Facebook Post on Stop Randall Road Highway Robbery Draws Response from District 1 Democrat

One of the folks who is opposing the $135 million revamp of three and a half miles of Randall Road, Karen Tirio posted on Facebook.

You can see her post below, as well as a reply from District 1 County Board member Nick Chirikos:

Karen Mueller Tirio‎ Randall Road Robbery
August 13 at 4:09pm · Edited ·

NOW’S YOUR CHANCE TO LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD: A website has been set up by the Committee Against Highway Waste.

Citizens against the Randall Road Project, (that will cost ALL MCHENRY COUNTY HOUSEHOLD’s approx $1200) can go to the website and instantly email all of the Transportation Committee Members with a click of a few buttons. Enter your email so you are notified of upcoming exposés, discussions, meetings, and voting on this subject. VOTING IS COMING UP SOON SO CITIZENS MUST ACT NOW!!

There is even a short two line note. You may customize it or use the longer version below.

Go To:

http://www.VotersInAction.com

Longer form Example of Objection:

Hello,

As a citizen of McHenry County, I don’t want families of McHenry County’s taxes raised to support the Randall Road Project. I don’t believe the current proposals represent a good value for the taxpayers of this county. Our citizens are already taxed to the brink and this is why we have a decline in population. We are the 25th highest Real Estate Tax paying county in the whole Nation!!!! Property values have plummeted with no recover in site. I’m asking you to be a good steward of the Taxpayer Dollars and strongly urge you to VOTE NO to the Randall Road Project!

Jane or Joe Citizen
123 Your Street
Town, State, Zip
Home

It’s true. The plan calls for $13 million to put in a “Continuous Flow Intersection.” This is not only a BAD fix for the problem (the only thing that will continuously flow is businesses, out of business and out of the County), it’s also outrageously expensive. The other CFIs that have been built…
votersinaction.com
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Nick Chirikos

Hi. Nick Chirikos here.

Nick Chirikos

Nick Chirikos

I am one of the District 1 representatives for our County Board.

I read Ms. Tirio’s commentary on the Randall Road project and have to say it is mostly untrue, at least from what information I have been seeing.

If you have been attending the Transportation Committee meetings for the last 1-1/2 years, you would know that this project is only in its second stage of design development, and nowhere near the point where funding is allocated.

The CFI concept was NEVER CHOSEN as the final design (as is stated in Tirio’s website).

It was considered as the “preferred alternative” earlier this year, but our new CMAP data was just released showing an 8.2% decline in population estimates, so other, less invasive alternatives will be considered.

Another rampant rumor is that McHenry County residents are footing the bill for this project.

In fact, most of the funding is Federal and motor fuel tax, as are all major road improvement projects.

Thanks to Karen for putting my email and phone # out there for folks to have. I welcome all communications on this and other issues.

I would just urge all who are interested to DO YOUR HOMEWORK and not accept hype and innuendo as fact.

This is a complicated issue, worthy of serious and objective consideration.

Nothing is decided, and much has yet to be studied. Please feel free to contact me!
14 hrs

Karen Mueller Tirio

Hi Nick, you’re one of the board members who recently voted Against Transparency, aren’t you?

AND Federal and Motor fuel tax is paid by us!

Do you think that’s mystery money that someone else comes up with and GIFTS to the citizens???

Someone’s been b…See More
11 hrs · Edited

Karen Mueller Tirio

Nick, are you in favor of this huge project or not? I

read your whole post but I don’t see where you actually take a position.

To summarize your post, your stance is that “Nothing has been decided yet, so whatever you say is wrong.”

Another cold hard…See More
11 hrs


Comments

Facebook Post on Stop Randall Road Highway Robbery Draws Response from District 1 Democrat — 19 Comments

  1. Nick, your statement: “If you have been attending the Transportation Committee meetings for the last 1-1/2 years, you would know that this project is only in its second stage of design development, and nowhere near the point where funding is allocated.”

    Has all of the design work been paid with more of your ‘bama’ dollars?

    When you placed your campaign sign on the Miller’s truck you advertised to the whole world that you are willing to do the bidding of the Millers (imho).

    BTW Nick, if YOU were paying attention YOU would have known about the population decline two years ago when the census numbers were published.

    You did not have to wait for the federal organ controlled by Chicago, CMAP, to publish anything!!

  2. Here is an opportunity for a County Board member to make accurate and up-to-date information available to the public.

    Would Mr. Chirikos post answers about project economics on Facebook or this blog?

    1. How much money has been spent on Randall Road project to date on engineers, consultants, attorney fees, land purchase or land purchase options, and public relations? Were these expenditures locally or Federally funded?

    2. What is the working project budget, basis for these expenditures to date?

    3. What are caps and rules as to what aspects of the project might be covered by Federal funding? ( Does it cover materials, labor, land purchases, attorney fees, engineering, consulting, public relations, project liability; if so, are there any maximum limits to what may be spent in each category?)

    4. Will local ( county or municipal) public debt be incurred in relation to this project? Will County general funds be expended on this project (have general funds been expended already)?

    5. Describe the funding sources of this project which are not Federal, and whether this project will impact the ability for other local road projects to obtain needed funding.

    Thank you to any Board Member who will engage in a transparent dialogue with the public about spending public money.

  3. District 1 residents should be very wary of Mr. Chirikos.

    The smart vote would be for Andrew Gasser.

    I do not live in that district but we should all be aware of the representatives in EVERY County Board district.

    THEY ALL HAVE A VOTE that has impact on ALL OF OUR LIVES!

    Nick Chirikos thought a good use for the Motorola building in Harvard should be used to grow POT!

  4. If taxes are increased in McHenry we will probably move to another state.

    WHEN are we going to stop spending so much money on completely unnessesary projects?

    WHEN are we going to DEMAND transparency?

    We give them our money and they SPEND SPEND SPEND with no concept of the value of a dollar.

    They come up with these projects that arent nessesary- expecting us to pay for it- then raise our taxes to pay more for it?

    THIS MAKES NO SENSE!

    Spending wildly is out of control in this county and we have very little to show for the property taxes we’re paying.

    Seriously!

    With the amount of taxes we pay this county should be like Palm Springs!

    This project is stupid.

    Where is the transparency?

    Every single penny we give the county should be accounted for and subject to transparency!

    I want to see the numbers on this project.

    We the people should get to vote on this project not the county board!

    Why dont you let us vote on it?

    In the spirit of fairness, we should be able to vote on the randall road project.

    While under construction- so much buisness is going to be lost.

    Nobody is going to want to drive on randall when its under construction.

    Sounds like a nightmare.

  5. I am already planning on moving in less than 5 years so I can retire in a more affordable state.

    TAX TAX TAX that’s all they know.

    I have cut expenses to live within my means with all the increases in everything but my pay; NEED TO MAKE SOME TOUGH CHOICES WHEN SPENDING MONEY PEOPLE!

  6. There is a general trend in the postings on this blog.

    The trend is to ask for, demand, beg for property tax and other tax relief.

    Those posts are likely from people who do not have a joint family income well in excess of $200,000 per year plus publicly funded pensions and health insurance.

    MCDOT Committee is headed by a Chairperson who falls into the category described above.

    Do you honestly expect her to understand where you are coming from or to even come close to empathizing with you?

    Mrs. Miller draws a County Board salary and is paid an inordinately high salary to be Secretary to her husband who is the Road Commissioner for Algonquin Township.

    Their salaries are public record.

    Now the Millers have teamed up with Chirikos in an attempt to defeat Andrew Gasser who is an honest conservative.

    Mrs. Miller should be removed from her position on the Transportation Committee if no other reason then she is not capable of understanding that the median income in McHenry County is $50,479 for males versus $31,141 for females.

    Chirikos may think he is rubbing elbows with the ‘rich and famous’!

  7. Nothing any of these characters say surprises me.

    It’s as if once their in, some kind of fairy sprinkles them, with a kind of ‘elitist, arrogance dust.

    As one Pol once said, were nothing more as taxpayers then, ‘low hanging fruit’.

    Really?

    “If you have been attending”?

    I thought we elected you to look after our best interests, because we’re to busy footing all the bills you create with these schemes.

    Geez!

  8. In the words of that great late 20th Century American philosopher, Casey Stengel: “Predictions are hard, especially about the future.”

    Having said that, I am disappointed in CMAP, whose Citizens Advisory Board I used to be a member of, in failing to consider the “pig in the python” effect of the aging Baby Boom population as it may impact suburban growth.

    It is my opinion that we may very well be seeing flat or even declining population in the exurban areas like McHenry County as the Baby Boom families that fueled the suburban expansion from the 1970’s to the present become empty nesters who no longer need to endure long commutes, high taxes, and maintenance of large properties now that their children have moved away.

    Some more forward thinking planners are talking about an exodus from areas like ours in favor of closer in suburbs or inner cities by those Boomers, who are not as likely to be replaced by their children who have seen first hand the trade offs that must be made in terms of leisure time, commuting costs, and tax burdens in order to afford the bigger piece of the American Dream that the far suburbs offered.

    I for one think we should take some time to stand back from big projects such as this to see how the post housing bubble burst economy plays itself out in terms of our area.

    I have also noticed how our county Transportation Department seems to have a penchant for large, expensive solutions when smaller fixes may be adequate.

    Cases in point are the building of a traffic circle at a relatively lightly used 3 way intersection on River Road, and the pursuit of a $5 Million building in Algonquin Township to store salt.

    For these reasons I have agreed to join the Stop Randall Road Robbery group and will be voting against the entire project when it comes before the County Board.

  9. Mike: Don’t worry about the exodus of the ‘older’ generation.

    The guy in the White House is making sure that they are replaced with uneducated bodies from all over the world by tearing down what little border security we used to have.

    I understand some local schools are looking for teachers who speak Mayan?

  10. Mr. Walkup, your comments show great insight and common sense. It is obvious you have done some research and some thinking about this project.

    Thank you.

    The sole justification for this plan is CMAP’s projection that the County is suddenly going to start growing again like its the 1980s. In brief:

    Big Population Growth = Justification for Project.

    Which also means:

    Slow/Zero/Negative Population Growth = NO Justification for Project.

    McHenry grew rapdily in the 1980s, less rapidly in the 1990s, and slowly in the 2000s until it peaked somewhere around 2007 and 2008. Since then it has been in decline.

    Yet CMAP predicts the County’s population will suddenly start to grow rapidly again, at three times the rate the Census Bureau projects for the nation as a whole.

    Sadly, hiding behind the CFI project is a secon project budgeted at $120+ million.

    This project involves expanding Randall Road between Ackman and County Line.

    Oddly, that project never gets mentioned at the Transportation Committee meetings.

    But I fear it is lurking, waiting to be passed without discussion as if it were some minor appendix to fixing the Randall/Algonquin intersection.

    If that happens, County board members who vote for the project should be prepared to explain their position to the voters not only in November 2014, but in November 2016.

  11. Mr. Walkup, I commend you on the fact that you’ve done your homework and have your head screwed on straight.

    As for Anna Mae Miller (County Board Member, Transportation Committee Chair and one of the highest paid Admin. Assts. to the Township Road Commissioner – her husband) holding a CLOSED MEETING on this matter without the other transportation committee members is very INTERESTING and hardly bodes well for her transparency!

    “Someone” doesn’t want the public (or her fellow committee members) to see how her sausage is being made!!

    Is this a County Board member who is serving the public?

    Or serving her own self interests?? A

    s far as Nick Chirikos, isn’t he one of 2 County Board members that just recently voted AGAINST TRANSPARENCY?

    Doesn’t this just smack of Politics Gone Bad!

    Nick says “Nothing’s decided” so how can he say the research we found is wrong!?

    We’re not going to wait for the board to decide before WE THE PEOPLE can see “what’s in it!”

    Last time I checked this isn’t ObamaCare and you’re not Nancy Pelosi. (but then again Ive never seen you two in the same place at the same time!)

    THAT was a joke, but our County Board members pulling stunts like this is NO JOKE!

    The CFI that Miller is willing to pay 2.5x the going rate is bad enough, but our biggest concern is 3.5 miles of “business killing” frontage roads that will cost over $120 MILLION that won’t solve anything, but will push the taxpayers over the edge!

  12. Thank you Michael Walkup, Karen, et al for your participation and research to inform and make good decisions.

  13. Mr. Walkup,

    Now that we can all IDENTIFY the problem (we can’t afford the appetites of those in charge of public spending), and QUANTIFY the problem (property tax rate of 3.67% of property value is beyond unsustainable; spending must be cut to bring tax rates into line with at least Illinois average in the low-mid 2% range–never mind National average of low 1% range),
    can we have ideas to SOLVE the problem?

    Our time is spent putting out fires: looking for gross overspending on unnecessary projects. The projects are not advertised, people like Mr. Skinner must devote enormous time and research ability to ferret out and make public such tax-raising issues as:

    MCCD tax hike pushed by Althoff, Randall Road Project pushed by Miller, Oakwood Hills power plant pushed by Funk, Valley Hi surplus funds accrual that appears to be happening organically, and who knows what else.

    Meanwhile we citizens have no time to promote attention to the foundational problem: our County and schools spend more than we can afford.

    Are you in the mood to help save us before the death spiral of property values passes the point of no return?

  14. Susan: If you look at the website for VotersInAction.com you will see that I am co-chair for County Board District 3.

    Donna Kurtz and Diane Eversen are also District Chairs or co-chairs.

    I am doing everything I can short of laying down in the middle of the intersection (although I will consider that as well if others will join).

    We can, however, use as many citizens as possible to show up to the next County Board meeting and speak during public comment.

  15. Mr. Walkup,

    I now understand you are aware and active.

    Can we strategize together (I mean you and those like you–with those citizens like me who fear County spending is beyond living-higher-than-out-means)?

    What I tried to say was this:

    1. Rather than having to waste time on 11th hour prevention of several individual back-room projects which are huge tax burdens for all county homeowners, would it be possible to proactively advance policies to use a decision-making algorithm which factors in cost (pain) to taxpayers when spending analysis of potential project is initially undertaken?

    That is, before million$ are spent on consultants’ reports, a simple filter could be applied on any non-urgent need:

    How many county citizens does this help, how many does it hurt, and what is the normalized positive or negative return per county citizen?…

    What is the cost of the project relative to similar project cost nationwide?…

    (Can we afford it? Is it hurting more than it helps? Are we overpaying?)

    The big problem I see is that nobody approaches the Board with proposals to NOT spend public funds.

    Can you think of a way to make that a practical process?

  16. Those who oppose the waste of tax dollars (no matter the source of the tax income) NEED to go to the Committee meetings and SPEAK during public comments.

    You need to go to each and every meeting and SPEAK.

    Why do we have bike paths?

    Supporters of bike paths went to meetings and spoke!!

  17. Connecting?

    This is the ultimate burn.

    The thing about that is…

    That’s exactly precisely WHY we have these people in these positions …

    So that we don’t have to legislate.

    We have neither the time nor the money to do their job.

    That’s what we pay THEM to do!

    They have only proven that we were all fools for trusting them with even a smidgen of responsibility.

  18. It is so nice to see the people working together for a plan for change.

    “Strategize together” that’s the way to achieve positive results.

    Take Mike Walkups lead, he knows what he is talking about and he cares about the community and the people of McHenry County…

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