Yesterday and the day before, McHenry County Blog chronicled what the Grafton Township trustees said about the John Rossi Township Board new town hall debacle.
You remember, illegally committing taxpayers to repay over $5 million in principal and interest for a new township hall on land purchased from the Village of Lake in the Hills on Haligus Road.
Part of the cost was to be paid for by selling the current township hall to the Grafton Township Road District, allowing area taxpayers to pay for the same building twice, a seeming Huntley tradition. (The Huntley Park District bought the old high school from District 158, giving park district taxpayers the privilege of paying for that building twice.)
It was finally time for Pat Coen, Road Commissioner Jack Freund’s attorney, to speak.
He had sat patiently through the kangaroo court we-won’t-show-you-the-censure-motion-until-after-we-vote condemnation of Supervisor Linda Moore.
The agenda subject?
“Discussion and potential action to approve payment of $700,000 road ordinance plus interest to date of loan.”
Coen concluded that approval of the electorate was needed to “unwind” (a word virtually everyone uses to describe undoing the court-determined improper acts committed by the prior township board to build a new township hall) the selling of the current township hall to the Road District part of Grafton Township government.
“I can find nothing in the statutes that says unwinding is any different than conveying property,” the lawyer said.
He suggested calling a special meeting of the electors.
He was asked if he had made a mistake.
“I’m not admitting to any mistake,” Coen replied.
Coen pointed out that the entire loan–$700,000–would have to be repaid to Harris Bank. That included the cost of a salt shed.
Zirk wondered if the Town Fund would just “pay what the Town Fund owes.”
“I haven’t gone that far,” Coen replied
“66,000 had to go for the commission,” Zirk added, but didn’t mention who got the commission.
That commission to MJ Munaretto and Company was revealed exclusively in McHenry County Blog on July 7, 2009. Munaretto is a Republican County Board member who chairs the Finance Committee. Neither the Daily nor the Northwest Herald have revealed this.
McMahon favored delaying until next spring’s annual meeting:
“Let it go. Let the electoral handle it (at the annual meeting).”
“Barbara Murphy, who has repeatedly expressed distaste at the length of time it is taking to resolve the problem countered,
“It’s costing a ton on this.
“We want to get done with this, excuse my word, crap.”
Shortly thereafter, LaPorta made this admission:
“We did the best we did with the information we had at the time.
“You think we did this illegally for crying out loud?”
Focused on completing the reversal of the actions taken to build a new township hall, Murphy pointed out,
“This is the second half of it.”
The first half was repaying the Harris Bank the other $3.5 million loan.
McMahon, the only trustee not in office when the decision was made added,
“Maybe we should sell the township building to the Road Commissioner. That’s what you wanted.
“I don’t see giving up the dream.”
McMahon supported a continuation of efforts to build a new township hall.
At this point, Supervisor Moore asked,
“Would you like to hear a suggestion?”
“No, not from you,” McMahon retorted.
“We need to negotiate with Jack,” Moore continued.
LaPorta suggested having a representative from the trustees and the supervisor meet with Road Commissioner Freund.
And, that’s what the Grafton Township Board decided to do.