Pessimism about McHenry County’s Future

Since finding out that the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that McHenry County’s population has decreased 1,543 people since 2010, I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open for other indicators.

Having fewer residents has not resulted in lower property taxes.

In fact, it is hard to find a tax district whose tax bill will not be higher this spring than it was last year.

So we have fewer taxpayers to pay more taxes.

Yesterday, there was an article about political activist Tonya Franklin’s plan to move to Wisconsin.

Right under her announcement in a comment appeared the following from Brian Gurnee:

“Just sold our house in McHenry, took less than it was worth just to GET OUT!

“I now live where the real estate tax is 10% of what I was paying and the school is rated higher.

“Look at the houses on Zillow for sale.

“Of the 330 (more or less) 130 are foreclosures.

“1/3 of the houses are foreclosures.

“This can only get worse.

“Republicans are not conservative, they are just Progressive Lights there.

“Get out while you can.”

I wish he had indicated what state he moved to.

A friend from church came back from Myrtle Beach to see what he could do about selling his home in Covered Bridge Trails (just north of Crystal Lake off the McHenry-Crystal Lake Blacktop).

He told of the biggest home in the subdivision, bought for $500-600,000 in 2008 had just sold for $239,000.

As I was distributing literature in the Crystal Lake part of my Algonquin 7 precinct, I found houses that were empty that had people in them last fall.  (There was one that had been empty that now had a family living in it.)

It wasn’t that long ago that there were no empty houses in my neighborhood.

I visited with a man who had recently moved to Crystal Lake.  Since doing do, he had lost his ob. He told me that he had been on three Downtown Chicago interviews and been turned down after he revealed he lived in McHenry County.

Would someone please give me a reason or two to be optimistic about McHenry County’s future?


Pessimism about McHenry County’s Future — 12 Comments

  1. I fail to see how this does any good for our county.

    Cal continues to promote the tea party extremists who do not know anything.

    Ms. Franklin has moved – good riddance.

    You have crazies running for all sorts of positions and we have a growing number of tea party whackos in other boards.

    We need calm, stable leadership.

    We used to have it but not anymore.

    Spending is not the problem – its putting loud mouths in positions of leadership.

    Before these problems could be worked out diplomatically and not on the front pages of the paper and blogs.

  2. Tea party wackos.

    Come on defacto gop…. is that you John McCain.

    You fail to see how it helps because you’re part of the problem.

    Yes let’s keep doing backroom deals and keep the public completely out of it so no one will ever be held accountable.

    Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

  3. Both my sons moved out of the state, and we will be exiting in a couple years.


  4. We need to CREATE LOTS OF JOBS.


    The focus should be on job creation!!!!!!!!!

    Especially along the Metra lines!

  5. Defacto – I have to vehemently disagree with you on this!

    That comment mentioned in the article “Republicans are not conservative, they are just Progressive Lights there.” Speaks volumes as to the real problem we face in this county and with this Republican party.

    There are far too many self-proclaimed “Republicans” who wouldn’t know what ‘Republicanism” was if it stood up and punched them in the face.

    These Republicans are Progressives plain and simple.

    They love big government and they care only about control and re-election.

    The county board claims to be 100% Republican, which I find utterly reprehensible!

    I can count on one hand, the number of legitimate, liberty loving, fiscal conservatives on the county board and still have some left over….

    and the same can be said for the current Republican party as well as the majority of those who represent us in Springfield!

    Just to be clear I am not a Tea-Partier.

    But, it just so happens that most of those “good ones” I am referring to are and I shutter to think what our county board would look like without them…

    Actually, I take that back, it would look just like Springfield does today!

  6. One exciting positive about McHenry County and her politics of decline is the chaos and opportunity it engenders.

    As goes McHenry County, so goes Illinois and the nation.

    For the same reason politics in Illinois is exciting and influential McHenry County politics are very exciting.

    Lake County is fighting a rear action strategic retreat to stuff the liberalism destroying their county.

    McHenry County is still in a state of flux where the possibility of winning a battle from which a precedent the war in Illinois could learn is possible.

    There are people jumping out of the fight.

    Twas ever thus.

    There are people everywhere espousing actual revolution.

    Would I trust people too weak to stand up in a political fight, or even to vote, to hold the line in a shooting situation?

    No way in the world and I pray these insane ideas never flower into actual violence.

    Let some run from the fight but the people stepping up to make a stand in different arenas for different reasons are very interesting indeed.

    Serwatka would have been perfectly happy, I’m certain, leading a non public peaceful life had the people leading the town been sane.

    Unfortunately for him they are completely off the reservation and he has a lions heart which will not allow the weakest elements of our society destroy his family.

    Very interesting dynamic.

    There are fights all over Mchenry County.

    The power station.

    The library.

    The bleachers.

    The public unions.

    The TIFs.

    The blah blah blah….

    Cal, the point is we HAVE fights.

    The actual outcome is almost less important than the fact there are no longer any safe areas for those who would enrich themselves and their friends in public office at the expense of the producers.

    What is so great about McHenry County?

    Other than the location and resource reasons anyone will quote the fact this county may possibly hold the line politically and then help push back against governmental insanity statewide is truly exciting.

  7. In my opinion, Humans in positions of power need to feel personal (economic) pain before anything will change, or,

    Things have to hit bottom before we can recover.

    At 4% property tax rate, 40% investor-owned (rental) residential property, and the two largest employers in the Woodstock (School) District 200 area being the school district and Centegra hospital, you have a combination of forces hastening that rush toward the bottom.

    1. 4% property tax rate means that the only buyers of a $200,000 house must earn well above median income of Woodstock D200 area to qualify for a conforming mortgage loan. Therefore, $200,000 homes must go to $100,000-$150,000 or less to find a robust pool of potential buyers.

    2. Investor rental properties’ owners will vigorously seek assessment reductions as the properties deteriorate—and they will deteriorate, as the 4% tax rate is an anti-incentive to fixing up any taxable property in D200. This will cause tax rates to rise higher, which will exacerbate the issue described in number 1 above.

    3. Public employees are remunerated higher $$ per hour and are given seven-figure-present value pensions(compare to cost of comparable annuities), and have health insurance provided which is free to the recipients and provides extremely broad coverage….
    compared to nurses’ and doctors’ hourly remuneration, price of purchasing health insurance which has limited narrow network coverage, and responsibilities for funding their own ‘defined contribution’, not DEFINED BENEFIT WITH COLA, pension plan.

    This is not a blueprint for good morale.

    Good morale is a good thing to seek amongst those who insert stiff plastic tubes into a body’s orifices.

    Looking for good news?

    I think, Things are going to get much worse much faster, so after the final crash we may have hope for recovery.

    If those who are holding the reins can keep the runaway team in harness.

    Detroit still doesn’t have reliable water.

  8. “Spending is not the issue”.

    I’m sorry, “DeFacto GOP Leader”, I believe you are wrong on the facts, and I am now going to present two strong arguments to that point.

    First, our property taxes are not only among the highest in the nation, they are among the highest here in Illinois.

    That fact alone proves definitely that spending is the issue.

    And the tax rate is twice as high as it was twenty years ago.

    In short, taxes are not high here simply because home values have not rebounded.

    Indeed, I would suggest the exact opposite:

    it is because our taxes are so high that our property values have not rebounded, as they have elsewhere in the country.

    It is because our taxes are so high that more people are leaving McHenry County than are moving in, especially families.

    We have 20% fewer 3rd graders than we have high school seniors.

    This is NOT the national pattern. It means, rather, that people don’t move here to raise families. Why? Because our taxes are so high.

    And, second, speaking of schools, right here in McHenry County expenditures per pupil range from $9,000 to $17,000 with no noticeable difference in outcomes.

    Yet the school district boards, don’t say, “Let’s learn from our neighboring districts that spend less”.

    Instead, every board increase taxes every year by the maximum permitted by law despite the fact that enrollment is going down in every single district.

    In other words, they are increasing spending per pupil faster than the rate of inflation — forget actually looking for ways to imitate those who spend less.

    Now, “DeFacto GOP Leader”, I believe that good public policy is not just a matter of opinion, rather that it is the outcome of examining ALL the evidence and of sound reasoning.

    And I believe that collaboration results in solutions no one of us might think of on our own.

    But that type of process cannot occur when one side makes assertions that “spending is not the problem” while providing NO evidence and then ignoring the reasoning and evidence provided by those with a different view.

    So, DeFacto Leader, I challenge you: If you think I’m wrong, then

    * rebut my arguments point by point;
    * show where I have made error in reasoning;
    * show where my evidence is false;
    * and provide evidence of your own to the contrary.

    If you do not do so, then please have the good grace to concede that you are wrong.

    Here is your opportunity to add value to the conversation.

    I look forward to your response.

  9. DeFacto is ignorant. If he calls Tea Party followers ‘whackos” there’s part of the problem. Tea Party is for Transparency, Smaller Govt, Free Markets, Accountability.

    That’s it! Get that thru your heads you Morons who like to blame Tea Party folks for anything and everything. Whoever wouldn’t be for those things mentioned above-has no business being in politics!

  10. McHenry County has organized labor and organized special interest groups but not organized taxpayers.

  11. I live in Rockford, IL and many of the McHenry issues we have, except our crime is out of control.

    Our property taxes are the highest in the country but since our homes are worthless they seem lower.

    I have been looking in the covered bridge area and it appears a lot of homes are for sale and in need of repair.

    As with Rockford jobs loss and nothing coming in is the issue, jobs solve problems.

    We like Crystal Lake and the schools are heads and tails above the dump in Rockford.

    Illinois as a state is a big blame factor for all of us and McHenry county like many is getting the worst of it.

    As for the comment of buying for 500-600 in 2008 that was the issue it was never worth that you just got stuck with it and it sold for its true value, again all over Rockford and Illinois.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.