Scott Summers Nomination for 708 Board Defeated 18-6, Tina Hill Asserts Power

Tina Hill

Tina Hill

18-6 was the vote on the McHenry County Board to reject the Public Health and Human Services Committee nomination of former McHenry County College Board President Scott Summers to the 708 Mental Health Board.

But no one made a comment in public against Summers.

Immediately after the vote, Chairwoman Tina Hill invoked a specific rule that gives her the power to the make appointment without reference to committee.

“I’ve given this process a lot of thought,” Hill said after the vote.

“I will review the candidates, the tapes and possibility new candidates and bring a new candidate to you for a vote in two weeks,” Hill announced.

State law gives county board chairmen the power to make all sorts of appointments to boards and commissions, but the tradition, backed by rules with an apparent exception, has allowed committees to make the selections.

Shortly after the rejection of Summers’ nomination, the only alternative mentioned in the debate–Lake in the Hills Village Trustee Denise Bretto–released the following statement:

Denise Berreto

Denise Barreto

“I am officially withdrawing my name from consideration for the McHenry County Mental Health Board Appointment effective immediately.

“I stepped forward in April after reviewing the happenings of the last several months as well as the McHenry County Mental Health Board’s 2012-2013-2014 Three Year Plan.

“It has always been my intention to expand my service in McHenry County beyond my service on the Lake in the Hills Village Board.

“I saw this as an opportunity to serve on a board that expressly stated it was looking for diversity in leadership as well as someone with a tie the the Latino community.

“My business background, communication skills and reputation for being steadfast and fearless made me certain I’d be an asset to this board.

“I accepted and supported the committee’s decision to go with another candidate back on April 24, 2013 when I was notified.

“Since then, to my dismay, the process leading up to today’s McHenry County Board vote has been unprofessional and mean-spirited. While it is clear that the McHenry County Mental Health board needs fresh and diverse thinking to resolve its current issues, at this time, I am no longer interested in serving.

“I will continue to follow this board and others to make a determination in the future how to best leverage my talents for McHenry County. In the meantime, I will focus on my service to the residents of Lake in the Hills, who recently entrusted me with another term as Village Trustee.

“I appreciate the consideration of the Public Health and Human Services Committee and wish them the best as they seek to fill the vacancy.”

Speaking for Summers were citizens during the public comment period, plus Board members Donna Kurtz, who chairs the committee putting forth the nomination and Mike Walkup, a member of that committee.

Those opposing the nomination were

  • Scott Summers while he served on the McHenry County College Board.

    Scott Summers while he served on the McHenry County College Board.

    Michele Aavang

  • Yvonne Barnes
  • Sue Drafkorn
  • Joe Gottemoller
  • Jim Heisler
  • Tina Hill
  • John Jung
  • Ken Koehler
  • Bob Martens
  • Mary McCann
  • Mary McClellan
  • Anna May Miller
  • Bob Nowak
  • Nick Provenzano
  • Ersel Schuster
  • Carolyn Schofield
  • Mike Skala
  • Paula Yensen

In favor were

  • Nick Chirikos
  • Diane Evertsen
  • John Hammerand
  • Donna Kurtz
  • Sandy Salgado
  • Mike Walkup

Among the public speaking out in favor of Summers was Crystal Lake resident Charles Raymond.  He told of his 17-year old daughter’s having lost “three friends to drug overdoses this year.”

“Put the politics aside,” he urged.  “Please make the right choices today.  I firmly believe Scott Summers is the right choice.”

Crystal Lake businessman Kevin Krak said he was “very worried about abuse of power, misappropriation of money, lack of oversight and accountability.”

He spoke of Summers’ being an attorney and having earned an MBA and being “a person of excellence.”

Cary’s David Ensor explained when he was a youth he had trouble with drugs and alcohol.

“These services seem to have been slowly gotten rid of.  Heroin has become an epidemic in this county. ”

He accused the 708 Board of “padding their pockets” and expressed astonishment that “anyone would ever consider closing a facility that would help people.”

Eric Boyer, who has returned to Crystal Lake after five years in the military said he was speaking “because of my overall concerns about drug abuse and mental health issues.”

He said the “commonly held perception” was that there was “corruption among the mental health board.”

“You have taken over five months to elect Board members.

“Rome may have already fallen by the time you get there.”

An Algonquin Latina whose name I believe is Rosolba Compolonsso spoke softly of her role with the Spanish speaking community.

She referred to the “scandal at the McHenry Mental Health Board.

“Something needs to be done.  The amount spent on administration takes away from [services].”

Ron McCone of Crystal Lake told of speaking to the Board previously “about the lack of accountability at the 708 Board.”

He supported Summers’ candidacy because “he has the skills, background…to halt needless spending and realign the Mental Health Board with its primary purpose.”

He also complained about administrative expenditures taking precedence over the “programs and services.”

After Kurtz nominated Summers, Walkup spoke up in support.

He reviewed how he had met Summers the night he and fellow McHenry County College Board member Kurtz stood up before the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission and publicly admitted their mistake for voting for the minore league baseball stadium [that would have put local taxpayers on the hood for $25 million].

And, how both Summers and Kurtz had been formally taken to the woodshed by their fellow MCC Trustees.

“We need people on the Mental Health Board who will be questioners.”

He then went through what he had heard as reasons not to support Summers.

First was the fact that he is a Democrat.

Walkup rebutted that by pointing out that the Board had appointed a lot of Democrats to positions, including himself before he turned Republican.

Second was that Summers ran for County Board in District 6.

Walkup noted that two former members of the County Board had received appointments.

Third was the rumor that Summers was “planning to run for judge.”

Walkup debunked that suggestion by pointing out a district judicial vacancy does not even exist where Summers lives (Harvard).

Mike Walkup

Mike Walkup

“A judge[ship] is up in [County Board] Districts 4 and 3.  Joe Gottemoller and I could run for that.”

Finally, Walkup asked fellow Board members to “respect the process.”

Kurtz pointed out that this was the second time that Summers had “finished at the top.”  He was fourth with three to be selected in the first round of appointment interviews.

She said that Summers would have spoken to the Board, but that he had had to leave for a 9:30 court appearance.

Kurtz listed the failings of the 708 Board that she saw:

  • focusing too much on itself and not enough on the agencies who provide services
  • the questionable $1 million loan to Family Services “that’s never gong to be repaid”
  • “two board members have left the Board to take jobs with agencies [they voted to fund]”
  • a building housing 50% fewer employees that the Board of Health in a building that is twice as large
  • “contentious, antagonistic relations with some agences
  • loss of $2 million in annual revenues that will state this year
  • Medicaid billing problems

“We need Mental Health Board members who will stand up.

She asked County Board members to look at Summers resume.

“I think we got it right in our last appointments,” Kurtz said.

In his approach to the community college, foremost in Summers’ mind was

“How do I serve the taxpayer?”

She then asked her colleagues to “bring up any questions you have.”

There were none.

After the roll call defeated Summers’ candidacy and Hill’s announcement that she would make the appointment herself, Walkup took the floor.

Donna Kurtz

Donna Kurtz

“I am appalled and aghast that the chair would usurp the powers of the committee.

He then referred to Hill’s post-election speech about her stewardship would bring “a new day.”

“It appears the sun has not risen on that new day.

He called on the Board to change Board rules to re-empower the County Board to run the County Board.

Kurtz pointed to the “highly politicized situation” and questioned Hill’s decision to usurp her committee’s power.

“It’s highly inappropriate for a political type of move to be made by yourself,” she continued.

“This is a vote of no confidence.”

Ersel Schuster, who ran unsuccessfully against Hill for Chairman and voted against Summers, added the following:

“I’m so sick and tired of the politics.  We are here for the public.

“I, too, hope you will reconsider your decision.

“For us to stoop this low tears my heart out.

Nick Chirikos, the new Democrat on the Board from Algonquin also commented.  He voted for Summers.

“I’m pretty shaken by this vote of the County Board.

“I never realized there was such a majority on this Board.  I never expected a vote of this magnitude.

“It points to a political undercurrent of which I wasn’t aware,” he continued.

“I’m just inexperienced enough not to understand the full impact of this decision by the Chair.”

Kurtz was again given the floor.

She talked of the heroin overdose death in Cary two days ago.

“We have a problem.  We’ve got a sense of urgency that you seem to be missing.

“A lot of people in this county get it,” she said, pointing to affected family members.

“…and you sit here and deny a perfectly legitimate and qualified candidate.

“The time was now to have taken action.

“We’re not here for politics.”


Scott Summers Nomination for 708 Board Defeated 18-6, Tina Hill Asserts Power — 33 Comments

  1. Two comments:

    1. Denise Bretto’s statement makes her seem like a sore loser. Politics are going to be “unprofessional and mean-spirited.” Grow some thicker skin and get over it.

    2. It’s becoming more and more apparent that the 708 Board operates to enrich the favored insiders of the bloc that controls the Board and not the needy people it is charged to help. It’s time to put this monster out of its misery. Dear County Board: This is why we cannot have nice things.

  2. Back in the 90’s, there was a large Republican Dinner, it was announced then ” We Don’t Air our Dirty Laundry Here” . . . the NW Herald carried it on the front page, in color.

    I thought then, the powers that be, do not want to see accountability.

    People, wake up and demand that there be accountability.

    The same people wanted Tina Hill . . . remember history and maybe all kinds of mysteries will be solved.

  3. What’s the point of having committees if the chairperson can overrule their decisions?

    We need to change the law.

    The chairperson clearly has too much power.

  4. Complete corruption and just ridiculousness from the McHenry County Board.

    How can 18 people vote no on anything and not generate a viable reason to do so?

    The political corruption is a complete shame and disservice to the citizens of McHenry County.

    If ever there is a time for an explanation from the leader that apparently cannot lead, it’s now Mrs. Hill.

    You and Mr. Schroll have gotten good at dodging accountability questions.

    Did you practice together?

    Crooks, Crooks, Crooks!

  5. Tina you got me I voted for you and now I would like to see you jailed your personal agenda is clearly the only thing you care about, the people of this county deserves far better, it makes me sick that my vote helped you walk in and destroy fair process.

    It’s clear that you are ether a puppet of some bigger bad or a robot bent on exterminating the human race one at a time in the most passive/aggressive way imaginable “bad politics”

  6. I am very happy with Tina distancing herself from some of the radical liberals on the Board.

    Tina will make a responsible choice, but the dissidents won’t hear of it.

  7. @Jim B:

    Do you have some substance to go with that generic spin?

  8. This board operates for it’s own good and enrichment not to help those in need.

    This vote proved they do not want someone who would be for the needy unlike how they are.

    This board belongs in Illinois, corruption, corruption, corruption.

  9. I think it would be great to just do away with 708 it’s become another entitlement.

  10. The decision of the McHenry County Board makes me sick.

    I’ve known Scott Summers since 2009, and the 708 Board would have benefited from his participation and leadership.

    I commend Miss Barreto for her decision.

    I don’t know her yet, but her integrity shines through.

    The 708 Board is not “political”; it exists to serve a significant population in McHenry County.

    mattmac and others, you really don’t understand the purpose or function of the 708 Board.

    Is the current McHenry County Board going to turn out to be the worst ever?

  11. Gus: Not if I have anything to say about it.

    What happened today was a travesty.

    The outcome had clearly been constructed, not so much to deny Mr. Summers, but to embarrass the PHHS Chair, Donna Kurtz.

    Bad enough to drag Scott Summers through a totally unnecessary vote, the outcome of which was virtually assured before it ever took place.

    Worse, the committee’s majority selection was summarily abrogated by both the chair and a complicit, if not unaware board majority.

    Among the losers in today’s political folly: the integrity of the County Board, the office of County Board Chair, the McHenry County Mental Health Board, and most of all, those citizens whose dignity and well-being depend on the proper and judicious functioning of that organization.

    My sincere hope is that people don’t overreact and condemn the entire Board for the curious actions of today.

    I too commend Ms. Barretto for her decision to withdraw in light of the unmitigated turmoil of this situation, and hope that better minds than mine can eventually foster a climate of trust, good will and sound fiscal management for an agency that desperately needs our help.

  12. Baretto:

    Self-serving grandstander.

    Other than that, I agree with Nick Chirikos, although Summers was sullied, Donna took a thrashing.

    Tina Hill is starting to make former Chairman Neckbeard look like a reformist.

    If Tina was going to do the right thing, Jim B, Summers would have gotten the nod.

    And notice that the same old band of thieves expanded their numbers to include people like Skala and Schofield (you voters were warned they would be the kind to go along versus seek change and transparency) and others.


    Just skunks.

    And it appalls me most of all that I have to giver Mike Walkup kudos for voting the correct way.

    Doesn’t change my opinion of him, but I will give him kudos for the vote.

    Good riddance McHenry County Board.

  13. Clearly Donna Kurtz is getting too close to the truth.


    I don’t get it.

    She and Salgado, Walkup, Hammerhand, Chirikos and Evertsen listen to the many of us so concerned with the out of control Mental Health Board and the destruction of services in order to feather their own nest.


    I say the lines have been drawn…those who are are committed to insure transparency and fiscal accountability (the honorable band of 6) and the 18 who didn’t even have the courage to voice an opinion and shamefully just voted straight politics!

    Keep defending corruption, waste, and keeping everything a secret. The truth will come out.

    There are many of us, and the number is growing, who will no longer tolerate these blatant abuses of power and complete lack of consideration for the voter and taxpayer.

    We have just begun to fight!

  14. I voted for Gottemoller believing that he was committed to ethical leadership.

    How wrong I was!

    The first important vote to support the real concerns of the community and you sided with absolute corruption.

    No questions, no consideration of what was said at the public comments, just an already decided vote cooked up in the back smoke filled room of dirty politics.

    Your dirty now and that’s that.

    No matter how you spin the tale of why you voted the way you did, your actions spoke like thunder.

    To add insult to your alignment with such a corrupt person as Tina Hill, you didn’t even show courage to give the audience your reasons for voting no.


    Because they were shameful and couldn’t stand the light of day.


  15. I applaud those who wrote above and share their reactions. I have to say that Ersel Shusters comments about how saddened she was.


    You turned down a fully legitimate and qualified candidate and walked right into the hands of Tina Hill.

    You asked no questions.

    Your after the fact comments about the actions “tearing your heart out” was a little late don’t you think?

    Your no vote , tore out the hearts of those working so hard to clean up the mental health board and support the efforts of Donna Kurtz and the 5 others who do “get it.”

    That you got tricked by Tina Hill is on you.

    So get over yourself and quit trying to look good when clearly you are actied badly.

    You had no room to speak in your defense when you can’t even speak in the defense of the citizens who elected you and desperately needed you to support the work of the PHHS Committee.

    Narcisism at its finest!

  16. Those who are so quick to criticize Chairwoman Tina Hill are being grossly unfair.

    The Board voted overwhelmingly to reject Mr. Summers’ nomination.

    Then the only other candidate withdrew.

    As Chairwoman, Tina Hill is trying to do the responsible thing to make sure the position gets filled.

    If you want to fault her for anything, it should be for caring so much about doing the right thing regardless of criticism.

    It can’t be easy to lead a Board with a handful of liberal members who care more about politics and pointing fingers than working together to serve the best interests of McHenry County residents.

    Cheers for Tina Hill.

  17. Hey Luke H, if Chairwoman Hill was truly as good as you make her out to be, then why didn’t she explain publicly WHY she voted against the Summers recommendation??

    That goes for the rest of the board majority on this one.

    To all of the reformers who are backing Bill Prim for sheriff in next year’s election, look at the county board, too.

    Recruit good candidates for the elections next year to take on and take-out the people who voted irresponsibly yesterday.

    MAKE it a point to get the board to place the at-large election of the county board chairman referendum to be on the November ballot next year, and then convince the voters an at-large chairman election is needed.

  18. If you think you are upset now, just wait until you hear who is backing Andy Zinke in the sheriff’s race!

  19. If Gus Philpott thinks the Mental Health Board is not political, just look at the attempts to keep Lee Ellis in, overturn the PHHS committee’s recommendations, and the fact that Todd Shroll (the interim director) and the former directors Lap dog, spent the afternoon with Tina Hill right after the fiasco on the County Board.

    It was not the Committee that could not turn in a candidate (they did).

    It was already decided that anyone they put up would not be approved because of the agenda of the politica machine behind Tina Hill that wanted to insure that all the corruption behind the Mental Health Board was squashed and never see’s the light of day.

    The bigger the dollars, the bigger the effort to squash it all.

    Classic case of accusing those doing the right thing as the offenders when in fact it is just the opposite.

  20. Luke H- Hill trying to do the right thing because she cares so much?

    Would that be the right thing to suck up to the old corrupt political machine?

    She cares only for herself?

    Her actions, observable by all of us, show her gleefully boasting of her already having her candidate “in the bag” even before the meeting, supporting the likes of Lee Ellis and Frank Gosser ( the lawyer who is making hundreds of thousands of dollars off the mental health board) and engaged in questionable financial dealings with harvard State bank (Lee Ellis was vice president there ).

    Tina Hill is joined at the hip with those two and the interim director Todd Shroll.

    While they were laughing at lunch after the meeting about their coup, Koehler, Tryon, and Jordan were celebrating how they easily manipulated Hill was to ensure their return to power.

    Dirty tricks are no match for right action, truth, and the intelligence of the community (despite the fact that they pull such stunts believing we are all too stupid to understand).

    Never, never use words like “doing the right thing” in the same sentence attached to Tina Hill.

    That is blasphemy!

  21. @4Truth (care to post under your true name?), certainly any action by the McHenry County Board regarding appointments to the Mental Health Board can be considered political; especially now.

    But what is “political” about the operation of the Mental Health Board?

    If the 16 County Board members who voted against Scott Summers’ appointment were really interested in adding a quality, knowledgeable, interested, concerned resident to the Mental Health Board, they would have voted 24-0 to approve Scott.

    “Corruption” is a strong word.

    Can you back it up?

    I doubt it.

    And your insulting use of “Lap dog” is not to be excused.

    When you withhold your identity by hiding behind “4Truth”, I, and perhaps others, wonder whether you really are “for truth”.

  22. What a mess.

    These ‘no’ voters are not representing the voters at all.

    Scott Summers was a great choice.

    I consider him more of a non-partisan candidate, interested in the best interests of McHenry County, not the politicians.

    He does not seem to be the Tax and Spend persona like so many of the others.

    Thank you to those that voted yes.

    We know you are doing the right thing and thankfully you are in that elected position.

  23. To Mr. Chirikos – I’m proud to say I voted for you and will keep supporting your fortitude in pursuing justice for all concerned citizens in McHenry County.

    Thanks to the others who did vote yes.

    It is disappointing to hear that the 18 county board members who voted NO to Mr. Summers nomination, didn’t voice their concerns or reasons as to why they didn’t support him.

    It certainly begs the question as to why they would keep quiet about this.

    Clearly they didn’t anticipate the back lash of the committee AND the public to their behaviors!

  24. Mr. Philpott. First, the issue of backing up the word corruption.

    I refer you to:
    Northwest Herald articles since Jan of this year specifically about the mental health board: 1-24/1-27/1-30/2-14/2-16/2-19/2-20/2-22/2-23/2-27/3-3/3-5/3-5/3-6/3-8/3-9/3-27/4-24/4-25/5-7.(That’s just 2013)
    McHenry County Blog: 8-23/8-25/8-16/8-29/9-4 ( these are 2012) and 2-14/2-15/2-21/2-22/2-27/3-12/4-7/4-23/and 5-7 (2013).

    Andrew Gasser The last several weeks.

    Corruption was my mild word.

    These articles suggest must worse.

    As for exposure of my name?

    I work for a funded agency in the county that is terrorized to say anything lest the MHB mess with our funding.

    They have in the past and we cannot jeopardize services to the community.

    I appreciate your defense and outsider perspective.

    However we on the inside know so much more.

    I do believe the truth always comes out if you just follow the money.

    Finally, for the issue of the County Board members.

    The Committee brought a candidate.

    18 other board members did not ask questions, were not part of the vetting or nominating interviews, and did not contact any PHHS committee members for background.

    They brought up no questions at the County Board.

    So, you tell me why an attorney and MBA was denied?

    It literally makes no other sense.

    As for the lap dog comment, all you have to do is know the history of the former director and Mr. shrolls relationship over the last several years to know that the current strategies are a combination of Gosser, Lewis, Ellis and Shroll.

    This is a reign of terror and more complex than you think.

    All I want is that this board is righted, good people can get back to work and focus on what is important.

    With this much smoke, there is a fire for sure.

  25. Mr. Philpot- As for your Andy Zinke comment, I hope to god the Sheriff and company are not involved in this but I kinda suspect they are.


  26. And since I can’t shut up, I have to support Bill Primm!

    The message to this county is clearly , “There will be a new Sheriff in town.”

    After following him, meeting him, listening to his message backed up by actions, I have hope that the hold this ( dare I say corrupt?) group of Nygren, Jordan, Koehler, Tyron and company that has tainted every process in this county, is brought to justice.

    While my name is hidden, the banner 4Truth is known by many who will vote in the subsequent elections to support the sentiments expressed by many.

    Vote: Bill Primm for Sheriff!

    On that Mr. Philpot, we soundly agree!

  27. Sorry, my typing is faster than my thinking-

    Vote for BILL PRIM for Sheriff

  28. Lets hurry up and impeach all of the 18 with Hill before they rewrite the rules and own every voting machine in order to appoint themselves the ruling junta’s.

    This process was clearly rigged before it even got to the floor.

    Could it be more obvious?

    That’s why many of the long time residents say, “that’s the way it’s been for a hundred years here and they can do anything they want.”

    I call on those who actually believe in a “government for the people by the people “to get involved and overturn this blatant scandal.

  29. Buster,

    What questionable dealings was Mr. Ellis doing at the bank?

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