Twp. Consolidation Board Debate – The Study

After the public comment period, the contents of which can be found here, the McHenry County Board considered the township consolidation proposals put forth by the Task Force.

Carolyn Schofield

Carolyn Schofield

The debate began with Carolyn Schofield making a $15,000 study of township consolidation by Northern Illinois University.

She announced that she was the best informed on the subject and attacked the robo-call made by proponents of putting consolidation on the ballot.

She complained about the proponents using her home phone number, which she said she had removed from the County web site.

She complained about the “bullying” content of the messages left at her home, all but one of which she said were not suitable for her children to have heard.

She complained of misleading information in the recording.

“It’s politics over policy,” she charged.

“The group offered no cost analysis, no [didn’t catch the next line].

“There was not enough time to get answers,” the Chairwoman complained.

“Why are we in such a rush?

“[There’s no] opportunity to find the answer of where are the inefficiencies and the cost savings?

“Not paralysis by analysis,” she said, referring to a comment made in July by fellow Task Force member Donna Kurtz.

“The push for this consolidation has been nothing but political.”

Mike Walkup

Mike Walkup

Next up was consolidation proponent Michael Walkup.

He charged that Schofield was “sandbagging” the township consolidation effort.

In a trial, “that’s where you lay in the weeds and then spring it on somebody in the middle of a trial.

“This could have been part of their [the Task Force’s] recommendation and it was not done.

“It could be considered deliberate.

“Just scuttes the entire attempt to put it on the ballot to have new township elections in 2017.”

[Scuttling is the act of deliberately sinking a ship by allowing water to flow into the hull.]

“[This path] was taken for transition [purposes]..”

Walkup then told of how the Illinois House had formed a Task Force to consider transition if townships were to be abolished.

Chaired by McHenry County State Rep. Ann Hughes of Hartland Township, the group ignored its mission at the behest of the Township Officials of Illinois, Walkup said, and passed a statute which required

  • petitions to abolish township government in all townships to have 10% of the registered voters in each township and
  • referendums to pass by a three-fourths majority

The courts threw out the petition signature part of the law, but refused to rule on the second part because no referendum had been held since the law was passed.

“The state legislature will do absolutely nothing concerning any [transition] glitch…because they are completely under the influence of the Township Officials of Illinois.

“The only way to force them [to] do something [is] by consolidation.”

Mike Skala

Mike Skala

Mike Skala was next on the microphone.

He said he had “read everything from the Task Force” and wanted to comment on three things.

He was “not satisfied with the data there.”

When he asked the proponents why there wasn’t a study, he was “told they didn’t have the money to do the study.”

He said he wanted the township side, too.

“I am completely in favor of allowing people to vote on this [the resolution for a study].

“I totally want the information.”

The second aspect concerned the robo-call.

He said he got nine phone calls and talked to six.

“All but one were very much in favor of having the information.

“One lady said, ‘I don’t care what happens to my taxes.  I just want consolidation.”

“I really do feel they need the facts.

“I think there should be a fact-gathering on both sides.

Commenting on the resolution for a study, Scala saw the need for it but “$15,000 is not enough money to do the job…half-assed.”

Donna Kurtz

Donna Kurtz

He suggested spending $40,000 to do “a decent study” and offered an amendment to that effect. [The county is spending a bit over $20,000 to have a consulting firm suggest what the future for the Valley Hi nursing home should be.]

Having been attacked by Schofield, Donna Kurtz struck back.

“This should have been anticipated months and months ago.

“This is not the way to do business.”

Yvonne Barnes

Yvonne Barnes

Schofield was immediately recognized again.

“I have been working very hard on this and have a great deal of knowledge on this.

“I looked for a committee for this to go through.”

Yvonne Barnes found fault that an independent organization was specifically names in the resolution.

The resolution “seems so vague to me.”

“There you go again,” Andrew Gasser said.

“I see poor Ralph [Sarbaugh, the finance guy] with his head down with his face buried in his laptop again.

Andrew Gasser

Andrew Gasser

“Is this an extraordinary situation.?”Are lives at stake in McHenry County?

“I’m really disappointed in us as a legislative body.

“We’re saying we’re fiscally responsible, but we’re not.

We don’t have a blank check book.”

Nick Provenzano joined the criticism.

“How ironic that we’re here with something that hasn’t gone through committee.

“We’re going to be voting on much more mysterious motions.

“It’s as mysterious as the next eight motions [the ones concerning township consolidation].

Barnes again:  “There’s no checks and balances.”

Kurtz:  “Members of the Task Force were not asked for their input.

“We’re being asked to just rubber stamp a proposal that’s not thought out and could have been considered by the Task Force and [vetted] by Finance and Audit [Committee].

The Board voted 14-8 not to increase the cost of the study from $15,000 to $40,000.

The eight who wanted to almost triple the amount were Kopsell, McCann, Miller, Nowak, Provenzano, Skala and Gottemoller.

By the same numbers, the Board sent the resolution to committee for further consideration.

Voting in the minority were Aavang, Hammerand, Jung, McCann, Miller, Provenzano, Skala and Smith.


Twp. Consolidation Board Debate – The Study — 40 Comments

  1. With all the fluffy comments for NOT putting this on the ballot for taxpayers to decide, don’t you wish someone with guts would just admit why they insist on so many townships – like (ex) the need for jobs for friends and political cronies who can help keep them in office?

    Once a tax is in effect, even if it is supposed to disappear, it never leaves.

    Same seems to go with people who never want to give up power.

  2. Vote out everyone who decided the public/voters/residents opinion wasn’t wanted.

  3. $40,000 may seem a lot for this study to continue however, it’s peanuts compared to unnecessary salaries, pensions, health insurance and other benefits redundant township employees may cost, not to mention all the capital assets that may be paired down.

  4. What would be studied, and why?

    The revenue and expenditure data have been documented already.

    Analysis of that data for predicting future behavior of unknown elected officials can be obtained for free.

    Prediction of future savings is simple math, if the premise is elimination of ‘middle management’redundancy.

    middle management in largest township supports belief that this elimination of cost is not a sure thing.

    A quicker cheaper way to ‘study’ the cost of road services would be to issue rfp for private contractor bids.

    Private subdivisions serviced by township now could eliminate that need by contracting with a private service, or with nearby municipality.

  5. How did Schofield assume the role of loudmouth on this issue?

    Did she have some special priority to speak in the debate?

    If not, why did Gottemoller let her run roughshod over the rest of the board?

    I’m still waiting on an answer about how many years of non-government work experience Carolyn actually has.

    She arrogantly spouts off about how smart and educated she is, but her deafening silence on this issue makes her look like a bossy, know-it-all housewife with a bachelor’s degree.

    If she actually has valuable real-world experience, she should tell us.

  6. When it comes to doing a study, I did one.

    It was presented it to the Board members.

    I sent the numbers to the owner of this blog.

    Insofar as Carolyn Schofield’s comment: “She announced that she was the best informed on the subject”

    I will conclude she is referring to her fellow Board members because if you have not served in the position of Township Supervisor you have no real understanding of Township government.

    As I have stated several times now, there are changes needed in how the State of Illinois is governed if we want to attract more JOBS.

    Some change involves Townships.

    Until we elect State Representatives and Senators who are willing to be work to change the State Constitution and laws which result in crony capitalism plus forced unionism we will continue to watch a reduction in average income in the State.

    Last year McHenry County had an increase of 411 in dependents who were listed on State tax returns according to the IRS.


    Tax filers who left the County had an average income of $58,173 while people who moved into the County had an average income of $55,799.

    Imagine how much lower that average income would be if we excluded teachers who are on strike to get wage increases the taxpayers cannot afford!

    Wage increases which will be paid by the students they are teaching because those students will inherit OUR DEBT!!

    The federal debt is now at $57,169 for every citizen in our country!

    The total federal government debt was at $18,400,227,000,000 as of 06:00 AM this morning.

  7. You are preaching to the deaf, dumb and blind, Evert.

    In the big picture, this is such a teeny tiny issue that it makes one’s head reel.

    No wonder the world is going down to Satan’s rules.

    We are divisive and scrabbling over everything because everyone has lost their compass.

  8. I ask the good people of McHenry County who are feed up with their tax’s and really getting little for it and who are in favor of honest capable Government to look at who voted for what with this issue and remember and write down their names.

    These are not the fiscal conservatives, these are not the money saving people you want to support on the McHenry County Board.

    You want people on the board who are going to support the public’s opinion.

  9. evert, “If you have not Served in the position of township supervisor, you have no real understanding of township government.”

    That’s got to be the township government line laugh of the day.

    The fact that people know what goes on in township government is the reason they want to vote on the issue.

    It’s too bad they can’t vote to abolish it.

    Your “study” and opinion might be worth about a nickel and that would be an over estimate.

  10. What I said at the meeting..Thanks Cal for not listening to me…%$&*@

    more than 10 years ago a study was done for school consolidation with schools similar in size to Marengo and Riley.

    he taxpayer savings was 2.2 million.

    With just over 10,000 people we have 5 school districts..

    Three regional Superintendents making over 150 K each without benefits.

    AND the school population is going down.

    Vulgar abuse of the tax payer.

  11. if Carolyn Schofield does not want to take calls at her home about issues related to McHenry County she should resign at once.

    What kind of a professional lets their children listen to business phone calls?

    I don’t know the content of the messages but if the heat of the fire is too hot..RESIGN..

    please do us the favor.

  12. I was standing behind you and couldn’t take notes.

    Thanks for telling folks what you said.

  13. What in the world does Marengo’s convoluted school districts have to do with townships. talk about people not really getting what what was going on unbelievable

  14. In a population of just over 10,000 people an influx of 2.2 million dollars or maybe much more “Is dramatic and very relevant” Marengo-Riley is NOW 56% low income..and its not going to get any better any time soon because we don’t have what people want in a community.

    To rob children of this investment, to destroy our future of potential growth because we are not attractive to high income families because of our school systems and other services is unspeakable and unacceptable.

    This Board has destroyed our property values again and again.

  15. Grandpa..are you a township employee? Amazing how all of these township employees had all the time in the World to attend all of these meetings all the while the TAXPAYERS could not leave their jobs because they have to provide life long employments and pensions for Government employees.

    School districts are the most expensive part of your tax bill which is per Township…Consolidate Townships and you consolidate school districts as well.

  16. Kudos, Cynthia.

    Ms Schofield was not an informed or productive Crystal Lake City Council member.

    She will introduce herself as an “engineer”.

    General engineering from the U Of I in LANDSCAPING.

    How long has Ms. Schofield actually worked in that field?

    I believe she has mislead people with the term.

    She did not run this task force well at all.

    The fact that Mr. Goetemoller appointed her speaks volumes about his giving perks to those who voted for him and crumbs on the board who did not.

    Typical Ken Koehler style.

    Oh yes, wasn’t it Ken K. that Joe G. gave the Metra spot to.


  17. Cynthia you are so wrong about the school districts and Township’s.

    Maybe in Marengo things are like that .

    In our township we have two different school districts Harvard and Woodstock some of the other townships also have several school districts in them .

    School district has nothing to do with townships.

  18. 70% of a property tax bill goes to the SCHOOL DISTRICTS!

    Don’t believe me? READ YOUR TAX BILL!

    It has a breakdown that is clear as day!

    You tell me…who is taxing you out of your homes?

    Mine says I pay LESS than $200 to Township and OVER $9,000 to SCHOOL DISTRICTS 47(raises) and 155(bleachers).

    But too many townships is the problem, right?

    I can’t believe you are fighting over scraps!!!!

  19. I’m tired of the Township Cartel deflecting their unnecessary cost, by stating what a “deal’ they are, compared to schools.

    So what?

    That’s an entirely different issue. Less costs more in the bizarro world of the Township Cartel as they defend their right to Taxpayers pockets.

    This Township consolidation debate is ridiculous and your fighting the wrong fight.

    You should be looking at totally elimination of the Township Cartel.

    Areas within the County should be either incorporated or unincorporated.

    Unincorporated areas, the county has authority for law enforcement and road maintenance.


    Get rid of this Township Cartel.

    Or do you want to keep paying for these costly, ridiculous fiefdoms?

  20. Back at you…..

    so politicians take care of their friends and those who will give them something…

    that’s just like saying the sky is blue.

  21. foodie – good reason NOT to vote for Joe Goettemoller for County Chairman in March.

    It had been said many times that he should not have been on the county board because he had too many conflicts having been an attorney for so long in the area – for businesses, townships, etc.


  22. D.J. — You are obviously from East of Rt. 47.

    You won’t be the one missing work while waiting for a County plow to get to you.

    We NEED the Townships here!

  23. D.J. you are right on..!

    We can third party out the services and save a are so right.

    We Must change now because property values have gone down again..we can run we can only fight.

  24. Pro side people should read a transcript of John Hammerand’s comments before the vote, he is right on the money about this consolidation was a tax increase.

    No plan is no good, besides most of you want to eliminate anyway.

    Why go threw the lawyer, building, and other costs when in a few years some will be harping elimination again?

    Elimination will raise costs just like consolidation was proven to do.

    One of the reasons Twh Assesors and Highway depts haven’t been unionized yet is it’s not economical for the unions yet, but increase that number employees by combining, and now the due $$$$ makes economic sense for the unions.
    County and Municipalities are mostly all union shops now, their cheaper?

    Ok fine.

    Bottom line is get a plan, hope doesn’t cut it.

  25. Bam..that’s a valid concern.

    But what makes you think the County would provide any less of a service than a Township?

    Does say the County Sheriff currently discrimate in responding to your part of the County?

    Please expound on the difference you anticipate, between a County plow and Township plow?

  26. I know one way to reduce your Twh Highway levy immediately.

    Have all the state reps from this county get together and introduce legislation that will stop Twh Highway Commissioner’s from levying for road funds for the municipalities.

    A hidden fact not many know about, that is about 50% for Alg Twh.

    The municipal lobby the Highway Commissioner every years for more and more $$$$, that lobbying could end with the right legislation.

    Of course then if the municipality wanted to make up for the lose revenue, they would have to raise their levy’s.

    Action reaction, only cutting services you receive now will lower your property tax bill.


  27. County Plow comes from west of Woodstock, Twh plow from within the twh.

    To get the same service the county truck would have to be in service longer to account for the extra driving time.

    If OT/costs is to be controlled, then service would have to be cut.

    All services of the road district would be effected the same way.

    All field work by the Assessors would be effected that same way if they worked out of Woodstock.

    Unions may even consider unionizing the assessors dept, they will get the extra highway people.

  28. The Nob, I don’t understand your concern.

    You hire and pay the Public Sector salary, not the Unions.

    Going forward, you make the Public Sector agree to not ask for pay raises as a condition of employment.

    Future increases will be set and approved by the County Board(Taxpayers).

    They can still Unionize if the want so they can get that free summer picnic that we’re currently paying for.

    Why is everyone afraid of unions?

    You know there’s a reason why the only fertile ground for unions these days is the Public Sector.

    It’s because Taxpayers have lost control.

    Take control back.

  29. DJ, Lake Barrington, Tower Lakes, North Barrington, and Barrington Hills all contract plowing and some other maint with Cuba Twh.

    Apparently Cuba Twh offers the service for less than private contractors.

    Now if those tight … rich dudes know it’s cheaper for Twh’s…………..

  30. Nob, why wouldn’t the County take over the logistically best Township facility’s?

    Close the rest.

    Why does everything have to be in Woodstock?

    Same for all other functions and services..

  31. I live threw the Cary unionization, IMO the employees may not be better off than had they not unionized.

    Due’s eat up a part of the pie, and like in McHenry schools fight, insurance also is a big issue when in wan’t before unionization in Cary.

    No strike unions are fine, that is what Cary has, and they just got a new contract which was fair to all.

    If union leadership was like it is in Cary, realistic, unions are fine, but most aren’t and that is the problem especially for the small Twh’s

    Alg Twh has to pay more than the small twh’s as they are surrounded by union shops.

    The size of the gov agency means allot also, FRG isn’t unionized.

    FRG must not be economically viable for the unions to go after, not enough dues I would guess.

    Some of the things you are suggesting has never been tried, interesting but would need some refinement.

    I was more into letting us vote on all levy and tax changes each year if needed.

    Make the gov agency dudes justify any increases, people will after good justification raise their own taxes.

  32. If the county took over each shop left open would need a supervisor, and a assist, that’s how it works.

    A minor savings to what we have now.

    The McDOT personnel that do the engineering end would have to be increased because of all the additional roads.

    Way more than the County maintains now.

    That would eliminate some costs the Twh’s have now by using outside Eng firms.

    The numbers would have to be compared, County verses part time private.

    Few other costs the Highway commissioner and assistant do would with paper work would have to be accounted for.

    All that should be considered as well as lawyers costs before we should vote on any elimination.

    Allot to be considered, costs could take years to re-coop.

    Sounds good to the uneducated, but is it really.

    Sorry I’m slow with the fingers.

  33. DJ, check out the Open Books website for wages and pensions, see for your self if you have the time.

    That website doesn’t account for years of service sadly, years of service should be part of any consideration.

  34. DJ did you know that before the 1994 elimination vote the county prepared a report on taking over all the Twh roads and related costs?

    The numbers were not favorable them and that should have change today either.

    I’m not surprised that info is being hid, or got lost for political reasons.

  35. Well Nob, I just don’t see how shutting down 18 Townships and putting under one agency can’t be a windfall for Taxpayers.

    However, if the 94 study proves it doesn’t, than I’m wrong.

  36. The more $$$$ touched leave the possibility of more $$$$ wasted, it’s a given.

  37. lists years of service for most pensions.

    The Years of Service taxpayer ripoff needs to be reigned in.

    Teachers and administrators exchanging 340 days of unused sick leave to retire 340 days earlier doesn’t fund a pension fund 1 penny.

    The local school boards should not be granting so many sick days in the first place, that should also be reigned in.

    But the McHenry high school teachers strike anyway, locking kids out of homecoming football games and school, not good enough for them.

  38. How about a competition.

    Whomever provides the lowest cost proposal wins.

    Make it a 3 year contract and re-evaluate after three years.

    Easier said than done and some unintended consequences but the point is this game has to be flipped, right now too many of them operate under the philosophy of how much taxpayer money can I entitled to this year.

  39. The failure of the task force was to prove the “value” of eliminating small, locally controlled governments by rolling them into larger, bloated, bigger government run by political insiders.

    Much to the disappointment of political insiders like Mike Walkup and Donna Kurtz…

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