County Board to Vote on ICE Jail Contract with No Taxpayer Input; Any Cost-Benefit Study Hidden

Because a vote on a new three-year jail contract with the Federal government will be voted upon by the County Board on Tuesday I am keeping this article on top until the meeting.

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On Tuesday, the McHenry County Board has before it a three-year contract with the U.S. Marshals Service.

The current contract, which pays $85 a day, runs out next year.

The new proposal will pay $95 a day.

Last July, the Finance Committee was told that the cost was $106 a day.  I wish I could point to something in writing, but the Sheriff’s Department refuses to release any information on the cost of housing prisoners.

The only indication of the real cost to house Federal prisoners/detainees is the study given the County Board a year ago by Joseph Summerill, who got a $50,000 contract to negotiate a new contract–by the end of last July, according to county records.

Based on woefully outdated information (FY 2008-2012), Summerhill said County government was losing $46.18 a day housing Federal inmates.  (Payment of $85 a day, cost of $131.18 per day.)

Joseph Summerill's estimate of the costs and benefits of housing Federal prisoners in the McHenry County Jail.The agenda says the contract is with the U.S. Marshals.

Just take a look:
McH Co Jail U.S. Marshal's agenda item 5-6-14But if you are inquisitive as is commenter “Mark McGuire,” and you go behind the agenda item, you’ll find in the proposed agreement that it is for not only the U.S. Marshals Service, but also for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE for short.

The cover sheet of the U.S. Marshal's contract renewal with McHenry County indicates it for the ICE detainees as well.

The cover sheet of the U.S. Marshal’s contract renewal with McHenry County indicates it for the ICE detainees as well.

This major contract did not go through the Finance & Audit Committee.

Wouldn’t you think something with as large an impact as this contract would go to the money people?

John Hammerand

John Hammerand

A year ago, Wonder Lake’s John Hammerand asked if the money paid by the Federal government was enough to cover expenses:

If you want to bone up on this subject, the following articles might be of assistance:

If you are a County Board member, you might want to ask

  • why there is no cost-benefit study to let you know if this is a good deal or a real stinker
  • how many ICE detainees and other Federal prisoners have been in the jail on an average day during the last year
  • why the Sheriff won’t release information that would allow outside analysts to conduct a cost-benefit analyse
  • why the Finance Committee has been cut out of the picture

If you are a taxpayer, you might want to ask your County Board members

  • why the secrecy?
  • why the hurry?
  • whether they know if McHenry County will lose money on this deal
  • how they will defend voting in favor of the resolution if they don’t know whether the County will lose money on the deal

And, if you want to contact your County Board member, here is the contact information:

  • Michele Aavang – 815-648-4210
  • Yvonne Barnes – 847-516-2719
  • Nick Chirikos – 847-658-3434
  • Sue Draffkorn – 815-653-6057
  • Diane Evertsen – 815-943-3298
  • Joe Gottemoller – 815 382 9940
  • John Hammerand – 815-728-0700
  • Jim Heisler – 815-459-1971
  • Tina Hill – 815-347-4222
  • John Jung – 815-338-6201
  • Ken Koehler – 815-459-7841
  • Donna Kurtz -815-788-0632
  • Bob Martens – 815-675-6353
  • Mary McCann – 815-568-1061
  • Mary McClellan – 815-482-5693
  • Anna May Miller – 847-639-5112
  • Robert Nowak – 847-516-9637
  • Nick Provenzano – 815-355-8540
  • Sandy Salgado – 815-271-5293
  • Carolyn Schofield – 815-455-9550
  • Ersel Schuster – 815-338-2207
  • Mike Skala – 847-669-3804
  • Mike Walkup – 815-459-7090
  • Paula Yensen – 815-404-3918

There’s also a three-year contract to start converting Sheriff’s squad cars to propane. It is opposed by Republican nominee for Sheriff Bill Prim. It was advanced by Undersheriff Andrew Zinke, the losing candidate in the GOP Primary Election.


County Board to Vote on ICE Jail Contract with No Taxpayer Input; Any Cost-Benefit Study Hidden — 12 Comments

  1. Clean up the county board!

    Enough is enough.

    If every one of them do not ask questions make THEM accountable.

    This goes for the Randall road project too!!

  2. Why the rush to waste more taxpayers’ money?

    The ICE program is assured to continue to lose money.

    The contract isn’t up yet.

    The conversion of Sheriff’s cars to propane does not guarantee savings.

    How much to convert each car?

    what is the cost of the new fuel?

    AND, didn’t the Sheriff recently purchase many new cars?

    To: McHenry County Board Members:

    Don’t spend my money to validate a cheap campaign pitch of the outgoing Under Sheriff.

    Stand on your own two feet and do what’s right and vote No on both issues.

  3. If the contract is not up WHY is it even on the agenda?

    There should be something implemented that whenever a new appointee will take office and that is not only with the Sheriff department that all new business will be held off the agenda until that person takes office.

    It does make sense.

  4. Can I just say that our taxes and major county decisions are out of control? But, then again, everyone knows this. Isn’t anyone anywhere doing the right thing? Secrecy? I think it’s just humanity gone wrong and my recent tax bill is a testament that everything is out of control.

  5. This the problem with McHenry County. We need reform the county and yet reformers are looked on negatively. Whether they are sitting on the board now, people like Walkup and Kurtz, or newbies running like Gasser and Wheeler; there is an attempt to spin them in a negative light.

    The Ambassador is right and our taxes are out of control. Who is actively advocating to cut county spending?

  6. It passed. Haven’t had time to write the article yet.


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