Public Feedback Sought on Township Consolidation

There will be a Township Consolidation Task Force Open House on Tuesday, August 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. here at the County Administration building.

One proposed consolidation or townships.

One proposed consolidation or townships.

Four maps will be displayed.

The second map presented by the consolidation proponents leaves Algonquin Township as is.

The second map presented by the consolidation proponents leaves Algonquin Township as is.

Three show possible consolidations

Another possible consolidation map.

The thrid possible consolidation map.

The fourh will show the current seventeen townships.

It is my understanding that those attending the Open House will be given note cards on which people can comment on which map they like.

There is no doubt that the defenders of township government will show up.

The question is whether those who favor consolidation will take the time to come.

At last Tuesday’s meeting I asked those from the smaller townships to raise their hands if they favored consolidation.

Preston Rea

Preston Rea

Only one hand was raised.

It was Preston Rea’s

He is Alden Township Supervisor.

He yelled out that he was from Alden and he wanted to merge with Algonquin Township.

Alden is one of the poorest townships, while Algonquin is the richest.

Rea got a good laugh.

Immediately after, the McHenry County Board will hold a regular meeting.

This offers an opportunity for those with opinions to share them with the entire County Board, which will vote on whether to mandate referendums at its September 17th meeting.


Public Feedback Sought on Township Consolidation — 17 Comments

  1. Even though the horse has already left the barn, I again cannot understand how it was that the task force was empaneled and authorized to come up with a single recommendation for consolidation before we have even a whiff of the cost savings the proponents say will be realized.

    Without that information, how can they be expected to make an informed decision?

    My personal opinion is that the process was set up this way to make it impossible to not have a consolidation question show up on the ballot.

    I’m afraid that by recommending this map over that map, and then sending it to the Board, it will be regarded as a fait accompli and the pressure to include it on the ballot will be irresistible, at which point the average voter, who’s not as invested in this argument at those commenting here, will see fewer units of government and automatically conclude that they’ll see the results in a lower tax bill.

    I wish there would be as much passion shown about questioning every line in the budget as there is over this.

    The only way you’re going to get what you say you want, which is lower taxes, is to eliminate things that are now being done by government that properly belong in the hands of the private sector. On that tree is much low-hanging fruit.

    Fewer governments do not result in less government.

    Consolidation is going to have the effect of creating a greater distance between those doing the governing and the governed, making it easier to turn a deaf ear.

    Fewer hands holding the reins of power make those hands much stronger.

  2. Well said Steve.

    I’m still waiting on someone to disapprove the fact that larger gov agencies cost more for service provided.

  3. “Fewer hands holding the reins of power make those hands much stronger,” writes Steve Reick.

    Isn’t that the truth?

  4. I disagree.

    What you have in townships is very concentrated power with virtually no oversight.

    Take a poll- what does your township do for you?

    You will find that few people know anything about them.

    and this illusion that people are talking about township business even in small towns is just that.

    It is insider baseball- those who are involved gossip about what is happening.

    The average person knows nothing and is not impacted by it.

    To say anything to the contrary is misrepresenting the truth-

    go to Marengo or Harvard and you tell me that after interviewing the average person- where no one in their family is collecting a check fromt the township what they mean.

    I don’t see a huge public outcry about keeping Townships.

    I see people with a vested interest.

  5. @inish: All I know is that my township road gets plowed much more quickly and more often than the county and state roads do.

  6. Combined new tax rates Scenario 1:
    Algonquin /Grafton:
    (5849371+1974424)/(2216018165+1268158440)= .002245522 (that is, $225 per $100,000 of EAV)

    (1933393+4426875)/(465554463+1006240013)= .004321

    (5204539+1481114)/(981091035+224391823)= .005546

    (347958+ 781998+297092)/(52002033+187456141+118894232)= .005301

    (284047+408125)/(47154160+66020609)= .006116

    (406215+433699)/(115821373+86497512)= .004151

    (699824+472401)/(98291884+59760266)= .007417

    (756016+431996)/(119000457+70674368)= .006263

    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.)

  7. @inish: “I don’t see a huge public outcry about keeping Townships.”

    The flames of public outcry in favor of consolidation have been fanned by a state representative who can’t get anything of substance accomplished in Springfield, so he goes after things like this to make sure the voters don’t forget him come election day.

  8. @Steve- that doesn’t change the fact that this consolidation is on the table and no one who is not directly tied to the townships are attending.

    Citing that your township roads get plowed first merely strengthens the argument that there is not enough to do.

    what do they do the other 9 months of the year when we are not removing snow?

    And who is to say they still wouldn’t be plowed?

    Flawed argument.

    We don’t use a horse and buggy.

    We don’t need them.


    They are run by individuals with no experience often, paid more than they could command on the economy to do a job that is not necessary.

    How can you defend Bob Miller’s salary for 50 miles of road?

    And show me where he could command that salary on the economy.

    Or his wife.

    And exactly why are these discussion always focused on the high commissioner?

    What about the Supervisor- exactly what do they do- why is there a general assistance fund and what oversight is there.

    Townships do not stand the economic muster so to speak.

    My opinion.

    My teachers who don’t pay into social security are more entitled to a public pension than any of these jobs.

  9. @inish: “What do they do the other 9 months of the year when we are not removing snow?”

    They work at other jobs, since they’re not full time township employees.

  10. whoever Steve reike is he must live in unincorporated area and should be thanking those of us in municipalities for picking up the tab for his roads.

    Nothing like a free ride to buy a supporter.

  11. inish, there are 68 miles of road in Alg Twh, and that number will be growing since the county is now funding private road improvements so the Twh will have to maintain them.

    That could bring the total for Alg Twh roads to around 100 miles not to mention Nunda and McHenry Twhs.

    You seem to be a little uninformed about the Twh facts.

    I will not beat you on the head with them, just say learn more before you vote, because I believe this will raise your taxes.

    If you read some of the other parts of this series you will see my rant on what I feel is needed to make all gov more responsive to our desire to control taxation.

    If you have a suggestion about my rant, I’d like to hear it and adjust it so we all can get to the promised land.

    One thought, Twhs have to have balanced budgets, just for that reason alone I’m against eliminating them without the replacement also required to have balanced budgets.

  12. Remember that when they’re talking about “miles of roads” they are talking (1) single lane miles of surface, i.e. they’re patching/plowing 34 miles of what we, the public, perceive as “roads” and the Township doubles the number to 68.

    Maybe the Township uses this single lane to calculate costs, or whatever, but it’s a tool that bloats their numbers to the public.

    Same way they compute bus rides. if you see 48 trips, this is really 24 round trips.

    Without clarification, the public will believe there is 2 x the usage than there really is.

  13. I still fail to understand why these folks rail on ALL townships when their beef is with 1 or 2.

    If you are so hell bent on destroying a township, do it for your own.

    Please, leave the rest of us alone.

    Many of us were subjected to the cost of protecting our local township residents in the early 1990’s when Mr. Anderson pull a similar stunt.

    No facts then and no facts now… just unsubstantiated rhetoric.

    This is dangerous and unfair to those who count on their townships.

    Irish, the vast majority of township officials make peanuts in the way of compensation.

    Most still do these tasks as part of a community… something most people today simply do not understand.

    You suggest that rural residents somehow receive road dollars for costs other than township roads.

    Once again, learn the facts before you repeat these lies.

    Take Nob’s advice and go over the comments on prior parts of this blog.

    You just may learn something if you open your mind rather than listening to someone with a mean spirited vendetta that continues to fester.

  14. clearasmud, the public seems to have very little knowledge of what our gov does which is a shame, their fault, and because most really don’t care.

    They look at the tax bill whine then pay it still not knowing what they are paying for.

    All roads in McHenry Co are measured by center line miles, I believe that is true state wide if they receive MFT funding to repair them.

    When the MFT contract or just regular gov repair contract is filled out then the Square footage of the road is considered as it effects the costs.

    Single lane terminology really tells nothing about the costs other than if a paver can do it in one pass.

    Depth is a big consideration also, with square footage and depth volume of material can be obtained.

    A common quick formula most engineers and gov guys us for asphalt is: 115lbs per square yard one inch deep.

    Twh Senior Bus rides are recorded just like Pace bus rides because of funding reg.

    One trip equals one way, on the bus off the bus once.

    Did you know about the relationship between Pace and Twh senior transportation?

    Apparently not.

  15. @truckin561: whoever Steve reike is he must live in unincorporated area and should be thanking those of us in municipalities for picking up the tab for his roads.


  16. @truckin561, We are a socialized nation like it or not, we all share in the costs of all our government agencies.

    When Road funds for Twhs levied, 50% of that goes right back to the municipalities.

    Sharing a tax that should be on your municipal tax bill anyway.

    We all have ownership of township, county, state, and Fed roads, we share the MFT we pay for fuel and some income tax and property tax revenue.

    When non Municipal residents drive on your roads, it is often to go shopping, which means we contribute to the sales tax you get back and non residents don’t.

    Sharing, and so socialistic.

    Compare your Twh road fund tax bill to what you personally pay in sales tax each year, which would you rather pay?

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