Remembering the McHenry County Republican Cat Tax Now that County Board Members Are Up for Election

Keely Cat takes a dim view of those county board members who wanted to send out the McHenry County Republican Cat Tax Collector. (He also takes a dim view of people who wake him up to take his picture to illustrate a story like this.) Catkins still can't understand why they thought he couldn't take care of any rabid bat that might penetrate the Skinner household. The bugs he has hunted are no longer around and, if he could get out of the sun porch, he knows that chiprats would be no problem.

Now that the primary election is but a week away, I’m going to give you a chance to read my article on the McHenry County Board’s 2007 defeat of the Republican Cat Tax.

The folks running for re-election (or, in the case of one seeking to return to the board) who voted to impose the cat tax in order to help pay for new animal control shelter on Route 14 in Crystal Lake follow:

  • Ken Koehler, County Board Chairman, Crystal Lake, District 2
  • John Jung of Woodstock, District 5
  • Tina Hill of Woodstock, District 5
  • Anna May Miller of Cary, District 1
  • Sandra Salgado of McHenry, District 4
  • Barbara Wheeler of Crystal Lake, District 3

The original February 21, 2007, article follows. For some reason Google has removed the original photographs, even though I paid extra to keep the up.

11 Republicans, 1 Democrat Kill McHenry County Republican Cat Tax

If you ever think that your voice can’t make a difference in local government, think again!

Both opponents and proponents of the Republican Cat Tax mentioned they had been lobbied by their constituents.

And some of them used language (“Cat Tax Collector”) that made me know that McHenry County Blog readers had been spreading the word.

The McHenry County Board, stacked 23-1 in favor of the Republican Party, defeated the cat tax backed by County Chairman Ken Koehler (he called it a “fee”) and nine other GOP county board members.

The motion to eliminate the cat tax from the revision of the animal control ordinance passed 12-10 on a motion by Lyn Orphal, seconded by Mary Lou Zierer. Perhaps Republicans have been this split on a board vote before. I don’t follow it closely enough to know. It must be a rarity, however, for a county board chairman not to get his way.

The 11 Republicans voting to kill the Republican Cat Tax follow. (Those in bold face type are on the ballot.)

  • Yvonne Barnes of Cary, a newcomer
  • Sue Draffkorn of Wonder Lake
  • Randy Donley of Union
  • Ed Dvorak of Crystal Lake
  • John Hammerand of Wonder Lake
  • Mary McCann of Woodstock, just elected
  • Lyn Orphal of Crystal Lake
  • Nick Provenzano of McHenry
  • Daniel Ryan of Huntley, just elected
  • Dan Shea of Fox River Grove
  • Mary Lou Zierer of Marengo

Newly elected Democratic Party member Jim Kennedy of Lake in the Hills joined this majority of voting Republicans (two were absent) to kill the cat tax.

Get down, Catkins. I’m writing a story.

Don’t worry, you’re safe now from the McHenry County Republican Cat Tax Collectors.


I’ll scratch your chest and neck later.

Those voting in favor of the Cat Tax ordinance, which would require rabies inoculation, plus the fee (which even a supporter slipped and called a “cat tax”), couched their arguments primarily toward being fair to both dog and cat owners, plus getting ahead of the spread of cat rabies, which is in Pennsylvania.

Those voting in favor of imposing the Cat Tax Hike were all Republicans. Their names follow (those on the ballot shown in bold face type):

  • Ken Koehler, County Board Chairman, Crystal Lake
  • Marie Chmiel of Crystal Lake
  • Mary Donner of Crystal Lake, just elected
  • John Heisler of Crystal Lake
  • Tina Hill of Woodstock
  • John Jung of Woodstock
  • Anna May Miller of Cary
  • Virginia Peschke of Woodstock
  • Sandra Salgado of McHenry
  • Barbara Wheeler of Crystal Lake

= = = = =
Here, minus Chairman Ken Koehler, are those who attended the Cat Tax County Board meeting. (Click to enlarge.)

Koehler is pictured in profile on top, while Lyn Orphal, the Crystal Laker who made the motion to kill the McHenry County Republican Cat Tax is just below.

Keely cat is shown relaxing after the death of the McHenry County Republican Cat Tax Collector ordinance.

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