Part 3 – An Open Letter to Wonder Lake re Creation of a Library District

An open letter from Wonder Lake Resident Jeff Gerhardt, Wonder Lake Community Tech Center:

The simple logic is undeniable. Who in Wonder Lake would be against a dramatic improvement in local infrastructure and service for what looks like a NET reduction in overall cost to the community. At the worst it will be a wash in taxes. Yes some people would be paying a small amount more and some would be paying a little less. But, because of the greater number of homes on the east side of the lake, it would be an overall reduction in taxes.

What is IMPORTANT is that ALL those taxes would no longer go to McHenry and Woodstock, but STAY in the community. Those taxes would actually go into the community and benefit each side of the lake proportionally and fairly.


For the People on the east side of Wonder Lake:

Consider this-

  • There is NO LOCAL LIBRARY located in Wonder Lake
  • The McHenry Library has never offered services in the Wonder Lake Community in the 18 years history of their relationship with Wonder Lake.
  • You pay one of the highest tax rates in the entire United States for a community with no local library.
  • You have paid many millions and millions of dollars into the McHenry Library District without so much as a thank you.
  • You have NO representation on the McHenry Board as McHenry has many more voters then Wonder Lake, can you say “Taxation Without Representation”
  • You do have to drive up to 30 minutes to get to a library
  • The McHenry Library is a very fine library with wonderful resources and yet, because you live so far away, your community pays a disproportionately higher PER ACTIVE USER rate then the people living in McHenry.
  • The McHenry Library District is in the process of launching a referendum to once again RAISE YOUR TAXES so that they can build a new library for McHenry.
  • When is “Enough, Enough?

For the people on the west side of Wonder Lake:

  • There is NO LOCAL LIBRARY located in Wonder Lake
  • The amazing new library in Woodstock is perhaps the Taj Mahal of Libraries for McHenry County.
  • YOUR taxes to the Woodstock Rural Library Board have supplemented that “Taj Mahal”.
  • Not only are you faced with a 30-minute drive, but up until recently your use of the library was very limited. It is still NOT full service for your use.
  • Not only is the Woodstock Library not “full service” for the people of Wonder Lake, but because people were outraged by the last referendum and voted it down, the Woodstock Rural Library CUT SERVICE TO WONDER LAKE AS PUNISHMENT.
  • After learning of the movement to create a LOCAL Wonder Lake Library District, the Woodstock Rural Library all of a sudden increased the service level to the people of Wonder Lake.
  • It remains to be seen if recent improvements in service level will remain if there is no “Wonder Lake Library Project” pushing them.
  • For those people that actually want to use the Woodstock Library as a full service client, you have to pay an EXTRA $56.00 per year; that when added to your basic tax rate, makes you one of the highest cost library users in the entire State of Illinois.

**The TRUTH** is that if we have our own local library system, the people on the east side will have a slight reduction in taxes and an improvement in library services available too them.

**The TRUTH** is that if we have our own local library system, the people on the west side will see a slight increase in taxes BUT A MAJOR DRAMATIC INCREASE in library services. For those that have paid the extra $56 to be full service clients of the Woodstock Library, you will see a significant reduction in cost.

**The TRUTH** is that WE ALL HATE TO PAY TAXES. Thats said, even to the tax payers that may experience a small increase in your library tax, you will have the ability to recoup that tax in service delivery many many times over. The simple fact that YOUR TAXES that you already pay will be in the hands of the local community, instead of McHenry or Woodstock, will allow you a voice to determine the outcome of those taxes, like you have NEVER had before.

More tomorrow.

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