No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 2

Ev Evertsen, former Supervisor of Hartland Township, pointed out that the map showing township roads, which was requested at the first meeting, had not been provided.

Then he compared Hartland Township’s budget with that of McHenry County government.

“My township has reduced its budget since 2008.

“You…keep collecting more taxes.”

Evertsen predicted that any service in any of the townships consolidated would, after merger, would “be added” to all of the new entity.

He contended that the high tax rates in Illinois was not due to the large number of governments, but to “what we pay all public sector employees.

“When are you going to appoint a committee which is as stacked with people opposed as this committee is stacked with those who favor consolidation?”

Leon Van Every

Leon Van Every

“I think this is the dumbest thing that has even been proposed,” McHenry Road Commissioner Leon Van Every declared.

He related how his father had been Road Commissioner in Richmond Township.

“When he took office there were no blacktops.  When he left only one was not chipped and tarred.”

One of the inspirations of the Task Force’s formation, Wonder Lake’s Bob Anderson asked,

Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson

“What are these township people afraid of the voters?”

He then launched an attack on the Algonquin Township Road District, run by Road Commissioner Bob Miller.

He itemized high priced equipment.  He called them “tools.”

Also under his microscope was Burton Township with 13.33 miles of road.

Anderson also related that the Supervisor of Burton Township had committee suicide about ten years ago and that $200,000 was found missing.

Nancy Vanzanno

Nancy Vanzanno

Nancy Vazzano, who ran as a Democrat for McHenry County Treasurer in 2002, said that taxpayers feel there are two many governmental entities.

“There are a lot of people not in this room.

“See what you can do to reduce costs,” she asked the Task Force.

Lou Anne Majewski

Lou Anne Majewski

Another proponent was former McHenry County Board member Lou Anne Majewski.

She admitted to not being familiar with “the more remote townships” and directed her fire at her own–Algonquin.

“I’ve been under the umbrella of one family,” she said, referring to Road Commissioner Bob Miller, his father and grandfather.

“I feel it’s no longer relevant or justified,” that is is no longer “cost-efficient.”

She said that the township has gone from serving the public to self-servicing.

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No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 2 — 30 Comments

  1. Re: ““I’ve been under the umbrella of one family,” she said, referring to Road Commissioner Bob Miller, his father and grandfather.”

    Am I to conclude from this that Consolidation will remove the Miller umbrella?

    I don’t think so.

    Jack Franks keeps $500,000 in his campaign account to discourage challengers during his re-elections – The Millers keep about $50,000.

    Is this why the Millers and Franks stay in office?

    Do they stay in office because voters approve their job performance?

    If you want to get rid of an ‘umbrella’ as Lou Ann Majewski calls it, you get a good candidate, fund him / her and get him / her elected.

    You don’t waste taxpayers dollars on ignorantly proposed consolidation task forces!

    In McHenry County some Townships have actually reduced their levies – the County has not.

    So what happens?

    McSweeny gets a bill passed to freeze the property tax income for Townships and an ignorant group of people successfully get the County Board Chairman to appoint a task force for the sole purpose of providing a consolidation map and language for a referendum.




    While the members of the task force are not paid extra, staff that do the work for the committee sure do!

    It costs taxpayer dollars to prepare those pretty maps and other items.

  2. Lou Anne Majewski at the annual town meeting and at again Tue also whined about Alg Twh use of contractors to cut the two cemeteries.

    She said why not just get two employees over with push mowers to cut them?

    She is out of touch with what it takes to maintain a cemetery so people don’t whine at ya about how they look.

    Also when told that private contractors do the grass cutting and weed whipping for less $$$$$, as they are more efficient at that type of work, she just ignored the facts.

    Bob Anderson always seems to go to personal attacks about this or that, problems that are common with all humans, but yet he blames it on the type of gov agency.

    He want blood, eliminate Twh’s, no matter what it costs us in higher taxes.

  3. A tax rate scenario calculated per terms described by fact finding committee

    Q: What happens with the levy?

    A: The levy of each township would be added together and then the total is divided among the population of the consolidated township.

    (we must assume that “divided among the population of the consolidated township” means divided among the combined EAVs of the townships)

    (5849371+1974424)/(2216018165+1268158440)= .002245522 (that is, $225 per $100,000 of EAV)

    As is, Algonquin taxpayers pay: levy/EAV=5849371/2216018165=.002639586 (that is, $264 per $100,000 EAV)

    Grafton taxpayers pay: 1974424/1268158440= .001556922 (that is, $156 per $100,000 of EAV)

    (All this assumes data presented by fact finding committee and published above is accurate)

    Looks Like Grafton taxpayers will absorb a big tax rate hike ($156 per $100k EAV goes up to $225 per $100k EAV), and Algonquin taxpayers will get a tax rate reduction ($264 down to $225 per $100k EAV).

    (I am ignoring fund balance differentials because taxpayers will never see this money, it will be spent).

    Here are Township Levy/EAV for data presented above (all based upon data presented by fact finding committee and published here):

    Algonquin: .002639

    Grafton: .001557

    Nunda: .004399

    Greenwood: .006601

    McHenry: .005304

    Dorr .004153

    Richmond: .004172

    Chemung: .007120

    Dunham: .007905

    Hartland: .006182

    Alden: .006024

    Marengo: .006353

    Coral: .003507

    Riley: .006112

    Seneca: .005014

    Hebron: .006691

    Burton: .002499

    (these are current tax rates suggested by figures presented in data above. if consolidation occurs, the lower tax rate township will pay more, the higher tax rate township will pay less.)

  4. Again, people are wasting their breath debating the issue at the task force meetings.

    They are not a county board committee.

    As per the Chairman’s charge, they do not have the authority to reject the consolidation proposal, only to decide which map to use and draft the matching language.

    Save it for the County Board meetings and let the task force get on with it’s work.

    They have only one more meeting scheduled before it goes to the full Board, and at this rate they are not going to get it done.

  5. Is it really a waste of breath?

    You are reading the comments and I can assure you several other Board members read the blog.

    I agree that follow up at the County Board meeting next Tuesday night is of tantamount importance but discussion on Cal’s blog serves a very significant purpose.

    I suggest you concentrate on reading your board packet for the next meeting and let others discuss at will here.

  6. If they are tasked with presenting a wasteful deal, then the whole concept was a waste of time in the first place.

    Again Mike, if Twhs don’t maintain the cemeteries, who will?

    The more expensive union county employees?

    Why don’t you anti Twh dudes stop wasting our $$$$ with this nonsense and make the big push again to eliminate?

    Defeat the long standing fact that bigger gov agencies cost more, I’m listening.

    You know I was driving down Rakow and saw the county employees mowing the grass, as they do in various other locations with their undersized zero turns.

    Why are they using under sized tools and why not contract that out like some of the Twh’s and municipalities do?

  7. I see all of the proponents of townships are long standing, often multi generational recipients of a job.

    Roads are maintained by the county- what is magic about township roads that they couldn’t be absorbed?

    And of course Mr. Evetsen isn’t saying HE is paid too much- just everyone else.

    Of course, let us not mention that he is earning a govt. pension.

    Too many areas function without them- they are not critical.


  8. County roads are maintained by union employees with nice pensions, not all Twh roads are.

    Alg twh does pay closer to union wages and gives pensions, that is an effort to keep unions out, so the costs can be kept lower.

    Compare any of the municipalities wages accounting for length of service, job description, and you will find on average the Twh employees make less.

    The public works directors and even the assistant admin typicality make more than the Twh admin.

    Before the 1994 election the then county chair had the county figure the cost to take all the twh roads under county control.

    The report showed higher county maintained costs, and there is no good reason to think that that isn’t relative now unless you consider the effect of 150 on McDOT’s costs.

    Gov Pensions plans, even IMRF which is the pension plan for local gov, not part of the state pension problems, 96% fully funded, was modified, yet needs more modification as it’s still a little to generous especially at the top admin positions and for elected officials the most.

    Attack the source, the elected and their admin pals, then work down, that works for me.

  9. Well Inish, I don’t support township consolidation or elimination and am not a township worker past or present nor is any family member.

    It’s important for everyone to speak at these hearings as the proponents of this idea will use silence on the issue to mean a lack of opposition.

    I do believe that this will result in all of us taxpayers paying more.

    I also believe that this is another distraction, the real problem in IL is pensions and the high pay of public employees (some, not all).

    Lets all quit chipping away, get out the ax and solve the real problems in IL. It’s not the Townships

  10. Lou Ann said:

    “I’ve been under the umbrella of one family,”.

    I’d have to wonder about the Rep stance that families matter talking point.

    Also doesn’t Lou Ann have a family member on the Twh board she rides shot gun over?

    I guess she what to hold the umbrella even more than she already does/did over the rest of us.

  11. Just got off the phone with Evertsen.

    He does NOT get a government pension.

    He was a Township Supervisor but has not been in that position for three years.

    He did tell me that the gentleman who took over from him also receives no pension or other benefits and he also cleans the toilets like Evertsen did and like Preston Rea stated he does.

    If you not know what you are talking about, better keep your thoughts to yourself.

    I can tell you that those who are working in Township government or have worked in Township government are the unsung heroes of political office in this County.

    Are there exceptions?

    A few.

    But, for the most part they represent true public service.

  12. Comments in this blog, and the NHW, might be read by the Board members but there is no transcript being made of the task force hearings so we are not going to know anything that is being said apart from a few sound bites that may be published and the summaries contained in the minutes.

    That’s why opponents would be better focused to keep quiet at the task force meeting and let them do their work and save it for the Board meetings. Right now this has become a circus.

  13. Has become a circus?

    It was a circus when it was proposed – it did not BECOME one.

    You participated in the building of the ‘Big Top’!

    Keep quiet?

    Like little children we are to be seen and not heard?

    How condescending of you!

  14. That is what mike Walkup does he thinks he knows what is best for us and we should sit down and shut up

  15. Everyone is going to have ample opportunity to make their arguments at the County Board meetings in front of the people who will actually be able to decide something.

    I look forward to hearing all of the comments.

    My mind is open on the issue as I am not sure consolidation is the answer either.

    The task force, however, doesn’t have the authority to entertain the option of not putting something forward.

    It is just gumming up the works, which may be the intention of some.

    If the arguments against consolidation hold water, then there is nothing to worry about.

    In the meantime, let’s allow the task force to do its job, then the Board will do it’s job, and maybe the voters will do theirs later if given the chance.

  16. Heaven forbid the Committee does the correct thing and tells Joe he should dissolve the task force and avoid further waste of taxpayer dollars.

    The voters did their job when they voted all Republicans on to the Board.

    The problem is that once they were elected they did not behave legislatively like Republicans.

    By even considering consolidation they withdrew from their support of smaller government.

    It is rumored that this circus was perpetrated by Bianchi and Ron Salgado.

    If so, Lou should be prepared to pay a political price.

    Insofar as allowing the voters to do their job on this topic, they are, by attending the Task Force meetings because if this goes on the ballot, with the assistance of the NWH lies will likely be perpetrated on the public.

    Were the voters informed of the long range impact of the change to the Constitution GUARANTEEING a 3 percent COLA for public pensions?

  17. If their job is to present some thing, even if wrong, and we should just let that happen right Mike?


    How about they just present what they have found with no map recommendation? Way more logical.

    Besides what ever they recommned will most likely never get to the voters without Y’ll changing it.

    Who’s going to maintain the cemeteries Mike?

  18. By waiting to address this issue at a Board meeting, the public is restricted to three minutes to address this complex issue but those on the Board who support this can drone on until someone calls the question and gets approval to stop the droning.

  19. The Nob: The cemeteries would be maintained initially – it would cost more however.

    In the future you could elect a consolidated township board that decides to get out of the cemetery business and then you could watch the weeds grow.

  20. Many of the “weeds” growing in the township cemeteries are actually native prairie plants which have escaped being eradicated because those areas were not plowed.

    I know people who go to those locations in the late Summer to collect the seeds.

    It’s probably better that we don’t mow them for a while and see what all is there.

    There could be some rare plant species that we could help preserve.

  21. Cautious, the state made Twhs maintain them because they weren’t and relatives were complaining about the disrespect factor as they perceived it. Mike obviously thinks getting seeds is more important, I’d don’t.

  22. Governor Thompson was recently quoted in a Crain’s Chicago Business article by David McKinney, that he didn’t realize the long-term impact signing the bill would have.

  23. Big Jim though more about taking care of Big Jim than the states fiscal problems.

  24. Maybe the county board should refund the $tockpile of ca$h it’s holding for the county owned nursing home, reign in the DOT engineering costs, stop any expansion of MCCD. In other words clean it’s own house before meddling with the townships

  25. And for all those ‘cynical’ taxpayers who think that the ‘Beyond the scope of this committee’ statement (repeated over and over and OVER by the County’s Consolidation task force members) really translates to ‘Math and Logic and Planning and Cost-benefit studies are WAY TOO HARD, but we like to color on maps with Sharpies’.

    Well, you ‘cynics’ are absolutely RIGHT…

  26. The Task Force got to hear from Bob Anderson, barber of Wonder Lake?

    Did he recount his failed attempt at election to Township office?

    And how after that he “realized” townships were evil and must be done away with..?

  27. I’m not sure you are correct about the timing of his run for McHenry Township Road Commissioner.

    I’m remembering that effort came after the defeat of the countywide township abolition referendum.

    If someone wants to do the research, let us know.

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