to mchnerycountyil.gov and REGISTER TODAY!

Jamie Grubich

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn Offered Free Concealed Carry Classes for 17 Constituents

A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:

First CCW Class A Bullseye For Constituents

Crystal Lake, IL – Representative Allen Skillicorn, a strong defender of the Second Amendment, offered FREE Conceal and Carry Training for constituents of the 66th District this month where 17 participants received their certificates.

Gary Daugherty of the Firearm Safety Institute (http://www.FirearmSafetyInstitute.com) conducted the training. He stated, “I really appreciated the Representative having the courage to offer this kind of class at no cost to his constituents.

“It tangibly demonstrates his commitment to the Second Amendment in a way I haven’t seen from other representatives in Illinois.”

Training was conducted over two Saturdays with the range qualification taking place at Fox Valley Shooting Range at 780 S. McLean Blvd, Elgin, Il (http://foxvalleysr.com/). The owners, Mark and Kitty Glavin, along with their son Brant, graciously offered the use of their range before their official opening on July 30.

“I appreciated the Glavins’ allowing us to break in the brand new lanes at their amazing facility in Elgin. I wish them much success in the opening of their new business in Illinois, when so many have been forced to leave the state due to burdensome regulations and taxation, especially a firearm business with the kind of hostility demonstrated toward it by the majority Democrats who control the General Assembly.”

Jenna Middleton of Lake In the Hills stated,

“Thank you Allen for allowing me to participate in the NRA Concealed Carry Class. As a mother of two young girls I thought of how important it would be to learn the basics of firearm safety especially in the type of world we are living in. The amount of knowledge I learned in these classes was indescribable. The fact that I’m exercising my second amendment rights as an American AND that I’m protecting my family makes this a win-win situation. The information I learned regarding firearm laws and safety will graciously be passed down to my children and generations to come. Thank you for your continued efforts in defending our rights as gun owners! We appreciate you standing with us.”

Sue said,

“Thank you again…Allen for giving the CCW class. Gary brought up the topic of low income people not being able to afford to do this on his/her own due to the expense. You did have at least one person in class that is on disability and in that very situation. What an invaluable gift you gave, especially to that person.”

A participant from Gilberts stated,

“There are too many ‘Representatives’ that clearly don’t [support the Second Amendment] and we hear the stories all the time. Hardly do we hear about the tireless efforts of someone elected who is actually working hard for our rights. Allen Skillicorn is a Representative we can be proud to have defending us in Springfield. Thank you, Mr. Skillicorn, for hosting this class to provide the education needed to have the knowledge and skill as well as our right.”

Rick Cox of Crystal Lake said,

“Thank you again for this amazing opportunity! The training was very good and I’m glad that safety was stressed so much. I look forward to obtaining my CCW and improving my ability to defend my family, myself, and my community.”

Steve Miles of Crystal Lake said,

“The class provided me with information and knowledge to safely exercise my 2nd amendment right. Thank you for this opportunity”

Jim Sanford, an NRA Life Member, said,

“The CCW course provided by Representative Skillicorn was an important service to his constituents and provided the information and practical training needed for participants to become safer and more responsible gun owners.”

JW of Crystal Lake stated,

“My experience was great, the instructors were awesome. This is all on top of the fact that my State Representative ‘Walks the Walk’ when it comes to supporting the law abiding citizens of his district on the 2nd amendment.”

Robert Brugh of Lake In The Hills said,

“Allen I would like to thank you for this opportunity. It was a truly great experience. With wonderful people. It opened my eyes as to [sic] my rights, and responsibilities as a citizen and a neighbor. I hope this is just the beginning of programs like this.”

Skillicorn stated, “The enthusiasm demonstrated by theses constituents was inspiring. I hope that this is just the first of many classes I am able to offer as the more well-trained and well-armed the citizen, the safer our nation.”

Pensions and Property Taxes

An article by Austin Berg of  the Illinois Policy Institute:

WHY YOUR PROPERTY TAX BILL IS SO HIGH, AND HOW TO FIX IT

Less than 50 cents of every additional property tax dollar over the last 20 years went to pay for services that raise home values. Instead, the primary driver of the rise in property taxes was pension costs.

Vicki McCarthy

Vicki McCarthy purchased her home in northern Illinois’ Round Lake Beach in 2002, paying $195,000. She now pegs that home’s value at around $180,000 and is staring at a property tax bill of nearly $8,000 a year.

Illinoisans such as McCarthy know all too well the pain of their property tax bill.

Researcher after researcher pegs them as some of the highest in the country, if not the highest.

What Illinoisans may not know is that as recently as 1996, property tax bills in the Land of Lincoln were hovering around the national average.

But a punishing 80 percent increase in residential property taxes since then, adjusted for inflation, has rocketed Illinois to the top of the table.

What happened in those 20-some intervening years?

The truth holds the key to fixing the state.

And politicians touting further tax increases and opposing sensible spending changes would prefer voters didn’t know.

The answer, revealed in a new report from the Illinois Policy Institute, is a rapid rise in pension costs.

Take McCarthy’s tax bill.

Among other things, it’s paying for the retirements of nearly 100 municipal retirees in Lake County who already have become millionaires via the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

Their average retirement age was 57 years old, they contributed an average of $74,500 to the pension system over the course of their careers, and receive an average pension check of more than $95,000 each year.

Across the state, home value appreciation is severely lagging the national average despite property taxes increasing at a frenetic pace.

One reason for this is that less than 50 cents of every additional property tax dollar over the last 20 years went to pay for services that raise home values.

Instead, the primary driver of the rise in property taxes was pension costs.

State and local governments will continue to hike taxes, hit core services and make themselves ever less attractive to discerning families until the pension problem is fixed.

These data have powerful implications for J.B. Pritzker’s campaign platform.

Pritzker and many others, including some Republicans, have argued that families’ absurdly high property tax burden is the result of the state’s underfunding of schools – local governments need to fill in the gap with property taxes, they say. So his solution is to hike the state’s income tax.

But today, state sources actually make up a larger share of education funding in Illinois than they did in 1996, back when property taxes were a nuisance, not a crisis.

[From my experience, during at least the late 1990’s teacher unions convinced legislators to take money Governor’s budgets allocated to pensions and put it in State Aid to Education.]

The state spent an additional $5.4 billion on education between 1996 and 2016, a whopping 87 percent hike.

So if the problem wasn’t state money, how come property taxes exploded?

The answer is found by following where that money went.

Of that $5.4 billion increase, $3.6 billion went to the teacher pension system, not classrooms.

In order to make up for that diversion of resources, local school districts continuously hiked property taxes.

And here we are.

Adding insult to injury, despite boosting property taxes to the nation’s highest levels to chase after pension promises, the health of most pension funds is worse.

There is no greater indictment of the argument that pensions are in such bad shape because of underfunding.

Yes, pensions were underfunded.

But that’s because state lawmakers overpromised.

Imagine if you took out a mortgage for a million-dollar home on a $40,000 income.

You would underfund your mortgage payment.

But you clearly bought too much house.

This is why teachers, public safety personnel and other public sector workers are not to blame for this problem.

Their retirement security is now in jeopardy because politicians wrote checks they knew the government could never cash.

Meanwhile, taxpayers continue to pay more and get less.

= = = = =

More tomorrow.

Reflecting on Children at Trump and Woodstock Anti-ICE Rallies

From Dorr Township Republican Precinct Committeeman Rich Roston:

Lefty NYTimes photographer finds children at Trump rallies heartbreaking

I found it heartbreaking to watch mothers bring their children to an anti-ICE rally

McHenry County Jail

Damon Winter is a staff photographer for the Opinion section of the NYTimes.

Aug. 3, he opined in the declining publication that he remembered “being heartbroken that children were exposed to this anger, were learning from it and participating in it” while he referred to his perspective following Donald Trump’s campaign rallies in 2016.

I can almost relate; I found it heartbreaking to see mothers bring their children to an anti-ICE rally in Woodstock, IL, a few weeks ago.

Winter spoke of “the long weeks away from my own son that softened my eye and drew me toward parents and their children at Mr. Trump’s rallies.”

I was disheartened to see mothers who were bringing their children to an event based on a one-sided and false narrative.

It was as though I was watching their introduction to Leftist indoctrination.

Mr. Winter spoke of the hatred he witnessed at the Trump rallies as though that encapsulated the essence of the events.

I was at five of then Candidate Trump’s rallies in 2016.

I didn’t experience hatred.

I experienced a refreshing enthusiasm born on the promises of someone who wasn’t beholding to Swamp Creatures for his place in the polls – promises that, as President, he has kept far beyond anything I’ve ever seen in my 61 years.

Yes, I do recall when, even then, Donald Trump called out the media for its bias.

I remember the joy of turning to boo the buffoons sequestered in the back to provide their biased coverage of the event.

I didn’t sense any hatred towards the individuals.

But, I did recall feeling the joy at an opportunity to call out so-called journalists who actually serve as propagandists for the Left.

Above all, I felt that none of the boos or criticisms were unfounded.

I hoped that, maybe, one or two from their ranks would get a clue – would wake up to the crime they are perpetrating against their proclaimed profession, as well as against liberty and their country.

If children at the events saw this, it’s my hope that the lesson they learned was about the importance of a free press that is, above all, honest and unbiased.

Back in Woodstock, a few weeks ago, I saw angry mothers, sharing their anger with their children – their outrage against ICE.

Only, I knew that their outrage was misguided and manufactured.

Photos in the press were staged, false or from other times or events.

I recognized the issue as a construct of the Left with an eye on the November elections.

I also knew that the attitude of these mothers is far more responsible for the plight of illegal immigrant children at the border than anything Donald Trump has done as President.

Their soft-hearted (soft-headed) attitude is part of what entices parents to allow their children to make the risky trek to the border or, as is far more often the case, for unrelated illegal immigrants to bring along children as get-in-free passes to America.

Aggregate Producers Respond to “Attorney General Cites McHenry County Pits for Possible Groundwater Contamination” Article

A  communication from Dan Eichholz, Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers:

Response from Aggregate Producers to Pollution Claims by Attorney General

This information is in response to your 7/24/18 blog post titled ”Attorney General Cites McHenry County Pits for Possible Groundwater Contamination” regarding notices of alleged “violations” issued to permitted clean construction or demolition debris (CCDD) facilities.

The overwhelming majority of notices sent by the Illinois EPA were for the detection of naturally occurring elements such as iron and manganese that are found at these concentrations in uncontaminated soils throughout Illinois and have since been resolved.

The naturally occurring elements cited in these notices DO NOT constitute a risk to the environment.

Pits cited by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

By law, CCDD is limited to uncontaminated materials which may ONLY include broken concrete, bricks, rock, stone, reclaimed asphalt pavement or clean soil generated from construction activities.

The CCDD program is an environmentally sound, common sense management tool that benefits Illinois taxpayers by holding down construction costs and preventing needless filling of landfills.

The program saves taxpayers millions in additional costs for public works projects while it decreases the number of heavy trucks on congested roadways.

In 2010, when the Illinois legislature passed the current law related to CCDD, the legislature charged the Illinois Pollution Control Board with the responsibility of adopting rules that were protective of the environment.

The Board adopted strong front-end requirements such as environmental and engineering review, soil analytical testing and on-site screening of every CCDD load – making Illinois’ regulations the most stringent in the country.

As part of this process the Board TWICE conducted thorough hearings, accepted testimony and received documentation on the issue of mandating groundwater monitoring at these facilities.

Based on the evidence the Board twice rejected mandating such monitoring and the Illinois Appellate Court recently confirmed their decision.

The operators I represent are committed to the responsible placement of CCDD in accordance with their permits and the rules adopted by the Board.

The addition of costly groundwater monitoring mandates for these facilities has been determined unwarranted and should not be further legislated.

The attached presentation provides more detailed information on the issue with the charts on slides 10-12 showing how the IEPA tests found the levels of naturally occurring elements to be at normal background for uncontaminated soil like you would expect to find in any backyard in Illinois.

= = = = =
There is an extensive report on the subject that can be found here.

The guts of the report follows:

Clean Construction & Demolition Debris Benefits

Illinois’ communities, economy and environment all benefit from CCDD activities.

​According to Illinois law, “Clean construction or demolition debris (CCDD) is uncontaminated broken concrete without protruding metal bars, bricks, rock, stone, or reclaimed asphalt pavement generated from construction or demolition activities.”

Regulations Ensure Safe Operation

    • Accepting CCDD is a highly regulated activity: CCDD operations are permitted and regulated by the State of Illinois and require considerable oversight by operators to ensure that only allowable CCDD materials are accepted. The only practical alternatives for disposing of excess construction and demolition materials is landfill disposal or placement of these materials in unregulated sites such as other construction project locations or agricultural properties. None of the safeguards required of CCDD operations exist at unregulated construction sites and farm fields.

CCDD Sites vs. Landfills

  • Preservation of existing landfill capacity: One of the original reasons for the development of CCDD regulations in Illinois, which is still fulfilled today.
  • Slowing the need for expansion of existing landfills and creation of new ones: CCDD facilities in former mines, pits, and quarries make use of land from which mineral reserves have been extracted. Therefore, the CCDD is deposited in an area that already exists and there is no need to create new facilities for CCDD.
  • CCDD facilities accept materials that are not harmful to either human health and safety or the environment: Unlike landfills, CCDD facilities do not accept “waste” materials that are inherently harmful to human health and safety or the environment. Landfills have an increased potential to produce harmful leachates, and liner failures have been documented, greatly increasing the potential for substantial harm to groundwater resources.

Environmental Benefits

  • CCDD sites are contained: Weather events can cause catastrophic landslides in sanitary landfills due to the enormous man-made mountain of garbage covered only by soils and vegetation. Such events can cause harm to human health and the environment due to the potentially enormous release of waste materials. CCDD materials are placed below the level of surrounding land in former pits or quarries. Therefore, any sliding materials will be contained within the footprint of the pit or quarry.
  • Reduced air pollution: CCDD facilities are typically located closer to where the majority of construction projects take place, often in industrial or urban areas. Therefore, transportation time and subsequently air pollution are minimized.
  • Quarries and CCDD sites complete the construction material loop: Not only do active mines produce beneficial aggregate products for the construction industry, they serve as a location for the deposition of CCDD materials when their useful purpose has been exhausted.

Economic and Sustainability Benefits

  • Lower cost for commercial, private and public works construction projects: Tipping fees for a semi-truck load of material at a landfill can be more than five times greater than a load of material at a CCDD facility.
  • Reduced transportation costs: CCDD facilities located adjacent to an active mine commonly offer aggregate products for sale.  Trucks delivering CCDD can also haul back such products. This not only saves on cartage costs, but also reduces fuel consumption and air emissions over trips to separate locations for material disposal at a landfill and product pick up at an aggregate mine.
  • Reduced wear and tear on roadways: Extensive trips to distant landfills can increase road degradation along these routes resulting in increased maintenance costs.
  • Tax revenue savings: A large portion of CCDD material comes from public projects such as utilities (sewer or water main) and road construction. Local governments realize substantial savings from utilizing CCDD facilities rather than sanitary landfills.

Community Benefits

  • Mined land reclamation: Most CCDD operations are located at quarries or sand and gravel pits and thus CCDD material is utilized to help stabilize and contour the mined land and return it to useful purposes like wildlife habitat or housing and industrial development.
  • In comparison to landfills, CCDD facilities are more compatible with industrial and urban environments: CCDD materials do not decompose or produce common byproducts of decomposition such as Carbon Dioxide and flammable Methane, nor do they release other chemical liquid byproducts that can be very harmful to human health and safety or the environment. Additionally, CCDD materials do not create offensive odors or attract vermin.

Woman Pleads to Drug Induced Homicide

A press release from McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally:

JESSICA CHAPMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG INDUCED HOMICIDE IN DEATH OF McHENRY MAN

Jessica Chapma

On August 2, 2018, Jessica Chapman pled guilty to two counts of Drug Induced Homicide.

It was alleged that Jessica Chapman delivered heroin and fentanyl to Michael Roach and Michael Roach thereafter died as a result of the ingestion of those narcotics.

Jessica Chapman pled guilty to Drug Induced Homicide without any agreement as to her sentence. She will be sentenced after a sentencing hearing.

Jessica Chapman is facing six to thirty years in prison.

Lakewood Joins Police Departments’ National Night Out on Tuesday

For the first time in my memory the Lakewood Police Department is holding a National Night Out Tuesday from 5:30 to 8:30 at Redtail Golf Course, according to Chief Mike Roth.

Redtail Golf Course map.

“There will be food, music, and fund for the kids,” he says.

Firefighters and police officers will be available to talk to folks.

Crystal Lake’s event will be from 5 to 8 at Three Oaks Recreational Area.

Other community’s events can be found by typing “National Night Out” and the town’s name in any search engine.