Without Abortions Illinois Would Be Gaining Population

A friend of McHenry County Blog took a loot at Illinois abortion statistics and then starting thinking about population loss over the last decade.




Adam Guss’ Broken Word and Conflict of Interest

At the District 155 high school board candidates’ night six years ago, I talked to now-board president Adam Guss.

His wife teaches art at Cary-Grove High School.

I told him I knew it was legal for board members to vote on their spouses salaries, but I considered that a conflict of interest.

Guss told me he would not be involved in salary negotiations.

Nevertheless, he was involved and voted for the new contract this spring.

62-Year Old Woodstock Man Dies in Crash on Route 120 near Thompson Road

From the Sheriff’s Department:

Sheriff’s Office Investigates a Fatal Single-Vehicle Crash

A 62-year-old Woodstock man has died as the result of a single vehicle crash that occurred on Saturday afternoon in the 10100 block of Illinois Route 120 near the south intersection of Thompson Road, in unincorporated Woodstock.

On March 9, 2019 at 2:28 p.m., the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded to a single vehicle crash involving a 2016 Subaru Forester that had crashed into two trees on Illinois Route 120 near the intersection of Thompson Road.

On-scene investigation indicated that the Subaru had been traveling northbound on Illinois Route 120.

For unknown reasons the Subaru crossed over the southbound lane of travel and exited the roadway to the west striking a guardrail.

The Subaru then crossed back over all lanes of travel and exited the roadway to the east, striking the trees.

The driver of the Subaru was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash.

The driver was seat belted at the time of crash and alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

The investigation continues by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crash Investigation Unit and the McHenry County Coroner’s Office.

The following comes from the Coroner’s Office:

McHenry County Coroner, Dr. Anne Majewski, announced this morning that her office is investigating the death of a Woodstock man who was killed Saturday afternoon, March 9, 2019, in a single motor vehicle crash in the 10,000 block of Illinois Route 120 in Woodstock, Illinois.

A 911 call was made at 2:30 pm with Woodstock Fire and Rescue and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Police responding to the scene.

The driver of the car, Eberhard H. Biesenthal, age 62, was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:54 pm.

A witness reported seeing the decedent driving north on Illinois Route 120, veer into the southbound lane, strike the guard rail, veer back onto the northbound lane, and then travel off the shoulder and into a tree.

An autopsy performed this morning revealed that Mr. Biesenthal died from blunt trauma to the chest and abdomen.

Toxicology testing is pending at this time. The crash remains under investigation by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the McHenry County Coroner’s Office.

Jake Keltner’s Funeral

From the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department:

Final Visitation, Funeral, and Procession Arrangements for Deputy Jacob Keltner

March 10, 2019

Jacob Keltner

In conjunction with family, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office would like to announce the final visitation, funeral, and procession arrangements for Deputy Jacob Keltner, who passed away on Thursday.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 12 at the DeFiore Funeral Home located at 10763 Dundee Road in Huntley, Illinois.

The public visitation hours are from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a formal law enforcement walk-through at 6:00 p.m.

Please dress for the weather and anticipate standing outside while waiting to pay your respects.

There will not be any parking at the DeFiore Funeral Home.

Everyone attending can park at either at St. Mary Catholic Church located at 10307 Dundee Road in Huntley, Illinois or the Wal-Mart located at 12300 Illinois Route 47 in Huntley, Illinois.

From these two locations you will be bused to and from the funeral home.

The funeral will occur on Wednesday, March 13 at Woodstock North High School located at 3000 Raffel Road in Woodstock, Illinois.

Parking at the high school will be for first responders only.

The doors will open at 8:00 a.m. with law enforcement then other first responders receiving priority seating.

The funeral will start at 10:00 a.m. with the official procession following immediately.

We highly encourage the public to line the official procession route on Wednesday to show their support and honor Deputy Keltner.

The procession route will be for law enforcement and emergency vehicles only.

Leave Woodstock High School north (right) on Raffel Road

Turn west (left) on Charles Road

Turn south (left) on Route 47

Turn southeast (left) on Route 14

Turn south (right) on Route 31

Turn west (right) on James R. Rakow Road

James R. Rakow Road turns into Randall Road

Turn west (right) on Algonquin Road

Turn south (left) on Ruth Road

Turn south (left) on Dundee Road

End at DeFiore Funeral Home

The public is encouraged to leave flowers and notes on the squad car currently located outside the Sheriffs Office at the east entrance.

Millionaires Face 60% Income Tax Hike, But Have Two Years’ Notice

Scott Coffey did the math.

Here is his comment:

Millionaires are actually looking at a 60.6% tax increase.

They will be moving from a flat rate of 4.95% of their taxable income to a flat rate of 7.95% of their taxable income.

I am wondering what JB used for the “Millionaire Loss-Rate” assumption in determining State revenues for millionaires that decide to move out of state rather than pay 60.6% more in income taxes.

This instantaneous 60.6% tax increase would seem to violate the “Boiling Frog” metaphor which holds that a frog put into boiling water will immediately jump out, but if the frog is put into warm water that is slowly brought to a boil, it will continue to stay until its death.

With the State’s financial difficulties, I guess JB can’t wait to bring this up to boil slowly.

Millionaires have just been put on notice that they have about a 2 year lead time get their affairs in order before this all passes.

One might wonder how many stick around.

Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge Schedule Bee Chaser Tuesday, March 12th

From the Friends of Hackmatack:

Spring Gathering- Insights and Adventures of a Humble Bee Chaser

Photo credit
Brandie Dunn

RINGWOOD, IL Join Friends of the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge for their spring gathering. Speaking will be Brandie Dunn of Johnsburg, Illinois on her Insights and Adventures of a Humble Bee Chaser.

The gathering takes place on Tuesday, March 12 at 6:30 – 8:15 PM at Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Rd, Ringwood, IL. Take Harts Rd west off of Rt. 31 between the villages of Richmond and Ringwood.

Photo credit
Brandie Dunn

A personal challenge to improve upon her macro-photography skills while chasing fuzzy bee bottoms evolved into a full-blown love affair with bumblebees and their native bee counterparts.

Join us to hear about Brandie’s journey to be a voice for awareness of their plight and appreciation for the invaluable service they provide to humanity.

Photo credit
Brandie Dunn

There will be time for networking and refreshments before Ms. Dunn’s talk begins at 7 PM.

This event is sponsored by Friends of Hackmatack NWR, a non-profit group whose purpose is to connect people to the refuge and conserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources, rural character and scenic beauty of the refuge.

Questions? Contact Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge at (262) 448-3558. Leave a message and we will call you back.

Wilcox Reports

From State Senator Craig Wilcox:

Senate Week in Review: March 4-8, 2019

Springfield, IL – Before I comment on what’s happening at the Capitol, I want to ask for prayers for the family of McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner who gave his life March 7 protecting all of us. Deputy Keltner, of Crystal Lake, was killed in the line of duty while attempting to serve a warrant on a suspect who was staying at a Rockford hotel. Keltner was working with the U.S. Marshalls Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force to apprehend Floyd Brown of Springfield, when he was shot.

Jacob’s death is a great loss for all of us, and especially for his family and friends, and the citizens who live in McHenry County where he served so ably for 13 years. Please keep Deputy Keltner and his family in your prayers as they go through this very difficult time. Jacob left behind a wife and two young children.

At the Capitol

Legislators were back at the Capitol for a busy Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday session week. The big news of the week was the $3.4 billion state income tax hike announced by the Governor March 7. In related news, there are two economic-related reports to pass along, and legislators begin assessing Illinois infrastructure needs.

Another Democrat Income Tax Hike

For the third time in eight years, the Democrat party is pushing for a state income tax hike. This time, the effort is spearheaded by Governor J.B. Pritzker who announced the $3.4 billion tax hike March 7.

There are a lot of questions about the impact of the Governor’s proposal. I can tell you that my Senate Republican colleagues and I are opposed to the tax increase, and disappointed there are no guaranteed protections for middle class families.

  • Will the hard-earned paychecks of every middle class family be protected?
  • Job creators already face increased costs from a higher minimum wage; how will higher taxes on that additional burden impact their ability to hire and expand their businesses?

The majority party passed major state income tax increases in 2011 and 2017, resulting in more than $30 billion taken out of the pockets of both working families and businesses.  While the Governor wants yet another tax increase, his recent budget proposal continues the overspending and lack of reforms, which helped create Illinois’ current fiscal crisis.


In related news, there are two new assessments of Illinois’ economy:

The Property Tax Burden

Illinois continues to rank high for property tax burden, a familiar concern for homeowners and employers throughout the 32nd Senate District. Wallet Hub, the online personal financial website, recently released its 50-state rankings on property taxes. Using U.S. Census Bureau data to determine real-estate property tax rates in each state and then dividing the “median real-estate tax payment” by the “median home price,” Wallet Hub ranks Illinois as having the second-highest property taxes, trailing only New Jersey.

Putting the second-place ranking in perspective, the median home value in the U.S. is $193,500, according to 2017 figures, which represents the most recent available data. According to Wallet Hub, while the average American household pays $2,279 on property taxes for their homes each year, Illinois homeowners pay a whopping $4,476 for that same priced home!

The Overall Economy?

For years, Senate Republicans argued for lower taxes, limited government and fewer regulations on employers in order to grow the state economy. Instead, since 2003, the Democrat majority has grown government through overspending, passed two major state income taxes and now want a third tax hike, plus added regulations raising the cost of hiring and investing for employers. At the same time, Illinois continues to struggle to recover from the 2008/2009 Great Recession while other – more prudent states – are having just the opposite experience.

A recent Wall Street Journal article notes that since the end of the so-called Great Recession of 2008/2009, many states (but not Illinois) are enjoying revenue surpluses and are considering increase spending or cutting taxes. The article states, “Arkansas this month lowered its top personal income-tax rate by 1 percentage point to 5.9% and South Carolina has proposed an income tax rebate to all residents who file returns. In Florida, the governor has proposed lowering property and sales taxes. The givebacks come even as all three states proposed increased spending on education and other priorities.”

The article also indicates that other states saved nearly $33 billion in their ‘rainy-day’ funds in case of a future economic downturn. What about Illinois? As of the date of this column, the Illinois Comptroller’s reports we have less than $55,000 in our version of the rainy-day fund, which is called the Budget Stabilization Fund.

The WSJ article pointed out that Illinois is one of the states not “out of the woods” because of our fiscal problems, which increase burdens on taxpayers and local communities: “Illinois and Connecticut face big deficits and are proposing tough measures, such as raising taxes and requiring towns to pay a portion of pension costs.”

Running For the Exits

A real-life measure of the impact of Illinois economic challenges might just be Illinois’ inbound and outbound movement of its citizens. Harder-to-come-by opportunity appears to be driving people out of Illinois, according to one popular assessment:

United Van Lines’ Annual National Movers Study looks at inbound and outbound moves to and from each of the 50 states. For 2018, the company ranked Illinois as having the second-highest outbound moves of any state. The number one reason (45.5%) given for leaving Illinois was Jobs. Almost half those who moved out of state (49.7%) were in the 18 to 54 age group, the prime working age.

Perhaps Illinois should be mimicking the states that are growing their economies.

One of the big issues related to the state’s economic health is addressing our deteriorating infrastructure of roads, bridges and crumbling public facilities and buildings.

Addressing Illinois’ Infrastructure Needs

The newly formed Senate Subcommittee on Capital met in Edwardsville during the week to hear testimony from colleges, universities, and local governments in the southern Illinois region about their capital and infrastructure needs.

Illinois hasn’t had a capital bill in 10 years, which worries state officials, transportation experts and higher education administrators, who say the state’s infrastructure is rapidly deteriorating, causing concern for economic prosperity and safety.

In the coming weeks, the Subcommittee on Capital will continue touring the state and hosting hearings in an effort to gain better insights into the state’s infrastructure problems. Edwardsville was just the second of six scheduled hearings. The first took place in Springfield on February 21.

Four other hearings have been scheduled, including one in our area:

•           Monday, April 22, 1 p.m.  – Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin

A key question is, how does Illinois address infrastructure when it’s dealing with a severe fiscal situation?

Finally, Senate activity, at the committee level, moved into high gear during the week. Twenty-four committee hearings were held. Senators considered hundreds of legislative proposals introduced since mid-January. Dozens of additional committee hearings are planned throughout the month of March.

Citizen Climate Lobby Communicates with McHenry County Board Members

Here’s the email from Mary Moltmann:

Dear Members of the McHenry County Board –

I am following up on public comments that members of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby made at the February 19, 2019 meeting of the McHenry County Board. We provided information on HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act recently introduced in the House with bipartisan support.

There are three responses to climate change: mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. This bill would take action on the mitigation of carbon, and the more we can do of that, the less adaptation we will need, and the less suffering will occur.

Here is a Citizens’ Climate Lobby summary of the EICD Act:

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would work by

1.     Putting a fee of $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, and increasing the fee by $10 each year. The fee would be assessed “upstream” at the refinery, mine, well, or port.

2.     Money collected from the carbon fee would go into the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund, and every month all of the money would be allocated in equal shares to Americans – residents with a Social Security number or a Tax Identification Number, and each child under 19 receives a half share. The dividend would be included in gross income, but would not be included in means testing for federal or federal-assisted programs. To protect lower income people from the higher costs, an Advanced Payment would be given at the start of the program, and would be recouped from future fees into the Trust Fund. Program administrative costs are paid from the fees collected, not to exceed 8% the first five years and 2% after that. It is revenue neutral – the government does not keep any of the money.

3.     The Border Carbon Adjustment administered by the Treasury Secretary will protect U.S. manufactures and jobs because:

IMPORTED goods from countries that do not price carbon will pay a border carbon adjustment and this money will go into the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund and be given back in the monthly equal allocations.

EXPORTED goods to countries that do not price carbon will receive a refund of carbon fees.

4.     Regulatory Adjustment prevents the EPA from regulating Carbon Dioxide and equivalent emissions for 10 yrs. By the tenth year of the program, the National Academy of Sciences will review and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Act in achieving emission reduction targets in the various sectors of the economy. If emission targets are not being met after 10 years, Congress will direct the EPA to issue regulations to bring emissions to levels at or below targets.

5.     And a truly wonderful feature? It has a Sunset Clause that decommissions the program when emissions reach 10% of 2015 levels and when the Carbon Dividend drops below $20 per month for 3 consecutive years.

6.     Would reduce U.S. fossil fuel pollution by 40% in 12 years below 2016 levels and ultimately reduce those emissions 90% by 2050.” This exceeds our commitment to the Paris goals and exceeds the Clean Power Plan.

The Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) wisely did not hire a think tank to analyze their Fee and Dividend Policy, potentially leaving them open to claims of bias in one direction or the other. Rather, they hired Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) to do a nation-wide macroeconomic study on the impact of Fee and Dividend Policy (which is essentially what is proposed in HR 763). REMI was founded in 1980 with the philosophy that government decision-makers should test the economic effects of their policies before they’re implemented.

Some of the REMI findings (https://citizensclimatelobby.org/remi-report/) include:

 1.    CO2 emissions decline 33% after 10 yrs. and 52% after 20 yrs. relative to baseline year of 2015 – so it would start us on the path to decreasing CO2.

2.    National employment increases by 2.1 million jobs after 10 yrs., and 2.8 million after 20 yrs. – so putting a price on carbon is not a jobs killer.

3.    13,000 lives are saved annually after 10 yrs., with a cumulative 227,000 American lives saved over 20 yrs. 

4.    $70-$85 billion increase in GDP from 2020 on due to Fee and Dividend Plan relative to no carbon fee – due to more jobs and consumer spending – so putting a price on carbon would not drag down the economy.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby hired the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis to study the financial impact of CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend Policy on U.S. households (http://citizensclimatelobby.org/household-impact/). Looking at national averages, they found that the three lowest-income quintiles showed a benefit: their carbon dividends would be greater than the amounts they were paying after a price was put on carbon. In a similar finding, the Baker and Schultz Republican Conservative Carbon Tax Plan (www.clcouncil.org) praised a carbon fee because it would help relieve economic anxiety. They cited a Department of Treasury estimate that the bottom 70% of Americans would come out ahead under a carbon fee and dividend program. So that refutes the argument that the U.S. should not price carbon because it would hurt lower income people.

As an index of how common a carbon price is becoming, of the 15 largest economies in the world, only two – the United States and Russia – do not have any nationwide carbon pricing in place or in the works. (www.carbontax.org: “Where Carbon is Taxed.”).

Furthermore, corporations are setting internal carbon prices to reduce their emissions as they transition to a low-carbon economy, and to assess their risk exposure to regulations that affect the cost of emitting carbon. In a December, 2017 Report, “Putting a Price on Carbon,”( https://www.actu-environnement.com/media/pdf/news-29828-prix-carbone-entreprises-cdp.pdf) the Consumer Data Platform listed 136 North American companies which are pricing carbon, among them Cargill, Kellogg, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Eastman Chemical, Owens-Illinois, and Exelon. Scroll to p. 46 for North American companies if you are interested.

I find it very encouraging that the next generation of Republican voters has launched 19 college and university chapters of Students for Carbon Dividends (www.s4cd.org) based on the Baker-Shultz Conservative Carbon Tax Plan. Even better, 6 Democratic student chapters have formed.

Another indicator that this is an appropriate way to tackle climate change: a recent article in the WSJ indicated that respected economists are endorsing a carbon tax. I do not subscribe to WSJ, so I am pasting in this quote from the www.bloomberg.com article “From Greenspan to Yellen, Economic Brain Trust Backs Carbon Tax” by Jennifer A. Dlouhy, January 16, 2019:

An all-star lineup of economists, from Alan Greenspan to Paul Volcker, is endorsing a plan to combat climate change by slapping a tax on greenhouse gas emissions and then distributing the revenue to American households. All living former Federal Reserve chairs, several Nobel Prize winners and previous leaders of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers have signed on to a statement asserting that a robust, gradually rising carbon tax is “the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. A carbon tax will send a powerful price signal that harnesses the invisible hand of the marketplace to steer economic actors towards a low-carbon future,” the 45 economists say in the opinion piece, published by theWall Street Journal late Wednesday.

More information can be found at this website: https://energyinnovationact.org/. To endorse, please click on the red box labeled Support at the top left of the opening page.

If you have questions, please contact me.

Thank you,

Mary Moltmann, McHenry County Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Details of Jake Keltner Visitation, Funeral

From the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department:

Visitation and Funeral Arrangements for Deputy Jacob Keltner

Jacob Keltner

In conjunction with family, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office would like to announce the visitation and funeral arrangements for Deputy Jacob Keltner, who passed away on Thursday.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 12 at the DeFiore Funeral home located at 10763 Dundee Road in Huntley, Illinois.

The public visitation hours are from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a formal law enforcement walk-through at 6:00 p.m.

The funeral will occur on Wednesday, March 13 at Woodstock North High School located at 3000 Raffel Road in Woodstock, Illinois.

The funeral will start at 10:00 a.m. More information, including parking locations and the funeral procession route, will follow as things progress in the planning.

Maine Township Attacks Illegal Surplus by Totally Eliminating Tax Levy

Maine Township is a big one. Its main cities re Park Ridge and Des Plaines.

Here is a press release from Township Trustee Susan Sweeney, who won a tremendous victory for her taxpayers this past week.

Maine Township Trustees Vote for Unprecedented Tax Abatement
Move Will Save Taxpayers Over $1.2 Million Dollars

A majority on the Maine Township Board finally succeeded Wednesday night in obtaining a significant savings for its taxpayers at a special Township meeting to discuss an abatement of previously agreed-
upon 2019 property taxes.

The Township decided for the first time ever to “abate” – or suspend – a portion of property taxes for its citizens.

Abatement is a rare action which lifts some or all of a previously agreed-upon tax levy.

The 3-2 Township Board vote will provide a 100% tax abatement in 2019 for the Township’s General Assistance (“GA”) Fund and a 10% tax abatement for the Township Fund.

“Local officials owe it to the taxpayers to use money already collected, for its stated purposes, before they seek another dime,” said Township
Trustee Susan Sweeney.

Illinois law caps Township reserve funds at 2.5 times their annual expenditures. 

Maine Township’s total reserves is well over $11,000,000.

One of the funds, the General Assistance Fund, has about $2.7 million in surplus with expenditures around $830,000. 

Given this disparity, Trustees Sweeney, Dave Carrabotta, and Claire McKenzie voted for a 100% reduction in the 2019 GA fund tax levy and a 10% reduction in the Town Fund levy.

This will save taxpayers over $1,200,000.

Sweeney expressed concerns back in 2018 over the unusually large surpluses.

Though the vote for an abatement initially failed in January 2019, Trustees Sweeney and Carrabotta raised the issue again in February and were denied any consideration on the issue after it was tabled to a Special Meeting in March.

Township Supervisor Laura Morask and Trustee Kim Jones, who both wanted no more than a 5% cut to the levy in December 2018, also voted against the proposed abatements and, instead, sought to minimize the abatements and reduce fund surpluses through pre-payment of future pension liabilities.

Trustee McKenzie joined Trustees Sweeney and Carrabotta to pass the full abatement.

“Maine Township has previously overtaxed citizens – for years – to the point of legal non-compliance.

Let the example set by the Maine Township board majority inspire all Illinois local governments to reconsider the over-taxation of citizens that unnecessarily builds up fund balances,” said Sweeney.

Wirepoints ran the following article, which is re-posted with permission:

Maine Township $1.25 million tax abatement: Hard-fought tax relief for local residents

By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

Maine Township, located in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, has agreed to give property owners a $1.25 million tax break by eliminating this year’s levy for one of the township’s funds and reducing it for another. That’s thanks to the efforts of two trustees who fought to prove the township’s reserves were bloated and far higher than what the township needed.

It’s a rare example in Illinois of government officials fighting to make local government finances more transparent, affordable and resident-friendly.

Many governments across Illinois – from school districts to townships to library districts – continue to tax their residents even as government reserve positions are often way in excess of what’s needed to operate. Wirepoints recently reported on how some Illinois governments are hoarding taxpayer funds and Maine Township was featured.

The township has more than $11.6 million in reserves, enough to run the township for more than 1.6 years without new taxes. And the General Assistance Fund, earmarked for support services, is even more over-reserved, with enough on hand to run its operations for 2.8 years without new taxes. That fund’s levy will be eliminated this year as a result of the township decision.

Trustees Dave Carrabotta and Susan Sweeney pushed for the tax abatement and were joined by Claire McKenzie in voting in favor of the reduction. Supervisor Laura Morask and Trustee Kimberly Jones voted against it.

Illinoisans need more officials to take on the status quo that’s left Illinoisans paying the highest property taxes in the nation. Tax abatements are a needed start.

Alden-Thayer Road Crash Injures Three, 88 Year Old Harvard Woman Critical

From the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office:

Vehicle Collision Injures Three

Three persons were injured, one critically, in a two-vehicle crash Friday afternoon at the intersection of Alden Road and Thayer Road, in unincorporated Alden Township.

The injured include an 80-year-old Harvard woman, listed in critical condition; a 58-year-old Harvard man; and a 55-year-old McHenry woman.

At 3:44 p.m., the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, McHenry County Conservation Police, Harvard Fire Protection District, Flight for Life and the Hebron Fire Department, responded to a two vehicle crash at the intersection of Alden Road and Thayer Road.

On-scene investigation indicated that a 2010 Chevrolet HHR was traveling westbound on Thayer Road and failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection with Alden Road. A 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander traveling southbound on Alden Road struck the Chevrolet in the southbound
lane of travel.

The driver of the Chevrolet, the 80-year-old female, was transported by Flight for Life to Javon Bea Hospital Riverside in Rockford.

The passenger in the Chevrolet, 58-year-old man, was transported by Hebron Fire/Rescue to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital for minor injuries.

The driver of the Mitsubishi was transported by Harvard Fire Protection District to Harvard Mercy Hospital with minor injuries.

Seatbelts were worn at the time of crash and airbag deployments were
noted for all occupants.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

The investigation continues by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crash Investigation Unit.

Illinois Population Loss

From Pew:

The Northeast and Midwest were home to all but two of the 15 states with the slowest population growth. For a half-century, people have gravitated away from these regions and toward Sun Belt states because of employment opportunities, lower costs of living, and warmer climates.

Illinois and West Virginia were the only states with fewer residents in 2018 than a decade earlier. West Virginia lost about 34,500 people since 2008, or the equivalent of 0.19 percent a year, and has recorded population losses for the past six years.

Illinois’ growth rate was virtually flat over the same period, shedding about 6,000 residents since 2008 and losing population for the past five years.

A shrinking or slow-growing populace can be both a cause and an effect of weakened economic prospects.

Illinois and West Virginia, along with Connecticut, Mississippi, and Rhode Island, all fall near the bottom of both population and economic growth over the past decade.

Less economic activity can limit state revenue collections.

Though a smaller population can lead to a reduction in some types of spending, it also means there are fewer residents to help cover the costs of long-standing commitments, such as debt and state employee retirement benefits.

Aaron Shock After Wiggling Off Weak Prosecutorial Hook

Here’s what former wunder kind Aaron Shock said after the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed criminal charges:

“My office and I could have done a better judge in the administrative functions in the back end of our office.

“I attempted then and now to make restitution for those mistakes, but there’s a difference between mistakes and crimes. There was never an attempt by my staff or me to commit crimes.

“I feel I’ve been wronged in this process by a prosecutor who saw me as his ticket to stardom, and who was allowed to go unchecked for years at great expense to me personally, my family and friends, and yes, the taxpayers. I think it’s unfortunate that he has not been held to account.”

Schock agreed to pay his campaign fund about $68,000 and “tens of thousands of dollars to the IRS,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Similar charges resulted in jail sentences for former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., and his wife.

Former Assistant U.S Attorney Patrick Collins observed there wasn’t much of a case left.

Bob Miller’s Court Response in Suit Relating to Alleged Improper Expenditures Critiqued

Reprinted with permission from Illinois Leaks:

Algonquin Township Road District – Bob Miller attorney Thomas Gooch III complains of “gay citations”


McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

The attorney for Bob Miller, Thomas Gooch III, is no newcomer to inserting things in court records that lead to head-scratching.  From concerns over a large breasted woman being a distraction, as covered by CBS to outright misinformation covered in this article, Gooch has once again created a head-scratcher.

“This use of gay citations having little or nothing to do with the subject matter….”

Can anyone explain to us what a “gay citation” is?

In his recent 18 page REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE he has proven once again he is well versed in providing head-scratching information.

There are numerous concerns with Gooch’s recent filing, size, to begin with.  We understand this response is to be limited to only 5 pages yet it totals 18.  Within the filing are what we would consider troubling claims and we will discuss those in this article.

“This Court should take judicial notice of a subpoena issued in this case by plaintiff directed against an entity known as “me.net”. That entity was the email provider for ROBERT MILLER. The return of that subpoena, which plaintiff seeks not to discuss in any pleadings, resulted in production of literally thousands of emails which plaintiff was finally required to distribute to all parties in this case pursuant to court order when they otherwise found it unnecessary. Seemingly, it is difficult to understand how, in view of the production of all of those emails long before the Fourth Amended Complaint was filed, that plaintiff can still argue there are emails that defendant has and plaintiff does not have.”

Production of me.net emails has nothing to do with the emails from [email protected] and [email protected]” that we understand have not been produced.  That being the case, it should not be hard to understand why the Road District has argued there are emails they don’t have.

“The plaintiff maintains that the road district is not an entity under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. It stands to reason that plaintiff cannot here maintain that the local records act applies to plaintiff as the highway commissioner and to the road district”

Very Slick Mr. Gooch! 

Gooch is a master at comingling matters that help confuse the court.  In this case, he confuses FOIA with the Local Records Act, two distinctively different statutes.   Note how he properly capitalized Illinois Freedom of Information Act and then fails to do so for the Local Records Act.  There is a reason that is done, create confusion.

As it relates to the FOIA and OMA Act and its application to the Road District, our current General Assembly appears to agree with the Road District attorney Rob Hanlon.  House Bill HB3136 has been sponsored to include “Road Districts” into the definitions of a Public Body.  The fact the General Assembly took this step may indicate they recognize a Road District is not a public body as defined in the act. 

As it relates to the Local Records Act, it absolutely applies to the Road District and for Gooch to imply otherwise is troubling.

  “The plaintiff refuses to acknowledge that none of these purchases were paid for by MILLER using township funds.”

Oh really?

When Miller uses the Township Road District credit card to make the purchases in question, he has, in fact, made a purchase.  The merchandise purchased was paid for by the credit of the Road District and the vendor typically receives the payment in 24-48hrs from the credit card processing company.  The fact the lender of that credit does not get paid until later through a bill auditing process does not negate the fact Miller made purchases.

“With the legislative body approving not only the individual purchases but the sick pay which was received by ROBERT MILLER then clearly the allegations of the Fourth Amended Complaint contradicting that are erroneous or the Complaint misses necessary allegations.”

I think even the most uneducated can see the holes in that statement. When Miller pulled out the card, he was the one approving the individual purchases, not the board.   To imply otherwise is nothing but the typical circus act we find being used routinely in this case.

“While plaintiff maintains the road district is not subject to the Township Act, such a position is incorrect.”

“Therefore, the suggestion that the Township Act has nothing to do with the road district is simply not correct.”

Great spin on the positions taken by the Road District, which was “The Township Code has nothing to do with the Road District’s claims in this case.”  Far cry from claiming the Road District maintains the Road District is not subject to the Township Act.

The second spin on the Township Act is negated by what was actually stated by the Road District, “The Township Code does not control what takes place in a Road District”.  I think an argument could be made that Gooch claiming what he did borders on making misrepresentations to the court.  We have found no implication by the Road District in any filings that suggests the Township Act has nothing to do with the Road District.

“It would be impossible to allege necessary elements of conversion without some affirmative allegation as to how defendant himself took control of the road district’s money without any authorization when, in fact, the bill is for items purchased which were submitted to the town board who approved payment, not ROBERT MILLER.”

Impossible?  LOL 

Defendant Bob Miller, took control of the Road Districts money every time he used the credit card to make purchases of items that had no public purpose, such as travel tickets for a grandchild.  Not only is such purchase not for any public purpose, but it was also done well in advance of any claimed approval by the board.   So to claim it would be impossible to do as Gooch claims are incorrect.

“The Highway Commissioner does not pay for anything. The Highway Commissioner, in a road district setting may order the purchase of various things, however, it is the Town Board that reviews and approves it.”

So if the Highway Commissioner does not pay for anything, how did his grandchild get an airline ticket paid for by the Road District’s credit card?  Gooch confuses the actual act of Bob Miller making purchases with the “ordering” the purchase of various things.  There is no confusion, Miller paid for purchases with a credit card and those purchases are in fact the use of public credit, an element clearly outlined in our State Constitution.

“Miller in all cases, followed the statute by submitting all expenses to the town board.

Confusing “submitting all expenses” to the town board does not negate the fact purchases were made in advance of any auditing or even approval of expenses by the board. In fact, using the word “expenses” would actually represent that a purchase was made, thus you have an expense.  Our review of the Township meetings reflected two or three times where anything was approved.  We covered that in this article.

“Plaintiff cites to no authority, that a Highway Commissioner is an Agent of a road district and without such principle agency relationship there, can be no fiduciary relationship in the Counts maintained by Plaintiff in the Fourth Amended Complaint.”

Gooch implies without a citation to authority that a Highway Commissioner is an Agent of a road district the default is there can be no fiduciary relationship. Interesting to us is the fact he provides no citation to support such a position.

We are confident there is no citation needed for the courts to apply the common knowledge that the duly elected head of a public body has a fiduciary relationship and responsibility to the public body.

“GASSER wants to avoid actually proving his cause of action by asking the Court to take judicial notice of the Minutes of the township board. However, all the minutes show an audit of road district bills every month.”

Gooch once again avoids the reason the Road District asked the court to take judicial notice of the minutes.  It is because the minutes do not reflect the approvals as Gooch has claimed in the past.  A fact he avoided addressing in this reply.

“GASSER fails to state how a trier of fact would be able to step into the shoes of the township board to determine which expenses were for a public purpose.”

Are we to understand Gooch is of the opinion the Road District needs to state how a person can look at a credit card purchase for a plane ticket for a grandchild and be a trier of fact if that expense is for a public purpose?

“Also, because the board makes the final determination as to whether the bills are approved, the fact that MILLER’s expenditures were approved must mean that they were considered for a public purpose.”

This makes about as much sense as the Dixon, Illinois case where the auditor provided clean audits for 20 plus years, even though over $53 million was stolen from the city.  More importantly, determining what bills are approved has nothing to do with purchases made in advance of any such approval for items clearly that had no public purpose.

“Miller must be shown to have breached the fiduciary duty he owed the Road District, and defendants must be shown to have known of the breach and accepted the fruits of the fraud.”

This one is simple.

Miller, in our opinion, breached the fiduciary duty he owed the Road District when he purchased plane tickets for his grandchild. When he converted public cell phones to private accounts. When he purchased a laundry list of items that had no public purpose.  If those actions don’t show such a breach took place, we are done as a country.

“under this Court’s Order, it is KAREN LUKASIK that is the Clerk who is the custodian of the records. The Township Clerk, not GASSER, has standing to sue if there are any records or documents missing.”

Wrong answer in our opinion.  Reason being is that one key law that covers records, the Local Records Act.  The same one he conveniently chose to minimize in his brief rather than capitalize it. The fact the clerk is the custodian of the records does not negate the Road Districts obligations to protect those records under the Local Records Act.

“In addition to this Court’s Order, the statute, 60 ILCS 1/75-5, gives the Township and Road District Clerk standing to sue, not the Highway Commissioner. Thus, again, GASSER is without standing as the Highway Commissioner.”

A court order does not remove a state law that does, in fact, provide a Road Commissioner the power to sue and be sued. To imply a Road District has no power to sue is ludicrous in light of the very law providing such power 605 ILCS 5/6-107

“More importantly, GASSER fails to cite any cases that support his position that he has standing to sue on behalf of the Road District.”

I guess Gooch missed the citation found on page 18 of the AMENDED RESPONSE TO MILLER’S 2-619.1 MOTION TO DISMISS that provided the very statute we did above.

The hearing for this matter was scheduled for March 6th, 2019 and we understand it has been continued until next week.

Environmental Defenders Volunteer Staff Crystal Lake’s Green Read Book Store

From the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County:

Volunteers (standing, left to right) Linda and Terry Gurgone, Stan Perrin, Linda Bachar, Sharon Gorski (seated, left to right) Janey Walters, Fred Fortman, Catherine Veit, Diane Greenman, Kristina Nemetz, Pam Johnson, Mary Perrin. Missing from photo: Janie Goodman, Libby and Brian Pappalardo, Lorene Henning, Marianne Fontes, Mark Hankins, Mary Erlenborn, Mary Lee Wolf, Mary Lou Ludicky, Nancy Loomis, Nancy Schietzelt.

The Environmental Defenders’ newest book store, The Green Read, which opened in November in Crystal Lake, is grateful to all the volunteers who are making this new venture possible!

Our volunteers staff shifts at the store and are vital to having our doors open six days a week now! Hours are Mon/Tues from 1 PM to 5 PM, Wed/Fri/Sat from 10 AM to 5 PM and Thurs from 10 AM to 7 PM.

In addition to great used books, The Green Read is now offering special events, story time, and has a new book club, The Green Reader.